Indigenous to the United States, the Carolina Dog is a rare, primitive dog breed and relatively new to domesticity. They are medium in size, agile, and independent; they’re also known for being very clean dogs.
The Carolina Dog is also sometimes called the Yellow Dog, the American Dingo, the Dixie Dingo, and the Yaller. They were feral and lived in the Southeastern United States for hundreds of years, and they’re still found in the wild in some parts of Georgia and South Carolina.
Carolina Dogs are probably not going to be overly affectionate but will form close bonds with their humans. Show them strong leadership and let them know you’re in charge when training. They may act reserved and wary of strangers, but they don’t tend to behave aggressively.
Canines of this breed are pack dogs through and through, and they’d thrive in multi-dog and person homes, forming loving bonds with other dogs and humans alike. They have a high prey drive, so you must watch them closely around other small animals. They love big families and big homes with yards where they can run around. Carolina Dogs are incredibly loyal to their humans and sweet and playful with kids.
FunkyPaw recommends a dog fetch toy to help burn off your pup’s high energy!
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool here!
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Hound DogsHeight:18 to 20 inches at the shoulderWeight:33 to 55 poundsLife Span:12 to 15 years
More About This Breed
- The Carolina Dog’s coat usually comes in a variety of colors that include cream, tan, black, brown, and red. They’re typically a combination of two or more of these colors.
- They usually have short, dense coats, and while they’re not a great choice for allergy sufferers, they are very clean and groom themselves, much like cats.
- The Carolina Dog should get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day to help keep them fit.
- Recent studies have shown that the Carolina Dog breed may be sensitive to Ivermectin, an ingredient found in mite and heartworm medication. Ask your vet before using these medications.
- The Carolina Dog is a pack dog and should not be left alone. Isolation would not suit this pup at all.
- The Carolina Dog is a sturdy dog and will bond and play well with kids, especially those who they consider a part of their family. Always supervise playtime.
- While they love other dogs, be careful around other small animals, as this breed has a prey drive ingrained in their DNA.
The Carolina Dog is believed to have originated in Asia and closely resembles the Asian pariah dog. They made their way to North America alongside merchants across the Bering Straight 9,000 years ago and slowly migrated until they hit the southern United States.
They’ve lived in the wild in the southern United States for several hundred years and are still spotted in parts of Georgia and South Carolina.
The Carolina Dog was eventually rediscovered and domesticated. They’re also known as the Dixie Dingo, the American Dingo, the Yaller, and the Yellow Dog.
Bones resembling those of the Carolina Dog have been found in ancient Native American Indian burial grounds, signifying they were likely kept as pets by American Indians.
The Carolina Dog was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in the 1970s.
The Carolina Dog is also recognized by:
- ACA – American Canine Association Inc.
- ACR – American Canine Registry
- APRI – American Pet Registry, Inc.
- ARBA -American Rare Breed Association
- CDA – Carolina Dog Association
- CKC – Continental Kennel Club
- DRA – Dog Registry of America, Inc.
- NKC – National Kennel Club
- UKC – United Kennel Club
The Carolina Dog should weigh between 30 and 55 pounds and range in size from 18 to 20 inches at the shoulders.
That said, many dogs can be smaller or larger than the average or standard for their breed.
The Carolina Dog is not overly affectionate with kisses and cuddles, but they’re incredibly loyal and will form strong bonds with their humans. They’re wary of strangers and may watch them suspiciously, which makes them excellent watchdogs.
The Carolina Dog is highly intelligent but also has a stubborn streak ingrained into their makeup. They may not be easily trainable, but they do have a willingness to please. Be patient and use positive reinforcement.
The Carolina Dog is also described as sturdy, quiet, gentle, brave, cunning, and resourceful. After living on their own for hundreds of years, they’re natural hunters and can adapt to just about any climate or lifestyle.
The Carolina Dog is a pack dog and should not be left alone. Isolation would not suit this pup at all.
The Carolina Dog breed is fairly healthy overall. Having lived in the wild for so long, they do not have the genetic disorders that many over-bred dog breeds have today. A minor concern may include hip and elbow dysplasia.
Recent studies have shown that the Carolina Dog breed may be sensitive to Ivermectin, an ingredient found in mite and heartworm medication. When it comes to treating them for fleas and ticks, you may want do some research and possibly search for natural alternatives. Ask your veterinarian for advice.
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Carolina Dog’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine.
The Carolina Dog should get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day to help keep them fit. Always have fresh water available.
These dogs are known for being clean; they groom themselves almost like cats. They’ll need help with their nails, though. Trim them before they get too long–usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer or vet can help with this.
One of the toughest jobs when caring for any animal is maintaining their oral health. You should brush your dog’s teeth a minimum of three times per week. Your vet can instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly and help with recommending dental chews.
An ideal Carolina Dog diet should be high in protein and, if possible, closely resemble what they would eat in the wild. A single feeding of high quality dog food or homemade food each day may suit this breed best. Ask your vet for advice on serving sizes and frequency.
Carolina Dogs have a tendency to gain weight if they’re overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day. Limit their amount of treats, as well.
As with all dogs, the Carolina Dog’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Carolina Dog’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Carolina Dog’s coat usually comes in a variety of colors that include cream, tan, black, brown, and red. They’re typically a combination of two or more of these colors.
They usually have short, dense coats, and while they’re not a great choice for allergy sufferers, they are very clean and groom themselves, much like cats.
The coat will change as the seasons change. It’s usually more sparse during the summer and thicker in the winter. During the winter, they tend to grow a pretty thick undercoat. They should only be bathed as needed.
Due to their versatile coat, the Carolina Dog can pretty easily adapt to almost any climate. Even though they lived in the wild, they need to live indoors and be with their human pack.
Children And Other Pets
The Carolina Dog is a sturdy dog and will bond and play well with kids, especially those who they consider a part of their family. Since the Carolina Dog is a pack dog, they’ll be happy in a household with other dogs.
While they love other dogs, be careful around other small animals, as this breed has a prey drive ingrained in their DNA.
It’s important to teach children how to behave around dogs, and it’s never a good idea to leave small children alone with any dog under any circumstance. Always supervise playtime between kids and dogs.
Rescues specifically for Carolina Dogs might be hard to come by, as this is a fairly rare breed. However, you can always check with your local shelter, and you may want to try a rescue that caters to all kinds of dogs. You can take a look at the following:
- Wright-Way Rescue
- Angels Among Us Pet Rescue