In This Article...
- An Introduction To The Sheepadoodle
- What’s it like owning a Sheepadoodle?
- Sheepadoodle Pictures
- Basic Sheepadoodle Information
- 6 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Sheepadoodle Puppy
Sheepadoodles are often considered to be one of the most playful breeds on the planet. Word is spreading fast about their family friendly, loveable nature and their seemingly never-ending unstoppable addiction to playtime. As such they are rapidly growing in popularity and are rising to the top of many people’s dog breed shortlists.
Despite their increased desirability, most people don’t know all that much about Sheepadoodles. There are several essential hints, tips, and bits of information that any prospective Sheepadoodle owner should know before making their decision.
With that in mind, today we present to you what we honestly believe to be the most comprehensive Sheepadoodle guide on the entire internet. We’re going to look at the breed, their history, answer some common questions, and provide you with 6 facts you should know before you even consider buying a Sheepadoodle puppy.
Grab a coffee and get comfy, because this is going to be a long one.
Let’s get started.
An Introduction To The Sheepadoodle
Sheepadoodles were created by combining a standard Poodle and an Old English Sheep Dog. The new breed was an instant success and managed to obtain the best bits of their parent’s genetic makeup.
The Sheepadoodle was intentionally bred to be a designer dog, a trend that was highly popular back in the 1980’s. The people who were behind the designer dog movement attempted to breed the adorable Poodle (and its all-important nonshedding coat) with a variety of other dogs. This enabled them to create obedient, adorable, fun loving dogs that required minimal maintenance (except for a little combing).
The Sheepadoodle for all its qualities isn’t a recognized pedigree by the American Kennel Club (due to its crossbreed status). But quite rightly, this doesn’t seem to bother Sheepadoodle owners one little bit.
Note: There are official Sheepadoodle clubs all over the world for those who are disappointed by their lack of American Kennel Club recognition.
Pretty much all dogs love to play, regardless of their breed. It’s what attracts many people to dog ownership in the first place, you’ve always got a willing playmate when you own a dog.
However, some dogs love to play a little bit more than others – and the Sheepadoodle is the undisputed king of playtime. It’s an incredibly fun, energetic breed that will play fetch, tug of war, or anything else with you for as long as you can.
The Sheepadoodle is incredibly loyal and will integrate themselves into a new family incredibly quickly. They are the perfect family dog that loves children (and all the playtime they usually provide).
They’re a highly intelligent breed that needs to be properly trained to avoid issues arising from their curiosity. However, their good nature (and their lack of stubbornness) makes them a reasonably easy breed to train. As such, they’re usually a recommended breed for first time dog owners.
What’s it like owning a Sheepadoodle?
If you had to describe what it’s like owning a Sheepadoodle in one word, it’d be fun.
From the moment you bring a Sheepadoodle puppy home you’re going to instantly realize just how intelligent these little doggies are. They’re constantly inquisitive and are always on the lookout for new ways to play (which at first, usually involves destroying your home).
This means you’re going to have to be a diligent puppy owner and ensure that any bad behaviors are quickly stamped out to keep your home in one piece. Luckily this isn’t as hard as it sounds. Despite their intelligence causing a destructively curious streak, they are also very obedient. Once they know what they can and can’t do, you’ll have no problems whatsoever.
This obedience ensures that training your little fluff ball is going to be as easy as dog training gets. They pick up on good behaviors very quickly, and they have an uncanny ability to understand what’s “bad dog” behavior almost instantly.
The other thing you’ll notice is that the insatiable urge for playtime that is synonymous with the Sheepadoodle breed starts from pretty much the moment they’re born. It’s almost like they come out of the womb searching for a ball to fetch (disclaimer: this may not be true).
This can cause some issues when they are very young and are being kept in a crate for long periods of time. Just because they can’t run doesn’t mean they don’t want to play! When your Sheepadoodle is is a puppy you should spoil them with chew toys and puzzle toys (and ensure that they’re all placed inside the crate at night).
When your Sheepadoodle starts to get a little bit older, the real fun begins.
Despite all the warnings and advice about the playful nature of the breed, some Sheepadoodle owners are still surprised that their enthusiasm for playtime doesn’t drop off when they get older. Some people naively think that the addiction to fun that a Sheepadoodle displays while they are young is just “puppy energy” that will disappear as they age – but that’s simply not the case.
Sure, they may become a little bit less energetic, but that’s about it. You’ve got a playmate for life in a Sheepadoodle, so be prepared!
Of course, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s one of the main reasons people are so attracted to this breed. But it does mean that you’re going to need to be giving them attention and interaction on a pretty regular basis.
Adult Sheepadoodles are reasonably big (and super energetic) dogs, which means you’re going to need to walk them very regularly. It’s a joy to walk a Sheepadoodle, and you’ll constantly be meeting other dog walkers who want to stop and take a look at your adorable fluffy doggo.
