The TRUTH About Sheepadoodles (why they aren’t for everybody)


Truth About Sheepadoodles

Sheepadoodles, sometimes referred to as a Sheepapoo, Sheepadoo, or even Sheepoodle, is a fairly sought after dog cross-breed.

No matter how much you love dogs, Sheepadoodles are not for everyone. Today we want to talk to you about Sheepadoodles, what to expect from one if you do end up getting one as a pet, why they make great dogs for families, and also why they are, on occasion, not for everyone.

Not every dog is suitable for every household, and even Sheepadoodles have their downsides. So, let’s take a look at what exactly these downsides actually are. 

What exactly is a Sheepadoodle?

Before we talk about anything else, we should tell you what a Sheepadoodle actually is. Sheepadoodles are a member of the ‘doodle’ bread family, and they are big hypoallergenic dogs.

Do not confuse these with a Shepadoodle which is a mix of Shepherd and Poodle. Sheepadoodles are a cross-breed between an old  English sheepdog and a standard poodle, and we cannot deny, the results are absolutely adorable! 

Sheepadoodles have risen in their popularity in recent years. One of the main reasons for this is that more and more people are looking to find breeds of dog that are non-shedding and are hypoallergenic.

Sheepadoodles can all look different, however the majority are colored black and white, often with panda eyes that give them a big cuddly tear bear aesthetic. However, not all Sheepadoodles are black and white, many can be gray, white, or even brindle. 

What are the different generations of Sheepadoodle?

There are four different types of Sheepadoodle, or four generations as you may call it. There is F1, F1b, F2, and mini. Let’s have a look at how each of these generations differ. 

Generation F1

F1 Sheepadoodles are the first generation, and these are created when a purebred Old English Sheepdog is bred with a purebred Standard Poodle. 

Generation F1b

Different to the F1 Sheepadoodles, a F1b Sheepadoodle is made when an F1 Sheepadoodle made from an old English sheepdog and  standard poodle, is then bred with a purebred standard poodle.

These Sheepadoodles are therefore 75% Poodle. F1b Sheepadoodles may even shed less than an F1 Sheepadoodle, and they are the most suitable for families who have allergies and who do not want to deal with a lot of fur.

Generation F2

Then there are Generation F2 Sheepadoodles, these are made when two F1 Sheepadoodles are bred. These are the least expensive of these generations.

Micro, Mini, Toy Sheepadoodles

Mini Sheepadoodles, also called Micro or Toy Sheepadoodles, are tiny hypoallergenic dogs that are made by the breeding of an Old English Sheepdog and a Miniature Poodle.

These dogs usually weigh less than 45 pounds. They are very suitable if you love Sheepadoodles but do just not have the space available for a fully grown adult Sheepadoodle in your home.

How big are Sheepadoodles?

A fully grown adult Sheepadoodle can weigh anywhere from 45 to 80 pounds, and they usually stand around 13 to 28 inches tall.

The overall size of your Sheepadoodle depends entirely on the parents of the dog. If the parents are bigger then you may end up having a dog that is a bit on the larger scale, however it is uncommon to find a giant Sheepadoodle, but not unheard of. 

What colors are Sheepadoodles?

The typical Sheepadoodle colors are black and white. However, you can also get pure white Sheepadoodles, gray Sheepadoodles, white and gray Sheepadoodles, tricolored Sheepadoodles which are brown, black and white.

You can also get Merle Sheepadoodles too. There are so many options. The dogs color and individual markings depend primarily on the poodle parent more than on the sheepdog parent. 

How much do Sheepadoodles usually cost?

Sheepadoodles are not the cheapest of dogs, a standard Sheepadoodle puppy can cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. Ouch!

You may also find that many Sheepadoodle breeders will have very long waiting lists, and it is not unheard of for these waiting lists to be over 12 months long. This is simply because Sheepadoodles are in such high demand, that everyone wants one. 

As well as the costs of actually buying the dog and then the regular costs of feeding your dog, training your dog, vet bills and the like, you can also expect  to pay quite a bit to keep your Sheepadoodle effectively groomed.

Unless you fancy yourself quite the doggy hairdresser then you will likely need to take your Sheepadoodle to the groomers.

A trip to the groomers can cost you upwards of around $100 every 4 to 6 weeks, and as we will talk to you more about this, Sheepadoodles are a bit high maintenance, and their coats require lots of grooming. 

Are Sheepadoodles a hard-work pet?

The short version of the answer is, yes. They are doodles, and any doodle needs frequent grooming, they are divas with diva coats that need frequent grooming and lots of maintenance.

They are also very intelligent dogs, so they are less likely to get entertained with ease, they need plenty of mental stimulation as well as daily walks, activities and adventures.

