What is the Carolina Dog Lab Mix?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

What Is The Carolina Dog Lab MixHave you ever heard of the Carolina Dog? Known as the American Dingo, these wild dogs have adapted to the harsh environment around them and have survived without the need for human intervention. This ancient breed has survived for thousands of years throughout the wilds of the southern United States and is believed to be the descendants of pariah dogs that faithfully accompanied native Americans. 

But what you probably didn’t know is that they’ve recently been mixed with one of our favorite dog breeds! In this article, we discuss the Carolina Dog Lab mix and how you can care for them. 

What is the Carolina Dog Lab Mix? 

This cross is what you get when you take the friendly nature of the Labrador Retriever and mix it with the untamed spirit of the Carolina Dog. Together, you end up with an intriguing and unique blend of dogs, which is slowly making its way around the world thanks to dog enthusiasts. The Carolina Dog comes with an independent nature and survival instincts that make them exciting, yet challenging to train. 

On the other hand, we all know the Labrador Retriever to be a good-natured dog that’s beloved for their loyalty and sociability. When these two purebred dogs are combined, they create a hybrid that represents the best of both breeds, providing us with friendly adaptability and wild sophistication. However, it’s crucial to understand these hybrid dogs since their genetic makeup is highly diverse and can result in many different behavioral and physical traits that may differ from our expectations.    

What is the Carolina Dog? 

The Carolina Dog is known by many names, including Yaller dogs, Carolina Dingos, and Dixie Dingos — they come with raw, and wild energy that set them apart from domesticated breeds. They are native to the United States and are known to be rare, primitive dogs that have only recently been domesticated. It’s described to be a medium-sized dog, and is independent while agile; they also have a reputation for being clean dogs. 

For hundreds of years, these dogs were feral and lived throughout the Southeastern United States; today, they can still be found around some parts of North Carolina and Georgia. While they’re not overly affectionate dogs, they will form strong bonds with their owners; be sure to show strong leadership and command respect during training. These dogs will act aloof and will be wary of new people but won’t usually behave aggressively. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix History

Because the Carolina Dog Lab is still a relatively new crossbreed, not much is known about when or where it was developed. However, we do know where their parents come from, which we discuss below. 

Carolina Dog 

The Carolina Dog dates back to 8,000 years ago when their descendants made their way over the Bering Land Bridge from Asia to North America with ancient humans. Rather than becoming domesticated, these dogs evolved without the help of man and developed a strong prey drive along with the adaptations to survive the hard lands of the southern United States. During the 1970s, the Carolina Dog was discovered by Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, an ecologist at the Savannah River Ecology Lab at the University of Georgia. 

In 1996, the Carolina Dog was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), and in 2017, it became part of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS), taking their first step into recognition. A 2013 study looked at DNA tests of these dogs and showed that they had universal genetics that can be found all over the world, and they may have originated in East Asia. It was also found that the New Guinea singing dog and the Australian dingo shared no genetic makeup with the Carolina Dog.     

Labrador Retriever 

The Labrador Retriever also comes with a rich history and hails from Newfoundland, an island off the coast of Canada, where they were initially called St. John’s dogs, after the capital city. Here, they served as helpers and companions to local fishermen starting in the 1700s; they would retrieve fish that escaped from hooks and would pull in lines. While it’s unknown how Labradors came to be exactly, experts believe they were bred using the St. John’s dog with the Newfoundland Dog along with other water dogs. 

By the 1880s, however, the breed almost went extinct in their native country as a result of tax laws and government restrictions — the breed was saved by dog lovers in England who used the dogs as retrievers during hunts. Luckily, these dogs survived and were recognized as a breed of their own in 1903 by the UKC and the AKC a few years later in 1917. Their popularity took off after World War II, and by 1991, they became the most popular dogs in the U.S. until they were dethroned in 2022 by French Bulldogs. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Appearance

How big these dogs get will depend on both parent breeds but you can expect to get a medium-sized dog that will stand between 17 to 20 inches in height, and weigh between 33 to 55 pounds. These dogs possess a thin but powerful frame that allows them to excel at anything their parents can do — their large ears are often their defining characteristics, which stand tall over their triangular heads. They also come with almond-shaped eyes that relay their intelligence and mostly come in a brown color, but there are also blue and yellow-eyed pups. 

