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Sheepadoodle

Sheepadoodle

The Sheepadoodle is a great dog to be around and will no doubt charm everyone in the family with their smarts and good looks. The breeds that make up the Sheepadoodle are Old English Sheepdog and the Standard Poodle, two friendly and playful dogs that pass on plenty of their good traits to the Sheepadoodle puppy. The aim of this cross is to get an Old English Sheepdog type that doesn’t shed and includes the characteristics of the Poodle. Sometimes a Miniature Poodle is used to produce a smaller dog but this is rarer.

Depending on how they have been bred, there are varieties in size, shape, coat types and temperaments. In theory, the Sheepadoodle can be a first cross (with one Old English Sheepdog parent and one Poodle parent) or can be bred back to one of the original breeds or be two Sheepadoodles bred together.

In reality, this is a very rare cross (usually a first cross only), so there is slightly more consistency in size, shape and temperament. However, this depends on the breeder, so make sure you look out for those breeders that breed them responsibly and ensure all parents are health tested.

 

  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Height: The height of a Sheepadoodle depends on the size of the parents used (especially the Poodle), so can vary widely from 40 to 64cm. If the Miniature Poodle is used, a dog as small as 36cm is possible. Old English Sheepdog - 56-61cm. Standard Poodle - Over 38cm (Miniature Poodle 28-38cm)
Colours:

The colour of a Sheepadoodle depends on the parents’ coats, but it’s usually a mixture of black and white. Old English Sheepdog - any shade of grey, grizzle or blue. Body and hindquarters of solid colour with or without white socks. Head, neck, forequarters and underbelly to be white. Poodle: All solid colours

UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral (Old English Sheepdog) and Utility (Poodle)

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5
Dog standing in front of the house

Personality

Like most crossbreeds, the personality of a Sheepadoodle depends on the parents and how they have been bred and reared.

Old English Sheepdogs are a protective, intelligent, loving and watchful dog with an appealing personality who bonds closely to their owners. They enjoy being involved in all activities, but can become overly boisterous without training.

The Poodle is a lively, sociable and affectionate dog who is both intelligent and amusing, and makes a wonderful and fun companion. They love to be included in all family pursuits and can be good watch dogs, announcing visitors but never being aggressive. The Standard Poodle is still at heart a working dog and can easily be the start of your training class, your agility group or in the obedience ring. These are dog that will thrive with a job to do, especially if they can work with their owner.

While the personality of a Sheepadoodle can vary widely, the two breeds that make up this cross will usually produce a large, friendly dog who needs both space and company. However, they can become overly protective, but with early and ongoing socialisation, habituation and training, this trait can be easily tempered. It is important that they are bred from good temperament parents.

The personality of a Sheepadoodle seems to be more consistent when they are first crosses (F1). As a line is successively bred, they can be either bred back to one of the original breeds (and so strengthen either the Old English Sheepdog or the Poodle personalities - or breed to a smaller Poodle to reduce the size) or be bred to another Sheepadoodle in which case there is less predictability in temperament (and in-breeding becomes more of a potential issue).

Sheepadoodle running in field

History and Origins

Given the relative low numbers of Old English Sheepdogs and the breed club’s desire to protect the breed, the Sheepadoodle is an unusual crossbreed in the UK.

To understand more about the origin of the Sheepadoodle we need to look at the two breeds that go into its formation.

Old English Sheepdog

Country of Origin: England

This dog breed might make you think it’s got a short biography as its name, but the Old English Sheepdog moniker is a bit misleading. This breed of dogs is not that old, it’s only partially English and was used to move cattle and not work sheep!

The breed emerged in England in the mid-1700s and was most probably a cross between the native Bearded Collies with European breeds such as the Bergamasco or some of the Russian guardian breeds. Once developed in the UK, it found a home in the West Country where over the years, it became the breed we know today. It was also called the Bobtail because in the 18th century a tax exemption was granted to drover dogs, which helped drive the herds to market. A sheepdog would never be modified in this way as they need their tails for the fast, athletic turning that is essential to work sheep.

Old English Sheepdogs were excellent at this job because of their eagerness to work, their strength of body and mind, and their weather-resistant coats. The coats were sheared annually along with the sheep and the farmers’ wives spun the dog shearings as well as the sheep's wool into warm clothing.

Standard Poodle

Country of origin: Germany

The original Poodle is the Standard Poodle, a water retrieving dog. Their unusual haircuts were not about fashion, but rather a way for owners to make sure their dogs didn’t get waterlogged and become too heavy to swim easily in lakes. While keeping the vital organs and joints protected, much of the rest of their hair was shaved off.

The Sheepadoodle can have any combination of the two breeds in their appearance, behaviour and temperament.

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