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Great Pyrenees were bred to live in the mountains, protect herds of animals, and guard their families! Now, they mostly spend their days as house pets, relaxing and enjoying life! These are some of the most loyal dogs around. Unfortunately, there is one, giant, the problem with Pyrenees – they shed a lot!
So the question is, what can you do about it? This article will teach you how to reduce shedding in Great Pyrenees.
It is normal for Great Pyrenees to shed a lot all year long! You can reduce shedding by regularly bathing and brushing your dog, improving your dog’s diet, and reducing their stress! Having the right tools on hand, like a quality vacuum and lint roller will help you contain the unavoidable fluff!
Keep reading to find out exactly what you can do to cut down on the fur your Pyrenees sheds!
Why Do Great Pyrenees Shed So Much?
Great Pyrenees are an old dog breed, that has a long and interesting history. Fossils of this breed of dog have been found that date back up to 4000 years.
Great Pyrenees are aptly named after mountain ranges that they once lived on exclusively! These dogs are true mountain dogs that were bred to protect heard of sheep living high up in the mountains.
Naturally, this meant that these dogs needed a very special coat! The reason that a Pyr’s coat is so white and fluffy, is more than just to be cute! Their coat is fluffy and white to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter!
What Is Special About The Great Pyrenees Coat?
Great Pyrenees have a double-layered coat. This means that there are two different and separate layers of fur.
The top layer of fur is rough, thick, and sleek. This layer insulates the dog from the cold, but also serves as reflective protection from the sun! Without this layer, these dogs can get sunburnt and overheat in the summer!
The bottom layer is soft and fluffy and probably accounts for a lot of the dust bunnies you might see around your house. The bottom layer of this double-layered coat traps heat in the winter. It was not uncommon for Great Pyrenees to sleep outside, with their flock, so they needed to be able to stay warm even in the snow!
If you are curious to learn more about these dogs and why they shed so much, you can find more detailed information in this article.
The takeaway today though, is that these dogs needed their coat for survival! And this, is one of the reasons why they are pretty heavy shedders. They needed their fur to be replaced regularly with new, fresh fur that would function perfectly in the high mountain climate!
How Does Shedding Even Work?
All dogs, even hypoallergenic dogs go through a regular shedding cycle! It’s normal and a healthy way to replace old hair with new hair! This cycle has four distinct stages:
- Anagen Stage – In this stage, the hair is growing and expanding
- Catagen Stage – At this point, the hair stops growing and has fully matured
- Telogen Stage – Once mature hair starts to age and break down, new hair begins to grow in
- Exogen Stage – Finally, the old hair falls out and is replaced with fresh hair, this moment is what we would call “shedding”
This cycle is occurring all the time, and more often at certain times of the year for certain breeds.
Do Great Pyrenees Have A Shedding Season?
Great Pyrenees are one of the breeds that can “blow” their coat seasonally.
This has to do with the dual functionality of their coat both in keeping them warm and cool at different times of the year. A mass shedding event can usually be observed during spring and sometimes again during fall! This might feel more dramatic is you live in a warmer climate or if the weather changed suddenly.
This seasonal shedding keeps your dog cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which is something we can appreciate – minus the heaps of fluff that come along with it.
So now we know that Great Pyrenees shed all year round, seasonally, and often. Though they arent considered the heaviest shedders of all dogs, their hair can quickly take over a small space.
Here are some safe and easy ways you can reduce shedding in your Great Pyrenees.
Steps To Reduce Shedding In Great Pyrenees
There is no question that your Great Pyrenees will shed! As we discussed, it’s part of their nature and is a normal function of a healthy animal.
However, there are some things you can do to greatly reduce the fur shed by your pup! These tips and tricks are things you should do if you want to improve your dog’s health overall! But, hopefully, you will start to find less fur around your home after doing these 4 things.
Brush Your Great Pyrenees Often.
Brushing is one of the most underrated ways to reduce the fur shed in your home!
Regular brushing helps to reduce shedding by removing old and dead fur before it reaches the point of falling out on its own. Brushing also helps dogs with a double-layered coat, like Great Pyrenees, avoid matted and tangle hair.
For most of the year, you can probably get by with weekly brushing. You’ll want to brush your pup outside if you can. This way, the extra fluff that flies off of your brush, doesn’t turn into another dust bunny in your home.
During shedding season (Spring and maybe Fall) you will probably want to brush your furry friend more often. You might even consider a daily brush at this these times of year if you want to keep the fur out.
Because Great Pyrenees do have that special double coat, you might want to get two types of brushes to use on them! A nice, soft rubber brush is a great tool to start with because it will grab those dead hairs from the top layer of the coat, and comb out any tangles. The second type of brush you might want is a brush with metal teeth. The Furminaor is a favorite tool for this step!
If you never used a Furminator before, check out the video below. You can see an adorable puppy getting brushed with a Furminator.
You can see that this type of brush really grabs the dense, hard-to-reach, undercoat.
Make Sure To Bathe Your Pyrenees Regularly.
If you are already a Great Pyrenees owner, you know how important regular grooming is.
As a veterinary technician, I see these dogs coming into the clinic regularly! When these dogs aren’t groomed, their coat quickly becomes matted, and they pick up foxtail and burs that can stay with them for months!
Regular bathing can really help to improve your dog’s overall comfort and reduce shedding at the same time! Even better, most Great Pyrenees don’t even mind water so bathing shouldn’t be a major struggle.
You don’t necessarily need to take your dog to a professional if you have the right space and if your dog is well-behaved. Just by wetting them, shampooing them, and rinsing them, you can remove a lot of dead fur and keep the shedding to a minimum.
Although you might be tempted to do this a lot, especially if your dog is always getting muddy, you don’t want to overdo it. Bathing a dog too often can lead to dry fur and skin. In the end, this will cause more fur to fall out and can cause irritation in extreme cases.
