May 2010 Issue
The Carolina Dog
Qualities of the Breed: Sometimes called the Dixie Dingo or American Dingo, this dog ranges from 35 to 50 pounds and has the pointed ears and muzzle, "fishhook" tail, and short coat of ancient breeds (like the Australian Dingo or the Korean Jindo). "Carolinas hunt in packs, raise their pups communally, and sometimes dig small holes or 'snout pits' in the soil," explains breeder Jane Gunnell from Banbury Cross Farm in Aiken.
History: About 20 years ago,I. LehrBrisbin,Jr., a former biologist at the Savannah River Ecology lab, noticed dingo-like strays in the region's cypress swamps and longleaf pine forests. He introduced Jane and her husband, Billy, to the dogs.
Fun Fact: Genetic testing suggests this breed may descend from dogs that crossed the Bering landmass 18,000 years ago.
Personality: "They're loyal, nonaggressive, and low maintenance, with little shedding," says Jane. "They're uncannily smart and very healthy."
How To Get One: For info on breeders and training, visit carolinadogs.com.