Sheep poodle

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Sheep poodle (old German herding dogs)
Sheep poodle
Not from the FCI recognized
Origin :


Alternative names:

Herding poodle

Withers height:

45-60 cm


17-25 kg

List of domestic dogs

The sheep poodle is one of the old German herding dogs .


Early mentions and descriptions

Sheep poodles are mentioned quite early in written sources, but are usually not described in detail. The name is presumably less a (presumed) relationship to the dog breed Poodle , but a linguistic connection with the Low German puddle , more disrespectful: muddy puddle, which stands out on the soft, puddle-like poodle skin; just like fur hats were called poodles in the past . It is therefore a descriptive name, as it is also used by the other old German dog strokes (black, yellow-cheeked etc.), which describes this type of dog as shaggy.

Shaggy herd service and herding dogs were once common in large parts of Central Europe; some of their descendants are now bred according to breed standards . These include the Dutch Schapendoes , the PON , the Puli , the Bergamasque Shepherd Dog , the Berger des Pyrénées and the Gos d'Atura Català .

In his description of the German shaggy-haired shepherd, Strebel uses neither the name of the sheep poodle nor that of the strobel, but represents a separate ancestry for shaggy-haired dogs from Brunswick from sheep dogs originating from Poland, which in turn are said to come from Spain together with the Negretti sheep breeding .

According to the description, it appears in an article by Adolf Müller in the journal Die Gartenlaube in 1872 as one of the two “real shepherd dogs in the Wetterau ”. These "ice-gray long-haired" dogs with lush hangings should be given preference over those of the other "black, curly" races, which, according to the description, can be identified as black / yellow-cheeked old Germans.

Sheep poodle (Münsterland), 1921

Stephanitz names the entire northern German-speaking area "from the eastern border" to Westphalia, but "not too often, more island-like", as well as southern Germany, "especially in Württemberg, Swabia and Upper Bavaria" as the distribution area of ​​scraggly-haired beatings . He locates the biggest hairy people in southern Germany and in East Prussia . He explicitly mentions the name Schafpudel as a common name for north-west German strikes, mostly smaller in size towards the west. He expresses himself critical of the theses of descent, which postulate the origin of whole fields from often distant lands, and refers to migratory sheep and land cuts .

Löns summarizes the hairy people spread across Europe under the name poodle :

"In southern Germany the poodles are called Strobel , in France Barbet , in Belgium and England the Old English Sheepdog or Bobtail , in Russia Owtscharka and in Hungary Kommondorek ."

In his works he does not try to hide his enthusiasm for the sheep poodles from northern Germany , which he also called Low German Shepherd Dogs .

He divided the sheep poodles, which then existed in the German-speaking area, into three types:

  1. the big one, which he equates with the Strobel,
  2. the archetypal type or the medium-sized poodle, which he considers the noblest, most dutiful and so on. designated, and
  3. the little poodle he calls the herding poodle .

These three types have merged into the lofts of the old German herding dogs known today as sheep poodles and strobel or are identical to them.

Start of standardization for the Pomeranian Sheep Poodle

In 1927 the veterinarian W. Wieland founded the association for down-to-earth herding dogs together with like-minded people , which was dedicated to receiving the sheep dog beats that occurred in Pomerania at that time , which he classified as follows:

  • Type I : white shaggy-haired Pomeranian, also "shepherd poodle"; Males around 60 cm, bitches around 55 cm; "Resembles the Hungarian Komondor";
  • Type II : white, straight-haired Pomeranian shear; in bitches down to 50 cm; usually quite light and fine-boned; "Resembles the Hungarian Kuvasz ";
  • Type III : plain long-haired or curly-haired herding dog, usually blond; very small, around 30 cm high; Similarity to Skye Terrier or Puli.

With types I and II, yellowish hues on the curtain were not uncommon; Occasionally there were also spiky-haired ones, more precisely: not pure white specimens, but blue-gray or white ones with gray-blue spots. In other publications a white hat tip is mentioned, which in the descriptions looks like a long-eared East or Central German , but with a white fur; it is believed that he is an ancestor of today's White Shepherd Dog .

Types I and III correlate with the sheep poodle types described by Löns ; There does not seem to have been a blow from big haired people in Pomerania.

Wieland had a pure breed in mind, in the sense of justifying dog breeds. Type I should get the name German shaggy- haired shepherd dog , type II the name long-haired German shepherd dog and type III the name German or Pomeranian herding dog . He wanted to introduce the term shepherd dog , on the one hand because the analogy to the Hungarian shepherd dogs seemed appropriate to him; and on the other hand, because the German Shepherd was correct, but in view of the development of the modern stick-haired dog, i.e. the German Shepherd , he was looking for a more distinctive name. The term herding dog seemed appropriate to him only for the small type III.

By 1938, 570 dogs of all three types were registered in the club's stud book , 110 of them of type I. The work of the club for down-to-earth herding dogs is now considered to be an important aid in breeding the sheep poodle; In particular, the breed characteristics established at the time for type I are used.

Conservation efforts in the GDR

In the GDR, as a result of collectivizations in agriculture, pasture farming was practiced more extensively and for longer. The focus was primarily on the old Germans and a special breeding association for herd working dogs was founded, which kept a stud book . However, this primarily benefited the old German, often called the East or Central German herding dog , who was better known by his name of the Old German Shepherd Dog . The numerically less represented sheep poodle led a shadowy existence here too. Nevertheless, these conditions for the preservation of the sheep poodle were more favorable than in the Federal Republic, where the sheep poodle almost completely disappeared. Even today, sheep poodles are mainly found in Saxony-Anhalt, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia. The turning point had an unfavorable effect on the sheep poodle and the Central German Old German, as the structural changes that also took place in agriculture also reduced the need for herd dogs. Many good breeding lines of the sheep poodle were lost. While pasture farming was previously carried out in the style of traveling sheep with larger herds, this mode of farming has now almost completely disappeared.

Nevertheless, sheep poodles are still used today for herding sheep. Due to the decline in sheep farming and the simultaneous efforts of some breeders to preserve this type of dog, more and more sheep poodles have also come into private hands in recent years.


The sheep poodle is one of the two shaggy-haired types of the old German herding dogs. It is the northern German counterpart to Strobel, which is primarily based in southern Germany. While the latter is more of the South German type in terms of physique , i.e. often tall, tall, rather than medium-sized in relation to the overall proportions, the sheep poodle generally has a somewhat more compact, more rectangular and squat stature; at the same time, however, it does not appear cumbersome.

There is no binding breed standard. As a general description, however, the breed characteristics established by Lüders, Rassow and Wieland in 1927 by the association for down-to-earth herding dogs established in 1927 are used and are considered helpful in breeding.

Sheep poodles are generally rather medium-sized; for males 50–60 cm and for bitches 45–55 cm at the withers . Animals with a greater height at the withers are to be excluded from breeding according to the breed characteristics.

The hair and the hangings are pronounced; Undercoat is present. The tail is also well hairy to the tip. All colors are allowed, also checkered. Typical colors are white, various shades of gray, as well as blue (mold-colored), wheat-colored and black. The strong, broad-headed head is richly hairy. Ears that are tilted or upright sometimes occur, but are not regarded as appropriate to the type or do not correspond to the breed characteristics. A strong lip formation is not desirable; The latter would be the case in dogs in which the lower jaw, viewed from the side, would not be clearly visible under the upper lip when the muzzle was closed. The sheep poodle's brown eyes value a calm, intelligent and alert look.

Mating with other types of old German or other shaggy-haired dog breeds is not permitted.


The sheep poodle is a working dog whose tasks include working on the herd, in part completely independent, basically all day. He is an intelligent, spirited, active, persistent and eager to learn dog who shows pronounced herding behavior. He was selected for these qualities for centuries. Therefore, breeders who give suitable specimens in private hands ensure that the dogs come to extremely sporty people with plenty of space. "Sheep poodles are special dogs that demand something special from their pack."

See also


Web links

  • Sheep poodle (working group for the breeding of old German herding dogs)

Individual evidence

  1. exemplary: Leop. Jos. Fitzinger : The Raçen of the Tame Dog I. Department. In: Meeting reports of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. Mathematical and scientific class. Department 1: Biology, Mineralogy, Geography. Volume 56, 1867, ISSN  0371-4810 , pp. 377-585, here pp. 428-429 .
  2. which, however, cannot be ruled out - cf. Max von Stephanitz : The German Shepherd Dog in words and pictures. 6th, completely revised and greatly increased edition. Association for German Shepherds, Munich 1921, Textarchiv - Internet Archive
  3. a b Rudolf Löns: The German Shepherd Dogs of the Present. A handbook. Creutz'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Magdeburg 1924.
  4. Richard Strebel : The German dogs and their descent with reference to and discussion of all dog breeds. Volume 2. Kern & Birner, Frankfurt am Main 1905, p. 33.
  5. Adolf Müller: The faithful keeper of the herds . In: The Gazebo . Issue 46, 1872, pp. 759–762, here p. 760 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  6. Max von Stephanitz: The German Shepherd Dog in words and pictures. 6th, completely revised and greatly increased edition. Association for German Shepherd Dogs, Munich 1921, pp. 96–97, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .
  7. Max von Stephanitz: The German Shepherd Dog in words and pictures. 6th, completely revised and greatly increased edition. Association for German Shepherd Dogs, Munich 1921, pp. 97–99, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .
  8. Extensive quotations ("declarations of love") . On from Rudolf Löns: Natural hunting dog science, showing all types of working dogs. Weber, Heilbronn 1925.
  9. a b c d Susanne Zander: German Sheep Poodle Cultural Property. In: The dog. No. 2, 2005, pp. 16-19.
  10. a b W. Wieland: The herding dog blows in Pomerania. (PDF) In: The dog. Volume 1, pp. 299–301, (PDF; 391 kB.)
  11. Kynegetikos: Down-to-earth herding dogs (final part) . (PDF; 442 kB) In: The down-to-earth herding dog. News sheet of the student council for down-to-earth herding dogs in the RDH. No. 2, May 1939 = Rundschau for hunting and dog sports. Volume 17, No. 4/5, May 1939, pp. 1938–1939, here p. 1939.
  12. These names are given with reference to Wieland in Aga vom Hagen: Die Hunderassen. A guide for dog lovers and breeders. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion, Potsdam 1935, p. 120, right column.
  13. a b c d Lüders, Rassow and Wieland: The determination of the breed characteristics - print from 1956 for the special breeding association for herd working dogs in the GDR (PDF; 295 kB).
  14. At least outside of Pomerania, however, there were shaggy-haired people with upright and tip-eared ears; see. the pictures at Max von Stephanitz: The German Shepherd Dog in words and pictures. 6th, completely revised and greatly increased edition. Association for German Shepherds, Munich 1921, p. 97, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .