Why Does A Dog Need A Mustache And Can It Be Removed?

Dog Mustache whiskers vibrissae

The body of dogs is significantly different in structure from the human. For example, animals have a special sense organ, represented by elongated hairs in the facial area. It is absolutely impossible to trim a dog’s mustache. Before doing this, you should read the details.

Why do dogs need a mustache?

The dog needs whiskers, as they serve as the organ of touch. They serve as a landmark in space. An animal does not have the same intelligence and vision as a person. It cannot calculate the distance to the object and reasonably assess the environment. Mustaches do it on an instinctive level. The organ allows animals to determine the speed and temperature of the wind, to understand where the obstacle is on the way, and helps to navigate in the dark.

If a dog’s whiskers are cut off, the nervous system will be disrupted. The animal will become lethargic and inhibited. It cannot easily maneuver in space. There is no high health hazard in this, but the dog’s behavior will change. The dog will begin to behave inappropriately, will experience stress.

Dog Mustache whiskers vibrissae

What are vibrissae

Whiskers are scientifically called vibrissae. The word is used in veterinary literature, animal scientific articles, and professional vocabulary. This name is unfamiliar to an ordinary person, so questions arise about what it means.

They are tough, long hairs that are very sensitive. They are present in a large number of land animals. Located in the front of the head, more often at the mouth, nose and jaw. Some species have vibrissae on the upper surface of the head and on the body. They are the organ of touch and stand out significantly from the general coat. They are usually white. Cutting a dog’s mustache is dangerous. The animal loses full perception of the world.


Vibrissae are not part of the animal’s hairline. They perform a completely different function, do not have perspiration and differ in their structure. Moreover, they begin to develop much earlier than wool. The word hair is used exclusively to denote the shape and type of organ.

How do vibrissae function?

The principle of operation of vibrissae is similar to other senses. Information about the state of the environment is captured by receptors and sent directly to the brain. Whisker follicles have many nerve endings. They are the guide.

Dog Mustache whiskers vibrissae

Can we trim or cut the dog’s whiskers? what breeds?   

Most breeds are strictly prohibited from removing mustaches. This can lead to changes in the nervous system that are clearly not beneficial. However, some domestic breeds tolerate this procedure well:

  • Poodle. Dog hairdressers almost never miss their face when cutting. It is believed that this breed does not look very aesthetically pleasing with a mustache. The animal does not experience discomfort, because the organ has already evolved into the subcutaneous regime.
  • Chinese Crested dog. Needs a regular haircut due to the rapid growth of hairline. Feels great without a mustache, they also degenerated into a subcutaneous version.
  • Shar Pei and Mastiffs. They have a wrinkled muzzle that looks disadvantageous with vibrissae. One of the requirements for participation in the exhibition is their cutting. Pulling hairs is not allowed, because this will greatly harm the dog.
  • Cocker Spaniel. It is often trimmed for forelocks and sideburns. This is done for a more well-groomed appearance. The mustache is removed along with the hair.
  • Golden Retriever. Before the show, they definitely need to cut the mustache, as this even changes the outlines of the dog’s appearance.


The organs of touch are necessary for any mammal. You can’t cut or pluck them without special reason. It will only do harm.

What to do if your dog’s mustache falls out

Significant baldness of the pet’s face can cause many ailments. It is necessary to monitor the condition of the animal and in which case contact the veterinarian. The main causes of mustache loss:

  • Dehydration;
  • Dry air (especially in winter);
  • Frequent washing with shampoo;
  • Hormonal stress (age-related changes, pregnancy and sexual desire).


Give your pet more boiled cartilage or bones. They contain elements for the renewal of connective tissues, which will positively affect the situation.

If the mustache falls out, you should contact your veterinarian. The problem requires a comprehensive solution and examination. The animal may have the following pathologies:

  • Parasites. Have a negative effect on metabolism. The main sign of presence is itching.
  • Fungus. It is easily detected in veterinary clinics by analysis.
  • Diabetes. Supported by medications to avoid complications.
  • Disorders in the thyroid gland. Complex hormonal treatment will be required.
  • Alopecia. Leads to partial baldness. We need treatment.

Mostly dogs’ whiskers are cut for exhibitions and competitions to improve the pet’s appearance. This is not a prerequisite for everyday life. However, if a dog’s mustache falls out, it is worth taking care of its health.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here