Grooming a double coated dog, like a Great Pyrenees, can be quite the task. But, fear not! It’s not as difficult as it may seem.
I can’t even keep track of how many times I have heard someone ask me, “why don’t you just shave them?”. Shaving a dog with a double coat is rarely ever a good idea. The only time shaving should be done is when it’s absolutely necessary. I can think of two such times:
1. A dog has been neglected and his coat is severely matted. Brushing/trimming out the mats isn’t even an option.
Few people realize that a dog’s double coat actually helps them in the winter and summer. Have you ever heard someone say, “my dog is blowing his coat”? For most double coated breeds, this happens twice a year. Once to go from summer to winter and again to go from winter to summer. Currently, Mauja is blowing her winter coat and getting in her summer coat. This means extra shedding! Atka still has mostly puppy coat, so he is slowly shedding that for his beautiful adult fur.
The best decision I ever made when it comes to grooming my pyrs was buying a grooming table. Seriously. Do it. You will thank yourself. I had a hard time justifying spending $100 on a simple table with an arm. I kept trying to think of ways my husband and I could build one, but I worried it wouldn’t be sturdy enough. So, after reading MANY reviews, I finally purchased a table.
Doesn’t Mauja look just “pyrfect” standing on the table? 😉
The table came with a lead that attaches to the arm and goes around the neck. I wasn’t convinced Mauja and Atka would stand on the table, so I bought a double lead. The lead that is wrapped around the arm can be put around the dog’s waist so she can’t sit down. I only needed this once until they understood the routine.
Today, I was only doing a simple brush and nail trim. They weren’t in need of a full bath, blow dry, brush, nails, ears, and teeth, so I will just explain what I did.
My absolutely favorite tool for brushing out the undercoat is the Oster Undercoat Grooming Rake. I’ve used so many different undercoat rakes, including the FURminator, over the past several years and this is by far my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love the FURminator, just not for my pyrs.
To make it easy, I’ll go step by step as to how I groom my double coated dogs. Before beginning, you must figure out how you are going to get your dog on the grooming table. Mine will not jump up and I certainly can’t pick them up
Eventually, I’ll invest in some doggie stairs. For now, this will do.
1. Start with a quality grooming rake
Raking out the undercoat is by far the longest step. I aim to brush my Great Pyrenees two to three times per week, so this only takes me about 15 minutes. If they’re blowing their coat or if I skip a week, it will take a lot longer.
The Oster grooming rake works like a charm. Have you ever felt a double coated dog and thought their fur felt lumpy? That’s the undercoat getting matted together under their top coat. Brush until your pup feels nice and smooth.
2. Try a slicker brush
Hertzko’s Self Cleaning Slicker Brush is one of my favorites for removing any dead or loose outer coat, and work out their pantaloons. The fur is thicker and longer back there so the slicker brush will really help. I’m also a huge fan of the Groom Genie for keeping the pantaloons mat free.
3. Use a comb
I like to use the Andis Pet Steel Comb to work through the fur on the backs of their legs. This that can get matted easily if not worked the entire way through—and frequently. I also use the comb over the body to get out any loose fur that my grooming rake missed.
4. Spray The Stuff on mats and tangles
The Stuff is magic—not even exaggerating. When we moved, I slacked a bit on
5. Try a de-matting comb
Once The Stuff has had a little time to sit, I go in with this de-matting comb. I have never had to cut out a mat since using these two products. They easily break the mat down so it can be brushed out.
6. Sleek it out with a pin brush
I like to use a pin brush around the face since the fur is thinner there, but I also use it to create a nice finish. I’ll first use the pin brush side to glide through any tangles I may have missed. Then I use the bristle side to make them look sleek and shiny.
7. Last step, nails!
I like to use clippers with a safety guard on the back, so I don’t slip or cut too far (always keep styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally nick the quick). A dremel is also a great option, but it’s important to desensitize your dog to it, if he’s used to clippers.
And with any grooming session, there will be a bit of clean up!