Updated on April 29, 2019
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.
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 are eager to please their owners which should help when it comes to teach 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.
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.
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.
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.
They don’t bark a lot
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.
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.
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 is 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.
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!
We spoke to two Instagram famous Sheepadoodle to discuss the pros and cons of the breed in their eyes.
First up, Bear (@sheepadoodlebear):
Friendly – loves every person and dog he meets.
No shedding – I have allergies and have never had a problem with him…and can wear black
pants without having to lint roller myself every five minutes. And he’s as soft as he looks.
Great with kids – I like to refer to Bear as the Pied Piper of Children because he is always surrounded by them everywhere we go.
High-energy – If you’re not up for multiple long walks and catch sessions every day, a Mini Sheepadoodle is probably not for you.
Expensive to groom – I spend more on Bear’s hair than my own.
Bertie (@sheepadoodlebertie) said:
Loyal – Bert is obsessed with his people and always wants to keep an eye on everyone.
Silly – Bert is a giant goober and always keeps up laughing.
Can be super lazy – I have to force Bert to get up every morning to go outside! He’d much rather stay in bed and cuddle.
Not destructive – We’ve been super lucky with Bert and the only thing he ever chewed was his dog bed.
Watch dog – Bert is very good at guarding the house and will bark if someone comes inside during the night or if he sees something suspicious.
Social – Bert has never met a dog he didn’t like!
Doesn’t shed – It’s so nice to not have to vacuum his hair.
Watch dog – 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.
Needs to be entertained – Bert doesn’t do a good job of entertaining himself when we are home. He’d much rather have our undivided attention and play.
Grooming – 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.