Often referred to as the Sheepadoodle, the German Shepherd Poodle mix is created by crossing a German Shepherd and a Standard Poodle. These medium size dogs have a quirky appearance and a fun personality. Although these dogs are not purebreds, they can make wonderful family dogs. They aren’t recognized by the AKC, but they are recognized as an official mixed breed by the International Designer Canine Recipe, the Designer Breed Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and the American Canine Hybrid Club. Even though the hybrid is quite young, they have become a popular choice across the country. Here’s a closer look at the Sheepadoodle, its history, appearance, grooming needs, temperament, and health.
Origin and History
Hybrid dogs continue to be popular around the world, and because these dogs are very unique, they get plenty of attention. It’s thought that the German Shepherd Poodle mix was probably first introduced back in the 1990s with breeders trying to create a dog that is hypoallergenic.
Looking at the parents of the Sheepadoodle can give you a lot of information about these dogs. Despite having a reputation as a “froo-froo” dog, Poodles actually were bred to be working water retrievers. They are thought to be the descendants of the Barbet and Hungarian Water Hound. Through the years, they’ve become well known for trainability, athleticism, and high intelligence.
German Shepherds have a long history that goes back to the 1800s in Germany, where these dogs were bred to help herd sheep. Not only did they excel at herding sheep, they were eventually used as military dogs in both World War I and World War II.
Since the German Shepherd Poodle mix is a hybrid, their coat can vary, being very kinky or shaggy, straight, wavy, or even some combination. Usually the coat is medium in length, and most of these dogs shed very little. The coat may come in various colors, including sable, tan, black, cream, and gray. Since these dogs are very large and muscular, expect a dog that stands as tall as 25 inches. The Sheepadoodle may way between 70 and 100 pounds.
The Sheepadoodle is usually a very devoted, faithful dog that loves his family. This makes them great companion dogs that do well with the entire family. Since they generally have a friendly, easy-going nature, they will probably do well with other animals and children. Since they are protective and alert, they are excellent watch dogs and will watch out for the family. They’ll alert you to the presence of a stranger with barking.
The Sheepadoodle is very intelligent, so expect the German Shepherd Poodle mix to pick up commands very quickly. However, it is important to make sure that you start training these dogs while they are young, and early socialization is essential as well. When training these dogs, be sure to use consistent, firm training methods.
Your German Shepherd Poodle mix will have a lot of energy, so you need to ensure he gets plenty of exercise each day. Playtime and regular walks will help them get rid of their energy. Since they are so active and energetic, they’ll love going along on jogs, hiking, or to the park.
While the German Shepherd Poodle mix generally does not shed, you still need to groom the dog regularly. Daily brushing will ensure that the coat has a nice luster and will also help to prevent mats. Usually you’ll only need to bathe these dogs if they get dirty or they begin to have a bit of a dog smell. Their ears should be checked weekly and you’ll need to brush their teeth several times a week. If their nails are not naturally worn down, make sure you trim their nails monthly or ask needed.
The German Shepherd Poodle mix is a very smart dog, and they may be used for police work, guarding purposes, herding, or even as service dogs.
The estimated lifespan of the Sheepadoodle is expected to be between 12 and 15 years. Since they are a hybrid dog, they have the potential to show health problems inherited from either the German Shepherd or Poodle parent. Potential health problems that may affect the German Shepherd Poodle mix include:
- Skin problems
- Von Willebrand disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Renal disorders
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
- Patellar luxation
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Patent ductus arteriosis
- Mitral dysplasia
- Tricuspid dysplasia
- Glycogen storage disease
- Persistent right aortic arch
- Aortic stenosis
- Cherry eye
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Footpad disorders
- Nasal cavity tumors
- Cushing’s disease
- Immune mediated thrombocytopenia
- Myasthenia gravis
- Pituitary dwarfism
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency