Yippee a Whippet! These whirling dervishes of the sighthound group are quite a laugh. A curious mix of sensitivity and almost cat-like movement. Don’t want to get whipped off your feet when they come? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll get you started in Whippet puppy training.

Read on as we take you through it step by step in a structured 8 week guide on how to train your Whippet puppy. We’ve made it easy for you; split into life skills training, socialisation and habituation, and husbandry exercises. 

The Zigzag puppy training app has a fully personalised training programme for Whippet puppies, where we give you a deep dive into all things puppy training. We take you on a training journey addressing developmental milestones along the way, and teach you about socialisation, habituation, chewing and biting, sleep training, home alone training, and much, much more. 

As you can see, we’re dedicated to puppy training. Besides providing you with the most comprehensive puppy training app available, our fantastic team of puppy coaches is ready to support you whenever you get stuck, seven days a week. 

Prerequisites for training my Whippet puppy

What age can I start to train my Whippet puppy?

Whippet puppies will be ready to learn as soon as you bring them home. But hold your horses! Going to a new home can be stressful for a puppy, so first, focus on getting used to each other and getting them into a daily routine. Whippet puppy training should be fun for them and for you. 

What do I need to train my Whippet puppy?

You don’t need a heap of stuff to train a Whippet puppy, but being prepared means you’ll have all the stuff you need (duh, right?).

Here are our suggestions for equipment and supplies you might find helpful for Whippet puppy training.

  • A treat pouch – Take this as golden knowledge: Treats equal currency, and they pay for a job well done. With that in mind, you’ll want a treat pouch when you’re training. It also just makes life a lot easier if you’re not fiddling about trying to get in a treat packet, trust me! We suggest the Rapid Rewards treat pouch, as it comes in many colours and just works so well. The Mikki treat pouch is also a good choice and a bit cheaper.  
  • A soft collar – Although we recommend a harness anyway to help keep your Whippet puppy comfortable on walks, it’s the law for a dog to wear a collar and ID tags in many countries. Whippets have long, slender necks, so this one lined in sheepskin is perfect. 
  • A comfortable harness: My favourites for Whippets are padded ones like the Dog Copenhagen or Fleece-lined Perfect Fit. For a more budget-friendly harness that’s still good, I’d go for the True Love padded harness.
  • A lead to walk and train on – A training lead is always a good idea since you can change their length depending on what you’re doing. Choose one that’s around 2 metres long, so your Whippet puppy has plenty of room for sniffing. If you’re not sure which to get, here’s our review of leads
  • A comfortable mat or a piece of non-slip vet bed will be great for teaching your Whippet to settle.
  • Treats.  Keep this in mind: the smellier and tastier, the better. Have a look at our article on the best puppy treats here if they all smell the same to you. 
  • Chews and chew toys – Gotta have plenty of them to help with teething and save your skirting boards and shoes! 
  • Two identical furry toys: These are excellent for swaps. Choose a sheepskin or faux animal fur style toy to get your Whippet motivated and worked up to play – these seem to tickle them the most. 
  • A soft grooming brush – Whippets have short fur and sensitive skin, so choose something nice and gentle to give them a spruce up.
  • A crate and a playpen are items you might want to consider, they’re excellent for creating a puppy proofed area and a chill out zone for your Whippet puppy. 

Good to know about training Whippet puppies

What are Whippets bred for?

Once called the poor man’s racehorse, Whippets were bred to help with hunting rabbits. They were expected to stay active when out with the human hunters and take time to recharge and sleep when not. 

Nowadays, Whippets are a popular family pet. They’re delightful, with an easy coat to care for, cuddly and affectionate.

What does this have to do with how I train my Whippet?

Understanding your Whippet puppy’s motivations and the job they were bred to do can be useful. This way, you know what normal behaviour is for them, and what you should expect from your Whippet puppy.

