The Salish Wool Dog was a white, Spitz-type dog, with the thick woolly undercoat which is common to these dogs. Like the Malamute, the Spitz, and the American Eskimo dog, the Salish Wool Dog evolved in response to severe northern winters. In breeding dogs to maximize that wooly undercoat for use in weaving, the Salish Wool Dog was created.
Also called "woolly dogs," a tribe's group of dogs would be closely guarded in order to protect them from breeding with the tribe's other pet dogs. Salish Wool Dogs represented a valuable investment of time and effort, and their genetics were closely guarded.