Sheepadoodle: Should You Get One?
Sheepadoodles are cute, long-haired mixed-breed dogs and are known to have long fur that covers their body, faces, tail, and ears. Sheepadoodles are known as a designer dog breed and are loved by many households around the world, especially in the United States.
Sheepadoodles are also known as Sheep-a-poo, Sheeppoo, Sheepdoodle, and Sheepdogpoo!
What is a Sheepadoodle?
A sheepadoodle is bred with a poodle and an old English sheepdog. The poodle and old English sheepdog are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but the sheepadoodle itself is not recognized by the AKC because it is a mixed breed. Sheepadoodles are registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club.
Old English sheepdogs are used to breed sheepadoodle pups, a female is used which means that sheepadoodle pups will always have an old English sheepdog as a mother. Old English sheepdogs are shaggy and mellow. They are social dogs with very adaptable personalities that love to play and socialize.
Poodles are the other breed used for creating sheepadoodle puppies, the father of a sheepadoodle will always be a poodle. Poodles are easy to train and very intelligent. These dogs have great agility and grace, which allows them to be perfect for canine sports.
Sheepadoodles make great companions because they are calm and friendly. Sheeppoos gained positive traits from each one of their parents. These traits allow them to be loving and intelligent, they are a great choice of dog to have.
Where Did the Sheepadoodle Originate From?
The sheepadoodle originated in the United States in the 1960s. They were bred from poodles and old English sheepdogs by the U.S Army as an experiment to create an athletic and sturdy dog. By the 1980s they became companion animals for people with dog allergies.
What Was the Sheepadoodle Bred for?
The sheepadoodle was originally bred for the military to create a strong and intelligent dog breed. But, eventually, they were bred for companionship, especially for allergy sufferers. They are great dogs for people with allergies because they shed very little. They are great family dogs to have because they have a calm personality and are very intelligent.
What Does A Sheepadoodle Look Like?
The Sheepadoodle has long wavy fur on its whole body. They come in a wide range of colors such as black, white, gray, or a combination of each, and some have white or black markings on their faces, chest, tails, or bodies. Rarely you may encounter a Merle sheepadoodle, but since this color only occurs due to a genetic factor, they are not as common. Black sheepadoodles fade to gray as they grow older.
Unique Physical Characteristics
Sheepadoodles have round eyes that are in the middle of their face that can be blue, brown, or black. Their eyes are large, but due to their long hair, they can often be hidden. Proper trimming of the hair around a sheepadoodles eyes can help the eyes appear larger and help them see clearly.
Sheepadoodles have short docked tails. Their tails are cut very early on when they are only a few days old. A docked tail is usually for safety reasons and done by the breeder.
Sheepadoodles have big floppy ears that are dropped down on the sides of their heads. Their big ears are covered in long dense fur that needs to be cleaned regularly.
Sheepadoodles have elongated snouts with square or round faces. Their snout is often broad and covered in thick fur like their bodies.
Are Sheepadoodles Hypoallergenic?
Sheepadoodles are not 100% hypoallergenic, but they are pretty close! Many people with dog allergies opt for a sheepadoodle because they shed very little which minimizes allergic reactions.
How Big Does a Full Grown Sheepadoodle Get?
Sheepadoodles are pretty large dogs, but their long fur makes them appear much larger than they are. They stand between 16 to 22 inches tall and weigh between 60 to 80 pounds.
Male vs Female
Female sheepadoodles are often smaller than males, and only weigh between 60 to 70 pounds, males weigh between 70 to 80 pounds.
How to Take Care of a Sheepadoodle?
Sheepadoodles are easier to care for in some ways because they are calm and intelligent. They are harder to take care of in other ways because they require extra grooming and specific needs that must be met for them to live happy and healthy lives.
Sheepadoodles do not need a lot of exercise other than a basic afternoon walk or allowing them to roam free in the backyard. They should have about 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day, this will help their joints stay active and prevent them from gaining weight. Younger pups will have more energy to burn and will be more active than older dogs.
