The coat of the Great Pyrenees is a self-cleaning miracle of nature, wrapped in a soft cotton-ball poof. Although he looks like grooming would be a complicated, time-consuming ritual, the reality is that keeping your Pyrenees looking good generally only requires about half an hour of attention per week.
Brush your Pyrenees at least once a week, or more often if he's shedding heavily. His double coat makes for a fair amount of shedding, meaning you'll find his pretty white hair just about everywhere in your home and car. Brush him out thoroughly to remove as much hair as possible to leave him looking clean and healthy, and reduce the amount of hair he leaves behind.
Bathe your Pyrenees once every three or four months. Because his coat does not hold dirt, he can be brushed clean and does not need baths very often. Use a high-quality dog shampoo to save the natural oils in his skin and coat. Wet him thoroughly, massage the shampoo through his thick coat and rinse him completely. Use towels or a hair dryer on low heat to dry him.
Check his ears once a week. Although not as exaggerated as a hound dog's, your Pyrenees' ears are quite floppy, which blocks proper airflow. This can trap moisture and encourage an infection, so check for signs of redness or bad odors. After his seasonal bath, dry his ears with cotton balls or a towel. Use cotton balls and an ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian to remove built-up wax and other dirt once a week or so. Never insert anything into your Pyrenees' ear canal, just clean the outside part of his ear.
Brush his teeth at least a few times a week, but every day is better to prevent tartar buildup and bad breath. He, and you, may not like it, but it needs to be done to avoid large dental bills later and prevent gum disease. Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs.
Trim his nails and the hair around his eyes and on his feet as necessary, usually once a month or so. These can be very delicate areas, and odds are your Pyrenees will not cooperate if you've never done them before. Instead of wrestling your dog into submission — which will not work and only end up frustrating you and getting him worked up — seek the help and instruction of your veterinarian or a professional groomer to learn how to do these areas without hurting your dog, or yourself.
- If you are uncomfortable grooming your Pyrenees, contact a professional groomer for tips, assistance or to do it for you.
- The cotton-like coat of the Pyrenees makes great insulation for bird nests. Gather his expelled hair after you brush him and place it outside or at a park to help your local flying wildlife keep warm and comfortable.
- Keep your hands moving as you brush or bathe him, to help smooth or wet the hair, and to feel for any hidden sores or injuries underneath the bushy mane.
- While some breeds look adorable in a short puppy haircut, your Pyrenees relies on this double coat to keep him warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Never cut his hair short.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.