Have you encountered a Sheepadoodle? A highly desired designer dog, it’s known for its large size, handsome appearance and intelligence. This German Shepherd Poodle mix fits well with many households. What other traits might be observed in the hybrid offspring of a Standard Poodle and German Shepherd?
German Shepherd Characteristics
One of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, German Shepherds learn quickly and have a lot of energy. A keen sense of smell and wide range of agility help him succeed as a herding or service dog. During the latter part of the 19th and first part of the 20th century, the breed was developed in Germany by cavalry officer Captain Max von Stephanitz. Whether the Shepherd is the dam or sire, qualities like loyalty, friendship, and an excellent work ethic are passed along to offspring. This breed does not like to be alone for long periods of time. He worries when his family is gone for what he judges to be a long time. Worry causes destructive behavior like tearing apart cushions. It’s important to set aside time for playing, training, and relaxing in addition to showing your own pet that you always intend to return home to him.
Most of us have seen pictures of German Shepherds being recognized for rescuing or finding people and pets. The dog’s ability to understand commands and perform feats of agility supports success in search and rescue missions as well as serving as a companion and guide dog. These traits combine with watchdog skills and develop into a friendly, protective Sheepadoodle.
Standard Poodle Characteristics
Smart and easy to train, Standard Poodles are athletic and elegant. This large dog easily learns clever tricks and obedience commands, and enjoys showing off for family and friends. Socialization training should start at an early age to tamp down the aggression that accompanies his watchdog tendencies. The result will be a loyal, friendly pet and watchdog.
The German Shepherd Poodle Mix usually display a protective watch over its domain. Their loyalty makes them shy of strangers. The cautious demeanor is eased with socialization training. Sheepadoodles are friendly and love to be involved in family events. They get along with other pets and older kids.
Appearance of the German Shepherd Poodle Mix
The Sheepadoodle reflects the large size of his dam and sire. Average weight ranges from 50 to 80 pounds, while height is usually between 22 and 28 inches. The pup needs proper nutrition to reach his full size. Coat colors include sable, black, tan, gray, and cream. It’s important to understand this huge dog is loyal and will demand much of your time. Active and intelligent, he’ll bond with you and demand playtime and an interesting lifestyle that allows him to show off his good manners and many tricks.
Like other designer dogs, your pup will more closely resemble one or the other parent. He may have a wavy or straight coat. It can be thick like a Poodle’s or follow the dense Shepherd coat. The Poodle genes reduce the heavy shedding identified with German Shepherds.
The German Shepherd Poodle Mix is sometimes referred to as a Shepapoo. He is a trusted companion and working dog, possessing a social, protective and outgoing nature. Learning new tricks is a welcome experience for your pup. In fact, nearly every aspect of training gives him a chance to please you while earning praise and an occasional treat.
Training should start at an early age, starting with socialization and frequent outings to introduce your pup to the outside world. Obedience training shows him the important commands, both by hand and verbal, that helps him acknowledge you as the Alpha. Agility training helps him burn energy while building muscle. This dog is best suited to an active owner with the time to keep him busy on long runs and visits to the dog park. He doesn’t thrive in an apartment. He requires a large, fenced yard to run in when he’s not out and about with his two-legged family. Respect his wishes regarding the amount of time he likes to spend racing and cavorting by himself in the yard. It’s a good way for him to get the exercise he needs.
Provide several toys for playtime to keep the dog from being overly protective of you and your time. He’s an excellent watchdog as well as a well-mannered and dedicated work dog. The Poodle instinct for friendliness is a typical Sheepadoodle trait. This designer dog may not want to be disturbed when he’s eating or taking a nap. You’ll soon learn his temperament and what can and can’t be changed. He’s a good dog with children. Warn your children to not roughhouse with him, however, since that can cause him to act rowdy. You should train your pup to be friendly and protective of the family.
Grooming Requirements for the German Shepherd Poodle Mix
One of the most important steps of Sheepadoodle grooming is a daily brushing to help prevent tangling. Watch for flea bites and ticks. Both pests can easily hide under his hair. Treat him to a bath when he gets dirty or develops an unpleasant odor. All that exercise he’s getting works up a sweat. Check with your vet about the wisdom of a short haircut during the warm weather. It’s recognized for helping the skin breathe over the summer. Wintertime brings dry skin. Your vet may suggest treating it with cod liver oil if you live in an extremely cold area.
Toenails should be clipped on a regular basis by yourself or a professional groomer. Help prevent ear infections by checking the ears every month. Clean the outer area with a clean cotton ball dipped into cleaning solution. Help prevent periodontal disease by brushing your Sheepadoodle’s teeth every other day.
Sheepadoodle’s have a life expectancy of 12 – 14 years. Common health problems for the German Shepherd Poodle Mix include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Patellar luxation
- Von Willebrand’s Disorder
- Dry skin
- Addison’s Disease