That being said, if you’re the adventurous type, and you like going for a hike every day, a Sheepadoodle will probably happily join you on that hike. 

A Sheepadoodle will probably enjoy getting around 90-120 minutes of activity each day, whether it is a walk, a run, fetch, your even training.

When you are grooming you will want to comb and brush every other day for about 30 minutes, sometimes this can be daily depending on your individual dog. In some cases you can spend more time on your dogs’ hair than your own.

If you shave your Sheepadoodle down every week, you may be able to forfeit the brushing, however, no Sheepadoodle is the same, and you still have to check and monitor their fur to make sure there are no mats forming. 

What kind of personality do Sheepadoodles have?

Sometimes, it is rare that a dog will have a personality that matches their looks. However, for most Sheepadoodles it is true.

Sheepadoodles are playful, intelligent, friendly, and of course, loyal. Every dog will be different, however most Sheepadoodles will be playful and smart.

It is wise that you ask the breeder what the parents of your prospective pup are like and how their temperaments are to get a good idea of what your dogs’ temperament will be like. 

Can a Sheepadoodle be a guard dog?

Old English Sheepdogs are known for being like alarm systems when there is an intruder, so you may wonder if Sheepadoodles retain this same trait from their sheepdog genetics.

It may not be the same for every dog, as you must remember that every dog is unique. That being said, it is not uncommon for Sheepadoodles to inherit this guard dog trait from their sheepdog side.

They may let you know when a stranger is coming near your home and work as a good alarm system. Since they are really smart dogs too, you can also train them to be really good guard dogs as well.

Do Sheepadoodles make good cuddle-buddies?

A vast majority of Sheepadoodles will be great cuddle buddies, but just like humans, some dogs might not be big huggers. Generally though, Sheepadoodles love their humans, and want to get as close as they possibly can to their humans.

They certainly don’t tend to shy away from getting super close and snugly with their owners, squishing themselves up against you.

Sheepadoodles will often be known to snuggle up with their family members and guests, they are always happy so long as they are near people.

If you aren’t a big hugger, or a fan of physical contact these dogs might be a bit too intense for you. On the other hand if you are a big hugger, Sheepadoodles will give you hugs for days. 

Sheepadoodles and kids: A good mix?

Do you seek a dog that will be a great companion to your kids? Well, Sheepadoodles have an endlessly playful appetite. They adore being around kids as it often means attention and endless playtime!

They also make for brilliant babysitters too, they will often love your kids as much as you do. However, just like with any day, keep your dog supervised around children, for the health and safety of both your kids and the dog. 

How playful are Sheepadoodles?

A standard Sheepadoodle will love to play! They are active, love to be surrounded by their family, and are full to the brim with non-stop energy.

They make excellent companions for running, hiking, camping, and a whole other load of activities. Despite how playful they are, they also have a mellow side, just like how we all do.

They love chilling out with you when it is time to relax, and will have no problem laying on your lap or feet as you chill out with a good book and some relaxing tunes. 

Are Sheepadoodles hypoallergenic?

If you seek a hypoallergenic dog, then the F1 generation breed of Sheepadoodle, bred from an old English sheepdog and a poodle is hypoallergenic. However, no dog can truly be 100% hypoallergenic. 

It is totally possible for dust, as well as other allergens from the outside world to get stuck in their hair, just like these things can get caught on your clothes.

So, if you get hay fever, have allergies to grass, pollen, or even dust, you might find yourself a bit sniffy around your dog.

Although, this is not actually coming as a result of the dog themselves, you should still wash your dog, like you would wash your clothes, and you will find relief from any of the allergies you have as a result of outdoor allergens getting stuck in their fur. 

How much do Sheepadoodles shed?

So many people seek out non-shedding dogs now, to be fair, who wants all that fur trapped in your rugs, your carpet, your couch, and the constant vacuuming!

Sheepadoodles are great if you have had enough of constantly cleaning up pet hair.

They do not shed, however because they do not shed, they do require frequent brushing and combing or their fur will become matted. Mats can be very painful for dogs and so you want to do everything you can to avoid them on your dog. When you are brushing your hair in the morning, why not give the dog a brush too? 

It is best to brush your dogs’ hair, grooming them for around 30-45 minutes each day.

If you really can’t stand the thought of that then you can always keep your Sheepadoodle shaved down, which will require a trip to the groomers every 4-6 weeks.

It really depends on which is more important for you; time or money. Grooming can be very costly with any doodle, so do consider this before you get a doodle of any sort. 

How intelligent are Sheepadoodles?

Poodles are one of the smarted dogs in the world, and their relatives, Sheepadoodles and other doodles can definitely inherit this trait.

They are easily trainable since they are so smart. So with what you have to sacrifice in grooming is made up for in the ease of training. 

