The Sheepadoodle is one of the cutest dogs around, although I might be biased because I’ve had a Sheepadoodle for over 5 years now and she is the absolute best.
But Sheepadoodles aren’t the right dog for everybody (in fact, this article might even talk you out of a Sheepadoodle).
Here’s everything you need to know about the Poodle/Sheepdog cross to make sure you are getting the right dog for yourself and your family.
What is a Sheepadoodle?
A Sheepadoodle is a member of the Doodle breed family. Not be be confused with the Shepadoodle (a Shepherd Poodle mix), a Sheepadoodle is a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a Standard Poodle and the result is an incredibly cute-looking pooch! Sheepadoodles have been rising in popularity, especially as more people look to find different breeds of dogs that are non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
Sheepadoodles can all look different, but the majority are colored black and white with Panda-like black circles around their eyes (giving them even more of a teddy bear look)!
There are four different types of Sheepadoodles: F1, F1b, F2 and mini.
- F1 Sheepadoodles are bred with a purebred Old English Sheepdog and a purebred Standard Poodle. As you are breeding two purebred dogs, F1’s generally come at a higher price.
- F1b results when an F1 and a purebred are mated.
- F2 is when two F1 dogs are bred. They are generally less expensive than F1s and F2s.
- Mini Sheepadoodles are bred with an Old English Sheepdog and a Miniature Poodle. They are usually less than 45 pounds.
To make navigating this article on Sheepadoodles easier, I’ve created a table of contents so you can skip to the sections you wish to read:
- Sheepadoodle Size
- How Much Does a Sheepadoodle Cost?
- Are Sheepadoodles Lots of Work?
- Sheepadoodle Temperament
- Sheepadoodle Guard Dog Behaviour
- Are Sheepadoodles Cuddly?
- Is a Sheepadoodle Hypoallergenic?
- Do Sheepadoodles Shed?
- Sheepadoodle Intelligence Level
- Sheepadoodles and Kids
- Sheepadoodles’ Playfulness
- Grooming a Sheepadoodle
- Sheepadoodle Energy Level
- Sheepadoodle Health Concerns
- Sheepadoodle Life-Expectancy
- Other Sheepadoodle Facts
- List of Sheepadoodle Breeders
- Where to Find a Sheepadoodle Rescue
- Sheepadoodle FAQ
Standard Sheepadoodles usually weigh around 45-80 pounds and are 13-28 inches tall. Many people wonder whether they can get a giant Sheepadoodle.
Of course, if the parents are bigger, you might end up with a dog slightly on the larger side. But will your Sheepadoodle look like my giant Sheepadoodle that I photoshopped? Most definitely not 🙂
How Much Do Sheepadoodles Cost?
Sheepadoodle puppies cost around $2,000-$4,000. Many Sheepadoodle breeders have waitlists that are over a year long. This is due to the high demand of the Sheepadoodle.
Sheepadoodles aren’t cheap to buy nor are they cheap to raise. On top of the regular costs of owning a dog (vet bills, food, training) you can expect to pay quite a bit to keep your Sheepadoodle groomed. A visit to the groomers can cost upwards of $120 every 4-6 weeks, and as we will discuss later on, Sheepadoodles have a high-maintenance coat and require lots of grooming.
Are Sheepadoodles a lot of Work?
In short, yes. Sheepadoodles require a lot of work in regards to exercise and grooming.
Our Sheepadoodle gets 2+ hours of activity a day ranging from walks, runs and fetch. If you want to keep the coat long, aim for 30-45 minutes of grooming (combing and brushing).
If you shave your Sheepadoodle down every several weeks, you will be able to forfeit the brushing sessions, but, as every Sheepadoodle has different hair, you’ll want to monitor it carefully to ensure no mats are forming.
To get a taste of what grooming a Sheepadoodle at home is like, check out this guide to Sheepadoodle grooming.
What is a Sheepadoodle’s Temperament?
A Sheepadoodle’s temperament is playful, intelligent, loyal and friendly! We also get remarks on how great our Sheepadoodle’s temperament is.
Of course, each dog is going to differ. When you start speaking with breeders, make sure to ask what the parents are like and how their temperaments are.
Doodles often have a reputation for being crazy and un-trainable dogs. After owning a doodle myself, I can see why they get this reputation.
