If you’ve never heard of the Bahamian Potcake Dog, don’t worry, you’re not alone. These dogs are commonly found in the Caribbean and are typically brown. However, a Potcake is a mixed breed, so many color varieties can be found, as well as different sizes.
Brown, white, black, cream, red, tan
Families, experienced owners, and active individuals
Loyal, loving, territorial, interactive, calm, and intelligent
The Bahamian Potcake dog isn’t recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club, but they have been officially recognized as a breed in the Bahamas since the 1970s. Their popularity has grown from the Bahamas to the United States in recent years due to outreaches to the area to prevent the wild Potcake population from getting out of hand.
Although the Potcake’s appearance differs slightly from island to island, they are typically identifiable by their short hair,1 folded ears, sweet eyes, long face, and medium size. Before introducing a Potcake to your home, learn as much as you can about them to ensure they’re the right addition to your lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more about this special type of dog.
Bahamian Potcake Dog Characteristics
Bahamian Potcake Puppies
Temperament & Intelligence of the Bahamian Potcake Dog
Bahamian Potcakes are loyal and intelligent dogs. However, they do tend to wander. If not trained from a young age, they aren’t likely to obediently walk beside you and should be kept on a leash instead. They’re also quick and will find any opportunity to slip out of an opening gate or a gap in your fence to roam the streets. However, with an experienced owner who can provide continuous training and positive reinforcement, these intelligent dogs have a lot of potential.
Once trust has been built between you and your Bahamian Potcake, you’ll have a loyal and friendly companion for life. These dogs love interaction and are affectionate with their owners. They love a bit of exercise but will happily hang out with you around the house and take several naps throughout the day.
Are These Dogs Good for Families?👪
These dogs aren’t recommended for first-time dog owners, but they do fit in well with families. They love receiving and giving lots of cuddles. They’re always up for adventure and are great dogs to go walking, running, or hiking with. Although independent, they love to be involved in family activities and will lap up the attention anyone gives them.
However, because these dogs have a mixed gene pool, their personalities can differ slightly. While they’re typically calm, loyal, friendly, and affectionate, some Bahamian Potcakes can be fearful and shy and show signs of aggression. If you have young children, you should spend time with the dog before taking them home to ensure they’re relaxed and friendly. Regardless of the temperament of your dog, you should always teach your children to be kind and gentle to your dog and introduce them properly.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
The friendliness and adaptability of most Bahamian Potcakes allow them to get along well with other pets, especially dogs. Most of these dogs grew up being around other dogs on the island or have shared enclosures with other dogs at the rescue shelters, so bringing them home to live with your other pets usually isn’t an issue.
No matter how sweet your pet might be, suddenly sharing their space and territory with a new dog can be stressful. It’s vital that you introduce your Potcake slowly and correctly to prevent fear, anxiety, or aggression from any pet.
Things to Know When Owning a Bahamian Potcake Dog
Food & Diet Requirements🦴
Although Bahamian Potcakes have tough stomachs, they should still be fed good-quality dog food that is nutritionally complete and balanced. Although most of these dogs are medium-sized, you can look at their paws when they’re still puppies to gauge how big they’re going to get. Due to the mixed genes, some might be smaller or bigger than average, so it’s important to get the dog food that is appropriate to their size and weight.
You can choose to give your dog dry, wet, dehydrated, or freeze-dried dog food but be sure that it contains animal protein, vegetables, fruit, and grain. Of course, if your dog is sensitive to any of those ingredients, you’ll need to find options that exclude them or have alternatives. Similarly, if your dog has a health condition that requires a specific diet, you’ll need to chat with your vet and find the food that is suitable for them.
Your Potcake will happily hang out with you on the couch if given a chance, but they’ll also excitedly take up any opportunity to go for a walk. It’s important to exercise your dog every day to keep them healthy, fit, and in shape. Exercise also prevents boredom, anxiety, and bad behavior such as barking, digging, and chewing. It’s also a way for you to build trust with your dog.
Your Potcake requires moderate exercise daily, which can be achieved through playing, hiking, swimming, walking, and running. If you’re unable to take your dog on a walk every day, consider using a dog walker to fill in for you on the days that are too overwhelming or busy. Although your dog won’t be able to spend time with you, they’ll still be thankful for the outing.
