Hey human! My name is Angel. I’m a Great Pyrenees. My dog breed is also known as Pyrenean Mountain Dogs, or Pyrs for short.
I consider myself a pretty large working dog. I was bred to protect sheep in the cold Pyrenees mountains, which is I guess where I get my name from!
I consider myself strong, loyal and patient, as long as no one messes with the ones I love. I like to consider myself very protective, especially of my family. Anyone who tries to mess with them better watch out, because they’re going to have to get through the guard dog first!
I know that I sound pretty great, but everyone has their flaws. If I have to be honest, mine is that I shed a lot. And I do mean a lot.
This excessive shedding is because I have a double coat: a long top coat and a thick undercoat. Like many other breeds of dogs, I tend to shed the most in the spring, as I shed my winter coat.
Great Pyrenees shedding is some of the most difficult types of shedding for you humans to deal with. I am not an overall high maintenance dog, but you should be prepared to put some effort into brushing me.
Don’t worry, I will let you know everything you need to know to make sure that I am always groomed. Today, I will tell you how much I shed, explain what it is like to groom me, and let you in on 5 things that you should know when it comes to any Great Pyrenees dog shedding.
Great Pyrenees: The Basics
My breed originated from the cold, snowy Pyrenees mountain tops. I learned that my great-great grandparents used to spend hours, or even days, doing nothing more than loyally watching over their favorite sheep.
I think that some of my ancestors’ habits are genetic, because I do sometimes like to wander to find my own flock of sheep to protect. However, sometimes I get carried away and wander a little too far from home. You can try to yard train me, but no promises that I won’t always feel tempted to expand my territory.
As much as I don’t like to feel restricted, I also don’t want to get lost. Having a fence in your backyard will give both of us peace of mind, but make sure that it is tall enough (nothing shorter than six feet!).
My roaming history is the reason that I now have a thick coat that keeps me warm when they need it. Since they don’t need it as the weather warms up, you may see me shed once or twice a year — usually in the spring.
I’ll admit, I am quite a large dog. I stand at 30 inches tall and weigh about 90 pounds, but I do have family members who are slightly bigger than me! Due to my size any amount of shedding is going to be more noticeable than in smaller breeds who have less fur to lose.
Given the nature of my fur itself, you may notice it tends to float around the home more so than simply falling to the ground. So don’t be surprised if you see it on your furniture, clothes, or everywhere. I don’t know why my fur is like that, but it is!
Thankfully, it’s not hard to keep my excessive fur and shedding under control. So let’s take a look at what you’re in for when it comes to grooming me and trying to keep your home free of my fur.
How Much to Great Pyrenees Shed?
Ok, I know I sound perfect until now. But yes, there is a catch.
In general Great Pyrenees are an average to high shedding breed. However, many of us tend to be high shedders. I have to admit that I myself am on the higher side of shedding for my breed. As much as I try not to, I might leave some white hairs on your clothes, couch, and car. Sorry!
Even though most of our shedding isn’t extreme, it can get a little excessive from time to time. Once or twice a year, when we tend to shed our winter coat, you should make sure that you keep your vacuum on standby (as much as we hate the noise!).
Shedding of the winter coat is not unique to Pyrs. It’s a natural habit, which happens to similar dog breeds, like my friends the Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards, or Alsakan Malamutes.
Pyrs are known for having very long, silk-like hair. The length of our hair can rival that of some of your girl humans, and we like our hair taken care of just as much as you do!
I have a long, thick top coat with a coarse texture. My hair may appear straight and slightly wavy, but it should never appear curly!
I have a man around my neck, but my male counterparts usually have more prominent ones. I also have feathering on the back of my legs which kind of makes it look like I’m wearing pants. My face even has small, coarse hairs.
I also have a fine, woolly undercoat that is mostly white in color. However, some of my brothers and sisters have gray, tan or reddish-brown coats.
How to Reduce Excessive Shedding
The best way to reduce my excessive shedding is to brush me regularly. I really only need to be brushed once or twice a week, but brushing my coat daily can keep shedding to a minimum.
If you start brushing Pyrs as puppies, we will get used to being brushed daily, and will end up really enjoying it!
Not only is brushing a good way to remove my fur before I drag it around your home, but it also releases my natural oils, which help keep my coat shiny and moisturized. Dry skin and hair can cause excessive shedding, so continuously doing this will help reduce my shedding in the future.
Bathing me wrong can also cause me to shed excessively. Please don’t bathe me more than I need to be bathed, and I’m not just saying that because I don’t like bath time.
Bathing me too much, or using the wrong type of shampoo (like human, yuck!) can cause my skin and hair to get dry, which leads to more shedding. So bathing me only when necessary will be doing us both a favor! Once every few months will do.
