The Carolina Dog is very similar in appearance to a small Dingo. The distinctive features of this breed are those which have been valuable to its survival in the swamps and forests of the South. The Carolina Dog has a medium length straight back, well-developed chest and well tucked-up belly, giving it a slight resemblance to the sighthound breeds. It has a long neck, wedge-shaped head with powerful jaws, almond-shaped dark eyes with a soft, intelligent, yet alert expression, and large, erect high-set ears which are very mobile. The Carolina Dog is very well-muscled and powerful for its size, showing strong, free and agile movement with a lot of drive and is very flexible and able to turn instantly. Distinctive to the breed is the “fish-hook” tail, carried in various positions according to the mood of the dog, but never slack or loose. The skin is tight and the coat is short but thick with a dense undercoat in season; there is a profusion of longer guard hairs on the neck, withers and back that may be erect when the dog is aroused. The color of the Carolina Dog is distinctive, usually a deep red ginger with pale buff markings on the shoulders and side of the muzzle, and paler shadings on underside, throat and chest. Lighter shades of red and cream are not uncommon. Darker shading over the back, loins and tail is permitted.
The following are the color variations from light to dark. Predominant color listed:
White with spots Tan, beige, desert sand, yellow Orange, ginger red Red sable
The preferred color is deep red ginger with pale buff markings over the shoulders and along the muzzle. Variations in color, grading from straw colored through wheaten to pale yellow or buff are also acceptable, but never all white. The Carolina Dog must look like a natural animal, capable of surviving in the wild, hardy, strong and capable. It is not trimmed.
The Carolina Dog is a pariah dog. ("Pariah dog" is a general name in India for the half-reclaimed dogs that swarm in every village, owned by no one in particular, but ready to accompany any individual on a hunting expedition.) 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. This dog that has survived as a free living animal in the swamps, savannahs, and forests of South Carolina and Georgia for thousands of years has also proven to be highly adaptable and amenable to domestication, and an excellent pet. Many dogs are known to be extremely shy around people and dislike a lot of handling unless socialized at a very young age. 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 and is easy to housebreak. He is intelligent and responsive and learns easily and is not destructive. Not aggressive by nature but with a well-developed hunting instinct, the Carolina Dog will get along with other animals if introduced to them at a young age. Like the other types of pariah dog, the Carolina Dog is quite independent. If you are to keep one of these dogs as a family pet, one needs to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates his displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. The humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success. He is suspicious and may be somewhat shy to strangers and in unfamiliar surroundings or circumstances. This is not a dog that is outgoing and friendly to everyone, but rather is devoted to his own “pack.” They enjoy hunting small game, a task they do with grace and quickness. The Carolina Dog could almost pass for a larger size Dingo. Like the Dingos and pariahs before them, they have strong herding instincts. Carolina Dogs have a tendency to howl at certain noises.
Height: 17 - 24inches (45 - 61 cm)
Weight: 30 - 44 pounds (15 - 20 kg)