The Pyrenean Mountain Dog (The Great Pyrenees)

Dog care

In addition to the series of mandatory vaccines required when welcoming a dog into the family, as well as the antiparasitic prophylaxis that must be taken on constantly, one will have heard that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, being a herd guardian dog, is therefore selected to resist bad weather (including rain), it is a breed that does not require particular attention.

In part these considerations are true; in fact it is not rare to find specimens that even refuse a shelter for the night, preferring to sleep under the stars even with temperatures below zero.

The Pyrenean Mountain Dog seems forged for this: to resist any climatic situation (apart from excessive heat). However, we believe that taking care of the dog is the duty of every owner, and also the care of the coat of a working specimen should be part of customary practices.

The hair, although it may appear white and subject to getting dirty easily, is actually defined as “self-cleaning”, as its particular consistency makes it repellent to grease. In fact, once the muddy coat dries, the dirt tends to detach itself from the fur independently, restoring the dog to its natural colour.

Having said that, we must not think that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog does not need hygienic attention. These are certainly the basis of those who want to live a relationship of love and attention towards their dog; even if they are hardy breeds and, apparently, reluctant to too much care.

Unlike other long-haired breeds, for which the texture of the coat requires more frequent brushing and bathing (such as the Newfoundland Dog), 2/3 brushings per week will be sufficient for the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. These can be done using a tooth brush with rounded tips, useful for capturing detached hair (especially during the summer moult) and a carding brush to be passed later.

Brush with rounded tips
Carding brush

Finally, it is useful to use products that nourish and give shine to the hair. For this purpose, avoid industrial and perfumed products which, among other things, would annoy the dog’s highly developed sense of smell. Instead, it is advisable to rub potato starch on the fur, easily available and at an affordable price. The dog will certainly appreciate the smell of the product, and the coat will immediately appear healthier and brighter.

Potato starch

At least a couple of baths per season are advisable, using non-aggressive products, suitable for long-haired dogs, and perhaps with a sanitizing and anti-parasitic effect.

It is absolutely not to practice shearing! The hair, in addition to being characteristic of the breed (and therefore not to be shortened), is the main thermoregulation tool; the risk would be to cause a thermal shock to our friend.

Dewclaws, among the main elements that distinguish the breed, tend to grow very quickly, with the risk of becoming ingrown in the dog’s paw. It is therefore necessary to provide for a shortening of the nails whenever necessary, even with the simple use of hardware pliers.

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