Whisker Watch

Discussion of grooming tips and questions.

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AliceGrimm
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Whisker Watch

Post by AliceGrimm » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:55 am

Victoria mentions a lot about being aware of dogs whiskers and how they help dogs sense the air around them and such.

I was curious for breeds like Pooldes and more in my case Miniature Schnauzers... when they are being groomed for different cuts, do they too have these whiskers and are they easy to see and watch out for? Or do they not have them? Or do people cut these whiskers off and cause harm to their dogs?

I am a little worried and unsure.

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Erica
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Re: Whisker Watch

Post by Erica » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:50 am

If you're shaving the muzzle, it is practically impossible to avoid the whiskers :lol: (I tried once and managed to save one on each side...) They tend to grow back pretty quickly though. I don't shave Delta's face soon before we do anything very active like agility, just in case. He doesn't seem thrown off-balance or anything after a shave, but I let him have a few days to get used to any sensory changes before I ask him to do something that requires a lot of balance and awareness.

Cutting the whiskers doesn't hurt a dog physically. It's definitely something a blind dog would use more, and if I didn't have to shave Del's face I would never clip his whiskers, but when his face fur gets long it gets stuck in his mouth and bothers him.

For dogs with short hair on their muzzle, if you were to take them to the groomer you may want to just specify not to have their whiskers cut, if that's your wish. Some usually trim the whiskers, some only do so on request - it's just a good precaution to specify if you have any procedures you don't want done on your dog.

(Something I don't know if you've seen yet in your mini schnau research is ear plucking - I understand it's as important for schnaus as it is poodles, so I would recommend looking it up a bit! It's super helpful to introduce them to it young, and make it a positive experience, whether you go with plucking or if you try trimming. If you're comfortable doing it yourself every week or so, it's much easier on the dog than just having them all done at once when they get groomed every few months.)
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

AliceGrimm
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Re: Whisker Watch

Post by AliceGrimm » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:19 am

I did know that. I am not sure I like ripping hair out of the ears. But I would prefer to do that than allowing their ears to get infected or get mites. But thank you! I definitely want to ask either the breeder/vet/or groomer how to best get the puppy use to that and the proper way to do it so I don't hurt the puppy. I think I may have done it once before or been shown. But that was a long while ago.

Thank you so much for your help!! I appreciate it!
Yeah.. I can see how the hair would bother Delta, an Schnauzers seem to have all that hair around their eyes, so some of that facial hair does have to be trimmed. I just wanted to make sure. And no matter how many different ways I googled it, no article or site really answered this question. Thank you so much!!!

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Erica
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Re: Whisker Watch

Post by Erica » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:35 am

There are definitely hairs in Delta's ears that don't come out, and there's hair that does. He leans his head into my hands when I'm plucking, rather than pulling away. I've always encouraged him to let me know if he doesn't like something, so he's happy to move away if he feels uncomfortable. But he's only ever done that during ear plucking if I grab the wrong hair. For this reason I trim the hair along the edges of his ear first (the hair that doesn't come out so easily!) so that I don't grab it by accident. All the hair that's well inside his ear comes out easily and without fuss.

Now, if the dog does have an ear infection, that would probably make plucking painful! But it isn't like plucking your eyebrows. :)
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

AliceGrimm
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Re: Whisker Watch

Post by AliceGrimm » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:48 am

How did you teach him you welcome him letting you know when something hurts? Did you just learn and follow his body language?

If I recall there is suppose to be a powder to help dry up stuff in the ear so you can pluck out the hairs. Trimming seems nicer, but I would need practice and stillness. I would worry about poking or cutting if the ear moved or puppy moved.

OMG! Eyebrow plucking hurts! :D

I enjoy hearing about everyone's bond with their puppies. Thank you so much for sharing! I hope I can make such a great bond with my puppy to be. It is a while before I get the puppy, but it is well worth being prepared. <3

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Erica
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Re: Whisker Watch

Post by Erica » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:01 pm

Yes, basically. If he ever looked back at what I was doing, or tried to pull away, I would stop and give him a break. That way he knew he could ask me to stop doing something without using his teeth :lol: like so many dogs end up doing. There's also something called the bucket game I think, which is supposed to be good for letting the dog communicate with you - in the end, the dog is standing or lying with their nose on a bucket, and if they move their nose off of the bucket it's them telling you to stop. I haven't been able to find instructions on it though :cry: I need to look harder!

Ear powder is a thing and it's not fun or really very possible to pluck without it! :)

The scissors I use for trimming around his face and ears are like this:
Image

They're short, and the end is blunted so he won't stab himself if he shifts! I still don't poke them in his ear or anything. But they are safer than normal giant pointy shears!
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

AliceGrimm
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:38 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Whisker Watch

Post by AliceGrimm » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:44 pm

Thank you!!! I appreciate the help and advice!!

:D If you ever find a good explanation of the bucket thing, I would totally like to see it. T

Those scissors do look like they would be much better. What do you do to get the hairs you cut out of his ears? Just brush them away with your fingers?

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