Gordon's hair starts shedding in huge clumps in the spring, and he looks like he has some kind of wasting disease. His whole hind end starts losing all of the lighter colored hair, and the dark hair underneath shows where the big clumps of light hair have fallen out. I would imagine it is very itchy. And our carpets suffer too.
He is part Great Dane, part Golden Retriever, so I would imagine that this is the Golden Retriever part showing through. He has already outlived a lot of Great Danes, and he still acts like he has plenty of life in him! He turns 6 this month. Happy Birthday, Gordon!!
We got him a birthday present (actually, it was just to maintain oour sanity and hair-free carpet). It's the Shed-Ender, a professional de-shedding tool we saw on TV and bought at the As Seen on TV store. And does it ever work!! Every brush stroke resulted in a big clump of hair that was obviously coming from his undercoat. It pulled out all of the light clumps quite easily. It was time-consuming, partially because he is such a large dog and has SO much hair, and partially because of his Great-Dane-ness that causes him to be quite nervous and want to turn in circles and lick the brush and our hands and the leash we used to tie him onto a chair to keep him still.
But it all only took about two hours, which is actually a very short time compared to the time we would have spent cleaning up dog hair off of the floor if we hadn't brushed him. We had a "normal" dog brush, but it didn't get down to his undercoat very well, and would leave lots of hair that would work its way to the top. Brushing him would just make him shed even more for a few weeks while the leftover hair worked its way out.
As fascinating as this subject is, I think I'll stop here.
Let's just say that we have one very happy doggie. With a lot less hair.