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German Shepherd Poodle Mix: History, Characteristics, and Care Of The Shepadoodle - PawSafe

German Shepherd Poodle Mix: History, Characteristics, and Care Of The Shepadoodle

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

close up german shepherd poodle mix puppy

The German Shepherd Poodle, also known as the Shepadoodle or German Doodle, is a versatile and intelligent breed that has been gaining popularity among hunters and families alike. This breed is a cross between a Standard Poodle and German Shepherd, resulting in a dog that is exceptionally intelligent and courageous.

Overall, the German Doodle  or Shepadoodle is a breed that offers a combination of athleticism, intelligence, and loyalty that makes them a great choice for a variety of lifestyles. To give a complete information guide and overview of this designer dog, we consulted expert sources on Doodle mixes. Remember, while this mix is often called the Shepadoodle, it should not be confused with the Sheepadoodle, which is a mix of the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle. Nor should it be confused with German Poodle, or Pudelpointer, which is a mix between the German Short-haired Point and the Poodle.

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So, What Is A German Doodle?

A German Doodle is a hybrid dog breed that is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Poodle. This breed is also known by other names such as Shepadoodle, Shepapoo, and Shepoodle. German Doodles are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature. They are medium-to-large and come in colors like black, white, sable, brown, and gray.

They can also be hypoallergenic or low-shedding (but not always), making them a great choice for people with allergies. 

This breed is highly adaptable and can thrive in different living situations, from apartments to large homes with yards. They are also great with children and make excellent family pets.

Overall, a German Doodle is a great choice for anyone looking for a loyal, intelligent, and hypoallergenic dog breed.

Origins & History of the German Doodle or Shepadoodle

close up of a shepadoodle dog

So let’s look at the history of the fantastic German Doodle or, as some like to call it, the German Shepherd Poodle Mix! It’s a breed that’s as adorable as its name suggests.

Now, to understand where the German Doodle came from, we gotta dive into the backgrounds of its parent breeds – the German Shepherd and the Poodle.

First up, we’ve got the German Shepherd, a superstar in the dog world known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. These regal canines were originally bred in Germany (surprise!) back in the late 1800s. They were herding dogs, helping farmers wrangle their sheep and protect their flocks from pesky predators.

Fast forward to the Poodle, which hails from Germany too, despite the name suggesting something Frenchy. The Poodle’s history goes way back to the Middle Ages, where they were initially water retrievers, fetching ducks for hunters. Their unique haircuts served a practical purpose – keeping certain parts of their bodies warm in the cold water while allowing for easier movement. Quite fashionable, right?

Now, mix these two fantastic breeds together, and voilà – the German Doodle! This designer breed started gaining popularity in the late 20th century when people discovered that blending the intelligence of the German Shepherd with a more low-shedding coat from the Poodle parent was a match made in doggy heaven.

One of the coolest things about the German Doodle is that they inherit the best of both worlds from their parent breeds. They’re smart, playful, affectionate, and make excellent family pets. Plus, their coats come in a variety of colors and can be fluffy or curly, depending on the Poodle genes they inherit.

However, keep in mind that not everyone is a fan of Doodle dogs and we will discuss some ethical issues below that can affect breeding German Shepherds and Poodles.

What Does A German Doodle Look Like?

Shaggy dark shepadoodle dog lying down

How big does the Shepadoodle get?

German Doodles, also known as Shepadoodles, are a crossbreed of a German Shepherd and a Poodle. They are a medium to large-sized dog that can weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds and stand between 22 to 28 inches tall. The size of a Shepadoodle can vary depending on the size of the Poodle parent used in breeding.

Coat and Colors

The coat of a German Doodle is typically curly or wavy and can come in a variety of colors such as black, white, cream, brown, sable, black and tan, and gray. They generally shed less than the German Shepherd, but most still shed. If they are back bred to the Poodle, they tend to have a longer, wavy or curly coat that needs a lot of maintenance, but is still more hypoallergenic.

German Doodles require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting. They may also need to have their coat trimmed periodically to keep it at a manageable length.

In summary, German Doodles are a medium to large-sized dog with a curly or wavy hypoallergenic coat that can come in a variety of colors. They require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting.

