Is a Whippet a Good Guard Dog?


Whippets are elegant, slender, and charming dogs known for their graceful appearance and incredible speed. While they may not be the first breed that comes to mind when thinking of guard dogs, they possess certain qualities that make them unique. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics of Whippets and explore whether they can be considered good guard dogs.

Whippets: An Overview

Before we dive into the suitability of Whippets as guard dogs, let’s first understand the breed’s general characteristics. Whippets are a sighthound breed that originated in England. They are medium-sized dogs known for their lean bodies, fine coat, and distinctive appearance. These dogs are renowned for their exceptional speed, often referred to as “the poor man’s racehorse” due to their racing history.

Characteristics of Whippets

  1. Temperament

Whippets are known for their gentle and friendly temperament. They are generally affectionate, loyal, and make great family pets. Their mild-mannered disposition makes them excellent companions and ideal for households with children. This temperament may not align with the stereotypical image of a guard dog, but it is an important aspect to consider.

  1. Energy Level

Whippets are moderately active dogs. While they do enjoy short bursts of high-speed running, they are also content with lounging around the house. Their energy level may not be as high as some other breeds typically associated with guarding duties.

  1. Intelligence

Whippets are intelligent dogs and are known for their problem-solving abilities. However, their intelligence is often geared more towards hunting and racing instincts than guarding. They can learn commands quickly, but their natural inclinations may not align with the protective nature required for a guard dog.

Guarding Instincts in Whippets

Now that we have a basic understanding of Whippets’ characteristics, let’s explore their guarding instincts and whether they can be suitable as guard dogs.

  1. Alertness

Whippets are naturally alert dogs. They are quick to notice changes in their environment and will often bark or whine to alert their owners of unusual occurrences. This keen sense of awareness can be a valuable trait in a guard dog.

  1. Territorial Behavior

Whippets do have a certain level of territorial behavior. They tend to be protective of their home and family. While they may not have the intimidating presence of larger guard breeds, their loyalty to their owners can lead them to defend their territory when necessary.

  1. Deterrence Factor

One of the most significant drawbacks when considering Whippets as guard dogs is their appearance. Their elegant and slender physique doesn’t exude the same intimidation as a larger, more robust breed. Potential intruders may not be deterred solely by the sight of a Whippet.

  1. Lack of Aggression

Whippets are not naturally aggressive dogs. They are more inclined to approach strangers with curiosity rather than hostility. While this non-aggressive nature is a desirable trait in many situations, it may not make them the best choice for guarding duties.

  1. Barking

Whippets are not known for excessive barking. While they may alert their owners to unusual sounds or visitors, their bark is generally not intimidating. Guard dogs are often chosen for their strong, loud barks that can deter intruders.


In conclusion, Whippets, with their gentle temperament and lack of aggression, are not typically considered good guard dogs. While they may possess certain traits that could be useful in specific guarding scenarios, such as alertness and territorial behavior, their overall disposition does not align with the expectations of a traditional guard dog.

It’s essential to understand that not all dogs are suitable for guarding duties, and it’s crucial to select a breed that matches the specific requirements of the role. Whippets are better suited as loving family pets, companions, and even athletes in dog sports like lure coursing. If you’re seeking a guard dog, it’s advisable to consider breeds with a more natural inclination towards protective behaviors, such as German Shepherds or Doberman Pinschers.

Ultimately, the decision to have a Whippet as a guard dog should be made with careful consideration of your specific needs and the dog’s temperament. While they may not excel in traditional guarding roles, Whippets can still be loyal and loving members of your family.

Frequently Asked Questions about Whippets As Guard Dogs

Frequently Asked Questions about Whippets As Guard Dogs

1. Are Whippets good guard dogs? Whippets are not typically considered good guard dogs due to their gentle and non-aggressive nature.

2. Can Whippets protect a home or property? While Whippets may show territorial behavior, their lack of aggression and intimidating presence make them less effective at guarding compared to other breeds.

3. Do Whippets bark a lot, making them suitable as guard dogs? Whippets do bark to alert their owners, but their bark is not usually strong or intimidating enough for guard dog purposes.

4. Are Whippets loyal enough to protect their owners? Whippets are indeed loyal to their owners, but their loyalty often translates into affection rather than protective instincts.

5. Do Whippets have any guarding instincts at all? Whippets do possess some guarding instincts, such as alertness and territorial behavior, but these instincts are not as pronounced as in dedicated guard dog breeds.

6. Can Whippets be trained to be guard dogs? While Whippets can be trained in various skills, their natural disposition may limit their effectiveness as guard dogs.

7. Are there any situations where Whippets might make good guard dogs? Whippets might be suitable as guard dogs in situations where their alertness and territorial behavior are sufficient, and a non-aggressive approach is preferred.

8. Do Whippets make good watch dogs? Whippets can serve as watch dogs to alert you to unusual sounds or visitors, but they are less likely to intimidate potential intruders.

9. What breeds are better suited as guard dogs than Whippets? Breeds like German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Bullmastiffs are often preferred for guard dog roles due to their protective instincts and imposing presence.

10. Are Whippets better suited for other roles or activities? Whippets excel in activities like lure coursing, agility, and as loving family pets, where their gentle nature and athleticism shine.


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