Sheepadoodle – Breed Guide (Personality, Health, Grooming etc.)

sheepadoodle

Many people wrongly believe that a Sheepadoodle is a dog that looks like a sheep, but rather they are just large, fluffy, and cute dogs. They get the name because they are a mixed breed of a Poodle and Old English Sheepdog cross.

Sheepadoodles go by many names such as Sheeppoo, Sheepdogpoo, and Sheepdoodle. They are known for being loving, playful, and clever.

Sheepadoodle Highlights

  • Sheepadoodles are a cross between Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles
  • They mainly come in colors of a mix of black and white, but can also be solid black or gray.
  • These dogs are even-tempered with children and are affectionate. They seem to be equally happy when around children or adults.
  • Their long coats can be flat, wavy, or curly which need to be brushed more than once a week to prevent them from becoming mat.
  • Since Sheepadoodles are prone to weight gain, daily walks and playing fetch are a must. Sheepadoodle puppies, in particular, need mentally stimulating games otherwise, they become bored and turn to destruction.
  • This breed of dog is not officially recognized by purebred clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) due to them being a crossbreed. They can still participate in club sporting events by enrolling in the UKC’s Performance Listing Program or the AKC’s Canine Partners program.
  • They are known for being even-tempered, in fact, it is their main strength, as well as loyal, affectionate, and clever.
  • A standard adult Sheepadoodle weighs around 60-86 pounds and has a height of 16-27 inches at the shoulders.
  • Their average lifespan is 12-15 years.
  • Old English Sheepdogs can be bred with Miniature or Toy Poodles to create the mixed breed Mini Sheepadoodle and Toy Sheepadoodle respectively.
  • Sheepadoodles have an incredible ability to emotionally connect with their owners, making them great companions. So much so that this breed has become popular as therapy and emotional support dogs.
  • They get along well with children and other pets.
  • Regular checkups are recommended with Sheepadoodles, as they are prone to suffer from bloating, joint issues, and hip dysplasia.
  • Training these dogs is very easy since they have high intelligence.
  • Puppies should be fed 2,100 calories a day, and adult Sheepadoodles should receive 1,300 calories per day. It’s best to feed them dry food of a good quality, and to split their meals throughout the day.

Sheepadoodle History

Sheepadoodles have actually been around for quite some time. It is said that this breed is the result of an experiment that took place in the 1960s by the US Army, with the aim to create the ideal military dog, but they did not rise in popularity just yet.

It wasn’t until the 1980s, when it became noticeable that Sheepadoodles are tolerated well by people with allergies, that this breed really became popular and well-known.

Apparently, the term ‘doodle’ wasn’t coined until 1992 as they became even more sought-after as family dogs.

The Sheepadoodle’s parents have an even more interesting origin. Old English Sheepdogs came about in the west of England to help move livestock along to the market. Their tails were docked, in order to indicate that they were working dogs and to keep their tails away from horse’s hooves, giving these dogs the nickname ‘bobtail’.

Poodles are one of the oldest purebred dogs, supposedly coming from France via Germany where they were used for duck hunting. Their curly coat protected them from cold water and their high intelligence made them great retrievers.

It wasn’t until the 2000s that Sheepadoodles gained major popularity in America, most likely due to the fact that they are a designer breed seeing as they are crossbred from two purebreds.

Sheepadoodles inherit their playfully and bubbly characters from their Old English Sheepdog parent and their intelligence comes from both the Sheepdog and Poodle breed.

Sheepadoodle Size

sheepadoodle at the beach

Sheepadoodles come in a variety of different sizes as it depends on the genes of the parents, especially the size of the Poodle used in the crossbreeding.

Despite the range in size, most Sheepadoodles will always have a strong, muscular, and well-proportioned body.

Height: A standard Sheepadoodle grows to an average height of 16 to 27 inches at the shoulder

Weight: A Sheepadoodle’s weight can be anywhere between 60 to 85 pounds.

Mini Sheepadoodle

Mini Sheepadoodles are a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a Miniature Poodle. These dogs weigh 35-55lbs and measure under 20 inches in height. Their growth rate stops at around 7/8 months, which is when they start to add weight to their chest and hips.

Toy Sheepadoodle

When you cross a Mini Sheepadoodle with a Toy Poodle, you get a Toy Sheepadoodle. There aren’t many of this micro-hybrid out there, and they usually weigh between 10-25 pounds and have a height of 15 inches or less at the shoulder.

Sheepadoodle Temperament and Personality

Sheepadoodles are really great as they tend to be good-natured, and they rarely bark or drool.

