“He must get hot in the summer! You should shave him!” Walking around the streets of Baltimore, Octavius and I have gotten many, many comments like this from strangers. Because at a surface level, the idea makes sense. Fur is warm, summer is warm, therefore the dog must be hot. Right?
In short, the answer is no. Do not shave your Great Pyrenees.
Not only will it NOT cool them down, it will make them more miserable and could be dangerous to their health.
Great Pyrenees dogs have what is referred to as a double coat. A double coat is a type of fur coat which includes two different layers. The bottom layer is dense, thick, and wooly, and the top layer is made up of longer, softer fur. The fluffier the dog, the thicker the undercoat.
This undercoat protects your Pyr whether the temperature is hot or cold. It can also help prevent a build-up of moisture and dirt. Not to mention, it keeps your dog looking fluffy and feeling soft.
When a Pyr is shaved, this undercoat is removed. It makes it impossible for the dog to naturally regulate their own temperature, and leaves the skin at risk of burning in the sun. Pyrs have pink, freckled skin, which is extremely susceptible to the sun’s rays. To keep them safe, keep the coat!
Take a look at this infographic (https://www.completek9inc.com/post/2018/05/30/please-stop-shaving-your-double-coated-dogs):
The undercoat with thicken and thin depending on the weather. Twice a year, your dog will shed like crazy, to shift their undercoat. Be prepared for a lot of fur floating around, and a lot of grooming. But this is a very important process which allows your dog to regulate their own body temperature. Shaving their coat makes it impossible to do this.
Do not shave your Great Pyrenees, or any dog with a double coat. Your dog will thank you for it.
Ariele Sieling is a Baltimore-based science fiction writer who is the proud owner of her own Great Pyrenees dog. She, her husband, and Doggo enjoy their time walking in the park, getting treatos, napping in the sun, borking at birds, and schniff-schnoffing the two cats. You can follow them on Instagram @pyreneesgoodboi.
To learn more about Ariele, visit www.arielesieling.com.