From Hair to Eternity

I have seen that a lot of websites have a section for questions and answers. I am often asked questions about me, so I have decided to start my own section of Frequently Barked Questions or FBQ for short. I am starting with the ones I have been asked about my coat.

Frequently Barked Question: Do you shed a lot of hair?

Clowie: The short answer is yes! Here’s the longer answer, giving you a little more detail.

They say that Pyrenean Mountain Dogs moult once a year. If they mean a moult that begins on the first day of the year and ends on the last day, only to start all over again the very next day then they’re right!

As for me, I moult four times a year. I’ll tell you about my three lesser moults first. Now that we live in a warm place, I have added a summer moult when the temperature hits about 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) for a few consecutive days. It thins my coat out so that I can cope better with the heat. I also moult in the autumn in preparation for growing my thick and luxurious winter coat – I like to get rid of any hair that is not up to standard before I begin growing the new hair. Then in the early winter I discover that I’ve grown a thick enough coat to live outside in Siberia and I still live in a warm house, so I have some excess hair to get rid of! Although I call these lesser moults, most dogs would be proud to produce this quantity of hair!

Now I come to the big moult I do in the Spring. I produce lovely, fluffy, soft mountains of white undercoat for a couple of weeks – this may be one of the reasons I’m called a mountain dog. They call this ‘blowing’ the coat. One Spring my bipeds started collecting the hair to make jumpers or something, but they soon ran out of room!

Don’t worry, I always have enough spare hair to leave a nice little souvenir on the clothing of bipeds I like, even when I’m not moulting!

There is no escaping the hair. Open a sealed yoghurt pot and you will find at least one of my hairs inside! I think everything looks much nicer with a fluffy white frosting.

FBQ: Do you need lots of baths to stay white?

C: My coat is very weatherproof. This means that most things brush out and I don’t need a bath any more often than most dogs. I usually have a full bath about twice a year. I am bright white after a bath and my coat feels nice and soft. The colour gradually fades, until my bipeds notice that I’m not quite as white. They start making jokes, “Where is our white dog?” And then they say it’s time for a bath. If I’m lucky they wait until it’s warm enough for me to dry naturally – this happens more frequently now we live in Spain.

I have what they call a half bath more frequently. I like water and mud a lot and so my legs and tummy gradually turn a rich cream colour (they call it muddy brown)! They say that I don’t look very nice with a tide mark and they wash my legs and tummy. I don’t see what is wrong with being a bi-colour – Mulberry our cat is cream and white. I am the other way round – white and cream, but they call it dirty!

FBQ: Do you need lots of brushing?

C: The accepted advice is that once a week is sufficient. My bipeds prefer to brush me most days. They find it much easier to spend twenty minutes or so every day than to spend a few hours doing it once a week. When I am moulting, you can spend as long brushing me as your arm can take and the brush will keep filling with hair.

FBQ: Do you have your coat clipped shorter for the summer?

C: No, I naturally shed lots of the undercoat for the summer. The remaining coat protects me from sunburn. My coat has two layers. There is the longer outer coat, which keeps me dry in the winter and protects me from sun in the summer. The woolly undercoat is very thick in the winter and I lose almost all of it in the summer. The best way to help me keep cool is to brush out as much undercoat as possible and make sure that my coat doesn’t matt, which helps the air to circulate better.

Now you know more than most people do about Pyrenean Mountain Dog coats!

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in a future FBQ, please either leave it here in the comments for me, or you can tweet it to me: @Clowie_dog

See you next Wednesday!

Addition: You may also enjoy reading “Have hair will travel” on the “Bowness bed and breakfast” blog.

83 thoughts on “From Hair to Eternity

  1. Hey Clowie, Jet here.

    Mom loves this post. She so enjoys learning about different breeds. Do you enjoy being brushed? I find it quite relaxing. Mom gives me lots of kisses, massages and tells me how handsome I am while she works on me. A typical evening brush takes about 15 -20 minutes, compared to 3 minutes for JJ!

    I think I moult about 2x/year because even in the tropics, I grow a thicker coat for the “winter!”

    • I love being brushed because I get undivided attention! They say I took some convincing to like it when I was a puppy, but I think it was a case of getting them to do it properly!

  2. We had a shepherd-collie-husky mix that was ALL fur – thick and long. She’d leave what I called “tumbleweeds” of hair all over the carpet, especially in summer, and I had to vacuum twice a day to keep them at bay! But she was a sweetheart and worth all the extra work. 🙂

    We have something on our blog for you, stop by if you get the chance: http://bit.ly/OZxqKL 😀

    • We have solid floors now we live in Spain and the hair drifts and collects round the table legs!
      Thank you – I will pop over for a visit!

