American Dingo – Carolina Dog

Alert and loyal, but suspicious of strangers.

The American Dingo (or Carolina Dog) is listed by the American Kennel Club under the Sight Hound dog group. It’s origins are unclear, but it is believed that they have roots in Asia, and migrated across the Bering Sea land bridge between Russia and Alaska thousands of years ago.

In more recent times they lived wild along the border between Georgia and South Carolina, giving rise to the name Carolina Dingo or Dixie Dingo.

The Australian Dingo actually has nothing to do with the American Dingo. It just has a similar appearance, which may have something to do with a common heritage in Asia 5000 years ago.

The Aboriginals are believed to have migrated south to what is now Australia when a land bridge existed, before Australia became an island. Both breeds are also wild dogs, and have not been bred by humans for a specific reason.

An American Dingo standing on grass.
American Dingo

American Dingo – Temperament

This breed lived as a feral dog for a long time in and around the Carolinas, giving rise to the name “Carolina Dogs”. According to the AKC it can still be seen living wild, even as far west as Arizona.

The breed has a pack mentality, derived from its feral past as a pack dog. This means that it likes to be in a group or ‘pack’, and does not like being alone for long. It does best when there is someone around at home most of the time. Or else, get 2 or 3 dogs, to keep each other company.

While they love company, they are not ‘clingy’, and will not usually follow you from room to room. Instead, they will lay down in one spot, and listen to where you are and what you are doing. They have excellent hearing.

The Carolina Dog is intelligent and smart, and picks up instructions quickly. They bond very strongly with their ‘family’, and are very eager to please their ‘alpha male’.

They make a good family pet, with their quiet and loyal nature, and medium size. They can get on well with young children and other animals, as long as they are well socialized from a young age.

American Dingo – Breed History

This breed has its roots in Asia, and crossed into North America via the Bering Sea land bridge into Alaska some 4,000 years ago. Gradually the breed made its way south, into modern-day America.

The American Dingo has a ‘Spitz’ dog type of tail, that curls up over the rump like other Spitz breeds. This is an indication of inter-breeding with Arctic and Alaskan dog breeds in the distant past.

American Dingoes can be registered with the United Kennel Club as Carolina Dogs since 1996, in the Sight Hound and Pariah Groups. The American Kennel Club accepted the Carolina Dog into its Foundation Stock Service (FSS) in 2017, the initial step towards full recognition.

Vital Statistics

Height: 18 to 20 inches at the withers (45 – 50 cm)
Weight: 30 to 50 lbs (15 – 25 kg)
Life span: 12 to 15 years


Red, Red-fawn, Buff, or Piebald Black and white.

American Dingo or Carolina Dog.
Close-Up of American Dingo

Ease of Training

This is an easy dog to train. They are very keen to please their owner, and pick up instructions very quickly. Nevertheless, they need clear and consistent commands, and rewarding for correct behavior.

We have a great page on the best dog training books, which we recommend.

American Dingo, or Carolina Dog, by the South Caroline shoreline.
American Dingo Lounging at the Beach


The American Dingo is naturally suspicious of strangers, and will readily bark at anything or anyone that it does not know. However, once it realizes that the person is non-threatening, it will become best friends within seconds. Thus, it makes for a really good watchdog.

As a guard dog, it can also do its fair share of intimidation. With the appearance of a Dingo or a Wolf, it can look threatening enough to deter most would-be intruders. However this breed is really a pack animal, and without the back-up of other adult dogs, it will tend to back down in the face of aggression from a human.

If you really want guard-dog style protection, you should look for another breed, probably bigger, and from the Livestock Guardian Dog group, such as the Caucasian Shepherd dog.


This an EASY breed to groom. With their short, dense coat, they only need brushing once a week to keep hair loss under control. They may develop a thicker coat during winter months, which will be shed come spring.

A bath and shampoo is only needed infrequently, when they get very muddy or dirty, or else start to get a ‘doggy’ smell.

Their claws should be trimmed by a vet if they get too long, and their ears should be inspected each week for signs of foreign bodies, wax build-up and infection. All in all, this breed pretty much looks after itself.

American Dingo or Carolina Dog in dry grass.
Carolina Dog or American Dingo

Health Considerations

The American Dingo is generally healthy with few issues. One problem may involve a sensitivity to anti-parasitic medications. This breed developed and evolved by itself over thousands of years, and natural selection has resulted in a dog without problems that some other modern inter-breed breeds have.

Famous American Dingos

American Dingo Jazz has his own YouTube channel – check out the video below!

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