Love the look of an Old English Sheepdog and the personality of a poodle? Or the other way around? Then you are probably considering a Sheepadoodle!
The Sheepdog Poodle mix varies from puppy to puppy. Mainly depending on which of their completely different parents they follow.
So what can you expect from a Sheepadoodle?
Do They Make Healthy, Happy Family Pets?
If you’re at all familiar with today’s designer dog landscape, you know there are tons of four-legged doodles out there.
The poodle is a popular dog for crossbreeding purposes.
“Doodle” is used to indicate the Poodle parent in mixed breeds. Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are well-known examples.
But what about the Sheepadoodle?
Is this cute cross the next big thing in your life?
Let’s find out if the Sheepadoodle is the right new pet for you.
What is a Sheepadoodle?
The Sheepadoodle is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Poodle.
A dog crossbreed should acquire the most desirable traits from each parent in a dog.
But genetics is unfortunately not that simple.
In the case of the Sheepadoodle (aka Sheep-a-Poo!), Breeders hope to replicate the best traits of the Old English Sheepdog and a standard poodle.
But were their efforts successful?
Old English Sheepdog Poodle Mix
It’s not hard to see why breeders want to combine these two breeds.
The Old English Sheepdog is a cute, fluffy, and playful dog. While the poodle brings a high canine IQ and a hypoallergenic coat with low dandruff to the party.
The Sheepadoodle is designed to be a family companion animal with an affectionate and playful friend while serving as a hypoallergenic alternative for dog lovers.
Owners report that the Old English Sheepdogs-Poodle mix has moderate physical demands, moderate grooming requirements, and a nice long coat with low scales.
We’ll look at these and other Sheepadoodle traits in more detail later. For now, however, it is important to know that the potential of a crossbreed is completely unpredictable.
In reality, each cross inherits the traits and qualities of each parent to different degrees.
It is impossible to predict how these properties will be expressed.
The best way to determine a mixed breed’s potential is to examine the behavior, personality, and temperament of its parent breeds.
Are you considering bringing a Sheepadoodle to your home?
We’ve put together some great information about the cute and smart Sheepadoodle mix that you might want to read before you decide!
Most sources believe this new blend appeared in the US in the 1990s.
In 2009 the International Designer Canine Association began registering Sheepadoodle registrations.
So this is early for the Sheepadoodle.
However, its origins go back a long way in the parent breeds.
The origins of the Old English Sheepdog
Like many of the canines popular today, the origins of the Old English Sheepdog are somewhat obscure. Although the American Kennel Club believes the herding dog originated in the west of England.
At the same time, others believe it is possible that the large, shaggy breed has its roots in the Russian Owtchar or the Scottish Bearded Collie.
Interestingly, the first documentation of the dog does not come from the written documentation, but from the art world.
Many believe that an 18th-century painting by Thomas Gainsborough features a dog that resembles the Old English Sheepdog.
What we know for sure is that Birmingham, England is claiming the first official show of an Old English Sheepdog.
This competition took place in 1873, and from that point onwards the breed was to become known worldwide as a show dog.
The origins of the poodle
Like the Old English Sheepdog, the origins of the poodle are also up for debate. Some believe it descended from French ancestors while others believe its origins lie in Germany.
In any case, the German artist Albrecht Dürer owes the recognition of the first pictures of the breed, which depicts the dog in his work as early as the 14th century.
The poodle comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy.
The standard used in the Sheepadoodle crossbreed is the largest of the three and was originally coveted for its hunting instinct.
The toy is the smallest variety and was first introduced to the market in England in the 18th century. Both the toy and mini are known today for their excellent camaraderie skills.
What will a fully grown Sheepadoodle look like?
Let’s look again at the dimensions of his parents. This gives us an idea of the proportions of the Sheepadoodle.
Standard poodles maximum at 65 pounds and 21 inches in height. Their life expectancy is an average of 12 years.
Old English Sheepdogs stand about two feet tall on average.
Males reach about 22 inches plus while women stand about 21 inches and more.
These large dogs have good weight on their bodies, with between 60 and 100 pounds being the norm.
Their life expectancy is in the range of 10-12 years.
A standard Sheepadoodle could be within these limits. They will likely live in the same time period too, so you could predict between ten and twelve years.
If you’re wondering, a mini Sheepadoodle is a dog that measures under 22 inches and typically weighs 25-45 pounds.
There’s no denying why the Sheepadoodle is referred to as the canine world’s panda bear.
These no-nonsense fur balls look black and white and often have one or both eyes that are surrounded by a large patch of black fur.
