- Not AKC Recognized
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Size: large to extra large
- Energy: medium to high
- Recommended Crate Size: up to 42” dog crate*
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Table of Contents
The Sheepadoodle is a Sheepdog in Poodle clothing, or, a Poodle in Sheepdog clothing, depending upon how the individual designer bred pup turns out. All the same, he is absolutely amazing, in appearance and personality too.
Not only does a Sheepadoodle have curiously curly hair that fluffs down his body, but he also has a Teddy bear face to match. And...those eyes! He is huge and cuddly, weighing in anywhere between 50 and 85 pounds.
Sold? Hang tight a minute and take some time to read the rest of the story on the Sheepadoodle...
The Sheepadoodle got his start in the 1960s when the United States Army conducted an experiment on mixing a Standard Poodle and an Old English Sheep Dog. The result? A big ole dog full of curls that loves to hunt fowl and can herd like nobody’s business.
The official title of “Sheepadoodle” didn’t come about until 1992 when, in keeping with the poodle and doodle kit and caboodle type of names, the shaggy curly dog was knighted.
The addition of “doodle” in a name simply means it has Poodle in its bloodline. Sheep-A-Poos, Sheepapoo, Sheeppoo, Sheepdoo, and Sheepdogdoodle are other names of endearment that are lavished on the crossbreed.
Because he is a hybrid and not a pure breed, the Sheepadoodle is not allowed to be registered in clubs such as the American Kennel Club. He is, however, recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc., the International Designer Canine Registry, and the American Canine Hybrid Club.
In this case of mix breeding, a true first generation Sheepadoodle is one who is bred from a Poodle and an Old English Sheepdog whereas F1b Sheepadoodles are bred from a Sheepadoodle and a Poodle.
First generation Sheepadoodles are known to have fewer health issues than those that are bred from other Sheepadoodles but, F1b Sheepadoodles shed even less than first gens so they are very popular with individuals who suffer from allergies. This is one of the few mixes that intentionally breed multi-generational crosses.
The Miniature Sheepadoodle is a variation that comes from having a parent who is a Miniature such as a Miniature Poodle bred with an Old English Sheepdog. The mini breeds are becoming more and more popular just like the Standard Sheepadoodle is.
The name Sheepadoodle is sometimes confused with a Shepadoodle but the two are completely different in that a Shepadoodle is a mixed breed resulting from a German Shepherd and a Standard Poodle.
Poodles have been beloved family dogs for decades. They were originally bred to hunt waterfowl. It is commonly thought that the Poodle originated in France. They are from Germany however.
Some even believe they originated in ancient Asia and were rugged dogs of the time. They are swimmers and good for fetching fallen waterfowl. Highly intelligent yet sometimes stubborn as mules and overly possessive of their humans, the Poodle is a staple when it comes to crossbreeding because they have some many good qualities.
The Old English Sheepdog is also called “the shepherd’s dog”. This breed is favored by many due to his good looks and his personality. He is calm, cool, and collect for the most part.
He is a gentle giant who hails from England back as far as 1771 when they were used in the pastures to help herd and guard sheep and cattle. Their shaggy hair often covers their eyes giving them a cute and loveable appearance.
It only seemed fitting to add this much-loved breed into the lineage when seeking a large family dog that was comfortable romping on the range by day and snuggling on the couch in the evening.
It was between 2015 and 2017 that this designer breed took off, thanks to popular celebrity figure skaters Fedor Aundreev and Meryl Davis. Now it seems dog lovers can’t get enough of them. The price tag for a Sheepadoodle runs about $1400 to $2800 a piece.
The Sheepadoodle’s appearance is almost comical it’s so cute and adorable. His shaggy, curly hair on his large body resembles and overstuffed, slightly worn, Teddy bear.
Sheepadoodle puppies usually look more like their Poodle side, at least where height and weight are concerned. They are curly like Poodles too and then as they begin to mature, they take on more of the Sheepdog genes as they grow and get larger, usually.