Lastly, making sure that I am consuming a well-balanced, healthy diet will not only keep me healthy and strong, but will also help ensure that I will maintain a healthy coat.
What Is the Best Brush for the Great Pyrenees?
When brushing my coat, I prefer that you use a slicker brush, but you can also use a pin brush if you don’t have one handy.
I also enjoy a deshedding brush — it can save you time and remove more loose fur from my undercoat. I particularly enjoy a deshedding brush, that is gentle enough to also massage my skin without scratching me.
Are Great Pyrenees hypoallergenic?
I already admitted that I tend to shed a lot, but I must also now admit that I drool often as well. Combining those two things, I am not hypoallergenic. I work best as a companion to those who have less allergies. I certainly don’t want to make anyone sick!
What are Great Pyrenees Like to Groom?
Despite how thick my coat looks, I am a lot easier to groom than you might expect. My coat not only insulates me in the winter, but it is also dirt and tangle resistant. My breed was built to be tough, afterall!
Brushing me once or twice a week with a slicker brush is usually enough to keep my coat in good shape and remove any loose fur before you find it stuck to our favorite couch! You can also use a pin brush, but it probably won’t be as good at removing the dead hairs.
If you want to be especially thorough, you can also use a deshedding brush to remove the loose fur from my undercoat. If you choose to use a deshedding brush, I still prefer that you use a slicker brush first to remove the bulk of the loose fur from my undercoat.
Not only is grooming me simple, but it is also quick. On average, grooming me should not take any longer than 30 minutes.
Aside from brushing, you can groom me the same way you groom most other dog breeds: bathing, nail trimming, teeth cleaning, and regular visits to the hairdresser. But pay special attention to my ears.
Because my ears are so floppy, they tend to block air circulation. Please check them and clean them weekly to prevent the development of an ear infection. I’ve had one of those before, and they’re really no fun!
As you groom me, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on my ears and other body parts. My ears should smell good, and not have too much ear wax in them, just like yours!
Like any pet that you may have, it’s a good idea to give me a weekly exam at home to stay on top of my health and make sure that you notice any problems early!
As a last note, please be careful when grooming — please don’t clip my undercoat! Not only does my undercoat keep me warm in the winter, but it also keeps me cool in the summer. This is my natural protective coat, similar to how your skin protects you, and I don’t want to live without it!
Great Pyrenees Shedding Questions and Tips
I’ve talked a lot about how much I shed, how you should groom me, and other similar needs that I have. However, I bet you might still have some questions! Well, I’ve detailed a couple extra tips, just to make sure that you have all the information you need.
As I mentioned, I am quite a big dog, so I definitely enjoy eating. I like to eat 4-6 cups of good quality dog food a day, but be sure to only feed me twice a day! I don’t want to lose my figure.
If you do notice my waist getting a little bigger, I suppose that it’s ok to temporarily cut my portions. You can also increase the number of walks we go on.
I prefer to get at least roughly 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day to keep my figure. That may come to a surprise to you, considering my size, but I prefer to have quiet time in the house.
I do, however, love cold weather and enjoy going for long hikes in the mountains, as long as it’s not hot. I can even be helpful and help carry your backpack and gear if you get too tired!
I am definitely the loud friend in my group. My bark is fairly heavy and loud, as much as I sometimes try to control it!
But don’t be mistaken, I usually bark with a purpose. Even if it looks like I am barking at nothing, I’m probably barking at something that you aren’t aware of, and maybe even trying to get your attention!
There’s no one quite like me, but there are a few other breeds that are similar to mine.
I sometimes get mistaken for my cousin, the Pyrenean Mastiff, although I think that I am better looking.
St. Bernards and Newfoundlands also share my same personality traits, but just a warning, they shed just as much as me (if not more!).
If the shedding really is a dealbreaker for you, I understand. In that case, I would recommend my friends the Irish Wolfhound or Black Russian Terrier as loyal, protective companions.
Adopt a Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees shedding can be excessive, I know. But I hope you learned that I am so much more than my fur.
Even though I might shed a lot, I have a lot of other great qualities. If you find me intimidating at first, don’t be alarmed! I’m very protective of my family, and I just want to make sure that anyone who approaches them is good.
Don’t get me wrong, I guard my home with pride, but I also love affection. I make a great family dog — I’m known to be very gentle around kids! In fact, I would devote my life for your kids.
I also get along with other dogs quite well. I love you humans, but I can always use a friend too, especially as a puppy. You may hear me growl sometimes when another dog approaches, but remember that that’s just part of my protective nature!
There are more of me out there who are waiting for a home. So you should consider adopting a Great Pyrenees if you’re looking for a new loyal member who will love and protect your family, just as I do mine. I think that’s a fair trade for a bit of shedding!