Carolina Dog Information

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(American Dingo) The Carolina Dog has a very similar physical appearance to that of a small Dingo. The breed’s distinguishing characteristics have led to their survival throughout the swamps and forests of the south. The Carolina Dog has a well-developed chest and a medium-length, straight back. Their belly is tucked up and their neck is long. They have almond-shaped eyes that are dark in color and a pair of large, high-set ears that stand erect. Their head is wedge-shaped and their jaws are strong and powerful. They have a distinctive tail that exists in the shape of a fish hook. The tail is carried in various positions depending on the dog’s mood. The short-haired coat of the Carolina Dog is very thick, and a dense undercoat forms during season. Hair is longer on the neck, withers, and back. The coat is usually a deep red ginger in color, and pale buff markings often exist on the shoulders and side of the muzzle. Other coat colors for this breed include white (with spots), tan, beige, desert sand, yellow, orange, ginger red, and red sable.

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Some Carolina Dogs also have long hair. The colors of the Carolina Dog are piebald, black, sable and red.

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The Carolina Dog is a truly primitive breed that is the result of natural selection. It is not a completely domesticated breed, and specimens are still found today that exist in the wild. The Carolina Dog is a pariah dog that has survived throughout the swamps, forests, and savannahs throughout South Carolina and Georgia for thousands of years. They make excellent pets and are highly adaptable to domestication. Many Carolina Dogs are shy around people who are not included in their family pack and prefer to make friends and acquaintances on their own terms. With proper socialization from an early age, they are proven to be loyal and amenable companions. Because of their natural instincts, this breed loves to feel as though it is part of the pack. For this reason, they fit well into the natural framework of a family. They are gentle, kind, and get along great with children. They are clean and easy to housebreak. They are intelligent and responsive, and they are not aggressive or destructive. This breed has a tendency to howl at certain noises.

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17 – 24 inches
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40 - 60 pounds
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General Health

The Carolina Dog has no reported health issues or concerns. This breed typically lives for 12 to 14 years.

I have Heard up to 16yrs if you manita in kibble diet.

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The Carolina Dog was the first domesticated dog of the Americas. They were an Indian breed, and they come from the deep, southern regions of the United States. They are believed to be direct descendants of the ancient pariah dogs that accompanied Asians traveling across the Bering Straits around 8,000 years ago. The breed was discovered and named by Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr., a biology professor, at the United States Department of Energy’s site in the Savannah River in South Carolina. Wild dog breeds have roamed freely in this deserted area for many years. While many scientists believe the Carolina Dog is almost identical in appearance to the Dingo, some believe the breed’s bone structure is similar to the remains of the Neolithic dog bones from Native American burial sites that are thousands of years old. Scientists believe that researching the Carolina Dog could give them a better understanding of today’s dogs. The Carolina Dog is naturally talented and is utilized for a number of purposes.

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The Carolina Dog has can have one of three coats, short, medium or Long/Soft. The short-haired coat is easy to groom and care for. While the coat will benefit from an occasional brushing, it can pretty much clean itself. This breed should be bathed only as necessary.  The Long/Soft coat does not matt or knot up and does not require more grooming. Also, the soft coat usually sheds less.

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Ideal Environment

The Carolina Dog can live in a small household or apartment but they are not a fully domesticated breed, they require plenty of outdoor space. They adapt well to sunny climates, but they shouldn’t live in cold weather conditions. They don’t require a great deal of exercise, but they should have at least a small amount on a daily basis.

Carolina dogs with long/soft coats do fine in most any climate.

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Dog Training!

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Carolina Dog Q&A

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How bad do Carolina Dogs shed?

From my experience (mine has short hair) Carolina Dogs shed a lot less than other breeds. Added bonus, this is a dog that does not smell like a dog, even when wet, and rarely needs a bath.


I read here that this dog should not live in cold weather conditions. I live in Illinois. The winters here can be pretty cold but only for a few months out of the year. Would this still be a bad area to have a dog like this?

I have one and I live in Wisconsin. She loves the snow and doesnt mind the cold weather. She would play outside all day in the single digits if I let her...but I don't. Maybe they mean they wouldn't do well if they had to live outside in the cold since they are native to the warm south.


do carolina dogs come intri colars or blue meral like austrlian cattle dogs and austrlian shepherds? I have a dog whos mother was diago but looked like a blue meral verision of a carolina dog. Only with no tail. The father looked like an austrlian tri colar shepherd with maybe a little boader collie.

Usually are not meral, saddleback or all white. Thats a typical Carolina Dog, but it is not unusual for there to be any range of traits they may have been added to the gene pool of a true Carolina Dog pack. I live in the midlands of SC and have seen wild packs and they all do not fit into one mold.


I've only found one breeder of Carolina dogs. Does anyone have anymore information on different breeders?

Do you know anyone in SC or GA? They turn up in shelters and rescues all the time. Most are labeled as shepherd lab mixes. If it looks too shepherd, it probably is a shepherd.


Are Carolina dogs able to live in cold temperatures for just a couple of months? It can get pretty cold, about 0 degrees.

Yes they can tolerate the cold especially if aclimated by taking them out or leaving them outside in a runfor a few hours a day. They will build a thick undercoat. As they reach old age they will be less tolerant of the cold for long periods


Are Carolina dogs non allergic dogs?

I have just discovered that my dog is a Carolina dog. I would not say that she is non allergic. I am allergic to her saliva and coat but love her anyway!!! She is a wonderful dog who tries hard to please!


Just got a Carolina Dog, and am thrilled! I am living in an apartment currently and she seems to be doing fine. We go on a daily run and play all of the time. As she gets bigger could being in an apartment be a problem, or with enough exercise will she be ok in a smaller space?

I assume my dog is mostly Carolina Dog. She is very active and does need a lot play time. She started out as a puppy in a large house with a large yard. Since then we now live in a small apartment. Luckily there's plenty of places to take her to play and learn. She does well as long as she gets enough exercise. And she's good about letting me know when she's getting bored while inside.

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