It’s important that you view every dog and every puppy as an individual. They all have their own personalities, quirks and goofy things they do. At the same time, it is possible to generalise some things that are more likely to happen with breeds from certain groups. 

Okay, we can go ahead now and share some tips for training your Whippet puppy.

  • Whippets (and other dogs in the sighthound group) will generally be built for speed and athletic ability. 
  • Most (but not all) Whippets will be highly prey orientated…warn the squirrels and rabbits in your neighbourhood!
  • Whippets can and do live happily with resident cats. But if they’re not socialised to them early on, then be warned that they can see cats and other small furries as excellent chase toys!
  • Despite their smallish size, Whippets love to run and need a good amount of exercise once fully grown.
  • They love to play with other dogs, especially their own pointy-nosed kind. Some dogs don’t appreciate a Whippet’s OTT chase style of play and might tell them off, so find suitable playmates who will enjoy it.
  • Whippets can be a little delicate, so don’t be surprised if they get some nicks and scratches along the way. Their skin is paper thin and they don’t have much fur to protect it.
  • They’ll need a jumper and/or a coat in cold weather as they don’t have a thick coat of their own to keep them warm. A snood always looks dashing on a Whippet too.
  • Some people will tell you Whippets are clingy. This can be true, so make sure you work on them being confident when left alone.

Overview of the training programme and topics we’ll cover

In this guide for training a Whippet puppy, we’ll set out an 8 week programme to teach you following:

  • Sitting
  • Lying down
  • Learning their name
  • Coming when you call them
  • Walking nicely on a lead
  • Playing fetch
  • Sleeping in their crate
  • Coping with being left alone
  • Going to the toilet in the right place 

We’re also going to be giving you socialisation and habituation exercises and practical tips to keep your Whippet looking dashing and healthy like giving them a bath or cutting their nails.

How we build this programme: Push Drop Stick

All dogs, including Whippets, get bored quickly if they do the same things over and over again. 

The ‘Push Drop Stick’ method will help keep them on their toes, and always eager to listen. As you can imagine, this helps achieve greater and faster outcomes while avoiding boredom and frustration.

This is how it works: . Eessentially, you repeat an exercise 5 times with your puppy. If they get all five correct, you move to the next level of difficulty (push). You should stay where you are if they get 3 or 4 right (stick). If they only get one or two of the repetitions correct, you should switch to a simpler version of the exercise (drop).

Week 1 – Training your Whippet puppy

If you’re a new owner, expect the first week with your Whippet puppy to be a whirlwind. One with zoomies and crazy behaviour of course, but also with plenty of sleeping.

Don’t be surprised if your Whippet puppy is biting a lot. It’s just a fact that if they’re teething, they’re going to be biting and grabbing anything that moves their way. This includes your ankles, table legs, and any nice shoes you have lying around. Our guides will help you out with that, not to worry. 

In the first week, we’ll dive straight into socialisation exercisestraining and husbandry tasks. 

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Let your puppy explore the garden
– Teach your puppy about surfaces
– Name
– Sit
– Recall
– Retrieve
– Crate Training
– Toilet Training
– Alone Training
– Handling
Sleep training 

Puppies need to sleep a lot, and Whippet puppies are no exception. Being dead serious, your Whippet puppy will probably sleep around 18 hours a day. Some will be in long stretches, many will be cat naps. Ironic, right? Cat naps. 

During the first few weeks, we recommend you have your puppy sleep in your bedroom, either in their crate or in a puppy bed. Don’t worry, it won’t be like this forever if you don’t want to. It’s just until they’re able to sleep through the night without needing the toilet.

Being close to your puppy when they first get home will help them to feel secure, and inherently make them sleep better. When they wake up wondering where they are, you can reassure them with your gentle voice and let them sniff your hand to let them know you’re there. They’ll likely wake up needing a wee too. Don’t be surprised about that, their bladders are still small and when they need to go, they won’t be able to hold it very well. 

Set a night time routine so that your puppy gets the hang of how things work at night. Puppies thrive on having routine as it makes life predictable and easier to understand. 

