Finding a dog to be your companion or family pet is not always an always easy task to do, however if want a cuddly, teddy bear-like dog then look no further than a sheepadoodle. These energetic and down-to-earth dogs are loyal, loving animals that will fit in perfectly into your family and make the perfect companion.
So, what exactly is a sheepadoodle? A sheepadoodle is a hybrid or crossbreed of a poodle and an old english sheepdog. Both poodles and sheepdogs have great traits that carry over to sheepadoodles. Poodles are highly intelligent, playful and easy to train, while the old english sheepdogs often referred to as OES dogs, have been loved for centuries. Poodles were once raised as fowl hunting dogs, while sheepdogs are known for their herding of sheep and cattle. These two breeds make for a remarkably loyal, friendly and energetic designer breed.
There are three types of sheepadoodles, F1, F1b and F2.
- F1 breeds are a 50% poodle, 50% sheepdog with one parent being a poodle and the other being a sheepdog. This is the most ideal combination of this breed healthwise. It gets the best genetic makeup from its parents since it is coming from purebreds. Also, they are considered hypoallergenic and shed minimally.
- F1b breeds are hybrids with one purebred poodle and a sheepadoodle. If you are wanting a pet with curlier hair this mix has the curliest hair of the three types, however, grooming is a little bit more high maintenance to prevent hair from matting. It is also good to know that if you have someone in your home with high allergies this is the best breed for you. This type of sheepadoodle shed least due to their curlier hair.
- F2 breeds are a mix between two F1 breeds. As you breed this sheepadoodle farther down the line it becomes more unfavorable, having genetic issues arising.
Sheepadoodles became increasingly popular in the late 80s, early 90s when the idea of low-shedding, hypoallergenic breeds started catching on. This dog mix breed is great for those who worry about allergies or if you don’t feel like stocking about on lint rollers because sheepappos are low shedding dogs.
- Consider a hypoallergenic breed due to it’s low shedding
- An obedient and easy to train dog
- Kind and mellow temperament dogs
- Can be good emotional support dogs or service dogs
- Training while this dog is young is ideal
- Great for families with pets or children
While these animals may have specific traits due to what their parents look like, generally speaking, sheepadoodles have coats that are either wavy, curly or flat. The color variations can be different as well. However, most sheepadoodles are black and white and resemble cute panda bears with their patterns and fluffy hair. Other colors that may be found in this hybrid mix are gray, white, cream and red. Sheepadoodles hair tends to be a bit long, and can be unruly with wavys or curls, so it’s important to groom these pups routinely.
The average size for sheeppoos are 60-80 pounds and a height between 16 to 22 inches. This breed can be a cross between a toy poodle, miniature poodle and a standard poodle so that will also come into play when thinking about the right size for you and your family.
- Toy sheepadoodles can weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds and grow to about 15 inches in height. They usually reach their full size before a year old.
- Miniature sheepadoodles weigh around 25 to 35 pounds and can stand anywhere from 15 to 18 inches. They reach their full adult size between 11 and 13 months.
- Standard sheepadoodles can weigh 55 to 85 pounds with heights between 23 and 27 inches. They are fully mature between 12 and half months to 16 months.
These loveable, cuddly dogs are very expressive, energetic and smart. They’re more energetic than the Australian labradoodle and since they are high energy dogs they need a good walk everyday. For a good rule of thumb,they need at least five minutes of walking and exercise per month old they are. For instance a five month old puppy will need at least 20 minutes of exercise and walking per day. Once they start maturing a bit more, around the seven month and on, sheepadoodles need between 30-60 minutes of exercise and walking per day to stay healthy. These dogs can tend to put on unhealthy weight if they don’t get proper exercise. With that being said sheepapoos love to play games, fetch and love to swim. If you have a pool or lake nearby it may be one of your favorite adventures with your pup. And don’t forget, while these dogs play hard, they also nap hard. So when their energy is spent they will find their favorite napping place and curl up for a good afternoon nap.
Sheepadoodles are very social and interactive. So it’s important to socialize with them early. Be sure to introduce them slowly to new people and other dogs. Pay close attention to how they react. It’s easy to see if they are happy or intimidated. They generally like people and animals since they have a herd mentality. Since they are kind of like pack animals, it’s not ideal to leave your pet home alone for extended amounts of time. Sheepadoodles can have separation anxiety when left alone which can lead to destructive behaviors. If you work long hours it may be ideal to think about hiring a dog sitting company or having a dog walker on hand. Also, proper crate training when the sheepadoodle is young will help with some of the separation anxiety.
Another great trait about these pups is that they love to cuddle and climb into your lap. They are affectionate animals that will blossom with love and companionship. While training your puppy or rescue dog be sure to use positive reinforcements. Sheepadoodles are fast learners and respond well with praise, training treats or toys.
While this breed does not shed a lot, grooming their coats is a must. It is highly recommended that you brush your sheepadoodles coat at least twice a week, but more than twice a week as needed. Their coat should be trimmed every eight to twelve weeks as needed to help keep it from being matted. Sheepadoodles do have luscious locks of hair but due to the wavy and curliness of their coats foreign debris like leaves, spiny thorns and sticks can get stuck in their fur. So brushing it regularly will help maintain your dog’s health and beauty. Also, whenever you trim their hair, it’s also a good time to check their nails and trim as necessary.
Another part of actively grooming your sheeppoos is by cleaning their ears. This designer breed has floppy ears that can be moist and hold debris. Be sure to check with your vet on ear care for your beloved pet.
Full grown sheepadoodles need about 1,300 calories a day, while sheepadoodle puppies will need about 2,100 calories per day. A rough estimate of this is your dog would need 25 calories per pound per day. Puppies generally eat about 4 meals a day, while most mature dogs will eat twice a day. Choose a good brand of food whether dry, wet or a combination of that is well suited for puppies or large dogs with high energy. While personalities can differ, these dogs are not typically picky eaters.
Since this breed is a crossbred, it doesn’t typically have a lot of health concerns unless you have a F2 sheepadoodle that may have some genetic issues. Common health issues that may be seen are bloat, Addison’s, joint issues, hip dysplasia and skin disorders. Many of the joint issues are due to lack of exercise and overfeeding. So with proper daily exercise and feeding the right proportions it will lessen the likelihood of joint issues later in life. Keep in mind, regular vet visits, vaccinations and proper grooming will help keep your dog healthy and lead to a long life. With the right care sheepadoodles can live to be 12 to 15 years old.
Interaction With Children and other Pets
With any new pet, introduce new people or animals to them slowly and see how they respond. Sheepadoodles are great family pets. They do well with other pets like cats or dogs. They are very gentle with children and even young children. However, due to their herding mentality they may nip at children especially if they stray from the group and typically they don’t bite hard. This is a trait you can train them not to do with positive reinforcement while they are young. Also keep in mind, even with rough play from children, these dogs tend to be very mild and loving when getting attention.
Rescue Groups And Breeders
Rescuing a dog is always a positive. When in doubt, adopt, don’t shop. A few great rescue groups for sheepadoodles include:
- Carolina Poodle Rescue https://carolinapoodlerescue.org/
- Doodle Rock Rescue https://doodlerockrescue.org/
- Michigan Doodle Rescue Connect https://www.michigandoodlerescueconnect.org/
Also, you can find great breeders online if that is the route you choose to go. Be sure to do research on the breeder before buying a puppy.
All in all, sheepadoodles are fun loving, cuddly and friendly dogs that are quick learners and love to please their owners. They make some of the great pets which is why this is a hybrid that is highly sought after.