Over the past year, designer breed production has been the trend in the canine community. These are dogs with two different documented purebred ancestry, also referred to as crossbreeds.
One of the most sought-after designer dog breeds is the Sheepadoodle. Combining the charm of the Poodle with the wit and skill of an Old English Sheepdog, the Sheepadoodle has been taking the world by storm.
The Sheepadoodle is not only a cute cuddle buddy, but they make perfect family dogs too since they are hypoallergenic.
So if you are looking for a new furry friend that resembles a stuffed animal, then you might want to consider getting a Sheepadoodle.
What Is a Sheepadoodle?
A Sheepadoodle is the crossbreed of an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle. A typical Sheepadoodle will have inherited the curly, hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle but maintain the markings or color of a Sheepdog. They have a calm nature, high intelligence, and affectionate temperament.
Sheepadoodles are generally medium to large-sized dogs. However, since Poodles come in many sizes such as miniature, standard, and toy, the crossbred offsprings’ size will vary.
The Old English Sheepdog and Poodle mix also go by various other names, such as Sheepapoo, Sheeppoo, Sheepdoodle, and Sheepdogpoo.
Since they are hybrids, Sheepadoodles are not an officially recognized breed by established organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Sheepadoodles do not only look like oversized, cuddly teddy bears — because they actually are! In fact, they make great emotional support dogs because of their emotional intelligence.
Take a look at this heart-warming video of Zammy, the giant Sheepadoodle who works as a children’s hospital therapy dog:
Sheepadoodle Generations: What Are the Different Generations of Sheepadoodles?
Genetics plays a significant role in your future Sheepadoodle’s appearance and temperament. And when crossbreeding, you will not always be assured of an even 50-50 distribution of traits from both parents.
To help understand Sheepadoodle generations, breeders have used letters and numbers to explain their genetic makeup.
Find out which Sheepadoodle generation suits you best as you read on below:
- F1 Sheepadoodle: The F1 Sheepadoodle is the first-generation Sheepadoodle that is 50% Poodle and 50% Old English Sheepdog. They are considered the healthiest generation because they have acquired hybrid vigor. This means that first-generation offspring will come out with improved health and performance than their purebred parents, who have been bred from the same genetic pool. Depending on which parental DNA emerges stronger, they could acquire low-shedding and hypoallergenic hair like a Poodle’s.
- F1B Sheepadoodle: Made up of their 75% Poodle and 25% Old English Sheepdog gene, the F1B Sheepadoodle is more likely to take after the former. They sport the same curly coat and long legs. In addition, these pups will also inherit a Poodle’s personality and temperament, including playfulness, high energy, and the great need for constant mental stimulation.
- F1BB Sheepadoodle: This type of Sheepadoodle is the most non-shedding in the F1 generation. In addition, their curly coats require grooming every 6 to 12 weeks to avoid matting, tangling, and a deposit of dirt or grime. They have a combination of 87.5% Poodle and 12.5% Old English Sheepdog.
- F2 Sheepadoodle: The F2 Sheepadoodle is a cross between two F1 Sheepadoodle generations, resulting in a 50% Poodle and 50% Old English Sheepdog mix. Unfortunately, since they are second-generation breeds, F2 Sheepadoodles have unpredictable characteristics in terms of coat types, shedding tendencies, and hypoallergenic hair.
- F2B Sheepadoodle: With a genetic percentage of 62.5% Poodle and 37.5% Old English Sheepdog, the F2B Sheepadoodle has inherited more traits from a Poodle. This will give them wavy hair and mostly hypoallergenic and non-shedding hair. However, since they are already classified as second-generation offspring, these pooches have less hybrid vigor than the F1 generation.
- F2BB Sheepadoodle: These furry babies rank second after the F1BB Sheepadoodle with the most Poodle genes. The F2BB Sheepadoodle has 81.25% Poodle and 18.75% Old English Sheepdog genetic makeup. Thus, they will have very curly hair, which will result in highly hypoallergenic and non-shedding fluffy coats.
