The Sheepadoodle is a designer dog that is a seriously cute bundle of fluff. If any famous line from a movie could describe the Sheepadoodle, it would be Agnes’s description from Despicable Me: “it’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” He’s one of the most popular Poodle mixes you can adopt.
He is energetic, he is friendly, he is fun, he is adorable. He has so many other desirable doggy traits that could describe him. However, this is not a dog that should be taken on without understanding what the breed is all about. This pup needs a lot of human interaction and needs a lot of exercise. He also needs even more grooming dedication.
You need to be able to provide him with the things he needs to be able to enjoy his fun and lovable personality. Once you do, this pup is totally worth it! Let’s dive in and learn a little more about the Sheepadoodle to see if he would compliment you and your lifestyle.
The Sheepadoodle is a designer dog. It’s the puppy product of the purebred Old English Sheepdog and the purebred Poodle. It is important to realize that extra ‘e’, and not to confuse him with the Shepadoodle who is a cross between the German Shepherd and Poodle.
While there are many purebred fans who condemn the idea of a designer dog, it does actually increase the likelihood of the cross pups being healthier. This is a process called hybrid vigor. It combines the good looks and the great personality of both breeds into one ball of fluff. In order to learn a bit more about the Sheepadoodle, it is important to understand a bit more about each of his parents.
Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog, despite his name, isn’t particularly old by canine standards. He is not English, and he was never used as a sheepdog. He was developed in Great Britain in the late 18th Century by farmers who used him to drive cattle from their farms to the town markets. It is also believed that his ancestors are the South Russian Owtchar and the Scottish Bearded Collie. Farmers docked their tail so that they could be identified as drover dogs.
This is why they were given their nickname ‘bob’ or ‘bobtail’. He made his way over to America in the late 19th Century. The breed was first only owned by 5 wealthy American families, who unsurprisingly always won the dog contests that they were entered into.
In 2019, the Old English Sheepdog was ranked, by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the 72nd most popular dog in America. He is described as adaptable, gentle and smart. It’s these qualities that give the Sheepadoodle his calm and sensitive side. He is also very intelligent, and he has great acting skills as seen in Walt Disney’s ‘The Shaggy Dog’ film.
It is unknown where the Poodles ancestors hailed from as there are many different theories surrounding their origins. Some believe that he hails from Asian Dogs. Others believe that he hails from North Africa. What is definitely known is that he was developed in Germany, and he is known as a German waterfowl hunter.
He was a favorite of travelling Gypsies, who quickly realized his intelligence and performing abilities in the circus arena. During his travels he found his way onto the laps of the French aristocracy. Aristocrats quickly fell in love with him, and now he is more famously known as the flamboyant and flirty national dog of France. It was here that he was bred to be much smaller. Soon, the breed became available in two other sizes, the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle.
In 2019, the AKC ranked him as the 7th most popular dog in America. The Poodle is described as active, proud and very smart. It is these energetic traits that were passed onto the Sheepadoodle and gives him his bouncier side. The Standard Poodle is always the size that is used to breed a Sheepadoodle, due to their size.
The Sheepadoodle was first developed by the American army in order to deploy him as a military dog. While he proved to be an intelligent and hardworking dog, he made a much better family pet.
If you have never met a Sheepadoodle in person, then be sure to check out Otis, who is one of Instagram’s most famous Sheepadoodles. You can also check out Zammy, possibly the fluffiest children’s hospital therapy dog around.
As with any designer dog, it is important to remember that you will never guarantee which appearance or personality traits the Sheepadoodle will inherit. You absolutely have to be open-minded here. If you want to increase the likelihood of having a Sheepadoodle with certain traits, then work with breeders who breed second generation puppies rather than first generation.
Firstly, and the most prominent personality trait of the Sheepadoodle, is his love for life! There is never a dark day when you have a Sheepadoodle by your side. He is a happy-go-lucky pup, with infectious energy and a bright smile. All in all, he is a delightful character that would brighten up any family home. It is this trait that makes him such a favorable family pet. It also lends well to being an awesome therapy dog in hospitals and elderly homes.
He is also very energetic and boisterous. When this is combined with his love for life, he can be quite intense. He is always on the go, always on the lookout for a new human friend to lick. He’s also always driving people to play as his Old English Sheepdog parent did with cattle back in the day. As this guy matures he will become less intense. However, he will always be much bouncier than the average dog.