Alone training

Let’s bust a few myths here. Puppies don’t come prepared for being alone, and don’t respond well to letting them cry it out. It just doesn’t work. However, our article on how to help if your puppy is whining in their crate can certainly help you build to a sweet spot where they’ll be comfortable with seeing you off for a few hours.

We recommend you follow the step by step alone training in the Zigzag app to help prevent separation anxiety and separation related problems – you definitely want to avoid those. By building your puppy’s confidence week by week, it will also help them become happier puppies across the board, which we definitely all want.

To get you started with alone training we recommend you invest in some chew toys like Kongs and interactive puzzle toys. Try feeding your puppy their meals out of them while you slowly get farther away from them so that your puppy begins to learn good things happen when they’re away from you. If you’re crate training, it’s a good idea to feed them in the crate to build up positive associations.

Toilet training

Whippets generally pick up toilet training fast. Get them to the toilet outside so that they learn that’s the place to go. As young puppies, you’ll need to do this frequently due to their tiny bladders. Flat dwellers may want to use a puppy toilet on a balcony or terrace with puppy pads! Check out our full guide to puppy toilet training if your Whippet puppy hasn’t got the hang of going in the right place yet.

Crate training

Crate training can be a useful tool in managing your Whippet puppy’s environment. They can help teach your puppy to get into a regular sleep and toilet training routine, as well as give them a safe place to go away from adults, children or other pets when they need a break from the world.

Careful though, you mustn’t just shut your puppy in the crate and think they’ll be fine with it. Read our full crate training guide to know how to show your puppy that the crate is actually a rather nice and safe place to be. 

Socialisation exercises to do this week

Your Whippet puppy is going to be learning a lot about the world in these first weeks, so it’s important that we make socialisation a positive experience for them. This way, they can feel confident about the world, one step at time. Let’s not go crazy – we know it’s tempting to want to do all of the things! 

Taking your Whippet out and about in a bag (or a puppy carrier) is a good way of teaching them about the world from a distance. However, for a small pup, this amount of sensory experience can sometimes be overwhelming. Check out our article on puppy body language to see how your Whippet puppy is coping with the world outside, or if you need to protect them and slow things down a little. 

People will want to coo and ooh and aah at a baby Whippet. Although we love people to show their admiration for your puppy, sometimes this level of stranger interaction can be too much for young puppies. At the start, let’s get your Whippet puppy to watch from afar until you can tell how they feel about it. 

For this week’s socialisation exercises we recommend you do the following:

  • Letting your Whippet puppy explore the garden – This will be exciting for your puppy. All of those different smells, things to watch flutter by, and noises to hear will just be too amazing, and exhausting at the same time. Let them investigate the garden in their own time, and remember to teach them that this is their toilet area. They’ll struggle to remember at first, so you’ll have to repeat, repeat, repeat the lesson, 
  • Teach your puppy about surfaces – in life, dogs are expected to walk on lots of different surfaces like pavements, sand, tiles, and so on. But they need to learn how to feel confident while young so you don’t have to give them in your arms every time they walk on something funky. Start out by using grippy surfaces and rough textures your puppy can easily walk on, no need to go for anything slippery just yet.
Training to do this week

Training your Whippet puppy is going to be a whole lot of fun for you, as it should be for them. That’s why we recommend you use positive reinforcement training methods. To keep it short, what this means is that we reward puppies for doing the right thing. Managing the environment will also be important. For example, puppy proofing your home will be essential to stop your Whippet puppy getting into things you don’t want them to, so that they are more likely to get things right. See what we did there? 

We’re also just setting them up to have an optimistic outlook on life, willing to problem solve and try new things, with the use of reward and treats.

We’ll start out with the following exercises to build a strong foundation for your Whippet puppy to listen to you.