Doodles, for the most part, are very high-energy! And when you have a high-energy dog that doesn’t receive the exercise it needs, it will become unruly, energetic and begin to have behavioral issues.
As Doodle-type dogs are touted as being family-friendly, many families go for a Doodle, but because they are so busy with other areas of life (kids, after-school activities, work, etc.) they aren’t able to provide the exercise that the high-energy Sheepadoodle requires.
The result? A crazy dog that doesn’t know what to do with all of its pent-up energy! And that’s not fun for anybody.
If this is you, you might want to reconsider one of these low-energy non-shedding dogs. It’s important to find a dog that fits your lifestyle.
Are Sheepadoodles Good Guard Dogs?
The Old English Sheepdog is known for “sounding the alarm” when an intruder comes into their territory. They will let out a large and low bark, often accompanied by a mean growl.
Sheepadoodles often inherit this trait and make excellent watchdogs, which will let you know when a stranger is coming near your home.
However, past that, they are much too skittish to attack and will retreat if they feel threatened or in danger. But they will undoubtedly try to scare a stranger off with their intimidating bark!
Are Sheepadoodles Cuddly?
Most Sheepadoodles are incredibly cuddly, but that doesn’t mean all dogs will want to snuggle up with you. But the general consensus is that Sheepadoodles want to get as close as possible to their humans, and certainly won’t mind squishing themselves in between everyone!
Sheepadoodles are known to snuggle up to family members and guests! They are happy as long as they’re near people!
Are Sheepadoodles Hypoallergenic?
Yes! An F1 Sheepadoodle (meaning it is bred from an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle) is hypoallergenic.
Dust and other allergens from the outside world can get stuck and trapped in their hair when kept long, so if you have allergies to grass, pollen, etc., you might notice yourself getting sniffly around your dog.
While this isn’t the dog that is causing your allergies technically, all you’ll need to do is give them a good bath for relief of any outdoor allergies you have.
Do Sheepadoodles Shed?
Sheepadoodles are a non-shedding dog! Because they don’t shed, they need daily brushing and combing or they will be very matted. Mats can be very painful, and you want to do what you can to avoid them on your dog.
As mentioned above, aim to brush and groom your Sheepadoodle for 30-45 minutes a day. If you wish to avoid all that brushing, you can always keep your Sheepadoodle shaved down, which will require a visit to the groomers every 4-6 weeks.
Grooming can become very costly with any doodle, so keep that in mind!
Are Sheepadoodles Smart?
The Poodle is one of the smartest dogs in the world and Sheepadoodles certainly inherit this trait! They are easily trainable due to being so smart!
And don’t be surprised if they outsmart you — Sheepadoodles are known to be funny and definitely have a devious side.
Are Sheepadoodles Good With Kids?
Sheepadoodles have an endless appetite to play! They love being around kids as it often means they will get lots of attention and can play for hours. They make great babysitters, but like any dog, should be supervised around children and introduced to them as a puppy.
Are Sheepadoodles Playful?
Sheepadoodles love to play and they won’t stop until someone else stops them! They are very active dogs and love to be surrounded by their family, so they make excellent companions for running, hiking, camping and any activity.
Although they are playful, they also love to be mellow when it’s time to relax and have no problem laying at your feet (or on top of your lap).
Is Grooming A Sheepadoodle High-Maintenence?
Sheepadoodle grooming should be its own Olympic sport!
Sheepadoodles require lots of grooming. As mentioned above, you will need to take them to a groomer every 4-6 weeks and/or brush/comb them yourself for 30-45 minutes daily.
It’s important to start brushing as soon as you get your puppy so they can get used to it! Our Sheepadoodle is so used to being brushed that she falls asleep as I brush her now.
On top of brushing, Sheepadoodles (being part Poodle) require regular ear cleaning. Some dogs also need the hair in their ears to be regularly plucked out or removed to prevent ear infections. You will need to discuss this with your veterinarian as ear-hair-plucking differs from dog to dog.
Are Sheepadoodles Low Energy?
Sheepadoodles are incredibly energetic. You should aim to provide your Sheepadoodle dog with roughly two hours of exercise per day.
All dogs have the ability to be destructive when they aren’t exercised properly, so it’s very important you allocate enough time to tire your Sheepadoodle out.
