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Are you thinking about adopting a potcake dog from the Turks and Caicos Islands? If so, you’re in the right place.
This is where you can decide once and for all whether adopting the Royal Bahamian Potcake is right for you and your family.
Potcake dog rescues are quickly becoming a popular pet trend in North America. This could be due to the dog’s unique character and connection to their feral ancestors.
Whatever the reason, new owners are popping up everywhere.
Adopting a rescue dog can be challenging in many ways. The research, paperwork, and uncertainty of a dog breed’s history are legitimate concerns.
The logistics of flying these dogs from the Caribbean islands to other parts of the world can be daunting as well.
Thankfully, there is already a roadmap for how to adopt a potcake puppy.
Read this post to find out how. In addition, get all your questions answered about:
- potcake breed
- breed’s history
- trustworthy shelters
What Are Potcake Dogs?
“Potcake” is the Bahamian term used to describe leftover food (commonly rice and peas) caked on the bottom of cooking pots.
To ensure no food went to waste, these pots were heated and reheated until nothing was left but a layer of hardened food on the bottom.
Once the remnants were no longer fit for human consumption, the leftovers (called potcake) were fed to the stray dogs.
This is how the term was coined.
How Big Do Potcake Dogs Get?
Expect a medium-sized dog that can reach up to 55 pounds or more.
Females are usually somewhat smaller than their male counterparts.
Keep in mind this is the average. Some people have rescued potcake dogs that are much smaller and others have rescues that are larger.
They are thought to have a small gene pool because of their relative isolation on the islands.
The original potcake strays were thought to be a mix of terriers, Carolina dogs, and possibly other breeds.
What Do Potcakes Look Like?
Potcakes come in a variety of colours ranging from brown through black and from white to gold. The typical potcake will have smooth, short coats and little to no undercoat.
The appearance of the dog depends on which island they come from and which dogs have bred with them.
Some potcakes have facial features that bear resemblance to commonly known breeds like the German Shepherd, mastiffs, hound, terriers and sometimes the Golden retriever.
The average height of an adult potcake is 23 inches.
They can weigh up to 55 pounds. Keep in mind that stray potcake dogs sometimes weigh less.
This mixed breed comes in a wide variety of colors including black, brown, and a combination of colors (gold, white, tan, etc.).
Dogs indigenous to the Carribean islands tend to resemble the Indian pariah dog.
All potcakes share similar traits including long-noses and floppy ears.
Potcake dogs of the Bahamas have short fur with little to no undercoat. They have smooth coats that need little grooming other than the occasional brush.
Potcakes are not hypoallergenic and will shed.
Where Do Potcake Dogs Come From?
Potcakes began as feral dogs in the streets of the Bahamas and in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Historically, it’s thought these dogs were brought aboard sailing ships by the Arawak during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
Carrying dogs aboard ships was considered the best way to protect the food and supplies from rodents.
The Bahamas played a major role in maritime commerce during the days of Tall Ships (1800’s to 1920’s) which also brought an opportunity for dogs to mix.
Some of the early terrier breeds may have ended up as street dogs.
Once the war was over, the dogs no longer had “jobs” and may have been left to fend for themselves in the streets.
The dogs that are adopted these days are usually saved from the streets before experiencing severe hardship.
The basic instinct of survival, however, remains in their genes to this day.
Although these dogs are considered a mixed-breed, they are thought to share an isolated gene pool because of their existence on the islands.
Some believe the potcake dog breed is a mix of Labrador retrievers and English fox terriers. Ultimately, their origins remain a mystery.
Are Potcake Dogs Good for Families?
Potcakes are amazingly smart and energetic dogs. They are loving, loyal, and considered a great dog for families. However, many who have owned potcakes suggest they are not the dog for new pet owners.
Dogs from the same lineage can have very different personalities.
It’s possible to have one potcake dog that is very social and friendly, and another one that is more fearful and guarded.
There are some general guidelines to follow (see below) when considering the adoption of a potcake. The important thing to remember is the long-term commitment and expense of owning a dog.
Survival of the Fittest
It makes sense that potcake dogs can be guarded or territorial, especially if they are adopted right off the street.
For the most part, potcake puppies are rescued and adopted out long before they ever experience that type of existence.
What Kind of Personalities Do Potcakes Have?
Potcakes tend to have strong survival instincts due to years of living on the streets.
Adult potcakes may have had to defend their space and fight for food. As a result, they may be suspicious of human contact.