This dog’s coat will be dense and hard since both parents have the same pattern; they carry a double-layered coat which can protect them from the elements. The colors that they come in will also depend on the parent with the more dominant trait but you may get a yellow, fawn, cream, white, or tan dog. They may also come with white markings around their chest, belly, and throat, while their long tail may be shaped like a fish hook.  

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Temperament 

Because they have such different personalities, the offspring of these two dogs can get a fascinating combination of domestic and wild, connecting their primitive and modern lifestyles. As such, you’ll be getting a unique pup that comes with the wild instincts of the Carolina Dog and the friendly nature of the Labrador Retriever. The Carolina Dog Lab Mix can be a loyal companion but you should consider just how demanding this breed can be, especially for first-time owners. 

Understanding the breed itself is already a lot of work; the blend between the lively Lab and the wild instincts of Yellow dogs means that you’ll be getting a high-energy dog that’s capable of so much love and affection. However, choosing the right dog for your lifestyle is probably the most important part of your journey to owning one of these dogs. Doing this will help to foster a richer companionship since they come with an eagerness to please, and many of their behavioral traits make for a loving family member. 

Family dynamics will play a vital role; they’re pack animals that will thrive in homes with other dogs where they can bond with both humans and other dogs. However, you might need to watch them around smaller animals since they do have a high prey drive. When properly socialized, they will fit in families with children, where they will be loyal to their owners, while being playful and sweet with children.   

Caring for Your Carolina Dog Lab Mix

Just like any other dog, your Carolina Dog Lab mix should be given regular visits to the vet to help detect any health problems early on and to get the best possible treatment for your pup. But apart from this, your pooch should also be given proper nutrition and care as highlighted below.   

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Nutrition

The ideal diet for a Labrador California Dog mix puppy should consist of high protein, and meals that contain high-quality dog food — using cheap foods for these pets won’t be able to provide them with the energy they need daily. Again, all dogs will go through changes in their dietary needs as they transition from puppyhood to adulthood, which will continue into their senior years. However, the exact amount of food you should feed them will depend on the individual and various factors such as its age, sex, level of activity, and genetics.

Unfortunately, these pups will tend to gain weight if they’re given too much to eat, so be sure to stick with a regular feeding routine, and try not to leave any food for them during the day. It will also help to limit the amount of treats you give them during training sessions. Giving adults 5 to 6 cups divided into two meals per day is ideal, but if you’re unsure of how much to feed your pooch, be sure to ask your vet for recommendations on the right food and serving sizes. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Grooming

Fortunately, Carolina Dogs are independent enough to clean themselves, which means their offspring may pick up this habit, but they will still need help. It’s crucial that you bathe your pups once every month or so, depending on how active they are and how dirty they get. When trimming their nails, make sure to trim them before they get too long, which will usually be once or twice a month; when you hear them clicking over the floor, it’s time to cut them. 

Another tough job that you may face with these dogs is their dental care is brushing their teeth; be sure to give them a brush at least 3 times a week. You can get help from your vet on how you can brush their teeth properly and they may also recommend the right dental chews for your pooch. Finally, make sure that you check their ears every week to spot any build-up of wax and debris.  

But before you decide on getting one of these pups, consider the fact that their medium coats won’t be a walk in the park to care for when they start shedding. You need to understand that both the Labrador Retriever and Carolina Dog are heavy shedders. While it’s impossible to stop them from shedding, using a slicker brush regularly can help to remove loose hair, so you’ll benefit from investing in one. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Exercise

These dogs are known for their agility and high energy, which means that they’ll need considerable exercise every day. Both parent breeds come with high exercise needs, so they will need a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of hard aerobic exercise daily. This doesn’t mean a walk around the park, but instead refers to activities that will make your dog pant, and work out the whole body.  