Sheepadoodles require above-average grooming for their long dense fur. Daily brushing and biweekly bathing should be enough for this breed. Regular trips to the groomer will help reduce the amount of hair they shed. Grooming will help keep their fur and skin clean and free from parasites.
Sheepadoodles also need their ears cleaned out regularly. Their floppy ears hold a lot of moisture, which captures dirt and creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Clean their ears weekly, and be sure that they are always dry.
Your sheepadoodle will also need weekly hair trims. Trim the hair around their eyes, nose, ears, and behind. Keeping this hair trimmed reduces the number of bacteria and debris that will gather.
Your sheepadoodle should consume a protein-rich diet. Always feed your dog a quality brand of kibble or a whole food diet that has a premium source of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
How Much to Feed
You should feed your Sheepadoodle 3 to 4 cups of food each day. This breed is prone to weight gain and is known to overeat, so be sure to limit the amount of food given per meal.
How Often to Feed
Sheepadoodles should be fed two times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. They should have their food removed after 15 minutes, free feeding is not recommended for this breed because they are known to easily gain weight. The extra weight can cause joint problems, mobility issues, as well as other health concerns.
Common Food Allergies
Sheepadoodles can suffer from food allergies, especially ingredients found in low-quality kibble. The most common food allergies they can have are from low-grade fillers and added preservatives. These types of ingredients are often added to low-quality dog foods to help keep their price low and extend their shelf life.
The most common allergens are ingredients such as wheat, corn, dairy, and soy. Other common allergens are the proteins found in chicken, eggs, turkey, and beef. Sheepadoodles can be allergic to anything, so always be aware of any symptoms they may be experiencing, especially after they eat.
Are Sheepadoodles Easy to Train?
Sheepadoodles are very intelligent, which makes them easily trainable. Always introduce training when they are young to help them learn faster. Sheepadoodles react best to positive reinforcement and love to learn new things. They love treats and rewards, but don’t treat them too much because they can easily gain weight!
Are they Easy to Potty Train?
Sheepadoodles are easy to potty train and learn the easiest when they are trained while they are still young. They love to be mentally stimulated, which allows training them to be quick and easy.
What is the Sheepadoodle Temperament?
The temperament of a sheepadoodle is friendly and intelligent. They are great companions and habitually follow their owners around no matter where they go. Sheepadoodles can be a very anxious breed when they are left alone. If you have to leave for long periods, your sheepadoodle shouldn’t be left loose in the house. Use a crate while you are away, or leave them with someone who can watch them.
Does This Breed Do Well With Children?
A sheepadoodle is the perfect dog for families with children, they are calm and affectionate. They do great with children and love to snuggle alongside their favorite people. Always be sure that the children are well-behaved and kind around your sheepadoodle. Don’t leave a young child alone with a sheepadoodle if they hurt or torment them in any way, most sheepadoodles are calm, but any dog can bite if they are mistreated.
Does This Breed Do Well With Other Pets?
Sheepadoodles do great with other pets in the household. Always introduce other pets to your new puppy slowly. Watch out for aggressive behaviors and separate them if they growl, bark, or bite. When they are introduced properly, both animals should be civil and happy.
Are Sheepadoodle Aggressive?
Sheepadoodles are not an aggressive dog breed, especially with their families. They do make good guard dogs, though. If a sheepadoodle hears or sees an intruder it will bark and guard the household.
No two dogs are ever the same. While most sheepadoodles are not aggressive, poor breeding or fear can trigger aggressive behaviors in any dog breed. Never tease, trick, or mistreat any dog, even if you are just playing around.
What Environment is Ideal for a Sheepadoodle?
Sheepadoodles are great pets for almost any environment. If you don’t have much indoor or outdoor space you can still opt for this breed. They don’t need as much exercise as other breeds their size, as long as you can take them on a daily walk, play a few games, and allow them to roam freely to keep them at a healthy weight.
