Whippets are renowned for their calm, laid back nature. They are considered to be patient and tolerant and very affectionate. In short, Whippets are, in most cases, excellent pets for families with children. That being said, just because a dog is reputed to be excellent with children doesn't mean it will automatically be so without training and intervention. Responsible parents must teach both their dogs and their children how to play together safely. In this article, we'll take a look at how to make sure Whippets and children can get along with each other.
The best way to help children and dogs to learn what is expected of them is to attend an obedience class, sometimes called a Puppy Kindergarten, very early in the young dog's life. This is an activity that the whole family can participate in. This is a good opportunity for both the dog and the kids, as dogs will learn how to tolerate the presence of other people and dogs while the children will learn the correct way to interact with the family pet.
Special attention should be made with Whippets are living in a home with very small children, or where there is a likelihood that the family will be expanding sometime in the lifetime of the dog. Toddlers and dogs of any breed will need constant supervision and some suggest that families might wish to wait a few years before buying a dog. The reasons for this are many, and are not the fault of the dog, the children or even the parents, but just the nature of the situation. For example, the natural boisterous play, noise and unsteady walking of very young children could make some Whippets nervous, resulting in very shy dogs.
But buying a Whippet when you have small children isn't impossible; but it will take a very strong commitment on the part of the parents to make sure that the dog and children are supervised at all times. Those that have experience with Whippets and small children warn that they should never, ever be left alone together. As well mannered as parents believe their children are, when parents step out of the room these angelic children can be sorely tempted to plant a great big kiss on their pet Whippet, when the poor dog least expects it, which could result in a nip.
As these small children get older, they must be taught to respect the dog's space. Dogs should always be left alone when they are eating or sleeping, playing with a chew toy, or just need a break. Having a safe haven for a dog to retreat to when he needs a break away from the kids is also an excellent idea. Children can be taught that when the dog is in his special place, he needs to be left alone. Having this safe place is also ideal when the children's friends come over to play. On the other hand, dogs will also need to be taught to respect the children's needs; walking carefully and not playing roughly with small children, for example.