The Poodle and the German Shepherd, despite both originating from Germany, are very different from one another. Combined together, they make the German Shepherd Poodle Mix, otherwise known as the Shepadoodle. This mix is a wonderful and well-balanced family dog. Shepadoodles are both sociable and protective, gentle and fun, and really does have the best of both worlds.
Because of his activity needs, he should only be placed with families that can accommodate a higher energy dog. You’ll need to be able to offer plenty of mental stimulation as well as a lot of exercise every single day. Being a bigger sized pup, he also needs a big living space. You’ll also need to be prepared to manage his sometimes protective behavior.
But if you can guarantee him all of the above, then he will shower you in loyalty, fun, cuddle and entertainment for many years to come. He is one of the rarer poodle mixes out there, but one who is definitely worth looking into! So, let’s learn more about the Shepadoodle in all his German glory!
Before welcoming any dog into your home, especially a mixed breed, it is crucial to look at a dog’s past and parentage, as it will tell you what their breed purpose is, along with what their energy, intelligence and temperament are likely to be. It also helps you to understand whether they are likely to fit into your family and lifestyle.
Despite being known as the flamboyant national dog of France, the Poodle originated from 16th Century Germany. Poodles are the traditional German Duck hunter. He is such a great water retriever that he is the only non-sporting dog breed who can partake in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Retriever hunting tests.
So, this hardworking dog has a lot of working energy that needs to be met. Poodles aren’t just the pretty pups that everyone thinks they are. The Poodle is currently ranked by the AKC as the 7th most popular dog breed in America, and he is best described as active, proud, and very smart.
The Poodle takes three sizes. Each size is simply a replica of the others. The Standard Poodle measures 15 inches or taller in height, the Miniature Poodle measures under 15 inches and the Toy Poodle measures 10 inches and under. While miniature poodles are also popular parent breeds for other mixes, the Shepadoodle’s parent is typically the Standard size for ease of mating and birth.
The German Shepherd is currently ranked by the AKC as the 2nd most popular dog breed in America and he is undoubtedly the world’s most recognizable service and protection dog as he is so intelligent, loyal to his master and protective. Prior to this employment, the German Shepherd was a traditional herding dog in Germany. While they aren’t usually utilized for this purpose anymore, he may still pass on the herding gene.
He is a large dog who weighs between 50 and 90 pounds. German Shepherds also typically measure between 22 to 26 inches from paw to shoulder. He is described as confident, courageous, and smart, and usually sees one person in his family as his main master. This person will be their leader, and they will often bond firmly to this single individual. Because of his popularity, the GSD is an extremely popular parent breed to mix.
The Shepadoodle is a relatively new designer dog who is one of the rarer doodle mixes. This mix has been surging in popularity, although it has not picked up as much in popularity as the Bernedoodle or Husky Poodle mix. For this reason, you should be open-minded as to what characteristics he may inherit. Below we will run you through what you can expect from a typical pup.
First things first, whatever combination of genes he inherits, you can be sure that this dog is an energetic dog who demands physical and mental stimulation. If you aren’t active, or lack time in your schedule, choose another breed. If you can provide him with plenty of activity and interaction, then you are onto a winning combo!
This mixed breed will likely be slightly aloof with strangers at first because of his inherited guarding tendencies. Thanks to the super sociability of the Poodle parent, he will quickly accept them into the fold with a smile and plenty of canine kisses. While he may lean one way or the other on the aloofness/sociability scale, you can be sure that he will be a well-balanced pup when it comes to his friendliness.
And when it comes to his family, well, there is no stopping the love and affection for his immediate pack. The German Shepherd Poodle mix is a big guy with an equally big heart! If you are seeking a large doggy body warmer that will keep you toasty, or one that will squash you on the sofa, then this guy is definitely up to the job.
Size & Appearance
The Shepadoodles size is entirely dependent on the Poodle parent and what size he is. However, it is more than likely that he will be a standard-sized Poodle. In this guide, we spend our time talking the German Shepherd Poodle mix with a standard-sized Poodle parent. He will measure anywhere between 18 and 24 inches in height, from paw to shoulder. These pups will also weigh between 50 and 80 pounds, making them a larger dog.
He will be muscular under his coat. While you might not see his muscular definition, you will soon notice his strength and power. His eyes will be large and dark in color, and his ears will also likely be a large triangle shape, and with a big mischievous smile, he will be unequivocally charming.
Coat & Colors
His coat can vary wildly in appearance and colors, It’s likely that his coat will be loosely curled or wavy, with a rough wiry feel to it. This will also depend on his German Shepherds parent coat. This is due to the fact that the German Shepherd can have short or long hair. To get a better idea of what you can expect, make sure you do the research on both your potential pup’s canine parents.
Their typical coloring will be dark colors such as black and tan, with the facial markings of the German Shepherd parent. But again, he could be any color that either parent takes, such as blue, white, and apricot to name just a few.
Exercise & Living Conditions
Because the Shepadoodle is usually bred from a Standard Poodle you should expect a large dog that will need plenty of living space. They also need access to a backyard. Of course, there may be some breeders out there who breed a Miniature Poodle, and so you can expect a much smaller dog who will not need as much room. The only way to ascertain his size is to speak to the breeder and see the parents.
