Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Pyrenees care

We've had our Great Pyrenees, Spot, for a year now. I have done fairly well with combing him weekly (or so). Before we got him, we did research on the breed. We had read that you are not supposed to trim their coat because it will ruin their fur. His coat is a lot like our house dog, Quinn, who is an American Eskimo. Their fur works fine on it's own to thin out in the summer for them to be cool enough. They have an undercoat along with a longer overcoat. The coat layers work together to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I actually like that you are not supposed to trim them. One less thing to think about doing. Last year we didn't do anything other than the usual combing. But, we had a very cool summer last year. Even with that cool summer, Spot has some really hot days. We've heard of some farms that do shave down their Great Pyrenees. We've debated what to do.

This is the comb I have been using:

We heard about another gadget, a Coat King Stripper, that is supposed to do an even better job at getting out the old undercoat. So we got one:

Comparison of the two:

I decided to give the new gadget, a Coat King Stripper, a try. Here is Spot before:

The fur that came out:

I usually let the fur fly in the wind. I hope birds will snatch it up to build into their nests. The part that I don't think about is that Spot hates birds and won't let them land in the pasture. I'll have to hope for a really strong wind to carry the fur out of the pastures so the birds have a chance at it.

I felt that the stripper did a great job of getting the fur out. It really tackled matts, which in the past I would have been stuck on what to do (most likely would have had to cut out). It really tore those matts out. I don't know that you can see a difference in him in the pictures. I didn't get his back end/butt very well. I was doing all this on my own and he kept sitting down. Spot is the sweetest thing, never grumpy to me, but not always cooperative. Given his size, it was hard for me to keep him from sitting and comb him. I'll need some help to get his butt/back end.

I'm impressed with the product. He feels less hairy, and I think looks more trim (once I get his butt/back end he'll be even better). And after thinking about it, we are reminded that we really like that we aren't supposed to trim his fur. That's one of the things I like about the breed, easy care. Simply brush/comb him and he's all set. I don't think we will shave Spot down. I believe in trying to be true to a breed, and his breed isn't supposed to be shaved down. If I wanted a dog shaved down, I should get a breed that is supposed to be groomed that way.

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