Carolina Dog – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Carolina Dog is a 'wild dog' who loves spending time with his humans. Read on to discover why this breed is so unique and what kind of living conditions suits them the best.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
18 to 20 inches at the shoulder
33 to 55 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Carolina Dog goes by many names.

Some of them are North American Native Dogs, Indian Dogs, American Dingoes, Dixie Dingoes, and “yaller dogs.”

This breed is known for being extremely shy, but once they feel welcome and accepted, and part of the pack, they will become open and inviting.

They will love spending time with their humans. Overall, this breed has the appearance of a wolf or a jackal.

They are in fact descended from dogs that accompanied the Paleo-Indians who traveled from Asia to North America over the Bering land bridge.

Even today they can be found living wild-like life near the Georgia-South Carolina border.

They have pointed ears and a fox-like snout. Their tail curves like a fishhook when it’s raised.

To many, they have a similar appearance to Australian Dingoes. They aren’t fond of strangers and will always alarm their humans when possible trouble is around.

Carolina Dogs have an extreme pack mentality which helped them survive for so long, meaning they won’t do well on their own and will prefer to follow you around.

Quick Facts

Real name: Carolina Dog
Other names: American Dingo, Carolina Dingo, American Pariah
Origin: States
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 33 to 55 pounds
Height: 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 3 – 6 puppies
Color: Commonly red
Coat: Short and dense coat

Carolina Dog History

Carolina Dog has a long history.

These medium-to-large dogs descended from a group of primitive dogs that were brought from Asia to North America.

The Carolina Dog is still considered to be a recent discovery. These dogs were found and celebrated in the 1970s – at the time, they were running free across the Southeastern parts of the States.

Once the DNA test was executed, it was published that these dogs most likely shared their days with Native Americans.

A biologist and former researcher at the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Lab, I. Lehr Brisbin was responsible for the breed’s discovery.

Brisbin noticed wild dogs while traveling and exploring the wild. Moreover, these dogs would occasionally step into some of the live traps that he used frequently to study wildlife.

This new breed was registered in 1996 under the United Kennel Club, while the American Kennel Club placed the breed under the Foundation Stock Service in 2017.

This is usually the first step before the breed gets officially recognized.

Carolina Dog Physical Appearance

One look at this breed should be enough for everyone to realize that this is no ordinary dog.

In fact, a second look should tell that this domestic dog is more similar to wild dogs in appearance than to dogs that you see in the dog parks.

It’s as if they have a wilderness living inside of them still.

For example, you may notice some of the most unusual practices in this breed, that aren’t commonly seen in dogs.

One of the most unusual things that you may witness in this dog is digging.

This doesn’t mean that they will dig the backyard, but that they will cover their poo by pushing dirt onto it with their nose.

Sounds more like feline practice, right? Yet, this dog does it. Another unusual occurrence is related to females.

If for some reason you decide not to spay your female Carolina dog, you may expect to see her going into heat more frequently than other breeds, such as Bernese Mountain Dog, or Pomeranian.

If you are thinking about breeding your dog, learn first what you need to know breeding-wise. Otherwise, spay or neuter your dog as soon as your veterinarian gives you green light.

What About Carolina Dog Appearance?

To understand this breed’s appearance, you need to know first why this breed was bred for initially.

Since there arent, exact documents on breed development and far history, dog experts, breeders, and lovers came to a few mutual conclusions.

That being said, the Carolina Dog was bred to fellow humans and help them with everyday tasks.

Initially, they were bred to be large, strong, and independent.

That’s how they managed to survive before their reappearance in the 1970s. As such, they have s soft wolf-like appearance, well-balanced body, and prominent posture.

The head forms a triangle, the skill is strong and broad between ears, while the tight-fitting lips are black.

In some dogs, the tongue may be pink or blue-black, or even fully black.

Eyes give soft expression and are almond-shaped, and can range in color from yellow to blue.

The nose is black, while the ears are rounded at the tip. The neck is long and strong, while the hind legs are well-muscled.

The tail is very expressive in this breed. Carolina’s tail has a ‘fish hook’ shape and is heavily haired on the underside.

Interestingly, the Carolina Dog’s coat and skin will be affected by the season. That being said, in the winter you can expect to see a much heavier coat than it’s in the summer.

Carolina Dogs come in several colors that often include red, pale yellow, yellow, white, buff, black, and even black and tan.

Some markings can be present from time to time. As for the height and weight, you can expect Carolina Dog to have between 33 to 55 pounds and 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder.

