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Whippet is a sofa prince, loves to sleep under a blanket or it caves in your bed clothes (yes ! beware whenever you sit or lie on your bed – there may be a whippet hidden). It loves to lie in the sun, it is calm with balanced temperament, but in the field ... it is like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, it plays, runs with “the speed of light”, chases whatever escapes, and it is so exciting to watch.
Whippet has a very strong chase instinct, deer or hare which starts to escape means a challenge, and sometimes it could be just a plastic bag blown with the wind or leaves and your whippet takes off like crazy. It is said that whippets have two speeds: 0 km/h and over 50 km/h – it’s true ! That is why you have to make sure you do not let it off the leash near cars or wherever it is dangerous it may start to chase something. You may teach it to heal on the sound of the whistle or something but if there is a running deer around ... no way – whippet will chase it or at least try. I heard stories of many whippets which got lost because of that.
Whippets do not have their own smell, they smell of the surroundings, your home, their blanket, your perfume, or dead fish or fox poo in which they just rolled over. Their coat is very fine and short that is why they may feel cold at temperatures below zero, that is why we dress them in special tailor-made coats.
In contacts with other animals whippets are usually curious, but it depends on the character of a given dog. Our Vega is at first very reserved, then she curiously sniffs the creature, while Chilli usually does not care – she thinks it does not suit the princess. Cesar Gallaunt (vel Pepper) lives with a cat and they get on somehow. Vega and chilli is tolerated by my sister’s cat but there will never be friendship. Though I know hippest which get on well with cats and even pet rabbits. Hmmm... I guess it is a matter of sorting things out among them :)
When somebody asks me what is whippets’ fault I admit – they love their owner so much it hurts, they hate staying home alone for a long time. Ok, 5-6 hours is ok, but longer ? Well, you have to teach them to cope with this separation anxiety. It is step by step procedure but it works with most of them. Remember – sad and bored dog, not just a whippet, may destroy things if you leave them on the floor or within its reach when it is home alone. And when dogs are exhausted after running in the fields they simply go to sleep for many hours.
If you decide to keep a Whippet:
a) you gain a companion to play, to jog, for walks, so you’ll get fitter;
b) you will get an unwearied cuddler, warm and soft;
c) don’t count on the whippet to guard your house, it will probably happily welcome a burglar;
d) it will love your children as it’s fun to play with them, and they give treats more willingly than you;
e) you gain a confidant and comforter who will patiently listen and lick the tears off your cheeks;
f) it will keep you warm like a hot-water bottle in winter;
g) it will claim your favourite spot on the sofa, your armchair, or bed, although it is possible to teach them not to sleep with you [I made it!]
h) it will welcome all of your friends waging its tail and jumping like crazy; they normally do not bark but made strange gurgling sounds – a king of a whippet language ha ha ha (Chilli can say, “I love you.”)
i) should you be into coursings, you will meet a bunch of sighthounds crazy lovers and make new friends for life.
So the choice is yours!