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Are you thinking about getting a Shepadoodle? These incredibly intelligent and loyal dogs are a favorite for those who want the qualities of a German Shepherd but would like a no to low-shedding hypoallergenic dog.
These Doodle-type dogs are playful, smart, and loving. They inherit the best traits of both of their parents: the German Shepherd and the Standard Poodle!
Today, you’ll learn more about the Shepadoodle including reasons why they make great family dogs (along with why you might not want one).
What is a Shepadoodle?
Shepadoodles (not to be confused with a Sheepadoodle), are considered designer dogs. A designer dog is a fancy name for two different dog breeds that are bred together. In the case of a Shepadoodle, it’s a crossbreed between a German Shepherd and a Poodle.
While Shepadoodles are not a purebred dog recognized by the American Kennel Club, they are currently recognized by the American Canines Hybrid Club.
German Shepherd Poodle mix dogs inherit the attributes from both the German Shepherd and Poodle parents. A Shepadoodle is a great option for those who suffer from allergies as they are low shedding dogs.
Shepadoodle Colors and Coat Type
The Shepadoodle’s main colors are a mixture of black and white. Although they can come in all black, some can also come in gray or golden. It depends on the trait this pup got from its parents. Some can come in solid colors, the same as a Poodle. Others can have a pattern like a German Shepherd.
Generally, its coat is medium length, straight, wavy, curly, or combination. Both the color and coat pattern of the Shepadoodle will depend on which genes are more dominant. If it has the German Shepherd coat pattern, it will have a mixture of and patches of black, cream, and bronze. When the Poodle genes are more dominant, they will have a solid color and coat pattern.
Size of Shepadoodles
Shepadoodles weigh anywhere from 50 to 125 pounds and have a height of 16 to 22 inches. It can vary depending on the size of the parent breeds. When the Poodle parent is more dominant, it will have a slender frame. But if the German Shepherd parent is more dominant, it will get a sturdier frame.
You can get the mini Shepadoodle, (a German Shepherd bred with a Miniature Poodle) which has an average weight of 35 to 45 pounds. It also has a toy version (bred with a Toy Poodle) that weighs 35 pounds or lower. Generally, smaller Shepadoodles are more expensive.
Shepadoodle Personality Traits and Temperament
As the Shepadoodle is a mixed breed dog, we’re going to look at the characteristics of both parent breeds to help us understand the personality and temperament of the Shepadoodle.
German Shepherds are large dogs and are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the US. They are highly intelligent, devoted, and courageous. A German Shepherd can be easily trained and can work as a guide dog and a military police dog. It’s also the type of dog that can do police and military work such as search and rescue, detect drugs, and more.
German Shepherds are very obedient, well-mannered, and faithful companions. They can act as a watchdog and keep you safe and are incredibly loving dogs. They are affectionate towards their owners and kids are safe with them. German Shepherds are aloof but not aggressive and can be protective and extremely loyal.
The Standard Poodle is a very smart type of dog and can easily be trained. They are originally hunting dogs with an energetic nature. Therefore, they need to have regular exercise and training so that they can be a good companion. Smaller Poodles can be aggressive towards strangers and other dogs around them. They are also very protective.
Standard Poodles are active, lively, and fun-loving dogs and make excellent service dogs. However, they crave attention from their owners and must not be ignored. If left alone for a long time, they can develop a habit of excessive barking. When it comes to socialization, they need to have early training to be good with other pets and people.
The general personality traits and temperament of the Shepadoodle are affectionate, loyal, and devoted.
Shepadoodles come from two highly intelligent breeds and as a result, you can expect the Shepadoodle to be smart as a whip. This working dog needs daily training and tasks to remain happy. They love when they have something to do. They are alert and active types of dogs. It’s not advisable to ignore or leave them for a long time. If they become bored or lonely, it will result in destructive behavior. So it’s best to always provide attention and care.
This dog breed is best for families with adults and kids that they grow up with. They are good with other types of pets as long as they raise together. The Shepadoodle will easily get suspicious with strangers. It can be a great guard and companion dog since they are protective of their owners.
Shepadoodle Energy Levels
The Shepadoodle is a very active dog breed. Their energy levels are higher compared to other dogs. It’s not a good idea to have one if you’re living in an apartment. They need to have plenty of space to exercise and consume their energy. It’s also necessary to take them for a walk every day.
Before deciding to take home a Shepadoodle with you, make sure that you have enough time and energy. It’s important to have these factors so that you can make sure that you can take care of this dog properly. They need constant attention so that you can make sure that they are always happy.
Designer breeds can be expensive especially if it’s a mixed breed between a German Shepherd and a Poodle. But because of their excellent traits and vigor, it’s worth the amount that you will be paying for one. This pup can cost between $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the breeder.
The cost of a Shepadoodle can also vary depending on the traits you wanted to have. If you want a particular coat or eye color, the price can go higher. A dog with a superior pedigree can cost more. It can also affect the pricing if you will buy it from a reputable breeder.
Shepadoodle Health Problems and Life Expectancy
Just like other dog breeds, the a German Shepherd Poodle mix is also prone to some health problems. It can suffer from hip dysplasia and Von Willebrand’s disorder which is a blood disorder. Provided that your Shepadoodle is healthy, it can live as long as 12 to 14 years.
Let’s go over some of the frequent health problems for this hybrid dog.
Major Health Concerns
Shepadoodles can face the following health concerns:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Pannus Hemophilia
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus or Bloat
- Sebaceous Adenitis
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Demodicosis Seborrhea
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Cleft Lip or Palate Cervical Vertebral
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus
- Mitral Valve Dysplasia
- Eye Conditions
Why the Shepadoodles Might Not Be the Dog for You
It’s undeniable that the Shepadoodle is a great family dog, but that doesn’t mean they are great for all families.
