Thanks to their high intelligence and willingness to please, Whippets are reported to be relatively easy to house train. Some fanciers claim that Whippets are as clean as cats, and if they were whelped in a very clean environment, chances are that they'll wish to continue their good habits when they join their new family. Because of their very light coats, Whippets are not suitable for outdoor living, as both weather extremes are difficult for Whippets - they are not suited for extended periods in very cold weather and can sunburn if left in the summer sun for too long, so house training will be essential. In this article, we'll go over a few tips to help in house training a Whippet.
The important thing to remember when house training a Whippet is that puppies need to void their bladder or bowels just after eating or waking up from a nap. As you can imagine, this happens quite frequently when puppies are very young! You'll need to take your puppy outside during these periods. Some fanciers suggest repeating your preferred phrase for bathroom breaks during the time (such as "toilet, toilet" or "potty, potty") so that the puppy will learn to associate the phrase with the action.
Some fanciers also recommend crate training for young Whippets. Like many dogs, Whippets appreciate having their own space that they can retire to when they want to be alone - although this is admittedly very rare with these affectionate dogs! If done properly, the crate can become a den like atmosphere, providing a safe haven when the dog has to be alone for short periods of time. Because dogs generally won't make a mess in the same place that they sleep, they will keep their crates clean if they must be left alone for a while, but they certainly should be allowed outside as soon as someone comes home.
Crate training can also help prevent or at least reduce the feelings of separation anxiety in Whippets. These one-person, super affectionate dogs do not do well when left on their own for extended periods of time, but separation anxiety takes this to a whole new level, with dogs panicking when they cannot be with their preferred person and may react by destroying items in the home or even themselves. In the best case, they will have a companion Whippet to keep them company when the family must be out of the home, but crate training can help ease some of the anxiety if they must be alone.
Finally, crate training is invaluable for those times that the family travels or the Whippet must be left with a veterinarian or in a kennel. Having a safe haven in an otherwise unfamiliar place will help a Whippet stay calm. Whippets should always be kept in crates while traveling in the car instead of being allowed to roam free.