Today’s Whippet dog owner interview is with Vicki from New Zealand and her dog Flee, a purebred Whippet.
Vicki has owned Whippets for many years and runs a website selling things she makes, to raise funds for the UK sighthound charity Lurcher SOS.
You can find out more about Vicki, see the lovely items she makes (and perhaps buy some!) at her website: Narrow Dog Workshop.
Now on to the interview…
Hello Flee and Vicki… Tell Us a Little About Yourselves
I’m almost 61 (how?!) and I live in Mosgiel, just outside Dunedin, the second largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.
I work part-time as a law practice manager in Dunedin city. The rest of the time I make art textiles & run classes under the studio name “Narrow Dog Workshop”.
I’m married & we have been Whippet owners for almost all of our married lives.
We currently own Flee, who is almost 14. She informs me that I should refer to her as “venerable elder” now! *snorts*
When and Where Did You Get Your Dog, Flee the Whippet?
We bought her on TradeMe. Its a NZ website a bit like eBay. Her owner bred her and owned her mum.
Flee had been listed for weeks when I saw the ad and I didn’t respond immediately. Our previous girl Beatrice had died 3 months before and I didn’t know of the time or the whippet were right – but I eventually took the plunge.
Apparently her owner thought we were right too. She was 14 months when she arrived – 10 feet tall and bullet proof by her own modest assessment!
How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? What Ways Do You Exercise Her?
She goes out twice a day.
The morning outing is off lead somewhere: a beach, the forest, local stream stopbanks or a riverside walk.
Then around the block at about 4pm and home for afternoon tea.
How Easy Was Your Whippet to Train? Did You Take Your Dog to Obedience Classes?
I have had dogs almost all of my life but Flee was the hardest to train (so far LOL!).
She is very intelligent & accordingly has a high prey drive. I had a trainer train ME to train her in the end. It worked well – I did daily training with her for years – nothing complicated and not for very long but it built our relationship.
We eventually had a showdown one day at the beach when I wanted to go one way and she another. There was a standoff where she and I stood motionless waiting for the other to capitulate. I waited her out. I knew if I didn’t she’d never have reliable recall. She eventually threw her lot in with me and went my way.
These days we often go her way because I know that we can go my way any time!
What is Your Whippet Like With Other Dogs?
Flee had always been an extraordinarily social girl. She arrived like that & quickly established herself as a datling of the dog park amongst canines & humans. At one stage she even seemed to have a social life I knew nothing about! She seems to like most dogs but always has special besties.
Her sociability changed my life. Suddenly I had a new bunch of friends, human & canine. These friendships have proved enduring over the years.
We lived for a couple of years (2015-17) in Blenheim, at the top of the South Island. Through whippet connections we met and befriended another Whippet dog owner and her 2 boy Whippets (Flee says we’re all in one pack). When we moved back to Mosgiel she and the 2 boys decided to follow us. Such things are whippet friendships made of!
Flee has recently conceived a passion for a much younger curly coated retriever. Duncan, the curly coated casanova, as I call him is equally fond of her it seems!
What Do You Feed Your Whippet and Why? Would You Consider Your Dog a Fussy Eater?
Yes she is fussy but with reason.
We struggled to feed and keep weight on her years. Then we discovered she has an acute rice intolerance.
She is now raw fed meat & veggies. I make some of her treats and others that I buy are locally made dried meat products that have undergone a minimum of processing.
Does Your Dog Shed Much? How Much Time Does It Take to Groom Your Whippet?
She barely sheds at all. NO grooming is ever done. She has the occasional shower if too muddy or smelly.
Find out more about how to groom Whippet dogs.
Does Your Whippet Dog Bark Much? Has Barking Caused Any Problems?
Flee occasionally barks but barked more when she was younger. She had a dog park friend, a beardy cross named Tor. Their shared interests were running & barking.
She’s always quiet in the house. We wouldn’t tolerate excessive barking – which says to me there are problems that need resolving.
What Are Flee’s Favourite Toys?
Flee arrived with Blind Kitten & still has her. She plays gently with her toys and has accumulated a huge collection.
Many are gifts from her twitter following!
What Do You Love Most About Your Whippet?
Everything – her only fault will be the brevity of her life.
If I could equalise our allotted spans by giving up some of mine, I would do so gladly.
Whippets just want to be with you. If you wouldn’t like a dog that bonds so closely don’t get one.
I’d like to thank Vicki and Flee for taking the time to talk with us. If you’d like your Whippet to feature on the My Dear Whippet blog, drop me a message on my contact page and I’ll get back in touch with you.
Would you like to ask anything about the Whippet dog breed? Please ask a question or feel free to comment on any aspect of this owner interview in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
- Lilah the Whiphund – An Owner Interview
- Whippet Mixes – The Ultimate Guide
- A Guide to Whippet Temperament
- Whippet Health Problems
- A Whippet Puppy Buying Guide
- Why is My Dog Peeing in My Bed?
- Adopting a Whippet – 6 Things to Consider
- 16 Things Only a Whippet Owner Can Tell You!
- How Much Exercise Does a Whippet Need?
- Why Do Dogs Scratch Floors?