2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Ancient Dogs Run Wild In The Carolinas
“It’s not really a breed, though it has been recognized by the United Kennel Club,” says Steve Wooten of the Carolina Dog Research and Conservation Project (CDRCP). “There are standard characteristics that they share with other wild dogs around the world.”
One characteristic is color. In fact, the Carolina Dog is often called the “yaller dog” or “porch dog” in the rural South. Like the dingo of Australia and other known wild dogs, they are often honey-gold or ginger in color and short haired with fish-hooked tails and large, erect ears. Females run 35 to 50 lbs., while males run 40 to 60 lbs. Height at the shoulder is 19 to 24 in. There are many variations in size, color and other characteristics. For example, Carolina Dogs have a recessive gene for black and tan coloring.
Lehr Brisbin, Jr., senior ecologist, Savannah River Ecology Lab, Aiken, S.C., first identified the Carolina Dog as a native wild dog. He had studied similar feral dogs around the world.
Brisbin found that they often live on the edge of civilization, not truly wild, but also not tamed unless separated from their packs. He has adopted several Carolina Dogs captured by animal control authorities or by people assuming they are simply lost dogs.
Rachel Nagher, a former graduate student of Dr. Brisbin, founded the CDRCP. It’s dedicated to the preservation of Carolina Dogs, in particular, those that have been removed from the wild. She is president of the organization and decides, based on physical appearance, behavior and area of origin, potential acceptability for the CDRCP rescue program.
“They’re very intelligent animals, and bringing them into the home can be a match made in heaven or hell, depending on the animal and the family structure,” says Wooten. “We don’t usually adopt a dog out to families with children under 14.”
The CDRCP kennels are located in Texas and house Carolina Dogs found throughout the southeast U.S. They have large runs with a pond and housing so family units can live in packs as in the wild.
The CDRCP does not refer people to known breeders. Nagher points out that without a breeding association, there’s no way to know if a Carolina Dog breeder is simply line breeding, hybridizing or maintaining healthy sets of multiple bloodlines.
Wooten asks that people make contact to the CDRCP through website or by email.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, CDRCP, P.O. Box 464, Manvel, Texas 77578 (firstname.lastname@example.org; www.cdrcp.org).
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