Rounding off your cozy look is an adorable, dark, distinctive nose.
And it doesn’t hurt the comparison that these medium-sized dogs are just as playful and clown-like as the cute panda bear!
Sheepadoodle coats are often predominantly white and black at the rear end.
Some puppies are almost all white or all black. Often they are with random spots of the opposite color.
Then there are some adorable Sheepadoodles again that look like a huge tub of delicious chocolate chip rice!
As with the Old English Sheepdog, you shouldn’t be surprised if your Sheepadoodle’s black fur turns a nice gray hue after a year or more.
And although this occurrence is less common, soft yarrows appear in the fur of a Sheepadoodle once in a long while.
Old English Sheepdog Poodle mix grooming
A poodle mix often has a curly coat. How curly it depends on how much the pup needs after the poodle parent.
Old English Sheepdogs have lovely long, shaggy coats that can rightly be called serviceable.
Possibly this coat is partly what caused the decline in interest in this breed of dog.
Busy modern owners often lack the time or money to maintain a healthy, sturdy coat. A poodle coat is a little different. But it still requires a bit of maintenance
A poodle’s coat has a few key features.
- It sheds less fur than a loose coat
- It needs to be clipped regularly (unless you are a very passionate groomer)
Poodles are a popular pet choice for people who are sensitive to dog hair. This is due to their reputation for hypoallergenic fur.
However, they are not completely allergen-free.
Another reason for this reputation is the growth of poodle fur.
Problems with curly hair
Curly dog hair tends to get trapped in the fur when it falls off. And poodles don’t have a highly nurturing undercoat.
This leaves less hair on your carpet.
But there can be problems.
The dandruff hair is still on the dog. It just didn’t fall out.
And the trapped hair can lead to matting. If not brushed daily – and thoroughly!
Hair loss can also be problematic in the ears. If the fur can grow into the ear canal, it can lead to infection.
For the Old English Sheepdog, too, their ears need to be checked regularly for dirt and wax buildup, which can lead to infections.
No guarantees for allergy sufferers
So there is no guarantee that your poodle mix will have a hypoallergenic coat. Your pup likely has looser curls than a poodle. These are easier to maintain.
But you can have tighter curls like a poodle
In either case, there is a chance that they will need to be cut professionally.
A trip to the hairdresser every few weeks usually includes a bath.
This is good because Sheepadoodles can drool!
A Sheepadoodle can be brushed several times a week with a smoother brush and rake.
You won’t know what type of fur your puppy will have until he is a few months old.
Suppose it will have a high maintenance requirement and will be put into practice.
A nurturing routine
Puppies that are cared for from a young age are much happier and easier to manage.
So make sure you get used to being groomed from the start.
Regularly trimming and plucking the Sheepadoodle’s ear hairs can help keep the ear canal free of debris and wax. Talk to your veterinarian about taking your puppy in for admission
The Sheepadoodle personality is influenced by the genetic makeup of the poodle and the Old English Sheepdog.
In an ideal world, each cross would only express the best qualities of each parent. But in reality (as we know from our own lives!) That never happens.
Still, let’s look at the temperaments of the German Shepherd and the poodle for a glimpse into the possible Sheepadoodle temperament.
The Old English Sheepdog is praised for its gentle nature and adaptability. The large breed can be a mature domestic dog, but he is a big boy who enjoys exploring and walks regularly.
Shepherds really enjoy being included in family time. Along with the poodle, she is good with children, provided they are socialized and trained early on.
Old English Sheepdogs don’t like being separated from their humans and they can become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
Like the poodle, the Old English Sheepdog is a quick learner, and he is an obedient dog.
Poodles are close to the top when it comes to dog lovers and is very trainable. They are happy to please their owners and maintain a vigilant sensibility, which means that you will be informed when strangers approach.
Poodles have a reputation for being highly tense, but in fact, they are not naturally aggressive.
Early socialization and positive reinforcement techniques go a long way in helping your dog get expectations of appropriate behavior.
Punishment-based training is not recommended and can be dangerous because it can actually mask signs of unsettling behavior.
Most Sheepadoodle owners describe their pups as sociable, playful, people-oriented, and with a sweet disposition.
It’s important to know that your Sheepadoodle’s temperament is on either end of the spectrum or a mixture of both.
If you want a happy dog to be a couch potato or a purse dog, skip the Sheepadoodle, as these pooches inherit a vibrant array of genes!
Large, sprawling Shepherd Dogs need an outlet for their physical nature. They are big, avid dogs and require adequate training to combat what can easily become disreputable undesirable behavior. For example, some try to look after smaller animals or children!