They will thrive inside homes with a big yard where these dogs can play and run; if you live in an apartment, be sure to take them out for daily walks and spend a lot of time playing with them to meet their energy needs. Giving them plenty of physical exercise will keep them calm, happy, and healthy — not only does daily exercise keep them healthy but it also helps to eliminate destructive behavior. Some people won’t think too much about their pet’s health when selecting the right breed for them, but it’s extremely important and should be one of your priorities when looking at different breeds. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Training 

Because the Carolina Dog Lab mix is such a unique combination of personalities, they will need a different approach when it comes to training and socialization. Early socialization is essential for these pups and should begin when they’re still puppies. Because of their background in the wild, they should be introduced to all kinds of people, environments, and animals to help them become well-behaved and balanced dogs. 

As mentioned above, they come with plenty of energy and will also have an eagerness to please their owners, but their short training sessions will need to be consistent and balanced. Thanks to their lively nature and quick wit, they will often respond to positive reinforcement techniques, so reward their good behavior through praise or treats. However, their training shouldn’t be limited to commands and behaviors alone; they will enjoy getting lots of exercise and mental stimulation. 

Involving them in dog sports like flyball or agility trials can be a great way to burn excess energy, but you can also opt for fetch and hiking. They can have a stubborn streak at times, so you may want to give them obedience training, but it’s also important to stay patient and consistent with these dogs. The Carolina Dog in their DNA is still a primitive breed, so don’t give up if they don’t get instructions right on the first try — they can still become a loving, loyal, and energetic member of the family. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix at Home

These are sturdy dogs and will form bonds with kids while spending time playing with them, particularly with those they feel to be part of the family. Because they’re pack dogs, they’ll be happy to share a home with other dogs, but may not be the best choice for small animals, because of the high prey drive within their DNA. As such, it’s best to teach young children how to behave with these dogs, and they should never be left unsupervised around any dog. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Health Problems

There’s no doubt that the quality of care given to a dog is one of the main factors when considering a dog’s lifespan, but there are also many other factors that come into play. One of these is the actual breed of your dog; while the Labrador Retriever only has a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years, the Carolina Dog comes with a longer life expectancy of around 12 to 15 years. Some breeds will also be prone to obesity, which may lead to more serious health problems; if your pup is prone to obesity, be sure to keep an eye on all food labels before feeding your pup. 

Another factor to consider is genetic health concerns that a medium to large breed dog might have. For instance, hip displasia can be inherited by your pooch from its parents so be sure to check for things like excessive growth, kinds of exercise, and improper nutrition and weight which can exacerbate their genetic predisposition. As mentioned, these dogs are active and will do well with regular, daily exercise which won’t just maintain their physical health but will also keep health issues away as a result of inactivity.  

Fortunately, hybrid dogs like the Carolina Dog Lab mix will come with fewer potential health problems compared to purebred dogs, thanks to hybrid vigor which helps to improve the biological quality of any mixed breed offspring. However, they may still encounter a few health issues as they get older, which are outlined below by breed. 

Carolina Dog

As mentioned, these dogs can live a long life and are a relatively healthy breed since they have a low chance of getting congenital or inherited diseases. You can expect smooth sailing with these medium-sized dogs, minus a few vet visits during their lifetime because they don’t come with any major health issues either. According to experts, they have fewer genetic issues compared to other dogs, and while you may see hip dysplasia, it’s not seen often and is also common in many dogs. 

It’s also unlikely to find issues such as patellar luxation and elbow dysplasia, or skin and eye problems that are commonly seen in other breeds. However, even with their good health, you will still need to take your pup for a visit to the vet during their regular checkups and be updated with all their vaccinations. Doing this will ensure that they’re protected from possible viruses and parasites that may cause harm to their otherwise healthy body.   