How much does a German Shepherd Poodle Puppy mix typically cost?

The cost of a Shepadoodle puppy can vary depending on the breeder, location, and demand. On average, a Shepadoodle puppy can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. It is important to do your research and find a reputable breeder to ensure you are getting a healthy and well-socialized puppy.

Temperament and Behavior

German Doodles are known for their sensitive, devoted, and protective nature. They are highly intelligent and active dogs that do best with a job. They are confident and require an owner who can match their energy level and provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. 

However, some are prone to being reactive with other dogs, or have anxiety or nervousness. 

German Doodles are family dogs that thrive on human companionship. They are affectionate and loyal to their family, but can be reserved with strangers. Early socialization is important to ensure that they are comfortable around new people and situations.Early training is vital as they are extremely rambunctious while young and can be destructive when bored or left to their own devices.

These dogs have a strong prey drive and may chase small animals. They may also display territorial behavior and bark at perceived threats. Training and socialization can help to mitigate these behaviors.

German Doodles are known for their trainability and excel in obedience, agility, and other dog sports. They are also used as therapy and service dogs due to their sensitive and gentle nature. However, because they are often deeply sensitive, they do not do well with harsh treatment.

Overall, German Poodles make excellent companions for active families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They require a confident and knowledgeable owner who can provide them with consistent training and socialization.

Shepadoodle vs. Mini Shepadoodle

When it comes to Poodle mixes, the Shepadoodle and Mini Shepadoodle are two popular options. While they share some similarities, there are also some notable differences between the two breeds.


As the name suggests, the Mini Shepadoodle is a smaller version of the Shepadoodle. Full grown Mini Shepadoodles or German Doodles typically weigh between 25 to 45 pounds, while Shepadoodles can weigh up to 90 pounds.


Both breeds are known for their intelligence and loyalty. Shepadoodles are typically more protective and can be wary of strangers, while Mini Shepadoodles are generally more affectionate and outgoing. They also tend to be bred with the Miniature Poodle, making them highly sensitive and more prone to separation anxiety.


Both mixed breeds have a wavy, low-shedding coat that requires regular grooming. However, Shepadoodles tend to have a thicker coat that may require more maintenance.


Both breeds require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Shepadoodles, being larger, may require more exercise than Mini Shepadoodles.

Is a Shepadoodle the Right Dog for Me?

Deciding if a Shepadoodle, the unique blend of a German Shepherd and a Poodle, fits into your life involves understanding their characteristics. This designer dog breed combines the intelligence and loyalty of the German Shepherd with the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat and sharp wit. Ideal for those seeking a less shedding, smart companion who’s eager to please and easy to train. However, consider their need for regular exercise and mental stimulation. If you’re ready for an active, affectionate pet, a Shepadoodle might be perfect for you.

Owning a Shepadoodle in an Apartment

Shepadoodles are not good dogs for an apartment. However, some can adapt to apartment living if their physical and mental stimulation needs are met. Daily exercise is crucial—think long walks, play sessions, and mental puzzles. Their size varies, so a Standard Shepadoodle might need more space than a Miniature Shepadoodle. Consistent training to manage barking will help them become ideal apartment dwellers.

Can a Shepadoodle Be a Good Family Dog?

Absolutely, Shepadoodles often excel as family pets. They inherit a protective instinct from the German Shepherd side and a friendly disposition from the Poodle, making them great with children. They’re known for their loyalty and affection, bonding closely with family members. Early socialization is key to fostering a gentle and well-mannered family companion.

Best Food for a Shepadoodle

The best diet for a Shepadoodle combines high-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to support their energy levels and health. Look for foods that cater to their specific size, age, and activity level. Given their diverse genetic background, they may have unique dietary needs or sensitivities, so consulting with a veterinarian is advisable for tailored nutrition advice.

Shepadoodle vs. German Shepherd

Comparing Shepadoodles to German Shepherds, you’ll find Shepadoodles often inherit the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat, making them a better option for allergy sufferers. While both breeds are intelligent and loyal, Shepadoodles may exhibit a more balanced energy level, suitable for a variety of living situations.

