Many people don’t know about the Carolina breed, and there actually is a good reason for it. As you go through this list of 10 fun facts, remember that there are several unique qualities about the breed, so if you are interested in getting one be sure to learn all you can before making your final decision.
1. The Carolina breed is both intelligent and independent.
This combination makes the breed unique when it comes to the entire spectrum of dogs available. German Shepherds and Jack Russell Terriers are said to be among the most intelligent of dogs, but they tend not to be as independent. The extra factor of independence gives the Carolina dog a significant edge of survival in the wild.
2. The breed has only been known to exist for about 40 years.
A University of Georgia professor originally discovered this breed less than 50 years ago in the state of South Carolina (hence, the name Carolina dog). Tracing its heritage is still in the works, but at this point it is believed they are related to an Asian breed that came across the Bering Strait more than 9,000 years ago.
3. They have very few hereditary conditions, making them healthier than many dog breeds.
That healthy heritage gives them a lifespan over more than 15 years. There are not many issues you will have if you get a Carolina dog as they tend to have very few health problems over the course of their life, making them much cheaper to own when it comes to veterinary costs.
4. Their nickname is the “American Dingo” or “Yellow Dog.”
The Dingo is an Australian wild dog that cannot be domesticated. In contrast, Carolina dogs are semi-domesticated, meaning they can survive on their own in the wild if necessary, but also can be domesticated under the right conditions.
5. Carolina Dogs continue to have a pack mentality.
The pack mentality is something every dog has in its genetics. The most domesticated breeds have largely lost that natural instinct and are perfectly content to go it alone. Not true with the Carolinas, but read on to learn how this pack mentality trait works to an owner’s advantage.
6. The breed is extremely loyal and protective when properly raised.
The combination of independence and the pack mentality may have potential owners shying away from owning a Carolina, but actually the reverse is the case. Puppies that are brought up in a family environment, especially one with children, will quickly adapt to their environment and become very protective of their new family. Basically, the family becomes part of the pack.
7. They are great with children, especially active children.
Carolinas have that independent quality that makes them love the outdoors. In fact, the breed needs a lot of open spaces to be happy and maximize its longevity. Playing with children, especially in the outdoors, lets them burn off the large amount of energy they have and keeps them both happy and healthy.
8. Family time is their best time.
If you have ever seen sled dog teams in Alaska or Canada, you know they do everything together – sleep, eat, and work. Remember where the origins of the Carolina breed are supposed to be? Being with the “pack” (the family) is what comes natural to them. But remember you have to allow them their independence as well.
9. They are great for hunting and searching.
Though not suitable for law enforcement duties just yet due to their natural streak of independence, the dogs are natural searchers and hunters since it is still necessary for them to survive in the wild. The good news is now that they have been discovered they can be bred to become more domesticated and use those natural instincts to help in search and rescue efforts or as tracking dogs.
10. They have either the pinched ears or they are floppy at the top.
The cutest part of the breed is saved for the last. Some owners of other breeds have to have their dog’s ears pinched to make them stand up. It doesn’t make them hear any better, and can cause some health problems down the road. But Carolina dogs come with the trait au natural, so if you like your dog’s ears standing up, get a Carolina pup.