Breeds

Shepadoodle 101 – 13 Shepadoodle Facts [with photos]

The Shepadoodle is a mix, a large breed dog with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. The dog’s also known as a Shepapoo, Shepherdpoo, Sherdoodle, and German Doodle. 

The Shepadoodle is a cute breed mix between a poodle with a German Shepherd. The dog is just one of many poodle mixes.

a shepadoodle puppy balances treats on its nose
A Shepadoodle (named Billie) balances treats on her nose. Image:
Billie’s Instagram used with written permission.

Each poodle cross breed is, in its way, exceptionally unique. This breeding is no different. The Shepadoodle has the compact design of the poodle but the regal stance of the Shepherd.

It’s a fascinating breed if you compare pictures. The pooch can look like a large poodle or have the appearance of a shaggy-haired German Shepherd.

The pooch makes for a great family pet. To get you up to speed on the breed, here’s Shepadoodle 101, everything you should know about this great dog.

ONE: These Dogs Are Sometimes Almost Hypoallergenic

Some people would love to have a dog but are unfortunately allergic to them, or they suffer allergies or other respiratory issues that get irritated by pet dander. The Shepadoodle is an excellent breed for anyone intolerant of dog hair. The Sherdoodle sheds very little, especially if you remember to groom the dog regularly. 

The Shepadoodles F1 generation has a wavy coat that comes with light shedding. The F1B generation has a coat that’s curlier and is near non-shedding. With a Shepadoodle, you’ll never have to worry about pet dander fouling your indoor air quality.

TWO: Shepadoodles Come in a Variety of Colors

shepadoodle puppy sitting patiently
Sully the Shepadoodle sits patiently on a forest walk.
Image: Used with written permission from the beautiful Sully’s Instragram.

Poodles come in solid colors. The German Shepherd has pleasant patterns. The Shepadoodle’s genes could carry the traits of either. If the pooch is more poodle than Shepherd, you get solid colors. You can expect golden, black, silver, sable, or gray.

If the dog is blessed with a Shepherd pattern, you might get mixed colors that include patches of cream, blue Belton, tan, black, brown, or bronze. The coats of Shepadoodles can be of varying lengths and styles as well.

THREE: The Breed Came Out of the Military

The Shepadoodle breed was originally developed in the 1960s by the United States Army. The government wanted an animal to use as service dogs. They wanted a canine that wouldn’t shed much and be highly intelligent. 

Even then, the standard Poodle and German Shepherd always landed on lists of smartest dogs. Intelligence increases a dog’s trainability. This was ideal for the army.

Combined, the duo made the perfect work dogs, easy to train and teach new commands and quick to action.

FOUR: Shepadoodles Are Not Always Ideal for Apartments

If you’re in a condo or apartment, the Shepapoo may not be the pet for you. These dogs have a lot of energy and it’s a good idea they have access to space. 

The breed inherited a need to burn energy and a desire to play from its lineage. Unless you live near a dog park, these animals are better off in a home where they can explore in a fenced-in yard. 

Get them out to walk at least twice a day and if you run or bike, take them with you. The Shepadoodle loves companionship and would appreciate getting out. If you have a home, it might be a good idea to give the dog a little freedom coming and going.

shepadoodle puppy sitting down outside
Sully the Shepadoodle sits patiently on a forest walk.
Image: Used with written permission from Sully’s Instragram.

FIVE: Shepadoodles Need Moderate Maintenance

For pooches with shorter coats, the dog needs little hair maintenance as there will be minimal matting or tangling. Thicker coats need a little work. But you’ll only have to brush a few times a month as opposed to daily. 

Regardless of hair length, the Sherdoodle doesn’t shed much. Also, bathing isn’t a priority as this dog’s fur rarely emits an odor. Do keep an eye on the ears. Debris or moisture can lead to irritation or infection. 

If your German Doodle has a big coat, it might serve you well to take the dog for professional grooming at least once a year. 

All this may sound like a lot of work. Compared to the regimen of other dogs, this is moderate Shepadoodle 101 maintenance.

SIX: The Shepapoodle Is a Designer Dog

Design dogs have become a popular pick for many dog lovers. The German Doodle is no exception. It was borne from two great breeds. The Shepadoodles are members of the Designer Breed Registry, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Dogs Kennel Club. 

Still…

SEVEN: This Breed Is NOT Recognised by the AKC

The American Kennel Club has been monitoring and upholding the integrity of dog breeding since 1884. They advance the care, study, maintenance, and exhibition of purebred dogs. 

But this organization has a stringent guideline for what qualifies as a pure breed. They do not accept hybrid dogs as pure breeds. Borne from cross-breeding, the Shepadoodle is not eligible for induction. But the American Canines Hybrid Club does recognize the Shepapoo.

EIGHT: You Can Get a Mini Shepadoodle

If your idea of a poodle is a nice lap poodle, forget the Shepadoodle. You’re better off with a Teacup Goldendoodle. If you really love the look of the Shepadoodle but find it too big, find a breeder who produces smaller versions. 

