Great Pyrenees, otherwise known as Pyrenean Mountain Dogs or just Pyrs, are a large working dog that was bred to protect sheep in the cold Pyrenees Mountains. They are strong, patient and loyal, and make excellent watchdogs as well as affectionate family companions.
Most of the time the shedding isnt extreme, but once (or sometimes twice) per year it can be very noticeable as they blow coat. This is a normal phenomenon among dogs with thick, soft undercoats like Pyr. Theyre also quite a large dog, standing up to 32 inches tall and weighing up to 100 pounds, so any amount of shedding is going to be more noticeable than smaller breeds with less fur to lose.
Also, given the nature of the fur itself, youll notice it tends to float around the home more so than simply falling to the ground. Normally dogs with thick double coats require a fair bit of attention, but thats not the case with Pyrs. Which means you wont need to spend hours brushing their coat to remove matts, tangles, dirt and debris.
Also, you could optionally use a deshedding brush to remove the loose fur from the undercoat which can be very effective and potentially save you some time. If you do use a deshedder though, its generally best to start with a slicker brush first, to remove the bulk of loose fur from the top coat. The single best method of reducing the amount of fur your Great Pyrenees sheds is regular brushing.
Keeping these simple tips in mind, and sticking to a good brushing regime, can make the world of difference and really limit how much time you spend cleaning up loose fur. Which no doubt comes from their heritage of guarding livestock of local sheep farmers in the Pyrenees Mountains, which sit between Spain and France, centuries ago. They would sometimes have to sit atop cold, snow filled, mountain areas for days on end, doing nothing more than watching over the sheep.
And they didnt just sit there watching either, they would quickly spring to action when needed to courageously defend the flock against wolves and other predators.
Do Great Pyrenees make good house pets?
The Great Pyrenees can be a wonderful companion if you live in a suburban or rural area and lead a fairly placid life. These dogs like having quiet time in the house and enjoy a predictable, orderly routine. The guarding nature of this breed makes socialization especially important.
How do I stop my Great Pyrenees from shedding?
The single best method of reducing the amount of fur your Great Pyrenees sheds is regular brushing. They only need a brush once or twice per week, but you can brush daily to keep shedding to a minimum. Brushing is a simple and effective way to remove the fur from the source, before it has a chance to fill your home.
Do Great Pyrenees bark a lot?
If your Great Pyrenees is prone to barking, rest assured you are not alone. Barking in this breed is very common —so common that it’s rare to see one that doesn’t exhibit this behavior.
What time of year do Great Pyrenees shed?
Seasonal Shedding. Unfortunately, Great Pyrenees is one of the most shedding dogs out there. Their seasonal shedding is on its peak in spring. This is the time when their winter hair that was grown in fall starts to shed. The Great Pyrenees typically grow their hair in fall to be ready for winters.
Now, I know most dogs shed. I’ve had four other breeds of dogs prior to Luna and Argos, my Great Pyrenees. I used to think my Chihuahua shed a ridiculous amount, with her little dust bunnies of hair tufts that would gather in the corners of the house. We even had a Newfoundland mix, but he would generally shed his thick black and white hair only during the summer.
As a new puppy to our household, Argos whined so much at night that I let him sleep in the bed, waking to find him cuddled against me, his head on my pillow. Argos’ variation is whacking the full weight of his leg down on you after you’ve stopped petting him for a millisecond; Luna’s is a punch to the gut that could probably hold up against a boxing champion.
I have been obsessed with a fairly long list of things in my 21 years of life: Doctor Who, YA-dystopia novels, trench coats, We The Kings, British youtubers, John Green, Harry Potter, every song Lin-Manuel Miranda writes, etc. I’m like a new mom who points at every single thing they do, from playing tug o’ war for the first time, to Luna sticking out her tongue as she sleeps, and exclaims, “Look at how cute they’re being!”
The Great Pyrenees is known as the Gentle Giant. They are wonderful family dogs and are very loyal. The Great Pyrenees is very even-tempered and loves attention, especially from children. They are very intelligent, but they can also be very independent and willful so they need consistent training. If you are looking for a dog who will be an off leash companion and will follow your every command, then the Pyrenees is probably not for you. They also have a natural tendency to roam, so it is important that when left outside in the yard all gates are closed and locked.
