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  • Temperament: Loyal, Independent, Reserved with Strangers
  • Height: 17.75-19.5 inches
  • Weight: 30-55 pounds
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Carolina Dog standing outdoors in profile.
©Kathy Greenwood
Carolina Dog sitting in profile.
adogslifephoto/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
Carolina Dog laying down at the breed's AKC Meet the Breeds booth.
Photo by HOTdog
Carolina Dog head portrait outdoors.
Carolina Dog laying down.
adogslifephoto/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

About the Carolina Dog

Carolina dogs are descended from the canines that accompanied the Paleo-Americans who traveled from Asia to North America over the Bering land bridge. Today, they can still be found living wild near the Georgia-South Carolina border, but have also been seen as far north as Ohio and Pennsylvania and as far west as Arizona; rural areas are the common denominator. The typical Carolina dog has pointed ears, a fox-like snout and a tail that curves like a fishhook when it is raised. They look similar to Australian Dingoes but, taxonomically, they fall under canis familiaris. Hesitant with strangers, they will sound the alarm when unaware of who’s at the door, but once they see their people, they are ecstatic. Carolina Dogs have an extreme pack mentality, as this was a necessity for survival in the wild.


Club Contact Details
Club: Carolina Dog Club of America
Name: Lane Watkins, President

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Carolina Dog standing facing forward.

Find a Puppy: Carolina Dog

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



The Carolina Dog should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


Minimal grooming is needed for Carolina Dogs. They tend to keep themselves clean much like a cat; however, occasional bathing may be necessary. These dogs do not require any special grooming techniques other than brushing and nail trimming. Coat length is short to medium, though, some dogs in the northern regions have developed a longer hair length. Coat density is effected seasonally, generally heavier in the cooler months and lighter in the warmer months. In cooler months, there should be a very pronounced undercoat. Short and smooth hair is found on the head, ears and front legs. Coarse, long guard hairs are on the neck, withers and back. When aroused, these hairs stand erect.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Occasional Bath/Brush




Like any other dog, the Carolina Dog requires exercise. These are not high-energy dogs, but should have some form of daily exercise. Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise


Carolina Dogs are very easily trained, eager to please, and may or may not respond to treat training. They excel in competitive activities and hunting small game.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Eager to Please




In general, Carolina Dogs enjoy good health. Recent studies have shown that some are ivermectin sensitive, so discuss this with your veterinarian before administering any antiparasitic medications. Working with a responsible breeder, prospective owners can gain the education they need to learn about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize health screenings and genetic testing to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.


Carolina Dog head portrait outdoors.
Carolina Dogs outdoors in the yard.
Carolina Dog standing portrait.
Carolina Dog head portrait outdoors.
Carolina Dog head portrait outdoors.


When humans migrated across the Bering land bridge from Asia into North America, they brought with them a primitive form of dog that were domesticated from Asian wolves thousands of years earlier. Skeletal and mummified remains of these dogs have been discovered alongside other artifacts belonging to the Native Americans of the Southwest and from there, they moved further into Central and South America and over to what’s currently the eastern United States. Archaeologists discovered similar canine remains in ceremonial burials in the southeastern forests, denoting their companionship with Native Americans long before Europeans arrived.

Recent studies of free-ranging dogs of the Southeast and Southwest suggest a close ancestry and possible descent from these primitive companions based on appearance, behavior, and ecology. These free-ranging dogs were named Carolina Dogs by Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, who initially made contact with the breed in the Southeast.

Did You Know?

The Carolina Dog has been assigned the Hound Group designation.
The Carolina Dog has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since July 2017.
Carolina Dogs dig snout pits which are small, conical depressions in the dirt that exactly fit the dogs' muzzles. Most snout pits are dug by females between the months of September and January.
Carolina Dogs have been called North American Native Dogs, Indian Dogs, American Dingoes, Dixie Dingoes, and "yaller dogs."
A Carolina Dog named Ginger is the spokesdog for Hill's Science Diet pet food.
Carolina Dogs often have extra heat cycles in the first two years.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Black & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 018
Buff Check Mark For Standard Color 068
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Tawny Check Mark For Standard Color 198
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199
Yellow Check Mark For Standard Color 232


Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Irish Marked Check Mark For Standard Mark 115
Piebald Check Mark For Standard Mark 025
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014