The Sheepadoodle is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle dog breeds. Smart, playful, and loving, these pups inherited some of the best traits from both of their parents.
Sheepadoodles go by many names, including Sheep-a-poo, Sheeppoo, Sheepdoodle, and Sheepdogpoo. Despite their status as a designer breed, you may find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!
These adorable pups make great family dogs, as well as companions for single-person households. Due to their natural ability to read human emotions so well, they very often make great therapy or emotional support dogs. If you want a lovable, protective, and energetic pooch who will always keep you entertained and your home safe, the Sheepadoodle may be the right dog for you!
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog. And you can find an awesome crate for your dog here to give them a little more personal space in your apartment.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks. You can find a great jacket for your dog here!
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool here!
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:16 to 22 inchesWeight:60 to 80 poundsLife Span:12 to 15 years
More About This Breed
- Sheepadoodles are mixed breed dogs. They are not purebreds like their Old English Sheepdog or Poodle parents.
- The main colors of Sheepadoodles are a mix of black and white, but they can also be solid black and, in some cases, gray.
- Sheepadoodles tend to be a great choice for allergy sufferers since this mix is considered a low to non-shedder. They will need to be groomed roughly every eight weeks and must be brushed two to three times a week.
- Sheepadoodles will need daily walks and games of fetch for exercise. These smart pups will also need to play mentally stimulating games to prevent them from being destructive due to boredom.
- Their ability to emotionally connect with their owners has made the Sheepadoodle a popular therapy and emotional support dog. However, their need to be around their owners so much makes it difficult to leave them home alone for long periods of time, and they may require a dog walker or doggy daycare.
- Sheepadoodles are affectionate and even-tempered with children and are just as happy being around kids as they are being around adults.
- Sheepadoodles get along well with other animals if introduced gradually, calmly, and at an early age. They are naturally intelligent and very social animals and will enjoy the company of other pets in their household.
The Sheepadoodle mixed dog breed may have existed naturally over the years, but it’s believed that this crossbreed gained popularity in the 1980s because they could usually be tolerated well among allergy sufferers.
Breeders wanted to mix the two parent breeds to create a large, low shedding dog that was an excellent companion animal, as well as a great family pet who loves children and will guard their owner’s home.
Even though the Sheepadoodle got their start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the right mixed breed for you.
Check your local shelters, look up Sheepadoodle rescues, or check with breed specific Poodle or Old English Sheepdog rescues, as they sometimes take in mixed breed dogs and find homes for them.
As the Sheepadoodle is a relatively new mixed breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That being said, the Old English Sheepdog parent can be mixed with a standard, miniature, or toy poodle parent, which will affect their size.
Seeing as the most common Sheepadoodle pup is one with a Standard Poodle parent, you can expect the dog to be on the larger side.
Most Sheepadoodles weigh in at 60 to 80 pounds and range in height from 16 to 22 inches at the shoulder. That said, the other varieties like the toy and mini Sheepadoodles, will be smaller in size.
Many Sheepadoodle lovers describe these dogs’ personality as lovable and lively. They will enjoy snuggling with you on the couch just as much as they would enjoy going outside for a brisk walk.
Some Sheepadoodles will have acquired their herding drive from their Old English Sheepdog parent and will need to burn off energy with plenty of playtime outdoors. They are rather athletic and love to swim, play fetch, and please their owners by learning new tricks. They’re extremely loyal dogs, and even though they’re people-friendly, they will make great guard dogs for their households.
Sheepadoodle puppies are often a bit boisterous and will require training at an early age. Both Poodles and Old English Sheepdogs are known to be very intelligent breeds, making the Sheepadoodle easy to train. They respond best to positive reinforcement and treats as rewards. These obedient dogs will also love to be taught a variety of tricks, especially because they need to be mentally stimulated.
Their ability to emotionally connect with their owners has made the Sheepadoodle not only a very loyal companion, but they have become a popular therapy and emotional support dog. They adore children and adults alike, and will quickly become a wonderful addition to any family.
However, their need to be around their owners so much makes it difficult to leave your Sheepadoodle home alone for long periods of time, and they may require a dog walker or doggy daycare.
The Sheepadoodle may be a mixed breed, but they are still predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Poodle and Old English Sheepdog face. While most are generally healthy, many can inherit conditions that both parent breeds have, which is why it is very important to maintain good care and attend regular veterinary checkups.
Some of the more common health problems Sheepadoodles suffer from include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Addison’s disease
- Joint issues
- Sebaceous adenitis/skin disorders
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Sheepadoodle’s regular veterianry checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Sheepadoodles are prone to weight gain and will need daily walks and games of fetch for exercise. These smart pups will also need to play mentally stimulating games to prevent them from being destructive due to boredom. Making sure your dog gets enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight will also help to protect the dogs’ joints from damage, especially as the dog ages.
Check their floppy ears for debris, and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long–usually one or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help you with this.
While Sheepadoodles typically do not have oral health issues, it’s still important to maintain good dental hygiene. You can brush their teeth daily, and your veterinarian can instruct you on how to do so properly.
An ideal Sheepadoodle diet should be formulated for a large breed with high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight and eat very quickly, so you should break their meals into portions throughout the day, but consult your veterinarian first! Limit the amount of treats, and make sure not to engage in strenuous exercise after meals.
As with all dogs, the Sheepadoodle’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Sheepadoodle’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
Sheepadoodle coats are often a mix of their Poodle and Old English Sheepdog parents’ coats and colors. The main colors of Sheepadoodles are a mix of black and white, but they can also be solid black and, in some cases, gray.
They usually have longer coats that can be flat, wavy, or curly. Sheepadoodles tend to be a great choice for allergy sufferers since this mix is considered a low to non-shedder. They will need to be groomed roughly every eight weeks and must be brushed two to three times a week to prevent their coats from getting matted.
Because they tend to have longer coats, Sheepadoodles can handle cooler weather. When it comes to warm weather, they will handle the conditions much better if their coat is trimmed short and may become too hot if they have a longer coat.
Children And Other Pets
Since the Sheepadoodle is part Old English Sheepdog, they have a herding instinct and have been known to playfully nip at the heels of children as if to “herd” them. They are affectionate and even-tempered with children and are just as happy being around kids as they are being around adults.
Even though they are gentle dogs, all children should still be taught how to properly interact with pets. That being said, children that know how to handle dogs will love to have these energetic pups as companions.
When it comes to other pets, Sheepadoodles get along well with other animals if introduced gradually, calmly, and at an early age. They are naturally intelligent and very social animals and will enjoy the company of other pets in their household.
Sheepadoodles generally get along just fine with other cats or dogs in their homes, so it really comes down to early training, socialization, and your pup’s own unique personality.
It may be hard to find a breed specific rescue for Sheepadoodles because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Old English Sheepdog or Poodle breed specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- Old English Sheepdog Rescue Network
- Carolina Poodle Rescue