Breed advice please... whippets!

Lucy_Nottingham

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Hi guys,

quick question, my friend looking for a new dog/pup, wanting a small, minimal shedding, fun but not mental, good around horses (hopefully) sorta dog!

yes I do know the ideal dog does not exist! however I am trying to help her the best I can come up with ideas!

I have recommended rescue dogs which she is happily looking at as well, but on pure breed fronts, whippets seem to fit what she wanted the best....

so advice part: are whippets ok dogs to have as a first time owner? what are their flaws and positives? what is the best way to go about getting one? as she would like a puppy preferably as her and her daughter would like to go to puppy classes and things with it.

I also recommended some terrier breeds like cairn, border, airdale (smaller end of the breed), mini schnauzers (told her the health issues), cocker spaniels or westies but these were the more moulty end of the scale.....

Anyone got any other suggestions?

Thank you!
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Lucy_Nottingham

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ye, she liked the miniature schnauzers as a choice 2 (after whippet) but I know they can have: blood clotting problems, weight problems (prob more to do with owners etc than dog), I think heart problems but I cant rememebr.....

but they are sturdy little dogs and can be really cute...... would it be good first dog breed? like fun to do things with for her daughter but suitably stable for her to take to the yard etc?
 

BigRed

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I have had whippets for many years. They are quiet dogs who sleep a lot, so they are not hyper dogs who need lots of attention. They are very clean and don't like getting wet and dirty. They don't take much space and don't eat a lot. They appreciate a walk, but if its raining they just go back to sleep. I have had some who are good enough to come out when I hack.

The only bad points are that they like to chase and kill stuff. Stuff means whatever they get a liking for. Mine seem to like deer which is a big problem. In the course of chasing things they can pick up injuries which often require stitching. So get insurance.

It is morally a very good idea to take a rescue dog, but the problem with rescue dogs, is that they often come with a lot of "problems", so I would not recommend a first time dog owner to take a dog who has a history. With a puppy you get a blank canvas.

Buy a puppy from an advert in the H&H or the KC web site. make sure you see the mum and that the people have bred the puppy at home with lots of love and attention and not just for money. A KC registered whippet you can have as a pet, and also you can race it and take it coursing which is great fun, they also like agility classes.
 

sloulou

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The reason I suggested them was becase my sis was looking for a small yet 'fun' first dog and so i asked adviced from a couple of people whose opinion I value - a canine behaviourist and a woman who grooms and shows dogs and has done for 40 years - mini schnauzer was their unanimous opinion. i'm afraid I don't know about health probs - I guess you need to find a breeder who does all the health checks etc.
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Joss

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It depends on your friend's situation whether a whippet would suit her.
I LOVE them but havent owned one for quite a few years. They are sweet affectionate, not overly prone to disease or problems. Love to gallop but also love to sleep. They need somewhere warm & prefer a coat on when its cold outside. They rarely carry excess weight which isnt to everyone's taste. We have had the odd one which is a picky eater which can be frustrating.

Completely agree with tracey01 that they do like to chase & are very fast. I would suggest insuring a whippet for vets fees as they have thin skin & cut/rip themselves so easily if they chase hares in unsuitable places. Make sure to introduce to cats early so they learn that cats are NOT fair game!!!

You can get a rescue which doesnt have 'issues', if its been given up due to a change of circumstances but you have to do good homework to make sure.

Good luck to her - I am very jealous!
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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Thank you!

ye, she already has a horse which is full insured, and I would defo be saying get complete insurance (especially for a whippet, but would for any dog really) and have everything done properly i.e. microchipping, vaccinated, wormed blah blah blah, except tbh she isnt the kind of woman who really needs this explaining she is a very good animal owner who does everything to the best of her abilities!!!

whippet exercise........ I know they are sprinters/chasers, but do they need the hours of exercise required for like a collie? or are they more like greyhounds i.e. not marathon runners so happy to tootle, blast then tootle home again?! (this is just from my friend who has a greyhound......)

And also, how much exercise to mini s'z require?
 

PucciNPoni

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I can't answer on the whippet front - because I don't know many. However, for someone looking for a first time dog my choice would be a cavalier king charles - very loving, not too demanding for exercise or grooming requirements - or feeding for that matter. I absolutely LOVE and adore Schnauzers and terriers of all types for that matter, but I'm not sure I'd want to lump them in the first time owner category - except maybe a Border Terrier - low maint, great nature for hte most part.

