When it comes to intelligence, few pups come smarter than the Shepadoodle. A cross between a German Shepherd and a Poodle, both of which rank high in the intelligence department, the Shepadoodle is fiercely loyal and incredibly loving. These pups are easy to train, thanks to the obedient genes from both parents, always eager to please by learning new tricks. Due to their loyal and easy-to-train nature, the Shepadoodle makes for a perfect family dog.
Unlike several other Doodle breeds, the point of origin of the Shepadoodle is known. The pup was first bred by the US army to serve the purposes of a military police dog in the 1960s. The goal when mating the Poodle with the German Shepherd was to get an intelligent pup with a hypoallergenic coat like the Poodle parent and a trainable and obedient nature (as well as additional intelligence) of the German Shepherd.
When it comes to the Shepadoodle, it is difficult to find a dog as loving and gentle as this. These are laid-back dogs with an affectionate personality. They love to be around their humans and usually form strong attachments to the people that they love. These are incredibly loyal pups who will stick by your side no matter what. They are warm and friendly and love playing with humans and other animals. In fact, the Shepadoodle is known to have a soft spot for cats! They are incredibly well-mannered and obedient, thanks to both the Poodle and the German Shepherd genes. Much like the German Shepherd, they are eager to please their owners, making them very easy to train. They love spending time outdoors, but at the end of the day, these are incredibly family-oriented dogs and love being around their humans. Spend time around the German Shepherd and Poodle parents to gauge what kind of personality your Shepadoodle may grow into since the parents’ personalities are usually a good indicator of your dog’s temperament.
When it comes to mixed-breed dogs, especially ones with parents of such differing traits, it can be expected that there will be a high level of variation from one pup to the next. While the Shepadoodle is mostly within the 50-90 pound range, some Shepadoodles can be as heavy as 125 pounds. It truly depends on the dominant genes and which parent the pup takes after. In general, most Shepadoodles are around 22-28 inches tall.
While the Shepadoodle is a relatively healthy pup, especially when compared to their purebred parents, there are some hereditary illnesses that the Shepadoodle may be predisposed to. It is best to be aware of these health issues and be vigilant in case of any developing symptoms. As always, you must schedule regular visits to your local veterinarian, preferably once a month. This check-in with a professional will work to assess your pup’s health and rule out or promptly deal with any potential health issues. When getting a Shepadoodle puppy from a breeder, make sure the breeder shows you the health clearance certificates of both parents. Do not buy from breeders than mate dogs younger than two years old since that is when most genetic illnesses surface. Some health issues that you Shepadoodle may be predisposed to include bone-related issues such as hip dysplasia and blood diseases like Von Willebrand’s disorder (a disease that prevents blood from clotting). Keep a lookout for any tick or fleabites that may potentially go unnoticed because of the Shepadoodle’s long fur. Keep a lookout for any ear infections or dental issues as well.
The Shepadoodle is an incredibly high-energy and active dog, thanks to their German Shepherd genes. This breed needs a great deal of daily exercise so make sure if you are getting a Shepadoodle, you have ample access to open outdoor spaces. These pups will enjoy runs, jogs, hikes, swimming, or a high-intensity game of fetch. They have a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be let out through vigorous exercise in order for them to maintain good physical, mental and emotional health. Don’t keep your Shepadoodle cooped up in the house, and make sure when your pup is at home. They have access to toys and trinkets to play with and keep them mentally stimulated. In case they are inactive, they may become overweight, so exercise is extremely important. When it comes to training, the Shepadoodle is a joy to work with. They are highly obedient and intelligent, a trait present in both the German Shepherd and the Poodle. They want nothing more than to please their humans and so will be picking up tricks in no time. Socialization early on is incredibly important for the Shepadoodle so that they can grow up to have well-rounded personalities and aren’t too aggressive. Novice dog owners should turn to an expert when training the Shepadoodle due to their large size so that any dominance issues can be dealt with promptly.
Since the Shepadoodle is predisposed to gastric issues, it is necessary to feed them high-quality dog food. The exact amount and type are highly dependent on the size, age, overall health, and energy level of your Shepadoodle. When coming up with a diet plan, it is best to speak to a professional so that it can be tailored according to your dog’s individual needs. In general, the Shepadoodle should be given anywhere between 3-4 cups of high-quality dog food. This breed doesn’t necessarily overeat, and if their daily exercise needs are being met, they will maintain a healthy weight.
The Shepadoodle’s coat is coarse and dense, much like the German Shepherd parent. However, due to their Poodle genes, these dogs don’t shed as much. They have a low-shedding and low-dander coat, ranging from straight to wavy to curly. Most Shepadoodle coats have a color that closely resembles the brown and black coat of the German Shepherd.
In the summer months, the Shepadoodle may become overheated and irritable, so it is best to trim their coat, preferably giving them a buzzcut to ensure they stay cool. Their coats require regular brushing to avoid any tangles or matted fur, and it’s best to bathe the Shepadoodle periodically. Their skin may dry out during winter so remember to moisturize it with cod liver oil.
A Shepadoodle puppy can cost anywhere between $800 to $1500. The price can go up depending on the traits of the dog as well as whether you choose to adopt a rescue or buy from a breeder.
When it comes to getting a dog, it is always better to look into your rescue options before opting for a breeder. Remember, it is always a good idea to adopt rather than shop! Here is a list of organizations that have Shepadoodles up for adoption (among other breeds)