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Removing whiskers for show

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by hermann muenster, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    Does anyone know what the guidelines are for whisker removal if you are showing in an AKC ring? I was involved in a discussion and I don't know what the grooming guidelines are for AKC rings.

    Also - are the whiskers plucked or cut?

    Links would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    I'm not sure what they are, I leave my dogs intact. No reason to remove anything unnecessary, and if the show ring is requiring something other than that, then I'm not participating. I'm sorry. My dogs and dogs in general, should be shown and judged based on the TRUE dog, not the fluffed "pets" they are being downgraded too.

    True dogs, and their working ability, nautral temperaments and looks is what is important to me. Just my oppinion though.
     
  3. Nik

    Nik New Member

    I know I won't be popular for saying this... but that's just disgusting.

    Docking tails gets my back up, and don't even get me started on ear docking... but removing whiskas?!?!

    I just don't get it.
     
  4. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    Whiskers are removed for most dogs that are clipped - like poodles, cockers, and schnauzers (sp?). Some of the sporting dogs also have whiskers removed - spaniels, labs. In the ring it give them a very clean, well groomed look. They look very neat with the wild stuff trimmed -- but there are standards for which dogs get trimmed and which don't.

    That is what I was wondering about. Who is supposed to get trimmed for the ring, and who can be left with whiskers.

    I don't think it is any more disgusting than trimming the fur between their toes, between their pads, or around their ears! It is just to give the dog a clean finished look.

    Don't make me dust off my soap box about tail or ear docking either! This is simply mutilation as far as I am concerned! I can think of only a very very few valid reasons to clip and dock. I have been seeing more and more boxers, danes, and pits who have been spared the pain from having their ears cut off! I have also been hearing about folks who are showing their dogs (in AKC rings) in their natural state - without docked ears or tails.
     
  5. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    Like you said, dogs that have their faces clipped, like poodles and spaniels, also have the whiskers clipped. There's no way to avoid it. Schnauzers don't get their whiskers clipped because they have a beard and long eyebrows. Other than that, it's a matter of personal preferrance. There is no breed standard that says they have to be clipped, just that they may be if the owner wants to clip them. And they are always clipped, never plucked.

    That said, I've worked as a ring steward since 1987, and discussed the topic with many, many judges. Every single one of them stated they would not penalize a worthy dog for having whiskers intact. Soundness, breed type, proper coat, etc are judged. Whiskers or the lack of whiskers is not a consideration. Clipping them may give the dog a clean, well groomed look, but judges are looking deeper; at bone structure and muscle development.

    There is a good reason not to clip them if you don't have to. They aren't just long, thick hairs. They're sensory organs, and dog's use them to investigate their surroundings. For example, if a dog is sticking his head in a hole, he'll bristle his whiskers out to judge how big the hole is, so he's less likely to get his head stuck.

    There's also a good reason for trimming the hair between the pads and toes on many breeds. It prevents horrible, hard mats from forming, causing the dog pain, and spreading the foot abnormally. It also gives them better traction on smooth surfaces.
     
  6. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    Thank you Shine for a the excellent answer!

    I too had heard that it was optional, but I had heard it was preferred. We clipped our "show girls" this summer - but after seeing how sad she looked as they were growing in -- I really didn't want to ever do that to her again. Yeah, she looked really sharp with a clean muzzle, and eyebrows -- Like a picture on a calendar! But when they started growing back -- it was really sad looking.

    I hope that all judges are of the same opinion.

    And yes, you are absolutely right about the fur around the pads. I have to keep my "kids" clean because they have webbed toes and get painful iceballs in the snow. And in the summer -- I don't want to even talk about the amount of mud they can collect!

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  7. Chezza

    Chezza New Member

    I too think its a cruel thing to do, there whiskers are very sensitive, like a cats, when they go to drink there a feeler..I DO not agree with cutting, trimming any animlas whiskers.
    All in the name of "Show" :|
     
  8. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    removing whiskers is not necessary and its something i wouldnt do. however, the whiskers need to be neat, so if there are a couple of crazy ones you can cut them at the base.
     
  9. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    Hermann, in all honesty I think the only time the question of whiskers would come into play would be if a judge were presented with two dogs that were absolutely of equal quality, and the judge is looking for something to tip the scale. And that just doesn't happen. There are always subtle differences between dogs; this one might have slightly better conformation, while that one has slightly better type. And the judge weighs type against soundness, depending on what that particular judge deems more important to the breed.

    Now, here's an old handlers trick for taming unruley whiskers; start training them to lay flat now. Use KY jelly to slick them down. It won't last long, but if you start working with them now, you can usually get them to lay flat long enough to make it through your classes before they start popping back up.
     
  10. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    Neat tip shine! I'm going to try it -- when it's closer to show time, I'll start "training" their whiskers.

    Got any more tips?
     
  11. Shineillusion

    Shineillusion New Member

    What breed(s) are you showing? Male or female? Color?

    And how much time do you have, lol?
     
  12. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    I know of alot of "show" tricks. I breed show cattle and horses as well. Using some of the methods on dogs would work I guess. I never really thought about it. But when your showing Steers for the meat market, vs, dogs for working and homelife, thats also two diffrent things. You would alter your steer via dehorning (i use a surgical non invasive method) and slick sheering. which basically means you shave the entire body to no more than an 1/8th of an inch long. I leae all "whiskers" and ear hair intact. along with most of the hair on ends of the tails on my steers. There their for a reason. Then I'll shave the bodily hair. Here's a picture of my last Show steer we won Reserve Grand champion with at the Colorado County Fair this past September....

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now I'm jsut using this as an exaple. You can still "clip" and groom to make him look clean and neat, yet leave the "vital" and natural things in place so that he can use them.
     
  13. Sara

    Sara New Member

    I trimmed wiskers for one show... and not for another. Wiskers tend not to be an issue unless they're messy like was mentioned before...I wouldn't do it though just because it's part of the natural state of the animal. I showed sheep and there were some tricks too...one thing you could do with dogs if you wanted to make sure they looked trim and muscular is to put a towel over the dog soaked in Alchohol, the kind you clean wounds with not vodka or something. it keeps them cool and their muscles will stay kinda hard rather than jellow like.

    Sams I didn't know anyone ever clipped steers for shows...interesting. I've only see breed show so like you get the puff ball on the tail...

    One thing I do use as a cross over from livestock showing to dog showing is teh shine stuff for horses. works GREAT on dogs! Prolly the whitening shampoo too, they have some for sheep and cows I think that 'd be good for dogs and lots cheaper...dog stuff is ALWAYS more expensive than the livestock stuff...a little off topic but interesting nonetheless.

    Sara
     
  14. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    oh yes. its called a slick show.


    "Tuff" the steer in those pics was a maine anju/ angus cross. They require slick sheering for market. can't hide anything...

    Most heifers are shown with hair.... steers usually not.


    Northern states might have "hair" shows. most southern do not.

    Oh Absorbine works GREAT for keeping toned muscles in the ring also. its a liniment gel... work into the muscles of the legs and hind end and OMG.... looks WONDERFUL feels great to the animal too!!!
     

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