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When do whippets calm down?

When do whippets calm down?

When do whippets calm down?

Did you know that the most searched question about whippets on Google is ‘When do whippets calm down?’

Most likely typed in by new owners who’re wondering why their sweet, angelic little pup isn’t the chill and mellow character that whippets are notorious for being. Trust us, we’ve been there!

Online sources say whippets start to calm down around the 18-month mark, others say much older. So, we’ve conducted research of our own, speaking with a vet, a behaviourist and whippet-owners of the internet to get a more accurate answer about these curious creatures.

We asked 297 whippet-owners

We put it to a vote, asking the whippet-owning people of Instagram what age their hounds started to mellow out. The results were far more varied than we’d expected.

Out of the 297 people who cast their vote, the majority (41%) said that their whippets calmed down between the ages of 1-2 years old. A further 34% said that their’s mellowed out between 2-3 years old, with 17% saying older than 3. A small selection (8%) voted for less than 1 year - perhaps they’re the lucky ones. 

1 year 8%   |  1-2 years 41%  |  2-3 years 34%  |  3 years + 17%

A much bigger split than we’d anticipated. Perhaps the idea of a calm dog varies from owner to owner? And bearing in mind each dog's personality will be different too, just like their human counterparts. 

As humans, our expectation of ‘calm’ varies. Here, we are exploring the changes in temperament from adolescence to adulthood. There will undoubtedly be things that excite a whippet throughout their life (like chasing squirrels) but at what point do they transition from manic pup to demure dog?

A vet's perspective

We spoke to Maxime, a whippet-owning vet from Lurgan, Northern Ireland. She told us that, on average, most whippets tend to calm down around 1.5 - 2 years old, also stating that they mellow earlier than a lot of other breeds.

'Every dog has the capability to be calm at any age'

‘To be honest, I think whippets are the most chill breed and that there’s never an issue with them calming down. They have their moments, but it’s never a daily issue. And especially from a veterinary standpoint they are very easy to work with. Mine is just over a year now and I got him as a rescue at 5 months and at that stage he was doing the typical puppy things (chewing stuff etc) but even then he was really laid back, as long as he got some type of exercise daily. But they’re certainly a great first pet because of their demeanour and love for sleeping!’.

‘I think it should be emphasised that every dog has the capability to be calm at any age, as long as you know how to direct their energy rather than accepting they are bonkers! I think people get a Springer Spaniel thinking it will be a good house dog because it has been raised in a house from a pup but their natural instincts are as working dogs and they will always have that drive to be exercised and stimulated. And if they can’t be chill then they’re not being challenged enough.’

~ Maxime, The Town Vet

Although whippets are known to be one of the calmest breeds in terms of temperament, some assistance in teaching them how to be calm, and settle, is important in early development. So, how can this be done?

A behaviourist’s suggestions

We asked Ella from Kirby Dog Training. Here’s her practical advice and tips for whippet owners.

'Help them learn to switch off and relax'

‘Make sure all of their needs have been met first; for example, a nice big sniffy walk with free running, mental enrichment, like a short training session or enrichment toys. Make sure they aren’t hungry or need the toilet and then set them up with a nice cosey space to relax and nest. You can also practice a ‘settle’ exercise with them to help them learn to switch off and relax.’

~ Ella, Kirby Dog Training

You can find Ella’s tips in a helpful reel here.

To conclude, whippets are known for their calm reputation but your dog will be shaped by the guidance you provide, the atmosphere you create and making sure their basic needs are met on a daily basis.

There is no magic age that a whippet will settle down, so don’t panic if you’re still waiting for your 3, 4, 5 year old hound to mellow out. There are practical tips and resources available to help with a pup that needs a bit of encouragement.

We recommend this book by Louise Glazebrook 'The Book Your Dog Wishes You Would Read'.

Stay tuned for our next instalment, and don’t forget to sign up to get early access.

Dec 06, 2022

Hello to all lovers of whippets. What an extraordinary dog is a whippet! I got my first, a twelve-week old puppy bitch in 1981 when I lived in Australia. We called her Violet. She had four pups from two litters; we called them Snapdragon, Bluebell, Buttercup and Foxglove.
After they had lived their full lives, I took on two six-month-old bitches whom I called Lily and Poppy.
They lived out their full lives with me in Melbourne. I then moved to Wales and bought a five-year-old English-bred bitch, whom I called Blossom. (Do you notice a theme here?!)
When I moved to France. Blossom came with me. She had the sweetest temperament of any dog I’d known.
Blossom came to the end of her fourteen years three years ago.
After a time of mourning, I collected a twelve-week old puppy bitch from a breeder here in France. I have called her Flora. She is now two and a half years old, and is lying asleep at my feet by the fire.
I would never have another breed. The whippet suits me perfectly.

Robert Jones
Dec 02, 2022

I have rescued a whippet a month ago and would like some training and diet tips. She is about a year old.

Jane Blackwell
Nov 19, 2022

My whipplet brother and sister are approaching 3 months old here in Australia. We are all madly in love including our 20 y.o cat.
I’ve been the enamoured main friend of two Italian Greyhounds for 14 and 15 years so had some idea of the whippy delights.
These babies love to sniff, chew, run, and rest… sleep and dream. Let them do their thing is my motto and don’t leave them alone for more than an hour or two.. even with two, especially at this age.
They love good food (steamed veg, nuts, seeds.. kale, chia, cabbage, carrots, sweet potato, the odd bone (not weight bearing part of the animal) and fresh meat. I keep chickens so they get eggs and shells and will get chicken when we can bear to kill one.)
Enough about what they eat. I find them just fine. They don’t like cars yet and who can blame them? We walk a lot and rest when they need to. They love meeting new other animals including humans, neighbours, friends, cows, birds and frogs. I remind them not to chase the chickens and they are doing really well. They love getting under the duvet of course and that is where they go for calm..
warm wishes to all whippet people.

Janine
Sep 13, 2022

I have a new wippett 10months i would likesome ideas on training

June obrien
Jun 04, 2022

I have a wonderful whippet

Vesper
May 25, 2022

sign me up please

Julie-ann
Mar 02, 2022

Please sign me up for the newsletter! Thx :)

Melissa
Mar 02, 2022

Please sign me up for the newsletter! Thx :)

Melissa

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