The Sheepadoodle (sometimes known as the Sheepapoo, Sheepadoo, and Sheepoodle) is a sought-after dog. Designer dogs
But this designer breed isn’t for everybody! In this article, you’re going to learn everything there is about Sheepadoodles, including why they make great dogs and why they might not be the right dog for you.
What’s a Sheepadoodle dog breed?
Sheepadoodles are a mixed breed dog that is a member of the Doodle breed family. They are considered big hypoallergenic dogs which is why they are so sought after. They are often referred to as a designer breed, which is just a fancy name for mixed breed.
Not to be confused with the Shepadoodle (a Shepherd Poodle mix), this designer breed is a cross between the dog breeds 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 (although, no dog can be 100% hypoallergenic). Dust and other allergens from the outside world can get 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.
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). They can also be grey, white, or brindle.
Different Sheepadoodle Generations
There are four different types of Sheepadoodles that we’re going to discuss today: F1, F1b, F2 and mini.
An F1 Sheepadoodle (first generation) is when a purebred Old English Sheepdog is bred with a purebred Standard Poodle.
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.
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 won’t be finding a giant Sheepadoodle for sale!
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.
Sheepadoodle coat and colors
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 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.
Price of Sheepadoodle puppies
Standard Sheepadoodle puppies are around $2,000-$5,000 depending on where you live. Many Sheepadoodle breeders have waitlists that are over a year-long due to the high demand for the Sheepadoodle.
On top of the regular costs of owning a dog (vet bills, food, training). Thanks to the Poodle parent, the Sheepadoodle will not shed much (if any) meaning you’ll need to factor in trips to the groomer to groom your Sheepadoodle. A visit to the groomers can cost upwards of $100 every 6 weeks, and as we will discuss later on, Sheepadoodles have a high-maintenance coat and require lots of grooming.
Sheepadoodle temperament and personality
A dog’s personality largely depends on their parents, so let’s learn about the two dog breeds that make the Sheepadoodle to fully understand its 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 hunting 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 a high energy dog. 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.
Sheepadoodles are playful, intelligent, loyal, and friendly!
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. 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.
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.
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).
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!
Sheepadoodles are medium to high energy.
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 my Sheepadoodles vs Bernedoodle comparison to compare the two breeds.
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). Sheepadoodles are friendly dogs who get along with everyone they meet.
Are Sheepadoodles a lot of Work?
In short, yes. Sheepadoodles, like all Doodles, need frequent grooming. Since they are intelligent dogs, they need mental stimulation as well as daily walks and activities.
Our Sheepadoodle gets around 1.5-2 hours of activity a day, ranging from walks, runs, fetch and training. As for grooming, if you want to keep the coat long, aim for 30 minutes of combing and brushing every other day (and sometimes daily depending on your dog’s hair).
If you shave your Sheepadoodle down every several weeks, you will be able to forfeit daily brushing sessions, but, as every Sheepadoodle has different hair, you’ll want to monitor it carefully to ensure no mats are forming.
To get an idea of what grooming a Sheepadoodle at home is like, check out this guide to Sheepadoodle grooming.
Is Grooming A Sheepadoodle High-Maintenence?
Sheepadoodle grooming should be its own Olympic sport!
Sheepadoodles (like all Doodle breeds) require lots of grooming to prevent mats. As mentioned above, you will need to take them to a groomer every 4-6 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.
Sheepadoodles require lots of grooming both at home and with a professional groomer.
You will need 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.
Larger dogs don’t live as long as smaller dogs, but 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.
Where to find or buy a Sheepadoodle Puppy
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.
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 Sheepadoodle Facebook groups, like this one.
Should I 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. 🙂
Also, our Sheepadoodle Spotlight page is full of Sheepadoodles. You can get to know different Standard Sheepadoodles around the world and see what they’re like.
Why You Shouldn’t Get a Sheepadoodle
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 either lots of trips to the groomers or lots of at-home grooming (and usually both!)
- Sheepadoodles are high energy: Some people would prefer a dog that’s a bit more relaxed and generally, Sheepadoodles have lots of energy they need to be expelled through daily walks and training.
- 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.
Other Breeds to Consider
If you want a designer dog that doesn’t shed, here are a few other breeds to think about getting:
- Goldendoodles, Mini Goldendoodles
- Labradoodles, Mini Labradoodles
- Sheepadoodles, Mini Sheepadoodles
- Bernedoodles, Mini Bernedoodles
- Aussiedoodles, Mini Aussiedoodles
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!
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. Read about Sheepadoodle energy-levels here.
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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