Dear New Whippet Owner- getting your whippet puppy

Dear New Whippet Owner- getting your whippet puppy

Embarking on the life-changing journey of pointy-nosed parenthood? Congratulations! This advice for new whippet or new puppy owners offers a collection of top-tips and fabulous nuggets of knowledge shared by us and also a wonderful community of whippet and hound-owners. to help you prepare for your new puppy.

new whippet owners
Whippet wander.

The Breed:

What are whippets like? Whippets are a fabulous breed. They will make you laugh every day with their crazy antics, and you will marvel as they zoom around with effortless grace and elegance- they are of course one of the fastest breeds around. See our A-Z of whippets for a great insight into this beautiful breed.

New whippet owner
Warming paws on a chilly day.

Though whippets love to run, they love nothing more than to snuggle up with you under a blanket )or two!). They are extremely loving, loyal dogs and make a wonderful companions.

whippet puppy
Snuggle up.

However, beware! These beautiful, graceful angels are greedy, stealth food thieves and will whip a tasty treat from a kitchen surface silently in a matter of seconds! Absolute divas, they will try to steal your bed, demand warmth at all times, and challenge you with their ‘sketchy’ recall skills around rabbits, squirrels, deer…

So many of us whippet owners are completely and utterly in besotted with the breed. More often than not, we go on to extend the whippet pack with a second dog… or a third forth, or fifth! Anyway, we digress- so what does a new whippet puppy owner need to know?

The essentials:

equafleece dog jumper
Cosy in Equafleece.

You can find all of our essentials and What Whippets Need here, including many of the wonderful hound products available. Enjoy shopping for them! Wherever you decide to shop, here are some of the essentials that you will need and some recommendations for our favourites:

warm coats for dogs
Cool collars

Collars and harnesses:

Martingale collars-essential whippet kit due to a hounds skinny neck. Great for a quick slip over the neck pop out. For longer walks, we find our boys walk well and appear calmer with a well fitted harness. More details about this below.

health checks for dogs
Posing in the harness

All harnesses are not created equally and whippets have a unique body shape so do invest in a good one to avoid any skinny wriggle-outs. We love the Perfect fit harness , the Snootiful Hound No Escape Harness, and the Ruffwear Webmaster. These are all built to fit the unique hound shape. Whatever you go for, try and make it a two point harness. You may also want to consider a GPS tracker too for peace of mind and to see how much exercise your dog is clocking up.

Handsome in my harness


Beware retractable leads! Whippets go from zero to fast quickly (and unpredictably at times) so imagine the impact and subsequent damage this can cause? Instead opt for a shorter lead, or a long line for training. Halti make a fabulous lead which can change lengths to suit your surroundings.

We hate the rain!

Coats and fleeces:

You will discover that whippets are fair-weather beasts and dislike being cold or wet. Walking on a rainy day may be a challenge so invest in a raincoat and also a fleece for your dog.  Here are some tips to help with reluctant walkers on those days where it is a little too hot or cold! Consider staying home with some sniffy games for mental stimulation on rainy days- this took us a long time to surrender to but we are so glad that we did.

whippet gifts
Warm and sleepy

Beds and blankets:

A cosy bed for your whippet is vital. In reality you may end up with multiple beds in multiple places- I know that we have! Many whippets love a cosy sack. Find details of super comfy whippet beds here. Be sure to get blankets galore too- think deep faux fur, teddy bear blankets – the warmer the better. If you ever try to gift yourself a fancy new human blanket, well you will see who finds and claims it within minutes!

In short you will need:

  • A good quality harness and/ or a martingale collar
  • A lead (not retractable)
  • A bed and a quiet space for your dog- including blankets
  • Toys
  • A coat/ fleece – see out our recommendations for these whippet coats here.

Recall, Recall, Recall:

new whippet owner

As sighthounds, the natural see-chase instinct is extremely strong. Working on recall is vital, starting as young as possible and continuing into old age. This is not always possible, particularly when re-homing an older dog, but train little and often and as regularly as you can. An old dog can learn new tricks after all.

getting a secong dog

We use whistle training which is successful- though not 100% when up against a moving rabbit or squirrel. Always be mindful that curve-balls will occur and the chase instinct can take over (squirrels, rabbits, deer etc.) These guys keep us on our toes! As previously mentioned, GPS tracker may offer peace of mind. When recall training, think about making you as interesting and attractive as possible. Use a squeaky fun, excitable voice and plenty of high-value treats. Never recall using an angry tone and always reward.

car journeys with dogs

A top-tip from one of the lovely Mad About Whippet owners:

“When recalling your dog try to make it for a positive reason- a treat, praise etc. For less pleasant interactions (removing something yukky for example,) move yourself towards your dog.”

