shaving great pyrenees for summer

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by harplade, May 7, 2006.

  1. harplade

    harplade loving life on the farm

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    Hello, do any of you shave your great pyr for the summer? We live in South Louisiana and obviously it gets rather hot here. This is our first year to have a great pyr and she looks so hot already. I keep imagining myself wearing a wool coat in this weather and how miserable I would be. But I know some animals use their coats as a sort of insulation to keep them cool. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Harplade
     
  2. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Yes we do. Even here in north Idaho it can get very hot in summer and more importantly, our Pyrs are outside working dogs and despite grooming, they swim in the river year round and any tangles turn very quickly into huge mats. We have them shaved every year in mid to late May and by the time the weather starts to cool down they have a lovely full coat again. We have never had one sunburn either. Some people on this board are against it, but we checked with out vet and our groomer and they both said it was a great idea. This will be our 4th year clipping them and they are a whole lot happier and more active in summer than they were before we clipped.
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i shave mine every spring too. not only cooler, but a good chance to get rid of all those mats. it helps a lot to have cool running water too. mine lays down in it and submerges himself in the summer.
     
  4. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I've researched this in depth over the last 4-5 yrs (basically as long as I've been a Pyr owner), talking to a few vets, a number of groomers, some regular folks and some people who breed and show long haired breeds. Those who do it swear by it and most who have a lot of experience in this area seem to agree that it can be beneficial. Do watch for sunburn and provide extra protection against bugs until the hair starts to re-grow. I'm also following the clipper discussion with interest since I'm pretty seriously considering buying clippers to prepare to clip my current Pyr. I've never done it so all my advice is hearsay meaning you can take it or leave it. Even if I'd have done it, you're still welcome to take or leave the advice. ;) Anyway, my current Pyr is a doll but not inclined to sit still long enough for me to brush him. I'm going to try a few more times (after a long walk, remove jealous Anatolian so she won't harass us) but if it doesn't work out a bit better, he'll be getting a clip job. Good luck with whatever you decide!
     
  5. Wolf Flower

    Wolf Flower Married, not dead! Supporter

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    A lot of people firmly believe that longhaired, double coated breeds shouldn't be clipped. Having said that, I'm a groomer and I do a LOT of summer clips on these types of dogs, and both dogs and owners seem to LOVE it. So far, the only problems I've seen were a couple of cases where the guard hair grew back very very slowly; these were elderly Northern-breed dogs (husky and malamute x) and the dogs didn't seem bothered by this, they just had this fuzzy undercoat with no guard hair for a while. Some people claim that double coated dogs will lose their ability to keep cool if their coat is clipped short, but we live in a climate that gets VERY hot during the summer, and I've yet to see any problems with dogs getting overheated after being clipped. Of course, you should leave enough coat to keep the dog from getting sunburned.

    I used to do a working Pyr in the summer, did a close #7F clip on the body (that's about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long) with shaved feet, to help prevent foxtails (a type of grass whose seed can burrow into a dog's flesh). The owner found this clip to be immensely helpful.
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I'm facing our first summer with a Great Pyr and will not be clipping. Jazz has 24/7 access to a cool creek and several springs plus woods which is always at least 10 degrees cooler than exposed areas. We'll try it this way and see how it goes. I rarely brush her and only have to mess with her fur when she gets caught in bramble (which will be getting mowed again this year and I expect it will stop growing eventually). I haven't bathed her at all. She hasn't gotten any mats in her fur. Though our days here got up to 100, the nights cool down considerably. If it is too much for her I'll clip her next year.
     
  7. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    I had a GP for a year or so. He NEVER matted. The breeder said that the 'proper' coat should not be a problem. I was relieved and surprised. I don't think I would shave one. I WOULD find a really good comb that will remove the UNDERcoat. This will help with any dead clingy hair that is left and causing matts, as well as help thin out for cooler air flow.
     
  8. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid we had a collie that was allergic to flea bites or something like that. Every summer he got a shave and by winter it was back and as full as ever. Never seemed to bother him.
    We have a PYR> but we arnet going to shave her she will need that extra fur It has been reaally dry tyhis year and the coyotes are getting braver and coming closer to the water we have out so no shave for her
     
  9. Lucy00002

    Lucy00002 New Member

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    There is a reason the have double coats and that is to stay cool in summer and warm in the winter while out working with livestock.

    You need to keep them groomed regularly along with their nails and dewclaws on all four legs. It would be mighty painful to have big mats hanging off of them.

    Here is a great article on double coats and how they work. Scroll down the page.

    http://itsdogornothing.com/great-pyrenees-myth-fact/
     
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  10. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    I don't own a GP; however, I have a Bulgarian Karakachan and she has both long hair and a thick undercoat. She is 3 yrs old. The first two years I would often find her standing with all four feet in one of the kiddie pools that is under the trees for the ducks/geese. She never showed signs of stress from not being clipped/shaved.

    With that said, this summer has been different. She is now 3 yrs old and I found a "hotspot" on her. I blame myself for this...not because I didn't clip/shave her but because I didn't aggressively groom her as I had done the past 2 yrs.

    The conclusion I've come to is that my full-coated (long hair and thick undercoat) LGD does NOT need to be shaved. She does need to be combed often during the spring/summers. (I also keep her feet hair clipped short and her nails trimmed.)
     
  11. GrannyCarol

    GrannyCarol Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am a groomer with 40 years or so experience. I have shaved (#7F) many double coated dogs over those years. All of them came back to be done the next spring/summer and all the reports I got was that the dog was much more comfortable during the summer and easier to care for. Often the first couple of years the dog was fine, but about year 3 or 4, they had more trouble with heat and skin conditions. Taking the feet closer is not a bad idea at all, cheat grass and foxtails can really cause a dog a lot of infection and pain. Cheat grass around here works under the heavy double coat and I often have to spend an extra 1/2 hour picking them out with hemostats. If the dog is done early in the year, they avoid the infections that go with it, its very uncomfortable for the dog! Also, the short hair makes it easy to find and remove ticks.

    I do understand a dog that is likely to take on a coyote may need the hair for protection though. If so, the legs, feet, chest, tummy, rump and tail really need to be combed/brushed all the way to the skin to keep the skin healthy and check for cheat grass, weeds and ticks. There's many ways to care for a dog, but please do what you need to so they are comfortable and not in pain.
     
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