Sheepadoodles are sturdy and solid in build and are medium to large in size, weighing in at 45-65 pounds. They are muscular, strong, well-proportioned. They sport a broad head and their ears hang down to where their head almost appears to be dome-shaped. Their eyes are feather-shaped and are dark and very expressive.
The coat of a Sheepadoodle is soft and long. Usually, it is wavy and curly but can be straight and long as well. Their coats are hypoallergenic and they don’t shed. This is evidence of the breeders' desire in this breed come full circle.
It is a medium to large dog, smaller ones weight 45 to 65 pounds and the larger ones 60 to 80 pounds. The females tend to be a little smaller than the males. The ideal Sheepdogdoodle is well proportioned, muscular, and strong.
Their puppies have the best of both breeds, and they are nearly 100% hypoallergenic with long and soft coats that range anywhere from straight to curly.
While the Sheepadoodle does not shed, he does have long hair that requires regular brushing so it stays free of tangles and mats and doesn’t look un-kept and unsightly. Brushing him several times a week is usually sufficient.
He will need an occasional bath to keep him clean and smelling nice. You will also want to trim him from time to time, especially when his hair grows over his eyes. It’s a cute look but he’d like to be able to see out from beneath his hair.
A Sheepadoodle needs attention to his ears, especially if they are floppy. Keep them dry as well. His nails will require trimming occasionally as needed. If he is outdoors much, he will probably keep them worn down naturally but they will still need proper clipping too, just not as often.
The Sheepadoodle needs exercise more than he may let you know. He is naturally good and calm so he may not exhibit the symptoms of lack of exercise as a smaller, hyper dog would.
It is imperative for his health that he be walked regularly, at least 30 minutes per day. Aside from that, you’ll want to play with him or let him play with other dogs or children so he stays active.
Remember that Sheepadoodles are active and strong even though they are calm personalities. The more you can encourage him to exercise, the better.
Heart disease, obesity, and even cancer are more likely to inflict a dog that doesn’t get adequate exercise. Remember to mentally challenge him as well.
Pet Crates Direct recommends 42” dog crate* for most adult Sheepadoodle but due to variances in lineage, a larger or smaller size may be required.
The personality of the Sheepadoodle can be, at times, close to perfect. He’s a big ball of playfulness when he’s in the mood for some fun. He’s also very intelligent, well-behaved, and can be calm and quiet which is amazing and unusual for a dog of his size and energy level.
Sheepadoodles are good with people, even children as long as the kids don’t get him riled up and have him jump on them. He will mind well as long as he is taught not to jump up and not enticed to.
They are also excellent with other pets but it is not a good idea to let them rough house with small dogs. Sheepadoodles are gentle but can, like all dogs, get excited.
This crossbreed makes good therapy dogs. They are smart enough to understand and laid back enough to listen and obey commands. Their kind and loving nature and loyalty are other attributes they set them up to be prime service dog candidates.
They are so adaptable, they can even live in small quarters, like an apartment, if they have a regular exercise like walks and playing at the park or in a courtyard.
The Sheepadoodle is a working dog. He must feel as if he has a job In order to feel complete. He does make a great guard dog, where verbally alerting of danger or strangers is concerned, at least.
One of the few issues you may have with a Sheepadoodle is they are half Poodle. Poodles are attached to their families and let it all out by way of barking when they feel a threat.
The threat might be the mailman or a friend that has come to visit. Excessive barking should be put to a stop and training set in place at an early age to prevent obnoxious noise problems later on.
The other issue is that Sheepadoodles are cross breeds. There is no guarantee how they will be. They can end up with dominating traits from the Poodle who can be very stubborn and willful. Or, the herding characteristics of the Sheepdog side might be prevalent and cause problems like herding of children and other pets.
The majority of the time, no matter which traits shine through in a Sheepadoodle, they turn out to be great pets with super personalities.
It is said that a Sheepadoodle is easier to train than an Old English Sheepdog and quite possibly even easier than a Poodle. The hybrid dog is very intelligent and is also eager to please.
Their calm nature makes them good listeners and their energy level is medium to high, which means that they will have enough spunk to carry through with what is asked of them to do.
