Sheepadoodles are a mixed breed of a Poodle and an Old English Sheepdog. They are among the most famous designer dog breeds and are also called Shepherd Poodles, Sheeppoos, or Sheepdogpoos.
They are, however, not to be confused with the Shepadoodle. Shepadoodles are a mixed breed between the German Shepherd and the Poodle.
Sheepadoodles are basically the best living ball of fluff you can ever want. They are active, super friendly, adorable, and make a great family dog. Like every other doodle variety, this designer dog sheds minimal fur, making it an excellent choice for people concerned about their allergies.
If you are interested in adding a Sheepadoodle to your family, here is some information that you might find valuable in familiarizing yourself with this mixed breed canine before making your final decision.
The Sheepadoodle’s History
Before deciding if a breed is right for you or not, one of the first things you should consider is their history. Understanding a dog’s origins can help predict its behavior and temperament.
Compared to other mixed breeds and hybrids, Sheepadoodles are a relatively young breed. The practice of breeding designer dogs is said to have caught on in the 1980s, but Sheepadoodles are believed to have come about much earlier.
Their history is a bit interesting since they came about as a military experiment by the US Army that started in the 1960s. However, Sheepadoodles were still relatively rare until around 2007, and in 2009, the IDCR (International Designer Canine Association) started registering Sheepadoodle registrations.
As explained earlier, Sheepadoodles are a mix of the Old English Sheepdog and the Standard Poodle.
The history of the Old English Sheepdog is not entirely clear. Some believe that it originates from the Scottish Bearded Collie or the Russian Owtchar because of its long, shaggy nature.
But the AKC (American Kennel Club) believes that it came from Western England in the 1800s. Old English Sheepdogs were popular with farmers who used them to herd sheep (just in case you’re wondering how it got its name). The dog’s high intelligence and commanding qualities also helped control other animals on the farms.
The other half of the equation, the Poodle, originated sometime around the 16th century. It was bred to be a glamor pet and was extremely popular with upper-class European women.
Breeders hoped to combine the high-level intelligence of the sheepdog and the friendly appeal of the Poodle. As a result, the Sheepadoodle came to be.
The Size of the Sheepadoodle
While you may feel that you want a dog more than anything, it is necessary that you provide a healthy and welcoming environment for your pet. If you do get yourself a Sheepadoodle, space for the dog won’t be much of an issue as they can stay just fine in an apartment.
Sheepadoodles vary in size depending on their Poodle parent; medium-sized to large. On average, these dogs can weigh anywhere between 18 and 30 kilos (45-80 pounds) and can stand between 56 to 66 cm (13 to 27 inches).
Make sure you have generous living space so that your dog doesn’t feel constricted. However, there are mini Sheepadoodles available, with all the charming traits of the standard breed. This is something you can keep in mind as you consider the measurements of your accurate pet and your residence’s limitations.
What About The Sheepadoodle’s Temperament
As a Sheepadoodle potential owner, understanding and assessing your dog’s temperament is one of the most significant factors in your decision-making process.
If you’re generally a non-active person, it might not be a good idea to get an active dog. A Bulldog would be more advisable for you. But if you are an energetic person overall, getting a Sheepadoodle makes more sense. They are very vibrant dogs and like to play a lot.
They are also very excitable, obedient when well trained, and can make good companions. They are good with kids and are gentle during playtime. They are not dominant and aren’t bothered by the presence of other dogs.
Although, a bit of socialization to make sure your dog is well-adapted won’t hurt.
The Sheepadoodle’s Appearance
From your first look at the Sheepadoodle, you’ll see why it’s called the panda bear of the canine world. It doesn’t help either that these dogs are just as clownish and playful as pandas.
Their coats are often predominantly black and white, with one or both eyes surrounded by a black patch of fur. But no two Sheepadoodles have the same spots, making this dog a highly unique breed.
As is with the Old English Sheepdog, don’t be too surprised if the black spots turn into a nice grey color after a few years. These are, however, somewhat rare and quite difficult to find.
They have a rounded, sometimes square face, elongated at the snout. A dark and distinct nose complements their cuddly look.
They have strong, sturdy bodies thanks to their Old English Sheepdog roots. Their small eyes and hanging ears give them a soft, gorgeous look that will just melt your heart.
While the cuteness of this designer dog never wavers, it matures with age, growing more elegant and beautiful into their adulthood. In some instances, their facial fur can cover their eyes, prompting the owner to give it an occasional trim.
Maintaining Your Sheepadoodle
Naturally, grooming and caring for your dog is something every potential owner needs to think about. A lot of dog owners don’t like to groom their dogs because they find it exhaustive and tedious. But it can be a fun and interactive time with your dog if you make it so.
At first sight, you might get the impression that Sheepadoodles have high grooming needs. But this is not exactly true. A bath every three months, the occasional nail trim, and regular ear checks will suffice. Curly hair around the ear can cause wax and dirt to build up and cause an infection.
One of the positive attributes that breeders hoped to get with Sheepadoodles is low shedding. This hybrid is a light shedder, a trait they inherited from the Poodle. As such, you won’t struggle with cleaning a ridiculous amount of dog hair from your clothes, carpet, or sofa.
Even if they don’t shed fur like other breeds, it doesn’t mean their coat doesn’t need taking care of. They require brushing at least twice every week to prevent their coat from matting and tangling.
The fur around the eyes may also grow long enough for it to impede your dog’s vision and a potential infection as the hair might get covered in dirt. You can trim this hair from the comfort of your home with a small pair of scissors.
Overall, grooming is not labor-intensive, but it should be done on a regular basis. This will keep your dog smelling fresh and looking good. Consider work
If you are not sure if you can dedicate enough time or effort to grooming your Sheepadoodle, then you need to consider getting a breed that requires even less grooming.
General Health and Lifespan
As much as dog owners hate to think about it, it’s something you need to consider when getting your Sheepadoodle. When it’s time for our furry friends to move on, we are left heartbroken and devastated.
Big dogs tend to have a short lifespan, but Sheepadoodles have a life span of between 12 and 15 years. So, it helps to know that they have a relatively long life expectancy for a larger dog breed.
Another piece of good news about Sheepadoodles is they have something designer breed breeders refer to ‘hybrid vigor’. This means that first-generation crossbreeds have good health as a result of their widened gene pool. They have fewer genetic flaws and even better health if the parents were checked and cleared for any potential genetic issues.
But this doesn’t mean designer breeds are not prone to sickness. Certain health issues associated with the Sheepadoodle include joint problems, canine cancer, and Cushing’s Disease.
Altogether, Sheepadoodles are vey health canines since they come from two different purebred bloodlines and can live long, loves. You will most likely experience problems associated with the dog’s aging issues; a common aspect for any breed’s aging process.
Getting a Sheepadoodle
When it comes to pets, there’s always more than meets the eye. You’d be surprised by how little people know about this designer breed. But in general, their reputation for being the ideal family dog precedes them.
Sheepadoodles aren’t common in dog shelters and rescue centers. So, you will likely you’ll have to buy one if you’re interested in owning one.
Sheepadoodle pups fetch quite a hefty price, and can go for anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000. Mini Sheepadoodles can be even more expensive, costing about $500 more than the standard Sheepadoodle.
However, the final cost will depend on the breeder’s expertise and the parent’s pedigree. So, try to be careful about where you get your dog from. Visit the breeder’s premises to check if the dog’s parents are living in a clean and well-looked after environment.
Ask to see the parents of the puppy, its littermates, as well as some certification to make sure you’re supporting a breeder who has the best interests for your dog.