- F3 Sheepadoodle: F3 Sheepadoodles are made up of mixes of the third generations and beyond. At this point, the Sheepadoodle puppies do not resemble Old English Sheepdogs anymore since a significant portion of the gene pool is comprised of the Poodle breed. Their hair is mostly curly, with usually hypoallergenic and non-shedding coats.
If you’re looking for non-shedding and hypoallergenic Sheepadoodle generations, you’ll be better off with a generation with prominent Poodle genetics such as the F1B, F2B, and F1BB Sheepadoodle.
On the other hand, if you want an Old English Sheepdog Poodle mix with straight coats and unique markings, then you may opt for a generation with greater Old English Sheepdog percentages such as the F1 and F2 Sheepadoodle.
Sheepadoodle History and Origin: Where Does the Sheepadoodle Come From?
Crossbreeding of purebred dogs is pretty common and has been around for centuries.
However, Poodle mixes have gained steady popularity over the years. As a matter of fact, there are over 37 different kinds of Doodle breed variations.
Poodle mixes started doing greater rounds around the 1980s. Back then, many dog lovers were looking to create low-shedding versions of their favorite dog breeds by crossing them with a Poodle.
One of the most popular variations now is the Sheepadoodle. Originally, breeders wanted a mixed breed family pet that is fit for allergy sufferers and can also double as a potential watchdog.
With the Poodle’s intelligence and playful nature, combined with the Old English Sheepdog’s obedience and capability to herd sheep, the Sheepadoodle perfectly fits the role.
Sheepadoodle Appearance: What Does a Sheepadoodle Look Like?
Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles are two sides of the same coin. These pooches are known for their high energies despite looking like your average toy dog. But of course, they have starking differences in physical appearance.
Old English Sheepdogs are known for their stereotypical “shaggy dog” look, with their soft flat white coats and gray markings. They are muscular, compact, and famous for their bear-like gait.
On the other hand, Poodles belong to the aristocrats of the dog kingdom. They carry themselves with an air of elegance.
These proud poofs also have low-allergen curly coats that are clipped and styled to be puffier above their head, chest, tail, and forepaws.
Poodles come in three sizes. This will, in turn, affect your future Sheepadoodle’s appearance.
Therefore, it is vital to know the dog’s family history so that you can guarantee that its size will also fit your lifestyle.
Now that you have an idea of what a Sheepadoodle’s parents look like, it will be easier to visualize how the mix will turn out. Here are a few more specifics:
- Head: Depending on which parent breed it takes after, a Sheepadoodle can either have a dome-shaped head like that of a Poodle’s or a thick square skull similar to an Old English Sheepdog.
- Ears: Sheepadoodles have floppy ears that droop down the side of its head, unlike most dogs who have perky ones. They also have heavy fur around this area that is prone to catching unwanted dirt and debris, so better keep an eye out!
- Muzzle: These furballs can take after a Poodle’s proud elongated snout or an English Sheepdog’s thick and broad muzzle.
Sheepadoodles often sport dual-colored tones that come in three traditional colors: black, white, and brown.
These coats are often the most eye-catching part of the breed. I’ve listed some of the most striking combinations below:
Sheepadoodles sometimes take after the single-colored coats of their parent Poodles. Despite its monotony, there is a wide variety of dog hair colors available.
These include black, brown, red, apricot, and cream, to name a few. The picture above is an example of a solid brown Sheepadoodle.
Parti means that your Doodle mixed breed has at least 50% white on their coat plus another of the aforementioned colors such as black, chocolate, or red.
In some cases where both their parents carry the D-locus gene, Sheepadoodles could inherit the typical grey patches of an Old English Sheepdog.
Phantom Sheepadoodles are like the inverse of parti Sheepadoodles. Instead of a white base color, these floofs sport a dark coat such as black, grey, or brown.
Meanwhile, there are lighter markings across their eyebrows, muzzle, chest, under the tail, and on the inside of the legs.
Merle is a genetic pattern introduced into an Old English Sheepdog and Poodle mix which creates patches of color to a solid or piebald coat.
In addition, it can also affect skin pigment and produce blue or unique-colored eyes.
Brindle is a coat pattern commonly referred to as “tiger stripes” because they recreate a more subdued and blended version of the pattern.
