Do Poodles Have Whiskers?
Most pet owners don’t realize that the whiskers on their poodle’s face are more than long hairs, but they serve a purpose. Whiskers play an important role in helping your poodle successfully navigate the world around them. They allow your dog to determine the size, shape, and speed of objects.
Poodles have whiskers to help them navigate their surroundings. It’s perfectly fine to trim your poodle’s whiskers if you’re trying to achieve a “clean” look. While not common to trim a dog’s whiskers, it’s relatively harmless and won’t cause your poodle any pain.
Most pet owners choose to leave their dog’s whiskers intact. However, trimming whiskers is very common in the show dog world. All show poodles, no matter the size, have their whiskers shaved off if they are getting a “clean” face before the big day. Similarly, other short-haired show dogs like cocker spaniels have their whiskers shaved for a cleaner look.
You don’t have to have a show poodle to get a “clean” face though. Trimming a poodle’s facial hair and whiskers is a personal preference. If your poodle’s muzzle hair is constantly getting food or dirt stuck in it, you might decide that a full facial cut is the best option to keep your dog clean, sanitary, and bacteria-free.
Do Poodles Have Whiskers & How Do You Spot Them?
All mammals, except for humans, have whiskers known as vibrissae. Whiskers don’t just grow on the muzzle, but you’ll find them on your poodle’s cheeks, chin, and eyebrows as well. Take a look at your poodle next time he’s cuddling up beside you—the whiskers are easy to spot due to being thicker and longer than your poodle’s natural hair.
Although commonly known as whiskers to most pet owners, whiskers on the muzzle, cheeks, eyebrows, and chin all have different names.:
- Superbital whiskers
- Mystacial whiskers
- Interramal tufts
The most commonly noted whiskers can be found on your poodle’s muzzle and are called mystacial whiskers originating from the word mustache. Superbital whiskers are found where your dog’s “eyebrows” would be. Those on the chin are called interramal tufts, while whiskers on your poodle’s cheeks are known as genal whiskers.
What Is the Purpose of Your Poodle’s Whiskers?
Similar to other animals, dogs use there whiskers to get a better understanding of their surroundings. These hair are known to be quite different from most of the other hair on the dog’s body. We can say that they are more rigid and embedded far more into the skin. Not only that, but it’s also important to know that the base of each whiskers is high concentration of touch sensitive neurons which allows the whiskers to send a warning signal to let your poodle have an idea if something is near its face.
Apart from not being able to see colors, dogs overall doesn’t have a great sense of sight. This is one of the main reasons why they need assistance when it comes to detecting their surroundings so that they can avoid obstacles in their way or danger around them. As you can see, this is why whiskers plays a very important role in their life.
Without whiskers your poodle will not have the ability to navigate around, which will eventually prevent them from running into people, walls, and other objects. Having whiskers is even more important during the night when they need to navigate through the dark. What the whisker does is help the poodle to understand and sense their environment before they come into contact with an object.
Not only that, but similar to an eyelash, whiskers also instructs your dog when to close their eyes if something make contact with them. These things usually comes to play when your dog is taking a walk so that they can dodge branches and keep things from falling into their eyes. You should keep in mind that your dog whiskers are very sensitive which is why they react when you touch them.
Your poodle’s whiskers also have the ability to signal you about how they are feeling in the exact moment. Whenever there’s a point when your poodle feels in danger, you may notice that their whiskers tends to point out. If there is a case where you notice this, what you can do is remove your poodle from the situation so that they feel a lot more comfortable.
Apart from signaling you about feeling uncomfortable, their whiskers is also able to tell you if they are feeling unwell. At any point, if you notice your poodle whiskers as a split or drop at the end, it could be a sign of health issues. It’s similar to if your poodle whiskers has fallen off and don’t grow back over the course of 4 weeks, then your dog is likely suffering from a vitamin deficiency. If it’s a case where your always getting your poodle whiskers shave during grooming sessions then you won’t know about your dog health problem.
Can You Cut a Poodle’s Whiskers During Grooming?
Yes absolutely you can cut your poodle’s whiskers without actually causing any harm to your dog.
Even though a lot groomers avoid cutting poodles whiskers by only trimming the hair around them, you can definitely your poodle’s whiskers without causing any harm to the dog and it is actually very common among long-haired breed.
We all know by now that poodles are known to have long facial hair that attracts a lot of dirt, food and debris that becomes tangled in their muzzles. And because of these debris the groomer may find it necessary to trim your poodle’s facial hair including their whiskers which will eventually keep your dog’s face clean and bacteria free.
If you are planning on using your dog for show then trimming their whiskers is something that is necessary. But you don’t have to own a show dog in order to give your poodle a clean new look. You can discuss this with your groomer and they will provide your poodle with a clean face which means that they will trim all the facial hair including their whiskers.
Should I Trim Dog Whiskers?
This is your personal preference! If you are showing your poodle or prefer a “clean” face, you can choose to have their facial hair (and whiskers) cut.
If you don’t have a preference, whiskers don’t need to be shaved, trimmed, or cut and you can leave them as is. The removal of whiskers is an aesthetic choice but can reduce some of the functionality of their environmental sensors.
What Happens If You Cut a Poodle’s Whiskers?
Whiskers are the way your poodle sense their surroundings. Their whiskers around them sense the size and shapes of objects, navigate around walls and obstacles, prevent them from getting injured, and determine how narrow or tight a hole is. If your poodle gets a clean cut with the whiskers removed, there is a chance they feel a bit disoriented, run into more objects, and impact their spatial awareness.
It’s still unclear whether there are consequences other than mild disorientation, but overall, a slight trim of your poodle’s whiskers is harmless. If your poodle’s whiskers get cut during their grooming session, they will eventually grow back.
Does Cutting Whiskers Hurt?
Although whiskers have neurons that signal to your dog about their surroundings, the hairs themselves don’t have a nerve supply (like any other hair!). Cutting your poodle’s whiskers won’t hurt them, it’s the same feeling as if you were cutting their nails.
However, your poodle’s whiskers should never be plucked! This would be extremely painful for your dog.
Do Dog Whiskers Grow Back If Cut?
Yes, like the rest of your poodle’s hair, their whiskers will grow back. If a whisker-free look is what you’re trying to achieve, you will need to have your poodle’s whiskers trimmed during their regular grooming sessions. If your groomer accidentally cut them off, no need to fret, because your poodle’s whiskers will grow back.