Breed Category: Recognised by the American Rare Breed Association
Country of Origin: United States
Average Size: 50-60 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 14-20 kg
Average Life Span: 14-16 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: High
The Carolina Dog, also referred to as the American Dingo, is thought to be the oldest dog breed in North America and one of the oldest in the world. While there are a number of theories about its origin, DNA tests confirm that the Carolina Dog is a primitive breed dating back thousands of years.
Native American artwork exists that depicts dogs bearing a striking resemblance to the Carolina Dog, suggesting that its presence in North America is not new. Fossils of dogs belonging to Native Americans also support this theory.
The Carolina Dog very closely resembles the Asian Jindo and the Australian Dingo, which may suggest common ancestry. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr. first discovered the Carolina Dog near a swampland in the southeastern state of Georgia. Familiar with the world’s wild dogs, he noted that it would be impossible to differentiate between the Asian Jindo and the Carolina Dog because their appearance is so similar. These physical similarities point to the possibility that the Bering Straight, which used to have a strip of land connecting Asia and North America, may have been means by which the Asian Jindo entered North America. It would have then migrated east and settled in the southeastern portion of the United States, therein establishing itself as the first North American dog.
This breed is medium in size and has a short, thick coat of a reddish, fawn colour. It is approximately 50-60 cm in height and 14-20 kg in weight. One of its most identifiable traits is its oversized ears, which point upward and outward, coming to a point at the tips. Its coat may also have patches of lighter or darker fur on the underbelly, back or feet.