Lolly is a Whippet based in London.
Likened to a velvet snake in her Instagram bio, Lolly loves to adventure around the UK.
Seeing as her mom is an illustrator, it’s little surprise that Lolly has an Instagram grid that’s easy-on-the-eye.
Known to be a fussy eater much like my dogs, Lolly is a fellow Butternutter aka she eats Butternut Box.
We wanted to learn more about Lolly and the Whippet breed so we spoke to her mom Elisa to learn more about these wonderful Sighthounds.
You can follow Lolly on Instagram (@lollythewhippet).
1) How did you first hear about Whippets?
We’d been aware of Whippets for a while but the real obsession began about six years ago when we met Boo. She was a little black Whippet with such a sweet character – we just fell in love. From there we did our research and decided that when we were ready to commit to a dog it would have to be a Whippet.
2) What attracted you to the Whippet breed?
A mixture of things really. They are super affectionate, quiet, self-cleaning, loyal and a really good size for city living. They are also just beautiful to watch – especially when running. As someone who loves to draw, the sighthound curves are irresistible to me.
3) How did you end up with Lolly?
We’d talked about getting a dog for years. When we finally had the right space we took to the internet. There was a litter nearby that had one little brindle girl left. We went to meet her a couple of times with her mum and dad, fell in love and brought her home at 8 weeks.
4) What is Lolly’s personality like?
I’d say she’s an elegant goofball. All the classic whippet traits (gentle, intelligent, affectionate, loves her people) with an extra dollop of sass. She definitely knows when to turn the charm on too, especially if there are snacks involved.
5) What’s the best thing about owning a Whippet?
Whippets are brilliant companions. They love to be around their humans and be ‘part of the pack.’ Lolly is definitely happiest when she’s snuggled up in between us on the sofa.
6) What are some of the challenges of owning a Whippet?
In our experience, the main challenges of having a Whippet are controlling their prey drive, teaching a solid recall and managing separation anxiety. The prey drive is something built-in that you can’t remove, it is after all what they were bred to do. Good recall can be achieved with lots and lots of training – we are confident letting Lolly off in fenced parks these days. As for separation anxiety, it took us over a year to get to a place where we could leave Lolly in the house on her own. It’s hard work but it does eventually improve.
7) Do Whippets make good family pets?
Absolutely! I think any breed can be a good family pet if they are well socialised and trained.
8) Do Whippets get along with other dogs?
I think this one depends on the socialisation. I know some whippets can be a little more sensitive or reactive to other dogs but that’s the same with any breed. Lolly is a really friendly, outgoing Whippet and loves nothing more than a zoom around the park with her pals. Sighthounds actually have a secret greeting that is reserved only for other hounds. A bit like a secret club. There’s lot’s of pouncing, tail wagging, spinning and bitey face – it’s quite an odd thing to witness.
9) In your experience, are Whippets fussy eaters?
Let’s just say they have a sophisticated palate. Lolly won’t touch a raw vegetable but she’ll be your shadow if you eat anything containing cheese.
10) I noticed that you feed Lolly Butternut Box? As a fellow Butternutter, I wanted to know what you think of the food and what impact it has had on Lolly’s life?
For the first year of having Lolly we really struggled to find a food that could keep her interested but also had all the good things a whippet needs to stay strong and healthy.
Discovering Butternut Box was an absolute game-changer. Before she became a Butternutter she had all sorts of tummy problems, would turn her nose up at the bowl and sometimes go days without eating. Once we started feeding with Butternut Box those issues disappeared. She still gets excited about meal times and will lick the bowl clean, I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
11) Is there a big Whippet community in London?
It’s huge! We have made so many whippet (and human) friends from meetings in parks, group walks and other Whippety activities. It’s a very active and helpful community that extends into the Iggy, Greyhound and everything-in-between breeds too.
12) Do a lot of Whippets need to be rescued? What would you say to someone thinking about rescuing a Whippet?
Yes. In some places whippets are still used for baiting and racing in the UK. They tend to only have a few ‘good years’ in them before no longer being ‘useful’ so lots of young dogs end up in shelters. It’s a really sad plight of the breed that shouldn’t be allowed to continue.
To anyone thinking about rescuing I’d say make sure you understand the needs of the breed before jumping into anything. If it’s your first time owning a Whippet perhaps spend some time with the breed beforehand and make sure you can provide them with the care they deserve.
13) What questions do you get asked about Lolly out and about in London?
We get a lot of ‘Why is your dog so skinny?’, ‘How much exercise does she need?’ and ‘Where is that amazing jumper from?’
14) What advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now if you could go back to when you first got Lolly?
Probably to chill out a little bit on the visits to the vets. We definitely didn’t need to spend so much there in her first year!
Whippet pros and cons
• They are very affectionate. They are oversized lapdogs that absolutely love being fussed over.
• They are funny. They do strange things, make strange noises (something like the sound of a bad Chewbacca impression) and sit and sleep in some really weird positions.
• They are quiet. Most of the time anyway. They aren’t particularly barky dogs but they do make a growling noise when they play. And sometimes they like to sing or ‘roo’ to get your attention.
• You’ll have to share your sofa (and your bed). The ‘no dogs on the furniture’ rule doesn’t apply to whippets. They will make themselves at home on the softest seat in the house and will have no issue pushing you off the sofa.
• They can’t be trusted with small fluffy animals. It’s down to the prey-drive thing. It’s stronger in some dogs than others. It’s definitely possible to socialise a whippet to be around other fluffy pets but not always the best idea to leave them alone.
• They aren’t street-wise. Alongside the prey drive they don’t have particularly good street sense. It’s not advisable to walk the off lead unless you’re in a secure, fenced area. Just in case they do see a squirrel the other side of the road.
• They hate the cold. And the rain. I don’t really consider this a con but they definitely need a winter wardrobe. Due to their short hair and low body fat they need an extra layer when it gets cold. Some will even refuse to leave the house on a wet day.