Whisker removal

The Kennel Club is aware that the removal of dogs' whiskers (vibrissae) is carried out by owners of some specific breeds of dog. Whilst there appears to be no clear scientific evidence that this causes harm or discomfort to the dog in the same way that it has been shown to affect some rodents, there are those who believe that it may be detrimental to dogs.

The practice of removing coat - and thereby whiskers - from the muzzles of Poodles and some other breeds has long been carried out in the interests of hygiene and is now commonly performed by groomers of such breeds as Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise and Lhasa Apso for the same reason.

The Kennel Club is concerned however that the practice seems to be becoming more common in 'clean faced' breeds. The Kennel Club does not believe that any breed should have its whiskers shaved for purely cosmetic reasons and urges owners not to carry out this practice on dogs for any purpose other than cleanliness.

Last updated - November 2013

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