You’ve probably heard of a Cockapoo but odds are you may not have encountered a Sheepadoodle.
Like the Cockapoo, the Sheepadoole is a hybrid breed that has grown in popularity over the past couple of decades.
As their name suggests, Poodles played a role in the creation of what is often dubbed a “designer breed”.
They’re not to be confused with the similar sounding Shepadoodle, which is cross between a German Shepherd and a Poodle.
Sheepadoodles go by a variety of different names, including Sheepdoodle, Sheep-A-Poo, Sheepapoo, Sheepdogdoodle and Sheepdogpoo.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at Sheepadoodle pros and cons to provide some insight into these big fluffy dogs.
We’ll hear from Zammy (@zammypup), Bear (@sheepadoodlebear), Bertie (@sheepadoodlebertie), Surrey Sheepadoodles (@surreysheepadoodles) and Walter (@walterthegentlegiant).
Easy to train
Thanks to their Poodle parent, the Sheepadoodle are usually pretty smart dogs. Poodles are second only to the Border Collie in terms of intelligence. Therefore, Sheepadoodles should be quite easy to train. They’ve earned a reputation for being quick learners. While they’re intelligent medium-sized dogs, they’re also eager to please their owners which should help when it comes to teaching your Sheepadoodle basic obedience and more. A word of caution: Old English Sheepdogs rank 120th out of 138 breeds for intelligence. So the IQ of your Sheepadoodle could vary depending on their similarity to their Poodle or Old English Sheepdog parent.
Here’s what Cristina had to say about Sheepadoodle intelligence based upon her experience with Walter.
They are such a smart breed, they are easy to train and don’t easily forget what they’ve already learned.
You’ll often hear Sheepadoodles described as great dogs for families. That’s because they’ve got a very good temperament. These hybrid dogs are good-natured, loving and obedient. They like to interact with members of the family. They’re robust enough to enjoy a bit of rough and tumble in the garden but they can be gentle and patient too. While they do have moderate energy levels, they’re calm inside the home. They’re social dogs that like to meet new dogs and new people.
He can best be described as a friendly clown. Every year we think, “this is the year Bear is going to settle down,” and every year he proves us wrong. He loves to play, play, play at all times. He never gets tired and always wants to be part of the action. We take him on at least two long walks a day and he joins me and the kids at the park almost every day…and he still has excess energy! Lucky for us, it’s not destructive energy. He is just about the most friendly dog you’ll ever meet. He loves every person and dog, and can often be found at the park surrounded by a gaggle of kids all smothering him with treats and snuggles.
Claudia explained why her Sheepadoodles Georgia and Willow make great family pets.
Sheepadoodles make amazing family pets! They’re great with kids and other animals. They’re gentle, love to play and cuddle.
Cristina highlighted why Walter is such a treasured family pet.
He is such a great addition to the family! So loving, loyal, and eager to please!
Sheepadoodle have earned a reputation for being a good choice for therapy dogs. These canines are trained to provide affection, comfort and love to people, whether it be at the hospital, in nursing homes or rehabilitation centres. One example is Sammy the giant Sheepadoodle. You can check out his adventures via the therapy dog’s Instagram page (@zammypup) as the “floofiest dog on Instagram” visits children at hospitals to provide some cheer.
We asked Zammy why Sheepadoodles make such great therapy dogs.
A Sheepadoodle is half Old English Sheepdog (patient, protective, kind) and a Standard Poodle (very smart, they don’t shed). The combination makes for a unique breed that has all the wonderful qualities of both breeds combined. Zammy specifically makes a great therapy dog because I have never shaved him. I can honestly attest, I think Zammy is the only Sheepadoodle in the world more than three years of age that has never been shaved. Why? Because people tend to lose the battle with the inevitable knots.
If you’re looking for a dog that won’t shed a lot, Sheepadoodle could be the pooch for you. While the American Kennel Club warns there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog, Sheepadoodles are thought to be better suited for those with an allergy to dogs. Old English Sheepdogs don’t shed a lot despite their fluffy coat (which is double layered), while Poodles are notorious low shedders with their tight curls catching dander. Odds are a Sheepadoodle won’t be big shedders but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect a little shedding.
For instance, Bear sheds about the same amount as his pet parent.
Bear sheds about the same as I do, which is to say not much. I can wear black pants around him and not end up with any fur on them. However, he requires a lot of brushing and grooming in order to hold off mats and tangles. When I brush him, quite a bit comes out.
Claudia highlighted that some Sheepadoodle might shed a little.
They are mostly hypoallergenic – but as a cross breed it does depend on the genes they inherit from their parents. I have yet to meet one/hear of one who isn’t.
In spite of their size, Sheepadoodles don’t bark a lot. These gentle giants don’t usually bark when they meet new dogs or new people. They’re docile pups that like to interact and socialise. So if you’re looking for a natural guard dog or watch dog, you may want to consider another breed. Having said that, you can train a Sheepadoodle to become a guard or protection dog if you contact an experienced dog trainer.
