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Whippets form really good bonds with their owners and would be happy to spend every hour of the day by their sides. This has a lot of dog owners wondering “do Whippets have separation anxiety?“
It is possible for a Whippet to develop separation anxiety when its owner is away for long periods of time. Luckily, dog owners can help their Whippets stay comfortable at home while they are away so the dog doesn’t get anxious or feel stressed from being alone.
While we don’t recommend leaving your Whippet home alone for very long periods, sometimes life gets in the way and you have no choice. On this page, we’re going to discuss if it’s common for Whippets to suffer from separation anxiety. We will talk about some of the signs that show a Whippet is anxious while you’re gone and how you can help the dog. Keep reading to learn more.
Do Whippets Have Separation Anxiety?
Every breed of dog can develop separation anxiety, and Whippets are no exception. Whippets love to have people around as they are a friendly breed that loves affection. If the dog is left alone for long periods of time, it could very likely develop separation anxiety while you’re away.
To better understand whether or not your Whippet has separation anxiety, it’s important to understand what separation anxiety actually is. This is when your dog develops a fear that you are gone and will not return. A Whippet that suffers from separation anxiety may worry that they will be separated from their owner.
If your Whippet develops separation anxiety, you may notice that it has become destructive or has behavioral problems that weren’t present before. Some signs that point to separation anxiety in Whippets include:
- Frequent barking
- Attempts to escape
- Urinating indoors
- Chewing or scratching items around the house
- Appears agitated or frustrated
Why Do Whippets Develop Separation Anxiety?
A Whippet’s history and lifestyle can play a major role in whether the dog has separation anxiety. If you adopted your Whippet as a puppy, socialized it at a young age, have been thorough with your training routine, and have a consistent lifestyle, the dog is less likely to develop separation anxiety.
If you adopted your Whippet from the shelter when it was full-grown, you will have to be open-minded and patient because the dog is more likely to develop separation anxiety. The dog already has a fear of being left behind, so it may take longer for it to understand that when you leave, you will be coming back.
A well-trained Whippet could still have separation anxiety. This can happen if there is a major change in its lifestyle. Many dog owners notice their Whippet develops separation anxiety when they have moved houses or a family member has moved out of the house. Additionally, the dog can also become anxious if someone new has moved into the home.
Can Whippets Stay Home Alone?
Whippets are great housepets because they are comfortable staying indoors relaxing for the majority of the day. Anyone who has spent time around Whippets has likely noticed that the dog spends most of its time snoozing. Whippets aren’t outside dogs, so they can spend long periods of time indoors.
This has a lot of dog owners wondering whether or not they can leave their Whippet home alone. For the most part, a Whippet can be left home alone. While these dogs love being in the company of people, they are also independent thinkers. To a certain extent, a well-trained Whippet can keep itself entertained while the owner is away for the day.
One of the questions that are on dog owners’ minds is “how long can a Whippet stay home alone?” Keep in mind, you will need to judge every Whippet on an individual basis. While it’s recommended not to leave your Whippet alone for more than 8 hours, some dog owners notice anxious behavior if the Whippet was alone for more than 4 hours.
How Can You Avoid Separation Anxiety in Whippets?
If you have no choice but to leave for extended periods during the day, you may be worried about your Whippet experiencing separation anxiety. With some Whippets, you may not completely prevent separation anxiety, but you can help them feel more relaxed while you are away.
Always be patient when trying to help an adult Whippet overcome separation anxiety. Depending on what the dog has gone through in the past, it may take longer to help it cope.
Below are some tips that Whippet owners should follow to prevent separation anxiety.
Socialize the Whippet
Any dog that hasn’t been socialized is more likely to experience separation anxiety. It’s important to start socializing with the dog as early as possible so it isn’t frightening when new people or other dogs are around. While this may seem like it’s only important for when you have visitors or take the dog out, how well it’s socialized plays a big part in how adjusted the dog becomes.
If the dog is adjusted, it will feel more comfortable at home. In the event that you have an appointment to attend to after a shift of work, you’re less likely to come home to a destructive Whippet if it is adjusted to its environment.
Teach the Whippet to be Alone
If you teach your Whippet to enjoy being alone it is less likely to feel stressed when it’s actually alone. For this reason, we suggest training your Whippet to be alone while the puppy is still young. To do this, create a positive environment for them that features things the dog enjoys.
For example, you could set up a comfortable bed for the dog in a crate or your bedroom. In this area, place a toy that the dog loves and a couple of treats. Your Whippet will see this setting as an enjoyable spot and look forward to spending time in it. Once you place the Whippet in the area, leave them alone for a short period.
While they are in there, you should leave the house so they can’t sense you are nearby. We recommend going for a short walk that only lasts a few minutes. This way, if your Whippet does feel anxious, it won’t be alone for too long.
Continue to do this method, but each time you leave extend the time for a bit longer. This way, when you do have to leave the Whippet home alone, it will think it’s being rewarded.
A Whippet needs exercise every day. This is very important so it can release energy and prevent destructive behavior. What is unique about a Whippet is that when it goes out for a walk or run, it’s full of energy. However, once the Whippet has had the chance to romp around, it will become very tired.
If you take your Whippet out for a good run and let it burn off some energy before you leave, there is a good chance the dog will spend the time you’re away sleeping.
Create a Safe Space
It’s important that your Whippet has a safe space in your home that it can go to when it’s feeling anxious. Whippets like to feel protected, so your dog may prefer a small or closed-off area to rest. This way, if your dog is watching out the window and sees something that scares it, it will have a spot where it feels safe until you get back.
A lot of Whippets respond well to crate training. These dogs also feel safe and secure in a crate. If you set up a crate for the dog, always ensure you add blankets and other things the Whippet loves to make the setting as comfortable as possible.
If you have a demanding career, it may not be easy for you to get time away from the office to tend to your dog. In this case, you and your Whippet may benefit from some help.
The first thing you should do is see if a friend or a family member has some free time during the day while you’re away. They may be able to stop in and take the Whippet for a walk. If not, check if there is a dog walker or a dog sitter in your area. This will ensure your Whippet has company while you’re gone.
Do Whippets have separation anxiety? Whippets can develop separation anxiety. This is very common among dogs that have previously been abandoned or have been through a lifestyle change. For this reason, it’s very important to ensure that the dog has a comfortable environment when you are gone.
When you come home after being away for a long period of time, always give your Whippet attention first thing. These dogs tend to feel rejected easily if their owners don’t acknowledge them. If you show your Whippet love as soon as you get back, they will feel assured.