"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Blow

MAR asked if the girls shed. Yes, they do.

Here is Evelyn when she is blowing her coat. This came out after fifteen minutes of brushing only one hip and shoulder. When they blow their coats (once or twice a year), you can get this much every night for several weeks. I think that is the primary reason the breed is not more common.

Samoyeds have double coats. The undercoat is like wool. That is the part that blows out. The top coat is long and silky and stays white (or biscuit if your dog is biscuit colored). It is waxy and water resistant so mud just falls off. Unlike a musky bird dog, it really doesn't smell. If you stick your nose in their OMG soft coat, you won't smell anything unless something is wrong. Or they rolled in something nasty.

Evelyn has a particularly long, pretty top coat on top of a really thick undercoat. That is one reason she looks so pretty this time of year. And so big.

This picture was taken this weekend.

Here is one from last month:

If you look to the right hand side of this page you'll see a cute picture of her standing on the stairs with a quilt block. She looks a lot smaller and more puppy-like, doesn't she? Her weight is the same. That was taken last June after she'd blown her coat. It makes a huge difference. I've been feeling her undercoat and even though it is early, I think it is already starting to loosen up a bit.

Not all samoyeds' top coat is so long. She also has a well developed ruff (around her face) for a female. She gets such a thick coat that I can even feel the woolie undercoat on her muzzle.

In some of the pictures of Pearl, you'll see her monkey face.

That is her ruff coming in around her face. Some have more than others. Our old girl, Sapphire, had such a thick ruff that husband used to trim it so she could see out. Jezebel didn't have much of a ruff but Evelyn's is nice. We'll see what kind of ruff Pearl has. Her parents didn't have ones that were overwhelming but it is hard to tell since her mama had just given birth and intact females have thinner coats, anyway.

What happens with they blow their coat is that the woolie undercoat pulls loose. It is more of a molt than a shed, if you ask me. It can get matted up if you don't help it along with brushing although some dogs have more of a problem with that than others. We've never had too much trouble with our girls even though we aren't as diligent as we should be.


Thearica said...

Well, you have taught me something today that I did not know. It is a shame that they lose so much hair but I would imagine they would burn up in the summer if they didn't.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Penny, for the great photos and explanation. Interesting.

Other than the twice a year shedding, they seem to be a low maintenance breed.

I have just fallen in love with your girls. Their gentle ways, smarts, beauty, personalities, etc.