Don’t be shocked if they outsmart you, Sheepadoodles can have a smart and devious side, so a Sheepadoodle will likely give you a run for your money. Life with a Sheepadoodle will surely be full of surprises. 

Are Sheepadoodles high-maintenance grooming?

If you are looking for a dog that will be a walk in the park to look after, do not get a Sheepadoodle. Grooming these bundles of joy is next to nearly a workout. In fact, Sheepadoodle grooming may as well be an Olympic sport! 

Sheepadoodles, like any doodle breed, require a huge amount of grooming in order to prevent mats. You should either be combing and brushing them every day for 30-45 minutes, or taking them to the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks to keep their fur shorter to avoid any mats. 

It is actually very important that as soon as you get a Sheepadoodle pup that you start brushing them so that they can get used to it.

Sometimes a Sheepadoodle will even get used to the brushing and love it so much that they will take a snooze as you brush them. Doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to relax? 

As well as brushing your dog, Sheepadoodles have other issues, being part poodle they will require regular ear cleans. Some dogs will need the hair in their ears to regularly plucked out, or removed to prevent ear infections. 

You will need to discuss the need for this with your vet, as ear-hair plucking will differ with every dog, and you will need to make sure it is a requirement and if it is how to go about getting that done. 

Sheepadoodles: high-energy or low energy?

If you feel like a Sheepadoodle may be a bit much for you in terms of their energy levels then you might want to consider a Bernedoodle.

This breed is similar to Sheepadoodles, but where Sheepadoodles have a medium to high level of energy, Bernedoodles are a little more mellow.

So for those people who love doodle breeds but are really not up for a lot of energy and exercise then a Bernedoodle is better suited. 

Do Sheepadoodles have many health concerns?

With any breed of dog, there will be unique health problems that you will have to consider, every dog, while unique and loveable will have the potential for health issues.

This is why when you buy any dog you need to make sure you buy from a reputable breeder in order to reduce the chances of any health issues that may crop up.

Sheepadoodles have the potential to inherit health issues from either parent. This is one of the downsides from crossbreeds. Sheepadoodles can suffer from…

  • Bloating. 
  • Joint problems. 
  • Allergies or sensitivities in the stomach. 
  • Seizures. 

There are some other issues they may have and so it is essential that you speak to the breeder in regard to any possible health conditions and issues that may crop up.

How long can I expect my Sheepadoodle to live?

Sheepadoodles are a fairly new breed, therefore there is not a huge amount of information on their life expectancy, there is no hard and fast answer as there just isn’t enough records on this yet.

However, we can take a good guess, since old English sheepdogs will often live for around 11 years, and standard poodles will live to be approximately 12 years old. We can imagine that  Sheepadoodle will have a fairly similar life span.

Fun Sheepadoodle facts

Sheepadoodles have many other traits aside from the ones we have mentioned here so far. 

Sheepadoodle pups may nip quite frequently, this is due to the traits they may inherit from old English sheepdogs, who nip and herd.

This is an amount of nipping that will exceed the regular amount of puppy nipping, and it can be quite painful, as they still have very sharp, although tiny, teeth. So you may want to nip this in the bud as quickly as you can before you end up covered in tiny teeth marks. 

Sheepadoodles can also inherit a fairly strong prey drive from the poodle side of their genetics. It is not often known, but poodles have high prey drives, and they used to be used as duck hunters. So, be aware of this trait that you may find in them. 

Sheepadoodles are also very social and very amiable. They absolutely love other animals, so it is always nice for them to have a fellow animal friend.

They will also, if socialized appropriately, get along with any dog they come across, they are very much like big teddy bears, full of love and joy! Sheepadoodles also love people and are one of the best family dogs you could choose to have.  

Where can I buy a Sheepadoodle?

Still fancy getting a Sheepadoodle? Well, it is not always the easiest breed of dog to find. They are still fairly new and not everywhere will breed Sheepadoodles. I

t can be a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but if you do your research and get searching in the right ways you can easily find one eventually. Just grab that puppy up quick before someone else does. 

If you are stuck on ideas about how to find a Sheepadoodle puppy near you, a good place to start looking is to look through a directory of Sheepadoodle breeders.

It is a good starting point however we cannot guarantee you will get all your answers. You still need to do your research to find one in your local area.  

You may be lucky enough to have a ‘Doodle Rescue’ near you. These are rescues where you can find a Sheepadoodle who needs a new and loving owner who will give them a new loving home and family. 

You can also check social media, there will always be pet based groups on sites such as ‘Facebook’, or even ‘Instagram’, on which you may be able to find Sheepadoodles that are up for adoption.

You could even contact animal rescues and see if they can contact you if they ever get a Sheepadoodle in. 

Should I get one?- The ‘pros’.