Bert seems to take great pride in watching over the house. He will bark if he sees or hears anything he thinks is questionable. Unfortunately, we are still working on training him that the neighbors taking their garbage to the curb or another dog walking by is not anything we need to be notified over!
Bertie’s mom Erin qualified her point by adding:
It’s a pro and a con! It would be only a pro if we could teach him to stop barking at “suspicious” things – like the neighbors taking their trash out – on command.
Cristina also said that their “watch dog” personalities are a positive.
Walter is always on neighborhood watch and letting us know when someone is approaching our house.
Herding and nipping
Sheepadoodles are one half Old English Sheepdog. As a result, they may show some characteristics of sheepdogs from time to time, such as herding and nipping. Old English Sheepdogs would have to herd animals on the farm. Given they were trained to provide the function in agricultural practises, some Sheepadoodles may be predisposed to herding. This can be a promblematic behaviour with small children and other small animals in the family homes. Sheepadoodles (and Old English Sheepadoodles) can be prone to nipping, something which they’d use to herd farm animals. Nipping would be used to control sheep and other animals. You should never leave children alone with a Sheepadoodle – or any dog for that matter!
While these dogs are affectionate and loving, it can come at a price. Just like Alaskan Klee Kai and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sheepadoodles can be prone to separation anxiety. This is a condition that comes to the fore when your dog is left alone. It could be for a matter of minutes or hours. Symptoms of separation anxiety include persistent barking or howling, destructive chewing or digging, and even defecating inside the home. Using a dog camera can help to soothe separation anxiety as pet parents can talk to their distressed pooches. Other potential aides include aromatherapy, playing specific music for dogs with separation anxiety or crating your dog in their safe space.
Claudia suggested that the cross breed isn’t a good fit for someone who will have to leave their Sheepadoodle alone for large parts of the day.
Sheepadoodles love being around their people and I’d never recommend owning one if it was to be left alone for large amounts of time.
Cristina has experienced this issue with Walter – yet.
I’ve heard that Sheepadoodles are more prone to separation anxiety but Walter has not displayed any destructive behavior when we leave him at home alone. Although he makes it clear that he’d rather leave with us, he doesn’t bark or show any signs of separation anxiety.
Destructive chewing is a problem that most pet parents will have dealt with at some stage. It’s not exclusive to Sheepadoodles. However, these gorgeous dogs are often described as a mouthy breed. This can equate to unwanted chewing of furniture, clothes and more. If you’re having to deal with some challenging chewing, you should contact your local dog trainer or dog behaviorlist to enlist their help on how to tackle the problem.
Regular grooming routine
Sheepadoodles have beautiful, fluffy coats that mirror both the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle. While the cross breed don’t shed as much as most dogs, they still require grooming and maintenance. It’s recommended that Sheepadoodles are brushed at least a few times a week to ensure their long locks don’t get tangled. Sheepadoodles require a bath every couple of months to wash away dander and dirt that may have accumulated in their fur unseen to the naked eye.
Bertie, for example, needs to be regularly groomed to keep his coat in good shape.
Sheepadoodles have some high maintenance hair. We have to make sure we brush his hair often, otherwise it will tangle. If he gets too many mats in his hair, we have to shave him shorter than I prefer.
Cristina tries to brush Walter a few times a week.
Sheepadoodles need to be brushed a few times a week in order to keep their fur beautiful and avoid any dreaded matting.
Designer dogs don’t come cheap. Sheepadoodles are no different. It’s easy to see why these dogs are so popular give their charming appearance and gentle personalities. However, if you’re thinking about a Sheepadoodle as a pet, you should be prepared to dig deep into your pockets. Sheepadoodle puppies can cost anywhere between $1000 and $3000. The price can vary from breeder to breeder.
Sheepadoodles have moderate energy levels like their parents. Both the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle require regular exercise – and the Sheepadoodle are no different. It shouldn’t come as a surprise given these both breeds served function – Old English Sheepdogs as herder and Poodles as duck hunters. If you’re unable to provide a Sheepadoodle with regular exercise, then this breed probably isn’t a good fit for you. A lack of exercise can lead to unwanted behaviors listed in the cons above, such as destructive chewing and separation anxiety. A tired dog is a happy dog!
Bear’s pet parents admitted that the most challenging aspect of owning a Sheepadoodle is their high energy levels.
The never-ending energy! I always say that Bear is the best exercise plan I’ve ever done because he forces me out on two walks or jogs every day (if I want him to be at all calm at home). He’s my third toddler!
Cristina underlined this point.
Standard Sheepadoodles are big dogs that require exercise everyday! We try to walk Walter 2-3 miles everyday and provide mental stimulation on a daily basis as well.