If you provide proper care, the right amount of exercise, and proper nutrition, you can expect Carolin Dog to live up to 15 years. Their lifespan is between 12 to 15 years.

Carolina Dog Personality

Carolina Dog isn’t a breed recommended for first time dog owners.

If you are getting your first dog, think about the breed that is more suitable for novice owners. This doesn’t mean that you cannot ever have own Caroline Dog.

It just means that for this specific breed you need more experience as a dog owner.

As a more ‘free-spirited’ breed, the Caroline Dog temperament tend to be shy and suspicious. This is why early socialization and training are mandatory.

If you want a dog who is passionate about being a part of the pack, this is the breed to have. They have a strong pack mentality and are extremely loyal to their humans.

Caroline Dogs also tend to be shy around strangers, but they will happily join any outdoor activity, including hiking or running.

Carolina Dog prefers active owners who love spending hours outside. They prefer more rural areas and have a lot of space to run.

They do the best as a single-pet. That being said, homes with no children and no small pets do the best for them. However, if they are introduced to other dogs and humans in their puppyhood, they should learn how to co-exist, since their pack needs are too strong.

Like with any other breed training and early socialization are what can help you make this dog a well-behaved canine citizen.

Important: Carolina Dog is exclusively recommended to dog owners who have experience with Carolina Dog breed.

Carolina Dog Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Carolina Dog home. This is the only way to keep your dog entertained, and well-behaved.

Make sure that you use the socialization window period to teach your dog basic commands, house rules, and how to treat house visitors.

Once your veterinarian gives you a green light and the socialization period is completed, your dog can meet other dogs and visit the dog park.

In the meantime keep your Carolina Dog with some fun games, indoor tricks, and a lot of treats.

Don’t overdue with treats, because you don’t want to help your dog get extra pounds.

Obesity in pets is on the rise across the States, and you would want to stick to recommended feeding guidelines.

As for the training:

  • Keep training sessions consistent
  • Keep training moments fun
  • Use only positive reinforcement methods
  • Use treats moderately as reward

If you feel like training your Carolina Dog is too much for you, think about a professional training lesson.

Puppy classes are a great way to make the bond with your dog stronger. However, always focus on finding a dog trainer who has experience training Carolina Dog specifically.

Carolina Dog Grooming

If you are a big fan of the Carolina Dog breed, but you are not passionate when it comes to grooming, you are in luck.

This breed is easy to maintain and to keep his coat healthy and shiny you will need minimal brushing.

When it comes to grooming, this breed is similar to feline grooming practice.

Still, the occasional bath may be in order. Make sure that you use only dog-friendly shampoo.

Dogs don’t have skin as humans do, and they don’t need frequent bathing.

To keep brushing light, use the right grooming tools. This will help you keep that short to medium coat clean.

The rest is basic care:

  • Check the skin while brushing for any sign on fleas and infection
  • Check gums and eyes weekly
  • Trim or grind nails month. Too long nails can cause serious discomfort in dogs, and even lead to back pain, and spine-related complications
  • Learn how to clean dog’s ears and when to do so

If grooming a dog seems like too much work for you, you can always think about hiring a professional dog groomer who will keep your dog in perfect condition.

Truth be told, this service may be pricey and cost you a bit more than expected, but it will give you more time for cuddling with your Fido.

Don’t avoid grooming practices completely, because brushing, for example, can be a wonderful bonding experience.

Carolina Dog Health

As a medium-to-large size dog, the Carolina dog can live between 12 to 15 years.

During this period you shouldn’t experience any major health issues with this dog.

If you’re dealing with responsible breeders you will know the exact condition of your dog’s health.

This means that you will get medical documentation on the puppy, as well as needed information.

Responsible breeders will always inform you of possible future issues, so you can prepare for them.

This doesn’t mean that your Caroline Dog will get them – no, it simply means that you should aware odff certain conditions. This is why regular veterinarian visits are an important crucial part of prevention.

This breed has only a few genetic issues, but you can expect to see conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

The Bottom Line

To keep Carolina Dog active, healthy, and happy, you should be mindful when it comes to nutrition.

This means that you should do your best to serve only high-quality food to your Carolina Dog, and know feeding guidelines.

Any diet and food should be appropriate to the dog’s age, activity level, and size.

There is no point in feeding puppy food to senior dogs or vice versa. They should eat food that is specially designed for them.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet or weight, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.

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