Even as puppies they are calm-tempered, intelligent, and playful. Being of a friendly nature, they love cuddles from both their owners and children. They are also loyal and affectionate, making them ideal family pets. Having said that; it goes without saying that they don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.

They are so loyal in fact, that they make excellent household guard dogs.

Due to their herding instincts from their Old English Sheepdog genes, there is the possibility that they nip at people and try to herd children. This is not a big concern though because they can easily be trained out of it thanks to their intelligence. Speaking of, training is required from a very early age since they are so lively and active.

They love cuddling just as much as they do exercise, and it is a necessity to burn off energy because of their herding drive. Sheepadoodles also love swimming, playing fetch, and learning new tricks.

Relationship with Owners

Sheepadoodles have an incredible ability to emotionally connecting with their owners, which is what makes them so loyal. So much so, that Sheepadoodles have become popular as therapy and emotional support dogs.

Because of their fond love for their owners, they become sad, lonely, and destructive easily if left alone for too long and may require a dog walker or doggy daycare for busy families.

Sheepadoodles actually make great pets for first-time dog owners because they are easy to train and quite easygoing in general. They are also resilient, enabling them to bounce back from any mistakes or inconsistencies. In fact, they are so resilient and easygoing that they can handle noisy, chaotic households, flexible routines, and assertive owners well. Everything I have just mentioned contributes to why they make such great family pets.

Relationship with Children

They love children just as much as they love adults, so they make a wonderful addition to any family. Due to their herding instinct, it is not uncommon for Sheepadoodles to nip at the heels of children in an attempt to herd them, but they are doing this playfully.

Being a gentle breed, as long as a child knows how to properly interact with a dog then they become excellent companions. They can handle heavy-handed pets and hugs from young children and are not fazed by kids running and screaming around.

Relationship with Other Pets

Sheepadoodles can get along well with just about anyone, including other pets. Even though they are very social, they should still be introduced to other animals at an early age in a calm and gradual manner, as it should always be done.

Since they can get lonely so easily, it actually helps to have the company of another pet in the household, but at the end of the day it always comes down to your dog’s unique personality as well as early training.

Sheepadoodle Health

sheepadoodle standing

The average lifespan of a Sheepadoodle is 12-15 years.

Mixed breeds such as the Sheepadoodle tend to be healthier than their purebred parents, but there is still the chance that they inherit health problems from either parent. Hence, they are prone to the same issues that the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle struggle with.

It is important to attend regular veterinary checkups but, despite our best efforts, some Sheepadoodles can develop health issues regardless. For this reason, it helps to have pet insurance to ensure the best care for your dog.

Some of the health issues that Sheepadoodles are more prone to are:

  • Bloat
  • Joint issues
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Skin disorders
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cataracts
  • Ectropion
  • Glaucoma
  • Entropion
  • Deafness
  • Red Mange

Bloat

The cause for bloating is not clear, but there are two theories. The first is that gas builds up in the stomach, due to eating food too quickly and ingesting air, causing the stomach to twist. The second possibility is that, as stomach contractions weaken when the dog grows older, food and air remain in the stomach for longer which causes it to become heavy and twist.

Dogs that suffer from bloating are treated depending on how severe their condition is. The vet usually passes a tube down the dog’s throat in order to release pressure and gas.

Hip & Joint Issues

As with all other medium-large sized breeds, hip and joint issues are likely to occur once the dog reaches a certain age, but it can actually happen at any time so it’s good to know the signs.

The first indicators of mobility issues are stiffness and pain. If you notice your dog is suddenly avoiding playing this can be a sign too.

Another sure sign of mobility issues early on is if your puppy uses both back legs to push off the ground at the same time when running. One foot should be off the ground while the other is just a stride behind, but when both legs are used like a rabbit, you should point this out to your vet.

Some joint issues can be rectified with surgery if noticed earlier on, and there are pain medications that are designed specifically for dogs with joint pain.

Skin Disorders

One of the most common skin disorders Sheepadoodles suffer from is dry skin, which they get from their Poodle parent. This usually occurs due to the fact that they have hair as opposed to fur. Dry skin may be a chronic issue or seasonal, and it can be a problem all over their body or limited to certain areas such as the tail, paws, elbows, or nose.

For dry skin, your vet may suggest applying some sort of oil to your dog and/or vitamin supplements.

