There are many doodle dogs out there that have been bred to ensure a strong blend of the very best gene of the hypoallergenic Standard or Miniature Poodle and another, perhaps more common dog.
The German Shepherd Poodle mix is a prime example of two very different dogs that should create an interesting hybrid.
There are high hopes over intelligence, athletic ability, loyalty and a gentle spirit. Also, as with pretty much every Poodle cross, there is the assumption that this will be a non-shedding, hypo-allergenic cross. As we know from other dogs, this perfect 50/50 split isn’t always a guarantee, so what can dog lovers expect here?
In this guide to this shepherd poodle mix we will look at some of the most important information that new owners need before buying, or adopting, one of these dogs.
The best place to start here is with a more detailed look at the genetics of this mix and the breeds involved. This means looking at the standard mix, and its size, as well as that of the miniature version.
From there we will look at other aspects of its physical traits – such as colors, coat and facial features – before looking at its health issues and the Shepadoodle lifespan.
Then we will look at the home life of this dog and its role as a family pet. This means looking more closely at potential behavioral issues and Shepadoodle training. From there we will look at the choice between breeders and shelters, before making a final verdict.
By the end, you should have a clearer idea of whether or not this is a good choice for your family and living situation.
Shepadoodle – Image Source
What do we call this dog? Does it have an official name?
Before we get into the details of the breeding and traits of this dog, it is important to take a closer look at the name.[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]In this guide we will continue to refer to this dog either by its mix, or by the hybrid name of Shepadoodle. This is mainly because this is the more common term used by owners and breeders for this cross. [/thrive_text_block]
However, it is understandable if there is some confusion here as there is a very similarly named dog breed called the Sheepadoodle – the mix of the Old English Sheepdog and the Standard Poodle.
Other names that are used for these pups include Shepherd Doodle, German Poodle, Shepherdpoo and Shepapoo.
In the end, you can refer to it anyway you want around those less familiar. But, clarity and consistency help when dealing with breeders.
Let’s take a closer look at the parents here in a Shepadoodle mix
This cross breed is a German Shepherd mixed with Poodle.[thrive_text_block color=”blue” headline=””]Unlike some “designer” hybrids that are modern creations to fit a trend, these dogs were not thrown together due to the popularity of the doodle dog.
Instead, these mix has been around since the 1960s. They come from the U.S., where the Army developed the breed to try and create a new form of military police dog.
This is why there are such strong lines of Shepadoodle dogs out there and some almost see it as a breed of its own, even though it is not officially recognized.
The success of the breeding means a brilliant working dog for military and police work, as well as more traditional agricultural tasks and even assistance work.
This is generally achieved with a German Shepherd x Standard Poodle, which results in an average Shepadoodle size of 22 to 28 inches and a Shepadoodle weight of 50 to 80 pounds. This can take some new owners by surprise when their cute little pup just keeps on growing.[/thrive_text_block]
German Shepherd mixed with Poodle – Image Source
It should also be noted that there are miniature versions of this dog around, for those that want the looks and traits in a smaller, more manageable animal.[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]This Mini Shepadoodle is unlikely to be the result of a Miniature Poodle and German Shepherd mix, unless there are some experimental breeders around. Instead, many breed from the smallest stock to create a smaller than average dog. It may also be the case that these smaller dogs are the result of a Poodle and Shepapoodle. In this case the genetic traits will shift and there wont be the true blend of characteristics that we would expect from a 50/50 hybrid.
Other physical features to watch out for, such as build and coat type. As you will see from many of the Shepadoodle pictures that are available, this is often a scruffier looking dog than some other doodle crosses.
Still, this adds to their charm. Some have the face of the GSD while other lean more to the Poodle. They are quite a lean, tall dog with an athletic body that differs from other doodles. They also tend to have floppy ears that a fringed tail they carry high.[/thrive_text_block]
White Shepadoodle – Image Source
As for the coat, there are great variations here in terms of both the colors and the styles of fur.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]The color spectrum is broad with the chance of a white Shepadoodle from white parents, a black one from black parents and plenty of variations in-between. There are some of these crosses that have a dense, curly coat that is similar to that of the Poodle. Others will have a much rougher, longer coat with wavy hair that is more similar to that of the GSD.
This raises an interesting point about the risks of Shepadoodle shedding and the question of is the Shepadoodle hypoallergenic. Dogs that lean towards the Poodle are more likely to be hypoallergenic with minimal shedding. Dogs closer to the GSD will shed more.[/thrive_text_block]
Are there any potential Shepadoodle health problems that owners need to watch out for?
Some owners and breeders will point out the following health issues that may come through with these dogs – bloat, epilepsy, eye problems, hypothyroidism, Von Willebrands and Patellar luxation.
However, responsible breeders will avoid breeding unhealthy dogs with bad genetic traits and hybrid vigour could help to ensure that the offspring is a little healthier.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]The good news here is that the Shepadoodle life expectancy is around 12 to 14 years.