This is characterized by a base color often lighter than black, such as grey, brown, or red. The stripes themselves can range from black to cream.
Sheepadoodle Size and Weight: How Big Do Sheepadoodles Get When Fully Grown?
Don’t be fooled by their cuddly exterior because Sheepadoodles are actually built muscular and sturdy, given their parents’ athleticism.
Thus, don’t be surprised if your pooch suddenly has a growth spurt and grows bigger than expected!
A full-grown Old English Sheepdog and Poodle mix stands between 18 and 27 inches tall, regardless of gender. Meanwhile, there is an apparent difference between a male and female Sheepadoodle’s weight.
Their size is also affected by whether they came from a standard Poodle or a miniature Poodle parent.
Standard male Sheepadoodles can weigh anywhere between 60 and 85 pounds. Females, on the other hand, are measured at 50 to 75 pounds.
Like other dog breeds, Sheepadoodles acquire around 50% of their adult weight during the first six months of their lives.
However, they will complete their development at 24 months since most medium to large breed dogs grow slowly.
The final weight and height of a Sheepadoodle will still depend if they are classified as standard, miniature, or toy Sheepadoodles.
For reference, a full-grown mini Sheepadoodle has a height of 10 to 15 inches and can weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.
Like their regular-sized counterparts, mini Sheepadoodles also experience early growth spurts and will gradually reach maturity between 7.5 and 11 months.
Sheepadoodle Temperament: Do Sheepadoodles Make Good Family Dogs?
Shepadoodles make excellent family pets because of their affectionate nature. In fact, they are just as much a big softie as they look.
These fluffy dogs are great at reading human emotions and adapting to them, making them perfect companions for children and people looking for sensitive and loving breeds.
They love cuddling and simply tailing members of their pack, so these pooches do not do well with being left alone for extended periods. They develop destructive behavior which is difficult to correct in the long run.
In addition, they are even-tempered and can get along well with both children and adults, as well as other dogs and house pets.
When their herding instinct kicks in, you’ll see them looking after all your housemates as if they are still working dogs.
Sheepadoodles have inherited a combination of their parents’ most favorable traits.
Sheepadoodle has acquired a high level of intelligence and energy from its Old English Sheepdog parent. Meanwhile, it has gotten the friendly disposition and eager-to-please nature of Poodles.
With these traits, Sheepadoodles are ideal pets for families with small children who need constant companionship and playmates since the pooches can match their need for stimulation and high-energy activities.
Male vs. Female Sheepadoodle: Is a Male or Female Sheepadoodle Better?
Before finalizing your choice to get a Sheepadoodle, you should first consider which gender is right for you.
Keep in mind, however, that one gender is not better than the other. The choice of whether to get a male or female Sheepadoodle relies on your personal preference and lifestyle.
Male Sheepadoodles are more family-oriented. They like “shadowing” members of their pack, and they make it their life’s mission to be around their humans for as much as they can.
If you’re someone looking for a fiercely loyal companion or a support dog, then you’re better off with a male.
On another note, female Sheepadoodles are more independent. Although, these pooches are more protective, especially of their young and your children, by extension.
They are very task-oriented and would like plenty of exercise or mental stimulation. So if you’re looking for a potential show dog or an attentive watchdog, then consider getting a female.
Sheepadoodle Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Sheepadoodles Healthy Dogs?
As discussed before, Sheepadoodles are healthier than typical purebred dogs because they have acquired hybrid vigor. If well taken care of, Sheepadoodles could live up to 12 to 15 years, unlike other larger dogs!
Like other dogs, however, they are still susceptible to certain health problems, especially ones that are more prone toward the breed.
It is better to familiarize yourself with these complications early on so that you’ll be better equipped to handle them in the distant future.
Here are some health issues that your Sheepadoodle could acquire down the line:
- Bloat: Bloating or gastric dilation-volvulus usually occurs among breeds with deep chests, such as the Sheepadoodle. This condition happens when a dog’s stomach is filled with gas, fluid, or food that blocks blood flow to the heart.
- Cushing’s Disease: Cushing’s disease is caused by the overproduction of cortisol by the adrenal glands. This hormone is responsible for stress response, weight control, and anti-infection. Therefore, an excessive amount of it could be life-threatening, especially among older dogs.
