Are you planning to welcome a Sheepadoodle into your family? You’ll need to learn how to take good care of it first.
Sheepadoodles are a mix between a Poodle and Old English Sheepdog. It’s a friendly dog that’s caring, gentle, fun, and has truly inherited the best from both parents.
Let’s find out more about this mixed breed:
- What Is a Sheepadoodle?
- A Brief History of the Sheepadoodle and Its Parents
- Sheepadoodle Size & Types
- Breed Personality
- Common Health Issues and Lifespan
- How to Feed Your Sheepadoodle
- Training and Exercise
- Grooming Tips
- Where to Buy Sheepadoodles
What Is a Sheepadoodle?
It’s a designer dog with the best traits of Poodles and Old English Sheepdogs. Both parent breeds have a rich heritage and make good service dogs and family pets. With such unique genetics, it’s no wonder that Sheepadoodle dogs have grown popular.
Popular Sheepadoodle nicknames include Sheeppoo, Sheepdogpoo, and Sheep-a-poo. To learn more about this hybrid dog, let’s look into its parents’ history.
A Brief History of the Poodle
The Poodle most likely came from Germany. These dogs have curly, moisture-resistant coats, making them a perfect swimming buddy and bird hunter.
The French aristocracy adored them, so you’ll find this breed in many paintings of the 15th century. Thanks to their intelligence and charm, Poodles are also brilliant performers. Since the rise of European circuses, they’ve entertained the audience as trick dogs.
The Poodle coat comes in different colors, including white, black, gray, silver, brown, beige, apricot, and brindle. They range in size from a Miniature Poodle to a Standard Poodle. The AKC acknowledges them as hypoallergenic and non-shedding dogs. Luckily, that’s also one of the main Sheepadoodle characteristics.
A Brief History of the Old English Shepherd
Old English Shepherd is a working and herding dog breed. They appeared in England in the early 19th century. Old English Shepherds were pastoral dogs that guarded livestock rather than companion dogs. It used to be common to have their tails docked. Nowadays, that’s considered unethical, so the breed’s traditional nickname ‘The Bobtail’ is no longer appropriate.
Old English Shepherds boast many coat colors and patterns. They have thick fur, which hangs over their eyes. It can be any shade of black, grizzle, gray, blue, blue merle, or white markings.
Sheepadoodle Dog Breed Origins
The first Old English Sheepdog Poodle mix records go back to the 1960s US. Breeders wanted to create intelligent service dogs without much shedding. These dogs were bred as hypoallergenic to minimize allergy symptoms.
The Sheepadoodle isn’t a purebred dog, so the AKC doesn’t acknowledge it. But they’ve received recognition from the International Designer Canine Registry, Dog Registry of America Inc., and American Canine Hybrid Club.
Sheepadoodle Size & Types
The Sheepdog Poodle mix comes in four varieties — Standard, Mini, Medium, and Toy. Here’s how they differ in size and weight:
- Toy — 15 inches or less, between 10–25 pounds
- Mini — up to 18 inches, between 25–35 pounds
- Medium — 19–22 inches, between 35–55 pounds
- Standard — 23–27 inches, over 55 pounds
Sheepadoodles come in a variety of coat textures. Textures can be curly, wavy, straight, or a combination. The colors vary depending on the genes, but the most common pattern is black and white.
The personality of this mix depends on the inherited genes, but most dogs have a friendly demeanor, high trainability, and outgoing nature.
While the crossbreed needs daily exercise, once they grow up, Sheepadoodles will be happy to keep you company on the couch regularly. If you can provide this dog with enough activity and interaction, it’ll stay in good shape. It’s an excellent breed for a house with a large yard or a farm where the dog can play and roll around.
The Sheepadoodle behavior can be a little aloof towards strangers due to their inherited guarding skill. It’s a crossbreed suspicious of strangers, so you can rely on it to warn you about visitors or strange sounds. Also, early socialization is crucial for their development.
These dogs can sense people’s moods and weaknesses, so they’re careful and mindful of their owners. They’ll protect all family members.
Common Health Issues and Lifespan
The Sheepadoodle is generally a healthy breed with an average life expectancy between 12 and 15 years. Thanks to the Poodle genes, the mix can live longer than 12 years.
