Your dog groomer recently suggested that you allow her to trim your dog’s whiskers, or perhaps you were wondering if your dog would be better off without the odd things attached to his face. It would give your dog a “clean-shaven” look, you reason, and surely make life so much easier for him. Or would it?
Actually, whiskers help dogs more than most people realize. Though they are “just” hairs, they have sensitive nerves at the base which inform the dog about his surroundings and even oncoming threats. Thanks to whiskers, a dog can know when someone – or something – is approaching, and he can also get the details: size and rate are a couple of examples. Also, when faced with unfamiliar surroundings or the dark, his whiskers will inform him of objects in the way, keeping him from bumping into anything and getting hurt. When your dog’s face is low to the ground, his whiskers will alert him of any tasty bits of food or dirt around him. A dog’s whiskers help him “feel” the world almost as much as your hands help you.
With these things in mind, I would highly suggest that you leave your dog’s whiskers alone. While cutting them won’t physically hurt your dog, it could hurt his “feeling” ability.
*If you read this and still want to have your dog’s whiskers trimmed (please change your mind!), make sure that you don’t pluck them out. Having them trimmed by a pro with scissors won’t physically hurt your dog, but, if you pluck them, your dog will have terrible pain because of the extremely sensitive nerves at the base of the hair.