The Shepadoodle is said to be a perfect family dog because it is a hybrid of two extremely smart breeds — the German Shepherd and the Poodle. Despite this, many pet owners believe that their intellect can turn them into stubborn pooches.
But to what extent?
If you would like to know if a Shepadoodle is extremely mischievous or if they deserve a space inside your home, then you would enjoy reading this guide! This is basically a crash course to everything Shepadoodle, so go on, keep on reading!
What Is a Shepadoodle? Can a German Shepherd Mate With a Poodle?
A Shepadoodle is the crossbreed of a German Shepherd and a Poodle. This happy-go-lucky mixed breed either appears to have the shaggy hair of a German Shepherd or the curly and fluffy coat of a Poodle. They are gentle, well-behaved, and affectionate designer dogs.
The Shepadoodle is also called German Poodle, Shepapoo, Shepherdpoo, or Shepdoodle — all of which are a combination of their parent breeds’ names. And yes, GSDs can mate with Poodles without any complication in the process!
As hybrids, Shepadoodles are not recognized by known kennel organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC), but they can still be registered at the American Canines Hybrid Club and the International Designer Canine Registry.
Generally, Shepadoodles are pretty high maintenance dogs as a result of their Poodle genes. That said, you would need to do more research about their overall disposition before taking them home.
Lucky for you, the following sections got all the information you need!
Shepadoodle History and Origin: Where Does the Shepadoodle Come From?
The practice of crossbreeding a German Shepherd and a Poodle originated in the United States.
Specifically, the United States army sought a courageous and quick-witted military police dog in the 1960s, and the German Shepherd and Poodle breeds were primarily chosen. They were crossed right after since they are both classified as working breeds.
Nothing more is known about the Shepadoodle’s history aside from being made for police work. What we can do is to take a brief look at their parent breeds’ history to understand their origins.
The German Shepherd breed was introduced in Germany around the 19th century by Captain Max Von Stephanitz.
They were produced to be an intelligent breed whose purpose is to serve and work. Their charms reached the United States in the early 1960s.
On the other hand, Poodles originally came from Germany and were created for hunting.
These water retrievers soon became popular as the ever graceful and elegant dog breed. After some time, Poodles found themselves as therapy dogs and guide dogs.
As expected, the German Shepherd Poodle mixes inherited their parents’ high level of intelligence and protective instincts. However, they are no longer limited to police work since they became more domesticated over the years.
Shepadoodle Appearance: What Does a Shepadoodle Look Like?
The final look of a Shepherdpoo would be really difficult to tell. What’s sure is that this hybrid will resemble features of both its parent breeds and, at times, an equal combination of the two.
Often, the highly energetic Shepadoodle has an elongated frame and a proud build. It may showcase a Poodle’s long muzzle, but it can also be wide like a German Shepherd’s.
Their floppy ears are large forward-looking, while their heads may either be dome-shaped or wedge-shaped.
In terms of coat, the Shepadoodle’s body is covered with fluffy curls or straight to wavy hair, depending on which bloodline it takes after.
Their colors also vary because they may inherit either the solid colors of their Poodle parent or the patterned coat of a German Shepherd.
If you want to see a German Shepherd Poodle mix with a more dominant Poodle gene, check out the picture below:
Meanwhile, here’s how a Shepadoodle with dominant German Shepherd blood looks:
No breeder can guarantee the appearance of their Shepadoodle litter. You should handle your expectations since they may not turn out as you expect them to be. Nevertheless, they would still be equally adorable!
Shepadoodle Size and Weight: How Big Do Shepadoodles Get When Fully Grown?
Shepadoodles can usually grow between 22 and 29 inches in height and 80 to 90 pounds in weight. They may look like teddy bears because of their fluffy or shaggy hair, but they really have compact and muscular bodies beneath them.
Typically, the height of a female Shepadoodle would reach no more than 28 inches, while males can grow up to 29 inches.
They are considered full-grown dogs when they reach 14 to 18 months, but they can still acquire a few more pounds depending on the diet and activities you provide.
Shepadoodle Temperament: Are Shepadoodles Good Family Dogs?
Shepadoodles make great family dogs because they are loving, affectionate, and extremely loyal. They will do well with every member of the family including young children and pets.
If you have an active lifestyle, the Shepadoodle would be your perfect furry partner because of its playful and energetic nature.
This doesn’t mean, though, that they do not know how to chill. They love going outdoors as much as lying down and relaxing at home.
Inheriting the quality of its German Shepherd parent, Shepadoodles tend to be more mature than other pets, too.
They have this uncanny skill of reading human emotions and a good memory. They are highly trainable and reliable when it comes to tasks. Thus, training sessions are their thing.
They are also protective and courageous, making them the most excellent watchdogs.
The only downside of their personality is their inherent stubbornness. They do not like being shouted at, so it’s best to use positive reinforcements when training them. But beyond this, they are amazing family companions!
Watch this video to see some cute Shepadoodle puppies playing together:
Shepadoodle Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Shepadoodles Healthy Dogs?
