Reading time: 7 minutes.
Are you wondering if Whippets are lazy dogs who are content to lie on the couch all day, or if they are actually high-energy pups who need a ton of exercise?
Whippets are famed for their speed. They love to run, and they boast a sleek, athletic physique. Despite this, many believe that Whippets are actually the opposite of how they appear—sleepy and lazy. The truth is somewhere between the two. Whippets need a certain amount of exercise per day, but once they get it, they will be happy to spend a calm day snuggling by your side.
The rest of this article will go into why some believe that Whippets are lazy, why this is not actually true, and how to make sure that your Whippet is getting the proper amount of exercise every day.
Are Whippets lazy?
Are Whippets lazy? Well, Whippets certainly can be lazy, but the truth is that their energy actually comes in bursts. These dogs absolutely love to run—and run fast.
Whippets were originally bred to be hunting dogs, and they are experts at chasing down prey at extraordinary speeds (up to about 35 miles per hour!).
When they are finished running, however, they will need to recover from all the energy they just expended.
Why do people think Whippets are lazy?
Since Whippets’ energy comes in small bursts, they do spend a lot of the time that they are not running recovering from the energy that they expended while they were. This means that, yes, your Whippet is likely to spend a lot of time laying around on the couch or in his dog bed.
Spending this time lounging and recovering does not mean that your Whippet is lazy, but it can certainly appear that way to people who are more familiar with dogs that remain high-energy constantly throughout the day.
How should I exercise my Whippet?
We mentioned previously that Whippets need to be exercised every day. This is so they can burn off those bursts of energy! Exercise can be accomplished in a number of ways: through walking, running, and playtime.
You can take your Whippet on walks around your city or neighborhood, or you can allow them to run off-leash in a safe area. You can also exercise your Whippet by playing games with them, such as fetch or tug-of-war.
How much exercise does my Whippet need per day?
Whippets need about an hour of exercise per day. This may vary a little depending on your individual dog, but this is a general guideline suggested by the PDSA (a veterinary charity in the UK). In order to accommodate your Whippet’s bursts of energy, you should make sure to divide this hour into a few smaller sessions of exercise per day.
This may look like multiple walks per day, or a walk combined with a few sessions of play time, or even walks interspersed with some time to allow your Whippet to run off-leash.
Just like your Whippet needs physical exercise, you should also be sure that you are giving your pup enough mental stimulation. This will prevent him from becoming bored and hyperactive or even destructive.
What is mental stimulation?
Mental stimulation is a workout for your Whippet’s brain. You want to make sure that he is getting just as much mental exercise as he is physical!
How can I give my Whippet mental stimulation?
There are a number of ways that you can give your Whippet sufficient mental stimulation. Here are a few ideas:
- Puzzle toys
- Kong chews
- Training sessions
- Agility sessions
Puzzle toys are excellent tools for mental exercise, as your dog will be forced to think hard to figure out how to get the treat out from the center of the toy. The same applies to toys such as Kong chews, where work is required to get to the reward (usually a treat frozen into the center!).
Training sessions are also a wonderful way to mentally stimulate your Whippet. You can train him to do all kinds of new tricks, which will definitely get his brain working as he figures out what it is that you are asking him to do.
Some training, such as agility training, can also be very physically demanding as well. This can accomplish the dual goal of exercising your Whippet physically and mentally at the same time!
Can a Whippet be lazy?
Ultimately, all dogs are different. People may have different responses to the question “Are Whippets lazy?” but it is certainly possible that you genuinely do have a lazy Whippet. In addition, there are some other reasons which may contribute to your dog’s energy levels:
- Fitness level
If your Whippet is older, he may become lazier with age. This can coincide with another reason that affects energy levels, which is fitness level. The more that you exercise your dog and the healthier he is, the more energy he will have for more exercise.
Factors such as diet, boredom level, and potential sickness can also affect how lazy your dog is at any given time. It is important to pay attention to changes in your dog’s behavior. If he is suddenly acting much lazier than normal, then something might be wrong.
Can I take my Whippet running with me?
Yes, you can certainly take your Whippet running with you! In fact, Whippets are excellent dogs for runners, especially speedrunners, because of how much they love to run themselves. They are better at sprinting than at long-distance endurance running. Again, this is because of the way that their energy comes in bursts.
It is important to make sure that you are taking care of your dog while running. If you run a lot on hard surfaces such as asphalt or gravel, you may need to invest in some doggy booties to keep your pup from shredding his paws on the street. This is doubly important when it is very hot or very cold outside!
Can I take my Whippet hiking with me?
Yes, you can also take your Whippet hiking with you! Some Whippets may do even better at hiking than at running. Just keep in mind that they may be distracted by every squirrel, rabbit, or other small animals that they see in the distance. This may be their prey drive kicking in since Whippets were originally bred to be hunting dogs.
Just like with running, make sure that you are being safe and that you have the proper gear to ensure that your pup is well protected while hiking in the woods. This may include doggy booties, a good harness, or even a jacket or vest if it is very cold outdoor since Whippets get cold very easily.
Can I let my Whippet run off-leash?
Yes, you can let your Whippet run off-leash. In fact, it is actually recommended that you do so! This is a great way to exercise your pup since Whippets absolutely love getting the chance to run as fast as they can without the hindrance of a lead.
If you are going to let your Whippet run off-leash, simply make sure that you are being safe about it. Never let your dog off-leash in a large unenclosed area.
How do I safely let my Whippet run off-leash?
As we have already stated, you should never let your Whippet run off-leash in an unenclosed area. In order to provide safe off-leash time, you should always seek out a large fenced-in space for your dog to run. This may include areas such as sports fields, tennis courts, or dog parks.
If you do not have a large enclosed area to let your Whippet run in, you can always let them run in an unenclosed area using a long line lead. This is a very long leash that you can use to allow your dog the opportunity to run very far and fast while still remaining tethered to you.
It is important to follow these safety rules because not doing so can easily lead to injury or worse. Even if your Whippet is excellently trained with perfect recall, you will run the risk of him running into traffic, wildlife, other unfriendly dogs or people, getting lost out of your sight, or anything else you can think of.
What if my Whippet doesn’t like to exercise?
Again, every dog is different. If your Whippet simply does not like to exercise, that could very well be perfectly normal! Having a dog like this is why many people may wonder are Whippets lazy. However, it is still important to make sure that your Whippet is getting exercise every day, even if you have to make him do so.
A dog that is not getting enough exercise can easily become out of shape and unhealthy, or simply bored and poorly behaved.
Although many believe that Whippets are lazy dogs because of their tendency to hang around on the couch and snuggle, this is actually not the case. They still need at least an hour of exercise per day, after which they can spend time recovering and calmly hanging out with their humans.