|Me and Molly. :)|
|A Carolina Dog. Source: californiacarolinadogs.com|
|A Carolina Dog (soft-coated). Source: californiacarolinadogs.com|
Carolina Dogs are a pariah type dog, which means they are feral, not completely tame. These dogs have been living in the wild in America, mainly in remote parts of South Carolina and Georgia, and only within the last 30 years have we realized that they are more than just strays. Now it is thought that these dogs are genetically similar to the ancient dogs that originated in Asia approximately 6,000 years ago. They share ancestry with the Australian Dingo, hence their nickname "American Dingo."
|A wild Australian Dingo. Source: Wiki|
|A tamed Australian Dingo. Source: Wiki|
This breed is in it's "natural state," as in, it was not bred for any of it's traits. This breed was developed by living in their natural habitat, and humans have not changed them to our liking at all, as we have nearly all other breeds of Canis Lupus Familiaris (Domestic Dog).
|A Carolina Dog. This is the exact expression Molly has when she spots a bird or something! Source: californiacarolinadogs.com|
|A Carolina Dog. The wrinkly forehead is a typical trait; Molly's forehead often does that but I don't have a picture of it. Source: californiacarolinadogs.com|
As I learned more and more about the Carolina Dog, I was just amazed at all the traits Molly had in common with them. Things I thought were just her quirks were actually typical for the breed! For instance, she makes "snout burrows" and eats dirt in the Fall and Winter months. She's extremely intelligent, hunts and eats small animals (I usually manage to stop her from doing that), and is very reserved around people and dogs outside the immediate family. Another awesome fact is that they are very healthy dogs and have a relatively long lifespan (15 years), considering their size.
|A Carolina Dog and her pups. I bet Molly was a super cute puppy! Source: californiacarolinadogs.com|
|A Carolina Dog family, aren't they so sweet?! Source: californiacarolinadogs.com|
When I first got Molly, she was almost a year old already, and had been abused. They also told me, based on her scars, she had probably been used as a bait dog, to train Pit Bull type fighting dogs. Despite that, after a lot of love and training, she became the most amazing dog (yes, I know I'm a biased dog mommy :). I went through so many things with her. When I ran away from home one time, she escaped the house and found me, and led me back home. I never needed a leash with her, she knew when it was not a good time to run after a squirrel. She knew when I was upset, and would put her head in my lap. She had a strong prey drive but knew that our family cats, rabbits, etc. were not for eating, and would let them crawl all over her! She would drool but not move a muscle, lol!
|Molly bossing around my step-dad's giant dog, Zeph.|
|Molly and our hamster, Lynnie.|
Molly has learned countless commands in her lifetime. I taught her many beyond the usual sit, stay, come type commands. Training Molly is not like training another dog. I would show her what I wanted, and wait for her to do it, if she felt like it. I know that sounds ridiculous, but if you tried to be dominant with her, she would completely shut down and not move at all.
|Napping Molly. <3|
|Molly at the beach. She can swim very well but generally won't because she hates getting dirty.|
She has also taught herself many words, and listens to us talking. She knows when we are planning on leaving, and if we're planning on taking her with us! Although she rarely gets a bath and even more rarely goes to the boarder's, she would know when we were planning it and run to hide under my bed. These days, she accepts it, and sulks to the bathroom or car with her tail between her legs before I can even tell her to. It's so funny and pathetic.
Of course, I could go on and on about Carolina Dogs. But really, Molly is more than just her breed. She is a unique dog that has been my best friend since I was 11. She has ignored her extremely strong instincts to be the most well-behaved dog I've ever had, and she does it out of love, not because I order her to. Though the breed standard warns that Carolina Dogs may not good with young children, she has been protective, patient, and careful with my daughter since she was first born.
|Molly and baby Kaylee.|
Molly is 12 now, and getting arthritis, but you can still find her playing in the backyard with our insanely energetic Pit Bull puppy. I hope she has a few more good years left in her, because I'll never get another dog like her. Even if I do buy a Carolina Dog, no dog could replace Molly. So I've decided to continue getting all my pets from the shelter; not based on breed or looks, but on how much they need a forever home. :)
|Molly and our puppy, Aries.|
Sources of information: Wikipedia and ARBA.org