Facts About the Carolina Dog

The Carolina Dog has a muscular, medium-sized frame covered in a short coat that comes in tan, black and tan, and off-white.

A Carolina Dog.
A Carolina Dog. Photography by Susan Schmitz / Shutterstock.

Proud parent of a Carolina Dog who’s looking to learn more or thinking about getting a Carolina Dog? Learn the facts about this dog breed here:

Quick Facts About the Carolina Dog

  • Weight: 30 – 44 pounds
  • Height: 17 – 24 inches

Carolina Dogs have muscular, medium-sized frames covered in short coats that come in tan, black and tan, and off-white. They have wedge-shaped heads with pointed ears, long muzzles and dark, almond-shaped eyes. Their strong necks lead to narrow chests, straight backs and thick tails that either hang low or curl in a hook. Overall, Carolina Dogs have a ruggedly handsome look.

Carolina Dog Traits

  • Intelligent
  • Resourceful
  • Gentle
  • Reserved
  • Loyal

Who Gets Along Best With Carolina Dogs?

  • Outdoorsy types
  • Active singles
  • Families with older children

What Are Carolina Dogs Like to Live With?

Just recently discovered in the wild, Carolina Dogs are still not a fully domesticated breed. However, these “wild dog” qualities blend together into a loving, cooperative and protective companion. Carolina Dogs are self-sufficient, intelligent and “pack” oriented, making them crave togetherness and family time above all else. They can be slightly reserved with strangers, but grow more outgoing over time. Carolina Dogs are great workers, herders and outstanding playmates for children.

What to Know About the Carolina Dog

Carolina Dogs can live as long as 15 years with relatively few genetic health issues. They are fairly easy to groom, needing only an occasional brushing. Carolina Dogs are used to fending for themselves in the wild. For this reason, they might not be happy living in apartments. A large, fenced yard is ideal. They also appreciate long hikes in the woods. When in public, always keep the Carolina Dog on a leash.

Carolina Dog History

Discovered in the American South, Carolina Dogs are believed to have descended from Asian “pariah dogs” brought to North America across the Bering Strait 9,000 years ago. Much more recently, a University of Georgia professor discovered these Dingo-like dogs living in a remote area of South Carolina. Some historians have noted that the Carolina Dog’s bone structure resembles the dog bones found in American Indian burial sites.

Thumbnail: Photography by Susan Schmitz / Shutterstock. 

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9 thoughts on “Facts About the Carolina Dog”

  1. I have a dog that I got as a puppy and I’ve never really known her breed but when I googled her different traits and characteristics and color it pulled up images of carolina dogs and puppies and they could be her twins she is an amazing dog and she really does well in heat or cold she loves being inside or outside to and she is by far the most loyal and protective animal I’ve ever owned if anyone knows where I can learn more facts about these dogs I’d be very interested knowing where to look.

  2. They are known here in the Ozarks as the rare Arkansas Brown Dog. I’d be interested in knowing if a Carolina dog differs genetically from the similar mixed up brown dogs found over much of the world.
    Mine is gentle, loyal, smart, loves everyone, and is a joyful runner, whether it be going long for her frisbee or running on mountain bike or hiking trails.

  3. Think the description is spot on. Our Carolina Dog is a rescue, so it has taken some time to get her used to my daughter and me. My husband she adores. We think in her past females were mean to her. Wish I could find out more about the breed and how to test for Carolina Dog DNA. Any information would be great.

  4. Your description of a Carolina Dog is incorrect, totally opposite of my dog.
    Carolina Dog Traits
    Intelligent – correct
    Resourceful – correct
    Gentle – very gentle with children
    Reserved – my dog is the most social dog i’ve ever had.
    Loyal – very loyal and extremely over protective
    Who Gets Along Best With Carolina Dogs?
    Outdoorsy types – Not true I am far from being outdoorsy, he does not like the heat.
    Active singles – Not true I am far from being an active single, we walk 3-4 times per day
    Families with older children – Not true, my dog is the most gentle with kids from newborn to older children.
    Does not do well in apartments – Not true – I live in a one bedroom apt. and my dog is quite happy, he loves to layout on the balcony.

    1. Diana – Florida

      ☺️ I agree with you in mostly everything. Our Carolina dog is very intelligent, resourceful, gentle/loving with children, 100% social with humans and other dogs, he is definitely a ‘pack’ dog and enjoys the outdoors very much but doesn’t like the heat; he prefers cold temperatures and loves snow. He’s very playful and a great runner/swimmer despite his age (12 yrs old); has great memory and enjoys being caressed especially by ladies!!! Hahaha.

  5. I saw a pack of this dogs 5 years ago off of steep hill creek in wake county. I was actually shocked to see such a pack of beautiful dogs in the wild with quite a few pups. They looked just like dingos. I did a little research and couldn’t believe what I read about Carolina dogs

  6. Thomas C. Hodgson

    We have a (believed-to-be) Carolina (rescue) dog of NC birth. Our research as to breed origines leads in several, very diverse directions. Bottom line, there are obviously some serious disagreements as to the origines of this would be/soon-to-be AKC breed.

    Please give us the names of the most reliable sources of Carolina dog origines.



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