Reading time: 7 minutes.
Whippets are part of the sighthound family of dogs, known for their big hearts and playfulness. Trained as working dogs, whippets are inclined to hunt and will chase after any small prey they see. A whippet makes an ideal pet thanks to its intelligent and loving nature and is a dog who will love to bond with you by playing a variety of games.
Do Whippets Play Fetch? Yes, whippets will love to play fetch. In general, they are dogs that value toys over food treat, so a high-quality toy will entice your dog to play fetch with you.
Continue reading as we explore how to train your puppy in the recall, how much exercise your dog needs, and the best toys for your Whippet. Through this article, you will learn how to keep your Whippet happy and healthy by engaging him with a variety of toys and games that allow you to build your trust and bond with each other.
Do Whippets Play Fetch?
Whippets have an inbuilt eagerness to please, making them easier to train than your average sighthound. However, they will still require dedicated time and training before you let them off the leash in public spaces.
Some Whippets love to play fetch and similar games such as Frisbee; you can train them to bring the ball or other object back to you. But other Whippets will chase the ball before deciding that they would rather play a game of ‘keep-away’ and will not retrieve the item.
In general, dogs have an inbuilt instinct to fetch due to the fact that many were bred to retrieve specific items for their human owners. This ingrained ability means that many dogs will still chase after whatever you throw away and bring it back to you.
Dogs particularly enjoy playing fetch with a ball because it is easy to spot and chase and fits easily into their mouth. Playing fetch makes many dogs feel good as it gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Additionally, fetch is a great game for motivating your Whippet to return to you when you are training them in the recall, as we will explore below.
Are Whippets Good At Recall?
Whippets make excellent pets due to their affectionate and intelligent nature. But, many Whippets will walk out of an open door, even when they are not on a leash. For this reason, it’s essential to train your Whippet in recall to prevent dangers to themselves and other people.
Whippets have been trained at working and racing dogs for many centuries and possess a strong prey drive, meaning that they will bolt after rabbits, rats, and other small prey when you are out walking, which can be dangerous.
To avoid your Whippet running into the road, oncoming traffic, a person, or another animal, it’s crucial that you train your Whippet so that you maintain complete control.
Due to a Whippet’s breeding history and strong prey drive, recall training can be difficult and will remain an ongoing process throughout their lives. But, it’s imperative that you stick to it, and they usually increase in obedience over time.
Two of the most popular games for use in Whippet recall training are ‘call and treat,’ where your dog gets a treat each time he returns at your command, or ‘fetch’, where your Whippet receives a toy reward. Which method you choose depends on the individual personality of your Whippet and whether he is more responsive to treats or toys.
When engaging in recall training, it’s imperative that you maintain a level of fun and do not allow punishment, force, or yelling to seep into the game.
It’s best to start training your Whippet in recall training at the age of around 6 to 12 months and maintain the training throughout their life. It’s natural for a Whippet’s interest to decrease once they reach the age of one or two.
Recall training may require patience on your part, but Whippets are incredibly smart dogs, and investing time and dedication into their training will pay off in most circumstances.
How Much Exercise Does A Whippet Puppy Need?
Whippets require at least one hour of exercise per day. It’s best to split this exercise into a couple of separate walks; a short stroll in the morning, followed by a longer walk, complete with the opportunity to sniff and explore later in the day.
As prey dogs, it is part of a Whippet’s intrinsic nature to run, and you will need to provide them with ample opportunity to have a really good run around in a secure area where they can be off-leash.
In addition, Whippets need time to play, bond, and train with you, as well as time alone in a safe enclosed space such as a garden where they can explore by themselves.
Whippets are generally calm and enjoy some quiet time to themselves, but this needs to be in balance with a good amount of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
It’s also vital to avoid over-exercising your dog, especially when they are a puppy. In their first few months of development, a Whippet puppy requires around five minutes of exercise for every month of their age.
If you have a three-month-old puppy, give it no more than 15 minutes of exercise per day; a six-month-old no more than 30 minutes, etc. Too much activity during a Whippet’s initial growth stages can cause permanent damage to their growth plates and joints, which are not yet fully developed.
Before your puppy comes to live with you, they spend many of their waking hours playing with their fellow puppies. In this way, they become pretty proficient at exercising themselves when they need to.
They are instinctive, intelligent dogs and listen to what their body tells them. When your puppy comes to live with you, make sure you have games and toys for them to play with and have some fun with them. This is the best way for them to exercise their little bodies.
Do Whippets Play With Toys?
Whippets belong to a group of sighthounds that includes greyhounds and Afghan hounds. This group is big softies who love to engage in interactive play.
Even though Whippets are high-speed sprinters, they do not require as much exercise as some other types of dogs do. Instead, they prefer short bursts of high-energy activity; games are the perfect exercise for them.
You will often find that many sighthounds lack motivation for food and instead respond to a high-value training toy, such as a chaser tug or a frisbee.
A chaser tug is often one of the best high-value toys for Whippets as they mimic the dog’s instinct to chase, stalk, and pounce on prey; and offer high energy play that is engaging for your Whippet.
With a chaser, you control the speed and actions allowing for variation and a trigger in your dog’s natural hunting instincts. And tugs come in many varieties, including those in brightly colored fabrics to mimic the feathers of a bird. The tug toy is a great way to channel your Whippet’s instincts in a fun, safe, and playful way.
When selecting a high-value training toy for your dog, there is an array of factors to consider. One of the most crucial is the size of your Whippet. If the toy is too small, your Whippet will not find it satisfactory; but if you’re purchasing a ball or a frisbee, it needs to be able to fit into your dog’s mouth comfortably.
You also need to consider the material of the toy. Purchase a durable and robust fabric to handle your dog’s excitable play. And ensure that the material is non-toxic and soft on your Whippet’s teeth and gums.
Whippets are like any other dog breed; their training does not take effect overnight, but by engaging in fun and exciting games such as fetch, your dog will grow more responsive to you as the bond between you increases.
Not all Whippets like to play fetch; the most important thing is that you have fun with your dog. Find what works for them, and give them plenty of treats.
In addition to a high-value toy, a chew toy can be great for your Whippet. Though Whippets are not aggressive dogs and will not utilize chew toys as frequently as other breeds, a chew toy prevents them from chewing on household objects when they are bored.
If you notice your Whippet chewing on a toy more often than usual, it could signify that he requires more exercise or attention. The best solution is to allow your dog a safe open space to play in – such as a back garden – and a variety of other toys to stimulate them.