Okay, I may be looking at this from quite a groomer's perspective, but I think many new owners underestimate the grooming requirement on many dogs so I tend to point people to dogs with low grooming requirements. :p
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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Yes well she did want a dog that has minimal moulting if possible!

I did think of King Charles but although you know nice quiet easy going dogs........ health issues..... eat your heart out! (vet student mode kicking in here..) I wouldnt want her first dog to be one that is prone to loads of health issues that could put her off further canine investments!
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but I will suggest it as a possibility (with obv considerations!)

I had suggested border terrier as well, but I know they can be one end of the scale or the other on loopyness!
 

Joss

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Excercise wise a whippet would be very similar to a greyhound, I dont think I have ever seen a whippet pull on the lead. Personally I think I whippet would be easier than a terrier (of any sort) they are more responsive. A puppy is still a puppy in any breed & will take plenty of attention & enjoys games !!
 

JLB

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I agree with Joss, whippy very easy.Lovely,lovely dogs and will willingly walk as much or as little as their owners want.....unless it's raining!!when they will be found snuggled anywhere warm.They are very understated, but everyone I know who has owned one wouldn't be without one. Much easier as a first dog than a terrier IMO
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PucciNPoni

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Terriers generally are pretty hard work in terms of training mainly for the fact that they are so single minded (prey driven). Even BTs which tend to be lovely can be such naughty wee buggers when it comes to other dogs. And as for moulting...well, my tile floors could use a knitting after my BT has walked across them a few times.

Nice to hear good comments about whippets - as I say, I'm not that familiar with them myself. ..though I saw some Italian Greyhounds at a dressage show recently that I really fancied....
 

Thistle

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I wouldn't recommend a terrier to any first time dog owners.

Whippys love to run fast and then sleep. They prefer short bursts of exercise.

Have you considered poodles, they don't moult.
 

FestiveSpirit

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[ QUOTE ]
Yes well she did want a dog that has minimal moulting if possible!

I did think of King Charles but although you know nice quiet easy going dogs........ health issues..... eat your heart out! (vet student mode kicking in here..) I wouldnt want her first dog to be one that is prone to loads of health issues that could put her off further canine investments!
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but I will suggest it as a possibility (with obv considerations!)

I had suggested border terrier as well, but I know they can be one end of the scale or the other on loopyness!

[/ QUOTE ]

Aaaaargh I thought I had put this one to bed once and for all
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Firstly a King Charles is a completely different breed to a Cavalier.

Secondly Cavaliers are no more prone to "loads of health issues" any more than any other selectively bred pedigree dog IF you go to a decent and reputable breeder! If you are a vet student then please do not fall into the trap which so many vets do of believing the media hype/rumour mill which exists about Cavaliers and assuming that if the bloody dog sneezes then it has syringomyelia
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As far as whippets are concerned then I have had them in the past, they are lovely little dogs - clean, easy to have around, happy, and love their creature comforts (a warm duvet!) Mine were obviously unadventurous because I never had to have either of them stitched (they lived to 15 years and 13 years respectively), although obviously being sighthounds they did chase given the chance. Oh and the 15 year old died from heart problems, which were inherited
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Lucy_Nottingham

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Ah we get Cavalier King Charles spaniels, so assumed were one dog.......

I accept that they are reducing in health issues but compared to the other breeds, they are more prone to issues than others!

It seems like whippets are the right line of dogs for her!

Thank you fo all the advice guys!
Sorry if I upset anyone about CKC spaniels!
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FestiveSpirit

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I'm sorry as well Lucy for going off on a rant
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My mum is one of the top breeders/exhibitors of Cavaliers so is getting tremendously stressed with all the stuff going on within the breed - she is also a CKCS Club committee member so is getting landed with all the politics going on too
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But that is no excuse for me being intolerant and ranting towards you so I apologise about that
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dawn1111

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I had whippets for a few years too.They are very loving,loyal and great fun but also can be naughty just like any other breed.They are easy to keep with having short coat.A couple of my whippets are not intresting in chasing,but the others are.We do a bit of showing at Opens,Companion,family dog shows.Usually once you had one whippet,you will want another!! So go for a whippet,you wont regret it!!
 

Lucy_Nottingham

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Fab whippets sound like the right path to go down I think as she was interested in agility as well and Iv not seen Schnauzers do that? can they?!!!

Wow splotchy, that must be a rather stressful set of politics on the dog front!!!
 
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