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The Sheepadoodle (sometimes known as the Sheepapoo, Sheepadoo, and Sheepoodle) is a popular dog for its intelligence and loveable nature.
But despite all the great qualities a Sheepadoodle has, this designer breed isn’t for everybody…in fact, the reason I wrote this blog post was to give an honest look into the Sheepadoodle breed.
I’m holding nothing back.
In this article, you’re going to learn everything there is about Sheepadoodles, including why they make great dogs, who they’re best suited for, and who should consider a different breed.
|Quick Sheepadoodle Facts|
|Height||13-28 inches tall|
|Temperament||Friendly, energetic, and social|
What’s a Sheepadoodle?
Not to be confused with the Shepadoodle (a German Shepherd Poodle mix), this designer breed is a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a Standard Poodle. The result is an incredibly cute-looking pooch!
They have risen in popularity over the last 10 years, especially as more people look to find different breeds of dogs that are non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
The majority of Sheepadoodles are white and black, but as we’ll later reveal, Sheepadoodles come in many different colors.
Different Sheepadoodle Generations
There are four different types of Sheepadoodles that we’re going to discuss today: F1, F1b, F2 and mini.
1. F1 Sheepadoodles
An F1 Sheepadoodle (first generation) is when a purebred Old English Sheepdog is bred with a purebred Standard Poodle.
2. F1b Sheepadoodles
An F1b Sheepadoodle is when an F1 Sheepadoodle (half Old English Sheepdog half Standard Poodle) is bred with a purebred Standard Poodle. F1b Sheepadoodles are 75% Poodle. F1b Sheepadoodles may shed less than F1 Sheepadoodles and are suitable for families with allergies.
3. F2 Sheepadoodles
An F2 Sheepadoodle is when two F1 Sheepadoodles are bred. They are generally less expensive than F1s and F2s.
Sheepadoodles come from two large dog breeds, and in turn, can be on the larger side.
A full-grown adult Sheepadoodle weighs around 45-80 pounds and stands 13-28 inches tall. It’s very uncommon to find Sheepadoodles larger than this size, therefore, you sould be wary of breeders advertising “giant” Sheepadoodles as they simply don’t exist.
Mirco, Toy, or Mini Sheepadoodle
Mini Sheepadoodles are small hypoallergenic dogs born from an Old English Sheepdog and a Miniature or Toy Poodle. They are usually less than 35 pounds and stand at a height of 15-18 inches tall. The Mini Sheepadoodle tends to be more expensive but is perfect for those who would prefer a small to medium-sized dog.
As the Miniature Poodle is similar personality-wise to the Standard Poodle, the only thing that’s different about the Mini Sheepadoodle versus the Standard Sheepadoodle is the size! Sheepadoodles tend to be large dogs whereas Mini Sheepadoodles are medium-sized dogs.
Coat and colors
Since Doodles are mixed breed dogs, they can come in a variety of colors and coat textures, like this black and white Sheepadoodle who has a wavy coat:
Let’s learn a bit more about the different appearances each Sheepadoodle may have.
Poodles have a curly coat while Old English Sheepdogs have straight thick hair. Because of this, your Sheepadoodle can inherit anything from straight to curly.
Most Sheepadoodles have a wavy coat but it’s not uncommon to see Sheepadoodles sporting a long and luxurious coat very similar to their Sheepdog parents.
If your Sheepadoodle has straight hair, then they might also shed a little bit. If their hair is more curly, they may not shed as much. Regardless of their coat type, your Sheepadoodle will need lots of grooming (which we will discuss later on).
This designer breed comes in a few standard colors. Black and white Sheepadoodles are the most common, but you’ll also see pure white, pure grey, white and grey, tri-colored (brown, black, and white), and merle.
A Sheepadoodle’s color and markings depend largely on the Poodle parent. It’s impossible for breeders to predict the color of their litter with 100% certainty, so it’s usually a surprise! Sheepadoodle puppies with rare colors and marking will usually be higher priced.
