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  1. #1
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    Default Do Dogs Need Whiskers And...

    I'm noticing that Gretchen (the one in my avatar) has broken whiskers on one side of her face. I would assume that this is due to rough play with our other dog. I know cats use their whiskers to determine whether or not they can fit into a space, but do dogs use their whiskers? And if so, should I be concerned with the fact that her whiskers are breaking off?

  2. #2
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    From Ask Yahoo!
    Dear Yahoo!:
    What are dogs' whiskers for?
    Kaye Nein
    Manila, Philippines

    Dear Kaye:
    Whiskers are an important hunting and orientation tool for dogs as well as many other mammals. A seal's whiskers, for example, pick up vibrations in the water, allowing it to detect prey as far as 180 meters away.
    The scientific term for these finely tuned sensory structures is "vibrissae." While the hairs themselves don't contain nerve endings, their base is surrounded by erectile tissue and a rich nerve supply. Like human eyelashes, they prompt the dog to close its eyes when they're brushed.

    The whiskers on cats and dogs are highly sensitive to air currents and vibrations. Dogs react quickly when anything brushes against their whiskers -- see for yourself (with a friendly dog, obviously).

    Many dog groomers clip their dog's whiskers for show purposes, although it can often impair a dog's ability to hunt and play.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I don't think it's a real big deal if a random whisker gets damaged or broken off. As was mentioned above, many people who groom and show their dogs clip off the whiskers for a neater look around the mouth. Also I don't think that it affects a dog being able to play . It certainly never affected my mothers show dogs ability to play
    Dean and Lana - July 15th, 2005
    Alivia Ann 11/21/07!
    Expecting a little boy in September!

  4. #4
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    I was going to say it can't be that *bad* for dogs to have no/broken/missing whiskers, as we clip our dog's occassionally, on rec. of our breeder. FWIW, she plays just fine and it doesn't bother her one bit when we trim them.

    I know they'll grow back.
    She'd be his wife and make him her husband 5/03Ds1 12/22/09...Ds2 8/31/12

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