A Sheepadoodle is a designer dog that has been crossed with a Old English Sheepdog and a standard-sized Poodle.
It’s not clear when Sheepadoodle were bred for the first time, with conflicting information online about the cross breed.
Some suggest the hybrid breed was first created in 1992 given the increasingly popularity of these so-called designer breeds.
Other websites suggest their history can be traced back even further to the 1980s.
The Sheepadoodle have proven a big hit with families given these dogs don’t tend to shed a lot, which is the influence of the Poodle genes.
While Sheepadoodle is the most common name for this cross breed, other nicknames include Sheepdoodle, Sheep-A-Poo, Sheepapoo, Sheepdogdoodle and Sheepdogpoo.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll refer to the breed as a Sheepadoodle.
It’s important to note that there is a difference between a Sheepadoodle and a Shepadoodle, which is a cross between a German Shepherd and a standard-sized poodle.
We’ll break down this article into the following sections:
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What is a Sheepadoodle dog?
As we mentioned above, a Sheepadoodle is a cross between a Old English Sheepdog and a standard sized Poodle. According to Wikipedia, the hybrid breed first came into existence in 1992. However, other sources online suggest the cross may have first appeared in the 1980s as “designer breeds” enjoyed a surge in popularity around the world.
The International Designer Canine Association write on their website that the Sheepadoodle was granted recognition by the organisation in 2009. The IDCA add that this cross breed was created in the United States – but don’t list a start date.
What breeds make up a Sheepadoodle?
Old English Sheepdog: Perhaps most famous for their shaggy coats, the Old English Sheepdog date back to the late 1700s. With dark brown, blue or bi-eyes, the AKC writes that these dogs move with a bear-like shuffle, but don’t be deceived as they’re famous for their nimble feet. They’ve got a good reputation around children, while they can also act as guard or watch dogs.
Poodle: Famous for their intelligence and looks, it’s little wonder the Poodle remains such a popular dog. They come in three different sizes: standard, mini and toy. They come in three different colors: black, white or apricot. With tight curls for a coat, they don’t shed a lot and are potentially suited for those with an allergy to dogs.
How big will my Sheepadoodle get?
Sheepadoodle can vary in size but there are some loose guidelines.
Both male and female Sheepadoodle will usually grow to be around 18 to 23 inches in height. Males tend to weigh between 60 and 85 pounds, while females have a slightly lighter weight range of 50 to 75 pounds.
The size can depend on whether a Sheepadoodle bears more of a similarity in size to their Old English Sheepdog or Poodle parent. An Old English Sheepdog can grow in excess of 22 inches, while Poodle can be 15 inches and above in height.
Claudia gave us an insight into the size of her Sheepadoodles.
They are large dogs – Georgia is 33kg and Willow (at 8 months) is 28kg.
Walter’s mom Cristina described her Sheepadoodle pup’s size at five months old.
Walter is a standard Sheepadoodle and is currently 46 pounds at 5 months old. He’ll be 70-80 pounds when full grown so he’ll get quite a bit larger and fluffier than he already is!
What does a Sheepadoodle look like?
Sheepadoodle are not too dissimilar in appearance to the Poodle. This designer dog usually comes in three different colors: black and white, grey and white and red and white.
However, they can vary in appearance depending on whether the dog is more like an Old English Sheepdog or Poodle. The former have a double coat which requires some grooming. Poodles have tight curls and their coat doesn’t shed a lot.
Sheepadoodle are usually affectionate, friendly, intelligent and sociable. Let’s hear from our Sheepadoodle owners to hear how they describe the Sheepadoodle temperament based upon their dogs.
Bertie’s mom Erin likened her Sheepadoodle to a velcro dog.
He’s full of energy and loves to be with people. We joke that he’s a stage 5 clinger since he always follows us around from room to room. I like to think that he knows how to tell time since he will wake up from his nap, go sit on the couch, and stare out the window at 5pm on the dot on weekdays to watch for us to come home.
Bear is described by his dog mom as a “friendly clown”.
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 joked that her Sheepadoodles are like lap dogs despite their big size.
My girls are incredibly laid back and calm. When they’re at home they’re most likely to be snoozing or looking for an available lap (they definitely believe they’re lap dogs!). They do, however love to run and play on our daily walks. They’re both affectionate and just want to be close to me.
Walter’s mom Cristina says the cross breed to be extremely affectionate.
Sheepadoodles are extremely playful, intelligent and loving. They are easy to train and are constantly showering family and friends with kisses and cuddles. Their calm and caring demeanor make them the perfect addition to families.
Do Sheepadoodles suffer from separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a chronic canine disorder that can affect any dog irrespective of breed or mix. The symptoms include barking, howling whining, destructive chewing or digging, or in some extreme cases, urinating and defecating.
We asked Cristina whether Walter had exhibited any signs of separation anxiety.
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.
Claudia says she wouldn’t recommend a Sheepadoodle for dog owners who will have to leave their canine companions alone for long periods every 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.
Are Sheepadoodles good family pets?
For those considering a Sheepadoodle as a family pet, the good news is the IDCA describe the cross breed as great dogs for the home.
