When looking at majestic pictures of cats, tigers, lions, or even Tom from Tom and Jerry, a person can’t help but notice the large whiskers on these animals. But when you snuggle your Goldendoodle, you may have noticed whiskers too. They seem to be characteristics of cats, but do Goldendoodles also have whiskers?
Goldendoodles have whiskers, as do all dogs. Whiskers are made out of long, stiff hair, or vibrissae, and are located in several places around the face and head. Whiskers connect to sensory neurons and help Goldendoodles gain knowledge about their surroundings and navigate their environments.
Whiskers are very much a part of your Goldendoodles life. As you learn about whiskers, you will be able to understand your Goldendoodle better and help take care of their whiskers in the best way possible.
How Goldendoodles Use Their Whiskers
To put it in the most simple way possible, Goldendoodles use their whiskers to help navigate the world around them. The whiskers are typically located on the snout, near the nose, and sometimes on the neck and by the eyes and ears. This placement of whiskers is for a specific purpose, not just for helping your Goldendoodle look cute.
The whiskers on the head of your Goldendoodle help protect its eyes, assist in spatial awareness, and help them navigate in the night. Just like our human eyes adjust at night to help us navigate the world, whiskers on your Goldendoodle help them navigate better at night. Nobody likes to run into walls, and that includes your pup!
Dogs are known for being colorblind, and along with this, they do not have great vision anyways. Whiskers are there to sense when objects are near and around them.
The whiskers that are above and near the eyes will help protect your Goldendoodle’s eyes and signal to them when they need to blink. These are similar to the reason that we have human eyelashes. Because of whiskers, your dog knows when something is in its eye, when to blink, and if it is about to run into something!
In addition to a sensory experience, whiskers are one of the tools that your Goldendoodle has to be a good hunter! Paired with their great sense of smell, the whiskers are what make them so great at tracking and picking up moving objects and animals. When the dog’s snout is low to the ground, they can tell how large or small an animal is and fast it is moving. You are sure to have success with your Goldendoodle hunting partner thanks to his whiskers!
As you get to know your Goldendoodle, pay attention to its body language—flared whiskers may be a signal of distress or feeling threatened. These are signals for you to know what your Goldendoodle is feeling. Damaged, splitting, or drooping whiskers may be a sign of an underlying health problem
The Science Behind Whiskers
If you have ever touched your Goldendoodles whiskers, you may have noticed a big twitch of the snout or blink. This is because whiskers are extra sensitive! While they look like long, thick hairs, whiskers actually go much deeper into the skin than regular hairs. But how do these “hairs” help your Goldendoodle in so many ways?
At the base of each whisker, or vibrissae for the technical term, is a high concentration of sensitive nerves. If something touches the whisker and it vibrates, the sensitive nerves send a neuron signal to the brain, signaling it to blink, twitch, or move. The whisker itself does not have a feeling but sends a signal to the nerves when movement or pressure are detected.
Whiskers tell your Goldendoodle to get out of the way before it runs into something and protect it from anything that could cause damage. This is some helpful awareness!
Should I Trim My Goldendoodle’s Whiskers?
Now that you know the importance of whiskers, you may be wondering if it is okay to trim them? Can and should they be removed? These are great questions, and important ones when caring for your Goldendoodle.
Knowing how your Goldendoodle uses its whiskers helps us know the dangers of trimming your Goldendoodles whiskers.
Removing your Goldendoodles whiskers is not recommended unless by a vet’s order. It is never a good idea to remove your Goldendoodles whiskers, as this can make your dog more disoriented, confused, and can contribute to them running into things. Your dog will be uncertain in dim and dark light, and they will not receive important information that helps them navigate through the world.
Cutting off your Goldendoodles whiskers is not immediately painful, but will affect them in day-to-day activities. Avoid pulling or tugging them, as this is painful due to the nerve endings in the skin.
Trimming your Goldendoodles whiskers is not recommended, but do not be alarmed if they are accidentally trimmed or fall out. Whiskers do grow back. There may be a few occasions when it is appropriate to trim your Goldendoodles whiskers if they are matted or tangled.
Goldendoodles are known for their thick, curly coats. They are also very active dogs that love to swim, dig, and play. Because of this, their face at times gets dirty. Knowing the proper grooming techniques for your Goldendoodles will keep their whiskers intact and thriving. Here are just a few grooming tips!
- Begin by brushing your goldendoodle from the top down. Start with the head and remove any matted areas with scissors.
- When focusing on the face, use clippers to cut bushy hair to the desired length.
- Lift up your Doodles ears and move them back when trimming by ears and eyes.
- Use clippers in the same direction as the hair growth.
- Push the whiskers out of their restracted state for a cleaner cut.
- Bathe your Goldendoodle regularly to prevent face and whiskers from becoming matted and tangled.
If you have any questions or concerns about grooming the face and neck of your Goldendoodle, take them to a trained groomer, and then let them know to avoid clipping or trimming your dog’s whiskers!