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Health and nutrition How to feed a Wolfdog, information about dog food, how to vaccinate and what to do if the dog gets ill....

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Old 12-08-2011, 00:35   #1
Gypsy Wolf
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Default "Self-Cleansing" Coat

I remember reading somewhere that Vlcaks do not need baths (unless, of course, they roll in something gross) as they do not "smell" or have an "oil" that builds up in their coat.
Just recently, I also was reading something about the wolf coat (in a book by Dr. Roger Abrantes) that it is "self-cleansing" and they do not smell (otherwise prey would be alerted).
In my experience, neither Luna nor Pollux (when he lived with us), ever NEEDED a bath - well, except for the time Pollux rolled in septic sludge... Their coats are different - whether it is the bloodlines or gender - Pollux had less undercoat than Luna.
As I manually inspect Luna's skin when I groom her, I notice she produces a very finely textured "powder" (I guess it is her dander) that self-cleans her coat. It is not noticeable except that I can feel a slight reside of it on my finger tips. There is no smell and no oil that I have ever felt in her haircoat. It sort of reminds me of the "powder" that a Cockatoo produces to keep it's feathers clean, though there is never any evidence of the dander Luna produces in brushes or bedding like you might see Cockatoo "dust" in the bottom of their cage.
I never felt the same powder grooming Pollux - his coat always felt squeaky-clean like he had just been bathed, but perhaps as he had no undercoat to hold the dander in, it shed out?
Would love to know of others' experience with this unique vlcak trait...
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:58   #2
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Hi Lunasmom, I heard somewhere that the principle of self-cleaning is something like the lanolin (I don't know if it is the proper english name), that keeps sheep coats clean. They sell some sheep-coat products in Slovakia (not wool weave, other kind of material - maybe fleece is the right term) and when I was talking with them about how to take care of the material, they specified that it only needs to be washed in pure water, because it has the lanolin (or whatever) that somehow repels the dirt, and it would be destroyed by detergents.

Lanolin is a kind of oil, but that does not mean you would feel the coat oily or whatever, your hair also doesn't feel oily after washing although you probably use shampoos and other things that contain oils for protection and nourishment of your hair. And if you shampoo your dog, its hair is much dryer than normally and therefore it is not advised to wash your wolfdog before show as it decreases coat quality (at least for judges who know how the wolfdog hair is supposed to feel like).

Frei also has a lot of undercoat mostly and sometimes when I scratch her, especially at parts with denser coat, I have the dander on my fingertips. I suppose it is because the undercoat is keeping it there more, or mayby because when she rolls in grass and swims in water it is more protected from rubbing off. Or maybe it is even produced more as it contains little parts of hair and so the more hair the more dander... But in case of Frei I think the remains on my fingertips also contain normal dust and dirt, as I do not groom her (I find it unnecessary when she lives outsides). But they have the slightly oily quality of dander which you would not expect from dirt, which is mostly dry.
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Old 12-08-2011, 17:09   #3
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My husky gets "dusty" like that, too, especially with his undercoat. I've found that him getting wet in the rain or by me misting his coat, then drying it with a towel, gets his hair super clean with the correct texture, and also helps his undercoat loosen up.
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Old 13-08-2011, 03:11   #4
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I wonder if it is a combination of both the natural lanolin oil AND the dander "dust"?
I know, having shown dogs in the past, that we would dry shampoo collie coats with talcum powder or cornstarch powder. It was sprinkled down in to the coat and "cleaned" it naturally by absorbing any dirt or excess oil.
So it would make sense that if there is an oil produced that there would be a "dust" to control it or prevent it from getting stinky?
The residue I feel on my fingertips feels like my rice powder facial cosmetics. It is actually pleasant - no scent and it feels sort of satiny.
As a conformation gal I was always used to bathing my dogs monthly, but in Luna's case I have not - she doesn't need it and I am a little worried it would do more harm (drying her skin) than good?
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Old 14-08-2011, 15:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunas Mom View Post
As a conformation gal I was always used to bathing my dogs monthly, but in Luna's case I have not - she doesn't need it and I am a little worried it would do more harm (drying her skin) than good?
I bathe my dog with shampoo usually once a year - in late spring/early summer, to help her to complete sheding. After bathing she just blows her coat off and looks funny and fluffy for some time

By the way, are your dogs shedding at the moment? At least ones in Eastern/Central Europe?
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Old 14-08-2011, 16:40   #6
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Shadow finished shedding last month (Bulgaria) - it was the worst and longest one we've had! Still, now she looks all sleek and isn't so hot for the summer
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Old 14-08-2011, 16:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaiva View Post
By the way, are your dogs shedding at the moment? At least ones in Eastern/Central Europe?
Oh yes! Tonnes of fur in every corner of the flat... even in our dinners! Luckily we're off to the countryside, so Lorka'll be shredding mainly outdoors and in ponds and rivers
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Old 14-08-2011, 17:04   #8
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Reading this makes me feel better I do not even comb Brukne, I pull the flocks of undercoat from her hind part pf the body White and nice undercoat, should start to felt earrings or whatever
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Old 15-08-2011, 23:39   #9
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No one shedding in our house, but I live in South FLorida, so I am not sure how their coats will "roll" down here...
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Old 16-08-2011, 00:20   #10
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We just started our autumn shed (well, I think...). They had one major shedding that finished in mid-June, then nothing (they had sleek summer coats at that point)...and now...it looks like "wolfdog winter" INSIDE of my house. We are close to the latitude of Southern Spain, or Italy I believe...it has been a very hot and humid summer here.
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