The Great Pyrenees is a breed of immense utility and fervor that has been used as a herding dog and as human companions for ages.
Their large strong muscular build comes with double-coated fur. There is an outer layer of long hair and an undercoat of a shorter one.
Double-coated fur acts as a natural insulator and regulates temperature both in summer and winter. It also has a protective function against the external environment.
Tip: Some dog breeds should never have their hair shaved, such as German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, Belgian Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Mastiff breeds, etc.
Can You Shave A Great Pyrenees? The Reasons Not To
No, you shouldn’t shave your Great Pyrenees or any other double-coated dog because it impairs natural shedding, and removes protection from sunlight, temperature, and parasites.
1. Impairs Natural Shedding
All double-coat dogs go through a shedding cycle apart from their regular shedding. For Great Pyrs, this comes in the spring season when the fur from winter is shed.
This natural shedding prepares the dog for different seasons and is easily aided by brushing them once or twice a week.
Now when you shave your Pyr, the new hair will grow very slowly as compared to the natural growth after shedding.
They won’t have enough fur during the winter months to protect them from cold and even in summer, the heat regulation would be difficult due to the slow-growing fur that fails to trap cooler air around the dog’s body.
2. No Protection From Sunlight
A great Pyr lacks a high amount of melanin under its coat. Melanin is a pigment that absorbs harmful ultraviolet sun rays and protects the tissues underneath.
Shaving the dog would expose it to these high-intensity harmful radiations of the sun. This could result in both long and short-term health hazards.
Acutely, these rays can cause sunburns and inflammation. When exposed for a long time, this chronic inflammation may lead to cancer formation. This is rare but a serious consequence and needs to be kept in mind.
3. Stops Temperature Regulation
The natural growth of the coat in winter creates insulation around the dog’s body, preventing the heat from dissipating. This keeps the pooch warm regardless of the outside cold climate.
In spring, the coat starts to shed, and by summer it thins down. This lets cool air in, that get trapped between the two coats, creating a cooler milieu around the dog’s body. This helps in maintaining a cooler body temperature during hot weather.
Hence, when you shave your dog, you are depriving it of this natural heat-coping mechanism. This will predispose the dog to all sorts of illnesses associated with both hot and cold temperatures like heat strokes and numbness etc.
Shaved dogs would need to be kept in an isolated environment where the temperature is regulated artificially. This is not just cost-consuming but also deprives the dog of its freedom.
4. No Protection against parasites
A dog’s coat is also a protection against environmental pathogens, especially parasites.
The coat acts as a barrier between the dog and these foreign organisms and keeps it safe from parasitic infections.
When you shave your dog, you increase its chances of any one of the parasitic skin infestations common to dogs. These parasites may even penetrate the blood, causing generalized infections.
When can you shave your Great Pyr?
Rarely do some medications need to be applied directly onto the skin in certain fungal and bacterial skin diseases. This requires the fur to be trimmed or shaved to expose the underlying skin.
Always shave when it is recommended by a trained veterinarian. Do not do this just because people tell you to do it.
Following are the FAQs that you need to know before shaving your Great Pyrenees.
How many coats do a Great Pyrenees Have?
The great Pyrenees have 2 sets of coats. An outer coat with long hair and an inner coat with shorter hair is called the undercoat. This double coat regulates the dog’s body temperature both in summer and winter.
Is it ok to cut Great Pyrenees’ hair?
It is never ok to cut the hair of a double-coated dog. The double coat regulates the dog’s body temperature and protects it against the sun and insects.
The great Pyrenees are double-coated dogs that were bred initially for guardian flocks but now also can be adopted as companions.
Their double coat protects them from the sun rays, parasites, and the external temperature both in winter and summer.
This double coat goes through a natural cycle of shedding in spring when the extended hair of winter is being shed. Apart from that, the fur sheds regularly throughout the year and can be aided by regular shampooing, drying, and brushing.
Shaving this quote would predispose the Pyr to all sorts of harmful sun rays, insects, and diseases due to a lack of temperature adjustment. Such dogs would require an artificially maintained environment in extreme outside temperatures.
Hence, a Great Pyrs’ coat should never be shaved unless it is necessary for treatment and is recommended by a veterinarian.