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trimming whiskers??????

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  • trimming whiskers??????

    Do you guys scissor your dogs whiskers? My school hasn't brought that up but I've noticed in the grooming 101 section of this site that it's done on alot of dogs. I thought that was really painful or uncomfortable for them, and that they needed them, so is this more something you'd do for show-dogs only? And do you trim the tips to round them a bit? You don't take the whole things off do you? Yikes, that sounds more than a little scary

  • #2
    Some show dogs - yes, although there are some that it's not AKC standard. You must check first if it's a show type dog and what the owner wants.

    Pet dogs, poodles and the like, of course. Dobermans, Goldens, and such - not necessary. IMO - not on cats.

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    • #3
      If the dog is having his face shaved them I trim whiskers when I shaved the face. If it isn't shaved they stay.
      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
      Diane

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      • #4
        I do not trim the whiskers off on the pet dogs I groom. However I show dogs in conformation and for most of them trimming the whiskers is not mandatory, but done for cosmetic reasons. I show Belgian Tervuren and I trim the whiskers from my female to make her muzzle appear more refined. I showed my two borzoi (to their CH)with their whiskers intact. I've never had a dog act "painful" during whisker trimming, but a little annoyed or uncomfortable. But anytime we groom a "clean face" on a dog, we are trimming the whiskers off.
        Lisa VanVleet, RVT

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        • #5
          I have a couple clients that request it. Otherwise I leave them, unless it just happens as part of trimming up the face.

          I don't think dogs rely on their whiskers like cats do, so I don't think it's as critical for them. I just looked at Wikipedia and they don't have nerves, so it's not going to hurt to clip them. They are used to sense movement or objects. My dogs don't jump around and go in and out of things like my cats do.

          I was kind of a stupid kid and I used to "curl" one of my kitty's whiskers with my fingernails (kind of like curling ribbon). He still managed to get around (not advocating it though).
          "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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          • #6
            Originally posted by my.cats.name.is.psycho View Post
            And do you trim the tips to round them a bit?
            Now this I've got to see! How do you propose to do this? An open flame would work, I suppose. Maybe we can revive the singing that used to be [i]de rigueur[/i] for grooming Dandie Dinmonts?

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            • #7
              Pretty much what everyone else said above...

              But I will trim them on a shih,lhasa, schn, westie, etc - if thewhiskers are out of control and making the the hair stand up around the face... I will just pick and choose to make the hair lay nicer.

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              • #8
                I show pointers, and it is acceptable to show w/out whiskers trimmed - on dogs used for both hunting & show we leave whiskers. on my own pointer, who has befriended (sometimes afraid of) my 3 chickens, I trim his whiskers- as he will unfortunately, never be a hunting dog.

                I have some owners who request whiskers be left - I have quite a few springers & setters w/very light coating on the muzzle & I generally just neaten around the mouth any fuzzy hairs.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DeannaK View Post
                  if thewhiskers are out of control and making the the hair stand up around the face... I will just pick and choose to make the hair lay nicer.
                  I groom 1 shih tzu (still a puppy) that the whiskers cause the hair to stick out at weird angles. I actually pluck a few of the whiskers.
                  "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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                  • #10
                    Ok, thanks guys, good to know. It's a little weird when you're starting out and some of these things are stated in one place as common knowledge but then you can't get the simplest info on it, so explanations to newbies are appreciated

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by my.cats.name.is.psycho View Post
                      It's a little weird when you're starting out and some of these things are stated in one place as common knowledge but then you can't get the simplest info on it, so explanations to newbies are appreciated
                      I actually went to a school for grooming and they taught me next to nothing. So I've been on a quest to find and learn everything I can. We are lucky that there has come out some really good information just since I've started grooming. The National Cat Grooming Institute of America has put out some DVDs and a book. There was practically nothing available before that.

                      Of course I learned more on this sight than anywhere else.
                      "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=keyray;403798]
                        I don't think dogs rely on their whiskers like cats do, so I don't think it's as critical for them. I just looked at Wikipedia and they don't have nerves, so it's not going to hurt to clip them. They are used to sense movement or objects. My dogs don't jump around and go in and out of things like my cats do. QUOTE]

                        Um, how can they use them to sense movement or objects if there isn't a nerve involved? No nerve, no sensation. The nerve may not run the length of the whisker, but it's still there, in the follicle.

                        Your dogs may not go in and out of things like your cats do, but there are plenty of dogs who do. Go to an earth dog trial. Those dogs go in and out of things. Watch a farm terrier going about his business of finding and killing rats in the barn. In and out of things. Dogs DO rely on their whiskers. We just don't notice how they're using them.

                        I did trim my Bull Terriers whiskers for a show once. Only once, though. After I trimmed, I noticed she was sticking her whole face in the water when she got a drink. She'd been using her whiskers to find where the water was, and once they were gone she'd plunge her whole face to the bottom of the bowl. So I didn't trim them again. I let them grow back, and watched how she'd bristle those whiskers forward to find the surface of the water. It was interesting.

                        Our pet dogs may not use their whiskers to the same extent that their wild cousins do. But if they didn't have a purpose, canids wouldn't have developed whiskers in the first place.

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                        • #13
                          i shave the whiskers off my dogs all the time...never had them have any problems..on aussies for the breed ring you are suppose to take them off..on some pet dogs i will take them off but it depends on the way their face looks..never had anyone complain or had any issues.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Helly View Post
                            Um, how can they use them to sense movement or objects if there isn't a nerve involved? No nerve, no sensation. The nerve may not run the length of the whisker, but it's still there, in the follicle.
                            The OP was asking about TRIMMING the whisker and whether that is painful. Since there isn't any nerves IN the whisker itself trimming it will not cause pain. Since you present yourself as being so knowledgeable I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that the reason they sense movement is because the whisker's follicular is filled with blood so when the whisker moves the blood moves around. The sensory cells then transmit that information to the brain.

                            Originally posted by Helly View Post
                            Our pet dogs may not use their whiskers to the same extent that their wild cousins do. But if they didn't have a purpose, canids wouldn't have developed whiskers in the first place.
                            REALLY?! Because I am not a vet or a medical doctor, nor do I even claim to know anything about the biology of evolution, but I can list a few things that seem to have no purpose. So JUST because something is there is doesn't mean it's necessary.

                            I shave my poodles face every week. He manages to drink water without any difficulty, nor is he constantly walking into things, in fact his is quite a bit more agile and athletic than my terriers which HAVE their whiskers.
                            "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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                            • #15
                              Ehhhhmmm...

                              Lol maybe the bull terrier has difficulty seeing? Cuz I do alot of poodles with clean faces, their whiskers get shaved off with a ten against the grain... They don't seem to be attempting to drown themselves afterwards... I trim the whiskers on dogs like goldens labs, etc. Anything with short hair on the face. I do ask the owners first. Most like it, makes them lok more sleek or puppylike depending on the shape of the muzzle and head. I've only had one say not to do it again. She said it looked nice, but that it was like a 5 o'clock shadow growing back.

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