As a spinner I love to spin dogs fur. This cardigan and the purses are all produced with the fur of our two "Serra da Estrela" dogs, a mountain shepherd breed from the Portuguese mountains. They are clever, funny, and quite big. Fluffier than mohair.
I can answer the F.A.Q´s----No, the dog is not sheared but combed and groomed when it is moulting!!!
Nevertheless a dog´s parlour (http://www.vidadecao.pt/) gives me very good fur to spin.
In pré-colonial North America dog´s fur was the raw material for native rugs. Sheep´s wool was later introduced by the Europeans. Their woolly-dogs have since been extinct.