Wool CoatA very thick, curly and possessed of lots of volume that grows quickly and continuously throughout the year. These coats have brought comparisons to the legendary of the water dogs. As with the myths, the thick coats protect them from the cold water and their curly coat helps to keep them buoyant and the water to bead off more easily.
Genetics and Reproduction
Wool farms encourage their dogs to breed about every six months to feed demand as a substitute to cotton.
Ecology and Habitats
These special pups are kept gated in caves, underground homes, plank houses or cloistered on islands in packs of 20 to 30. This is to keep them away from other breeding dogs and thereby maintain the viability of future investments.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Professionally reared dogs are preferably fed a diet of fish and doe tallow, whenever it is possible, to keep their coats strong and useful as wool. When they are as kept as household pets, they will eat almost any unsweetened thing as any other dog.
GroomingThe fur is prone to matting, as it is also continuously growing. Matt splitters or dematting combs may be required to help remove mats or simply trim the coat. A curved slicker and a pin brush is recommended for everyday grooming. A soft slicker for puppies or dogs with finer wool coats or firm slickers for very thick and matted coats.
The slicker brush will not hurt the dog as long as they are not brushed too hard or stay on one spot for too long.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
WoolWhen the coats are long enough, female weavers wash the hair with a white clay to remove dirt. Workers then use a sharp stone or mussel shell knives to shear the dogs; cutting the hair close to the skin. The dogs may produce up to three coats a year for blankets and clothing.
MeatWooly dogs are also reared for their meat. However, different groups of valley people relish it as a delicacy, with puppy meat consumed during traditional festivals. While others treat it as a forbidden food.
EarsPrick and overhanging ears need to be folded back to check for wax. Wool coated breeds can be prone to ear infections because, as the unshed hair grows, dirt can become trapped in the ear.
EyesThe eyes on their fox-like face needs to be checked and clean out for any sticky deposits using warm water on a cotton pad. Latex bands and clips can be useful for keeping hair out of their eyes, and also helps to cool the dogs on hot days.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
ParasitesMites living in the coat or ears can cause a range of skin conditions, from dry skin to hair loss. It is incumbent on the owner to vigilantly look for lumps or bumps within their fur or skin tissues. When the fiber is sheared from the dog, the cut hair is stored with dried clay to extract oil and kill any parasites.
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