Getting any dog, including a Sheepadoodle is always up to you. It is entirely your decision if you are ready to invite a bouncing bundle of laugh, joy, energy, and love into your home and your life.

Sheepadoodles are very smart, very playful, and they made brilliant family dogs for active families that love to go out and explore the world.

They are sometimes known to use their wit and sometimes act like a goofball, often called ‘clowns’. They will make you laugh, smile, and shake your head as they cheer you up no matter how bad you feel. Your life is never boring with a Sheepadoodle. 

Sheepadoodles are easy enough to train, easier than some other dogs, especially when they are pups. However, as pups they can be very nippy, and they may attempt to herd young children, or even small animals if you do not train them appropriately. 

They can also be rather stubborn, and they will have a mind of their own on occasion too.  So although they can pick up training very quickly, they might decide that they have better ideas on how to do what you have asked them to do.

Which can be both funny, brilliant and occasionally frustrating too. 

What are the cons of Sheepadoodles?

While there are plenty of reasons to get a Sheepadoodle there are also some reasons not to get one.

Sheepadoodles are not for everyone and while there are some families and households that are perfect for a Sheepadoodle, not every home and family is perfect for a Sheepadoodle either. 

One of the first cons of Sheepadoodles is their cost. Not only are they pricey when you initially buy a Sheepadoodle, but their upkeep is expensive.

Obviously they need food, toys, accessories, and the like. But, like any non-shedding dog, their upkeep makes them rather high maintenance.

You will have to do a lot of at home grooming, so you may go through a few brushes and combs, and of course you need to buy the appropriate brushes and combs for your Sheepadoodle.

You will also have to take trips to the groomers and vets as well. Going to the vets to find out what your specific dogs needs in terms of grooming and care is important for any dog, and even more so for breeds of doodle.

And then, you have to go from the vets to the groomers. The groomers for Sheepadoodles can be very costly in itself, but maintaining your dog’s coat is imperative when it comes to health 

Another cons for Sheepadoodles is their high energy. They pick up training fast, they are quick learners, and they have a lot to do, feel, and think about.

This is not suitable for everyone. Some people might prefer a dog that is a little more chilled and laid back than the high energy of a Sheepadoodle.

Sheepadoodles require lots of physical and mental stimulation and therefore need lots of playtime, lots of walks, runs, hikes and high energy activities.

With a dog that is so high energy it is best that they have a family that matches their level of enthusiasm. So, if you are a little lower energy yourself, you should probably get a dog that is more on your level of energy, so that you and your dog are more compatible. 

This is not to say that Sheepadoodles cannot have a lazy side, or a less energetic side. Sometimes a Sheepadoodle may not be as high energy as others, as all dogs are different, so be aware that while most Sheepadoodles may be high energy there may be one or two that are a little more on the zen side.  

FAQ’s: Thinking about Sheepadoodles

How much do Sheepadoodles cost? 

If you buy a Sheepadoodle puppy for a Sheepadoodle Breeder then it will likely cost you between $2,000 to $4,000. However, if you adopt a Sheepadoodle from an animal shelter it can be significantly cheaper.

We would often say that this is the best option. It is always best to adopt a Sheepadoodle that needs a new and loving home, before buying from a breeder.

This applies to all dogs, not just Sheepadoodles. While you can improve the life of a dog, you can also save the high costs you would pay from a breeder as well. 

Do Sheepadoodles shed?

Typically, Sheepadoodles are a non-shedding hypoallergenic dog. However, there is absolutely no guarantee that your puppy will not shed at all. It is all down to their individual coat.

Their lack of shedding is down to the poodle genetics in them. However, if they have more of the sheepdog genetics than poodle genetics in them, they may shed a tiny bit.

However, it certainly will not be enough that it will be noticeable or painstaking like if you owned a Labrador or Husky. 

Do all Sheepadoodles turn gray?

Generally no, not all Sheepadoodles will turn gray. Sometimes a black and white Sheepadoodle will simply stay black and white. It is possible that a black and white Sheepadoodle puppy can turn gray.

However, this is just a feature that can occur in some breeds due to the breeds coat type. It can happen because the breed has a double coat made from two different colors that can merge with time.

This will not happen to every Sheepadoodle, however it cannot be guaranteed that it will not either. 

Do Sheepadoodles bark a lot?

Like most dogs, Sheepadoodles will not bark a lot with adequate socialization and plenty of training. When any dog barks a lot it is usually due to a lack of training or an unfulfilling social life.

Sheepadoodles are the same, and as they are fairly easy to train, this should not be an issue. 

When do Sheepadoodles calm down?

Every Sheepadoodle is unique, however, they will generally start to relax a little more once they hit the age of about 4 or 5 years old. But it will differ in every dog. 

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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