A common concern for those that are interested in purchasing a Whippet is its housing situation. Unlike other medium sized dogs, Whippets cannot be considered outdoor dogs. Whippets are certainly not fragile, but do not do well when left exposed to extreme temperatures because of their light coats. They also prefer soft bedding and comfortable places and can often be seen lounging on furniture. In this article, we'll take a closer look at why Whippets need to live indoors as well as why Whippets will benefit from a home with a large, enclosed backyard.
Whippets have a very fine coat, described in the breed's standard as "short, close, smooth and firm in texture." Unlike other hardy breeds with thick double coats, Whippets cannot handle long exposure to very cold temperatures. Fanciers of the breed will even recommend sweaters and other warm accessories for Whippets when they take their daily exercise during the winter in northern areas. On the other side of the coin, Whippets should not have too much exposure to the sun during the height of summer because their coats are easily sunburned. This is not to say that a Whippet shouldn't be given the opportunity to bask in the sun from time to time, but he will feel when the sun has become too strong and seek out shade, so they shouldn't be forced to endure this treatment as a lifestyle.
Whippets are naturally very bony and carry a very low amount of body fat, so they naturally seek out soft, comfortable places in the home. Whippets are notoriously fond of sleeping on couches and on the beds of their favorite person, and even like to snuggle under blankets. These dogs can be crate trained, although their crate should have very soft bedding inside to make it more inviting to the dog, but these are very affectionate creatures and will be very happy to lay with their owners on the couch while watching television or sleeping in together on the weekend. Luckily, Whippets are known to be very clean animals and usually don't leave a mess on their favorite furniture, but those that are absolutely opposed to having pets on their furniture are recommended to seek out a different breed.
Despite their reputation as couch potatoes, Whippets do need a significant amount of exercise everyday. In the best case, Whippets will have access to a large, well secured backyard where they can run and burn off some energy. A well secured backyard for a Whippet will have very high and well made fences, but even will a good fence, a Whippet will need supervision when it spends time outside. Whippets are notoriously good jumpers and can jump five or six feet from a standing position, and this combined with their natural instinct to chase after small animals like squirrels can render smaller fences useless. Besides, Whippets will love the interaction of playtime with their families during their exercise time, so why not profit and supervise and play at the same time?