I have been looking for another IG to join my 7 year old male. We now also have two children, almost 2 & 4 year old boys. One person said they wouldn't place a dog with us because IG's don't do well with kids. That seems a little too generalized, but I did start to consider whippets, (our IG is big 20 pounds=10 kilos I think) The whippet seems to have a sweet personality without the risk of being neurotic. What do you think, and can you compare the two breeds in other ways?
Also, what about male vs. female for pets. USA
Dogs and children are always a tricky combination, and so much depends on the parent's constant care and "supervision" of the two parties. It certainly is generalizing rather harshly to say that an IG and children do not go together. Especially when they already do in your house!!!
It all depends on the children's characters, age, upbringing and respect for another living creature, plus and the dog's own personality, tolerance, child experience (hopefully positive!) and the "stability" of its nature.
No child of 2 can be expected to have much idea as to how to treat a dog and that carefully putting a finger in it's eye to see what it feels like, kissing it lovingly on the nose whilst it is sound asleep and thereby waking it up with a big shock, accidentally treading on it or even falling over it etc. etc. is NOT very smart treatment for ANY dog. Neither can a child of two understand all the many sensible explanations (and rules) one comes with, regarding pet care and behavior.
If it was me - and I have two grown sons and a grandchild of 3, I would strongly recommend waiting about two years!
It is said that patience is a virtue - and you do have one lovely IG already.
Having said that - and I really MEAN that to wait two years would be real smart for your little family because your youngest child is of an age that does need plenty of (undivided) attention - BUT what IF YOU DO decide to buy a new dog anyway?
Well, if you asked your IG what he (or she?) would like, he or she would say straight away:
"Another IG please!!!"
My IG has always been disappointed that he has had to spend all his life with Whippets and really they don't get along all that well, if the truth were known. The Whippets look down on him as an irritating idiot who doesn't count for anything whilst "Gucci" each time, has felt that he had a right to be boss and superior to them. They just "laugh" at him and he has had a few "beatings up" through the years as he irritates them too but always bounces right back like IG's always do!!! They cannot be suppressed!!!
If you keep to one sex only, you've no problems.
If you have a neutered male, now is your chance to change sex, but most people have a preference for the one or the other sex - that is up to you and I can only say the both sexes can be equally well recommended.
Both sexes can be several of same sex living together and get along fine - especially if you obtain them one at a time so the newcomer is younger and "under" the "oldies".
So the EASIEST solution would be another IG and if a strong large one, I see no reason why it cannot go together with 2 small children as described above - and if IG's are going to bite to reprimand a child who's needing "correction" in their eyes, then they can bite just as well as a whippet, BUT they do have a greater tendency to solve all problems by running away from trouble, which is good in this case! They are NOT biters, in general.
But you need to teach the children to leave the dogs strictly alone, whenever the dog is tired - or the children want to play loud and noisy games.
The dogs are not and never will be, playmates in the same way the children's own friends are, or like extra toys.
They can be cuddled and kissed, (when NOT asleep in their bed wanting peace and quiet) but should mostly be left alone and admired from a distance.
A child of two can easily fall over or on a dog or step on him, risking a snarl which would frighten him.
So a whippet, being a little larger, could better take this fall without injury - but might snap!
But all dogs will snarl and/or snap if hurt or they feel threatened and your two year old has got to be an unusual angel-child and good to mind where he puts his feet - and little inquistive fingers! (Which is why I say it would be best to wait.)
When my grandchild is here, I am with him non-stop, never leaving his side. The dogs mainly lie nearby in a chair or dog-bed keeping an eye on us. They want to lick him, which he does not like and which I call "kissing him" to kind of explain the action, and I have to push any dog (kindly) away who wants to lick. A 2-3 year old is right on easy "licking level" and smells no doubt irresistible too!!!
They will steal from his hand, just ANY food he is holding, and so he only eats sitting up to the table! (Possibly a good habit, actually!!!) He cannot just wander around eating something!
All his toys are at risk of being taken from him, which would cause tears but that's why I never leave his side! When he "motors" around on his toy car, he is also at risk of the Whippets pulling at his jacket in play and again, he's even easier to lick and sniff at! Or they want to bite at the wheels and play. Whippets are much more persistent at this than IG's. They have even stolen his cap from his head!
A child can easier shout an IG into being scared and respectful and to run away, a Whippet takes no notice of this "child-toy" and it's noises - makes it even more fun to nuzzle and play with. Whippets need the firm commanding voice of an adult - they know a child is helpless!
A Whippet puppy, in between periods of sleeping is a VERY lively animal and even if given plenty of toys, will chew just about everything in sight (not wanting to harm our possessions on purpose, but just for fun - and cutting it's milk teeth - but the love of chewing something goes right on into maturity and onward!) it will also destroy many of the children's toys, unaware that these things are not put there for it's enjoyment. Its milk teeth fall out or are swallowed (!) and the new ones come at 5-6 months of age so plenty of DOG chew things is essential at this time and also afterwards while it is a young dog. It will inevitably get it's teeth into some of the family's loved things, even with the best of care taken! Children can naturally get VERY upset at seeing their toys be taken and chewed.
You can avert some of this by getting a young dog of about 6 months old and not a puppy, but then it must already be used to children or this could give a few problems, the two parties getting to know and respect each other for what they are.
A puppy also means "accidents" on the floor here and there until it becomes house trained which in itself is a job of work ESPECIALLY if one also has small children taking all one's time.
We have a garden (or yard!) where we can just open the door and the dogs can go out, but if you have an apartment, it will be a problem - how can you dash outside several times in the hour and leave a two year old alone upstairs?
A Whippet (or any other dog breed!) really needs to get out every day on good walks and be "socialized", by meeting all sorts of other dogs, and preferably playing with some of them. It needs to be trained and used to any situation and will need increasing exercise as it grows up, and to play with other dogs etc whereas although an IG has the same needs in fact, one can "cheat" a little easier and certainly the exercise can just be racing around the yard especially when you have a 7 year old who will race along with it!
A growing whippet will risk bowling your 7 year old IG over, and causing accidents as the play gets increasingly rougher, that is unless you can wear the puppy out on regular daily walks and runs/play preferable with other friendly dogs.
I think that all in all I would:
1) Ideally wait a couple of years - for the sake of the 2 year old's happiness.
2) Get a large mature IG who's care and exercise could helped by your 7 year old IG.
3) Get a Whippet who was used to children who was about 6 months of age and housetrained and you are willing to give good exercise every day and plenty of doggy activities so it's not too frustrated and taking it out on your furniture!
And don't forget: BOTH breeds need a fair amount of exercise and time spent running free!
If anybody has any further questions regarding the above, or wants to discuss things in greater depth, you are welcome to mail to me at: