The Carolina Dog: A Complete Guide

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If the dog you are looking for is of medium size, muscled, with a generally suspicious and shy nature, but really friendly and easy-going once he establishes trust, the Carolina Dog is probably the right breed for you.

These Dingo looking dogs are an ancient breed that is connected to these wild dogs, but it got domesticated through the years and is now an excellent companion for families with an active lifestyle.

The Carolina Dogs can be trained well as they are highly intelligent, and they come with a gentle nature that allows them to be great family dogs.

They are dogs that are meant for the outdoors and are happiest when living in a family that has several dogs.

However, are you sure you know this breed well enough to become an owner? Are you familiar with all their needs and traits?

To give you answers to these and many more questions regarding this breed, we have decided to come up with an in-depth Carolina Dog guide.

In this guide, you will find out everything there is to know about these dogs, as well as what you should pay attention to when choosing a Carolina Dog breeder.

But first, let’s take a look at the important things you should know before you buy a puppy of this breed.

The Carolina Dog Puppies – Before You Buy…

A Carolina Dog with its tongue out
The Carolina Dog is a medium-sized breed.

Before buying a Carolina Dog puppy, there are a few important things you should know.

For example, you need to know if the puppy price suits your budget or if you should choose a more affordable breed.

What price are the Carolina Dog puppies?

The average price range for a Carolina Dog puppy that comes from a reputable breeder goes from some $800 and can get up to $1000 or even higher if you are looking at a premium-quality pup meant for breeding and dog shows.

For a high-quality, healthy pup with great genes, that is meant to be a pet, the price you should expect is around $900.

How to find reputable Carolina Dog breeders?

When it comes to finding a reputable breeder that sells high-quality puppies that don’t come with any hidden health issues, the task can be complicated as they can be hard to find.

However, if you know what to look for and what to pay attention to, it won’t be that complicated.

The best way to be sure that you aren’t dealing with a puppy mill or a backyard breeder is to keep an eye on the red flags that might show up.

Here is what you should pay attention to and avoid buying the puppy if this is the case.

  • If the breeder has many litters available at the same time, you are probably dealing with a puppy mill
  • If the dealer isn’t willing to show you where the pups were raised but wants to meet with you somewhere else, you are probably dealing with a puppy mill “seller”
  • If there are no medical records for the puppy, no vaccination booklets, and no health tests clearances for the parents
  • If the breeder doesn’t seem interested in your lifestyle and doesn’t offer advice on how to take care of the puppy
  • If the breeder doesn’t give you a diet plan and a list of the ingredients your dog needs to develop properly and keep his health
  • If the breeder doesn’t seem to know much about the breed

On the other hand, a sure sign that you are dealing with a reputable breeder is when he tells you many useful facts about the breed, asks you about your lifestyle and helps you choose the perfect puppy based on that.

Also, he will show you a fully documented medical history of the entire litter and for the parents, as well as all the necessary health clearances for the pup’s parents and in some cases even grandparents.

With a reputable breeder, it will be clear right from the start that his main focus isn’t money, but the love towards the breed and an effort to improve the breed and find good homes for all of his dogs.

3 Little-known facts about the Carolina Dog puppies

A light brown Carolina Dog looking out the window
The Carolina Dogs are great runners.

Now that you know how to find a reputable breeder, let’s take a look at some little-known facts about the Carolina Dog puppies.

  • They are shy

The Carolina Dog puppies are usually shy around people they don’t know so you must start the socialization right from the start.

  • They are smart

This is a very intelligent breed, but also independent.

This can be a problem during the training as they become more and more independent as they mature.

For this reason, the training should start as soon as possible.

  • They can’t be crate trained

Due to their love for the outdoors and their independent nature, the Carolina Dogs are difficult to house train and crate training is nearly impossible.

Physical Traits of the Carolina Dog

This is the part of the guide where you discover how big your dog will get when he grows up, as well as how long can you expect him to be your loyal companion.

How big is a full-grown Carolina Dog?

The Carolina Dog breed is considered a medium-sized breed and their height range goes from 18 to 20 inches.

The higher end of the range is reserved for the males while the females take the lower end.

As for the weight range, the males can have up to 55 pounds of weight, while the females are lighter and go up to 30 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Carolina Dog?

This is a fairly long living breed and their average lifespan goes from some 12 to 14 years.

As you can see, there will be plenty of time for making many happy memories, assuming that your dog has a proper diet, regular exercise, and regular vet checkups.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Carolina Dog

A Carolina Dog laying on the ground
The Carolina Dogs have outstanding noses.

The Carolina Dog is well known for forming a tight bond with his human family and other dogs in the household.

Even though they are not aggressive unless they have to defend themselves or their family, these dogs are almost always suspicious of strangers.

This is why early socialization is required so that they realize that not all people want to harm them and that if they are friendly to you, there’s no reason to be defensive.

Nevertheless, even with proper socialization, the Carolina Dogs will always be on the watch and warn you if they sense something dangerous.

Another thing these dogs are well known is their ability to form bonds with other dogs, especially if they live together. They will form a pack with dogs that are not even of the same breed.

But, when it comes to other animals, especially cats, they don’t get along fine. You should not leave them alone with small animals such as hamsters.

And, don’t be surprised if they bring you rodent trophies from time to time as they have a strong prey drive and are excellent hunters.

When it comes to training, this is a breed that is well known as being very complicated to train. Their primitive and independent sides can’t be pleased easily and they don’t like to please others that much.

They will easily form a bond with you, but won’t be so easy going when it comes to training.

You will need to be consistent, creative, have plenty of patience, and be ready to spend a lot of time training your Carolina Dog if you want to be successful.

But, once the dog gets interested in the training, it will easily pick up the commands. But, to keep him interested, a good old “good boy!” and a belly rub won’t be enough.

You will have to come up with rewards that praise his success.

Usually, treats will do the trick, but you have to keep in mind that too many will cause weight gain and the dog will start listening only if you are weaving with a treat.

So, keep them moderate and combine them with praise.

If you manage to train your dog in obedience, you will be surprised how fast he will pick up tricks or even be willing to participate in agility or other dog sports.

Now, when it comes to family, they will love to have cuddle times with every member, but you also need to keep in mind that they are independent dogs and that they also need some time alone to do their own things.

But, don’t forget that they don’t like spending too much time alone and if the family is away for a longer period of time, your Carolina Dog will suffer from separation anxiety.

This will lead to barking, destructive behavior, and demolition of your yard.

For this and a few more reasons, for example, the inability to be crate trained, Carolina Dogs are not suited for apartment living.

Their ideal home should have a large, fenced yard, and plenty of family members and dogs they can play with the entire day.

Carolina Dog Diet

Having in mind that this is a medium-sized dog breed, you need to form his diet according to the size requirements.

To make sure your dog gets the needed daily nutrient intake, we recommend feeding him with commercial dog food that is formulated for medium-sized dogs.

You could opt for raw food or homemade food, but that means that you need to measure the ingredients so that you are sure he gets the right amount of nutrients.

With high-quality dog food, the measurement process has already been done for you, and you can rest assured that you haven’t forgotten to add some important ingredients.

Of course, ask the breeder for the recommended diet plan, and consult your vet as well.

How much Exercise does a Carolina Dog need?

The Carolina Dog is one highly active breed and they need to be outside all the time.

Since they have been wild dogs through most of their history, and only relatively recently domesticated, their exploration and roaming instincts are still strong.

As you might have guessed, they are ideal partners for jogging, hiking, bike riding, and camping.

But, if you can’t do these things each day, just make sure your dog gets at least two to three hours of exercise, in the form of a long walk and running with other dogs in the park, or playing fetch or Frisbee.

This will help your dog burn out excessive energy it has in abundance, and keep him away from developing destructive behavior.

The Carolina Dog Health and Conditions

These dogs were wild dogs and they lived on their own in the wilderness for a few millennia. The natural selection did its job and they became a healthy, resilient to illness breed.

For now, we don’t have any documented heritable disease in this breed. The only health issues they can suffer from, are the common issues that are associated with most of the breeds.

These include:

  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
  • Mange
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Luxating Patella
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts

Make sure you talk to the breeder about the medical history of your pup’s bloodline so that you have an idea of what you can possibly expect.

My final thoughts on the Carolina DogA Carolina Dog on the beach

With the health section, we have reached the end of our Carolina Dog guide.

What do you think of the breed now? Are you still determined to welcome a puppy into your home?

Just to make sure your final choice is the right, informed one, let’s take a quick look at what we talked about today.

This is a medium-sized breed that looks like a small wolf or a jackal and comes with many traits that are associated with sighthounds.

They are resourceful, versatile little hunters, and they are completely capable of surviving in the wilderness on their own.

Also, the Carolina Dogs are great runners and have outstanding noses, and there isn’t a small animal that can outrun them or hide from them.

These traits are still present even when they are family pets, so you will need to provide plenty of exercise and plenty of space to avoid the occurrence of their destructive behavior.

They are quite independent and hard to train, but once you manage to “tame the beast”, you will gain a wonderful family member that will be loyal, a great watchdog, and always ready to play with your family.

That is all for today folks! Thank you for reading our guide and we hope that it helped you in making the right choice.

If you think that our article can be useful to other people who can possibly get interested in this breed, feel free to share it on social media so that they can realize how amazing this breed really is.

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