"Spring is in the air...so is the HAIR"

by Martha
(Barrie, Ontario)

"Spring is in the air"...and so is the HAIR!

If you have a Great Pyr then you can relate.

Last year it started in April; this year its mid May. Perhaps the mild weather was responsible for the reprieve; but it's now the second last week of May and my wood floors are dotted with white "cotton balls" of Pyr fur. And it is only going to get WORSE!

Nana (Grandma) loves our female Great Pyrenees Frank, but just cannot deal with the bi-annual "shed-fest". Nana is now following Frank around with the broom muttering expletives under her breath and complaining bitterly. "I just swept that up! Now there are more clumps everywhere! And just LOOK at my slippers! They are covered! Can't you get this dog shaved?!"

When Nana gets on a roll, she can go on forever. I have to hide my grin, keep my head down and my mouth shut.

Nana and I play scrabble almost every night, and Frank likes to lie down on the floor next to us during our games. Last night Nana couldn't resist the temptation to "fur pick". While I was considering where to place my tiles, Nana leaned down and started picking the clumps of fur off Frank. Not surprisingly, the dog LOVED it, and rolled around exposing herself shamefully so Nana could get all the tufts that were ripe for selection.

Half way through our game Nana had filled a plastic grocery bag with white fluff and held it up triumphantly. "Now, look at THAT! This would all be on the floor by tomorrow! It's enough to make a new dog for pity's sake!" Then she looked at me sternly and said the same thing she has said for the past 3 years; "Why didn't you get a poodle, Martha? I mean really. Would it have killed you to get a poodle?"

Nana has a point. Great Pyrs blow their coat with gusto twice a year. The spring shed-fest is about a 3 week showcase event, with the fall "cast off" paling in comparison. Even with regular brushing and in my case "vacuuming", you still get dust bunnies the size of grizzly bears.

Shedding season is never fun, but I try to manage it somewhat. I have a filter queen vacuum from 1969 that has proved invaluable during shed-fest. I also have a dog who loves to be vacuumed and brushed. The problem is that you just cannot get ALL the hair. For a couple of weeks you find it EVERYWHERE... along the baseboards of the floor, on the staircase runner, on your clothes, in the backyard, on the deck, in the car, in the laundry, in your shoes, in the pantry, vents, ducts and sometimes just floating in the air. It's an inevitable certainty that if you have a Pyr you will have to deal with extreme shedding at least once a year.

Frank is my first Pyr and I find that outside of shedding season, she does not lose fur. This may be attributed in part, to her diet which includes the EFA's safflower and salmon oil. I find that she keeps her thick winter coat from November right through to spring with very little coming out during brushing. I also find that the summer fur is longer and finer and seldom sheds. I find it very easy to maintain in comparison. So, in contrast to a dog that sheds constantly, I can accept and do the extra work involved when Frank blows her coat each spring and fall.

Nana, however, is quite another issue! She goes insane during shedding seasons... luckily she has a houseful of grandchildren that she can follow around with the broom for the rest of the year!

Comments for "Spring is in the air...so is the HAIR"

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May 19, 2010
Gotta love 'em... HAIR and all!!
by: Frank

Martha,

You are so right about the hair, as every Great Pyr owner knows only too well. But apart from that, Pyrs are very clean dogs. And they smell OH SO GOOD!

And to answer Nana's question... No No No... NEVER shave a Pyr! To do so removes their protection from the sun and the heat to name only two nasty hazards.

Great story. Love hearing about Frank. Thanks for sharing her with us.

May 22, 2010
Pyr Hair Season - Great News!
by: heather

As this is our first time having a pyr, the fur balls were appearing rather daunting but knowing its only for a few weeks is comforting. Meanwhile we are the only ones on our street with a white fur-lined driveway!

The other "half full" part of this is that Otis enjoys chasing the hair once it takes flight which gives me some time to pull some weeds or plant a few flowers.

He is not quite seven months now (about 80 lbs) and his lovely bass voice is keeping the bears out of our yard - gotta love spring.

May 25, 2010
Pyr Hair - its everywhere
by: Martha

Hey Heather... I hear you. We also have fur on the front walkway. In addition to that, we have raspberry bushes that now look like milkweed pods that burst open. Frank has been brushing her body up along the raspberry patch and the spiky canes are covered in white fur.

Also, One of our neighbours stopped me on the weekend to tell me about a bird nest that she had to remove from her garage. She was grinning as she told me that the outside of the nest looked normal, but when you peered inside the entire lining was woven in with downy white fur and was quite beautiful. She said she knew right away the donor of the hair was Frank. :)

Jan 30, 2012
Is anyone else experiencing "early shedding"?
by: Martha

I had always thought that the "sun cycle" was primarily responsible for outdoor breeds dropping their winter coats in spring. I am obviously mistaken, as our Great Pyr Frank (6 yrs old), has started her bi-annual SHEDFEST really early.

Last week I found a few tufts of silky white fur on the stairs...and I though "Hmmmm...." Perhaps Pumpkinz and Frankie were goofing around on the stairs again, and the cat got a mitt full of dog hair during the play fight. But as the day went on, more and more "fluff bunnies" appeared: collecting like little cotton balls on the hardwood floor.