Another skin issue that is common in Poodles is sebaceous adenitis. This disease affects the glands which secrete oils to moisture the skin and causes them to become inflamed and eventually destroyed. You can tell when this is happening from a white scaling of the skin and waxy, matted hair. This can even progress to hair loss, but luckily this condition is quite easy and affordable to deal with. Usually, the main method of treatment is to simply administer antimicrobial shampoo.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, is a hormonal disorder caused by a deficient production of the adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone. The adrenal glands are located near a dog’s kidneys.

Symptoms of Addison’s disease are depression, anorexia/loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, lethargy, and more.

Unfortunately, this disease has no cure, and so a dog suffering from it has to take replacement hormones for the rest of its life.

Sheepadoodle Care

As previously mentioned, it is necessary to maintain regular vet checkups in order to detect any health concerns as early as possible.

These dogs are prone to weight gain so plenty of exercise is a must. Keeping them fit and at a healthy weight can help protect your dog’s joints from damage, especially with age.

Potty training is extremely easy with Sheepadoodles since they have big and strong bladders, and training, in general, is effortless because of their high intelligence. The earlier your start the better.

Sheepadoodles, like all dogs, respond to positive reinforcement and treats as rewards. They really love learning a variety of new tricks as it keeps them mentally stimulated. You need to make sure that they don’t get bored to prevent them from becoming destructive.

Regularly check their floppy ears for any debris and keep them clean and trim their nails once or twice a month so that they don’t get too long. You shouldn’t be able to hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor as they walk.

Even though Sheepadoodles do not typically suffer from oral health problems, brushing their teeth regularly is good practice. Seek advice from your vet on how you can do this properly.

Moreover, Sheepadoodles adapt well to living in an apartment. There is a common misconception that all small dogs are good to live in apartments. Size is not the determining factor here, it’s the dog’s personality. Obviously, huge dogs deserve plenty of space, but as long as a dog is quiet, calm, and has low energy, then they can get along fine in apartments.

Sheepadoodle Feeding

sheepadoodle resting

Sheepadoodle should have a diet that consists of high-quality kibble as long as it meets your dog’s age, weight, and activity levels.

Since this breed is prone to digestive issues and can become obese, it’s better to split their meals throughout the day. This is the best way to ensure that your Sheepadoodle is digesting the food without over-stretching his stomach.

Puppies should be fed 3-4 cups of dry food a day, and from six months onwards, you can reduce this to 2-3 meals daily. Wet food should never be the main part of your dog’s diet and flow/free feeding is a no-go.

Cup sizes may vary, what matters is that your Sheepadoodle puppy gets 2,100 calories a day and around 1,300 calories per day once matured.

A good way to determine if your dog is of a healthy weight is if you can see their waistline and feel their ribs.

Sheepadoodle Grooming

A Sheepadoodle’s coat is usually a mix of their Old English Sheepdog and Poodle parents’ colors and coats. More often than not, they are a mix of black and white but there are some which are solid black or gray.

They have longer coats of fur that can be flat, wavy, or curly. Despite this, they are an excellent choice for those who suffer from allergies since this breed is considered to be low to non-shedders. They still need to be groomed rather regularly (every eight weeks to be exact) and brushed two to three times a week otherwise their coats become mat.

It’s important to trim the hair above their eyes frequently so that they can see, more regularly than the rest of the body. Regular trimming is what achieves that teddy bear look though.

Since they have longer coats, they can easily tolerate cold weather, and it is recommended to trim their coat short in warmer conditions because otherwise they can become too hot and suffer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Sheepadoodle dogs shed?

Sheepadoodles are known for not shedding, making them hypoallergenic. Their coats still require maintenance though, as without regular brushing their coats become mat.

Why are Sheepadoodles so expensive?

Sheepadoodle puppies can cost anywhere between £1,000-4,000 and many breeders have waitlists over a year long. The main reason for this is simply due to high demand.

Are Sheepadoodles good pets?

Sheepadoodles are a great addition to any household as they make good pets. They are clever, loyal, playful, and affectionate. They love adults just as much as they love children, and enjoy learning new tricks and being active.

Are Sheepadoodles high energy?

Like the parents, the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle, Sheepadoodles have moderate energy levels. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are necessary. Compared to most breeds, a Sheepadoodle can seem like it has never-ending energy.

Do Sheepadoodles like to cuddle?

Most Sheepadoodles are very affectionate and love cuddling, but this always comes down to your dog’s unique personality and/or mood.

Are Sheepadoodles calm?

Sheepadoodles are considered to be calm as well as sociable and expressive. They do have an eagerness to play and love for their owners which can be misinterpreted as hyper.

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