By Jags Goldie Last updated: 27th October 2022

Carolina Dog


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The Carolina Dog, also known as American Dingo due to its resemblance to the Australian Dingo, is a breed of medium sized dogs that have been living in the forests and swamps of the Southeastern US for hundreds of years. Despite being a free roaming breed, many Carolina Dogs are now domesticated and have become popular as a pet. They come with a straight back, well tucked-up belly, well-developed chest, wedge-shaped head, long neck, almond-shaped eyes, large, erect ears, and a fish-hook-like tail.

Carolina Dog Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesAmerican Pariah
NicknamesYaller Dog, Old Yaller, Dixie Dingo
CoatShort, thick, smooth
ColorTan, beige, yellow, ginger red, orange, red sable, white with spots
CategoryHound, Pariah
Lifespan12-14 years
Weight30-44 lbs
Height18-24 inches
SheddingLow in coated variety
Size of Litter3-6 puppies
TemperamentAdaptable, intelligent, reserved, resourceful, loyal
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inUSA
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationAKC FSS, APRI, ACR, ACA, ARBA, CKC, CDA, UKC, NKC, DRA

Video: Carolina Dogs (American Dingoes) Playing


  • Carolina Dog X Chow Chow
  • Carolina Dog X Husky
  • Carolina Dog X Labrador
  • Carolina Dog X German Shepherd
  • Carolina Dingo X Pitbull


The Carolina Dog, believed to be the first domesticated breed in the Americas, probably evolved from Asian Pariah dogs about 8,000 years ago. Recently in the 20th century, a University of Georgia Research Ecologist Dr. Lehr Brisbin Jr. found these Dingo-like dogs in a remote location in South Carolina. Earlier, several scientists and researchers including Cope, Moore, and Glover Morrill Allen excavated dog skeletons from native Indian burial sites. The dog bones found from these mounds have a similarity with the bone structure of Carolina Dogs.

Temperament and Behavior

Since the Carolina Dogs are a free-roaming ancient breed, they tend to retain some of their “wild dog” nature, blending it with their protective, cooperative, and loving personality. They are devoted, independent, and pack oriented, and they enjoy spending time with their family.

Aside from their working and herding abilities, they are also known for their playful nature. Although they are initially shy and aloof around unfamiliar people, they become comfortable in interactions over time.

They enjoy digging holes in the yard for hunting insects and rodents while the free-ranging females are known to dig up dens during pregnancy. Their keen sense of smell and hearing help them in hunting prey in the wild.



Being energetic by nature, the American Dingo needs a fair amount of daily activity. Aside from long walks on a leash, it enjoys running freely in a large yard. Be sure to secure the yard with at least 10-feet high fences, as the Carolina Dog is known for its excellent jumping ability.


As a feral breed, the Yaller Dog is used to keeping itself clean in the wild. Therefore, taking care of its coat is relatively easy since it needs one or two brushing per week. Bathe only when its coat becomes visibly dirty.

Health Problems

Carolina dog is a healthy breed and is free of common genetic health issues seen in other domesticated breeds.


Because of its intelligence and eagerness to please, the Carolina Dog can be easily trained.


Early exposure to social action is necessary to overcome its aloofness around people. Pet your dog on the side of its body. Introduce your dog to strangers and have them hand-feed its meals. You may offer a trail of treats and encourage your Carolina Dog to approach unfamiliar people on its own, rather than to compel it to tolerate someone.

Leash Training

Teach it to walk nicely on a leash without pulling. Keep its leash short so that it cannot leave your side. Lure it into the ideal position by using tiny treats. You may mark its behavior with a clicker. Practice several times without luring your dog so that it gets the idea of walking by your side.


You may either give your dog some quality dry food or introduce a raw food diet consisting of meat, bones, raw eggs, broccoli, spinach, and apples.

Interesting Facts

  • Carolina Dogs are known for digging snout pits, which are small, conical holes in the dirt, perfectly fitting its muzzle. The behavior is commonly exhibited by the females from September to January.
  • Females go into estrus thrice in quick succession, but they can have additional heat cycles during the first two years.
  • The Carolina Dogs living in the wild defecate and urinate in creeks, streams, and other water bodies to hide their scent from larger predators like wolves and coyotes.

4 responses to “Carolina Dog”

  1. Cathy Brown says:

    I’ve had my boy since 2013, he was 2 1/2 years old and I was his third pet parent. The man who found him couldn’t keep him and the second family didn’t know what they were getting into. Long story short, I’ve had him for 7 years and he is the best dog ever! I live in CA. and you don’t see any Carolina dogs out here, so people are always asking what he is. He is very loyal and protective of me and since I live alone that’s perfect. He runs like a line backer when he gets the zoomies and he can easily knock you off your feet if you’re in his way. He does have allergies to wheat, chicken and stainless steel and he’s had two HGE events. Other than that, he’s a perfect dog and I love him very much!

  2. greg says:

    I rescued Kaya when she was about 1 1/2 old. She came to shelter as a stray, so I know nothing about her. I just learned from a friend about her breed. Everything I have read about this breed fits her physical type and personality. She is an amazing dog. An athletic animal like I have never known. Easily jumps over a 5’ wall. Runs faster then deer. Wants so desperately to be a part of the pack, she is one of my two dogs, so it is the three of us. Loyal beyond words. Strong willed and smart, loving, playful…She is a fabulous animal.

  3. Shelly leonard says:

    We found a Carolina pup beaten bloody and burned with cigarette s! Almost 7 years ago and he is the most amazing family member, sadly we had him spayed before we knew his true identity and amazing traits. Only the best animal lovers deserve such a loyal being! Our Tonka is unusually tall and large in general for his breed though he is a gentle giant he has shown his Alpha to the other adopted family members and it’s not the normal you would see in a standard house dog. But we could not have been luckier to come across this gem.

  4. Sallie Kladnik says:

    Do Carolina dogs have webbed feet, or is that due to a mix with labradors? My mixed breed from the Navajo Reservation near Tuba City, AZ, had webbed feet and ears that flop over, but otherwise looks and acts like the Carolinas on your website.

    I was told at the dog shelter that she was a heeler/lab mix.

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