If he has a Standard Poodle parent, then you can be sure that he will need a large home with access to a reasonably sized backyard. Otherwise, expect your pup to get cabin fever and become destructive. Like the Goldendoodle and the Labradoodle, this boy is not suited to standard apartment living.
His loyalty to his master and wariness of strangers makes him the ultimate watchdog. You can be sure that he will let you know when there is danger about. This is great if you like this canine trait, but not so great if you live somewhere with noise restrictions or sensitive neighbors. Keep this in consideration if a barking pup is a deal-breaker for you.
Despite his size and energy levels, he is very sweet with children and other pets. This means he can live with a young family and in multi-pet households. Just bear in mind that because he is a rambunctious dog he may not be suited to families with infants about as he may accidentally knock them over. As always, be sure never to leave children unsupervised as you wouldn’t with any other dog.
Because this mix is very loyal and inquisitive, they are naturally intelligent dogs who thrive in training. This is great news for prospective owners. While he may be suited to first-time dog owners, you need to read up on how to handle canines who may exhibit protective behaviors. Or, if in doubt, simply enroll him into a puppy obedience class to kick start his manners from the get-go.
Puppy classes will also allow you to socialize him early on. This is especially important for this breed and their potential to be protective. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering that the Poodle is not a protective pup. Socialization creates a well-mannered and confident dog, so this is an imperative part of his training.
The German Shepherd parent will be incentivized by verbal praise, and the Poodle parent is usually incentivized by toys or treats, so be sure to incorporate these into your training too.
The Shepadoodle is a healthy dog who will live between 10 and 15 years. Thanks to the longer living Poodle and his healthier genes, it is likely that he will live beyond 10 years. Being a mixed breed pup, he is also susceptible to the health concerns of both parents, and here are the main concerns to look out for:
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: These are common health concerns that most dogs are at risk from. Both parent breeds are at risk from these. It is caused by the abnormal formation of the hip joint. It’s usually triggered by rapid growth rate as a puppy, which can lead to severe pain and paralysis in later life.
Eye conditions: This is particularly prevalent in the Poodle side. As such, you should ensure that he undergoes an ophthalmologist health check. This will look for common problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
Degenerative Myelopathy: This condition might be inherited from the German Shepherd side, and this is characterized by the degeneration of the spinal cord, which leads to lame rear legs and incontinence, gradually ending in paralysis.
Addison’s Disease: This is prevalent in the Standard Poodle, and as such it is a concern to educate yourself on. The adrenal gland, located near to the kidney, will not produce the correct number of hormones, and this in turn causes the dog to suffer with weight loss, sickness, blood in feces and depression.
The Shepadoodle will do well on a high-quality kibble formulated for German Shepherds, Poodles or large breeds. It should also have a high protein content to provide his large energetic muscles with strength and energy. A typical fully grown pup will need around 3 cups of kibble every day.
Because of their size, they are at risk of both Elbow and Hip Dysplasia, it is important to feed him age-specific kibbles that are specifically designed for large dogs. These foods contain the correct ratios of calcium, phosphorus, fat, and vitamin D. These nutrients help to decrease the chances of him suffering with such diseases.
The Shepadoodle will need to be brushed every other day considering his curly or wiry coat. If he has a longer coat, or his coat is particularly prone to matting, then this should be increased to everyday brushing, and a slicker brush will be your best grooming tool here.
He will need bathing every 6 weeks or so, and the usual canine grooming practices such as ear, teeth and nail clipping will need to be adopted for the Shepadoodle. Don’t be tempted to bath him more than every 6 weeks, or you’ll risk interfering with his natural coat oils.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
The cost of the Shepadoodle from a reputable breeder starts from around $800. Remember to always work with a reputable breeder to ensure the best health of your new puppy, and always ask to see the health certificates of both parents.
The Shepadoodle is one of the rarer doodle mixes. As such, you should be prepared to travel to find a reputable breeder. The best way to start your research is to look online, and once you have found a few potential breeders conduct your own research on them to ascertain whether they are reputable or not, looking at their website, policies, and other customer reviews.
Rescues & Shelters
Rescuing is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but because he is a rare mix he might be a little harder to find in your local rescue center. For this reason, we would suggest checking out the breed specific rescue centers who also house breed mixes.
The American German Shepherd Rescue Association list approved centers state by state, and the Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation also lists the website details of each Poodle rescue centers state by state.
As Family Pets
- The Shepadoodle needs 60 minutes of intense exercise daily.
- This mix is energetic, and can be destructive without activity.
- This mix is best in a larger home with a larger yard.
- He is likely to be a protective dog who will make a great watchdog.
- This is a sociable mix once introduced properly to strangers.
- Despite his size he is well suited to young families and multi-pet households.
- Socialize early to avoid the German Shepherd’s protective nature taking over.
- Expect your pup will need regular brushing most days.
- We recommend using a grooming brush meant for German Shepherds.
The Shepadoodle is a beautifully balanced dog who would suit many families. All you need is a bit of space, time to physically exercise him and the patience to accept all the doggy kisses in the world.
Just remember that as he is a relatively new designer dog. You’ll need to be prepared to accept, and love, any characteristic, appearance, and temperament of either parent. But, whatever combination he inherits, you can be sure that you will have a canine companion that everyone will fall in love with.