Carving the Whittle Pup

by Jim Mischel

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Download WhittlePup.pdf

My favorite whittling subject over the last year or two has been dogs. I'll be the first to admit that my little dog whittlings are not great art, but rather just cute little kickshaws. But they're fun to carve, and I enjoy seeing the smile on the recpient's face when I give one away.

When I started making little dogs I would spend a few hours with the bandsaw every couple of weeks, making cutouts that I could then carve at my leisure. One day it dawned on me that with a few minor design changes I could eliminate the bandsaw cutout altogether and whittle a little dog from a small block of wood or just a branch off a tree.

And so was born the Whittle Pup, which this article will show you how to make yourself.

I've split this up into multiple pages so that it's easier to use for those who have slow connections. You can follow along by clicking the "Next" links at the bottom of the pages, or you can jump to individual sections from this index.

If you would rather have a single document that you can save on your computer, download the PDF.

  1. What you need
  2. Wood selection
  3. First steps
  4. Making space for the legs
  5. Slimming down
  6. Forming the face
  7. Blocking out the nose
  8. Rounding the body
  9. Carving the tail
  10. Separating the head
  11. Forming the back legs
  12. Blocking out the ears
  13. Shaping the head
  14. Shaping the snout
  15. Finishing the head shape
  16. Shaping the ears
  17. Legs and feet
  18. Sides
  19. Hollowing the ears
  20. Detailing the snout
  21. Eyes
  22. Finishing

If you found this tutorial useful, please drop me a line. My email address is jim at And if you have friends who are interested in whittling, be sure to point them at this tutorial. Also, if you send a picture of your dog, I'll add it to my Whittle Pup Gallery, along with your name and a link to your blog or Web site.

Happy whittling!

For more of my carvings, see my Carving Blog.