As for health problems, here’s what you can expect:
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia — It’s a common issue for Sheepadoodles. Elbow dysplasia is a concern for Sheepadoodle puppies as their skeleton is still forming. But clinical signs might not appear until further joint damage in the form of osteoarthritis builds up.
Eye Issues — That’s a common problem inherited from the Poodle side. Typical conditions for the mix include glaucoma, tear staining, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and optic nerve hypoplasia. It’s best to conduct regular ophthalmic exams to ensure your dog’s eyes stay in good health.
Addison’s disease — Sheepadoodles also inherit the predisposition for this disorder from their Poodle parents. Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands don’t release enough cortisol and aldosterone. Common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, and depression.
How to Feed Your Sheepadoodle
Food is vital for your dog’s development and growth, so your puppy’s diet should consist of high-quality nutrients.
Once your Sheepadoodle is full grown, you should feed it three times a day. They can eat once daily, but it’s better to divide the calories into smaller portions for better digestion.
As a large breed, Sheepadoodles are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, so it’s essential to give them the best large breed dog food. These unique formulas have the correct ratio of protein, calcium, phosphorus, fat, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals for your big fluff.
Sheepadoodles were developed as service dogs, so they’re incredibly trainable. And since these big dogs combine two brilliant parents, they’re smart and highly social. Due to their uncanny intelligence, Sheepadoodles understand and learn a new command with few repetitions.
Remember to keep it fun and interesting. Sheepadoodles like playing, so try to have more of it in each session.
Generally, these dogs want to please their owner, so training shouldn’t be too difficult. Still, every dog is unique, and some might be more stubborn. In any case, it’s crucial to train Sheepadoodles with a gentle, reward-based attitude for the best results.
Training will help your dog learn how to behave and be well-mannered. If you combine it with proper socialization, your furry pal can go anywhere and handle anything.
Sheepadoodle Care — Daily Exercise
Energetic and playful, Sheepadoodles love outdoor activities, and daily exercises keep them healthy and happy. If the mix doesn’t get enough physical activities or mental stimulation, it can start getting destructive.
Bored dogs find ways to expend the extra energy, and they can chew their bed just to keep themselves entertained. If your dog starts doing that, consider getting the best indestructible dog crate pads.
Sheepadoodle Grooming Tips
It’s a crossbreed that needs regular brushing for its curly and long-haired double coat. Dogs with such coats are prone to matting, so they require daily care.
To brush your English Sheepadoodle carefully, you’ll need a slicker brush. The best way to remove any mats or loose hair is to brush and comb in layers from the skin outward in the direction of hair growth. What’s more, brushing stimulates circulation and helps to distribute natural oils to keep your dog’s skin healthy.
It’s best to bathe this mixed breed every three to six weeks with a gentle shampoo designed for the coat and skin of your dog. You could also ask your vet for a brand recommendation.
To make your dog’s haircut, invest in the best dog clippers. You should also know how to handle ear and teeth cleaning, as well as nail trimming.
Where to Buy a Sheepadoodle
You can often find this fluffy mix in local shelters and rescue groups. Consider that these dogs might be older as most large dogs go to shelters around their first year. Unfortunately, many owners aren’t ready for the amount of care that such dogs need.
The Sheepadoodles cost depends on many factors, but shelter and rescue dogs cost between $50–$350. Puppies have higher prices as they need more veterinarian examinations.
You can also buy a puppy from Sheepadoodle breeders. That will cost between $1000–$3000.
If you want a family dog, the Sheepadoodle is a strong choice. They’re lively, friendly, and intelligent dogs.
Sheepadoodles’ respectful and gentle nature makes them perfect for families with children. They’re easily trainable and love to please their owners.
Keep in mind that Sheepadoodles are among the active dog breeds, requiring regular mental and physical stimulation. If you find a balance between indoor and outdoor time, they’ll run and play games outside and have lots of fun without getting bored. One of the biggest benefits of adopting a Sheepadoodle is that they’re hypoallergenic. Who can resist a fluffy pal that won’t trigger their allergy?