The Carolina Dog is a primitive breed that strongly resembles the Dingo in appearance. The head is triangular in shape with a tapered muzzle and strong jaw. The muzzle is usually the same length as the skull and the nose is black with wide nostrils. A Carolina Dog’s erect ears face the front and are extremely expressive. The eyes are almond shaped and dark brown; Carolina Dogs often look like they are deep in thought. The breed is muscular but slender in build with square proportions, but they can sometimes be somewhat longer in length than height.
The tail of the Carolina Dog is quite unique. While in motion, a Carolina Dog’s tail is carried in a way that makes it look a bit like a pump handle. They rarely hold their tail slack; it is either at full attention when alert or tucked when the dog is experiencing nervousness or feeling distressed. The brush of the tail should be thick on the underside and the bottom of the tail should be lighter in color than the tail’s end.
Size And Weight
Carolina Dogs are medium in size. Breed standards range between 17 ¾ inches and 19 5/8 inches at the withers but it is common to find dogs that are up to three inches taller or shorter in either direction. Their weight typically spans between 30 and 44 pounds and males are usually larger than females, though the differential is not nearly as pronounced as it is in other breeds.
Carolina Dogs are slender and no matter how healthy the dog may be, the ribs are often visible. This is a normal and acceptable trait and should be no cause for alarm if the dog is properly proportioned and is receiving proper nutrition and exercise.
Coat and Color
The United Kennel Club’s preferred color for the Carolina dog is ginger red with buff markings around the shoulders and muzzle. However, these dogs come in a variety of colors including white with spots, tan, beige, yellow, orange, and red sable. They shed lightly throughout the year and heavily in the fall and spring months when their coat adapts to the outdoor temperature. Carolina Dogs have short and smooth hair on their head, ears and front legs and they have somewhat longer guard hairs on their back, withers and neck.
Carolina Dogs should be brushed once a week unless they are shedding their winter or summer coat. During these periods, they may need to be brushed daily to control flyaway hair around the house. They do not need to be professionally bathed; most dogs are receptive to a home bath when necessary. The frequency will vary from dog to dog. Those that enjoy exploring the outdoors and digging in the dirt will need to be bathed more frequently than others.
Carolina Dogs are typically quite healthy and are not as prone to ear infections as other breeds, but ears should be checked regularly for wax buildup. Their teeth should also be kept clean and gums kept healthy with regular brushing.