The Carolina Dog is truly a pack animal that bonds tightly to the people and dogs in his own family. They can be aloof or even nervous around strangers, but they are not an aggressive breed. Early and frequent socialization can ensure a Carolina Dog learns to adjust to new people without being fearful. They are very alert dogs and are well-known for being reliable watchdogs.
Their pack nature allows them to form tight bonds with other household dogs, and Carolina Dogs do well in homes with other canine friends to play with. However, they should not be raised in homes with cats or other small animals. They still maintain a strong prey drive and owners who live on lots of land receive frequent “gifts” from their Carolina Dog in the form of dead rodents. Families who enjoy the outdoors and who can live with a dog that likes to exert its independence will get along well with a Carolina Dog.
Carolina Dogs are extremely active and thrive outdoors. Because they have only been domesticated in the last few decades, they retain their natural desire to roam and explore. This trait makes them ideal for people who enjoy hiking, camping and jogging. It is essential that a Carolina Dog receive several hours of exercise per day to help avoid behavioral issues. They are not well-suited for apartment or city life and they should not be crated, as they dislike closed spaces and cannot tolerate confinement for long periods of time.
Carolina Dogs maintain some of their primitive, independent nature and they are notoriously difficult to train. While they form strong bonds with their people, they don’t particularly aim to please. It takes a lot of time, patience and consistency to work with a Carolina Dog. However, this is an intelligent breed that picks up quickly on new concepts. The trick is to keep the dog interested and to provide rewards that stimulate them to continue – a belly rub and exclamations of “good dog” just won’t cut it. When basic obedience has been mastered, Carolina Dogs can quickly advance to learning tricks and participating in sports like agility.
Carolina Dogs have an independent nature, and while they will cuddle and play with the family, they like to do things on their own time and in their own way. They can be a bit nervous around new people and without proper socialization they can develop fearful tendencies and timid personalities.
Despite their independent nature, they truly do bond with their human family members and dislike being left alone for long periods of time. Separation anxiety can be a common problem, which can lead to excessive barking, destructive chewing and other behavioral issues. A Carolina Dog should never be crated and they are ideally suited for suburban or rural homes with a big yard and lots of people and dogs to play with.