Why do dogs have mustaches? – Understand your dog

The dog’s whiskers, also called “vibrissae”, are very important to him. Wamiz explains the role of these hairs to you.

As you may have noticed, your dog has “vibrissae” commonly known as “whiskers”.

The dog’s whiskers are found at the muzzle, lips, under the chin, on the cheeks and above the eyes.

These hairs consist of a root and a hair bulb and are distinguished from other hairs because, at the base, we find mechanoreceptors that are much more sensitive than other dog hairs.

What are whiskers used for in dogs?

The dog’s whiskers have an essential role and will allow him to orient himself, to detect the shapes, the texture of objects and even to evaluate the distances between the objects and his muzzle.

Dog orientation

The whiskers will help orient the dog. They allow the animal to be aware of its environment even in the dark. Like a sixth sense, the vibrissae will complement his flair. They will allow him to detect the vibrations around him and therefore the potential dangers.

The mustaches will thus be able to help him in the conscious and unconscious perception of his own body.

Detect shapes and textures

The whiskers will also allow him to detect the shapes and textures of objects and to evaluate the distances with the muzzle.

Communication with other animals

A dog’s whiskers can also play an important role in communication with other canine species or other animals. If he feels threatened, for example, the dog’s whiskers can indicate to other animals that he is ready to defend himself.

Protect yourself from foreign bodies

Concerning the vibrissae located above the eyes, they will have a protective role in order in particular to prevent the introduction of dust or dirt.

Do all dogs have whiskers?

Yes, all dogs have mustaches. The vibrissae are thicker, longer and stiffer than a hair. Moreover, the mustache is much more inserted into the dog’s skin. Note also that hunting dogs have larger whiskers than others because they are useful in their activity.

@Shutterstock Robert Avgustin

Can you cut a dog’s whiskers?

The question seems silly and yet you should never cut a dog’s whiskers. You will understand, the vibrissae are essential for this animal. By cutting off his whiskers, your dog will lose some of his senses. It will be more difficult for him to orient himself, to detect shapes that are close to his muzzle, etc.

Can a dog’s whiskers grow back?

Rest assured, a dog’s whiskers can grow back. If your groomer accidentally cuts vibrissae or if they are torn off, they may grow back.

Can a dog lose his whiskers naturally?

Dogs may well lose their whiskers, either naturally or from illness. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you notice that your dog is losing his whiskers.

Read also : Dog with baby features: why do they make us crack?


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