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.


a harmless cosmetic procedure or mutilation of a sensory system?
Thomas E.McGill, Ph.D.
Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College ~ Williamstown, MA