Click on the links for a full explanation of the exercise:

  • Teach your Whippet their name – You’ll quickly realise that teaching your puppy their name is going to be useful to get their attention. Use plenty of treats and a cheerful voice and you’ll get some lovely focus and attention from them.
  • Teach your Whippet puppy to sit – teaching a puppy to sit is one of the first things you’ll teach them. For Whippets and other sighthounds, this isn’t always the most comfortable thing for them to do due to their long legs and deep chests. If your puppy’s body language indicates they are not feeling comfortable and they’re reluctant to sit, let’s not force it – there are more comfortable positions for them to learn like ‘down’ or ‘stand’.
  • Recall – How to teach your Whippet puppy to come back when called – Especially for bolting breeds like Whippets, you’ll definitely want to teach them to come back when you call them. Start out indoors at first so that there’s not too many distractions by using super yummy treats, and slowly work your way to practising outside. 
  • Retrieve/fetch – Retrieving and fetching may not come that naturally to Whippets, but it is a skill that can definitely be taught. It’s going to be much easier to teach them by swapping items. For Whippets, getting some fluffy or hairy-looking toys will work great!
Preventing resource guarding

Resource guarding is not a huge problem that Whippet owners will come across, providing they teach them to give things up willingly when young. However, It’s worth keeping in mind.

Since your puppy doesn’t have hands to feel things, they will be putting everything in their mouth to investigate. Yes, this means that many things will be spat out, but you’ll also want to teach them that you might take things off of them and that it’s no big deal. 

The ‘drop’ part of the fetch exercise will be useful for this. You can get them to swap for food lots of different items and articles so that when they want to carry around a dropped stranger’s tissue, or a chicken bone, giving it up will be easy as pie.

Check out our article on resource guarding in puppies, for the full lowdown. 

Husbandry exercises to do this week

Whippets usually respond well to human touch and like to be stroked. They’re not called the cat of the dog world for nothing! 

Some puppies might be a little bit scared of hands at first though. That means they need to learn that human hands aren’t that bad and can even make things happen, like handing treats! 

This week we’ll focus on getting your puppy used to not just strokes, but also handling other parts of them.

  • Handling your puppy – your puppy will probably be touched by all kinds of people, like vets, your family and friends. To avoid them getting stressed and nervous every time they see someone getting close to them, you can imagine that teaching them to be touched is an important part of raising a confident puppy. 

Week 2 – Training your Whippet puppy

In week 2 of training your Whippet puppy, we’ll start to teach them about the sounds and sights of the outside world. 

This week, we’ll also have your friends over to meet your Whippet puppy, yippee! If going off on day trips or travelling is your thing, teaching your Whippet to be comfortable in the car is also something we’ll focus on. 

For life skills training, we’ll throw in some lead walking, as well as giving that beautiful, silky fur a nice brush.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Fireworks
– Watch the world go by outside your house
– Play dress up
– Sit in the car
– Invite friends over
– Alone Training
– Crate Training
– Toilet Training
– Name – in garden
– Recall – cue word
– Fetch
– Drop
-Sit – add a cue word
– Leadwalking
– Brushing and Grooming
Socialisation exercises to do this week

When your Whippet is in their socialisation period, any experiences they have with the outside world will have an effect on how they feel about these things later on in life. In other words, if they have a fright falling into a pool of water, it’s likely they’ll feel apprehensive about going anywhere near lakes or rivers they run into in the future. 

While we don’t want to overwhelm them with scary things, we do want to build on what they’re exposed to week by week:

  • Fireworks – We’re sure you’ve heard the stories of how fireworks can be some dogs’ worst enemy. But you can teach them that these sounds are not to be worried about by playing firework sounds at a low level in another room, and building up. Keep checking your Whippet’s body language to make sure they’re unfazed by the noise at each stage.
  • Watch the world go by – To start getting them used to the outside world, sit out the front of your house with your Whippet puppy with a pocketful of treats. No need to do much, give them a treat every so often; especially if anything noisy like a bus or noisy neighbour goes by. .
  • Play dress up – No, we don’t mean in those outfits for Whippets you can find online. For this exercise, it’s your time to shine. Dress up in things that may look unusual to your puppy like chunky boots, a high-viz jacket or a cycle helmet. They will help them understand that in life, they’ll run into people who look different, but there’s no need to be scared of them.

