I just found this fantastic Great Pyr website and am so excited about learning more about the breed. All your profile pics of your dogs look soooooo beautifully groomed and gorgeous, but I chose to put up one of our Sid when he was about 5 months old and just fresh from a mud romp in the garden because that's how he is most of the time! We live on a farm and although I wanted Sid to be an indoor dog, he would have none of it and always has to be outside patrolling the property, keeping a close watch on his other family (that is our livestock).
I'm a bit of a newbie and have so many questions!
The first an most urgent one (because I just feel so bad for him) is what to do with our Sid's terribly matted coat.
He is 15 months old now. We had a female Great Pyr for a short time before we got Sid and her coat was just so lovely with absolutely no upkeep at all besides a good weekly brush. But Sid's coat has been a complete nightmare from day one. It is unbelievably thick and you just have to look at it wrong and it mats up. I tried last summer and fall to groom daily and very thoroughly but as winter came on, Sid wanted to spend all his time outside and I was sick quite a bit this winter so the grooming got put off a lot and now I don't even know where to start. I tried brushing, but he will not sit through it (I'm sure the mats hurt when I brush them out) and it is so bad that it would take several hours of pulling to get all the mats out and I just think that's cruel. I was going to just shave him and be done with it, but, I noticed on here that shaving can be a bad thing especially in the long run.
I guess my question to you folks is, does anyone have experience with this type of easily matting coat and now that it's gone this far, what would be the most humane thing to do to get it under control? Taking him off the farm to get neutered was an absolutely terrifying experience for him (he was paralysed with fear and panic) so taking him to a professional groomer is out of the question. I would consider putting him under anesthetic though for a complete groom so he wouldn't have the terror of being awake if shaving him is strongly discouraged. It seems shaving would be the easiest but I don't want to make life harder on everyone in the future if possible. I think he might not have lost his baby fur before the winter coat started coming in so maybe if I get it all out this time, it will be easier in future to keep up?
As you can tell, I'm at a complete loss as what to do. Any advice would be most welcome.
Thanks so much in advance!