The Shepadoodle’s life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years if given proper care. They are considered healthier than other purebreds because of hybrid vigor.
However, they aren’t exempt from acquiring health problems common to their parent breeds.
Here are some of the common health concerns a Shepadoodle may suffer from:
- Panosteitis: This condition usually affects rapidly growing dogs like the Shepadoodle. Panosteitis is an inflammation on the shaft of a dog’s leg bones that causes pain and lameness. Symptoms like sudden weight loss, fever, lethargy, or lameness may occur as early as two months.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: This disease mainly develops in a dog’s spinal cord. Degenerative myelopathy can cause weakness on the Shepadoodle’s limb, and may cause paralysis if not treated early.
- Bloating: Too much gas build-up can progress into gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or bloating. This is fatal to your Shepadoodle because it can lead to blood flow obstruction.
- Pannus: Pannus, also known as chronic superficial keratitis, is a condition that targets a dog’s cornea. As the inflammation spreads out, the chance of visual impairment becomes high for your Shepadoodle.
Bringing your Shepadoodle to the vet for regular checkups would go a long way of lessening their risk of acquiring these diseases.
You should also provide your dog with pet insurance as they may be vulnerable to more canine health problems as they age.
How to Take Care of Your Shepadoodle
Although Shepadoodles require a low to moderate level of maintenance, you should still be able to properly feed, groom, and train them.
To know their specific needs, I have listed down some guidelines and tips on how you can take good care of a Shepherdpoo.
Food and Diet
As with all dogs, you need to feed your German Shepherd Poodle mix with quality dog food so they’ll be energized and healthy. They should also consume vitamins, proteins, and minerals to supplement their nutritional needs.
As you take home a Shepadoodle pup, you only need to give them smaller portions of moistened dry food three to four times a day. By their 10th week, that’s the time they can chew on kibbles which are commonly available on Amazon.
As your Shepadoodle ages, they will be more prone to obesity so make sure to portion their meals.
On a daily basis, you can feed your adult Shepadoodle with one cup of dog food twice daily. But you can adjust this depending on your dog’s activity.
Cleaning and Grooming
As previously stated, Shepadoodles do not shed as much as GSDs, thanks to their Poodle genes. However, they still need regular grooming using a slicker brush to prevent tangles and maintain their coat condition.
As for bathing, you can do it every four to eight weeks as you see fit. They don’t usually have a foul doggy odor, and they can shrug off dirt by themselves. Just make sure that when you bathe them, avoid low-quality shampoo that can cause dry skin.
If you do not have enough energy to do all these, go to the nearest pet grooming salon every 7 to 12 weeks.
Training and Exercise
These quick-witted fluff balls love being given tasks, which they can complete excellently.
Start training them with basic discipline and commands when they are 7 to 10 weeks old. After which, you can jump to agility training or more complex tricks such as spin, fetch, and stand tall.
To release their stored energy and prevent excessive weight gain, you need to provide them with daily exercise. Without these, they will instantly get bored and resort to eating — even tricking you into giving them more food.
An hour of physical activities, which include long walks, running, or playing fetch, will suffice for this designer dog. You can also bring them for a hike if you have the time as they have high energy levels.
Shepadoodle Puppy Prices & Expenses: How Much Does a Shepadoodle Cost?
If you choose to buy a high-quality Shepadoodle from an established breeder, it will cost you around $1,000 to $3,000. Their average cost is lower than other mixed breeds because their parents are very common in the United States.
Take note, though, that there is no definite price for this hybrid. Their selling price varies due to factors such as location, breeder reputation, breeding costs, and medical expenses.
Apart from their initial cost, you would also need to purchase essential items in their transition to your home.
Here is a handy checklist of the items you need to buy for your Shepadoodle pup:
|Type of Expense||Estimated Cost|
|High-Quality Dog Food||$60 – $100|
|Food and Water Bowl||$15 – $30|
|Training Treats||$15 – $20|
|Dog Leash and Collar||$20 – $25|
|Dog Bed||$50 – $60|
|Dog Crate||$50 – $100|
|Toys||$10 – $25|
|Nail Trimmer||$10 – $15|
|Dog Shampoo||$10 – $20|
|Grooming Brush||$10 – $20|
|Urine Cleaner||$10 – $15|
|Poop Scooper||$10 – $15|
|Microchipping||$20 – $40|
|Total Initial Cost||$290 – $485|
These expenses might be overwhelming to look at, but you can always search for cheaper deals or promos to save some cash when tending to a new puppy.
In terms of cutting costs in your puppy purchase, you can consider adopting instead of paying full fees from professional breeders. This will only cost you $200 to $600.
Places to Find Shepadoodle Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Since German Shepherds and Poodles are common in the United States, you can easily find breeders across the country who can give you high-quality Shepadoodle pups.
To give you a head start, we have listed the best breeders and rescues where you can find a healthy Shepadoodle puppy. Just be very vigilant in choosing who you are going to transact with and do enough background checks.
