When you have a big hairy dog like Bauer, you will inevitably be asked how much he sheds. The answer, surprisingly to most, is that he really does not shed much. In fact, for the majority of the year he does not shed at all!
That may sound great, but don’t worry, he makes up for it the two times of the year he does shed: the coat blow.
Double coated dogs like Bauer (and Jeni and Kelinn) may shed mildly or not at all for most of the year, but twice a year (sometimes related to the weather, sometimes related to female heat cycles, sometimes just randomly *cough* Jeni *cough*) they dump all their thick undercoat and grow a new coat. Bauer consistently has a significant coat blow when it starts getting warm, and this year he’s already started.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed some whisps of hair starting to form in the corners of the house and it seemed like I was vacuuming more often. Then when I was brushing Bauer to rid his hair of any tangles, I noticed that quite a bit of hair was coming out in the brushes.
After a thorough brushing session where I got a small dog off his coat and after petting him this morning and coming away with hair stuck to my hands, I consider his coat blow fully started. The key to making the coat blow as painless as possible is a nice hot bath and scrub, drying with a forced air dryer to blast out and loosen the undercoat and lots of thorough brushing. I find usually Bauer needs two good baths to get most of the coat out. He’s not at “run my fingers through his hair and pull out giant tufts of hair” level yet, but probably will be after a bath, so usually I like to do one bath, more brushing, then another bath a week later or so. I like to groom my own dogs but I may consider sending him to the groomer for one of those baths so I can spare myself the several hours it takes to fully dry him.
Here’s hoping that Jeni continues with her odd coat blowing cycle and holds onto her undercoat until Bauer is done shedding his so I’m not dealing with double coat blowing all at once!