Sit in the car – Take some treats and sit in your car with your Whippet next to you. They can have a clamber over the seats if they like, that’s fine. If you’re thinking of going on lots of road trips, you may want to browse through puppy car carriers to keep them safe and comfortable.

Training to do this week
  • Alone training – Each week, you’ll slowly increase the time you leave them alone to prevent separation anxiety in your Whippet puppy. Leaving them alone in a bang is definitely not a good idea. This week, see if you can move around while your Whippet is distracted with their food toys.
  • Crate training – This week, you’ll want to move on to the next stage only if your Whippet puppy is ready.
  • Teach them their name in the garden – Let’s move outside to practise calling their name this time. Use some high value treats like tiny pieces of cheese or hot dog as you’ll be competing with lots of distractions!
  • Recall training: add a cue word – Cues are what you might know as ‘commands’. Nowadays, you’ll see the term ‘cue’ a lot more than ‘command’…the dog training world has already changed so much for the better. Basically, it just means an instruction or request to do something. Once your puppy has learnt to come towards you, start to add the cue word ‘come’ just before they start moving off. They will then start to associate the word come with moving towards you. See what we did there? We’re setting them up for success.
  • Fetch and drop – build on this and throw the toy a bit further away. 

Introduce lead walking training – Yep, we’re building up to the fun part of having a puppy. Do this indoors, and reward your Whippet puppy for close following. It’s a good idea to get them a well-fitting harness as harnesses are much kinder for them to wear, and safer as Whippet necks are tiny and they can easily slip through a regular buckle or clip collar.

Husbandry tasks to do this week

Brushing and grooming your puppy – Your Whippet puppy won’t need a lot of brushing. They do shed their short fur, but it doesn’t get in any knots or tangles, thank goodness. They will appreciate being brushed with a rubber slicker style brush or grooming glove; especially for the great bonding experience it creates as well.

Week 3 – Training your Whippet puppy

Are you getting the gist of this puppy training lark yet? As long as you remember to reward them for every little good thing they do, it’ll make training your Whippet puppy a dream. 

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining Exercises to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Scent Trails
– Go for a drive
– Invite Friends Over
– Write a puppy socialisation checklist
– Recall – outside in the garden
– Four Paws on the floor – Not Jumping up
– Down
– Generalisation
– Alone Training
– Harness fitting
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Scent trails – Whilst a Whippet’s strongest sense may be their ability to see fast moving objects, they still have a great nose for sniffing. Scatter a trail of treats along the floor with a jackpot pile of treats or their favourite toy at the end. Encourage your Whippet to follow the trail, and you’ll see their eyes glow when they get to the prize.
  • Invite friends over – We bet you can’t wait to show your new puppy off to your friends. Ask them to resist their urge to pick up and cuddle your puppy to avoid them going into a panic. First, have everyone come and sit down without doing much else. If your puppy comes to say hello to them that’s great, let them do it in their own time and space. 
  • Go for a drive with your Whippet puppy – Have your puppy safely strapped into their car carrier or crate in the boot of your car. Some may prefer to place them in a car harness secured on the passenger’s seat. Whichever way you choose to secure them is fine, as long as they’re safe!
  • Write a puppy socialisation checklist for your Whippet puppy: think about day- to- day things you normally do, or things you’ll want to do with your Whippet eventually; like going on hikes or boat rides. They don’t tend to be water lovers, but if Stand Up Paddle is your favourite thing in the world, you’ll want to teach them that the water doesn’t bite, and fit them for a lifejacket.
Training to do this week
  • Recall: Here’s where it gets interesting: teaching your puppy to come when called, outside. Whippets love to chase, so a good strategy is to run backwards away from them as you say the ‘come’ cue. See if they want to chase you to keep up with you. If they do, it’s a good sign!
  • Stop your puppy jumping up – Whippet puppies often jump up on people for a few different reasons. Read our full guide on how to teach your Whippet some good manners. In puppy terms, it means having four paws on the floor. 
  • Generalisation (in different locations) – Whilst your Whippet puppy may hang off your every word in the house, being outside is a different matter. Dogs find it challenging to ‘generalise’, or follow cues in different environments, so let’s start nice and easy indoors. Then you can move on to more difficult and distracting places like the garden. If you’re really into it, you can make a list of dog friendly places like DIY stores, shopping centres or any other places you’re likely to go with your puppy to help with the generalisation process. 
  • Teach your Whippet puppy to lie down –  Whippets often find learning the down position easier than the sit position due to the way their body is built. If they’re struggling to sit, start with them standing (instead of sitting) and look for a cantilevering action where they fold down. Go on then, Google ‘cantilevering’.
  • Alone training – hopefully your Whippet puppy has got used to you moving around while they’re eating. This week, see if you can stay longer out of sight. Maybe open and close your front door every now and again to see if you can get away with it.
Husbandry tasks to do this week

