Sheepadoodles are a mix between the Old English Sheepdog and the Poodle. They go by many names, including sheep-a-poo, sheeppoo, sheepdoodle, and sheepdogpoo. They will capture your heart with their adorable looks and captivating personality.
Origin and History
Sheepadoodles, which were developed from a mix between the Poodle and Old English Sheepdog, began gaining popularity as a designer breed in the 1980s. They were among the first breeds to have been intentionally mixed for those suffering from allergies. The overall goal was to develop a dog that didn't shed much and was an excellent addition to the family. Fortunately, that goal was met with this designer breed.
As a designer breed, sheepadoodle traits vary, but you can gain a general idea of what they're like by meeting each of the parents.
Sheepadoodles are usually a mix of black and white, but they can also be solid black or gray in some instances.
As with other mixed breeds, there isn't a size standard. Their adult size is ultimately based on the type of Poodle used in the breeding. Sheepadoodles have resulted from breedings with all three types; toy, miniature, and standard. This means sheepadoodles can come in all different sizes.
That being said, the majority of sheepadoodles tend to be on the larger side, ranging from 60 to 80 pounds. Height in most cases ranges from 16 to 22 inches at the shoulder.
Sheepadoodles are loving toward the entire family. They enjoy young children and are equally happy spending time with the kids as they are adults. In fact, children are often more energetic than adults, and you may notice them choosing to spend time with your children more frequently than yourself.
They're a gentle designer breed with a calm temperament. Although they may alert you with a quick bark if there's a stranger present, they're more likely to run after someone they don't know, looking for attention. That being said, early socialization in the form of new sights, smells, and introductions to new people when they are puppies is recommended to help sheepadoodles become well-rounded adult dogs.
Both the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle are extremely intelligent and eager to please, resulting in most sheepadoodles being easy to train. As with all dogs, they learn best with positive reinforcement and consistent training methods. You can go one step further with this breed and continuously teach them new tricks. Not only will they enjoy the learning process, but will love showing off what they have learned to others, as well.
Sheepadoodles need daily walks and games to remain happy and healthy. They enjoy swimming, playing fetch, and learning new tricks. Approximately 30 to 60 minutes of activity each day is usually sufficient. Like other breeds, if their mental and physical needs aren't fulfilled, they can become destructive.
Although the sheepadoodle is a mixed breed, they are still susceptible to the same health issues as the Poodle and Old English Sheepdog. While most are generally healthy, many can inherit diseases from either parent breed. Potential health concerns include:
- Bloat: This is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated quickly.
- Hip dysplasia: A condition that occurs when the hip joint no longer fits properly and can cause pain or discomfort.
- Hypothyroidism: A condition that results in the thyroid not functioning properly that can often be managed with medication.
- Ear infections: These can be prevented with regular cleaning and managed with medication.
Sheepadoodles have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, though some may live longer.
Sheepadoodles have longer coats that are wavy, curly, or flat depending on genetics. Although they don't shed much, they should still be brushed daily to prevent their fur from matting or tangling. They should be properly groomed and bathed, preferably by a professional groomer, every 8 to 12 weeks.
Clean their ears regularly and check behind the ears for tangles. Sheepadoodles are known for their floppy ears, and they require a little more care than dogs with straight ears. Their floppy ears help keep their ear canals moist, while the thick hair surrounding their ears can trap dirt and debris. Checking and cleaning the ears on a regular basis is a must.
The teeth should be brushed regularly, preferably on a daily basis, to prevent periodontal disease.
Fun Facts About the Mix
Dog lovers are still learning about this relatively new mix, but here's what they know so far:
- Sheepadoodles connect with people in a way most other breeds can't.
- Mini sheepadoodles weigh between 25 and 45 pounds.
- Sheepadoodles began as a military dog experiment carried out by the United States Army in the 1960s.
- They're excellent therapy dogs and even aid in reducing the effects of PTSD.
Purchasing or Adopting a Sheepadoodle
There isn't currently an official club for this designer breed, but if you're looking for a puppy, Expect to pay between $500 to $1,000. Meet both parents and inquire about their health. Take note of each parent's temperament and overall demeanor. Meet each puppy individually to determine which one is the best fit for you and your family.
If you're searching for a rescue dog, this designer breed may be more difficult to find, but you can begin the search using PetFinder or Save-a-Rescue. You can also search these breed-specific rescue organizations:
- Poodle Rescue of New England: A non-profit rescue organization adopting Poodles of all ages and sizes in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and upstate New York.
- Carolina Poodle Rescue: A non-profit organization that takes in all Poodles and Poodle mixes, including those with special needs.
- Old English Sheepdog Rescue: An organization rescuing Old English Sheepdogs in California, Arizona, and southern Nevada.
Is this the Right Breed for You?
If you're searching for a large dog breed that will protect you, this isn't the one. They'll smother an intruder with love, and they're not a good choice for protection purposes. On the other hand, if you're searching for a large dog breed that's hypoallergenic who will gladly go on adventures and stay by your side, look no further. Keep in mind, every sheepadoodle is a bit different, so meeting the parents is recommended if you're able. Meet each puppy individually to choose a one that's right for your family.