So regular bathing, every 4 – 6 weeks is a great place to start!
Try Changing and Improving Their Diet.
Diet is such an important part of your dog’s overall health! The right diet can really improve their overall health. Diet can also improve the quality of your dog’s skin and fur.
If your dog has healthy skin and fur, there will naturally be less hair shed. This is because the hair is staying healthy and alive, in the catagen stage, for much longer.
So, how do you make sure their diet is supporting their skin health?
A balanced diet that is full of macro and micronutrients is best for your pup! Making sure they are getting adequate protein and faith is important for skin and fur health. If you’re not sure that you’ve chosen the best diet for your furry friend, it’s never a bad idea to consult your veterinarian!
Veterinary professionals have extensive education on animal health and nutrition. They can help you to optimize your dog’s diet to make sure they are getting the best food they can!
Reduce Your Pyrenees’ Stress.
We all want tour dogs’ lives right? Free-rent, no job, and laying around all day!
While it sounds like a dream, dogs can also experience stress and fear, even if they seem to have a perfect life.
Dogs can experience stress from unknown noises or event throughout the day. They might experience stress from unfriendly dos on walks, or even from changes in their routine!
How does stress relate to shedding?
Well, when a body is stressed, it can’t function at its best! This is actually true for all animals, humans concluded. Stress can inhibit some of the essential daily functions our bodies perform. This is because instead of putting energy towards those functions, our bodies and minds are now preoccupied with the cause of our stress!
In some cases, stress can cause a decline in hair health and an increase in shedding.
If you think something in your dog’s life might be causing them stress, you can make it easier on them by removing that trigger, or by desensitizing them to it through training!
These tips can help you to greatly reduce the loose dog hair shed in your home, but nothing will completely stop a Great Pyrenees from shedding.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Shave Your Great Pyrenees!
So, a Great Pyrenees will always shed a little bit, no matter what you do, right? Why not just shave them? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone?
Shaving your Great Pyrenees is never a good idea, let us explain why.
When you shave a Great Pyrenees, you disrupt the structure of their double layer coat. Actually, dogs with a double-layered coat should never be shaved. Shaving these kinds of coats puts the dog at greater risk of overheating, sunburn, and skin cancer. It also makes it harder for them to regrow and replace their undercoat, without the protection of their top coat.
When you shave a Great Pyrenees, you can actually make them hotter in the summer, and you can make their coat less healthy overall. The same is true for Huskies and other double-coated dogs many of which have a reputation for shedding.
So if you’re frustrated with the amount of fur your Pyreness sheds, even after all of our tips, it could be time to invest in some good fur cleaning for your home!
When All Else Fails, Get The Right Tools!
If you love your dog, but you hate how much they shed, you need some tools to support you! No matter what you do, dogs will always shed, and if you can’t stand it, getting good equipment will keep your stress levels low during shedding season!
Beyond a couple of good brushes and regular bathing, there are two things you want to invest in next.
Buy A Good, Automated Vacuum.
Vacuuming and sweeping every day is time-consuming and hard on your body!
One of the greatest recent inventions has got to be a robot vacuum. These vacuums clean your house without you having to lift a finger. The only thing you might have to do from time to time is to empty their dust compartments and get them out of tricky areas. you can even set them to run while you are away at work, so you always come home to a fur-free house!
Investing in a good automatic vacuum can take a lot of the pressure off of you. It will free up more of your time to relax and actually enjoy your dog, rather than just resenting them.
Get A Reusable Lint Remover.
Did you know that reusable lint removers exist?
We’re not talking about the stick, single-use paper lint rollers. Reusable lint rollers can be used time and time again. There are tons of different types of reusable lint rollers on the market! You can find ones made of rubber, sticky plastic, or fabric bristles.
Different rollers can work better on different surfaces and different hair types. But if you plan on using this liberally, reusable is your smartest option! Great Pyrenees hair will end up all over your clothes and furniture, so be prepared to use this tool often!
Is Your Dog Shedding More Than Normal?
If you feel like your pup is shedding A LOT of fur, something could be up!
While we established that shedding is normal for Great Pyrenees year-round, hair loss is not.
Hair loss in dogs can be seen as clumps or chunks of hair coming out at a time. It can also present as bald spots or thinning of the overall coat.
Hair loss can be caused by a number of things! Hair loss can be a result of poor nutrition, a fungal or bacterial infection, or allergies. Hair loss is usually a symptom of some larger problem.
Don’t worry though! If you have any suspicions that the amount of hair your dog is losing is not normal, take your dog to the vet. A veterinarian can usually tell you if the amount of hair shed is normal. After that, they should be able to tell you why your dog might be experiencing hair loss, and how to fix it.
So, Can You Minimize Your Great Pyrenees’ Shedding?
There are definitely steps you can take to improve the quality of your dog’s fur and reduce the amount of it being shed.
You should always brush your dog regularly. Brush them at least once a week during the year and up to once daily during shedding season. Regular baths will help to clean their coat and prevent hair from building up in the dense underlayer.
The right diet can dramatically change the quality of your dog’s skin and coat. Optimizing your dog’s skin health will lead to less unhealthy fur overall, which means less fur shed! The best way to make sure your dog is getting a perfect diet is by talking with your vet.
Try to keep your pup’s stressors low in their lives. Stress keeps their body from being able to make and retain healthy hair!
When all else fails, make sure you have a good team on your side in the form of a nice vacuum and lint remover. These tools will free up time in your day and save you money in the long run!
Remember that your Great Pyrenees will always shed a little no matter what you do, so don’t worry if after all of this you still find fur around your house. It’s normal and shedding is one of the reasons why they tend to have such nice, huggable, and fluffy white coats!