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 makes a wonderful and well-balanced dog who is 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 those who can offer this intelligent guy plenty of mental stimulation as well as a lot of exercise every single day. Being a big boy he also needs a big living space, and a master who can handle 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, and he is a 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, and he is not just the pretty pooch that everyone thinks he is. 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, and 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, but 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, and whilst he is not usually utilized for this purpose anymore he may still pass on the herding gene to the Shepadoodle.
He is a large dog who weighs between 50 and 90 pounds and measures 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, and they will be the sole apple of his eye.
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, but below we will run you through what you can expect from a typical Shepadoodle.
First things first, whatever combination of genes he inherits, you can be sure that this dog is an energetic pooch who demands physical and mental stimulation. If you are not active or cannot spend much time with him then he is not the pooch for you. If you can provide him with plenty of activity and interaction, then you are onto a winning combo!
The Shepadoodle will likely be slightly aloof with strangers at first because of his inherited guarding tendencies, but 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. Whilst he may lean one way or the other on the aloofness/sociability scale, you can be sure that he will be a well-balanced pooch 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 Shepadoodle is a big guy with an equally big heart! If you are seeking a large doggy water bottle 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, so here we are going to talk about the Standard Shepadoodle. He will measure anywhere between 18 and 24 inches in height, from paw to shoulder, and he will weigh between 50 and 80 pounds, so he will be a large sized dog.
He will be muscular under that coat of his, and whilst you might not see his muscle 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, however, it is 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 too, because he can be short or long haired, but again be sure to see his parents and you can expect his coat to fall somewhere in the middle.
The typical color of the Shepadoodle 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 and 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 he will inevitably 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, so 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 neighbours, so you need to consider that he will be a barky pooch.
Despite his size and energy levels, he is very sweet with children and other pets, so 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 accidently knock them over, but be sure never leave children unsupervised as you wouldn’t with any other dog.
The Shepadoodle, being very loyal and inquisitive, is a naturally intelligent dog who thrives in training, which is great news for prospective owners. Whilst he may be suited to first time dog owners, you need to read up on how to handle pooches 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 well, which is especially important for this guy and his potential to be protective. However, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem considering that the Poodle is not a protective pooch. 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 pooch who will live between 7 and 18 years. Thanks to the longer living Poodle and his healthier genes, it is likely that he will live beyond 10 years. Being a mixed pooch 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, and both of his parents are at risk from these. It is caused by the abnormal formation of the hip joint, 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, and as such you should ensure that he undergoes an ophthalmologist health check. This will look for common problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is the deterioration of the retina that, over time, can lead to total blindness.
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 Shepadoodle will need around 3 cups of kibble every day.
Because the Shepadoodle is a large dog that is at risk of both Elbow and Hip Dysplasia, it is important to feed him age-specific kibbles that are specifically designed for large dogs, as these contain the correct ratios of calcium, phosphorus, fat and vitamin D, which 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.
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.
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.
- The Shepadoodle will need regular brushing most days.
- We recommend using a grooming brush meant for German Shepherds.
The Shepadoodle is one of the rarer doodle mixed pooches, and 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.
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 should 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.