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Carolina Dog German Shepherd Mix: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

carolina dog german shepherd mix standing outdoor

Height: 20–22 inches
Weight: 40–60 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Brown, sable, gray, black, tan, golden, or yellow shades
Suitable for: Families or singles with adequate space for training and exercise
Temperament: Intelligent, easy to train, loyal, energetic, gets along with other pets

The Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix is becoming a popular breed in the United States. By combining these two breeds, people who have dreamed of owning a German Shepherd, but have been concerned by the size, can now have a smaller version with even more great qualities included.

The Carolina Dog, also known as the American Dingo, is a pack-driven, reserved dog breed. Coming from a feral background, many pet owners have steered away from this breed but may be missing out on the loyal, fun companion they can be.

The German Shepherd is known for its loyalty, strength, and intelligence. By being one of the most popular breeds in the world, the size of this dog breed is often a hindrance for potential owners. The overall loving and loyal nature often wins in the end and families realize what a great pet these dogs make.

When combining these two dog breeds, the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix gives dog owners the best of both worlds. A pet with all the adoring traits of the German Shepherd, the pack mentality and caring of the Carolina Dog, and a size most families can easily accept.

Now, let’s take a look at more information on this amazing breed.

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Carolina Dog German Shepherd Mix Puppies


Before buying any puppy, it is important to know as much information as possible on the specific breed. When it comes to a crossbreed like the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix, you’ll find both the good and bad of both breeds are involved in their characters. Here’s a look at a few characteristics you may find interesting about this breed.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Carolina Dog German Shepherd Mix

1. The Carolina Dog Was Discovered Less Than 50 Years Ago

The Carolina Dog was discovered by a professor in South Carolina less than 50 years ago. This is why little is known of their true heritage. Currently, it is believed they are related to an Asian dog breed that came across the Bering Strait nearly 9,000 years ago. Work is still being done to trace their lineage and discover more about this amazing breed.

2. The German Shepherd Was the First Seeing Eye Dog

Most people think of Retrievers or Labradors when it comes to helping the visually impaired navigate the world around them. This is mostly true today, but the first dog breed to step in and assist those with visual impairments were German Shepherds.

Throughout the years, this crucial line of work began favoring Labradors and Retrievers due to the realization that German Shepherds were better suited in the line of duty serving beside police officers.

3. This Mix Has a Different Look Than You’re Used To

While most people recognize the appearance of the German Shepherd, breeding with the Carolina Dog changes things up just a bit. When these two breeds are entwined, the puppy can show characteristics such as dainty feet and gold or yellow colorings. This is uncommon for the German Shepherd and is thanks mostly to the genetics of the Carolina Dog.

The parent breeds of Carolina Dog German Shepherd Mix
The parent breeds of Carolina Dog German Shepherd Mix: Left – Carolina Dog (GoodFocused, Shutterstock) | Right – German Shepherd (Anna Dudkova, Unsplash)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Carolina German Shepherd Mix 🧠

When it comes to temperament and intelligence, the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix is a wonderful dog to bring home. This breed is highly intelligent and easy to train. Although energetic, these dogs are loyal and loving while being well-mannered and reserved when needed.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Yes, the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix is great for families. This is especially true if brought into the home as a puppy and raised around both adults and children in the household. The Carolina Dog is a pack-driven animal. When shown love and proper care by their families, they will make that family part of their pack. This means loyalty, affection, and love will be your reward for caring for these dogs.

The German Shepherd is much the same. Protective and loyal, this dog breed has been known to protect and even save children making them ideal for the home. Their protective nature makes them great guard dogs and their love for their family will keep them at your side at all times.

By mixing these two great breeds families can feel both safe and secure with their pets. Even children will have the opportunity to show affection and reap the rewards of growing up with such a well-mannered dog breed.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

In most situations, the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix can be trained to live with other animals in the house. Keep in mind that the Carolina Dog is originally a prey-driven animal but has a docile nature. If introducing these dogs, or mixes, into a home with cats or other small animals, do it with caution and at an early age. This will help you avoid any unwanted issues as the trainability of this crossbreed is great.

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Things to Know When Owning a Carolina Dog German Shepherd Mix:

Carolina Dog GSD Mix Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

A well-balanced diet is required to keep your Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix happy and healthy. This diet can consist of high-protein commercial dog food or foods you prepare at home for your pets. How much food you feed this breed depends on the sizing it takes from their parental lines.

If your animal is smaller and more similar to the Carolina Dog, one cup of kibble a day may be sufficient. If you notice your mix is on the larger size, offering two feedings and one to two cups of kibble may be required.

Carolina Dog GSD Mix Exercise 🐕

The Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix needs adequate exercise to stay healthy. Two hours a day is a good starting point. You may find, if your particular pet is more energetic, that they need more time to burn off their energy. Walks, fetch, and trips to the dog park or open areas where running can take place are great examples of exercises well-suited to this breed.

Carolina Dog GSD Mix Training 🦮

This dog breed is fairly easy to train but requires a confident trainer during this time. If not trained properly, this dog, like its German Shepherd lineage, can take over the role of pack leader. If this happens, training can become quite difficult. If you have trained dogs in the past, the intelligence of this breed will make things a non-issue.

If you have never trained a dog, consider looking into an online course or other tips to help make this process go smoothly.

Grooming ✂️

Due to the inherited shedding of the German Shepherd, Carolina Dog German Shepherd mixes require routine grooming to keep them looking their best. Brushing and using an undercoat rake should be done at least twice a week. Routine baths with de-shedding shampoo and conditioner will also help.

Keeping your pet’s nails trimmed to an appropriate length and offering routine teeth cleaning will also be beneficial to your dog. Issues with dental health can be quite painful and should be looked at by a veterinarian if noticed.

Health and Conditions ❤️

When looking at the possible health conditions the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix may face, it is important to look at the genetics and concerns of both breeds.

The Carolina Dog is considered one of the healthier dog breeds out there. Due to such a long life in the wild, they are not susceptible to many of the genetic disorders other dogs, who are overly bred, endure.

The German Shepherd, however, is known for a few medical issues. When combining these two dog breeds, the Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix may be susceptible to problems the German Shepherd inherently faces.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Skin Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
  • Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency
  • Pannus

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Male vs Female

In most instances, other than the obvious male and female differences, the only noticeable difference between the males and females of this dog breed is size. Female Carolina Dog German Shepherds tend to be slightly smaller than the males. The appearance of the females also seems sleeker and less muscular.

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Final Thoughts

The Carolina Dog German Shepherd mix is a great combination of two amazing dog breeds. With the beauty, intelligence, and loyalty ingrained into these animals, the addition of this breed into your home is a great way of making a family complete. If you’ve wanted a smaller version of the German Shepherd or have been interested in the Carolina Dog but feared the unknown, this mix is the ideal way of having the best of both worlds.

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Featured Image Credit: PxHere

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