Are Whippets Hard to Train: What You Need to Know When Training a Whippet

No, Whippets are generally a breed that is easy to train, according to My Family Vets, as they are intelligent and eager to please their owners. They are known to be sensitive to their owner’s tone of voice and can quickly pick up on new commands and behaviors. However, like any breed, individual dogs can vary in their trainability, and some whippets may be more challenging to train than others.

House-Training a Whippet

The amount of time it takes to house-train a Whippet can vary depending on the individual dog, age, and previous training. Generally, Whippets are a relatively easy breed to house-train as they are naturally clean animals and like to keep their living space tidy.

With consistent and positive training, most Whippets can be fully house-trained within a few weeks to a few months. Puppies take longer to train as they control their bladder and bowel movements less. Therefore, consistent and frequent trips outside, praise and rewards for going potty in the correct location, and a consistent schedule for feeding and potty breaks can help speed up the process.

It’s important to note that accidents can still happen even after a Whippet is considered fully house-trained, especially if there is a change in routine or environment. Therefore, regular exercise, a consistent schedule, and close supervision can help reduce the likelihood of accidents.

Tips When Training Whippets a Basic Command

Training a Whippet in basic commands with the proper techniques and consistency can be straightforward. Here are some tips for training a Whippet in basic commands:

  • Use positive reinforcement: Whippets respond well to positive reinforcement, so use treats, praise, and affection to reinforce good behavior. Avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement, which can be counterproductive and damage the relationship between you and your dog.
  • Keep training sessions short: Whippets have a short attention span, so keep training sessions short and focused, ideally at most 10-15 minutes at a time. You can do multiple training sessions throughout the day to reinforce learning.
  • Start with basic commands: Start with basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” These commands can help establish a foundation of obedience and create a strong bond between you and your dog. Once your dog has mastered these basic commands, you can move on to more advanced training.
  • Use consistency and repetition: Use consistent commands and reward your dog each time they obey. Repeat the command until your dog understands what you want them to do. Eventually, your dog will learn to respond to the command without a reward, but providing positive reinforcement is initially essential.
  • Keep training fun and engaging: Whippets respond well to fun and engaging training sessions. Incorporate games, toys, and treats to keep the training session enjoyable for you and your dog.
  • Don’t punish the dog: Punishing a Whippet when training can lead to negative behavior such as aggression. Punishing the dog by yelling or hitting it can cause anxiety and fear that can be difficult to overcome. Punishment can physically affect the dog, causing it to become stressed and unable to learn effectively. 
  • Show disapproval: When training your Whippet, showing disapproval through body language, such as a stern facial expression and a lowered voice, is essential. It’s also important not to allow the dog to play with you, as this can make training more difficult.
  • End on a high point: Ending the training session on a high note will help keep the Whippet motivated and repeat the behavior you want them to. It is also essential to provide your Whippet with plenty of positive attention while they are training, as this will encourage them to repeat the behavior you’re looking for.
  • Be realistic: When training your Whippet, you must be realistic about the progress you may make in a given period. Whippets are intelligent dogs and can learn house manners quickly, such as sitting, staying, and down. However, they are only sometimes eager learners and can be stubborn. 

Tricks to Teach Whippets

Whippets are intelligent and eager to please, making them great candidates for learning and performing tricks. Here are some tricks you can teach your Whippet:

  • Spin: Teach your Whippet to spin by luring them with a treat and guiding them in a circular motion. Repeat the process using the command “spin” and gradually reduce the guidance until they can perform the trick independently.
  • Shake: Teach your Whippet to shake hands by holding a treat in your closed hand and allowing them to sniff and paw at it. When they touch your hand with their paw, say “shake” and reward them with the treat.
  • Roll over: Teach your Whippet to roll over by luring them with a treat and guiding them to roll onto their side. Reward them with the treat and repeat the process using the “roll over.”
  • Crawl: Teach your Whippet to crawl using a treat to lure them under an obstacle, such as a chair or low table. Reward them with the treat and repeat the “crawl.”
  • Jump: Teach your Whippet to jump by holding a treat above their head and saying “jump.” As they jump, reward them with the treat.