The breed was created to be livestock guardians and even that role is not trained by humans, but by older dogs already successfully engaged in the work. Properly socialized pyrs are not attack dogs and are usually very responsible in exercising their guarding instincts.
Markings of varying size may appear on the ears, head (including a full face mask), tail and a few body spots.
If youre a fan of the gentle giants of the doggie world, youre sure to have spotted the beautiful Great Pyrenees and thought about how great it would be to have one yourself.
To be blunt, the answer is yes. But the pleasure of keeping Great Pyrenees will make a little extra work more than worthwhile. In this article, well go in-depth on shedding as it applies to the Pyr, what you can do about it, and how to keep your dogs luxurious coat in good condition.
The big bugbear with fluffy breeds is that shedding leads to mass of tangles, but the Pyrs coat rarely if ever gets matted. You bet they do, but proper grooming is the answer to that problem, and thats going to amount to regular brushing which isnt as much of a chore as you might expect. So, if your dog seems a bit listless AND is shedding more than youd expect, its time to visit a vet for a checkup.
So, youre not going to start slathering moisturizer on your dog but you do need to make sure hes getting a diet thats conducive to a healthy coat. Thats not to say youll catch every stray hair but it will reduce the amount of fur you find all over your home (and yourself.) It will ultimately make your dogs fur brittle and add to the clouds of hair hes capable of shedding.
Choose dog food that contains lots of Omega fatty acids, preferably from animal sources. And because high quality dog foods contain fewer filler ingredients that just add bulk without adding nutrition, it might not be as costly as it looks. Essentially, this means that if the supplements arent necessary, theyll probably fall in the latter category and just pass through without touching sides.
If the supplement helps to keep skin and coat healthier, it may even reduce shedding and improve your pets overall condition. Each of the two layers of fur, the silky overcoat and the fluffy undercoat, does a remarkable job that makes Great Pyrenees resistant to the cold and wet. Theyre not overly fond of hot weather, but thanks to the loss of winter undercoat as the days lengthen, they usually tolerate it quite well.
When your dog is shedding heavily, you can easily come away with handfuls of fluff every time you touch him. But if the hair is coming off very unevenly, or your dog suddenly starts to shed more heavily than usual, it might be a symptom of ill-health. However, a veterinary study found that in general, spaying or neutering only resulted in coat changes in about 20 percent of dogs.
Scientists say that hormonal changes can affect the coat, but judging from my research, Id say this is a minor influence on shedding rather than anything to get excited about. Obviously, once they get bigger, the sheer size of the Great Pyrenees means that in terms of overall volume, he or she sheds way more than any puppy could ever manage! Pet allergies are very individual, and contrary to popular belief have more to do with skin flakes and saliva than with shed hair.
So, the simple answer is: No Great Pyrenees are not hypoallergenic, and you should be suspicious of anyone who tells you that a dog breed wont activate allergic reactions. They may have formed that impression because certain individual dogs trigger their allergies less, but thats not necessarily going to be true of the whole breed. But you can reduce the amount of silky puppy hair that ends up in your house by brushing your dog thoroughly and frequently.
Long before throws became a popular style statement, my mom used to use them to cover up furniture to protect it from doggy hair. But in return for a little tolerance, you get a big, affectionate dog who is good with kids and will alert you to anyone approaching your home.
Guide to Great Pyrenees Shedding
Great Pyrenees are an average to high shedding breed.Most of the time the shedding isn’t extreme, but once (or sometimes twice) per year it can be very noticeable as they “blow coat.” This is a normal phenomenon among dogs with thick, soft undercoats like Pyr.For example, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Saint Bernards and Alaskan Malamutes all have thick undercoats that protect them in cold weather, and all shed heavily.Pyrs have long, thick top coats with fine, woolly undercoats that are mostly white in color, but some varieties have gray, tan or reddish-brown coats.They originate from the cold, snowy Pyrenees mountain tops. And would often spend hours, sometimes days, doing nothing more than loyally watching over their master’s sheep.So they their thick coat keeps them warm when they need it, and since they don’t need it as the weather warms up, they shed this fur (typically in spring).They’re also quite a large dog, standing up to 32 inches tall and weighing up to 100 pounds, so any amount of shedding is going to be more noticeable than smaller breeds with less fur to lose.Also, given the nature of the fur itself, you’ll notice it tends to float around the home more so than simply falling to the ground. So expect to see it on your furniture, clothes… everywhere.Thankfully, it’s not hard to keep this under control. So let’s take a look at what you’re in for when it comes to grooming and keeping your home hair free.
