Want to cuddle with a furry friend that looks a little like a panda bear? A Sheepadoodle may be just what you’re looking for.
What Exactly Is A Sheepadoodle?
Sheep-a what? Sheep-a-poo, Sheeppoo, Sheepdogpoo, and Sheepdoodle are all names you might encounter to describe the Sheepadoodle.
Sheepadoodle is the best name for this delightful mixed breed dog. A crossbreed between a Standard Poodle and an Old English Sheepdog, the Sheepadoodle has historical roots. Developed in the western part of England, the OES is a working dog breed that helped farmers move livestock along dusty trails to market. Their tails were docked to keep them from being stomped on by hooves.
The second ancestor, the Poodle, is one of the oldest dog breeds. Coming from France by the way of Germany, these intelligent creatures were bred as duck hunting dogs for royalty. Their curly coats were water-resistant making them excellent retrievers for waterfowl.
The result is a smart, loyal cuddly dog that has become a wildly popular family pet. Is the Sheepadoodle right for you? These facts about the Sheepadoodle can help you decide.
Sheepadoodles Vary In Size And Color
The Standard Sheepadoodle typically weighs between 50 and 85 lbs. Some can weigh as much as 100 lbs, so you can expect to have a large-breed dog. However, if you are looking for a smaller dog, Mini Sheepadoodles, bred by using a Standard OES or Sheepadoodle with a Miniature Poodle weigh in at around 30-50 lbs.
As for color, Sheepadoodles are usually a combination of black and white. They may be all black or all white depending on inherited traits. The majority have coat patterns such as tuxedo-like markings, masks, or eye patches like a panda, polka dots, or abstract patterns.
As Speedadoodles grow older, the colors often fade to gray similar to the OES parent. Sometimes the black spots fade to white. Occasionally, you may see Sheepadoodles with touches of red, brown, or cream.
Sheepadoodles Are Very Smart And Energetic
Sheepadoodles are smart and easy to train. Much of their intelligence is inherited from the smart Poodle parent. Old English Sheepdogs are more independent-mined than Poodles. The Poodle is more eager to please and learns tricks easily. Training your Sheepadoodle will depend on the traits he inherited from each parent.
Sheepadoodles are full of energy from both parent breeds. However, with proper training, they are not hyperactive to the point of annoyance. They inherit their herding instincts from the OES. They’re more energetic than other “Doodle” dogs bred from the Poodle and other working breeds like the Bernedoodle, a cross between a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog bred to carry heavy loads.
The active, playful Sheepadoodle needs plenty of exercises to be healthy and happy. Plan on giving them a minimum of 30 minutes of active play per day in the form of walks and games like fetch in the backyard.
Sheepadoodles Love To Swim
By nature, Sheepadoodles love water and swimming. After all, the Poodle parent is a water retriever. However, each dog has its own personality, so you may have a Sheepadoodle who shies away from the water. If you want your dog to swim, start him as a puppy. Get him gradually used to the shallow end of a calm body of water.
Some Sheepadoodle owners avoid swimming for their dogs because of the mess. But if you take yours swimming, he’ll adore you for it. It’s great exercise, and “a tired dog is a good dog.”
Sheepadoodles Don’t Like To Be Left Alone
Your Sheepadoodle needs love, attention, and being around people. They are highly developed socially and can become depressed and anxious when left alone for long periods of time. This can lead to separation anxiety and destructive behavior such as chewing furniture or getting into the garbage.
Begin training your dog early to be alone for short periods of time with positive reinforcement. Gradually increase from increments of a few minutes so he realizes being alone for a while is no big deal. But if you must be gone for extended hours a doggy daycare or a dedicated dog walker should be used. Otherwise, this is not the best dog breed for you.
Sheepadoodles Are Mostly Hypoallergenic
No dog breed is totally 100 percent hypoallergenic, but thanks to the Poodle parent, Sheepadoodles come pretty close. Loveable breeds like the Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever have long been favorite pets for American families, but these sweet babies are big shedders.
Doodle dogs were specially bred with the Poodle and other breeds in hopes of a dog that didn’t trigger allergies in people. The Poodle’s short, curly coat is known for minimal shedding. You can count on a Sheepadoodle to be a low-shedder.
Sheepadoodles Need Regular Brushing And Grooming
Since the Sheepadoodle is a low-shedding dog, you’ll save time not having to clean up all that hair around the house, but there’s a trade-off. A Sheepadoodle’s coat requires more maintenance than many other breeds. Brush them at least two or three times a week to prevent painful, ugly matting. Work through the entire coat with a combination of a regular brush and a de-matting brush.
The Sheepadoodle’s coat is very thick. They will need to have their coat trimmed routinely, especially in warmer climates. You can do this yourself with some tutorials, or take him to a professional groomer. Only bath them when they’re dirty to avoid stripping the coat of natural oils.
Don’t forget the ears and the nails. Dirty ears can lead to wax build-up and ear infections, and long nails can be uncomfortable for the dog AND for you. Many professional groomers will include this in trimming, but you can do it yourself with the proper tools.
Sheepadoodles Are Great For Kids
A wonderful personality and a relaxed and calm demeanor make the Sheepdoodle an excellent choice for families with children. They love to cuddle and snuggle, and kids love their soft fur and teddy bear looks. Your Sheepadoodle will love playing with kids, and it’s a great way for both of them to burn off energy. That’s a win for everyone!
However, there is one trait to be on the lookout for. Since Old English Sheepdogs are bred to herd sheep, they may nip at children. They aren’t actually trying to bite; the behavior comes from herding animals. Sheepadoodles may pick up this trait. They may gently nip at a child’s clothing or hips to “herd” them back into the fold. Explain to children that this behavior isn’t intended to be mean or aggressive.
Sheepadoodles Are Obedient And Fast Learners
Sheepadoodles want to please their family, so they’re obedient and easy to train. They’re quick learners and pick up commands easily with the right training and positive reinforcement. Even their instinctive nipping and herding behavior can be managed with training. Professional training from an early age is highly recommended, and owners are included in the classes.
If you want your Sheepadoodle to bark at strangers and serve as sort of a guard dog, this can be accomplished. Many Sheepadoodles have been active in dog competitions for obstacle courses, cute tricks, and complicated demands. And because they have an innate ability to read human emotions, they make great emotional support and therapy dogs.
Sheepadoodles Are Friendly Towards Other Dogs
With early socialization, your Sheepadoodle will love visiting other dogs on playdates or going to off-leash dog parks. Be on the lookout for the same nipping behavior they may exhibit around children. They may want to “herd” smaller dogs. Keep a watch out at dog parks that allow large and small dogs in the same area.
If you have other dogs at home, all the better. Dogs are pack animals by nature and are very happy with a family of siblings. This will cut down on boredom and loneliness for all your fur babies.