What the breeder does is take a toy or mini poodle and cross it with a smaller Shepherd-poodle mix. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the doggy will grow to any predetermined size. The best way to see what size a pup may grow to is to meet the parents.

NINE: The Shepadoodle Is a Wonderful Family Pet

A well-trained doggy is going to bring a lot of joy to the household. Despite its history with the United States Army, the Shepadoodle is a fun-loving, free-spirited, and kid-friendly animal that loves being around its family. 

But you want to remember this dog has the poodle’s temperament. While many dogs will react to mishandling (yanking on the tail, for example), poodles will quickly nip at what it considers to be mistreatment.

Until socially trained, parents need to supervise any interaction between small children and the German Doodle. Shepadoodle facts include that older children need to know how to curtail the Shepadoodle’s natural ability to lead. The dogs are quite obedient but were bred to pack. They will do so if a firm, confident leader isn’t guiding them.

TEN: They Look Great and Are Great Fun!

The Shepadoodle can vary in appearance, but the hybrid dog is quite good-looking. They are a medium- to large-sized breed. You can expect floppy ears, a long tail, and big sad-happy eyes. 

Their coat can come in a range of textures and lengths. It might be curly, wavy, or straight. The hair might be thick, smooth, or dense. The puppy that physically leads more toward the poodle may be smaller. They’re family-oriented and quick to adapt. 

ELEVEN: The Shepadoodle Temperament Is Pretty Cool

The German Doodle is, at heart, a family dog. They are loyal, loving, and well-mannered, and get along with other pets. Their intelligence meshed with a protectiveness that isn’t aggressive makes them excellent watchdogs. 

While they don’t bark unnecessarily, these animals are not quiet by nature. The German Shepard is famous for its watchdog talents. The poodle can also be very vocal when it comes to suspicious activity. 

Combined into one dog, you get a great deterrent to unexplained activity in your vicinity. 

TWELVE: The Dog Has to Play

Unlike most breeds who share an energy level, the Shepadoodle has a moderate to high energy range. To stay fit, happy, and healthy, they will need a decent amount of outdoor activity. 

You may have to initiate an activity. These dogs have no problem sitting inside the house, but they have an active ancestry and can romp and play outdoors all day. Take them jogging, for long walks, frisbee chasing, and more. 

Keep mental challenges and toys in the house. The Shepadoodle needs mental stimulation as much as physical. Spend a few minutes teaching them manners and tricks. These dogs love to please.

THIRTEEN: The Dog Takes to Training

The hybrid’s breeding was for service. The result is a dog that’s adaptable and responds well to training. They also have sharp instincts and respect command. 

It’s important family members know how to be respectful, kind, and firm as the Shepadoodle needs a leader. Socialization, discipline, and training need introducing as early as possible. 

If you get an older dog, Shepadoodle facts suggest it might be best to leave the training to a seasoned professional. Make sure positive reinforcement is the basis of all training. Abusive training does not yield a better behaving dog. If anything, you might curtail a dog’s enthusiasm for life. Or worse, grow a dog that doesn’t trust.

German shepherd at the beach
A big boy German Shepherd enjoys a beach visit

BONUS SHEPADOODLE 101 FACTS

Here’s some more information about the shepadoodle breed:

Cost for Keeping a Shepadoodle

The German Doodle is a long-term investment. Depending on where you get your pooch, you could spend between $250 and $1,800. 

That first year will cost you somewhere between $450 to $500. These expenses include blood tests, chipping, deworming, spaying, leashing, collars, leashes, license, and crating. A lot of these expenses will require updates, such as shots. 

Ongoing annual costs for food, treats, training, toys, grooming, and related expenses will be $920 to $1,000. Check-ups, pet insurance, vaccinations, and flea prevention will run in the range of $485 to $600. 

None of these issues look at possible unexpected expenses.

shepadoodle German shepherd poodle cross
A Shepadoodle (named Billie) enjoying nature. Highly trainable and wickedly intelligent.
Image: Billie’s Instagram used with written permission.

Puppies

Shepadoodle puppies tend to be small and adorable. Don’t let this fool you. You’re looking at a large breed dog. It’s a Shepadoodle fact that the Shepapoo grows fast. It’s likely the Shepadoodle will grow quite large even as they behave like puppies. 

Managing this may require a level of patience and dedication on your part. You have to make sure they get the training and exposure they need for exercise, socialization, and training. 

Puppies love to run outside. They are not outdoor or kennel dogs. They are family-oriented and want to be around loved ones. To be their best, the Shepadoodle needs your attention and companionship.

The Shepadoodle is rare - and often confused with the Sheepadoodle (English Sheep Dog X Poodle).

Closing Thoughts

Shepadoodles are smart, kid-friendly, non-shedding, and love being around people. Bred from two popular breeds, the poodle and German Shepherd, you can see each dog’s traits even though they can be distinctively different. 

Keep finding ways for your Shepadoodle to stay active, or they’ll likely get bored. A bored doggy is a mischievous pooch!

The Shepadoodle promises to be a great addition to your family and well worth the investment. It’s the ideal pet for an active family with a nice yard. Intelligent, playful, and protective, this dog will prove to be an asset that enriches everyone’s life.