Sheepadoodles are a designer breed that have enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past decade or so.
A cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a standard-sized Poodle, the Sheepadoodle encompasses some of the best traits of both breeds.
Sporting a variety of different colors, they have a coat that is similar in texture to the Poodle.
With an affectionate and gentle temperament, it’s little surprise that the Sheepadoodle is such a popular dog with families.
If you suffer with an allergy to canines, you’ll be eager to find a so-called hypoallergenic breed that won’t trigger a reaction.
However, the American Kennel Club clearly state on their website that there is no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog, despite what the internet might have you believe.
Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. There's no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog in spite of claims that breeders might make. It’s always best to speak with your vet or your doctor before deciding to get a dog if you suspect you may have allergies to pets.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at the Sheepadoodle and whether it’s a breed that is well suited for someone who can suffer with an allergy to dogs.
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A quick introduction to Sheepadoodles
The hybrid dog is thought to have started during the 1980s or early 1990s as designer breeds became more common and more popular.
International Designer Canine Association recognised the Sheepadoodle in 2009 but the organisation don’t provide any background on the breed apart from the fact they originated in United States.
Old English Dogs are instantly recognisable thanks to their shaggy coats that have graced the television screens many times over the years.
They have a double coat but unlike some breeds with an undercoat, it doesn’t blow out or shed seasonly. Regular grooming should help to prevent tangles and matting.
Poodles, on the other hand, are considering low shedding dogs. While the breed do shed some hair, it gets caught in their tight curls along with dander and other bits of fluff.
However, regular brushing is still required to prevent their curls from becoming matted, which could lead to more serious problems.
Sheepadoodles have great personalities: their gentle but playful. Their reasonably high IQ means they’re quick to learn commands and obedience.
They’ll usually grow to 18 to 23 inches in height, while a Sheepadoodle could weigh between 50 and 85 pounds.
Their lifespan can range from 10 to 13 years given these hybrids are considered a relatively healthy breed of dog.
What does hypoallergenic mean?
Before we delve into the question of whether Sheepadoodles are hypoallergenic, we need to understand the meaning of the word hypoallergenic.
The term refers to something that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. It was first used to describe products in the cosmetic industry.
In the context of dogs, a hypoallergenic pooch would be one that is unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction.
The AKC state on their website that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but there are a variety of breeds that do well with allergy sufferers.
Indeed, they recommend a number of dogs that they describe as a the “best breeds for allergy suffers”. More on that later!
Naturally, you’d consider dog hair to be the biggest trigger for those with an allergy to pooches. Of course fur can be a big offender but other considerations are dander and salvia.
The AKC go on to say that “dander, which is attached to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in humans”.
The American Lung Association define dander on their website as tiny flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers.
Some breeds manage to trap the dander in their coat, while others have no coat so it can be washed away.
Salvia is another potential problem for someone with an allergy to dogs.
So as you can see, it’s not just about the type of hair a dog has or whether they shed a lot or not. Other factors mean no dog is 100 per cent hypoallergenic.
Are Sheepadoodles hypoallergenic?
Like we’ve clearly stated above, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, so that includes the Sheepadoodle.
However, these fluffy dogs do have a reputation for being more hypoallergenic than a lot of dog breeds.
That’s because they tend to have a low shedding coat with lots of curls.
Of course, the amount they shed and the tightness of their curls will be different dog to dog depending on whether they mirror the characteristics of their Old English Sheepdog or Poodle parent.
These low shedders won’t leave a lot of hair on your clothes, on the furniture or on the carpet.
However, that’s not to say you should allow a Sheepadoodle to sleep in your bed every night as that wouldn’t be good practice for an allergy sufferer.
Their curls help to trap a lot of dander, which can help limit the potential for someone to have a reaction to these dogs.
But this doesn’t necessarily guarantee someone with an allergy to dogs won’t have an adverse reaction to a Sheepadoodle. They’re less likely to but it’s still a possibility because they aren’t 100% hypoallergenic.
So what other breeds are hypoallergenic dogs?
The AKC list 19 breeds of dogs that are best for allergy suffers, which includes the Poodle.
As a designer dog/cross breed, the Sheepadoodle isn’t listed but the fact one of their parents is on the list is a positive sign.
Here’s a breakdown of the the 19 dogs that the AKC suggest for allergy sufferers:
Affenpinchser – a small German toy breed of dog.
Afghan Hound – an elegant specimen originating from the mountains of Afghanistan.
American Hairless Terrier – As their name states, a hairless variety of dog.
Barbet – a beautiful low shedding French water dog.
Bedlington Terrier – Look like a lamb and don’t shed a lot.
Bichon Frise – have a silky coat with corkscrew curls.
Bolognese – don’t have an undercoat.
Chinese Crested – hairless like the American Hairless Terrier.
Coton de Tulear – have a coat that is cotton-like in texture.
Giant Schnauzer – regal dogs that don’t shed a lot.
Irish Water Spaniel – an low shedding Irish dog.
Kerry Blue Terrier – is another breed from Ireland that doesn’t shed much.
Lagotto Romagnolo – has a waterproof double coat that requires a lot of grooming.
Maltese has silky fur like Bichon Fraise but doesn’t have an undercoat.
Peruvian Inca Orchid yet another hairless dog that needs protection from the sun.
Poodle – one half of the Sheepadoodle.
Portuguese Water Dog – a low shedding dog that likes to make a splash.
Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka – a breed that doesn’t shed much.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – have soft, silky hair that does not shed.
Schnauzer – like their larger relatives, are low shedders.
Xoloitzcuintli – is a hairless breed of dog that is known in the English language as the Mexican hairless dog.
Anything else to consider?
Sheepadoodles will require a bath every six to eight weeks. In doing so, you’ll wash away any dander trapped in their coat.
Given their coats can grow quite long, they can pick up a lost of dirt and debris so it’s a factor to consider if you’ve got an allergy to dogs.
Dog-learn.com suggest brushing them a few times per week with a pin brush to keep their coats from matting.
So there we have it, Sheepadoodles are not 100 per cent hypoallergenic but can make a good option for some allergy sufferers.
They generally have a low shedding coat, which is good for those seeking a hypoallergenic dog.
However, Sheepadoodles will still produce some dander as well as saliva that could prove problematic for those with an allergy to pooches.