Mad About Whippets Member

Beware toxic food!

Always watching …

Whippets are terrible counter-surfers, so hound-proof your kitchen surfaces to avoid them getting hold of any toxic foods (see this list and Don’t Eat That! for danger foods) that they may steal. Foodie presents under the Christmas tree may be a thing of the past as you dog proof your house at Christmas, but these dogs are completely worth it.

The world around them:

new whippet puppy owners

By enrolling in a local puppy training class with your whippet puppy, you can work on recall and other important commands whilst offering it the vital experiences of socialising. This also helps them develop their dog manners, for example how to greet other dogs.

Puppy snoozing

Whippet pups go from a million miles an hour to zero and actually sleep a lot. Be patient with your training- it will and does work but will (and does) take time. Consistency, consistency, consistency- and plenty of patience.

new whippet owner
Graduating puppy school

Out and about allow, your pup to see this exciting world, full of new experiences, by meeting friendly dogs (big and small), cats, children (who are respectful of the whippet puppy’s space),  passing joggers, cars and buses, people with umbrellas etc. Give lots of praise (and treats) for the desired response- a calm, relaxed and happy dog. Some owners go out pre-vaccines carrying their puppy, or by using a doggy ruck-sack or buggy.

Get your puppy used to being touched so that they are not phased by vet check ups or visits to the groomers for claw trimming etc. Do this by giving them a weekly health check at home. If you intend to travel with your dog, start young and with short car journeys to get them used to the motion of a car.

Inside the house:

scent games for dogs
Sniffy games

In the house, play plenty of scent games to tire out your house bound puppy (particularly in that pre-vaccination stage). Your puppy and dog will love to follow you. Many owners report always having eyes on them- even in the bathroom!

new whippet owner
A whippet owner made this from a photograph I took- fabulous!

Puppy-proof your home by tucking away wires and shoes, and putting fluffy-toy type ornaments out of reach for little mouths. Supervision is key- Some owners use a bitter apple, or grape spray as a deterrent and to signal ‘do not chew’.  Provide plenty of toys and chews that are allowed so they have a good chance of getting it right and give plenty of praise for the desired behaviour.

Puppy teeth:

whippet puppy

We had a very mouthy puppy, having come to live with us at 7 weeks of age. He would frequently ‘play mouth’ us with those tiny needle teeth which was painful at times. The best way we found to stop him doing this was, when he made contact with his teeth, to make a sharp scream sound, stand up and fold our arms, turning away from him until he calmed down. It took lots of patience but he did stop and learn this wasn’t appropriate play.

He also got crazy excited when we got home after leaving him for a short time, jumping up at us. By again ignoring him for a couple of minutes until he was calm and praising him with attention when he calmed and waited, we taught him what behaviour we wanted from him. He is now an angel with this and waits calmly for us to go and say hello to him.

Connect with other owners:

Find a good puppy training book. The Dog Guardian is great and I wish I had read it years ago. The Book our Dog Wishes you Would Read is also excellent. It is also really helpful to connect with other local owners through puppy training classes. Some Veterinary’s offer a puppy socialisation sessions.

Prepare to be physically incapable of walking past another skinny hound without stopping to chat to their owner! Join and contribute to breed specific social media groups- there are a number on Facebook that offer a wealth of advice, and the chance to share experiences (and great photos!).


This breed is fast and due to the lack of fat and fur accidents may happen. Keep (and travel with) a first aid kit containing bandage, wound pads, and Manuka honey (for its super healing and antibacterial properties) etc. For treated wounds on the body, medical pet shirts are fabulous, offering a much kinder alternative to the cone.

for dogs on the mend
Poorly boy in his medical pet shirt.

Beware long, dry grass. The dreaded grass seed is a terror when dogs whip through it. As owners, we have had veterinary treatment for seeds in the ear, foot and nose! Keep your dog on its lead in these places to avoid this.


senior dog

Each family is different and has unique needs so find the best type of food to suit you. Research the content however and go for the best quality that you can. One of our boys has a nasty bout of pancreatitis which led us to feed little and often. We have found them in their best health fed raw, with the addition of probiotic sprinkle for good gut health.