City vs Rural
Sheepadoodles are good dogs for rural living, but they can be city dogs, too. If you have a sheepadoodle in the city it is best to live close to a dog park or have a place where you can take them on walks to allow them to get some exercise. If you live in a small apartment, allow your dog to roam freely. Walking around allows them to stretch their muscles and keep their joints active. Their docked tails help keep them safer in smaller homes and will help keep your belongings where they should be.
Cold or hot
Sheepadoodles are good in both mildly hot and cold climates. Their long dense fur helps keep them warm in the winter, and their calm demeanor keeps them from overheating in the summer.
Never allow your dog to stay in the extreme heat for too long. Always have fresh water available in the summer months and a shady spot for them to recover.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Sheepadoodle?
A sheepadoodle can live up to 15 years! The average lifespan for this breed is between 12 to 15 years as long as you keep them healthy and prioritize their happiness!
Sheepadoodle Common Health Issues
Sheepadoodles are known to have health issues, just like any other breed. Below is a list of common health issues for sheepadoodles.
Sheepadoodles have long floppy ears that fold over. The folds allow moisture to become trapped inside the ear which can cause a build of bacteria and debris. Eventually, this can lead to ear infections and other ear-related issues. Regular cleaning and grooming can help eliminate the risks of recurrent ear infections.
Hip dysplasia is when the hip abnormally forms. The hip socket and joint don’t properly align, causing an uneven gate. This condition often leads to arthritis, lameness, and pain. Hip dysplasia is often genetic and should be monitored as your dog ages to help ease any discomfort.
Atrial Septal Defect
Atrial septal defect is when the sheepadoodle gets a hole in their heart. With atrial septal defect, the hole is in the atrium. The atrium is a crucial part of the heart that pumps the blood from the heart to the lungs. When the hole is small, it may not be life threatening, but if the hole becomes large enough it could ultimately cause death.
Addison’s disease, or Hypoadrenocorticism, is when the outer layer of the adrenal gland deteriorates. The adrenal gland helps balance the immune system and metabolism. Once this gland is in crisis, you will see symptoms such as low blood pressure, low blood sugar, and increased potassium levels.
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
Optic nerve hypoplasia is an eye condition that can occur in sheepadoodles. This disease causes a disconnect of the optic nerve, which doesn’t allow the eye to interpret images. This condition can occur in one or both eyes and leads to permanent blindness. Unfortunately, there is no cure for optic nerve hypoplasia.
Cataracts are another eye disease that affects sheepadoodles. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The cloudiness is due to a build-up of proteins in the eye. Cataracts can cause vision irregularities such as blurriness or blindness, especially if left untreated.
How Much Does a Sheepadoodle Cost?
Sheepadoodles are known as a designer dog breed, which means they come at a premium price. Some sheepadoodle colors are extremely rare, which ramps the cost up even higher. The average cost of a sheepadoodle is $3,000, but the cost can be upwards of $5,000 depending on the color and breeder.
Sheepadoodles need a lot of products to help keep them happy, help them stay busy, and also allow them to be healthy. The cost of these items can add up rather quickly and should be factored into the cost of purchasing your new puppy.
Your new sheepadoodle will need to visit the veterinarian for its first check-up after you purchase them. At this check-up, the veterinarian will let you know whether or not your puppy needs a dewormer, updates on their vaccinations, or any medications. The price of a first vet appointment can cost between $250 and $500.
Your sheepadoodle will need annual visits to the veterinarian. You will also want to have money set aside for emergencies for unexpected vet appointments. Your pup will need to be spayed or neutered when they are about 1 year of age. Each of these vet appointments can cost between $250 and $1,000.
There are items you will need to purchase before you can bring your new puppy into your home. You must purchase dog food, grooming supplies, bedding, food and water bowls, leashes, collars, harnesses, and toys. All of these items can cost between $100 and $300.
