PUPPY NOTES

FEEDING

Your whippet puppy will need lots of good quality food while it is growing. Remember to increase the amount you give as he or she grows.  Adults are normally fed twice a day. It is personal choice but I personally  think that it is unfair for your dog to have an empty hungry feeling all day  waiting for a meal in the evening.

Some owners believing that you must feed raw and natural food only while others stick to a complete commercial diet.  Your dog can have a happy healthy life on either, it is your choice but feed the best quality that you can whichever diet you choose

I will  give you a comprehensive feeding regime if you have a Blustreak whippet puppy

 

NEUTERING

It is best not to spay or castrate your whippet puppy until he or she has matured, preferably after a year old, they will then have had a chance to develop as nature intended. The puberty hormones help to develop your puppy, if you neuter early then puberty won’t happen and your dog will look immature.

 

EXERCISE

Whippets need a regular chance to run even as puppies but until around 7 months they don’t need formal exercise. Their bones are growing and hardening until about 12 months. Let them play in the garden and give gentle walks while they are growing and your puppy will develop into a healthy adult with a healthy skeleton less prone to arthritis.

 

VACCINATIONS

There are as many opinions on vaccinations as there are on feeding, many breeders advise waiting until around 12 or even 16 weeks to start the vaccination programme by which time  a puppy will be stronger physically  and their immune system will have had a good chance to develop. Very rarely a whippet may react badly to a vaccine. It is now not necessary to boost every year as UK vets have a new protocol. The accepted advice from the WSAVA is to boost or do a serum test or titre once every 3 years. There is much controversy surrounding the two types of Leptospirosis vaccines with reports of adverse reactions to L4 (the newer type). You can ask your vet to use L2 which is our choice. Take the advice of your vet, but you should certainly get your baby puppy vaccinated.

We also choose not to worm and vaccinate at the same time.

CRATES

The crate should NEVER be considered as a place of daily confinement but training your whippet puppy to sleep in a crate can be very useful as it means that you can easily take your whippet on trips to friends and hotels which may not welcome loose dogs in the rooms. Your dog will always have their special “home from home” with them and feel settled and happy. It is also a good way to transport your dog in a vehicle. When you first shut your puppy up in the cage he will probably cry and fuss. If you ignore him he will eventually tire of his fruitless singing and will go to sleep or lie quietly. When he has been quiet and peaceful for a while open the door. He will soon learn that making a noise in his cage is useless and gets him nowhere.  You cannot leave your dog in a crate all day while you are out at work unless you want a sad, frustrated, bored dog.

Do not leave a young puppy in the crate for long periods, they are unable to control their bladder and then you will have a dog which has urinated in its crate by necessity. Ideally the puppy should never need to do this so later when he is oder you can use the crate as an aid with toilet training.

 

TRAINING

Whippets are sighthounds, bred to chase and hunt what they see. While generally not stubborn, they're independent and not the easiest breed to train. Whippets are very intelligent and all can learn house manners easily, like sit, down, and stay. Some do well with more advanced obedience, including obedience competition. Most enjoy lure coursing (chasing a plastic bag pulled by a string) and racing and are also good in agility and flyball competition.  

I strongly advise you to train your whippet puppy, from an early age, to come to you on demand.

Always reward good behaviour and never ever punish a whippet, just go back and start again. Ignore what he has done wrong and praise what he does right. There are many good trainers who run local classes you can join, these are fun for the puppy and provide him socialisation opportunities.

 

HOUSETRAINING

A whippet's desire to  be clean makes him one of the easier breeds to housetrain. They will use newspaper that you put by the backdoor when they are little. Using a crate will make your job much easier but you can‘t expect a little puppy to be dry overnight until around 15~16 weeks although some are good from the very beginning.  A new home can be stressful at first so even a housetrained adult can make mistakes early on. Some males may 'mark' (lift a leg on) walls, furniture, etc., indoors. This is true of any breed -- it's not a whippet characteristic -- and usually happens only if there are other males in the household.

GROOMING & CARE

Whippets require the same routine care as any dog: Toenails should be trimmed weekly , ears and teeth need cleaning on a regular basis & the occasional bath will help to maintain a healthy skin and coat. I bath mine at least once a month. They enjoy the warm water and a nice massage.

Keep your whippet up to date on vaccinations, worm reguilarly and use a flea treatment if required.

Whippet skin is fairly thin and poorly protected by the fine coat. What would be a small cut on another breed can become an ugly tear on your whippet. Unless blood is actually spurting out this is not an emergency but may require a vet to stitch him up so the injury will heal cleanly.

Whippets require thick comfortable beds as they don't have a great deal of coat. If you use a crate, provide lots of cosy soft bedding.

 

LEADS COLLARS & COATS

For daily wear most owners use flat leather with a simple buckle on their whippet .  It is best not to leave dogs with collars on when they are alone as they can get teeth caught while playing. At best this breaks a tooth, at worst it starts a fight.  Even the best-trained whippet lunges to the end of the lead when he sees 'prey' (anything small and fast moving!) and the wide collar stops his progress without injuring his throat. Never use a metal choke chain on a whippet.

Be sure to keep an ID tag on your whippet at all times, every puppy is microchipped before they go to thier new homes, very useful if you are ever in the unfortunate position of losing your dog.

On a very cold or rainy day a coat will keep your whippet dry and warm. The choice is enormous and many makers will stitch one especially to fit your whippet.

 

THE LOOSE WHIPPET

Don't even walk a whippet from the house to the car without a lead. It is amazing how quickly the worst can happen, and the first time a whippet gets away from you can easily be the last. It's easy to become casual about it when your whippet is generally obedient and calm. Remember that if he's okay off-lead 99 times out of 100, that 100th time could be the day you lose your best friend.

If your whippet does get away from you in an area where you he should not be loose, don't chase him. There's no way you'll catch him. If at all possible, get his attention. (not easy if he is chasing the neighbourhood cat) Then fall on the ground and begin laughing and yelling. He will come back just to see why in the world you are acting so strangely. Don't grab at him. Calmly take his collar and praise him for coming.

 

WHIPPET HEALTH

Temperature control

If your whippet is poorly it may well have a temperature, if this is the case it is vital to keep a very close eye on the progress of any temperature increase. Take the dog's temperature regularly and keep a chart of it to show your vet. You may need to take steps to cool your whippet, remember that a high temperature can quickly kill a dog. Use ice packs wrapped in a cloth, wet cold towels and a fan to keep the temperature down until you can get veterinary attention. Dogs with auto immune illnesses often run high temperatures for several days. You will need to be extra vigilant, even if they are on temperature reducing medication such as rimadyl. It is a good idea to take steps to keep the dog hydrated, maybe with with syringes of water administered gently and slowly if he won't drink.

The average temperature of a healthy dog is 101 °F or 38 °C, however, the normal temperature of a healthy dog may range from 99 °F to 102.5 °F (37.2 °C–39.2 °C).

You should know the normal temperature of your whippet when he is well. It is a good idea to take it and keep a note of it.

Since dogs don't have sweat glands other than those located in their pads, they pant in order to reduce their body temperature.  As everyone knows a dog can easily get heatstroke if it's in an unventilated environment such as a car parked in the sun where panting will not be helpful in reducing temperature.