- Addison’s Disease: A direct opposite of Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease is characterized by an underproduction of cortisol hormones. Certain dog breed types such as Poodles, Sheepadoodles, Bearded Collies, and Retrievers are more prone to acquire this disease.
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a growth deformity that happens when the hip ball and socket do not fit properly. If not treated early on, it could cause a dog’s lameness or arthritis in the long run.
In looking after the health of your Sheepadoodle, always remember that prevention is better than cure. If you see that your puppy exhibits any of the diseases above, bring them immediately to the vet.
How to Take Care of Your Sheepadoodle
No amount of preparation and research can trump practice. If you want your Sheepadoodle to grow up healthy and happy, be sure to provide them with the best possible care.
Here are some aspects of their well-being that will need attention:
Food and Diet
Sheepadoodles tend to eat very quickly. As a result, they are prone to gaining excessive weight. It’s better to break down their meals into smaller portions throughout the day.
Given their active nature, a matured Sheepadoodle will require 1,300 calories per day. As a pup, they will need more nutrients and a heavier calorie intake of 2,100 per day.
You may opt to feed your new pooch kibble, meat, or canned food. But before you make any drastic changes in your dog’s diet, be sure to consult the vet first.
Cleaning and Grooming
Whether your Sheepadoodle takes more after its Old English Sheepdog or Poodle parent, you will need to brush their coat three to four times a week. This ensures that the coat is tangle-free and clear of dirt and debris.
You may have their hair clipped once every quarter to prevent matting and their nails require trimming once or twice a month with the help of a professional groomer.
Apart from all these, you should also clean your dog’s ears frequently to avoid ear infections.
Training and Exercise
Without proper exercise and daily play, Sheepadoodles may become obese. This dog breed needs constant activity to maintain its healthy weight.
Young Doodles will benefit best from an hour or two of exercise, be it in the form of a few walks around the block or several games of fetch.
These sessions should be broken down into several sessions a day to avoid overworking the pup.
Furthermore, your Sheepadoodle can be taught basic discipline and commands at 8 to 10 weeks old since they are effortless to train.
Some of the commands and tricks you can teach them are housebreaking, sitting, heeling, staying, shaking hands, and finding hidden treats.
The Sheepadoodle’s Poodle parents are inherently smart, and it is quite evident that they have inherited their wits.
Through positive reinforcement, they’ll be extremely friendly dogs that can deal with young kids.
How Much Does a Sheepadoodle Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
Realistically speaking, Sheepadoodles come with a heavy price tag. This should already be expected since they are designer dogs that are currently in high demand, and they resemble a teddy bear. On top of that, they are also harder to breed.
The average cost of a Sheepadoodle is around $1,000 to $3,000. Of course, the price also fluctuates according to demand, the quality of the Sheepadoodle breeder, as well as the pooch’s color.
Given the steep price, it’s natural that you’ll want to make a deal with the cheapest Doodle mix available on the market.
However, be wary of breeders who sell their pups below $1,000 because they’ll most likely be bred from puppy mills or come with poor health conditions. It’s better to be on the lookout.
Other than the cost of buying a Sheepadoodle, you’ll have to factor in the necessities your future puppy will need.
To give you an idea, here is an estimated initial cost of the Sheepadoodle breed ownership:
|Type of Expense
|Premium Dog Food
|Leash and Collar
|Food and Water Bowls
|Total Initial Cost
After the essentials, you’ll also have to deal with costs for your puppy’s veterinary care. This ensures that your Sheepadoodle will grow up to be healthy and disease-free.
Places to Find Sheepadoodle Puppies for Sale or Adoption
Since Sheepadoodle puppies have been trending in recent years, many dog breeders across the United States have specialized in producing quality Sheepadoodle puppies for sale.
I’ve listed some of the most trusted breeders below to help you narrow down your search, so be sure to check them out:
- Sheepadoodles by Design – Sheepadoodles by Design has an average wait time of four to six months, as is common with other highly reputable breeders. Additionally, they offer a two-year congenital and genetic health guarantee for the pups they sell.