The bad news is that some owners find that Shepadoodles can become overweight too easily with poor exercise and a poor diet.[/thrive_text_block]
What do new owners need to know about the home life of this dog and the potential of the Poodle German shepherd mix as a family pet?
This is a hybrid that – like many doodles – is highly regarded as a family pet.
They are pretty good with kids and pets, as long as they have socialization training early on, and the social side of GSD often shines through.
Having said that, there are some that are a little more wary of strangers.[thrive_text_block color=”red” headline=””]This alertness means that they can also be a pretty good watchdog for the family home. This home really does need to be a house with a yard, rather than an apartment.
This is a highly active animal with a lot of energy to burn. A strong exercise regime is essential to keep them fit – and to avoid those obesity issues. Two long walks are really the minimum here. Some owners may prefer to go running or hiking to really burn off that energy. Also, regular playtime in the yard helps a lot. [/thrive_text_block]
German Shepherd Poodle Mix – Image Source
The positive and negative behavioral traits of this German Shepherd and Poodle mix
This is all largely down to the good behavior of this dog and all of the positive Shepadoodle traits. This is the reason why trainers and breeders have created so many working dogs in so many professions.
The physical traits above, and the intelligence below, help with police and military work. However, the other aspects of the Shepadoodle temperament provide this gentle, caring side that makes them ideal family pets and service dogs.
The loyalty of the parent dogs is evident in the offspring and they have a nice balance between a need to please and that gentle, patient nature. This results in a sense of loyalty that can backfire with some dogs.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Unfortunately there are some dogs of this cross that can become very protective of their pack, to the point where they may appear to be overly so.
Also this loyalty and devotion leads to a need to be around their family members. Not only does this mean that this is not a dog that suits life in a kennel, it can be a problem when it comes to separation. They may not be happy to be left alone for long.
On that note, it is important to keep these dogs occupied when alone, and to simply give them enough attention and exercise, because they can exhibit some bad behavior when bored.[/thrive_text_block] [easyazon_infoblock align=”center” identifier=”B01EHX2BH0″ locale=”US” tag=”howtotrainy03-20″]
So what do new owners need to know about training a Shepadoodle?
The good news is that there are few training issues with a German Shepherd crossed with Poodle. This blend of an eagerness to please, strong obedience and high intelligence from both parents means they learn and respond quite quickly.
However, training only really works best with those that can establish their dominance as pack leader to get the best from the dog. This could be an issue for inexperienced first time owners. This is where the Doggy Dan the online dog trainer course can help.
This online guide provides information on a range of issues, including socialization and separation anxiety, and explains everything in simple step-by-step guides. First timers can work through it at their own pace.
Finding a Shepadoodle to bring into the family
The first place to look for anyone that is keen to own a Shepherd Poodle mix is to research local Shepadoodle breeders.
The popularity and history of the breed means that there are sure to be many breeders with a long history and strong reputation for healthy, legitimate pups.
However, never make the assumption that all breeders are reputable. There will be some that are in this for profit and don’t have the welfare of the animals firmly in mind.[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=””]Always take the time to meet with anyone that offers Shepadoodle puppies for sale to see the litter, the parents and the surroundings.
Also pay attention to the price and avoid overpriced breeders selling designer colors or those selling them too cheap. [/thrive_text_block]
Shepherdpoo – Image Source
The alternative to these breeders is Shepadoodle adoption
Rescue centers and shelters are full of dogs in need of a loved home, and at a much reduced cost than the breeders.
There are often many hybrids that didn’t turn out quite the way that owners had expected. There is the potential that this could happen with this Poodle x GSD hybrid because of the demands on an owners time and energy, the potential behavioral issues and the size of the dog.
Call around to see if a local shelter has one in need of a home and go and visit them. You could save a life and make a life-long friend.
What have we learned about this German Shepherd Doodle?
In many ways, this dog is the hybrid that many people hope for when they turn to this cross. It does have the high intelligence that many assume it will, as well as that strong family-friendly nature, gentle spirit and a gorgeous look.
However, there are also aspect to the cross that people may not expect, such as the uncertainty over the quality of the coat and hypoallergenic nature, the potential health issues and the risk of behavioral problems.
Like all crosses, there are pros and cons and genetic variations. This means that keen owners still need to be careful with breeders.
Black Shepadoodle – Image Source
Is the German Shepherd Poodle mix right for you?
This mix of pros and cons means that you really do have to think carefully about this dog, and your ability to care for it, before looking for Shepadoodle puppies for sale.
If you have the space at home, the time to spend in his company and the devotion to their training, exercise and grooming demands, this could be a good fit. If not, it would not be fair on such a loving loyal dog.
They are a great family pet, working dog and service dog, but only with the right trainers and owners.
Featured Image: Instagram/bob_ross_is_boss_