Shepadoodle vs. Poodle

Shepadoodles and Poodles share many traits, including intelligence and the potential for a hypoallergenic coat. However, Shepadoodles may bring more protective instincts to the table, along with a robust physique inherited from the German Shepherd. This mix might also display more versatility in activities and training.

Shepadoodle Breeders

Choosing a reputable Shepadoodle breeder is crucial. Look for breeders who prioritize health, temperament, and breed standards. Good breeders will provide health clearances for both parent breeds and allow you to visit and meet the puppy’s parents. Research and select a breeder committed to raising healthy, well-socialized puppies.

Incorporating these keywords and covering the specified sections should provide a comprehensive overview of the Shepadoodle, helping potential owners understand what to expect from this distinctive and delightful designer dog breed.

Training and Exercise Needs

Training Requirements

German Doodles are intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and play. These dogs require lifelong training to avoid destructive behavior, especially when they are young. It is important to start training your German Poodle early on to ensure they develop good habits and manners.

Training should include basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. Additionally, socialization is crucial for German Doodles, as they can be wary of strangers and other dogs. Exposing them to different people, animals, and environments will help them become more well-rounded and confident.

Training a Shepadoodle Puppy

Training your Shepadoodle puppy is a rewarding journey, thanks to their intelligent and eager-to-please nature. Begin with basic obedience and socialization early to harness their potential. Positive reinforcement techniques work best, offering praise and treats for good behavior. Their sharp minds require varied training routines to stay engaged and learn effectively.

Exercise Needs

German Doodles are an active breed that requires plenty of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy going for walks, runs, and hikes with their owners. Additionally, they love to play and participate in activities such as agility, obedience, and flyball.

Owners should provide their German Doodles or Shepadoodles with at least 30-60 minutes of exercise per day. This can be achieved through a combination of walks, runs, playtime, and structured activities. It is important to note that German Poodles can become bored and destructive if they do not receive enough exercise and mental stimulation.

In summary, German Poodles require lifelong training and plenty of daily exercise to avoid destructive behavior. Owners should start training their dogs early on and provide them with opportunities for socialization and structured activities. By meeting their training and exercise needs, German Poodles can live happy and healthy lives.

Health and Behavioral Issues of the German Shepherd Poodle Mix (German Doodle)

close up adorable shepadoodle dog

When considering bringing a German Doodle into your life, it’s essential to be aware of potential health and behavioral issues that can affect this delightful mix. Responsible dog ownership involves understanding and addressing these concerns to ensure the well-being of your furry companion. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common health problems that may affect German Doodles:

1. Heart Problems:

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): DCM is a condition that weakens the heart muscle, leading to poor pumping and circulation, potentially causing congestive heart failure.
  • Aortic Stenosis: This is a congenital heart defect where the aortic valve is narrowed, restricting blood flow from the heart.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA): PDA is a congenital condition where a fetal blood vessel, the ductus arteriosus, fails to close after birth, causing abnormal blood flow.

2. Skin Problems:

  • Sebaceous Adenitis: This is an autoimmune skin disease that affects the sebaceous glands, leading to skin inflammation and hair loss.
  • Allergies: German Doodles may be prone to allergies, causing itching, redness, and discomfort.
  • Ear Infections: Floppy ears, common in both parent breeds, can trap moisture and debris, leading to ear infections.
  • Perianal Fistula: This painful condition affects the anal region, leading to open sores and inflammation.
  • Atopic Dermatitis: Another form of allergic skin disease that causes itching and inflammation.
  • German Shepherd Dog Pyoderma: A bacterial skin infection that can occur in German Shepherds and, consequently, German Doodles.

3. Ivermectin and Milbemycin Drug Sensitivity

  • Some dogs, including some German Doodles, may have a genetic sensitivity to certain medications like Ivermectin and Milbemycin, which are commonly used to treat parasites. These medications can cause adverse reactions in sensitive individuals.

4. Endocrine Issues

  • Addison’s Disease: A condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, leading to a range of symptoms.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland can cause a variety of health problems, including weight gain and lethargy.
  • Diabetes: Insufficient insulin production or utilization leads to high blood sugar levels.
  • Acromegaly: A rare hormonal disorder caused by an excess of growth hormone.
  • Pituitary Dwarfism: A condition caused by a pituitary gland disorder, resulting in stunted growth.

