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Caribbean Critters: Potcake Puppies of Turks and Caicos

When we first heard about Potcake dogs, our first thought was puppies! Again, puppies! And that led to an inevitable discussion of where we could find these adorable animals. Local toy store? Amazon? We could always use more puppies in our lives.

But we were wrong. These canines are indigenous to Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. They get their awesome name from the Bahamian term for the congealed rice and peas mixture from the bottom of cooking pots that locals fed the island dogs. Hence, Potcake dogs.

The history of this unique breed stems from the blend of dogs introduced to the islands. Start with the pups of the hammock-inventing Arawak, throw in some tall-ship terriers, and a pinch of Loyalist Tory dogs from the American Revolution, and you get a sense of their heritage.

Although their appearances vary, Potcake dogs generally have smooth coats, cocked ears, and long faces. And long faces won’t work on us. Even if they are adorable.

Despite their mixed background, Potcake dogs are recognized as a dog breed in both Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, though the Bahamians prefer the term Royal Bahamian Potcake (how fancy!). We’re a little more laid back; Potcake dog is good enough for us.

In 2005, Turks and Caicos-based rescue organization Potcake Place became a registered charity. After running out of families to adopt to on the local islands, volunteers started connecting with potential adopters through the Potcake Place website ( and Facebook page.

There’s no charge for the pups, but they do ask for and appreciate a donation that will help cover vaccines and allow them to bring more pups into care. Don’t you just want to adopt one of these doggies? We do!

Image: Potcake Place K-9 Rescue