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Thread: Anxious Whippet

  1. #1

    Default Anxious Whippet

    We moved about 1 1/2 months ago and my 2 year old Whippet destroyed some curtains and door frame when he was left alone. I took him to the vet and he was put on medication for a couple of weeks to help the anxiety. I didn't leave him alone for a few weeks and when I did he was fine. Then yesterday I went out and he did damage again, he had seen a dog the night before that he used to play with at our old house so I don't know if that set him back. Now I don't know what to do as it worries me that this could keep happening and he is such a good dog normally and my stress levels are huge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    A lot of people set their dogs up for separation anxiety by spending a lot of time with their dogs at home eg school holidays and then all of a sudden, going back to work and school and leaving their dogs home alone all day.

    The destruction may or may not be separation anxiety. My dog would howl for about 30 minutes and then sulk/sleep. She wouldn't eat the treats I left for her let alone the furniture. She never destroyed anything, except the stuff in her crate - when she was very little - I would leave her inside a crate so she couldn't damage anything or have random accidents around the house.

    It is important to train a dog to be comfortable inside a crate - there are lots of instructions on the web about how to do this. And the techniques are similar to how you teach the dog to be comfortable home alone, ie you start off with short periods of time and then build up to longer ones over a period of days, weeks and months.

    Dogs also destroy things when they're bored and not getting enough exercise. So I would also suggest getting up much earlier than you do now and taking your dog for a walk from 30 minutes to an hour and if you have a safe place where he can run fast, go there.

  3. #3


    Hi I took him to the vet yesterday and he is on medication for the next couple of months, he was on it originally when he started destroying things but it wasn't long enough (the vet's mistake). I also went and bought a crate for him and have left the doors open and encourage him just to go in and feel comfortable.

    I don't work so he is used to me being around alot but at our other house he was fine being left alone but we had got him as a pup there. He could see out of the windows there and here the windows don't come down to the ground so I think he is struggling with that too as he can't watch for me coming home. So I know that the move has been the trigger.

    My big concern is that he was destructive originally then settled down for a few weeks then it happened again. I could leave him for a few hours and he was fine then he regressed again, so I am worried that he will be fine for a while then something will make him more anxious and it will happen again.

    I walk him everyday but it is usually in the evening and I had been thinking of changing it to the morning and I try to let him off when I can so he can run. We love him dearly and I find this really distressing, if we can't make this work I don't know what will happen.

    Thanks for your advice and I will have a look online at crate training.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    A similar thing happened with my mothers whippet, after my dad died and mum moved and she was out a friends place a lot trying to cope with my dads passing. Her whippet used to howl constantly if she left him. He was in a terrible state, even with lots of walking and exercise.

    With the lack of being able to see out of the window - can you provide a perch for him at a distance from the window but where he can still see out?. I know sometimes they do this with certain dogs and it settles them.

    I am afraid the only way my mum solved her problem was to get another dog. This solved the problem instantly but it is not always the answer and can also make things worse.

    I would give the crate training a go at first and see how you go.

    You can also by those DAP diffusers that you plug in and release calming pheromones into the air, may help.

  5. #5


    Thanks Kalacreek for responding, it gives me hope that he will settle down. I think I will try crate training him and see how that goes, I have got him in there a few times today and he isn't too bad. He looks at me like he is not sure about it but I just reassure him and I have put one of his favourite toys and blanket in there.

    The perch idea sounds good, it would take a bit of working around but definitely worth thinking about. Hubby isn't keen on getting another dog, so that is something that will be put on the backburner for now

    While I am talking about Whippets where is a good place to buy coats from? I thought that if I put him outside a bit more then he will get more used to being separated from me. It concerns me that he would need a coat for winter as they don't have much fat or fur on his body.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    My family still has whippets and they have had to stay outside a fair bit. You need a nice warm, draft free, waterproof kennel with comfortable bedding for winter.

    My sister also rugs her whippets up but I think she gets the coats from City Farmers or a store like that where you can take your dogs to try them on.

    My parents didnt rug their whipets but they had the very warm kennel and Perth rarely gets really freezing cold.

  7. #7


    Hey, let us know how you go - always interested in how these things pan out.

    I really think crating could be the answer, especially for an anxious dog, as they feel safe. It is like a den and over time, has a calming effect on them and encourages them to just switch off and sleep when you leave. I usually leave a radio on an easy listening channel in the background to mask any outside noises that may be waking the dog.

    As somebody else suggested, a walk before you leave in the morning is a great idea, as they can get used to a routine of exercise, yummy brekky, toilet and then sleep.

    I know it's a bugger dragging yourself out of bed, but it does work.



  8. #8


    He seems to be settling back down a bit but I am sure the meds are helping that I have been slowly introducing him to the crate and he even slept in it last night for about 1 1/2 hours which was pretty good I thought.

    He doesn't seem to mind it too much just gets a bit of a worried look on his face but no whining, scratching etc which is good but I am yet to lock him in there.

    The radio is a good idea, I had always looked at it as being company but never thought of it blocking out noises. I don't use one but I think I might give it a go too.

    I feel I can breathe a bit easier at the moment but am not keen to leave him alone but I am sure we will get there

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