The Carolina Dog - Rare Native Dog Breed of the SouthEastern US
The Carolina Dog or American Dingo was discovered in the late 1970's by a University of Georgia professor working in what is now the Savannah River site, a nuclear facility. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin Jr. spotted a dog in the area and his curiosity arose. He began to look in local shelters and soon came across examples of the breed that had been trapped in humane traps. It surprised him the close resemblance to the Australian dingo. Some preliminary DNA testing in 2003, although not inclusive, yielded results that showed the breed was close to the origins of canines and not a mix of breeds we find in domestic dogs.
The Carolina Dog had thrived in the swampy or pine forest areas of South Carolina and Georgia. Similar dogs have been found on rock paintings done by ancient Native Americans. The breed is sometimes called an "Indian's Dog". The breed is a result of natural selection rather than domesticated breeding efforts. The breed is referred to as a "Pariah" dog a term that comes from India to describe dogs not domesticated but living comfortably around humans.
Other names for the Carolina Dog are "Old Yallar" due to its coat coloration or now termed the "Dixie Dingo" by breeders. Possibly the first Native American dog they were used for hunting and herding. It is thought they were brought to North America by migrations of Asians across the Bering Straits some 8000 years earlier.
The Carolina Dog has now been domesticated and are being bred by only a few breeders in the States. They are recognized as a rare breed by many organizations including the United Kennel Club. They are beautiful medium size dogs that when raised from pups become good family dogs.
I find this breed fascinating and beautiful as they are native close to my home in the Southeastern US, I hope to see some soon. While they are being bred only by a few breeders they are achieving acclaims and awards from breed organizations.