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Owning a Carolina Dog Might Actually Cost You a Fortune!

Owning a Carolina Dog Might Actually Cost You a Fortune!

Answering the question “How much does a Carolina dog cost” isn’t difficult, in fact, I have answered it in our article titled “Is a Carolina Dog a Good Pet?“. 

If you don‘t feel like reading through the whole thing (even though I definitely recommend it if you are thinking about getting a Dixie Dingo), the simple answer is that these purebred dogs cost between $800-$1000 with most breeders. But, you should also know that the price of Carolina dog puppies can be as high as $1200-$2000 if you are buying from reputable breeders and depending on the breeders’ location!

You might be wondering now if the answer is so simple, why are we dedicating a whole new article to this topic? Well, because it is not that simple. Sure, we can tell you the broad price range, but what about other expenses these good dogs bring with them, food, toys, and vet bills? In fact the most common expenses you need to be able to cover if you own a Carolina dog are:

  • food
  • vet care
  • pet insurance
  • vaccinations
  • medication
  • toys
  • pet supplies.

No one talks about all those expenses that actually come with owning a such demanding breed. 

So buckle up friends, you are in for a wild ride (kind of). Well maybe not be the wildest ride of your life, but you will definitely be surprised by how much owning a Carolina dog really costs!

Is a Carolina dog a mutt? – The important things in short 

The Carolina dog, nicknamed Dixie Dingo, Yellow dog, and Yeller dog, is a landrace breed from the United States. Put in simple terms, it is a purebred dog only found in the US! Don‘t worry if you have never heard of them. So no, the Carolina dog is not a mutt.

According to Saving Carolina Dogs, this is an extremely rare and primitive dog breed with its origin tracing back 9,000 years! They first appeared when the North American peoples crossed the Bering Strait. Slowly these smart dogs made their way down to the Southeastern United States, particularly to parts of Georgia and South Carolina.

Now, enough with the history, let‘s talk a bit more about the breed itself! To do that, we need a little bit from our friends over at the American Kennel Club, or AKC for short. If someone knows all about the specific standards of purebred breeds, then it is them!

carolina dog

Source: Instagram (@balto_thecarolinadog)

Just a little reminder, in this article we will cover only the basics of the Carolina dog‘s traits. If you want to learn more you can check our article “Carolina Dog: The American Dingo”.

Appearance – What colors do Carolina dogs come in?

When it comes to the appearance of the Yellow dog, we need to state that despite their nickname they come in many different colors. According to the AKC the standard colors of this breed are:

  • black
  • black and tan
  • buff
  • red
  • white
  • tawny
  • yellow

But, they’re typically a combination of two or more of these colors. This is a medium-sized dog and its standard height is between 17.75 and 19.5 inches, while its standard weight is between 30 and 55 pounds. 

The Carolina dog is very similar in appearance to a small Dingo. Here‘s what the breed standard is per the Carolina Dog Fanciers of America, the AKC Parent Club for Carolina Dogs.

“The Carolina Dog is generally medium-sized, light to medium boned, possessing the appearance of a small jackal or wolf, in combination with many features of a medium-sized sighthound. The body is rectangular exhibiting a medium-length straight back. The waist is distinctive and sets off a deep brisket from a highly tucked-up loin. The tail is distinctive in its fishhook shape at the end, giving rise to a pump handle appearance when in a naturally relaxed state. Tail carriage is variable depending on mood. The tail often has a white tip.”

With that being said, let‘s finally dive into the actual topic of this article, which is how much a Carolina dog costs.

How much does a Carolina dog cost?

Before we get into the article I think a little disclaimer is in order. The price of any puppy, not only the Carolina dog depends on multiple factors. First and foremost how popular the breed in your area is, so breed popularity, litter size, whether you are buying a puppy or an adult dog, health status, breed lines or basically the parents, and so on. Of course, this is if you are buying from a somewhat reputable breeder. And that is the least you should aim for, for your and the dog’s sake, a reputable breeder. 

Many breeders with questionable breeding ethics will offer you a puppy for a fraction of the average price. But, you can only make a huge mistake by buying from such breeders. By buying from a reputable breeder you will get peace of mind knowing that you have a puppy that is healthy, happy, and from good parents.

Breakdown of the overall cost of owning a Dixie Dingo 

The average cost of owning a small, medium, or large dog isn‘t the same. An article in “Time” states these lifetime costs of owning a dog:

  • Small dog: $15,051 
  • Medium dog: $15,782 
  • Large dog: $24,480 

The cost varies due to the average life expectancy of the dogs. The average lifespan of a small dog is around 15 years, for a medium-sized dog, like the Carolina dog is around 13 years, while large dogs live the shortest with an average lifespan of 10 years. 

Now, “Forbes” sees things a little differently. According to them, the cost of owning is actually a bit higher. Their estimate is that the lifetime cost of a dog starts at $17,650 a year to an unbelievable $93,520 a year. The cost depends on size, breed, and services required like dog walkers.

So obviously, large dog breeds like a Golden Retriever, or a Husky will cost much more than a small breed, such as the Chihuahua or Baby Chihuahua. The Dixie Dingo is a medium dog, which means ownership cost starts somewhere around $16,000 and up.

