Jess is a Whippet living in London.
It’s third time lucky for this Worried Whippet who has finally found her forever home.
This small lady is learning to be brave one day at a time after being rehomed twice.
With a sweet expression and warm brown eyes, it’s little surprise Jess is closing in on 20,000 followers on Instagram.
Jess plays an active role in the Whippet community in London, regularly socializing with other Sighthounds.
We spoke to Jess’ mom to learn more about this Worried Whippet and the breed overall.
You can follow Jess on Instagram here (@worriedwhippet).
1) How did you first hear about Whippets?
My friend @mostlywhippetmitch was telling me for years that I should get a Whippet and I completely dismissed it. I assumed (very wrongly) that they weren’t cuddly. I don’t know what brought me round in the end but these days I can’t get enough of them. I love having Jess in my life.
2) What attracted you to the Whippet breed?
Their temperament I think, and their gangly looks. Whippets are lazy dogs who love a quick zoom in the park but then spend the rest of the day in bed or lazing around on the sofa. That’s the same pace that I like to live at!
3) How did you end up with Jess?
We rehomed Jess from someone who couldn’t look after her any more. He’d had her for a year after taking her in from her first home where she lived in a cage in someone’s garden. We went up to Leeds to meet her, took her for a walk and fell in love with her.
4) What is Jess’ personality like?
Jess had a bumpy start so when we first got her she was a bundle of worries. She’d moved from home to home and it took her a long time to work out that she was safe with us and that we weren’t going to abandon her.
5) How did Jess get her name, “The Worried Whippet”?
It just made sense! She’s a lot less worried now than when she came to us but I think she’ll always have more than her fair share of anxieties that she carries with her.
6) Do Whippets make good family pets?
Whippets make great family pets. We don’t have children but Jess is great with other people’s – she’s very gentle but great fun to walk.
7) Are Whippets a one person dog?
I think so. Jess is very attached to her Dad. She loves me too but I think she feels safest and happiest with him.
8) How smart are Whippets?
We joke that Jess isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. We’ve taught her tricks like “sit”, “paw” and “high five” but she’s motivated by the treats rather than by a natural appetite to learn new things.
9) Are Whippets hypoallergenic?
Whippets aren’t considered hypoallergenic but they do have very thin fur that doesn’t shed much and isn’t very noticeable, especially if you brush them once a week.
10) Did Jess require a lot of socialisation with other dogs?
Yes Jess loves other dogs but we don’t think she had much experience with them before she came to live with us. As a result she can be quite awkward with them – she doesn’t understand how to ask politely if someone will play with her. We do lots of lovely sighthound walks and we make sure we spend lots of time with other dogs and she’s gradually learning the ropes.
11) In your experience, are Whippets fussy eaters? What type of diet does Jess eat?
Jess has never been a fussy eater but we know that lots of Whippets do have sensitive tummies. We feed Jess kibble and top it up with vegetables and meat from our own meals – her favourite foods are carrots, cucumber and chicken!
12) Is there a big Whippet community in London?
London has a really fantastic Whippet community that has been so supportive and welcoming of us. There are lots of Whippet-friendly dog walkers and day cares and we go to Sighthound Sundays walks and Whippet Up meet-ups on Hampstead Heath.
13) What questions do you get asked about Jess out and about in London?
Lots of people stop us to ask where we get Jess’s clothes from! The answer is usually Redhound, Loko Pet Apparel or Equafleece but she has got an outfit for every occasion.
14) Would you recommend a Whippet to a first-time dog owner?
Absolutely! My partner and I both grew up with family dogs but Jess is a first for both of us. It’s been hard work because of her challenging past but it’s been so rewarding seeing her come out of her shell. Jess is healthy, low-maintenance and such a joy to be around. Just make sure you do your research before you take the plunge.
Whippet Pros And Cons
• Whippets are really loving – Whippets love being close to you and rarely leave your side – I never pee alone. If you’re in bed or on the sofa your Whippet will inevitably hunker down next to you for a snuggle.
• Whippets are great fun to walk – Walking a Whippet is really fun – they’re fast and when they run and play it’s a joy to watch them.
• Whippets are easy to groom – We trim Jess’s nails, brush her teeth and give her coat and occasional skim with a grooming glove but that’s pretty much all it takes to keep her in good shape. The only time she needs a wash is when she rolls in fox poo (which I have to admit is more often than I would like!)
• Whippets have a high prey drive – Whippets are built to chase small animals and there’s not much you can do about it. It’s always worth working on recall but if your dog sees a squirrel it’s probably not going to come back to you. This means you have to be careful about where you walk them and depending on your dog you might only want to let them off the lead in enclosed areas.
• Whippets can be nervous – Not all whippets are anxious but it is a breed trait that you should be prepared for. Jess is called the Worried Whippet for a reason!
• Whippets feel the cold – Whippets have very little body fat and thin fur so they get cold really easily and find it hard to get comfortable. If you’re not prepared to buy them clothes and let them crash on your couch then they might not be the right breed of dog for you.