Whiskers or sinus hairs or vibrissae act as slow-adapting mechanoreceptors, sending signals to the brain about skin pressure and directional skin movement. Whiskers help dogs navigate and spatially orient themselves.

Caring for your dog’s whiskers

Groomers say caring your for dog’s whiskers means leaving them alone. Though trimming is possible, it’s not recommended as it may affect your dog’s navigational abilities, especially in service and agility dogs, as well as when your dog is in dark areas. Exceptions are made though, if your dog is a show dog. Breed standards may address the head piece and expression of the dog, so breeders and handlers may trim the dog’s whiskers to best capture the desired expression. However, although the effect of whisker trimming is generally unknown, they do still serve an important function thus, it’s best to leave them alone.