5. Gastrointestinal Issues

  • Megaesophagus: A condition where the esophagus loses its ability to move food into the stomach properly.
  • Chronic Hepatitis: Ongoing inflammation of the liver can lead to liver damage and dysfunction.
  • Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus): This is a life-threatening emergency where the stomach becomes distended and may twist on itself, cutting off blood flow.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): A chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Splenic Torsion and Masses: The spleen can experience twisting (torsion) or develop masses that may require medical attention.

6. Blood and Immune System Problems:

  • Lupus: An autoimmune disease that affects various organs and body systems.
  • Hemophilia: A genetic disorder that impairs the blood’s ability to clot properly.

7. Musculoskeletal Problems:

  • Osteochondrosis (OCD): A developmental condition affecting joint cartilage.
  • Patellar Luxation: A dislocated kneecap that can cause pain and lameness.
  • Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: Abnormal development of the hip and elbow joints, leading to arthritis and mobility issues.

8. Cancer:

  • Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma: A type of cancer that can develop in the anal glands.
  • Osteosarcoma: A highly aggressive bone cancer.
  • Lipoma: A benign fatty tumor.
  • Breast Cancer: Mammary tumors, which can be benign or malignant.
  • Melanoma: A type of skin cancer.

9. Neurological Issues:

  • Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders: Epileptic seizures can affect some dogs, including German Doodles.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): A progressive disease that affects the spinal cord, leading to hind limb weakness.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): A condition where spinal discs degenerate and may lead to compression of the spinal cord.

10. Eye Problems:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A genetic eye disorder leading to progressive vision loss and blindness.
  • Cataracts: Clouding of the lens of the eye, potentially leading to vision impairment.

11. Renal Issues:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Bacterial infections in the urinary system.
  • Kidney Stones: Crystalline structures that form in the kidneys and may cause discomfort and urinary issues.

It’s important to remember that not all German Doodles will experience these health issues, and many can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. However, being informed about these potential concerns allows dog owners and breeders to take preventive measures, provide appropriate care, and seek early veterinary intervention if needed. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a loving home environment can contribute to the overall well-being of your German Doodle.

How long does the German Poodle live?

On average, German Poodles have a lifespan of 12-15 years. However, with proper care and attention, some German Poodles have been known to live into their late teens or early twenties.

To ensure that your German Poodle lives a long and healthy life, it is important to provide them with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine veterinary care. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any potential health issues that your German Poodle may be susceptible to, and to seek veterinary care if any health concerns arise.

Shepadoodle Grooming and Care

Grooming Needs

German Doodles have different grooming needs depending on whether they have a double German Shepherd coat or a single Poodle coat or something in between. For those with a double coat, regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and ensure that the coat remains healthy and shiny. It is recommended to brush them at least three times a week. On the other hand, for those with a single coat, brushing once a week is sufficient. German Poodles require regular bathing, but not too often as it can strip their coat of natural oils. It is recommended to bathe them once every three months, or as needed.

Dietary Requirements

German Poodles require a balanced diet to maintain their health and well-being. They need high-quality dog food that provides the necessary nutrients for their growth and development. It is recommended to feed them twice a day and to avoid overfeeding as it can lead to obesity. They may need special diets for specific health issues like kidney stones or UTIs.

German Poodles should also have access to clean water at all times.

Housing and Space Needs

German Doodles require sufficient space to move around and play. They are active dogs that need regular exercise, so it is recommended to take them for walks or play with them in a fenced yard. German Poodles prefer to be indoors with their owners and can become anxious if left alone for long periods. They also need a comfortable place to sleep, such as a dog bed or crate.

Breed Recognition

The German Doodle is not a recognized American Kennel club breed. But you can find them on the Designer breed registry.

Is the German Shepherd Poodle Mix Aggressive?

Overall, the Shepadoodle is not an aggressive breed. However, like all dogs, they can become aggressive if they are not socialized properly or if they feel threatened. It is important to socialize your Shepadoodle from a young age to ensure that they are comfortable around people and other animals.