Harness fitting for a puppy – Whippets do well in a fleece lined harness like those by Perfect Fit or a padded one like this by Dog Copenhagen. Get them used to having it put on and taken off with lots of treats so that it becomes a fun experience for them.

Week 4 – Training your Whippet puppy

Hurray! We’re halfway through our how to train your Whippet guide. There’s still half of the fun to go through.  

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Meet another dog
– Find a puppy class
– Settle on a mat
– Lead walking
– Recall games
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Grooming sensitive areas
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Meeting another dog – Whippet puppies can be a little bit shy of dogs they don’t know. To get them warmed up, have a friend come over with their dog and hang out in the garden. Don’t be in a rush to let both dogs off lead yet, you can let them investigate and have a sniff of one another. Make sure to reward your Whippet and the other dog regularly so that they remain calm and more focused on the treats than on each other. Check out their body language to see what your next move is; if you think they’re comfortable with one another, you can let them off lead. 
  • Find a good puppy class for your puppy – Puppy socialisation classes can be a great way of teaching your puppy to keep working on their training when the best of all distractions are around: other dogs. The other good part about puppy classes is that a professional dog trainer is there in the flesh to show you the ropes.
Training to do this week
  • Settle on a mat – teaching your Whippet puppy to settle when you’re out and about will be really useful. Who doesn’t love to stop for a cuppa after a long walk? Or something stronger if you’d rather. The best way to teach your Whippet to settle is when you’re at home and watching TV. Press a treat-stuffed Kong under your foot while it’s on a mat to teach them it’s the best place to be.
  • Lead walking – In order to have a Whippet who doesn’t pull on the lead, you’ll definitely need practice. That’s really the secret to actual walks in the park. Do lots of practice runs in your garden now your Whippet has done enough of them inside. If you’re already going out for walks, try going up and down the same street. That way,  they’ve sniffed all the sniffs on the second or third go and will find it easier to pay attention to you.

    Struggling to find the right lead for your Whippet? We’ve narrowed it down in our article on best training leashes.
  • Recall games – play tennis with your puppy! Not with a racket, but with a friend and some treats. Grab a friend and a stack of treats and call your Whippet between you. See? Your Whippet puppy acts as a ball while they bounce off you and your friend. You can try moving each time you call their name – movement gets Whippets excited,   so they’ll have a blast catching up with you.
Husbandry tasks to do this week

Grooming a puppy – This week, we’re focusing on sensitive areas. We all have our tickly bits, don’t we? For puppies, it tends to be their paws, eyes and ears. Try picking them up. Maybe they need a clean? 

Week 5 – Training your Whippet puppy

You’re almost there! Only three more weeks to go, till you’re on your own…

Just joking, we’d never leave you.

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Go to the pub – you deserve it!
– Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist
– Alone Training
– Recall – outside using a lead
– Lead walking – outside
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Pretend nail clips
– Grooming
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Go to the pub/dog friendly café – you deserve it! Whether it’s a Cappuccino or a wee dram of whisky, take your puppy’s settle mat and a nice stuffed chew toy or Kong to keep them busy while you enjoy your drink. Ah, this is what you were dreaming about all this time, right? 
  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist – perhaps your Whippet puppy can go on a bus or train this week. Popping to the vets to say hello is a good idea. Perhaps you can get one of the nice vets to weigh them as a training exercise; to teach your Whippet that they don’t always get poked and prodded.
Training to do this week
  • Alone training – increasing time alone slowly will help your Whippet puppy to understand that being alone is not the end of the world, and that you’ll always come back for them. Just go out for a few seconds at a time at first. Then gradually extend to only a couple of minutes. 
  • Recall – Outside, using a lead, dealing with distractions. The ultimate challenge. Once your Whippet puppy is responding to the recall cue well when they’re off-lead in the garden, give it a try when you’re out on a walk. You can keep their lead on and run a few steps backwards if it makes you feel safer. A long line may be useful for recall training at this stage; these are typically 5-10m long and are definitely worth it for peace of mind. 
  • Lead walking – Yep, you’ll still need to practise lead walking. Probably until they’re adults actually, just so you’re prepared. How many steps can you go before you need to give your Whippet a treat? You can try walking in more challenging environments this week, but remember to reward more frequently.
  • Push/drop/stick on known exercises – Now is the time to try and make exercises a wee bit more difficult. Gotta keep them on their feet somehow!
Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Pretend to clip your dog’s nails – Whippets have nails which will need to be clipped as they don’t always wear them down naturally. At this stage, get them ready for the clippers by only pretending to use them by picking up a paw, and giving them a treat while you inspect each claw. 

Read our full guide on choosing the best nail clippers and how to teach your puppy to have their nails clipped to get a better idea of what we’re talking about.

Week 6 – Training your Whippet puppy

They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit, you’re at 6. Have you got into the Whippet training groove?

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist– Following on walks
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Check puppy’s mouth
Socialisation exercises to do this week

Tick 3 more items off your socialisation checklist – how about taking your Whippet puppy to a long sandy beach? Watching them whizzing up and down the beach will surely entertain you for hours.

Training to do this week
  • Following on walks – the park is always an exciting adventure for Whippets. Teach them to follow you by frequently rewarding them with treats, playing with toys or just having a great game of chase. Make sure they’re chasing you though, not strangers. 
  • Push/drop/stick – can your puppy lie down for a bit longer now? Perhaps you can try stepping away when they’re down. Repeating the same exercise over and over again will just get boring for them, so let’s keep training spicy by upping the difficulty of exercises. 
Husbandry tasks to do this week

Start checking your puppy’s mouth and their teeth – checking your puppy’s mouth and teeth is important, especially when they’re finished with teething to make sure they haven’t retained any of their baby teeth. It also means you can make a great start on puppy teeth cleaning. Sure you’ve had enough of stinky breath.

Week 7 – Training your Whippet puppy

Well done for getting this far! Can you see the finish line?