- Sunflower Family Farm – The Doodles of Sunflower Family Farms has been breeding dogs that are appropriately raised indoors. They believe that this makes their litter more adaptable to housebreaking in their future homes. Not to mention, their Sheepadoodle puppies are genetically tested, cleared, and are raised with the proper puppy culture protocols.
- Feathers and Fleece Farm – In addition to breeding Sheepadoodle puppies, Feathers and Fleece Farm also specializes in producing Whoodles and Schnoodles and is responsible for creating the Newfkom breed.
Now, it is quite easy to contact a breeder and pay a reservation fee. What many people aren’t aware of is that it gets complicated especially when the litters are born. If you want to know the whole process, read our puppy buying guide.
If you have a limited budget, or you simply want to give an unwanted Sheepadoodle a second chance, you can opt for adoption.
Here’s a list of Sheepadoodle rescues that you can contact:
- Oodles of Doodles Rescue – This rescue organization based in New Jersey advocates for responsible pet ownership. Oodles of Doodles welcomes Sheepadoodles and other dogs with Poodle lineage. Generally, they offer Sheepadoodles, Schnoodles, and other poo-mixes.
- Doodle Dandy Rescue – Doodle Dandy Rescue is entirely run by volunteers all over Texas. They aim to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome Doodles in crisis across the state by implementing best dog treatment practices and finding safe, loving homes for their ward.
- Poodle Rescue of New England – The Poodle Rescue of New England has an adoption donation range between $300 and $800 in order to cover the basic veterinary expenses they offer for their rescued pooches prior to rehoming. One of their requirements for adopters is to have a securely fenced yard to ensure the safety of their pups.
More often than not, the process of adopting from rescues and shelters can be painstakingly slow. To understand why, check out our ultimate dog adoption guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Sheepadoodles Shed?
Every dog breed sheds its coat – even the hypoallergenic Sheepadoodle. Of course, they only do so minimally, so much so that it does not seem noticeable at all! This is perhaps how the myth of their non-shedding started.
Since Sheapadoodles have a multi-generational line, their shedding tendencies will depend on their generation.
Are Sheepadoodle High Maintenance Dogs?
Relatively speaking, the Sheepadoodle is a high-maintenance designer breed in the sense that they will need constant companionship and exercise.
They are not meant for dog owners who are always away from home or don’t have extra time to bond with them.
Moreover, Sheepadoodles have grooming needs that will cost you extra trips to the vet or pooch salon. If you don’t have extra money to spend, you’re better off with a short-haired dog.
Do Sheepadoodles Bark a Lot?
Sheepadoodles are gentle giants who do not bark much. They are very laid-back and relaxed, making them ideal pets around young children who are easily sensitive to loud noises and barking.
However, they can also be good watchdogs, given their natural protectiveness. They will not hesitate to bark at strangers and other animals they consider a threat to the pack.
If you want them to refrain from barking, teach them when is the appropriate time to do it as they are very easy to train. Do not forget to use positive reinforcement to motivate them.
Are Sheepadoodles Chewers?
All puppies start as heavy chompers and chewers, and the Sheepadoodle is no different. However, these intelligent pups will eventually grow out of the habit.
With the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation, these pups will not grow bored and be destructive.
Can Sheepadoodles Be Left Alone?
The Sheepadoodle is an extremely clingy and affectionate designer breed. They cannot stand to be away from their humans for long periods of time just like other dogs.
So if you’re a backpacker or traveler, then you’re better off with a low maintenance and highly independent breed.
Final Thoughts: Is the Sheepadoodle the Right Dog for You?
If you’re looking for a very affectionate dog who can both be active and laid-back at the same time, then the Sheepadoodle is your pooch of choice!
These dogs are very patient, making them good companions for families with children.
On top of that, Sheepadoodles do well in suburban settings, wherein they can frolic more. They require high levels of play and exercise in order to grow up healthy.
The breed is intelligent and does well with proper training. They are also sensitive to human emotions, so they make great therapy dogs.
If you’ve always wanted a cuddle buddy or a living teddy bear, then the Sheepadoodle will surely be the right fit!