While these traits are refreshingly delightful, it also means that he needs to be with his human pack as much as possible. He rarely likes to be left alone. Because of this, he is known to suffer from separation anxiety. Because he is such a big and powerful dog, he is known to create quite a bit of havoc if left alone for too long.
Size & Appearance
Both the male and the female Sheepadoodle will measure up to 22 inches in height, and they will weigh anywhere between 50 and 80 pounds. Of course, the bigger his parents are the bigger the pup. But generally, this pup is considered to be a large sized dog.
With his fluffy black and white fur, he is said to be the panda lookalike of the canine world. Many people want to adopt this breed specifically because of his unique appearance! In most circumstances, he will be a unique blend of both Poodle and Sheepdog, inheriting some physical traits from both parent breeds.
Coat & Colors
His coat is his most distinguishable feature. This is definitely one of the fluffiest dog breeds on the planet! His coat length is long, and is thick and dense like his Old English Sheepdog parent. It will also have the curls of his Poodle parent, just slightly looser. He has a single coat, and while he is not entirely hypoallergenic, he is said to be much easier to tolerate compared to most other dogs for those families with allergies.
The most recognizable color of the Sheepadoodle is black and white. The beed can also take the color of solid black, and also red and white. The patches across his body are sporadic and tend not to follow a pattern like other breeds. Both of his parents carry the diluted color gene which means sometimes the black can revert to grey.
The Sheepadoodle is a high energy dog who requires at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. Without this, he will become bored and restless and he will be quick to chew everything in sight. Because of his Poodle parent’s affinity for water he would really appreciate a dip in the local lake every now and then. Just be sure not to do this too often because it can cause issues with his coat and skin.
Because of their intelligence, they will also require a lot of mental stimulation in between exercise sessions. This can come in the form of interactive games with their families, or brain games such as treat-filled chew toys or training sessions.
The Sheepadoodle is a large dog that will require a larger home with a large backyard. He will not do well living in an apartment or somewhere where there is no access to a backyard. Because he is so inquisitive it would be wise to ensure that the perimeter fencing is secure. Make sure there’s no way for him to open a gate because he is a quick learner!
He is super friendly with children and being a life-size teddy bear children also tend to love him. However, because of his size and bounciness levels, he is more suited to families with older children. This is simply because he might knock younger children over on accident. He is also very friendly with other animals, and he would do well in a multi-pet household.
The Sheepadoodle, with his clever brains and high-speed energy, tends to get bored very easily. For this reason, it is important that all training sessions are kept short and fun. You’ll want to encourage him with treats and plenty of positive verbal cues. Reward based training is the most effective and beneficial method of training any dog, and it is scientifically proven to improve and strengthen your bond.
It is also important to the Sheepadoodles confidence and wellbeing to expose him to a variety of different people. Make it a point to introduce children, adults, and different animals of all shapes and sizes. It is also crucial to expose him to other situations such as walking along the sidewalk when there is traffic.
Test some sounds in the home such as the vacuum or hairdryer, and to ensure that every experience is as pleasant as possible. This process is called socialization, and it ensures that they become accustomed to everything that life will throw at them. This will help them become well-mannered and behaved dogs.
In addition to the above, it is particularly important to introduce the Sheepadoodle to grooming at a very young age. This is going to be a part of his everyday routine, and this will make the process much easier as he grows older. Get him used to being washed, cutting his hair, touching his feet and ears and brushing his teeth. He is a big boy, and if he doesn’t get used to you touching him, it will most certainly become a difficult and stressful task for you both if he doesn’t like it.
The Sheepadoodle is a generally healthy dog whose lifespan is around 12 to 15 years. This is slightly longer than his Poodle parent. The Sheepadoodle will likely inherit a mixture of health problems from both of his parents. The most common health condition to be aware of is Hip Dysplasia, which is the abnormal formation of the hip joint. This can lead to pain when walking and arthritis.
He is predisposed to suffering from a variety of eye conditions such as cataracts. It is advised for Sheepadoodles to undergo an Exercise Induced Collapse test, which can be identified through a D.N.A test. Canine Autoimmune Thyroiditis is also of concern, and this is where antibodies slowly destroy the thyroid gland, which can cause a variety of other health issues.
The Poodle tends to suffer from a variety of skin issues as well, such as Sebaceous Adenitis. This affects the normal generation of hair follicles, which results in his hair falling out and the skin becoming dry and leathery. The Old English Sheepdog national breed club lists his recommended tests, as does the Poodle national health club. As with any mixed pup be sure to read up on both of their parent’s health issues and to keep a lookout for any illnesses or symptoms.