Temperament and personality
A dog’s personality largely depends on their parents, so let’s learn about the two parent breeds to fully understand a Sheepadoodle’s temperament and personality.
Standard Poodles are large dogs and are one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. Many are surprised to find out that the Poodle was originally bred to be a duck hunter dog in Germany. They are working dogs with a high level of energy and therefore, need plenty of exercise and mental enrichment.
Poodles like to take part in dog sports like agility and nose work and do best in homes where they get lots of positive training sessions. Poodles also make excellent service dogs.
Any dog with Poodle parents (like the Sheepadoodle) will take on many of the above qualities!
Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdogs (OES) are complete clowns, and I mean this in the best way possible! If you’ve ever come across an OES, you’ll instantly notice their distinct personality.
While they can be stubborn, they are very smart and want nothing more than to please their families. They make great family dogs and love to play with young children. Because they are herding dogs bred to herd sheep, they might try to herd other dogs or kids—it’s natural instinct for them!
Unlike the Poodle, Old English Sheepdogs are not high-energy dogs. They have medium energy levels and still require plenty of exercise, but not as much as the Poodle. OES are protective of their homes but are generally too skittish to attack. They will “sound the alarm” when there is an intruder but can quickly retreat if faced with confrontation.
Now that we know about both parent breeds, let’s learn about this designer dog, including a few of their main traits.
They can make good guard dogs, but just like the Old English Sheepdog, they will usually only bark to let you know when someone shouldn’t be there; they generally won’t attack or bite (unless they’ve gone through specialized guard dog training).
Most Sheepadoodles are incredibly cuddly, but that doesn’t mean all dogs will want to snuggle up with you.
Sheepadoodles are very cuddly and 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 even guests. As long as someone is giving them attention, they don’t care who it’s from. They are happy as long as they’re near people.
Of course, this isn’t true for every dog and your Sheepadoodle might not care for cuddling.
The Sheepadoodle has 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, they should be supervised around children.
They may also inherit the OES’s herding instinct. Many Sheepadoodles have been known to be quite nippy as puppies and young dogs and will try and round up small dogs and kids.
Aside: Due to their nipping with razor-sharp puppy teeth, Sheepadoodle puppies have rightfully earned the nickname Sharkadoodle and Land Shark! You will need to spend time and care to train your Sheepadoodle puppy not to nip. This exceeds normal puppy nipping and is quite painful with their sharp little teeth, so be prepared to nip that in the bud.
Sheepadoodles are medium to high energy and need lots of exercise and running around!
If you feel the Sheepadoodle might not be right for you in terms of energy levels, you should consider a Bernedoodle. Bernedoodles are quite similar to Sheepadoodles but are less energetic. You can read our Sheepadoodles vs Bernedoodle comparison to compare the two breeds.
Sheepadoodles are easy to train and highly intelligent! They make great dogs for first-time dog owners as they are friendly, easy going, and when socialized properly, non-aggressive.
And don’t be surprised if they outsmart you—Sheepadoodles are known to be funny (just like the OES) and definitely have a devious side. They can be stubborn like their OES parent and even though they want to please their owner, they will try and do things their own way.
They do best with positive reinforcement and will learn any new trick you teach them.
This dog breed is super friendly. If you have other dogs, they will almost certainly get along with them (as long as they are properly introduced and socialized).
Sheepadoodle grooming should be its own Olympic sport.
Sheepadoodles—like all Doodle breeds—require plenty of grooming to prevent mats. As mentioned above, you will need to take them to a groomer every 6-8 weeks and/or brush/comb them often.
It’s important to start brushing as soon as you get your Sheepadoodle 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. With their floppy ears, dirt, debris, moisture, and hair can get trapped and cause infection. Regular ear cleaning is a must. Some dogs also need the hair in their ears to be regularly plucked out or removed to prevent ear infections.
It’s best to discuss this with your veterinarian as ear-hair-plucking differs from dog to dog.
