wild or feral?

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katie says let's- go to the park!
Barked: Sun Apr 11, '10 8:38am PST 
hi. i have been doing some reading about carolina dogs online, and i understand there are still some running "wild" in south carolina. i am wondering...are these true "wild" dogs, or are they feral dogs that were once domesticated and are now living a wild existence?

are the carolina dogs a true breed? or a mix of various breeds. or are they totally wild?

thanks for any info. i am very curious about carolina dogs, and i think they are absolutely fascinating.

Edited by author Fri Jul 16, '10 6:42am PST


Rub my Belly
Barked: Sat Apr 17, '10 10:30am PST 
Carolina dogs are wild dogs. Like most wild dogs they have been domesticated (in small numbers) over the years. The closest genetic match to Carolina Dogs is the Australian Dingo and the Asian Dingo (believed to be extinct), also a lot of similar genetic markers to the New Guinea Singing Dog (believed to be extinct in the wild). Although directly related to Australasian Dingos the Carolina Dog does vary in a few major ways. Carolina Dogs are smaller by about 15lbs to 30lbs, they live and hunt in a pack while AU Dingos live alone or in small family groups. Wild Carolina Dogs, when domesticated under 8 weeks old, generally adapt to domestication better than AU Dingos, they can remain reserved and shy to anyone other than their immediate family. Carolina Dogs are very intelligent, fast learners, somewhat independent and very trainable.
Carolina dogs are "wild" dogs, a product of natural selection. Carolina Dogs are recognized by the A.K.C as a "Rare Breed" and can be registered as such although the process or verification is more in depth. Although recognized by kennel clubs the vast majority of these dogs still live in the wild and are listed as a endangered animal. There are a few breeders of Carolina Dogs and the A.K.C. does certify captive bred Carolina Dogs. This practice is questioned by some since the captive rare dogs are bred from a fairly small gene pool. This can lead to increased risk of inbreeding and genetic health problems.
Americus (our Carolina Dog) is extremely rare, she has blue eyes. Blue eyes are probably a mutation brought on from breeding with a domestic line at some point but is accepted as a rare trait (1 in 800). Other than the eyes she is just about normal; 40lbs, yellow and reddish/tan coat, 16"/17" tall, fish hook tail with a white tip and extremely powerful for a medium dog.
If you are interested in adopting a Carolina Dog I would suggest checking with animal shelters in South Carolina and north Georgia. This is their natural habitat and do end up in shelters from time to time. Be warned, although our dog is wonderful, I have heard/read that Carolina Dogs can be a challenge to train.
I hope some of this info is helpful. For further information you can always look up Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin Jr., a Senior Research Ecologist at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Lab. He has done some of the best research and studies of the Carolina Dog and was intrumental in getting kennal club recognition of theses wonderful dogs.


So cute...but oh- so evil- (sometimes)
Barked: Wed Apr 21, '10 9:45am PST 
Wow Paul what great information. It is very hard to find info on Carolina dogs. We didn't know anything about them until after we adopted Baylee and someone at the park asked us if she was a Carolina dog. Had to go home and do some research and there is no doubt in my mind she is one. Unfortunatly when we adobted Baylee she was approx. 9 months old and came with some baggage. We have had her 2 years now and the improvements are extreme but she still can get very aggressive with unknown dogs and some people. We have kept her in training classes and take her to day care to help keep her socialized but on her home turf she is very protective. I wish she would let other people see what a sweet and loving dog she is but she feels the need to protect from the unkown. Most people would problablyhave taken her back to the shelter but we do not have small kids so decided to make her our project. She is alot of work but well worth it. I have had many dogs but there is something special about this breed they seem to be a very loyal and dedicated breed. Baylee is happy as long as her family is with her (or her extened family at day care) but can not be left alone with people she is not familiar with. She was the least distructive of any puppy we have had in the past and unlike our other dog she prefers to carry her toys around not destroy them. Anyway thanks for all the info, wish there was more out there on the breed.