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What was the First American Dog?

July 01, 2015

When you think of a true American dog, most of us likely think of the iconic All-American Dog, the Labrador Retriever. However, these dogs did not originate from the United States so they can’t be America’s first dog.

So the question remains, what is America’s first dog breed and are they still around today? To find the answer to this question we have to go as far back as the first people to enter North America. These first settlers came over the Bering Strait tens of thousands of years ago with their faithful companion. These dogs worked their way down until they finally found their home in the American South.

These dogs are known as the Carolina Dogs, because of their wild origins they are also referred to as the American Dingo. Packs of Carolina dogs still live in the wild in the bottom lands of South Carolina and Georgia. Scientists have shown that these dogs are genetically linked to the original dogs that were with the Native American’s and haven’t crossbred with any European dogs. These are some of the only dog species that weren’t bred by man for a specific purpose.

This old breed has its own interesting characteristics that make it unique. They were very important to Native American’s and can be found in their myths and artifacts. These dogs were the only domesticated animals to live with the Native American’s. Unlike European’s, Native American’s did not have a variety of domesticated animals to fulfill different needs. This meant that they used their dogs for everything from hunting, pulling, protection, and companionship. Because of this they haven’t been bred for any one “purpose” but instead are able to adapt to most environments.

Carolina Dogs make great pets but they take a little extra care and proper training in order to break their feral instincts. However, once they are accustomed to life as a house dog they provide a lifetime of loyal companionship. To learn more about America’s First Dog you can visit 

About the Author

Cameron St. George, Staff Writer

Hi I'm Cameron and I graduated from the University of La Verne with a degree in Legal Studies and a minor in Marketing. I enjoy socializing and all of the other things Southern California has to offer, but the real exciting part of my day is when I go home to see what my dog Sam has been up to (yes HER name is Sam and before her I had a St. Bernard named Elvis who was also a girl). Sam is a five year old German Shepherd and Husky mix who still thinks and acts like a puppy. I'm always curious to see if I lost a remote as a chew toy or how her attempted escape to take herself for a walk went. Sam is the inspiration for many of the ideas of the blogs I write.