Are you wondering if a Whippet would be a good choice for your child’s first puppy? Or are you considering adding a dog to your household alongside your small children?
When you are searching for the perfect dog to add to your family, finding one which will be gentle and good with your small children is very important. As medium-sized dogs with tons of loyalty for their humans, Whippets make a wonderful breed for a family dog. They are very affectionate and mild-tempered, making them great with kids.
The rest of this article will go into detail about just why and how Whippets are excellent with children, how you can introduce your new Whippet to your family, as well as what to do if the Whippet you already owned seems to be a little jealous of your new baby.
Are Whippets good with kids?
Are Whippets good with kids? The answer is yes! While every dog is individual, in general, Whippets are very easy-going and patient dogs. This makes them a great choice for a family dog.
Whippets are medium-sized and slender. The average Whippet weighs between 15 and 40 pounds, meaning that they are not huge dogs who will be at significant risk of knocking over your children while playing. They do have lots of energy, but they also enjoy relaxing around the house with their humans!
Are Whippets good with babies?
Yes, Whippets are good with babies. Since they are a very smart breed, they are able to recognize that a baby is to humans what a puppy is to dogs. Just like with slightly older children, Whippets are very affectionate and gentle. They are fiercely loyal and bond strongly with their humans, creating the potential for a lifelong best friend for your child!
Are Whippets aggressive?
While every dog is individual, Whippets are generally not aggressive dogs. In fact, the opposite is usually true! Whippets are very loving and friendly to all they come across. However, any dog can become aggressive in certain circumstances, so be sure to be careful and always supervise your children around any dog just to be safe.
Can a Whippet hurt my child?
Again, while Whippets are not generally aggressive, there is always the potential for accidents. Whether your Whippet ends up snapping at a child who pulls its tail too hard, or if he simply accidentally scratches or nips just a little too hard while playing, any dog could certainly cause injury to a child.
This is why it is very important to make sure that your child knows how to be safe around the dog. Teach them how to treat the dog with care and respect. If your child is too young to understand this, then it is extra important to ensure that you are constantly supervising their interactions with the dog.
Are Whippets affectionate?
Yes, Whippets are very affectionate dogs. They adore being pet and stroked and curling up next to their humans on the couch. In order to get the maximum possible snuggle time from your Whippet, it is important to make sure that they are being properly exercised. This is because Whippets are actually highly energetic dogs, but their energy comes in bursts.
When your Whippet is properly worn out from physical exercise, all they will want to do is rest and snuggle! However, if your Whippet has not been properly exercised, then they may become excessively hyper and less prone to cuddling on the couch.
What should I look for when searching for a Whippet for my family?
When searching for a Whippet to add to your family, and when asking yourself “Are Whippets good with kids?” there are several things you want to keep in the forefront of your mind. Some of these things include:
Like we said before, Whippets are medium-sized dogs. However, some are smaller or larger than others. If you would prefer a smaller dog to reduce the risk of accidents around your kids, then size may be something to take into account.
Temperament is probably the most important factor to consider when looking for a Whippet to adopt. Temperament is what determines whether your Whippet will do well in a home with children and potentially other pets. Make sure you spend a lot of time hanging out with your potential new Whippet before bringing them home.
If you are adopting your Whippet as a puppy, something to consider maybe their family history. What are the temperaments of both Whippet parents? If they are both calm and even-tempered, then their puppy is likely to be as well.
Should I buy or adopt a Whippet?
You should always aim to adopt before shopping for a dog of any age. Even if you are specifically looking for a Whippet, there are plenty of breed-specific rescues which cater especially to Whippets. Try searching “Whippet rescue near me” to find the closest one.
If you are absolutely set on purchasing a Whippet puppy from a breeder, or if adopting is for some reason, not an option, then make absolutely certain that you are purchasing from a reputable breeder and not a puppy mill. Reputable breeders will be registered with the American Kennel Club (or other government organizations) and will prioritize the health and wellbeing of the puppies ahead of making money.
Puppy mills are inhumane breeders who focus on profits before the safety of the dogs. If a breeder is selling puppies for suspiciously cheap prices, if they refuse to show you their registration or allow you to tour their facility, or if they do not have any papers for the puppies, they are likely a puppy mill.
How can I introduce my Whippet to my kids?
Introducing your new Whippet to your kids is something that should be done slowly and carefully. Make sure you are supervising the interactions, and be certain that you have taught the children to respect the dog’s space: no pulling on tails or ears!
Can I leave my Whippet alone with my kids?
No, you should never leave your children alone with any dog. Even if the dog is very well trained (and potty trained) and even-tempered, there is always the potential for accidents. In order to ensure the safety of both your children and the dog, they should always, always be supervised when interacting.
What if my Whippet seems jealous of my baby?
If you already had a Whippet in the family before having a baby, it is possible that the dog may have to get used to sharing your attention once the baby is born. Here are some signs that your Whippet may be jealous of your new baby:
- Your dog excessively barks when the baby is around
- Your dog jumps on you or tries to get your attention through inappropriate behavior when you are occupied with the baby
- Your dog whines when you pay attention to the baby
- Your dog tries to steal the baby’s toys
All of these things are annoying, but not necessarily concerning. If your Whippet growls at the baby or seems nervous, pay extra attention to be sure that the situation does not turn aggressive.
In order to stop these behaviors, ensure that you are not rewarding your Whippet for doing them. While you should never punish your dog, you can utilize what is called a “non-reward” or “anti-reward.”
If your dog is barking to try to get your attention, when you turn around to tell them to stop, you are giving them what they want, even if inadvertently. You should completely ignore your dog when they are engaging in inappropriate behaviors to get your attention. With time and patience, your pup will get used to the new baby.
Are some Whippets bad with kids?
Unfortunately, there are always going to be some dogs who are simply not well suited to being around children. Although Whippets are generally very patient, easy-going and good with children, there may be a specific Whippet who is not. This is why it is so important to get a good feel for your potential new pup’s temperament before adopting them.
If you adopt your Whippet as a puppy, the good news is that you will be able to spend lots of time socializing with them to get used to children. If they spend a lot of time around tiny humans from a young age, your Whippet will easily get used to the chaos that children may bring with them, and all should be well!
When socializing your Whippet pup, if possible, it is important to get them used to other children besides your own.
Lastly, as we have mentioned before, it is crucial to make sure that your children are aware of how to respect a dog and its space.
Are Whippets good with kids? Yes, overall, they are incredibly affectionate and loving dogs who do excellently with children. However, it is important to make sure that your children are educated on how to respect the dog, just like your dog should be socialized to respect your children.