Grooming The Working Pyr 

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Bountiful Farm - Great Pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dogs


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 Do

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.

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