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Puppy Agility
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist
– Wait
– Walk with a friend’s dog
– Recall – off the lead
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Pretend ear drops
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Have a go at puppy agility – puppies shouldn’t jump until they’re fully grown to prevent them from hurting their joints. But many Agility clubs (yes, those exist) offer great puppy agility sessions where they teach them basic skills they’ll be able to use in the future. Whippets love to leap and run, so why not see what your puppy can do? 
  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist – perhaps watching other dogs at the agility club can be something you do to get them in the mood.
Training to do this week
  • Teach your Whippet puppy to stay – Your puppy can do this while they sit, stand or lie down, whichever they find easiest. 
  • Go for a walk with a friend’s dog – This is what you were looking forward to all this time, right? Lovely walks with your friends and their dogs. If it’s safe to do so, you can let your puppy off the lead to play with them. You can always use a long line if you’re worried about them not coming back.
  • Recall off the lead – Are those heart palpitations? No worries, you’ll do just fine. Practising off lead recalls with your Whippet puppy will be essential for those long walks on the beach or hikes you’re looking forward to. Having your puppy chase you as a recall exercise is a great one for Whippets – they’ll take you down like the fluffy bunny you really are. 
  • Push/drop/stick on known exercises – Let’s try this on recall; you really want to make sure they’ve got it!
Husbandry tasks to do this week
  • Pretend ear drops – all dogs need their ears checked and cleaned. Whippets don’t have hairy inner ears, but they can still get mucky due to the wax build up,; which can cause problems. To make cleaning their ears regularly a breeze, start by pretending to put drops in them.

Keep the lid on the bottle of the drops, lift their ear, and pretend to put them inside. Give them a treat each time like it’s no big deal.  Especially if you want them to come back on recall, you really want them to be able to hear you as much as possible.

Week 8 – Training your Whippet puppy

Finally! It’s Week 8. You’ve reached the end of our puppy training guide, but you’re just beginning your journey with your Whippet puppy. There’s plenty more games, training and fun ahead of you!  

Socialisation exercises to do this weekTraining to do this weekHusbandry Tasks to do this week
– Joggers and Cyclists
– Tick 3 things off your personal checklist
– Practice exercises in different locations
– Teach a hand target
– Introduce nose work
– Push/drop/stick on known exercises
– Nail trims
Socialisation exercises to do this week
  • Joggers and Cyclists – things that move quickly are going to excite any sighthound, like joggers and cyclists. It’s bound to make any person turn around too to be honest, especially if they wear those tiny shorts. Teaching your puppy to be calm around joggers and cyclists is going to be important to avoid getting into trouble, so reward your Whippet puppy for ignoring them. This is so they understand that staying next to you is more rewarding than chasing anyone down the street. 
  • Tick 3 things off your personal socialisation checklist – your Whippet puppy still has a lot to learn about the world!
Training tasks to do this week
  • Practice exercises in different locations – choose some locations from your previous list of dog friendly shops and venues so that your Whippet puppy learns to do everything they’ve trained for in all places, not just at home. Having them know how to follow cues outdoors is actually where you want to get after all!
  • Teach a hand target  – puppies love to learn a hand target. It’s good for teaching a dog direction, and works wonderfully as a recall as well. Targeting is the base of many trick behaviours, and it’s also just a fun thing to do. How you do it is to simply mark the moment your Whippet touches your hand with their nose and give them a delicious treat. Just like a little boop.
  • Introducing nose work to your puppy – your Whippet probably has a favourite toy. Is it furry? We bet it is. Teach them to use their nose by hiding it under a cushion on the floor, and reward them when they find it. In the next round, make it a bit more difficult – maybe hiding behind a curtain or on top of the coffee table so they have to actively search for it.
Husbandry tasks to do this week

Trim your Whippet puppy’s claws – Now that you’ve practised clipping their claws, it’s time to do it for real! Just clip one or two claws, and give them a treat each time. Take a 2 minute break and if they’re happy to then carry on, you can keep going. Otherwise, you can just come back to it later, there’s no rush with the nail clipping!

What’s next for your Whippet puppy?

Whippets are clever and will love to learn. If you’re feeling like it, you could try out a sport like agility or Rally O, which is a more relaxed and fun style of obedience.

Looking for more puppy training tips or more training games to do with your Whippet? You better believe you can find that and more on the Zigzag puppy training app. Besides a world of in-depth training, games and socialisation advice, get access to our fabulous team of experts to help you every step of the way too. They truly are wonderful.