They’ve got a gentle nature, which makes them perfect for families with children. Usually, they don’t bark a lot, so they won’t irritate the neighbors.
The designer breed are usually calm dogs that have a playful manner. They’ve got a reputation for being sociable pooches, so should do well with other pups and pets.
They’ll welcome friends and visitors to the home as Sheepadoodles like to interact with people. They develop a deep bond with members of the direct family.
While they’re considered good family dogs, their size means you should never leave a young child unsupervised with a Sheepadoodle – or any dog for that matter!
Let’s hear from Claudia about the Sheepadoodle’s suitability as a family pet.
Sheepadoodles make amazing family pets! They’re great with kids and other animals. They’re gentle, love to play and cuddle.
Bear has proven to be a much-loved family pet.
Sheepadoodles make fantastic family pets. I’ve never met a dog that’s happier around kids or other dogs. Bear is the perfect dog sibling to my kids and they love getting into mischief together. They love Bear and refer to him as their “fluffy brother.”
Walter is children-obsessed, according to his mom Cristina.
Walter is obsessed with kids of all ages and every dog he encounters! I’ve never seen him try to herd any kids yet either, thank goodness!
Do Sheepadoodles bark a lot?
Sheepadoodles, just like any breed or mix, can be prone to barking. It’s something pet parents can work on this with a dog trainer.
Bertie’s mom Erin admitted that she’s experienced this issue.
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!
Are Sheepadoodles easy to train?
Poodles are the second most intelligent dogs in the world. So Sheepadoodles are considered pretty smart pups!
They’re quick to learn obedience training and pick up new tricks. However, training should be consistent from a young age.
Sheepadoodles can make great guide and service dogs due to their intelligence and obedient nature.
How much exercise do Sheepadoodles need?
Sheepadoodles are an active breed so you’ll need to ensure they get regular exercise. It’s recommended that you provide your Sheepadoodle with 60 minutes of exercise a day.
Can Sheepadoodles swim?
A quick search on YouTube will show results of Sheepadoodles swimming.
While they can swim, Breedsy.com recommend shaving their coats if you plan to allow your Sheepadoodle go for a dip regularly.
If you don’t, it can take a lot of effort to comb their hair after swims.
Erin revealed that her Sheepadoodle Bertie loves to swim.
He can! He loves splashing around in shallow water and does this funny thing where he dunks his whole head under. His doggy daycare has a pool that he gets to play in, but he typically stays in the shallow end. I’m going to take him to the lake this summer so he can gain some confidence swimming in deeper water.
Are Sheepadoodle hypoallergenic?
The short answer is Sheepadoodles are not 100 per cent hypoallergenic dogs.
If you suffer from an allergy to dogs, you’ll know doubt have researched hypoallergenic breeds.
However, the American Kennel Club make it clear on their website that there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog breed.
But the AKC do list 19 breeds that could be better-suited to those with an allergy to dogs. Poodles are one of the types of dogs listed.
If your Sheepadoodle mirrors their Poodle parent, then they could be a good option for allergy sufferers given their low shedding coats. However, there’s no guarantee that a Sheepadoodle won’t trigger a reaction as they’re not strictly 100 per cent hypoallergenic.
Claudia explained that her Sheepadoodles do appear to be hypoallergenic.
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.
Do Sheepadoodles shed?
Sheepadoodles are considered low shedding dogs compared to some other breeds and cross mixes.
Given the Poodle doesn’t shed a lot, it should be no surprise that Sheepadoodles are generally low shedders.
The IDCA writes that the cross breed can have long and soft coats that range anywhere from straight to curly.
As a result, they’re a good option for potential pet parents who are looking for a breed that won’t leave behind a tremendous amount of hair.
Erin explained that Bertie doesn’t shed at all.
Bert doesn’t shed at all. Or, at least such a minimal amount that I don’t ever notice. I lose more hair than him!
It’s a similar story with Bear.
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.
Why is my Sheepadoodle shedding?
You shouldn’t expect these dogs to not shed at all. Sheepadoodles will shed sometimes like all dogs breeds.
If a Sheepadoodle is closer in appearance to their Poodle parents, you can expect a low shedding dog.
However, Old English Sheepdogs have a double coat and shed a moderate amount. For that reason, don’t bring home a Sheepadoodle expecting them not to shed at all given their lineage.
What is the lifespan of a Sheepadoodle?
The Sheepadoodle has an average lifespan of between 10 and 13 years. However, they could live potentially longer than 13 years.
Sheepadoodle health problems
Sheepadoodles are a relatively new designer breed, so a lot of health problems are yet to be uncovered. They’re generally considered a pretty healthy breed of dog.
Mix breeds have a reputation for having less health problems.
According to VetStreet, mixes “mostly win out for their sheer hardiness, thriftiness and longevity, due to their lower incidence of genetic disease.”
They can be susceptible to some health problems like most dog breeds, such as joint problems. Sheepadoodles can suffer from Addison’s or Cushing’s disease, which affects hormone levels.
If you’ve got your heart set on a Sheepadoodle, you’ll need to do thorough research to find an ethical, experienced breeder.
Erin had some great advice on the topic of Sheepadoodle breeders.