When buying a Sheepadoodle, it’s essential to find a reputable Sheepadoodle breeder who tests the puppy’s parents for disease to decrease the chance of any health issues in your pup. Generally, Sheepadoodles are healthy dogs when they come from a reputable breeder who has done extensive health testing, but their health also depends on the way they are taken care of.
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.
Many people opt to tack their Sheepadoodle’s stomach down during the spay/neuter process to avoid bloat. Consider discussing this option with your vet.
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.
Where to find or buy Sheepadoodle Puppies
Because Sheepadoodles have become so popular, you will find many irresponsible people who sell puppies. It’s essential to do your research to find the best Sheepadoodle breeder.
To help you find Sheepadoodle puppies for sale near you, 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 when looking for dog breeders as the list has not been vetted.
Irresponsible breeders will not do proper health testing which can result in sick puppies who have lots of issues and problems.
If you don’t necessarily want a puppy and are fine with an older dog, there are also Doodle rescues where you can find a Sheepadoodle who needs a loving home. Occasionally, Sheepadoodles that are up for adoption will also get posted in the following Doodle Facebook groups, like this one.
You might think a mixed breed dog would be cheaper than a purebred, but this isn’t the case for Sheepadoodles. Sheepadoodles are in high demand right now and come with a hefty price tag!
Standard Sheepadoodle puppies are around $2,000-$5,000 depending on where you live. Many Sheepadoodle breeders have waitlists that span over a year-long due to the high demand for the Sheepadoodle.
Aside from the initial cost of purchasing your Sheepadoodle puppy, you also need to allocate funds to food, toys, potential vet visits, pet insurance, and grooming visit. A visit to the groomers can cost upwards of $140 every 6 weeks, and as we will discuss later on, Sheepadoodles have a high-maintenance coat and require lots of grooming.
Should you get a Sheepadoodle?
Sheepadoodles are exceptionally smart, playful and make fantastic family pets for active families. 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 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. 🙂
PS: Our Sheepadoodle Spotlight page is full of Sheepadoodles. You can get to know different Standard Sheepadoodles around the world and to see what they’re like.
Why Sheepadoodles Aren’t for Everybody
Many dog owners buy their dog based on their looks but then realize that the dog they bought is not for them. This leads to overcrowded dog shelters and families who are stressed and unhappy with their pets.
We want to help you avoid getting a dog that isn’t the right fit for you and your family, which is why we’re going to list a few reasons why you shouldn’t get a Sheepadoodle:
- Sheepadoodles are pricey: And I don’t just mean their initial cost. Keeping a non-shedding dog like the Sheepadoodle mat-free requires lots of trips to the groomers or lots of at-home grooming (and usually both!)
- Sheepadoodles are high energy: If you have a demanding work-life, you might be better suited to a dog that doesn’t require as much attention. Sheepadoodles require around 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise per day, and can become destructive (like any dog) if they don’t get that exercise.
- Sheepadoodles require lots of grooming: Not everyone wants a dog that requires lifelong brushing and combing, and that’s totally OK! If this is you, you may want to reconsider the Sheepadoodle.
You should also read through this post where Sheepadoodle owners talk about the things they wish they knew before getting a Sheepadoodle.
Dog lovers all over the world can’t get enough of how sweet and lovable the Sheepadoodle is. They make wonderful family dogs, get along well with other animals (if socialized properly) and make fantastic dogs.
If you want a high-energy dog that will want to join you on daily walks and runs, the Sheepadoodle will make a great dog for you!
Sheepadoodles are generally a non-shedding hypoallergenic dog but there is no guarantee that your puppy will not shed.
No, not all Sheepadoodles will turn grey. Some remain black and white.
With the right socialization and training, your Sheepadoodle should not bark a lot.
All Sheepadoodles are different, but generally, when they will calm down between the ages of 4-5.
No, Sheepadoodles are not registered with the American Kennel Club because they are not purebred dogs. Only purebred dogs can be registered.
Sheepadoodles can get along with other animals, like cats, if trained properly when they are puppies.
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