The Carolina Dog is a dog of medium build, possessing the general appearance of a small jackal or wolf in combination with many features of a small Sighthound. The distinctive features of the breed are those that confer survival advantages under free-living conditions in the tall grass savannah and bottomland swamp forest habitats of the southeastern United States. The dog typically has a medium-length straight back, with a distinctive waist which sets off a deep brisket (chest) from highly tucked-up loins. The tail is distinctive in both its fish-hook-like configuration and its variable carriage, depending on mood. The large, upright ears and long, graceful neck are also distinctive and suggest the appearance of a small, versatile and resourceful predator, well adapted to surviving on its own in a natural habitat. In ideal conditions, a Carolina Dog should appear thin and tight.
Generally shy and suspicious nature is characteristic, the Carolina Dog is one of the very few breeds existing today that is truly a primitive dog, a result of natural selection for survival in nature, and not of selective breeding. Wild specimens are still known, so this is not a completely domesticated canine. With proper socialization, they are proven to be loyal companion dogs. Many of the characteristics of the natural dog that are predominant in the Carolina Dog contribute to his ability to adjust well to being a loving pet.
The Carolina Dog enjoys and needs to be part of a pack, and thus integrates very well into the family framework. He is a gentle, social dog, and bonds very well with children, enjoying play and activities with them. The Carolina Dog is very clean by nature, intelligent, responsive and learns easily. Not aggressive by nature but with a well-developed prey drive, the Carolina Dog will get along with other animals if introduced to them at a young age.
Carolina Dogs began to be studied in the 1970's after being found running free in South Carolina and Georgia, however, they can be found nationwide. There are a few theories on their origin. Some say they may have been descendants from the first primitive dogs that crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia into North America.
Called "Carolina Dogs" they bare a striking resemblance to the Australian Dingo of which they are no relation. They're also very similar in physical attributes with many dogs all over the world called 'pariah' breeds meaning living on the outskirts of human civilization and culture. Another term used for these dogs are Long Term Pariah Morphotypes (LTPM) - animals with the ability to adapt as their environment changes.
Nicknames for the breed over the years are American Dingo, Dixie Dingo, Old Yellar Dog, Swamp Dog, and Native Dog, to name a few.....we like "Carolina Dogs!"