One of the first questions we always hear from people
considering a Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian is. "How much work is it to keep
them groomed?" The answer is that there is a little but not very much.
First of all, a working dog is not a show dog and the hours spent making a show
look perfect would be totally wasted on a guardian.
Here's What We Do
We keep a close eye on them to see that there are no problems.
Since a Pyr will blow its coat once or twice a year, the main reason to brush
them is if you don't like seeing clumps of hair that have almost fallen out.
We do check the coat behind the ears and cut out mats that develop as they can
hold in moisture there and cause irritation. We occasionally cut mats from
the rear of the dogs if they seem persistent and are accumulating debris.
On the whole we cut mats about 2 to 3 times a year, the rest of the time the
Pyr's self cleaning coat will take care of itself. We've Pyrs that were
totally mud covered one day look like their usual self again the next day.
Oil and grease usually take a couple to three days to disappear.
We also look in their ears on a regular (about monthly)
basis to insure there is no infestation by mites.
The double dew claws on some Pyrs will grow in a circle and
eventually grow into the skin if left unattended. A dog toenail
clipper is the easiest solution and it only needs to be used about
twice a year at the maximum and then only on a small number of dogs.
Here's What We Don't
We do not bathe our dogs. Not every Saturday night, not even
annually. Bathing a Great Pyrenees strips the coat of its natural oils.
This means the coat is no longer self cleaning. Even worse, the coat is no
longer water repellant and can result in the dog's death in cold wet weather.
Granted our dogs are a beautiful cream color rather than the sparkling white of
a show dog, but that's the only difference. They don't smell bad, they
don't look bad (in fact we have had comments that our dogs look groomed), and
they don't feel bad. We believe they are healthier and at less risk than
dogs that are bathed regularly.
Dan & Paula Lane
Copyright © 2005 [Bountiful Farm]. All rights reserved.