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Bahamian Potcake Dog: Care Guide, Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Bahamian Potcake Dog


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.

Breed Overview

Colors

Brown, white, black, cream, red, tan

Suitable for

Families, experienced owners, and active individuals

Temperament

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

Energy:

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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.

Trainability:

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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.

Health:

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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.

Lifespan:

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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.

Sociability:

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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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.

Image Credit: Paul Sveda, Shutterstock

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.

Exercise🐕

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.

Training🎾

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.

Grooming✂️

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:

  • Mange: Dogs that have spent time as strays on the street commonly have mange. This is a skin disease that covers their bodies in sores, causes hair loss, and leaves crusty patches. This disease is caused by mites that dig into the dog’s skin and can be contagious. It causes pain to dogs, but thankfully, even serious cases can be treated with vet care.
  • Worms: There are various types of worms that infect dogs, such as tapeworms, roundworms, heartworms, hookworms, and whipworms. All of these worms can cause problems to your dog’s health if left untreated, so it’s important to give your dog parasite treatment from your vet to prevent them.
  • Ear Infections: An ear infection is a common problem but one that can be prevented. It can be caused by bacteria, yeast, or mites and is very uncomfortable and even painful for dogs. By cleaning your dog’s ears often, you’ll reduce their risk of developing an ear infection, so include it in their grooming care.
  • Hot Spots; Hot spots are inflamed areas on your dog’s skin caused by scratching and biting due to parasites or allergies. They quickly turn from red spots to oozing wounds that are painful. Your vet will prescribe treatment for your dog’s hot spots that will resolve them quickly.
  • Gum disease: Gum disease in dogs is a far too common problem that is caused by bacteria in their mouths. It can damage the gums and bones that hold the teeth, but once noticeable, there is little that can be done to fix it. It’s vital to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and take them for dental checkups to prevent gum disease from forming in the first place.

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.

Final Thoughts

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)

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