Sunday, November 11, 2012

Yes, They Love The Snow... But...

I recently relocated to south Jersey with my two Great Pyrenees.  As if there were not already too many pieces of misinformation out there about giant breed dogs, I anticipate a hard summer down here.  Not for my dogs, but for the commentary from the ever-so-vocal east-coasters who let their opinions be known at all times.  I have been preparing myself for "How can you have those dogs around here?  It must be so hot for them".  No doubt said with a degree of anger and spitefulness, for certainly how could any owner of a Great Pyrenees have them in any place other than snowy mountains?

It amazes people when I inform them that a large percentage of Pyrenees dog ownership in this country is in Texas.  I cannot speak to the family pet aspect, but I know from speaking with Texan rescuers that their shelters get a huge influx of Great Pyrenees.  But..  Texas is so hot!  How could anyone have this long-haired, white breed down there?

I think when it comes to many dog breeds, people need to think less aesthetically and more practically.  Would I be less or more protected walking around naked in glaring sunlight versus wearing clothes?  "They must be sooooooo hot"...  Ironically people always make the "hot" comment while my Pyr stands next to a Bulldog about to fall over from heat exhaustion.  I feel so bad for all the other dogs... so often people neglect their needs because they assume that without a thick, warm coat, that they are great in warm weather.  It's just not true.

Like with all things, we have to ask ourselves where our dogs originated from, what *kind* of a coat do they have, and is their area of origin exposed to many different kinds of weather?  Great Pyrenees love the snow.. Yes.. but they are very resilient to heat and weather, and tend to hold their heads up like champs on summer days while many short-haired breeds suffer. 

Why to Great Pyrenees fair well in hotter climates?  Their coats serve as insulation as well as protection against sun exposure.  On top of it, they are very low energy dogs who don't get all worked up on an amazing summer day.. jumping and loosing their minds and working up their core temperature.  These angels are so good at self-regulating; they are that friend that always says "I'm cool, do whatever."

Please, please never alter your Great Pyrenees.  I don't care if we're talking dew claws or shaving their coats..  These dogs were made to such perfection and beauty.  So please, south Jersey, cut me some slack with my dogs when spring and summer roll around.  After all, everyone so far as thought they were Siberian Huskies.

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