My adult dogs (two years plus) have spectacular double pelage fur that, in winter, is at least 15 cm deep. The soft, warm and insulating down-like hair nearest their skin is protected by long, coarse guard hairs that keep away snow and ice.
When their fur sheds it's called blowing. It can happen at any time of the year but usually it is a summer occurrence and requires huge calorific effort on the dog’s part to push it out. I help the blowing process by grooming all of my 22 dogs throughout the summer. It is obvious from the video (below) that the dogs love being groomed and I certainly love how grooming enables me to interact with them.
As Greenland Dogs have deep double pelage fur I use a shedding bar and a grooming rack to help rid my dogs of, in some cases, up to one kilogram of blown hair.
|Shedding bar (purple handle) and rack|
|Bagged dog hair|
All of my dogs have their own kennel. I am of the opinion that every dog deserves one for security, to hang a water bucket from or just to sit on to watch the world go by. Expanding bolts - the ones used for securing house timbers to foundations - are driven into rock to secure their stakeout chains.
Frosty September nights mean that water buckets will soon be put away. From this point on (in freezing weather but without snow on the ground) I give my dogs water daily in their feed bowls. Once we have snow I give water before feeding.
|Yogi enjoys a drink|
My dogs have everything going for them and we are all looking forward to the sea freezing over, which will begin soon. Before that, we hope to get a visit from the last of our two yearly supply ships. In August, the first ship took away boxes of groomed dog hair. The second ship will take the last of my dogs’ winter coats away to England where it is spun into wool.
In the video you will have noticed Stunner (28 kg) drinking from her water bucket. Greenland Dog bitches are roughly one third of the size of males. This will be Stunner’s second winter and her true winter coat will come through for the first time.
Looking after my dogs throughout the summer plus maintaining my kennel means hard work. At home I live without running water and hauling it is a hard graft but I know why I do it. I love my dogs.
For more about Gary and his dogs go to www.garyrolfe.com