The purpose of this forum is to inform, discuss and hopefully enlighten those who routinely remove the whiskers, or vibrissae, for competition in dog shows. More and more breed clubs have realized how illogical and detrimental to the dog this practice is and have forbidden it in their written AKC Breed Standard. Our focus here is on the Golden Retriever Breed Standard which currently allows the removal of the whiskers, but does state it is not preferred. Because it is allowed, the majority of Goldens Retrievers shown in the United States have their vibrissae removed in hopes of gaining some sort of competitive edge. It is interesting that this practice is not done in the show rings of Great Britain yet they also have significant competition. We hope the information presented here will cause you to pause and think about what vibrissae are to the animal and why so many of us feel it is simply wrong to remove them for competition.


AKC Breed Standards

Here is a list of AKC Breed Standards that mention whiskers...
(Standards stating whiskers must not be removed are highlighted.)

Golden Retriever:
"Removal of whiskers is permitted but not preferred."

Flat-Coated Retriever:
"Whiskers serve a specific function and it is preferred that they not be trimmed."

Irish Red and White Setter:
"No other trimming is allowed including the whiskers which shall remain intact."

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever:
"Whiskers must be present. "

Samoyed:
"Whiskers are not to be removed."

American Eskimo Dog:
"THERE IS TO BE NO TRIMMING OF THE WHISKERS OR BODY COAT AND SUCH TRIMMING WILL BE SEVERELY PENALIZED."

Border Collie:
"Whiskers are untrimmed."

Finish Spitz:
"Whiskers shall not be trimmed."

Tibetan Spaniel:
"Whiskers are not to be removed."

Shiba Inu:
"It is preferred that whiskers remain intact."

German Wirehaired Pointer:
"Beard and whiskers are medium length."

Vizsla:
"Whiskers serve a functional purpose; their removal is permitted but not preferred."

Clumber Spaniel:
"Trimming of whiskers is optional."

Great Dane:
"Whiskers may be trimmed or left natural."

Newfoundland:
"Whiskers need not be trimmed."

Siberian Husky:
"Trimming of whiskers and fur between the toes and around the feet to present a neater appearance is permissible."

Cardigan Welsh Corgi:
"Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers."

Pembroke Welsh Corgi:
"The Corgi should be shown in its natural condition, with no trimming permitted except to tidy the feet, and, if desired, remove the whiskers."

Chow Chow:
"Trimming of the whiskers, feet and metatarsals optional."

Keeshond:
"The Keeshond is to be shown in a natural state with trimming permissible only on feet, pasterns, hocks and, if desired, whiskers."

Schipperke:
"As the Schipperke is a natural breed, only trimming of the whiskers and the hair between the pads of the feet is optional. Any other trimming must not be done."

Border Terrier:
"A few short whiskers are natural to the breed."

Pekingese:
"Whiskers add to the desired expression."