The Sheepadoodle will consume around 3 cups of food every day. Be sure to feed him high-quality kibble that is aimed at large high-energy dogs so to keep him sustained throughout the day. It’s also important to stick to a kibble that’s specifically matched to the Sheepadoodle’s larger size. Large breed dogs should eat a large breed kibble, from puppyhood all the way through senior years.
This also means it’s good to stick with a dry dog food that’s formulated specifically for your dog’s age range. Senior dogs have different nutrient needs than younger pups.
The grooming of the Sheepadoodle is the main factor that should be taken into consideration above all others. Grooming this mix requires a lot of time and commitment from the owner. It is believed that the grooming needs of the Old English Sheepdog parent is one of the few reasons why he isn’t more popular.
The Sheepadoodle will require daily grooming to ensure that his fluffy waves do not tangle and become matted. Because of the sheer mass of all of his fluff, this will take around 20 minutes every day simply to get through it all. In addition, it is also advised to thoroughly brush him once a week with a deshedding brush. This will help rid him of his dead hair and to promote blood circulation to keep his skin healthy.
If the Sheepadoodle gets wet, either at the park or in the bath, it is so important to ensure that he is rinsed and dried thoroughly, and soapy dampness will become very itchy and sore, and can become moldy. Whilst it is not necessary, many Sheepadoodle owners prefer to take their pooch to a professional groomer, as it is a mammoth task which requires a lot of commitment.
Puppies & Breeders
The average starting price of the Sheepadoodle puppy is $1,400, and it can reach up to $2,800. Typically, there will be 5 puppies in a Sheepadoodle litter, and they will mature between 18 and 24 months, so you have up to 2 years of puppy fun to enjoy with him.
This is an important process, and one that requires time and patience. Finding the perfect breeder is the first step, and one that will set out the path for you and the Sheepadoodle’s journey together. The best way to start is to search online for Sheepadoodle breeders, and there you can compile a list of reputable and ethical breeders, just be sure to read reviews and do your research first.
Another great way is to join Sheepadoodle groups on social media platforms, as this is where Sheepadoodle fans and lovers congregate online, and you can ask for recommendations and thoughts of those who might be more in the know. Just be aware that puppy mill breeders will also operate here, so be sure to still complete your own research.
If you would like to guarantee yourself certain traits, such as the typical Sheepadoodle that we have outlined here, then talk to breeders who breed second generation puppies. While these breeders can be harder to find, it’s oftentimes worth the time it takes to research them.
Rescue & Shelters
There are no Sheepadoodle rescue centers, simply because there are not enough of them in rescue centers as they are a relatively new designer breed. The best way to find a Sheepadoodle up for adoption is to contact your local Old English Sheepdog rescue center, or your local Poodle rescue center, as this is where your chances of finding a Sheepadoodle are higher.
Alternatively, you could contact the Sheepadoodle social media groups linked above, and advertise that you are seeking to adopt as someone may know of one seeking their forever home.
As Family Pets
- Sheepadoodles are a fun loving happy-go-lucky mixed breed.
- This mix will provide your family with a lot of entertainment.
- He is a sociable pup who loves to be the center of attention.
- This breed can also be is very friendly with strangers too.
- They are great with dogs and other animals.
- Sheepadoodles can be well adjusted to a multi-pet household.
- They are better placed with a family with older children.
- The Sheepadoodle is a high energy dog.
- Expect to exercise your pup at least 60 minutes per day.
- This breed should be placed with an active family.
- He will do best in a larger home with a bigger backyard to roam in.
- This breed can become destructive if not exercised properly.
- The Sheepadoodle is not entirely hypoallergenic, but doesn’t shed much.
- This breed is more tolerable than most dogs for families with dog allergies.
- Expect to invest time in grooming this mix, due to the length of their coats.
- You’ll also need the patience to complete the grooming tasks every day without fail.
While the Sheepadoodle is not the perfect breed for every family, he’s a great option for dog parents that want a loyal and energetic breed that will love their family unconditionally. Grooming upkeep is a must. But from a companionship perspective, there are few breeds as loyal and that love as unconditionally.
The Sheepadoodle is a good canine choice for most families, and if you can tick all of his requirement boxes, then he will provide you with a lot of love and fun for many years to come. He certainly requires a lot of time and commitment, none of which should be taken on lightly, but he is a superb hybrid dog who is totally worth it!