Here are a few reasons not to get a Shepadoodle.
1. You live in a small living space
Apartment living is challenging for the Shepadoodle. If you live in an apartment or a small living space, a Shepadoodle may not be the right choice. Shepadoodles need lots of room to romp and play. It will be hard to contain a very active dog inside an apartment.
The ideal place for the Shepadoodle is a house with a garden. That way, it can run around outside the house and avoid accidents at home. It can be destructive to have this type of pet in an apartment where there’s no space for them to exercise. They are playful so it is not a good idea to bring them into an apartment.
Solution: if you have a small living area without access to a backyard, you need time to take your Shepadoodle dog on lots of walks. Finding an outdoor space and playing fetch is also a great way to burn off some energy (so long as your Shepadoodle has good recall).
Remember: the Shepadoodle is a large dog that needs lots of space to play! We recommend a minimum of two hours per day of exercise and activities.
2. You’re not home during the day
You need to have a lot of energy and time if you want to take care of a Shepadoodle, and this is challenging if you are away all day. They are active and very energetic types of dogs. If you want to have a lazy pet, the German Shepherd Poodle mix is not for you. They require constant attention and they hate being left alone.
Shepadoodles are good for those who are looking for a companion. They should be around you most of the time to avoid having issues. You also need to be willing to walk this pup every day to keep it healthy. They need to burn off their energy so it can behave properly.
Shepadoodles also need proper socialization when they are puppies to avoid ending up anxious or fearful which could result in aggressive behaviors. You need to make sure you devote enough time to socialize your Shepadoodle, which can be hard if your days are already busy.
Solution: dog daycare is an excellent solution for someone who feels they’d be a great owner for a Shepadoodle aside from their busy schedule. Daily dog daycare ensures your Shepadoodle can interact with other people and dogs throughout the day and burn off energy.
3. They need lifelong training
Both German Shepherds and Poodles are working dogs who need mental stimulation to avoid developing nervous habits. Shepadoodles will suffer from emotional distress if they miss their daily tasks and if you don’t start training them at a young age. Enrichment is important for this dog to stay sharp. You need to do things like agility training or K9 Nose Work for your Shepadoodle to make sure that they will be confident.
It’s perfect for those who have enough time to spare with training. If you’re a busy person, the Shepadoodle is not for you. This dog needs constant attention and can’t be left on its own for extended hours. It will develop bad habits if ignored and can cause a problem.
Solution: some daycares offer additional training packages on top of their daily care. You can see if they can work with your Shepadoodle on a daily basis to keep up with their mental enrichment.
4. Shepadoodles Aren’t for Inexperienced Dog Owners
The Shepadoodle is an advanced type of dog and it’s not a good fit for inexperienced dog owners who aren’t willing to learn about dogs. They need to be trained and exercise daily. If you aren’t familiar with dogs and the type of training they need, you may want to reconsider the Shepadoodle, otherwise, they can develop problematic (and even aggressive) behavior. Remember: German Shepherds and Poodles are both intelligent dogs who are also working dogs. These hybrid dogs need a strong leader.
If you’re an experienced dog owner, then the Shepadoodle will be an amazing dog. It’s a perfect fit for those who are active. You can exercise along with your dog and train it as well. They need to have an owner who can spend time and effort to train them. If you’re a beginner, better skip this dog breed for now.
Solution: reach out to a reputable dog trainer and see what they recommend you learn before you get a Shepadoodle. They may recommend books and likely training sessions for both you and your pup.
5. They Need Constant Grooming
Owning a Shepadoodle is a bit like taking care of a baby (a very hairy baby!). Aside from the physical training and exercise they need, this dog also needs constant grooming. Although they have a low shedding coat, it has to be maintained. If your Shepadoodle is not properly groomed, they will have painful mats in their fur.
Shepadoodles need daily detangling and brushing which can take up to 30 minutes each day (if the hair is kept long). Aside from that, you need to bring your pet to the grooming salon at least every 6-8 weeks. That will add to the cost you have to pay as a Shepadoodle owner.
Solution: read through our Doodle grooming guide to get an idea of what grooming a Shepadoodle is like.
How to Find a Shepadoodle Breeder
When looking for a German Shepherd Poodle mix, you should start by looking at Doodle rescues. You can find many loving Poodle mix dogs that need homes. It might be hard to find a Shepadoodle puppy through a rescue, however.
If you plan to go to a breeder, it’s important you do lots of research. A good breeder will test both parents for diseases to make sure you end up with a healthy dog. Here are some breeder red flags to watch out for:
- They are willing to send the puppies to the owners before 8 weeks (a 6-7 week old puppy is NOT fit to leave their mom just yet)
- Will not show you health testing certificates
- Will not show vet records
- Puppy comes with no guarantee
- Doesn’t raise the puppy with the mom and dad dogs on site (especially if the mom isn’t there)
If your potential breeder has any of these red flags, you should find a new one. Do not support unethical breeders.
A good breeder will answer any questions you have about your Shepadoodle puppy and will want to ask YOU questions in return!
Shepadoodles can be a wonderful dog if you can take care of them properly. It’s a great companion and can even be an excellent watchdog. Although it’s an intelligent designer breed, it needs too much attention and training. That can be an issue especially if you don’t have experience with this dog breed.
However, experienced dog owners will enjoy having the Shepadoodle. It’s an amazing combination and with a reputable breeder, you can get the perfect fit. The Shepadoodle is the best companion dog that you can have since it doesn’t mind being around you all the time. It’s the best pet that you can hang out with.
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About the Author:
Mira is a dog-lover and writer. She and her two dogs (Bren and Nala) can be found hiking during all four seasons, camping and exploring new places together.