Native American dogs
July 12, 2013 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Including the Carolina Dog, or American Dingo.
posted by 445supermag at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

The dingo in that video has really lively eyes. I like how it keeps cocking its head to the side in that curious way.
posted by ChuckRamone at 7:21 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Our family dog was a stray puppy rescued from the streets. If he isn't a "Carolina dog," he is a dead ringer. The photo in the Wiki article might as well be him.
posted by Repack Rider at 7:28 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm from Wisconsin, but have seen a couple Carolina type dogs. In one case, I talked to the owner and the dog was from a rescue transfer from down south. So I told her about the Carolina dogs. She seemed overwhelmingly excited. I wonder if she ever followed up on it. On the other hand, I thing that heinz 57 mutts with a lot of breeds in them then to revert back to the pariah dog type.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:36 AM on July 12, 2013

I've have, or rather am in a pack association with, a Carolina Dog, rescued from the South Carolina low country, and can vouch for the breed in the strongest possible terms. She is absurdly alert, intelligent, and connected to reality in a way that only a breed that bred itself can be, and when I made a video of her near the end of a puppyhood delayed by malnutrition and confinement, I hadn't a clue. She's almost like an entirely different species than overbred, purpose-engineered, modern dogs—still all dog, but capable of independent thought and problem solving in ways I think have to be part of that old wild program at work.

One day I may determine how she manages to get food items from the top of the refrigerator, but in the mean time, I will just continue to imagine that she just focuses on her interests and the world bends around her will and idea until she gets what she wants.
posted by sonascope at 11:57 AM on July 12, 2013 [6 favorites]

The Carolina Dog is making my head hurt. In a region inhabited for centuries (not counting American Indian settlements), no one really noticed the breed until the 1950's? Were they just omnipresent and no one thought about it? I find this rather intriguing. From the wiki, it discusses the breed digging "snout holes" or so to try and sniff out small mammals. Our now deceased Labrador Retriever would do this when hunting moles. It's a fun thing to watch (so long as you rescue the mole when it's discovered).
posted by Atreides at 12:33 PM on July 12, 2013

Down South, what they call "yaller" dogs, "yella" dogs, or even "Old Yeller," are generally connected with CD stock, and at least where my family comes from, dogs are allowed to just run wild, so it wouldn't be too unlikely that people just never noticed that those dogs were from a different population than imported dogs.

It's also interesting how the Savannah River Site nuclear facility figures into this story, providing what was essentially a giant preserve for the breed as well as the mechanism for its discovery.

This post has reminded me that this would be a good time to go stick my finger in the dog's ear.
posted by sonascope at 12:43 PM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've heard that in a group of pure bread dogs, within about four generations they'll look like what usually gets called a German Sheppard Mix. They look similar enough that I wouldn't be surprised if people mistook the Carolina Dog for a mutt.

In some other dog thread, someone wrote that they refer to a fourth generation+ plus as a Brown Dog. So, around here they're a Minnesota Brown Dog, in Texas a Texas Brown dog, etc.
posted by VTX at 1:15 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, we called 'em Tucson brown dogs around here. I have two, Shaggy, a German shepherd/golden retriever type mix, and Pilar, who we call a cattle dog mix when people ask, but who knows? She was found living in the desert on the Pasqua Yaqui reservation south of town.

I suspect she has a lot of some indigenous breed in the mix, like Carolina dog or dingo. She's an incredible hunter, moves so fast, snatches and kills birds in mid-flight, and is completely unphased by the Arizona heat. She'll lie outside for hours or entertain herself excavating ground squirrel tunnels in 100+ weather, no problem.

I have some friends who have Xolos - sweet dogs but I always have a split second of cognitive dissonance when petting them.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:17 AM on July 13, 2013

That Carolina dog looks and carries itself very much like a giant chihuahua.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:42 PM on July 14, 2013

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