A Closer Look at the Whippet Temperament

Whippet TemperamentMost people know whippets as racing dogs. They fly down the track in pursuit of a mechanical rabbit or other artificial prey. These dogs have intense focus and are very competitive. So, they are well-suited for this type of racing activity. But, what about the temperament of these sleek, flexible canines? Consider a few facts about the whippet temperament.

An Affectionate Dog

When considering a whippet, it’s important to note that this dog is extremely affectionate. A whippet is likely to prefer curling up next to you in bed over climbing into a dog bed located on the floor. Whippets are friendly to children, adults and other dogs. Some whippets get a little overexcited when their owner arrives home from work and it can take them time to calm down. This excitement is due to their loyalty to their owner. However, if this regularly occurs, an owner can simply speak to their whippet in a soothing voice to calm it down. Eventually, the whippet will greet its owner with a calm demeanor.

Easily Startled

If whippet puppies aren’t handled in a calm way and spoken to in a soothing voice, they can grow up to be jumpy adults. They are sensitive animals, but if they are raised in a responsible way, they grow up to be relaxed adults. So, the way a whippet was raised should factor into a person’s decision to take the dog home.

High-Energy, Athletic

Though a whippet may act like a couch potato at times, this dog needs to run and play in order to stay healthy. Taking this dog out to play ball, chase a Frisbee or just run down a path in the woods helps to keep its muscles in good condition. This dog is an ideal candidate to take to a dog park due to its friendly nature. If there are large dogs playing in the dog park, it’s best for the owner of a whippet to see how the bigger dogs interact with the other dogs there. A whippet’s biggest defense is its speed, but it shouldn’t be put with aggressive large dogs.

Enjoys the Company of Another Dog

Anyone thinking about getting a whippet may want to get two instead of one. Whippets are hounds which means they prefer to live with other dogs. Two whippets may not add up to a pack, but this canine is not made to stay by itself while you’re at work or otherwise out of the house. Plus, the behavior of one of a pair of whippets is likely to influence the behavior of the other.


Intelligence plays a big part in the whippet temperament. This dog is alert and will respond whenever its name is called. Training a whippet to obey basic commands such as sit, stay, lie down or come is very easy with this intelligent canine. Whippets are experts at finding things and figuring out how to get out of risky situations. A whippet’s combination of speed and intelligence makes it a special favorite with owners who want to train their dogs for agility competitions. They can sail over jumps and through hoops with grace and speed! They can even crawl through the plastic tunnels that are a familiar sight on a dog’s agility course.


Part of the whippet temperament is lack of barking. In fact, some whippets bark very rarely. If whippets do bark, it’s usually during a fun game of chase or while playing around with other dogs. A whippet in a household walks around with a light step similar to that of a cat. It sometimes takes a few minutes for an owner to notice this dog is in the room.

The Whippet Temperament Makes it Friendly with Strangers

Whippets are friendly with people they haven’t met before. They are the type of canine that are likely to give people and dogs the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.

Lastly, the whippet temperament makes it a good choice for a household with lots of young children, a couple with no children or a single person living alone. In short, this dog fits into many types of households. As long as it gets to stretch its legs each day, a whippet is a loyal companion as well as a low-maintenance pet.