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German Shepherd Poodle mix: The Shepadoodle

A German Shepherd standard Poodle mix is the perfect designer dog hybrid to own if you have a family with small children. The German Shepherd Poodle hybrid combines the intelligence and of both GSD and Poodle breeds with the sociability and manageability of the Poodle and the alertness and courage of GSDs.

What is a Shepadoodle?

A “Shepadoodle” (not to be confused with “Sheepadoodle”) is a German Shepherd and Poodle mix which typically results in a hybrid dog looking like a large poodle. Common physical attributes are a curly or wavy short-medium to medium-length coat and floppy ears.

A German Shepadoodle’s height ranges from 1.8 – 2.3 ft (0.5 – 0.7 m) when standing on all four legs and weigh anywhere from 50 – 125 lbs (23 – 57 kg), depending on its gender. 

German Shepherd standard Poodle mix eye colors are varying shades of either brown or black. Its coat colors can range from black, off-white, cream, tan, sable or gray.

What are some basic facts about Shepadoodles?

The following section details practical information about Poodle German Shepherd cross breeds.

Life Span

A Shepadoodle has a life expectancy of 12 – 14 years.

Price

German Shepherd Poodle mix puppies are a little expensive and can cost anywhere from US$500 – $1000. German Shepherd Poodle mix breeders will usually charge more for show-dog worthy Shepadoodle puppies.

Commonly-occurring known health issues:

The following section details a list of known health issues endemic to Shepadoodles.

Hip Dysplasia

This physical ailment affects both GSDs and Poodles. Hip dysplasia can cause severe pain and is caused by the hip and joint sockets dislocating. Common symptoms include stiffness or weakness in the hind leg area, a reluctance to exercise and problems walking.

Usually, more expensive German Shepherd Poodle mix breeders will have bred this genetic defect out of their Shepadoodle puppies.

Addison’s disease

Originating in Poodles, Addison’s disease affects your Shepadoodle’s adrenal glands. When this happens, sufficient levels of certain hormones are not produced which may lead to vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fatigue, sudden weight loss, and painful muscle spasms.

Von Willebrand’s disease

Also a common disease inherited from the Poodle side, Von Willebrand’s disease complicates blood clotting in Shepadoodles. Severe forms of this disease are highly fatal. Symptoms include nosebleeds, bleeding from the gums or blood in the urine or stool. 

Epilepsy

This neurological disorder affects both dog breeds and is classified by unusual electrical activity in the brain. Your Shepadoodle may suffer from this disorder if it stares blankly at nothing, makes unusual movements, does not respond to you, appears confused or disoriented or stops breathing.

How can I take care of my Shepadoodle?

It is important to prioritize the following items when taking care of or grooming your Shepadoodle.

Coat

During the summer months or hot weather, you may want to trim your German Shepherd Poodle hybrid’s coat down to shorter lengths so their bodies can acclimate easier to the heat.

In the winter time or during cold weather, you will want to moisturize your Shepadoodle’s skin with cod liver oil or aloe vera to prevent your dog from developing overly dry skin.

Brush your Shepadoodle’s coat with a slicker brush and a metal comb 2 – 3 times a week to prevent matting and tangling.

Exercise

Regular exercise is highly recommended for Shepadoodles to maintain a healthy weight level, prevent obesity and hip problems. Make time to exercise or play with your Shepadoodle for at least 2 hours every day or 1 hour, if exercising with high intensity. Playing fetch, jogging, hiking or even playing with chew toys are good activities and exercises to engage with your Shepadoodle.

Ears

Apply some ear cleaning solution to a cotton pad or ball and use this clean your Shepadoodle’s ears once every 2 – 3 weeks to maintain ear hygiene and prevent possible ear infections. Dab and lightly pat your Shepadoodle’s ears to clean them. It is recommended to start this grooming routine with German Shepherd Poodle mix puppies.

Teeth

Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean your Shepadoodle’s gums and teeth or feed it a dental snack twice a week to maintain its oral health and prevent periodontitis, gingivitis and tooth loss.

What is a Shepadoodle’s personality like?

You can expect your Shepadoodle to exhibit the following personality traits and behaviors.

Intelligence

This personality trait is commonly found in both GSDs and Poodles. Because Shepadoodles are very intelligent, it should be very easy to train them. It is also because of their intelligence will they need to be trained or engaged often.

A Shepadoodle can get bored very easily if it does not get much exposure to the outdoors or attention from its owner and is known to go to extreme lengths to escape its home to avoid feeling trapped.

Loyalty

Shepadoodles are loyal and very protective of their owners. This personality trait is also useful when your Shepadoodle is socialized at an early age and is regularly in the proximity of small children. Their GSD side makes Shepadoodles decent protection and guard dogs, and can be trained to unleash aggression when necessary.

It is normal to have your Shepadoodle be wary or cold towards strangers, and may be aggressive in extreme cases if not socialized properly.

Affection

Shepadoodles are also known to be affectionate towards their owners and family. This dog breed likes to please its handlers and will get a boost of morale when rewarded for performing commands correctly or following directions promptly.

In addition, Shepadoodles are known to watch over infants and toddlers during play time and can alert their owners of any potential hazards or dangers that may be present. It is this reason that Shepadoodles are a good choice for young families looking for a protective companion that is also a decent choice to be around small children.

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