I knew Frank was in full "molt" when I reached to pet her and I got a handful of hair.

She has never dropped her coat in January before, so I am now thinking that the mild weather is responsible. It has been about 4 days, and I have collected enough fur to make 3 shitzus and a a pair of slippers.

Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing this, or am I the only lucky one?
:)

Jan 30, 2012
No Spring In Ottawa
by: Frank

Not so sure about the “sun cycle” and the blowing of coat with Gus. We have not experienced any real difference this year. But then, it is Ottawa after all, the second coldest national capital city in the world!! So we are not subjected to the temperamental climatic changes that folks in the “banana belt” of Southern Ontario have to endure. :-)

No our Gus has been pretty much normal this year. That is to say… he sheds all of the time. As I tell folks who are curious enough to ask… “He only sheds twice a year, and every month in between.” Yup we have the annual shed fest contained to a single event… lasting 12 months! In our house Pyr hair is definitely a condiment!

Have to admit though that I had a big chuckle when I read: “…I have collected enough fur to make 3 shitzus and a pair of slippers.” What a hoot! I hate to tell you this Martha, but it appears that you are the lucky one with Frank blowing coat so early.

As for us, we find that if you leave well enough alone and wade around the house with a big pair of woolly socks, you will collect the hair and it will kind of knit itself into a pair of toasty slippers all on its own.

Great Pyrs… you have got to love ‘em… hair and all!!

Feb 03, 2012
Who Needs Wireton Willy?
by: Martha

Hey Frank:

I am now considering myself very fortunate... though my vacuum cleaner bag is being emptied daily, and I am picking hair out of EVERYTHING right now; I should be grateful that this will all be over by the end of the month. Frank is enjoying the extra brushing, and looks a bit like a lion, as her mane, tail and chest are full, but the rest of her has molted right off! I guess she is telling me that the rest of winter is going to be mild (thanks a bunch environment Canada), and only a few more short weeks until spring. Who needs a groundhog with her around?

I am also feeling very lucky because she doesn't shed between spring and fall, and I didn't realize that other Pyrs shed all the time. So I am gonna quit my whining and be thankful!

All my best to Cheryl and Gus and I sure hope you guys stay warm and cozy for the remainder of the winter. :)

Aug 22, 2014
Texas heat
by: duane

How does the very little cold in the South effect Pyrenees hair? My Pyrenees Katie has shed most of her coat in the great hair drop off. Her's was in May. Will it come back with all the heat?

Jul 28, 2016
wintercoat
by: svb

my dod didnt shed her winter coat
.whats wrong

Jul 29, 2016
Shedding
by: Donna

If your dog is healthy, he will eventually shed, maybe.

My dog never molts but sheds all year long. Her coat gets slightly thicker in the winter.

I wouldn't worry about it. Just keep him well-groomed so the air can flow through.

Jan 14, 2017
Blowing their coats
by: Sharron

I just returned from holidays and when I picked up my Pyr I was concerned about all the hair he is losing. He was a rescue dog an we had problems with his diet , so we put him on a low fat dog food and probiotics and things were great before we left for holidays. I assumed when we saw him that he was missing something in his diet. I panicked and went to the vet to have him weighed as seriously we brushed 2 Safeway bags full of hair.
The vet did not tell me about Pyrs. blowing a coat as it is called . We never had a Pyr before, so they advised we give him oils for his coat.
So can anyone tell me the folowwing
1. Does anyone else feed their dogs oils for the skin and coats?
2. Is it normal for (blowing their coats)in the middle of winter?
If it wasn't for sites like this were not sure what we would do. We have always had dogs, but Pyr's are in a category of their own!!!

Apr 07, 2017
Questions about "Armasheddon"...
by: Jules

We are new owners of a 3yo rescued Pyr (Callie), and she's starting to blow that coat - I've been noticing more fur everywhere, just ran my hand over her back leg and came away with big tufts of it!

My questions: 1. Should I be adding anything to her diet? She gets a good-quality dry food (Ok'd by our very picky vet) right now, but nothing else.
2. Should I be using any kind of leave-in conditioner on her? The fur of her pantaloons seems particularly dry-ish.
3. Does coat blowing affect their mood? Callie seems more restless, unsettled, and is giving me That Stare a whole lot. It seems like there's something she expects me to do, that I'm not doing!
We do have an appointment with groomer next week, including a "deshedding" package. Hopefully that'll get her more comfortable for a bit.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give! This is such a great site and has been an invaulable resource as we learn how to take care of our girl. :)

Apr 08, 2017
Shedding
by: Donna

Pyrs molt twice a year: spring and fall

Never shave. Keep your dog well-groomed weekly with a slicker brush and comb.

You are anthropomorphizing. Double coats keep them warm in winter and they lose some of the undercoat for summer. As long as you keep him groomed to allow the air to flow through the coat, they are fine. The are meant to have these coats.

The best food you can give your dog is raw. Kibble is very processed. Kind of like eating kraft dinner every day.

Vets get their nutritional training from kibble reps and vaccine information from pharmaceutical reps.

Here is an article on dog food:

Info on kibble

Raw

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