They’re good natured and are inherently friendly dogs, which means you don’t have to worry about them when they do interact with other dogs while out and about going for walkies. However, you do need to ensure that you introduce them to other dogs at a reasonably young age. If you do this you can ensure that they know that all the dogs they meet in the world are friends instead of a threat.
Sheepadoodles love all kinds of play, but perhaps the thing they love to do the most is going for a swim. They are the Olympic swimmers of the dog world, and given the slightest opportunity they’ll jump in and doggy paddle for hours on end. This does mean you’re going to have to keep a close eye on them around open water. There are many unsafe swimming situations that you’ll come across that your little doggo will be unaware of (so they will jump in head first).
Despite all that we have written, Sheepadoodles do have a reasonably calm and gentle side to them that seems at odds with their energetic playful nature. When they are a puppy the playtime will never stop. They’ll wake up, run around like a headless chicken, and then crash out asleep (before waking up and repeating the cycle). However, when they are older they learn that despite their best efforts it can’t be playtime all the time.
They are one of the most affectionate big dogs on the planet who are seemingly unaware of their huge size. They’ll do their best to come up on the couch and cuddle with you during the evening, and they’ll happily join you at the foot of the bed at night too. They really don’t like to be left alone, so you should try and keep separation to a minimum.
Basic Sheepadoodle Information
In this section, we will provide some basic information about common questions people ask (or should ask) about Sheepadoodles. This will hopefully give you an idea of the kind of things you’re going to need to be aware of.
Do Sheepadoodles Shed?
As we mentioned earlier, the Sheepadoodle was specifically bred to be a designer dog that has a minimal amount of shedding. This low shed nature of the breed is directly descended from the genes of the Poodle who is famous for its minimal shedding. As such, you’re going to have a low amount of dog hair creating a mess around your home with a Sheepadoodle.
It’s important to note that low shedding doesn’t mean no shedding – all dogs shed. So don’t be surprised if you still see a plethora of curly hairs around your home (but remember that it could always be worse).
However, the no shed nature of their coat does mean that you’re going to have to devote a reasonable amount of time to it to keep it in good condition. Get familiar with your favorite dog comb, because you’re going to need to be using it at least once or twice a week (at minimum).
Sheepadoodles are reasonably large dogs, so this can take a little while to do properly – especially if they’re not too fond of being combed. If your Sheepadoodle loves to swim, you may be better off shaving them, because it becomes quite a lot of effort to comb them after every time they go for a swim.
How Big Do Sheepadoodles Get?
Sheepadoodles are a little bit of an enigma when it comes to size classification. Some people call them medium sized dogs, others call them large dogs – it really depends on who you ask.
The truth of the matter is that to be honest they’re both. They’re too big to be accurately called a medium sized dog, but they’re also a little small to be a true “big dog”. They can reach between 13 to 28 inches in height, and on average they will weigh around 60 to 80 pounds when they are fully grown.
How Easy Are Sheepadoodles To Train?
Sheepadoodles are highly intelligent dogs that will have no trouble understanding your commands after a short amount of training. They’re not stubborn in the slightest and will generally be doing their absolute best to do whatever it is you want them to (when they eventually understand what that is).
Unlike some dogs that can only really learn through positive reinforcement, it’s best to be reasonably firm when you’re training a Sheepadoodle. They won’t resent you for shouting at them, and they’ll quickly learn that whatever they were doing isn’t acceptable.
However, don’t take this too far – like all dogs a Sheepadoodle deserves loads of treats and praise when they are a good boy (or girl)!
It’s super important to introduce a Sheepadoodle to the activity of grooming at a very young age. Grooming (for better or worse) is going to become a regular part of your life from the moment you own a Sheepadoodle. If they tolerate (or even enjoy) the experience, it’s going to make your life easier (if they detest it, you’re in for a world of trouble).
Many trainers recommend that you groom a Sheepadoodle puppy on a daily basis, even if they don’t need to be groomed. The aim of the game here is to ensure that they understand that the process is completely normal and there is nothing to be afraid of. We recommend you invest in a massaging comb that will give them a nice good scratch at the same time as being groomed to give you the best chance of them enjoying it.
As we mentioned earlier Sheepadoodles are incredibly social and friendly dogs that inherently want to make friends and play with as many other dogs as possible. But like all dogs, it’s important that they are introduced to other pooches at a young age. They need to learn that other dogs are a fun and friendly part of life (instead of a potential threat that needs to be guarded against).
Do Sheepadoodles Suffer From Any Common Health Issues?
By and large, Sheepadoodles are generally very healthy dogs that (like most cross breeds) don’t usually suffer from the genetic issues of their parent breeds. However, this isn’t guaranteed and occasionally issues can be inherited. Be on the lookout for the following:
- Addison’s Disease
- Joint Issues
- Skin Issues
What Is The Sheepadoodles Temperament Like?
The Sheepadoodle is the ultimate family breed. They are exceptionally loyal, gentle, playful and are great with children of all ages. They are a very emotionally attached dog that loves to be in the thick of family life from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed.
