The Potcake has a long history in Caribbean, mostly in Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, but also on St. Lucia or for example Dominican Republic. They evolved from feral Caribbean dogs and over the time they naturally crossed with various dogs of different types, such as terriers, bully breeds or with Carolina dog. Because of that, the Potcake dog is not unified in appearance or temperament and it is more of a crossbreed or dog type rather than purebred dog.
The Potcake has a very unique name. These dogs were very often fed with the leftovers of humans food. And in the past, people in Caribbean most often ate locally sourced food, such as maize or beans, that were transformed into soups and stews, coocked in large pots. When the cooking was finished, at the bottom of the pot was left layer of congealed food, which was given to the dogs.
Most likely, the main ancestors of todays Potcakes were dogs brought to Caribbean islands on the ships of settlers and sailors, who brought them as pets and as dogs for pest control. And indeed, it is believed that the terrier influence in Potcake is huge and thus, many of them can be extremely good at hunting and chasing vermin. But again, these dogs are not unified and most of them are not used for any specific utilization, but they are rather typical companion pets. Many of them also live as feral dogs who take care about themselves and it is normal to meet packs of feral Potcakes on many Caribbean places such as the islands of Turks and Caicos.
Are these dogs good companions? Well, of course they are. They are even rescued by many people outside Caribbean, mostly in Northern America and they make wonderful companions for them. The Potcake dog is best known for its absolute loyalty and devotion to its own pack, to its own family and owners. These dogs also show great intelligence, but many of them are also pretty independent. They are typically calm, but also always ready for any outdoor adventure. Potcakes can be great partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
Each Potcake looks different, but there are some typical characteristics for them. Most of them look like some kind of shepherd mixed breed with longer face, pointed ears, smooth coat and balanced athletic body. But that does not mean they can not look differently. Many of them have wavy or shaggy coat and many of them does not resemble shepherds that much, but rather terriers or retrievers.
Speaking about appearance, it is important to mention the size of these dogs as well. Again, the size can wary a bit, but you will most often find these dog with height ranging between 20-24 inch, which is 50-60 cm and weight between 30-70 lbs, which is 14-32 kg. But again, there will be big differences between individual dogs and some Potcakes will be much smaller than that and some will be bigger.
Potckake dogs are survivors. They are able to survive on their own without any help. To be like that, adaptability is a key temperamental characteristic. And indeed, they are able to adapt to different environemnt, weather or food. Many Potckakes were rescued from warm Caribbean to cold Canada and they do not have problems living in this area. Most Potcakes also have extremely hardy stomach and they are able to eat food that would upset other dogs. It is truly extremely hardy and adaptable breed.
Potcake dogs on the Caribbean islands are overpopulated and many of them are living in poor conditions. That is a reason why there are big rescue efforts to save many of these dogs and to lower the population by spay and neuter programs. If you would be interested in rescuing a Potcake, there are many organizations, such as Potcakeplace.com, SavePotcake.com, scallywagsanimalrescue.org and many others!
Great fact is, that the Potcake dog is easy to care of dog. Even without any grooming, they will keep their coat in good condition bythemselves. Of course, if your Potcake has the rarer longer coat, you can brush it more often to prevent tangling and matting. And even the short and smooth coat will benefit from regular brushing since it will remove any dirt and loose hair and it will redistribute natural oils all over the coat. But no other grooming is required. Just like with all dogs, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
10) Famous Potcakes
According to Wikipedia, there are three famous Potcake dogs. The first one is Amigo and he was the mascor of Human Society of Grand Bahama and Ambassador of Hope for homeless animals until his death in 2007. The other two are Dusty and Daisy, two Potcakes trained to find and locate fish through scent on the water and distant cries of feeding sea birds.