What in the heck is a Sheepadoodle? It is a designer dog breed when one of many types of breeds is often crossed with a poodle to create a ‘doodle’ and the name reflects the cross/mix.
While designer dogs don’t always include poodle in their mix, they are the more common mix as people are hoping for a more hypoallergenic dog or a dog that simply sheds less.
Which Breeds Make a Sheepadoodle?
The two breeds that are combined to form a sheepadoodle are a sheepdog and a poodle. If you are wanting to create small dogs, like the mini sheepadoodle, you are using small poodles, potentially the toy poodle. You could also use the standard poodle for a small to medium sized mix.
Many people mistakenly believe that all pups from a poodle mix breeding are going to be non-shedding and hypoallergenic like a poodle is. This is not the case and people are misled by breeders sometimes. Most genuinely professional breeders will inform potential adopters of their puppies that these dogs may well shed and might cause allergy issues.
You are essentially taking the shedding genes of the sheepdog, placing them in a cup with the nonshedding genes of the poodle along with the genes for all the other possible traits, shaking that cup and then tossing it out to see what happens. You may have pups with curls, pups with long shaggy hair, or pups with a little of both.
Breeders will often take the puppies who have the poodle coat and keep them, to breed them to another selected puppy from different parents at a later date. This helps to create puppies that are closer to the expectation with each breeding but is still never a guarantee by any means. Recessive genes can pop-up at any time in the future.
The possibility of recessive genes is the reason that breeders never breed a dog with poor traits, such as aggression, health issues, or congenital defects. With careful selection, healthy dogs with few health problems are a goal, right next to selecting the personalities, coats, and the size of desired fully grown adults from the litter.
The mini sheepadoodle is bred from the smaller poodle and the sheepdog to create a cuter, more compact, version of the sheepdog that will not shed as much. Don’t be fooled though, both breeds are high maintenance coats of fur. You’ll need to brush regularly and see a groomer approximately every six weeks to prevent a coat that is completely out of control.
Both breeds are prone to matting in the coats that turn into painful knots and tangles that have to be painstakingly be picked apart or cut from the coat to prevent it from tightening and pulling on the skin, causing pain to the dog. A knot left unattended can actually begin tearing the skin open, causing an infection and a painful wound.
Also called the Old-English Sheepdog, they have a very long, thick coat of fur that will hang in their face if not trimmed. It isn’t excessively thick, however. It requires regular brushing due to the soft, fine texture. It mats easily.
The sheepdog was used excessively for guarding and keeping the flock together. They also came in handy around the farm for pulling carts and helping with heavy tasks. This breed is intelligent, active, and very family friendly. They are great with children but can also be distrustful of strangers because of their herd guarding instincts.
The poodle was initially a hunting breed. Their coat helps their buoyancy in water, allowing them to retrieve ducks and other waterfowl. Poodles have been groomed with extra fur around feet and ankles because it helps keep extremities warm and adds to their buoyancy.
Poodles do not shed and have been bred down in size from the original standard size, which is a giant breed, to the lap-sized toy poodle. These tiny poodles have become very popular as they are active for the family but they do not shed and are hypoallergenic for the family with allergies.
Poodles are a very intelligent breed, known to learn skills quickly regardless of size. They must be clipped every five to six weeks to avoid an out of control frizz that is hard to brush and will begin to mat and tangle. Otherwise, they don’t require a lot of additional maintenance.
The Mini Sheepadoodle Mix
Ideally, these dogs will shed very little, if at all. They are relatively small, averaging 20 to 45 pounds and being under 20 inches tall.
They are strikingly adorable pups that can vary in color from all black, black and white, cream and red and white. They may have straighter fur or more curly fur but most will have a long, wavy coat. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $3000 each, depending upon the lineage.
When you have a dog like this, it’s wise to never let them out of your sight because dog theft is a very real problem, particularly in larger metropolitan areas. It can happen anywhere though and you are not advised to allow your dog out in the yard alone at any time.
Your mini will get along fabulously with children but you should always supervise dogs with children as accidents can happen and any dog will bite if they feel threatened. Mini sheepadoodles are known for having a calm demeanor and family-friendly temperament, happy to play with the family and happy to snuggle on rainy days.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.