Do your research when looking for a breeder. There are so many people out there who are just looking to money off the “designer dog” trend, so be sure to find someone reputable who truly loves and cares for the dogs. Also, since the Sheepadoodle is just a mix of a Standard Poodle and an Old English Sheepdog, it’s not guaranteed what type of coat or personality traits the pup might get. Some puppies end up with more Poodle characteristics and some seem more OES. Research both of those breeds and make sure that you like the temperaments and look of both and would be happy with either.
How much does Sheepadoodle cost?
Sheepadoodles can vary in price. The average cost of this hybrid breed can vary between $1000 and $3000. However, the price of a Sheepadoodle can differ from breeder to breeder.
Are Sheepadoodle fussy eaters?
Sheepadoodles can be fussy eaters, just like any other type of dog. I’ve experienced this issue with my Alaskan Klee Kai and it can be a difficult problem to address. I’ve experienced this issue with my mini huskies until I fed them Nom Nom and Butternut Box. I’ve reviewed the best dog food delivery companies in the USA and the best dog food delivery companies in the UK. Alternatively, if you prefer feeding your Sheepadoodles dry food such as kibble, you can still find some great options here. Other pet parents may prefer to check out the leading options in the raw dog food market.
Cristina explained that Walter is starting to become fussy with his food.
Walter was not a fussy eater as a very young pup but is growing a bit pickier as he grows older. We are trying out different foods to hopefully find the one that matches his palette.
Claudia described her Sheepadoodles as picky dogs.
They are fussy eaters – and not food driven. Mine are on a raw diet which works well for them.
Would you recommend a Sheepadoodle to a first-time owner?
If you’re interested in a family pet, you may want to consider a Sheepadoodle.
They’re easy to train given their high IQ and eagerness to please their owners. You should consider contacting a local dog trainer to help with the basics.
Consistent training and regular socialisation are important for any dog.
They don’t shed as much as other dogs thanks to their Poodle roots. However, don’t be surprised if your Sheepadoodles sheds a little.
In terms of the family environment, Sheepadoodles tend to excel. They’re very amiable dogs that enjoy some playtime but are patient around young children in the home.
They’re sociable pets – too. Sheepadoodles get along with other dogs and pets, while they’ll enjoy some play time at the dog park.
Let’s hear what our Sheepadoodle contributors have to say.
Claudia offered the following suggestion to a first-time owner:
I’d recommend a Sheepadoodle to a first time owner if they’re willing to take the time to properly train their pup. These are big dogs who love people (including jumping all over them) so training is essential. A first-time owner should also be aware of the commitment to grooming that is required.
Bear’s mom warned potential Sheepadoodle owners to be prepared for an active lifestyle.
Sheepadoodles are poodle-smart and sheepdog-active. They like having a project and being part of the action. Make sure you’re willing to put in the time to tire them out every day. Also, make sure you’re up for either learning how to groom them yourself, which is time-consuming, or be willing to pay for habitual grooming, which can get expensive.
Zammy’s dad had some direct advice for anyone thinking about getting a Sheepadoodle.
Don’t hesitate. Get one. You’ll experience so much joy in life, regardless of your circumstances
Famous Sheepadoodles on Instagram
The best way to get an idea about a breed can be to follow some famous examples on Instagram. If you have questions, you can always drop the Instagram page a message to find out more.
Here are some examples of Sheepadoodles who are making waves on social media – and you can see why with their gorgeous appearance.
• Zammy (@zammypup)
• Bear (@sheepadoodlebear)
• Bertie (@sheepadoodlebertie)
• Surrey Sheepadoodles (@surreysheepadoodles)
• Walter (@walterthegentlegiant)
If you’ve Googled ‘Sheepadoodle’, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve come across a Mini Sheepadoodle. As the name suggests, these are a smaller-sized versions of the hybrid mix.
Instead of using a standard Poodle, a miniature Poodle is bred with an Old English Sheepdog to create the Mini Sheepadoodle.
While they may be “mini”, they’re still quite a bit bigger than most toy-sized breeds. They can grow to a heigh of up to 20 inches and weigh up to 55 pounds.
Usually, they’ll average a height around 17-18 inches to make them a fun-sized fluffy package that is slightly more portable than a standard Sheepadoodle.
They’ve got similar personalities to the larger variety, although their smaller size means you’ll have to keep an eye on them to make sure you don’t inadvertently stand on a paw.
Just like Sheepadoodles, they can also live until the ripe age of 15 – and sometimes even longer than that!
Anything else to consider?
You’ll be bowled over by a Sheepadoodle’s good looks. They’ve got an adorable appearance.
However, you must remember that some Sheepadoodles will have a coat that resembles a Poodle more than an Old English Sheepdog (and vice versa). As a result, the amount of grooming and shedding can vary.
It’s also a consideration when it comes to their personalities. Their traits may mirror an Old English Sheepdog rather than a Poodle, or the other way around.
Sheepadoodles are a cross breed that continue to grow in popularity.
They can be quite expensive dogs, which is often the case with designer breeds.
However, they’re can great family dogs thanks to their affectionate, sociable and obedient nature.