It is up to you how often you change out your sheepadoodles bedding, bowls, and accessories, but we recommend changing them as needed. Your sheepadoodle will quickly outgrow its collars and harnesses, factor in the cost for these items, as well.
The cost of owning a sheepadoodle will add up quickly, be aware of each cost. Dog food, toys, and vet bills should be considered before making such a large commitment. Pet ownership is not just the cost of the adoption.
Other Similar Dog Breeds
Poodles are very similar to sheepadoodles, both are intelligent and trainable. They are very similar in every way, the main difference between the two dogs is their size. Both poodles and sheepadoodles are loving and affectionate and make great companions. Poodles originally came from Germany and have a curly coat of fur. Poodles have an average lifespan of 12 years.
Old English Sheepdog
Old English sheepdogs are another great alternative dog breed for a sheepadoodle. These dogs are intelligent and sociable which allows them to be great for singles or large families. They are loving and gentle, which makes them great companion dogs. They originated in England and have a thick double coat. Old English sheepdogs have an average lifespan of 11 years.
Tips For Finding A Breeder
Purchasing a dog is a life-changing decision, there are a lot of changes that will take place once you have a new puppy in your home. You will want to make sure that you are getting a quality dog that is free from diseases that could spread to other pets, or cost you a lot of money down the road. You will need to research reputable breeders in your area before you purchase your puppy. You want your breeder to be qualified and sell the best puppies that you can get. Finding a trustworthy breeder is up to you. Always do extensive research and be sure that they have qualifications and quality reviews. To help you get started we created a list of tips that should help you to purchase a sheepadoodle.
Tip 1. Meet The Breeder
Meet the breeder! This is the best first step when you are searching for a healthy puppy to purchase. Meet the breeder at the location where they raise their dogs. This will let you see how they treat their puppies and how well they interact with them. Make an appointment with the breeder at their facility, it gives you a better understanding of how well-kept the puppies are. If the breeder wants to meet outside of their facility, it can be a red flag! They could be a scammer.
Tip 2. Ask Questions about Medical History and Testing
Never be too shy to ask important questions about your puppy’s medical history, medical tests that have been performed, and the medical history of the parents or previous litters. Ask the breeder about which medical tests have been performed and their results. Ask if they know of diseases or illnesses that the parent’s other puppies may have had. Never buy a puppy with parents who suffer from genetic conditions that hinder their health, or a puppy that does not look like they are in good health. Puppies that are in poor health cost a lot of money and they could die at a young age. Dogs that are in poor health are a red flag that the breeder isn’t breeding quality dogs.
Tip 3. Ask For a Copy of The Pedigree Papers
After you have had your first meeting with the breeder and you know that they are reputable, you will want to continue with the purchase. Your next part of the purchase will be to ask for the puppy’s pedigree papers. The pedigree papers are certified papers that have all the facts about your puppy and its parents. The pedigree paper will state the dates of birth, the breed type, and the names of the parents.
Things To Avoid
Avoid breeders that don’t allow you to visit the dog you wish to purchase beforehand or visit their facility before you give them any money. Some scammers will try to sell you a fake dog that never existed, or possibly one that is in poor health. Be vigilant and request to visit the facility and your new puppy before agreeing to pay the breeder a deposit or even the full amount. If they refuse to allow you to meet the puppy or visit their facility, move on to a more trustworthy breeder.
A trustworthy breeder will always agree to let you visit their facility and allow you to meet with their dogs and puppies. breeders who refuse visitors could be part of an illegal puppy mill that doesn’t provide healthy living conditions for their dogs and puppies. Never buy a dog from a puppy mill, and report anyone who takes part in them.
Is a Sheepadoodle The Right Dog For You?
Sheepadoodles are adorable, smart, and very trainable! They make great companions for anyone who wants a family dog that is calm and affectionate. Sheepadoodles are not a high-energy breed which means they are great for people of all ages. They can be high maintenance because they have so much long fur that will require weekly upkeep, but as long as you don’t mind and can meet their needs they are a great dog to have!