Potcakes are best described as:
Potcake Fears and Anxieties
Many potcakes are fearful of loud noises like thunder, fireworks, running vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, vehicles, etc.
Although many dogs have a fear of fireworks and thunder, potcakes may have unique fears that stem from living in the streets.
These days, there are a number of options to help our furry friends including:
Rescue Shelters You Can Trust
Rescuing a potcake dog is a process that involves completing an application, finding a courier to fly the dog to North America, and patience.
Unfortunately, there are an unscrupulous few who may try to sell you a “pure” potcake dog.
Don’t fall for anyone claiming to have “purebred” potcake dogs because we know they are actually a mixed breed.
Potcakes have the look and feel of dogs we are familiar with, but if you don’t know what to expect you could get scammed.
The best place to find your potcake dog is through:
This rescue is based in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. Their mission is to “reduce the number of homeless potcakes on the island”.
Their headquarters are located in Saltmills Plaza in the Grace Bay Area of Providenciales.
Volunteers run this non-profit organization with an aim to educate pet owners on the importance of spaying and neutering.
Potcake Place works hard to ensure the rescues are socialized with as many people as possible.
Wonderful people often volunteer to foster these dogs to help them prepare for their new homes.
The exciting thing is that you don’t have to be from the islands (or even visiting) to adopt a dog.
Couriers will accompany the dog to the United States and beyond. It’s easy to get started with an application. The first thing you should do is check out their website for up-to-date information.
Local SPCA or Humane Society
If you’re interested in adopting a potcake, you can always contact your local SPCA or humane society for guidance.
They may be able to provide a list of reputable rescue shelters or can point you to an animal shelter with potcake dogs ready to adopt.
7 Promising Signs A Potcake Dog is Right For You
#1. You’ve owned dogs before.
Potcakes are smart, energetic, trainable, and loyal.
It’s not 100% necessary that you’ve owned a dog before, but it helps. Some of the instincts that have been ingrained into the breed’s genetics may still linger.
If you get a potcake puppy from a shelter, you may have an easier time with training and introduction to other pets.
Adult potcakes who come from the streets may not have had an opportunity to learn to trust people.
#2. You’ve done your research.
It’s a good idea to look at the websites of trustworthy dog rescues. Read their mission statement, comments and reviews of previous potcake owners.
You’ll get the most honest information about this breed when you join a facebook group dedicated to potcakes.
#3. You have time for a dog.
Of course you probably can’t be with your dog 24/7. However, you do need to spend a fair bit of time (especially with a new dog) to get him accustomed to you and your family.
Potcakes require exercise and loving attention every day.
If you travel for work or do not expect to be home much, a new dog might not be the right choice for now.
#4. You have patience.
Potcake puppies are often fostered before they are sent to their forever homes. However, a puppy is still a puppy.
You will need to housetrain the dog (rain or shine!), walk the dog, and show calm patience as your new dog learns to live with other family members (including other pets).
Try Doggie Lawn, hydroponically grown grass is designed to work perfectly as an indoor puppy potty, a porch potty for your dog, or outside on your balcony as a fresh potty patch.
#5. The whole family has bought into the idea
It’s vital to have a family discussion before making the decision to adopt a dog.
Children are always more than willing to put in some work until the dog actually arrives.
Family members need to be aware of the challenges a new dog can bring. They must also be committed to loving and caring for this dog for up to 12 years or longer.
Ensure that everybody knows what to expect, including:
- Pee and poop accidents until the puppy is trained
- Teething puppies might destroy belongings that aren’t put away
- Safety measures that need to be employed including safety gates, etc.
- Expenses over the long-term including veterinary bills, toys, medication, dog food, supplies, doggy day care, kennels, microchip, etc.
New puppy owners should invest in this!
#6. Consistent Training
New puppies need to know basic commands like sit and stay.
They should learn now to jump on other people and learn to respond to their name when called.
Training works well, but only if everyone in the family is on the same page. Unfortunately, puppies don’t understand if you’re having an off day.
Everyone in the family has to be committed to training the dog in the same way, and using the same commands.
Exercising a dog is the best way to reduce unwanted behavior while offering mental and physical stimulation.
Dog walking offers a ton of health benefits for you and your dog. You don’t need to have a big back-yard for a potcake, but you do need to get him/her out for an hour of exercise every day.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post. Potcake dogs are unique dogs that deserve to be rescued.
Best of luck in your new doggy adventures! Remember, seek out the most trustworthy dog shelters and do your homework.
Please take a second to share and remember to come back to this site for more important information about your dog’s health.