They are one of the least stubborn breeds on the planet, and providing they understand what you’re telling them to do – they’ll do it. They’re an exceptionally intelligent breed that will need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and potentially unwanted behaviors. They’re also one of the more energetic breeds and they need a lot of exercise and walking (alongside general indoor playtime) for a happy and healthy life.
How Expensive Are Sheepadoodles?
Sheepadoodles have always been a coveted breed that has made them a reasonably expensive choice. This has perhaps been exacerbated in recent years by the explosion in popularity they have received.
Sheepadoodle prices vary depending upon the genetic quality of their parents. Pedigrees don’t come into play, as the Sheepadoodle isn’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.
On average you’ll pay anywhere between $900 and $2500 for a Sheepadoodle puppy.
How Long Does A Sheepadoodle Live For?
Sheepadoodles live a reasonably long life. Providing they are given the regular exercise they require (and are fed a healthy balanced diet) they will live to be around 12 to 15 years old.
What Is The Difference Between F1, F2, And F1b Sheepadoodles?
If you’ve done even the slightest bit of research into buying a Sheepadoodle you’ll undoubtedly have come across the terms F1, F2, and F1b. It sounds a bit technical but it’s all quite simple really.
These codes refer to the genetic quality of the parents of the dog. They are terms that apply to all crossbreeds, not just the Sheepadoodle (and not just dogs). We’ll explain them all below.
- P: You won’t see a “P” rated Sheepadoodle, but you may see the term when looking at breeder’s websites – so we thought we’d mention it. A “P” rated dog means that they are 100% purebred. Both their mother and father were purebreds, which makes them a purebred too.
- F1 Sheepadoodle: These dogs are what you get when 2 purebreds of different breeds mate. The resulting puppy isn’t a purebred (it’s a cross), but it’s got the genetic quality of purebred parents. It’s considered to be the “best” genetic makeup for a Sheepadoodle, and “P1” rated dogs are usually the most expensive.
- F1b Sheepadoodle: These dogs are the result of an “F1” rated dog and a “P” rated dog mating, their puppy will be rated “F1b”. This is considered genetically worse than an “F1” dog but better than a “F2” rated dog.
- F2 Sheepadoodle: These dogs are the result of two F1 rated dogs mating, their puppy is rated as “F2”. They are cheaper than “F1” and “F1b” dogs (but are just as lovable).
6 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Sheepadoodle Puppy
Sheepadoodles Get Fat – Like humans, all dogs can get fat if you overfeed them. However, the Sheepadoodle is a little bit more genetically predisposed to putting on the pounds than some other breeds. This isn’t so much of a problem when they are puppies, but as they age they can get a little bit porky.
Be sure that you monitor the weight of your Sheepadoodle closely. Their fluffy appearance and reasonably large size can be deceptive. You can think your dog is an average weight by looking at it, but in reality, the scales will often say otherwise.
They Don’t Like To Be Left Alone – Some dogs are perfectly fine with being left on their own all day while their owners are out at work – but the Sheepadoodle isn’t one of them. They are well known for suffering from separation anxiety which is a result of their loving caring nature.
If you’re going to own a Sheepadoodle ensure that it’s not going to be left alone all day during the week. Ideally, you can get a dog walker or a friend to come and keep them company. This will not be an option for everyone, but at the very least consider getting a second dog as a playmate.
They Have Many Different Names – While the official name for the breed that results in the crossing of a Poodle and an English Sheep Dog is “Sheepadoodle”, there are several other common terms that are associated with the breed. These include:
Miniature Sheepadoodles Are An Option – While they are reasonably rare, breeders are often able to create smaller versions of the Sheepadoodle. These dogs are the result of small Sheepadoodles being intentionally bred with one another.
These dogs are commonly referred to as “Mini Sheepadoodles” or “Miniature Sheepadoodles”. They retain many of the qualities that make the main Sheepadoodle breed so desirable (playfulness, affection, and obedience), but they are also much more expensive.
Sheepadoodles Are Hypoallergenic – Despite being a long-haired dog, the humble Sheepadoodle is considered to be hypoallergenic. This is mainly because their coat doesn’t shed and potential allergens stay attached to the dog’s body instead of floating in the air. This makes them great for families who have someone that suffers from mild asthma.
They’re Great Guard Dogs – Sheepadoodles are considered to be excellent guard dogs. They have an incredible ability to determine the difference between a genuine threat and a wild animal playing outside.
This doesn’t mean that you’re only going to be getting alerted to the presence of thieves, all dogs get mistaken and excited by movements outside from time to time. But Sheepadoodles are about as good at this as dogs get.
Unwanted barking is kept to an absolute minimum (with proper training).
So there you have it, everything you could ever want to know about the wonderful world of Sheepadoodle ownership.
They are one of the most enjoyable breeds on the planet with their perfect mix of playfulness, intelligence, and affection. They’re reasonably low maintenance (aside from the combing) and will repay any love you show them back to you several times over.
They’re a great dog, and we’re certain that if you pick one, you’re not going to regret it.