Initial cost

We‘ve said that puppy prices vary but generally speaking a Dingo Dixie costs between $800-$1000 with most breeders. If you adopt one from an animal shelter it will be cheaper and there is no waiting list like with most breeders. Adopting a dog from the shelter can cost between $20 to $200. But, no matter where you get your new dog, the first thing you need to do is take it to a good vet. Depending on what vaccines, preventive medicines, and special treatments your dog needs, your first visit to the doctor could cost anywhere from $50 to $300.

carolina dog

Source: Instagram (@_nelliemiller_)

Vet cost

That is only if we are talking about the first vet visit. Obviously, puppies must go to the vet every few weeks until they are about 16 weeks old. Depending on what your pup needs, the health of the puppy, and where you live, each visit can cost between $100 and $300. The Dixie Dingo is known for hereditary health problems like Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, and Patellar luxation. 

Spaying or neutering your dog might cost you anywhere from $150 to $700. In short, it’s important to budget for double as much money during the first year with your new puppy as you would throughout later years. 

Other expenses: Toys, leash, grooming

Once you get your puppy you will have to invest in various items like dog food, leashes, collars, beds, toys, and so on. Food costs depend on your dog’s size, how active he or she is, and the quality of the food you buy. But, the price of food is between $20 and $60 per month or an annual cost of $250 to $700. Also, keep in mind that special foods like veterinary therapeutic diets or freshly made food can cost $100 or more a month.  

pro pac dog food

Source: Pixabay


Every dog and puppy needs toys to be happy and mentally and physically stimulated. You should definitely plan on spending anything from $25 and $150 annually on dog toys. A particularly destructive dog may go through toys more quickly; therefore, if you have one of these dogs, you should invest in more durable toys. 

Leash and collar

A leash and collar with ID tags are also a must for every canine companion. But, both cost money, especially if you are buying a high-quality leash and collar. The majority of dog owners spend between $20 and $50 a year on leashes and collars. Obviously, the amount of money you spend on a leash and collar depends on the size and quality of the items. 

Dog bed

Every dog needs a place to sleep. Luckily there is a huge variety of dog beds, from cheap to expensive. Choose between Walmart dog beds or Hermes dog beds, you can even order a bed for your dog from Amazon. So, we can‘t exactly know how much you might spend on a dog bed for your puppy. But, a bed will definitely cost you $50 to $200 a year. The price also depends on the size of the bed and the quality.


The sort of hair coat that your dog has will significantly determine the specific grooming needs that he has. Dogs with short, smooth coats and minimal hair require only the most fundamental level of grooming, whereas dogs with longer coats and hair that are continually developing will require more frequent trips to the groomer. Luckily, the Carolina dog has generally short and smooth hair on the head, ears, and front legs. While they have coarse, long guard hairs on the neck, withers, and back. So, grooming expenses for the Carolina dog should not be too high. The average annual cost for grooming is between $150 to $300 for the Carolina dog. 

Vet care

Plan on spending between $200 and $300 per year on preventative health exams at the vet. Lab tests are an essential element of preventative medicine and, despite costing an extra $100 to $300 annually, should not be neglected. You should also take your dog for annual teeth cleaning which will likely cost you between $300 and $800. The Carolina dog is generally healthy, but because of its wild nature, it might get injured more easily. Every injury will probably mean a visit to the vet.


We‘ve said it once, and we have to say it again, Carolina dogs are wild animals and pack dogs. Their natural habitat is the woods. These wild dogs are just starting to trust people. So, it is very important to invest in dog training and obedience classes. You can never know what‘s on a dog‘s mind, that‘s why they need to understand who the pack leader is, and who is in charge. The only way for them to understand this and become good guard dogs is through training. Depending on who is training your dog, whether it is you or a professional, you will have to budget between $50 and $300 for dog training. Because the Carolina dog is a bit difficult to train, we recommend getting a professional dog trainer, otherwise, it might take a long time for your dog to learn what is the right kind of behavior.

Conclusion – How much does a Carolina dog cost?

Owning a dog, especially such a wild-natured dog like the Carolina dog, is expensive. It also requires a lot of time and effort on the owner‘s side if you want to save some money. In fact, prepare yourself to spend about $1,500 to $5,000 per year on your dog and its needs. 

carolina dog

Source: Instagram (@_nelliemiller_)

Obviously we might have exaggerated a bit in the title and all of these prices are rough estimates. And of course, your actual costs may be much higher or lower than what is listed here. But just be aware that paying for the dog is not the only expense you will have. You can also save money playing with your dog instead of buying him toys or certain items from dollar stores rather than expensive pet stores. Remember, the quality of care you provide for your dog isn‘t dependent on how much money you spend on toys, a dog bed, or a water bowl. You can do it all on a budget. Just don‘t be stingy when it comes to your dog’s food and health.

Lastly, despite being quite expensive to keep, the Yeller dog can still be a loving dog and a great pet. If you want to know more about Carolina dogs, or if you are asking yourself questions like “How much do Carolina dogs bark?, or “How much do Carolina dogs shed?” check out our article “Is a Carolina Dog a Good Pet?”.

My name is Jackie and I am a veterinarian with a degree in veterinary medicine. With extensive experience in treating various animals, I am known for my compassionate and personalized approach to animal care.