Additionally, it is important to note that the temperament of a Shepadoodle can vary depending on the individual dog. Some Shepadoodles may be more laid-back and easy-going, while others may be more energetic and excitable. It is important to choose a breeder who is knowledgeable about the breed and can help you find a dog that matches your lifestyle and personality.

Is The German Doodle A Good Family Dog?

German Doodles are a hybrid breed that is a cross between a Poodle and a German Shepherd. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty and affectionate nature. But are they good family dogs?

German Doodles can make great family dogs. They are friendly and social, and enjoy being around people. They are also good with children, making them a great choice for families with kids. German Doodles are patient and gentle, and can tolerate the rough play of children.

When it comes to other dogs, German Doodles can get along well with other pets. They are not known to be aggressive towards other animals, and can be quite friendly towards them. However, as with any dog, proper socialization is important to ensure that they get along with other pets.

German Doodles are also good guard dogs. They are protective of their families and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. They are also intelligent and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, making them a great choice for families looking for a versatile dog.

Overall, German Doodles can make great family dogs. They are friendly, affectionate, and good with children and other pets. However, as with any dog, it is important to provide them with proper training and socialization to ensure they are well-behaved and well-adjusted.

Where to Adopt A Shepadoodle

If you are interested in adopting a Shepadoodle, there are several options available to you. Here are a few places where you can find your new furry friend:

1. Local Animal Shelters

Animal shelters are a great place to start your search for a Shepadoodle. Many shelters have mixed breed dogs, including Shepadoodles, available for adoption. By adopting from a shelter, you not only give a loving home to a dog in need, but you also support the important work that animal shelters do.

2. Breed-Specific Rescue Organizations

There are several breed-specific rescue organizations that focus on rescuing and rehoming Shepadoodles. These organizations often have a network of foster homes where the dogs are cared for until they find their forever homes. Adopting from a rescue organization is a great way to find a Shepadoodle that has already been evaluated for temperament and health issues.

3. Online Adoption Websites

There are several online adoption websites that list Shepadoodles available for adoption. These websites allow you to search for dogs by breed, location, and other criteria. While online adoption websites can be a convenient way to find a Shepadoodle, it is important to be cautious and do your research to ensure that the website and the organization listing the dogs are legitimate and reputable.

No matter where you choose to adopt your Shepadoodle, it is important to take the time to research and find a reputable organization. By doing so, you can ensure that you are providing a loving home to a healthy and happy dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

What breeds are commonly used to create a Shepadoodle?

The Shepadoodle is a mix of two breeds, the German Shepherd and the Poodle. The German Shepherd is a working dog that is known for its intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. The Poodle is a highly intelligent dog that is known for its hypoallergenic coat and low shedding. The combination of these two breeds results in a dog that is intelligent, loyal, and hypoallergenic.

Does a Shepadoodle shed?

The Shepadoodle is a low-shedding breed due to the Poodle’s influence. However, it is important to note that no dog is completely hypoallergenic, and some individuals with allergies may still have a reaction to a Shepadoodle’s dander.

Are German Doodle puppies easy to train?

The Shepadoodle is a highly intelligent breed that is eager to please. This makes them relatively easy to train, especially if you start training them from a young age. However, it is important to note that every dog is unique and may require different training methods.

Is the Shepadoodle Hypoallergenic?

The Shepadoodle is considered to be hypoallergenic due to the Poodle’s influence. However, it is important to note that no dog is completely hypoallergenic, and some individuals with allergies may still have a reaction to a Shepadoodle’s dander.

What is the size range for a German Poodle?

The Shepadoodle can vary in size depending on the size of the Poodle used in the breeding. Typically, a Shepadoodle will weigh between 50 and 80 pounds and stand between 22 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the German Poodle is a breed that is highly intelligent, loyal, and adaptable. They make great pets for families and individuals alike, and their hypoallergenic coat makes them a great choice for those with allergies.

When considering getting a German Poodle, it is important to keep in mind that they require regular grooming to maintain their coat and prevent matting. They also require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Overall, the German Poodle is a wonderful breed that is sure to bring joy and companionship to any home. With their intelligence, loyalty, and adaptability, they are truly a breed like no other.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.