Poodles hold moderate levels of energy and like to keep themselves busy, especially mentally.
Your Sheepadoodle inherits its parent’s activity for activity, and if they’re like the Poodle parents they’re going to need a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
You also need to stay in the company all day. This is usually not a dog that is happy to be left out while working during the day.
It can be assumed that your Sheepadoodle is at risk from the same health problems as its parents.
Both breeds are well structured. Your legs are not too short. And their snouts are a good length.
These are important traits in any puppy. However, there are diseases associated with each race.
The health of the Old English Sheepdogs
Hip dysplasia, eye disease, and hypothyroidism are all issues to consider with Old English Sheepdogs.
Hip dysplasia is not uncommon in large breeds. It can affect one or both hips, causing pain and stiffness.
Surgery may be needed if the condition becomes severe enough. Treatment options include a full hip replacement. And the cost can run into thousands.
Progressive retinal atrophy is an inherited eye condition in which the retina deteriorates and leads to loss of vision.
A dog with PRA can potentially lose vision day and night. Blind dogs can adapt, but this is a disease that can and should be avoided.
Review these test certificates to make sure your puppy cannot get a PRA.
In hypothyroidism, there is a lack of hormones that are made in the thyroid gland. Symptoms include obesity, lethargy, loss of mental sharpness, irregular heat cycles, and possibly infertility.
The condition can be treated with thyroid replacement. The dog usually needs lifelong treatment.
What health problems do poodles face? Cushing’s disease, bladder stones, and skin tumors are among the problems poodles encounter.
Cushing’s disease occurs when a dog’s body consumes too much of the hormone cortisol, or when corticosteroid drugs are prescribed in high doses and/or over a long period of time. Treatment for the condition can range from drug administration to removal of the adrenal gland.
Unfortunately, poodles are prone to dermatological problems, including sebum inflammation, a condition that affects the glands that lubricate the hair follicles and skin. The condition is often diagnosed as hypothyroidism, which complicates treatment.
Your Sheepadoodle will inherit its parents’ health profiles, but how these issues will express themselves cannot be accurately predicted in your mixed breed.
What you can do is make sure that each of them is tested for the issues that could affect the breed to reduce the chances of your pup passing this on.
It should be noted again that the offspring of a cross are at risk for the same health problems and worries as their parents.
In the case of the Sheepadoodle, serious and costly problems can cause joint and skin problems.
Health tests for these and other issues discussed above are an ideal way to anticipate potential problems your dog may have.
Where can you find a Sheepadoodle puppy?
Mixed breed dogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, there are responsible breeders out there, especially if you live in a city or in a metropolitan area.
Be very selective about the person who will raise your future companion. And stay away from puppy mills and pet stores.
Make a home visit before buying a puppy. This way, you’ll see firsthand the conditions your pup was raised in. You have to meet the puppies with their mother.
Meeting dad is a great idea when he’s not too far away.
You should inquire about the health of your puppy and its parents.
Make sure the breeder has a clear bond with the mother and that they don’t just want to produce puppies. Either as a valued family, work, or agility dog.
All responsible breeders will be happy to show you the health certificates of the dogs that you are interested in.
If you reconsider your decision to purchase a Sheepadoodle due to the high purchase prices, there is another alternative.
You can find Sheepadoodle rescue organizations and groups online
The rescue has advantages and disadvantages, but many people find it a good experience.
Make sure you get plenty of information from the rescue center. It is best not to adopt a dog with problems if you are new to possession of the dog.
Your dog will be tempered in a good rescue center. And you will be supported through the rescue process.
Adopted dogs don’t always have problems. If you have a lot of time and love to give, do something wonderful by giving a homeless dog a place to lay its head.
Is a Sheepadoodle the right dog for me?
The Sheepadoodle crossbreed was created with three goals in mind
- Intelligence and trainability
- Sweet and gentle nature
- Hypoallergenic fur
Many Sheepadoodles will accomplish these first two goals.
But only if they are selected by kind parents and socialized well as puppies.
Remember, they are not all hypoallergenic.
So don’t rely on being able to live with this fur if you have an allergy to dogs.
Keep in mind that with any crossing, the results can be unpredictable.
Future temperament, medical issues, and appearance can all be like a parent. Or they can take one at a time.
Nobody can say anything.
A crossbred dog like the Sheepadoodle will share some traits in both parents. However, it cannot be predicted in what proportions or combinations.
Don’t forget these tests! Even if a puppy is a mixed breed, every purebred parent should still be tested for health.
Do you have a Sheepadoodle? Why don’t you tell us a little about her in the comments?