If you can’t commit to two hours a day, or cannot afford daily daycare, you might want to reconsider getting a Sheepadoodle. However, Bernedoodles are quite similar to Sheepadoodles but are less energetic. You can read my Sheepadoodles vs Bernedoodle comparison to compare the two breeds.
Sheepadoodle Health Concerns
When buying a Sheepadoodle, it’s essential to find a reputable breeder to decrease the chance of any health issues.
Sheepadoodles can potentially inherit any of the health issues from either parent and can suffer from:
- joint problems
- allergies/sensitive stomach
and others. It’s essential to speak with your breeder about your concerns in regards to health issues.
Sheepadoodle Life Expectancy
As the Sheepadoodle is a newer breed, there isn’t a lot of information on their life expectancy just yet, however, Old English Sheepdogs live to be around 11 years old and Standard Poodles live to be approximately 12 years old. You can expect the Sheepadoodle to have a similar lifespan.
Other Sheepadoodle Traits
Some other things to keep in mind with Sheepadoodles is that they often inherit nipping and herding traits from the Old English Sheepdog. This exceeds normal puppy nipping and is quite painful with their sharp little teeth, so be prepared to nip that in the bud.
Sheepadoodles can sometimes inherit a strong-prey drive from the poodle. You might not know, but Poodles have high prey-drives and were used as duck-hunters!
Sheepadoodles are also amiable and social dogs. They love other animals and if appropriately socialized, will get along with any dog they come across! They also love people and make the best family dogs.
Where to Buy a Sheepadoodle
Trying to find Sheepadoodle puppies near you can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
To make things a bit easier, you can go through this directory of Sheepadoodle breeders. It’s a good place to start, but you still need to do your own research.
There are also Doodle rescues where you can find a Sheepadoodle who needs a loving home.
What’s Owning a Sheepadoodle Like?
Sheepadoodles are exceptionally smart, playful and make fantastic family dogs. They sometimes use their wit to act like a goofball and can be described as a clown. With a Sheepadoodle, your life will never be boring!
Sheepadoodles are easy to train as pups but will be very nippy and could try to herd young children and small animals if not appropriately trained. They also require lots of grooming!
They are also quite stubborn and have a mind of their own. So while they might pick up their training right away, they might decide of a better way to do what you ask of them. 🙂
This intelligence is what draws many people to this breed.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not a Sheepadoodle is the right dog for you, consider reading these reasons on why you shouldn’t get a Sheepadoodle.
List of Sheepadoodle Breeders
If you are convinced that a Sheepadoodle is the right dog for you and your family, you should take a look at this list of Sheepadoodle breeders. These breeders were recommended to me from a Sheepadoodle Facebook group I am in. They were people who were happy with their experience.
Where Can I Find a Sheepadoodle Rescue?
If you’d prefer to adopt a Sheepadoodle, there are a few different places you can start looking for one.
First, you should check out this list of Doodle rescues. While these rescues carry all types of Doodle dogs (Goldendoodle, Labradoodle) there are Sheepadoodles as well.
Occassionally, Sheepadoodles that are up for adoption will also get posted in the following Sheepadoodle Facebook groups:
Here are a few other frequent questions I get about Sheepadoodles.
- When do Sheepadoodles calm down? All Sheepadoodles are different and there is no set age when they calm down. We keep ours calm by ensuring she gets the exercise she needs! She isn’t wiry or crazy, but she has lots of energy. If you want an active dog, a Sheepadoodle is perfect.
- Is no-shedding a guarantee? There is no way to guarantee this and your Sheepadoodle may still shed a bit.
- Do all Sheepadoodles turn grey? Ours turned a light gray but many remain black. This cannot be guaranteed by the breeder so keep that in mind.
- Do Sheepadoodles like to swim? Ours love the water. Make sure you properly train your dog how to swim and make the experience enjoyable for them.
- Do Sheepadoodles bark a lot? Sheepadoodles are great at sounding the alarm as mentioned above. They aren’t yappy, however, and with the right training and socialization, they shouldn’t be barking all day long.
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About the Author:
Dana is a Sheepadoodle owner and expat in Germany. While living in Europe, Dana and her husband always make sure that when they go on road trips, their pup Kaya gets to come along. Dana loves to highlight dog-friendly places you can travel to with your pooch so that your entire family can have fun together!