Great Pyrenees Grooming Tips – Special Techniques for Large Breed Dogs
By Nola Kelsey
Large breed dogs pose special grooming dilemmas. The Great Pyrenees and other Bernard family members have cornered the market on that special combination of girth and hair. Without a regimented grooming routine the Pyreneesâ€™ flowing white locks can easily morph, soon resembling an electrocuted Komondor on steroid.
One obstacle to keeping large breeds in the peek of beauty is the difficulty in locating nail clippers, brushes and dental supplies suited to their substantial size. Substitution will have to be made. Still, with a little ingenuity grooming is a snap.
Body Brushing Combing out the Great Pyrenees is a challenge. The high-stung nature of the breed makes them tend to wiggle around during grooming. In fact, these stealth dogs are apt to sprint off if not restrained, sometimes moving up to three centimeters in a single afternoon.
Your best bet for body brushing or raking is to work on your pet while he is asleep. Avoid active times such as 6:00 to 6:03 a.m. and the 30 minutes after sunset Pyreneesâ€™ devote solely to barking. This breed is known to sleep with its eyes open. When stalking them with grooming tools be cautious. Once you are with in 65 feet of your dog, listen for a train. This verifies your dog is snoring.
Work efficiently once you begin grooming a Great Pyrenees. You may only have 13 hours before he wakes up. When grooming 140 lbs. of fur bonded together by drool and the occasional tree branch, you must not dally. A weed eater is an efficient option for quickly working your way through the shrubs to the actual hair prior to brushing.
Nail Clipping Clipping your Pyreneesâ€™s claws should be a regular part of your grooming routine. Before beginning this procedure head for the hardware store. Pick up a large metal rasp and bolt cutters. Once claws have been neatly trimmed call in HAZMAT to remove the clippings from your home. Donâ€™t forget the dewclaws.
Great Pyreneesâ€™ have a multitude of extra toes just kinda â€œhanginâ€™ outâ€ on their lower legs. Hiding amongst them are a total of six massive curly toenails. Each is so large it makes a valosaraptor claw look like a minute droplet of Chihuahua snot. Donâ€™t let the dewclaws go unattended more than a few weeks. Negligence will yield a clipping big enough to be used as a spiral staircase.
Dental Care Dog owners often overlook the importants of good oral hygiene. Fortunately, in the Bernard breeds, their mouths offer plenty of room to work in. Take advantage of this trait. You can create ample access to the mouth by simply pulling their massive floppy lips up from both sides of the face. Then, use three clothespins to secure them to one another across the bridge of the nose. You may also secure a single lip to the opposing ear in a similar fashion.
Once the teeth are exposed insert a shop vac tube under your dogs tongue. This technique is identical to that of the â€˜spit suckerâ€™ used in a dental offices. A fifteen-gallon vac should suffice. Once the shop vac is fired up the Great Pyrenees will start to awaken. You will have about two hours to completely remove large pieces of sod stored along the gum line before your dog hits full cognitive thought. At this point heâ€™ll eat the vacuum prior to falling back asleep.
As a final touch, clean you canineâ€™s feet. Shinny up between the pads with a flashlight, some pliers and a bottle of WD 40. Remove stones, dried bats, milk carton children and anything else not belonging up there. Once this task is done your grooming regiment is complete. Wake your dog by simple uttering the word â€œcookie.â€™ By the time you get to â€œcooâ€ every Great Pyrenees in a six mile radius will be in your kitchen.
With a little work and a few trips to Home Depot, your Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard or Newfoundland will glow with beauty. When you combine all this glamour with their high intelligence and magnetic personalities, your dog will be the envy of the neighborhood.
Zoologist turned satirist Nola L. Kelsey is the author of the scathingly wicked satire Bitch Unleashed: The Harsh Realities of Goinâ€™ Country (September 05). She is also the owner of Samuel the Great Pyrenees, who plays primary character in her book and in her life. Excerpts from Bitch Unleashed and subscriptions to Kelseyâ€™s newsletter are available on her web site, http://www.NolaKelsey.com
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