Early socialization is imperative so they will bond with people and with other pets as well. Firm training is recommended since the Poodle genes can kick in at any time and then, they can be a bit rebellious or stubborn.
It’s important to speak to them in a kind and loving voice as they are sensitive creatures and thrive on affection and praise. Plenty of praise is the way to get their cooperation. Treats can be given sparingly as a reward for a job well done.
Potty training a Sheepadoodle is usually a cinch. They are larger and can hold their bladders longer than small dogs and they quickly catch on to the whole concept.
Don’t forget brain game type training. This designer dog will get bored if not mentally stimulated as well as physically challenged. You will be amazed at his abilities, both physical and mental.
It is important to feed you Sheepadoodle a diet that is designed for...a Sheepadoodle. You can speak to your veterinarian and get information and recommendations as far as what he should be eating and how often.
Of course, he will eat more as a puppy when he is running around burning off energy all day long. Then, his meals will taper off as his needs wain.
You might consult with your veterinarian about this breed’s gastric sensitivity. Note any problems your dog has had. You may want to discuss the possibility of a preventative diet because the condition of digestive issues is common in Sheepadoodles.
Definitely make sure to give him a high-quality food and expect him to eat around 3-4 cups a day as an adult.
Don’t give him too many snacks lest he gets overweight. He will eat a good bit anyway because he is medium to large. You want what he eats to be nutritionally balanced.
As with all pets, be sure to keep plenty of fresh water readily available to him at all times.
In general, a Sheepadoodle is one of the healthier hybrid dogs. There are some health problems to keep a watchful eye out for though.
Skin problems and allergies are two of the main health concerns in this breed. Be sure to address any undue scratching. Gentle, hypoallergenic dog shampoos and soaps are highly recommended.
A renal disorder is not uncommon in Sheepadoodles. This condition has to do with the kidneys failing and not filtering out impurities.
If your dog is refusing to eat and/or drink and is seeming to be in discomfort, contact his vet immediately. Dehydration is a key symptom of this disease.
Von Willebrand disease is a condition in which the blood does not clot properly. There is a chance of bleeding out when this disease is present. If your dog gets cut and seems to bleed excessively, seek medical attention immediately. There is a test that can be performed to see if your dog does indeed have Von Willebrand disease.
Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, bloat, sebaceous adenitis, mitral dysplasia, tricuspid dysplasia, and patellar luxation are issues that could present themselves. If your dog isn’t doing the things he usually does or is appearing to have issues walking, see your veterinarian so he can be checked.
The life expectancy of the Sheepadoodle is 12-15 years which is a good length of time for a larger dog. Still, we cannot keep them around long enough so be sure to keep a watchful eye out for any medical problems that need to be tended to.
Is a Sheepadoodle Right for You?
If you had your heart set on a Sheepadoodle before reading this, chances are, you’re even more convinced that this designer breed is for you.
But, if you are not willing or able to give him the exercise he requires, don’t even consider bringing one into your home. He may not be the type to tear up the house because he’s been pent up, but he won’t reach his full potential. Instead, he’s likely to become depressed and eventually, sick with problems presented by lack of exercise.
There is no one set list of character traits you’ll get if you get a Sheepadoodle. Since he is a hybrid, you could basically get a Poodle, or an Old English Sheepdog, or...something in between.
While the goal of mixing the two parents is always with the hope of eliminating the negative parental traits and accentuating the positive ones, there is, of course, no guarantee that will be successful each and every time. With any hybrid, you must expect to get the luck of the draw.
If you want a loyal and loving dog who is gorgeous and fun, the Sheepadoodle might just be for you. If you are willing to have a 50-80 pound dog on your lap after playing out on the land all day, bingo...you have found your match.
In the event you love brushing long, curly waves and keeping overlapping hair trimmed from his dark eyes and can afford to feed him properly, that’s another mark in his favor.
The Sheepadoodle has so much to offer. He’s a big package of Teddy bear love rolled into a curly ball of fur. If you think you still want a Sheepadoodle, consider yourself fortunate if your dream does come true because you are in for a lot of love.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.