Remember, mental stimulation is just as important for your Potcake as frequent exercise. You can get their mind active through food puzzles, search games, and interactive toys.
Bahamian Potcakes are typically very intelligent dogs that are also adaptable. These qualities help them fall into a routine quickly and pick up on commands. They are very food motivated, which makes training easier as they’ll happily listen to you if you have a treat in your hand. They are fairly easy to housetrain, but as with all dogs, patience and positive reinforcement are necessary. Fear and intimidation will only bring out the worst in these dogs, and their trust in you will be broken.
These dogs have short coats with no undercoats, making them easy to groom. They do shed, so regular brushing is necessary. Brushing isn’t only important to remove loose hairs but to remove dirt, spread the natural oils from their skin, and ensure their coats are free from ticks and fleas. Of course, these dogs will also need the occasional bath, which you can give them every 6 weeks or when required.
Along with brushing and bathing, you’ll need to clip their nails to prevent them from getting caught in fabric and torn off. Also, stay on top of their dental hygiene—brushing their teeth at least three times a week will prevent gum disease and vet bills when they’re a bit older.
Also, inspect their ears often. If their ears have wax buildup or are dirty, clean them with pet-friendly wipes to prevent an infection.
Health & Conditions🏥
It’s unclear if Bahamian Potcakes are predisposed to any serious health conditions, but we do know that they’re strong, hardy dogs that tend to be pretty healthy. However, they’re at risk of developing common diseases and health problems, like any other dog. Therefore, it’s important to stay on top of all their vaccinations as well as their physical and dental checkups. A few common health issues they may face are:
Male vs Female
Female Bahamian Potcakes can be a little smaller than males and tend to weigh a little less. However, apart from these small differences, there aren’t any other features that set males and females of this type of dog apart.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Bahamian Potcake Dog
1. They’re Named After Leftovers
A common meal enjoyed by the locals of the Bahamas is pea and rice stew. Any overcooked leftovers in the pot would be scraped out the bottom and given to the dogs. These thick cake-like leftovers were referred to as “potcake,” and because they were given to the street dogs, the dogs eventually gained the same name.
2. They Have Tough Stomachs
Many purebred dogs have one problem in common—sensitive stomachs. If they eat anything that differs from their regular diets, they’re likely to experience a bit of diarrhea or vomiting. The same can be said for many mixed breeds too. However, Bahamian Potcakes are an exception.
Due to Bahamian Potcakes being common street dogs, they’ve been able to develop tough stomachs in an effort to survive on whatever food they can find. These dogs typically aren’t picky eaters and will happily eat food that many other dog breeds would turn their noses up at. However, this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be fed good-quality food, as they deserve the same nutrients and quality as every other dog.
3. These Dogs Are Seen as a Nuisance by Many
Due to the overpopulation of the Bahamian Potcake dog, there are many stray dogs roaming the island. Their natural instinct to survive drives them to look for food in garbage cans, but they leave a path of destruction and mess wherever they go. They’re also commonly the cause of accidents as they run across roads and have a tendency to get in the way.
As you can imagine, the residents of the island are becoming tired of constantly cleaning up after these dogs. They’re also a threat to the economy because the Bahamas is a beautiful destination that brings in many tourists, and these stray dogs affect that.
Thankfully, there are rescue shelters that take in stray dogs and save them from starvation, wandering, being knocked over, or being attacked by other animals and even people. These shelters neuter the dogs and get them adopted, preventing overpopulation and reducing the high number of dogs being euthanized.
Bahamian Potcake dogs are plentiful in the Bahamas, which is also the only country where the dog is an officially recognized breed. They gained their name from the leftovers of a popular dish in the area but can differ in appearance due to the mixture of genes that make up this dog. They’re described as loyal, affectionate, and intelligent and are excellent additions to families who can give them a better life than they’ve known on the streets.
Thankfully, there are several Potcake rescue shelters in the Caribbean that take these dogs off the streets, clean them up, and send them to loving homes without any charge for the dog. If you’re interested in one of these dogs, prepare to give a donation to cover the vet care your dog received as well as the airline costs. These dogs usually don’t come from much but make wonderful companions.
Featured Image Credit: Bahamian Potcake Dog (Image Credit: Denise Stepp, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)