Dogs have fur all over their body and face. So do they have or even need eyebrows? The function of eyebrows in humans is to prevent sweat from running down your forehead and into your eyes. As dogs don’t sweat why would they even need eyebrows?
So do dogs have eyebrows? Many dogs do in fact have what appear to be eyebrows despite their whole face being covered in fur. Although they technically don’t have eyebrows there is a ridge where you would expect eyebrows to be and the fur is thicker and bushier in that area.
Many breeds have different colored fur where the eyebrows are such as Rottweilers for example. If they are not there to stop sweat getting into their eyes, why do they even need them? The general consensus is that they are for communication with humans and give their face more expression. How else would they express surprise? They may also aid in protecting the eyes and keeping the sun out of their eyes.
Other ways in which dogs use their eyebrows to communicate may include;
- your dog raises his brows, to indicate they see something of interest.
- lowered eyebrows mean they are confused by a sound or trying to figure out what you want. This can also express your dog is a bit angry.
- one eyebrow raised says your dog is questioning or puzzled.
- a pouting dog will lower their eyebrows, showing their feelings are hurt.
- an angry or suspicious dog will have his eyes partly closed, with his eyebrows pulled down.
Dog eyebrow whiskers
You may have noticed that your dog has small whiskers (also known as Vibrissae) coming out of where the eyebrow area is. The whiskers above eyes are known as Supraorbital whiskers.
A dog’s whiskers act as sensors. When they brush up against something they relay information to the dog’s brain about their surroundings. In fact, the whiskers don’t even have to come in contact with something. For example, when a dog is near a wall, their whiskers can sense a change in the air pressure. Read this article to learn more about dog whiskers and how they work.
The whiskers above the eye are there to protect there eyes if they have their head in a tight spot or in the bush. Dogs are quite vulnerable to being poked in the eye. When these whiskers come in to contact with something or sense something near the eye they cause a reflexive blinking. This causes them to close their eye thereby avoiding injury. The eyelashes also perform a similar protective role. This article to learn more about dog eyelashes.
Dog breeds with eyebrows
The most obvious breeds with what look to be eyebrows are dogs that have different colored eyebrows. This includes breeds such as the Rottweiler, Dobermans, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and German Shepherds.
Many of the terrier and similar breeds appear to have eyebrows as a result of the grooming style. For example, a Scotish Terrier or even a Schnauzer have eyebrows scissored by the groomer. The same is also true of breeds such as the Shih Tzu or Maltese.
Some breeds have quite distinct brow ridges. A Pug or Boxer dog is a good example of this.
So, do dogs have eyebrows?
Technically speaking dogs don’t actually have eyebrows like we do, but all dogs do have eyebrow ridges which along with the small whiskers on the brow ridge help provide protection for a dog’s eyes. Some breeds have different colored fur where the eyebrow is.
Apart from the protective function of the eyebrow ridge, these brows on dogs give us body language clues and show how a dog is feeling by the expression on their face.