Fortunately, Labrador Retrievers are also known to be a relatively healthy breed but will still come with issues that dog owners should be aware of. Some of the most common issues that these dogs face include the following: 

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cranial cruciate ligament disease
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Eye disorders

Both elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia are joint conditions that can cause discomfort and pain, eventually leading to severe arthritis when left untreated. Fortunately, eye disorders and allergies can be prevented through vaccinations and early testing. As a responsible pet parent, it’s up to you to make sure that your pooch comes with minimal risks for genetic health problems, so always speak to a responsible breeder before bringing these pups home. 

Carolina Dog Lab Mix Price 

The best way to make sure that your new best friend is free from as many health problems as possible, make sure to do research on reputable breeders and meet them in person. Be sure to ask to see the pup’s parents and check that their health certificates clear them of the conditions outlined above. You should also confirm that the living situation for their dogs is humane and that they’re raised in a nurturing and safe environment where they are given basic training and socialization. 

The average price for these mixed breeds will be around $800 to $1500 if you’re purchasing them from a breeding farm but this will vary by the breeder. Their price will also depend on various factors such as the parent’s pedigree, the breeder’s reputation, and your location. However, if you choose to purchase from reputable breeders, the price may go up from $2,000 to $3,000; this is probably a better choice since they will be able to provide you with proof of health, ensuring that your pooch has been cleared of many health conditions. 

This is the right route to take if you want to make sure you take home a dog in good health; good breeders will make sure to conduct health tests that will help to minimize their pup’s risk for inherited health problems. Doing this is especially helpful for both Carolina Dogs and Labrador Retrievers which can both suffer from hip dysplasia. But if you want to look into a more affordable option, you can always choose to adopt from an animal shelter.  

Looking for an Animal Shelter 

Lucky for you, animal shelters will often come with mixed-breed dogs that are looking for their forever homes; this doesn’t just help the dog you adopt but can also help to reduce the amount of overcrowding inside these facilities. While it’s not likely for you to find a Carolina Dog Lab mix in the first shelter you visit, you can always try your luck in other locations to see if you can get one of these majestic hybrids. Because they’re a relatively rare breed, be sure to visit rescues apart from your local shelter, specifically ones that cater to all breeds of dogs. 

Because finding a good breeder is among the most important decisions when you want to bring a new dog into your home, doing research should be your priority. Responsible breeders will be committed to providing healthy, trained, and socialized puppies that can become loyal companions. They will always screen their stock for any health issues and socialize their pups starting at a young age and will offer support whenever you need it. 

You should never do business with backyard breeders who want nothing more than to make a profit by selling unhealthy and unruly dogs that haven’t been trained or socialized. Likely, they never check for health problems, and will probably skip proper socialization for their puppies. In the end, their puppies will likely have behavioral and health problems that you will need to correct. 

Should You Get a Carolina Dog Lab Mix?

These dogs can be a wonderful pet and a loving companion but before you decide it’s the right addition to your family, be sure to consider important factors such as their space, exercise, diet, and family needs. They will need ample space around the home or the backyard to allow them to play and explore; it will also give them room for exercise, which they need every day. Your family dynamic will also play a role in keeping them happy since this breed has a unique personality that may fit better inside certain environments and lifestyles. 

The Carolina Dog Lab mix is a combination of the loving nature of the Labrador Retriever and the untamed spirit of the Yaller Dog. This mixed-breed dog will sometimes be mistaken for a German Shepherd or “German Shepard,” but they will undoubtedly bring a wonderful alternative to other designer dogs currently available. So be sure to look for sanctuary dogs that you can bring home or maybe you can even become foster parents to one of these hybrids.     


The Carolina Dog Lab mix can offer the perfect blend of tame and wild, thanks to its roots as the lovable and friendly Labrador Retriever as well as its heritage as the American Dingo that’s wild at heart. Their combination leads to a remarkable hybrid that thrives in homes that can fulfill its exercise needs, and in families that can give it proper nutrition and attention. Adopting this great dog means being responsible for its needs, which calls for a dedicated owner; in return, you can be sure to get a loving and loyal canine companion.