What Are They Like to Groom?
Pyrs are easier to groom than you might expect by looking at them. Normally dogs with thick double coats require a fair bit of attention, but that’s not the case with Pyrs.Pyrenean Mountain Dogs were built tough. Not only does their coat insulate them in cold weather, but it’s also dirt and tangle resistant. Which means you won’t need to spend hours brushing their coat to remove matts, tangles, dirt and debris.Brushing once or twice per week with a slicker brush is sufficient to keep his coat in good shape and remove any loose fur from his coat. And that shouldn’t take you much longer than about 30 minutes.You can use a pin brush as an alternative to the slicker, but this probably won’t be as effective at removing the dead hairs. Also, you could optionally use a deshedding brush to remove the loose fur from the undercoat which can be very effective and potentially save you some time.If you do use a deshedder though, it’s generally best to start with a slicker brush first, to remove the bulk of loose fur from the top coat. Then use the deshedding tool to remove the dad undercoat fur.Aside from brushing, general grooming involves bathing, nail trimming, and teeth cleaning. Nothing out of the ordinary compared to most breeds.
How to Reduce Excessive Shedding
The single best method of reducing the amount of fur your Great Pyrenees sheds is regular brushing. They only need a brush once or twice per week, but you can brush daily to keep shedding to a minimum.Brushing is a simple and effective way to remove the fur from the source, before it has a chance to fill your home. So by sticking to a regular brushing routine, you can win the battle.Brushing is also good because it helps distribute his coat oils, which helps to keep his coat healthy and well moisturized. This is important because dry skin and hair can cause excessive shedding.Another thing that can cause dryness is over bathing or bathing with cheap (or human) shampoo. They don’t need to be bathed too often because they are a relatively clean breed.It’s also worth ensuring he is consuming a well balanced, healthy diet. Because this can help promote a healthier coat which can further reduce the amount of fur they lose.Keeping these simple tips in mind, and sticking to a good brushing regime, can make the world of difference and really limit how much time you spend cleaning up loose fur.
Should You Adopt a Great Pyrenees?
Pyrs are large and because of this can be somewhat intimidating, and they can hold their own, but they’re known to be very mellow family dogs that are gentle around kids.They’re the quietly confident type. Which no doubt comes from their heritage of guarding livestock of local sheep farmers in the Pyrenees Mountains, which sit between Spain and France, centuries ago.They would sometimes have to sit atop cold, snow filled, mountain areas for days on end, doing nothing more than watching over the sheep. This takes patience, loyalty and strength.And they didn’t just sit there watching either, they would quickly spring to action when needed to courageously defend the flock against wolves and other predators.In the modern world, Pyrs are known to be excellent guardians of the home and those within it, and very affectionate and gentle. They play well with children and are known to be good around other dogs and cats.So, if you’re looking for a beautiful, loyal family companion that will keep watch over you and yours, and don’t mind a bit of shedding, the Great Pyrenees is for you.
Are Great Pyrenees Hypoallergenic?
No, Great Pyrenees are not considered hypoallergenic. Mostly because they shed fairly heavily and drool often which, along with dander, can cause allergies to flare up.
When Do Great Pyrenees Shed Most?
They tend to shed moderately year round, except during spring when they shed their thick winter coat, or more specifically undercoat, which can result in a lot heavier shedding.
Are They Known to Bark Much?
Pyrs are known to bark fairly heavily and it is fairly loud. But even when it seems as though they’re barking at nothing, it can be that they’re simply barking at something you’re not aware of.
What Are Some Similar Breeds?
Perhaps the most similar breed to the Great Pyrenees is the Pyrenean Mastiff, which they are often mistaken for. Other similar breeds include the St. Bernard and Newfoundland, but if you’re looking for a large breed that sheds less than a Pyr, the Irish Wolfhound or Black Russian Terrier is worth considering.
Do Great Pyrenees Shed A Lot?
Fun fact. Great PyreneesBut here’s the catch. If you want a big fluffy dog, you’re going to be dealing with dog hair. You’ll be dealing with it even if you opt for a short haired breed.Admittedly,The fact of the matter is thatDo Great Pyrenees shed a lot? You bet they do, but
Great Pyrenees Shedding Frequency
There are two main types of shedding to distinguish between here:Your dog will shed a little every single day. Dog hair isn’t immortal andThen there’s the seasonal shedding.