Here are some known Shepadoodle breeders in the United States:
- Shannon’s Shamrock Kennels – This breeder located in Elgin, South Carolina, focuses on breeding Shepadoodles, Labradoodles, Cockapoos, and Doxiepoos. They offer healthy puppies as well as adult and senior hybrid dogs. Their pups are guaranteed to be dewormed, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated.
- Strahan Farms – This Michigan-based breeder offers healthy, trainable, and intelligent Shepadoodle and Aussiedoodle puppies. You can check out their available litters on their website and place a reservation on their contact page.
- Treat Bluff Kennels – Located in Southern Illinois, Treat Bluff Kennels is known to prioritize temperament and health in the breeding process. Just make sure you pack a lot of patience when buying from them because they have a long waiting time for their litters.
If adopting a Shepadoodle puppy is your first option, you can refer to this list:
- Doodle Rock Rescue – This volunteer-driven organization based in Dallas, Texas, aims to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome Shepadoodles and other mixed Poodle breeds. They take pride in rescuing more than a thousand dogs, including the Shepadoodle hybrid dog.
- El Dorado County German Shepherd Rescue – This rescue organization also helps in rehoming Shepadoodles, even though their main focus is GDSs. They ensure that their Shepadoodles available for adoption are well-rehabilitated before being taken home by the adoptee.
- Norcal Poodle Rescue – Since 1985, Norcal Poodle Rescue has been committed to saving and treating rescue dogs. They provide shelters for Poodles and Poodle mixes and abide by the Maddie’s Fund principles. There is a great chance that you’ll find a Shepadoodle here.
If this is your first time adopting a designer dog, you can refer to our ultimate dog adoption guide. It will give you a general idea of what to expect as well as some tips to ace your application.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Shepadoodle
If, until now, you’re still undecided whether or not the Shepadoodle is the right companion for you, let’s weigh the benefits and drawbacks of having one. Hopefully, at the end of this section, you’ll be able to decide.
Listed below are some of the pros of owning a Shepadoodle:
- Highly intelligent: These pooches are incredibly smart and highly sensitive when it comes to human emotions. They can adapt to new environments, and they are mentally more mature than other dog breeds.
- Good temperament: They won’t bark or whine much unless excited. They are also much easier to calm down because they are well-mannered and affectionate pets.
- Low shedding: Excessive shedding won’t be your problem with your Shepadoodle because, as mentioned, they do not shed gravely. This is an amazing trait they inherited from their Poodle parents.
- Excellent watchdog: The Shepadoodle is one of the best watchdogs out there since they exhibit a high level of intelligence, confidence, and courageousness. Once you take one home, you’ll discover that they’ll look after your family with utter dedication.
Before finally deciding to have a Shepadoodle as a pet, consider these disadvantages:
- Not suitable for apartment living: Sheepadoodles need enough space for their daily physical activities. Enclosing them in small spaces like apartments would cause issues like aggressiveness or anxiety in the long run.
- High grooming needs: You need to regularly brush their hair because it is prone to matting. If you are a busy pet owner, this would mean that you will avail the service of a professional groomer more than what is suggested. This doesn’t come cheap.
- Advanced and fast learners: These intelligent dogs are not for novice owners. They are quite the tricksters of the canine world, so they need owners who have dealt with a lot of breeds prior.
Now that you have read about these pros and cons, make a mental list of what you can handle and the non-negotiables. This would help you decide whether investing in this pooch is worth a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Shepadoodles Shed?
Shepadoodles may seem to be vacuum enemies, but they are, in fact, non-shedding to low-shedding dogs. Their long hair won’t cause harm to people with allergies, and they won’t cover your newly purchased carpet with loose fur.
Are Shepadoodles Hypoallergenic?
Shepadoodles shed very little. In fact, these designer dogs are designated to assist police officers in the United States who suffer from allergies. They are the safest choice if your housemates are known to develop extreme allergies from dander and fur.
Do Shepadoodles Bark a Lot?
No. Shepadoodles don’t bark a lot. They only bark when they need help, are excited, or they sense danger. It would be an excellent decision to own them if you have neighbors who hate consistent barking.
How Smart Are Shepadoodles?
Shepadoodles are extremely smart hybrids due to their Poodle blood. They can quickly pick up basic instructions, read human emotions, and finish tasks confidently unlike other dogs.
It won’t take much time before they learn complicated tricks and ultimately unveil the skills they have.
Are Shepadoodles High Maintenance?
Shepadoodles are somewhat high maintenance. They need to be properly groomed since their hair is prone to matting and they also require daily physical activities to keep them in shape.
One must really ponder whether or not they can commit to the needs of this hybrid because it’s definitely not a walk in the park. Family-oriented as they are, they want people to spend more time with them.
Final Thoughts: Is the Shepadoodle the Right Dog for You?
If you have an active lifestyle and love highly intelligent breeds, you’ll have the best time with a Shepadoodle. Expect them to happily join you on your trips and be your huggable teddy at night!
Just be mindful not to scold them during training because it triggers their stubborn side. Remember that as smart dogs, they love mischief, and they’ll do anything to outsmart their owners.
You don’t want the single mistake of scolding them to turn them into an uncontrollable pooch.