  3. Oh my. I’ve been interested in a Great Pyrenees for awhile, but that first question may have put me off. Our two Australian shepherds shed like mad, all over the house. But the lady I get my chickens from shaves her GP for summer, all but the ruff under his neck, since he lives outside to protect the chickens. Maybe …

    • I produce more hair than an Australian shepherd, perhaps two of them get close to one of me! My bipeds don’t generally agree with shaving a double coated dog, as the undercoat is shed and the outer coat acts as protection. Maybe, if he isn’t being brushed, it helps him to get rid of the undercoat without the coat matting up. But shaving won’t stop the shedding – it just means the shed hair will be shorter.

  4. Baths only twice a year?! Man, you are lucky! I give Blueberry a bath at least every month. We have nice warm temps so it is pretty easy to maintain that schedule. You are very fuzzy wuzzy and I would want to squish your cheeks!

    • I don’t mind having a bath,it combines two of my favourite things – water and attention. Most people want to cuddle me, even if they’re nervous because of my size.

  5. Your bipeds are doing a wonderful job because you are beautiful Clowie!!

  6. I’m stopping by yours tonight Clowie if you’re bipeds do that good a job and are so committed! I’m sure they can do a wonderful job of making me nicely snowy white and fluffy like you if they get to work on my wolfie coat! I am moulting my summer coat right now so they’ll be the perfect solution 😉 And if I need extra whitening I’m sure your hairs will be drawn in large quantities to my coat! 🙂

    • If you look yellow next to me, they’ll probably give you a nice bath after they’ve brushed you! You’ll be lovely, soft and fluffy after you’ve been dried and brushed again.

      • Oooh! That sounds wonderful! It’s been a long time since I last had a bath…well…unless you count the sheep dip!! If your bipeds are kind enough to make me soft and fluffy and altogether lovely lol…do you think they could also be persuaded to give me chicken?…chicken…chicken!!

  7. Four moults! Our mom would be in tears!

    • I have plenty of hair to give away the rest of the time! I wouldn’t want to upset her, but I do leave a lot of hair around even when I’m brushed a lot.

  8. I am working on turning our carpet to a nice shade of Misaki 🙂
    Very informative post, Clowie. Am very envious of the lack of baths!

    • That sounds like a really nice carpet, Misaki! We only have tiled floors now we’re in Spain. I think the bipeds are quite happy about not having carpet anymore!

  9. Chancy and Mumsy

    I shed little hairs every time I shake but I won’t lets my Mumsy brush me. I don’t have long hairs so it is not a big porblem. Mumsy brushes me with her fingers. Hugs and nose kisses

    • Yes, brushing with the hands works on a short coat. Our short-haired cat likes that. My undercoat tangles up, if it isn’t brushed and I enjoy the attention.

      • Our cat Snookums get knots in her undercoat and she has to be brushed often. She loves the brushing and doesn’t ever want anyone to stop brushing her.

  10. You are very pretty, Clowie! Thank you for sharing your beauty tips. 🙂

  11. Clowie you have pretty much answered the newf coat also 🙂

  12. Some serious interviewing going on here. Watch out, Clowie – soon, you won’t get rid of the press! ;))

  13. That’s very interesting, Clowie!
    My human saw this book in a bookstore some time ago: http://www.amazon.com/Crafting-Cat-Hair-Cute-Handicrafts/dp/1594745250/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347249544&sr=8-1&keywords=cat+hair
    She is wondering if it works with your hair too.
    (Humans are strange, aren’t they? They don’t want our hair on their precious black pants but they publish books about crafting stuff with our hair! Thank Ceiling Cat my human did NOT buy the book!)

    • They are strange – black clothing looks much nicer with white hairs on it! My undercoat is just as soft as cat hair, so it probably would work. But I don’t think I’ll mention it to them!

  14. Clowiiiiiiieeeee! I mentioned you on today’s post! Come over for my contest! We’re giving away a TREAT!

  15. Meow! I do know a lot about Pyrenean Mountain Dog coats now =^.^=

  16. […] My beautiful coat needs regular brushing and I leave lots of hair around the house – it gets everywhere! I wrote about it in From Hair to Eternity. […]

  17. […] I need lots of brushing in the Spring because I shed my undercoat. (Read more about my coat – From Hair to Eternity) They sometimes take it in turns to brush me because they say it makes their arms ache – I love […]

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