The Main Reasons Great Pyrenees Shed
Let’s sum up the reasons why your Great Pyrenees sheds and the only time it should really be a worry to you. Daily shedding is going to happen. Good grooming will reduce it.However,Then there are a few situations in which your dog sheds more because of how you’re looking after him. Dry skin is among these. So, you’re not going to start slathering moisturizer on your dog – butOverbathing is an absolute no-no. That dog is white, and
Bathing your dog will not reduce shedding. In fact, it may even make matters worse. It’s almost miraculous how your Great Pyrenees’ coat stays snowy white all on its own. It really is self-cleaning when it’s in good condition.There also seems to be some sort of natural balance in the oils coating the hair that helps this along. All I know for sure is that once you’ve shampooed, there’s a period when your dog stops being self-cleaning – possibly why so many dog owners make the mistake of overbathing.Ironically, the more you bathe your dog, the more you need to bathe him to keep him clean and that upsets the natural balance of his coat. Save bathing for when he’s managed to roll in muck and you absolutely have to do something about it.
Let’s cut to the chase. We’ve already ascertained that your Great Pyrenees will shed for a variety of reasons. Brushing is the absolute best way to manage shedding.That’s not to say you’ll catch every stray hair – but it will reduce the amount of fur you find all over your home (and yourself.)A bit further on, we’ll look at the grooming issue in greater depth, but for now, let’s say that you will be investing in grooming tools and you’ll be going through the grooming ritual twice a week to handle regular shedding and increase its frequency to every second day during heavy shedding.
This point is important because, when you do use shampoo on your Pyr, you need to be very careful about your choice or your dog will shed more than ever before.A dog’s skin works very differently from your own skin, so grabbing a bottle of stuff that leaves your scalp and hair feeling good isn’t going to cut it. It’s probably too harsh for the Great Pyrenees.Pop in at your local vet shop and choose a really good, veterinarian-approved brand that’s good for dogs with sensitive skins. The last thing you want is a product that will dry out the skin.It will ultimately make your dog’s fur brittle and add to the clouds of hair he’s capable of shedding.
Good nutrition and a healthy skin go hand-in-hand, even for humans. With dogs, we can add a healthy coat to the equation. With Great Pyrenees already shedding quite a lot, you don’t want to add to that by trying to get away with cheap dog food.Choose dog food that contains lots of Omega fatty acids, preferably from animal sources. It will cost more, but it’s worth the price tag.And because high quality dog foods contain fewer “filler” ingredients that just add bulk without adding nutrition, it might not be as costly as it looks. Less really can be more!
If you’re feeding your Great Pyrenees a complete, well-formulated dog food, supplements may be altogether unnecessary.The only real way the body has of storing extra nutrition is through fat – anything else just passes through the system unless it’s necessary and can be used.Essentially, this means that if the supplements aren’t necessary, they’ll probably fall in the latter category and just pass through without touching sides.Having said that, there’s no real harm in trying vet-approved supplements and seeing how it goes.If the supplement helps to keep skin and coat healthier, it may even reduce shedding and improve your pet’s overall condition. If it doesn’t, you know where that extra nutrition is ending up and you may as well save your money.
Great Pyrenees Coats
Before we continue, let’s stop for a minute and admire the marvel which is a Great Pyrenees dog’s coat. It’s really a wonderful adaptation that helps your dog to cope well with all weathers.Each of the two layers of fur, the silky overcoat and the fluffy undercoat, does a remarkable job that makes Great PyreneesSo, let’s take a second away from discussing shedding and just enjoy the idea of how pleasant it is to bury your fingers in that soft coat. He’s loving it. So are you.
Are Great Pyrenees Hypoallergenic?
If you’re asking this question, you might need to think twice about getting a dog at all. Pet allergies are very individual, and contrary to popular belief have more to do with skin flakes and saliva than with shed hair.So, the simple answer is:To put it even more simply, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.
Do Great Pyrenees Smell ?
All dogs have a certain “doggy” odor, butIf you notice bad smells coming off your dog, the first thing to check is whether he or she found some awesome (from a dog’s perspective) smelly stuff to roll in. In that case, it really is bath time!