Dog Friendly Holidays:

new whippet owner
Beach babes

When travelling, take plenty (more than you need) of food in case of delays or mishaps. Take your first aid kit, toys, lots of blankets and a spare whistle (if you are a whistle user) for your recall. If at all possible take your dogs bed so they can have some comfort of home whilst away. For more information about travelling with a dog here.

ways to tire your dog
Big yawns

If you are travelling without your whippet, or needing day care, put some time and effort into finding a fantastic dog sitter. This will really pay off- trust me. Brilliant dog sitters are worth their weight in gold.

dear new whippet owner
Supervisors at day care

As life goes on:

As your whippet becomes a superb senior their needs may be different. Think about slowing down the pace and keeping them cosy and comfortable. They are still as much fun however but, as with all dogs (and humans) may need a little help with their joints. We have found that a heated throw blanket really helps soothe limbs, and whippet pyjamas are useful too. More about living with a senior whippet here.

New Whippet Puppy Owners:

blankets for whippets
Prepare to fall in love

Above all else, enjoy your new addition to the family. Embrace the feeling of falling in love with your silky bundle and prepare to cover the house with images of your whippet as you become ever so slightly obsessed. Life won’t be the same again…it will be so much better!

Whippet lovers- check out our A-Z of what whippets are like here.

23 thoughts on “Dear New Whippet Owner- getting your whippet puppy”

  • Nice Post, I have never met a Whippet Dog breed. They are so cute. I like your phrasing “Fairweather beasts”.. you could say Dachshunds are very much the same, haha. They don’t like the cold and wet, especially because they are so close to the ground. I enjoyed your pictures, those pups look very happy. (From Dachshund Station)

  • This is great advice! A lot of it is great not only for whippets, but for all dogs. For example, I love how you recommended a shorter leash instead of an extendable one. I have heard so many horror stories about the extendable leashes, so I always try to advise people to get a short leash if possible. Also, I had never heard of a medical pet shirt before. That sounds like a much better option than a cone! Thanks for sharing all this detailed information (and I love all the adorable pictures!)

  • I’m a dog sitter in Devon, uk. Currently looking after my first whippet puppy. I absolutely love her! She’s so much fun ❤️ Thank you for the advice!

    • How exciting! Enjoy your new pup- they are so adorable and get even more so as the get older. So glad the post was helpful 🙂 x

  • I’m hopefully getting a pup next month and have been told whippets can live with cats. I have a collie cross who’s fine enough with her but now I’m worried I’m doing the wrong thing! Any advice on introducing my new baby???

    • How exciting- a new pup! I haven’t got cats but I have heard plenty of people say they can introduce a pup to their cats and they get on. There is a post on the blog re: introducing a new pup to an existing dog titled ‘getting a second dog,’ That may be an interesting read.
      Thanks for checking us out and all the best with your new addition! 🙂

  • Looking at your photo of Jarvis and Finn in their Blizzard coats is like seeing my own Whippet Misty in hers… she’d fit right in with your two!

    We also have an Equafleece jacket (highly recommended) for Misty, which is often worn in winter underneath her Blizzard coat… she likes to roll even in winter and the outer coat can take it!

    • I love the fleeces and the Blizzard coats too- the whippys love to be layered up don’t they! Many thanks for visiting Twoplusdogs.

  • Aww they look so sweet! I don’t know much about whippets so this was an interesting read. I’ve always had smaller/ fluffy breeds so their behaviour and traits couldn’t be more different.. They look so sweet snuggled into their blankets.

  • Hello there, Two Plus Dogs! I stumbled upon your article on owning a new Whippet Hound and I must say, it’s a very informative and enjoyable read. As a language model, I don’t have the ability to own a dog, but I can appreciate the joy and companionship they bring to people’s lives. Your article is very helpful for those who are new to owning a Whippet Hound and are not sure what to expect.
    Overall, I think your article is a great resource for new Whippet Hound owners. You provide practical advice and share your own experiences, which makes it very relatable and engaging. I’m sure your readers will appreciate your insights and find them helpful as they embark on their own journey with their furry friend. Keep up the great work!

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