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Hello! My first "real" thread. So I'm not a dog owner yet. I'm a stay at home mom to 3 kids (5, 3, and 1). We live in an apartment but will be moving someday to a house. At that time we will be getting a dog. If I can persuade the husband, I want 2 actually.

I've done some research already and have been dreaming of the whippet. I've never read anything negative. They are said to be great with children, easy grooming care, loyal, trainable, and healthy. I love their look, athleticism, and gentleness.

Any whippet owners or passed owners who can shed some light? I'd love to discuss more about this breed. My biggest question: so they love to run...do they run away easily or are they trainable to the commands and toys? ((Side note: I raised a husky who loved to run...far far away. I could NEVER have her off leash unless I knew 100% that she could not get free. I don't want to repeat that stress.))

Other questions include:
- I live in MN, will they be ok provided I dress them for the weather?
- I've read these can be good therapy dogs, I'd love to do that. How much time is needed for therapy certification training?
- I'm toying with the idea of breeding. Maybe 1 or 2 litters. Would I be getting over my head? Is breeding more stressful that I think it is?
- do they travel (car) well?
- if I'm "allowed" (haha...) to get 2, should I get one first and then add one or could I get 2 together right away?


Thank you all in advance for your input!
 

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- Whippets are sensitive to cold weather, so a coat might be needed if it gets gold over at yours.

- Read the topic 'Wesson's upcoming litter' to read more about breeding and the amount of effort that goes into it.

- I would not get two dogs together at once.

Can't help you with the therapy dog thing. You can teach nearly any dog to travel well by car.
 

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They're not rough-and-tumble. Sort of prissy, I guess you could say, LOL. So it depends what kind of relationship you want them to have with the kids. They won't have the same kind of relationship as, say, a Golden or a Lab would.

Sighthounds are not generally considered good off-leash dogs. They see a rabbit and zoom! Individuals vary, of course, but chasing rabbits is what they were bred for, after all.

Breeding is whole 'nother topic. It's not easy, definitely not cheap, unless you neglect responsible breeding practices and don't much care about your dogs :/. I agree that the Wesson thread would be a good read, also the Whippet breed club website so you know what genetic health issues they need to be tested for. Definitely not something to do while you still have toddlers, at least.

Don't get 2 puppies at the same time. They'll bond to each other and not to you unless you're ready and willing to make a lot of effort to prevent it from happening. Google "littermate syndrome" for more info. It's usually best to have the first dog trained to the level you prefer before getting a new puppy.

I know it's possible to keep them in cold climates (my boss had a Whippet), but they aren't made for the cold (not much fur, very little body fat, etc.). As for the daily practical steps you need to take to keep them happy and healthy in cold weather, I don't really know. You can contact breeders in your area and ask them these kinds of questions.

Any dog can be taught to travel well; this is really more about training and socialization than breed.

Therapy dogs. . .it depends on the organization you go through. I don't know much on the subject but I do know that Delta is one therapy dog organization. you could look them up to see what the requirements are.

Start contacting breeders now. Get to know them and their dogs, if possible. Meet as many Whippets as you can find. Nothing beats real-life experience!
 

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I'm your person! I live in MN, am a therapy dog evaluator, and own 2 whippets!

Like with all breeds, there are wide ranges of normal. Some are a little more shy, many are very, very friendly. The MN cold is not much of a problem. If the dogs are going to be outside for a while, put a coat on them, but for the most part, they deal with the cold pretty well.

Whippets have a tendency to be pretty clingy and needy. They don't thrive if left alone a lot. They also have very low body fat, so they can't deal with the normal rough treatment that kids sometimes are known for. Your kids will have to learn to be somewhat gentle with the dogs.

Whippets are fun, gentle, social, and wonderful. They are the very best!

 

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Thank you thank you for all your feedback. i'm actually looking forward to the companionship of the dog. So "needy"…I'm willing to do that, my kids will be great with them - they are good listeners and gentle. My husky was sooo very independent and tried to be the pack leader till the end. I was constantly addressing who was leader and who was not. I want a dog that i can take on walks and exercise with, that we can play together as a family, take to family outings, to help others and spread cheer :) (hence the therapy). I really enjoy training, and would like to maybe try showing just for fun. This would definitely not be until we move, which won't be able to happen until next year or even 2016 (which makes me very sad to think about possibly waiting that long).

I totally hear your advice about not getting 2 together. Good thoughts there. Maybe we can add a second after a year or 18 months? Thanks for the advice. I'll probably start with a male?

Re breeding - yeah, definitely can wait on that of course. :) Was just a long off thought.

Thanks so much for the input trainingjunkie. I'd love to hear more about your experience with whippets! Your dogs are so cute. :) I think I will seek out some local whippet owners or breeders and meet some dogs…get my kids to meet them. We've been talking about getting a dog, and they are so focused on appearances. They want a dog that is fluffy and "cuddly." I'm looking at the whippet for their behavior, trainability, skills, and health. If they had their way, they'd get a yorkie or something small and fluffy. But I haven't been impressed with yorkies just based on what i've read about them. The more I read about the whippet, the more I just feel right about bringing one home. Not gonna lie - I loved the husky because of appearances, but I had no idea what I was getting into when my mom gave me one when I was 13. I learned through her that you cannot get a dog based on appearances.

Any other advice you or anyone can offer?
 

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I think that getting 2 pups at the same time would be tough, but there's a joke in the whippet world about "Whippets are just like potato chips! You can't have just one!" Lots of whippet people have many of them and it works really well. I would wait to get a second pup until the first one was house trained and walking nicely on a leash and reliably coming when called. However, I know a bunch of people who kept and raised littermates and it seems to work pretty well. Whippets are a little different from other breeds in this aspect.

Depending on where you live in MN, there is a Whippet Specialty show in Lake Elmo on Friday. There will be more than 100 whippets there, judging starts at 9:30 AM. Might be fun to go and peek around. Many of the local whippet people will be there.

I love whippets for their energy in play, their laziness in the house, their intelligence, and for their general sweetness. I think they are ideal for a large range of people but tend to get over-looked because they are a little bit harder to find.

Feel free so send me a private message if you would like help meeting people. There are some really fabulous people in this breed.
 

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Please read this thread before you get a dog. You and the dog will be grateful you did.
Thank you Amaryllis. I definitely won't say I'm perfect. I feel like a blank slate. Im willing to learn and soak in everything to make a long lasting, healthy friendship with a dog. I'll keep reading!


Thank you for the heads up. I am located in the twin cities so this is a possibility. Will consider it! Thank you!
 
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