Sheepadoodle 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Hypoallergenic Breed
What is a Sheepadoodle?
If you are looking for a cute, fluffy, and friendly dog that can be a great companion for you and your family, you might want to consider a sheepadoodle. A sheepadoodle is a mixed breed dog that is a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle. It is a popular and playful “designer breed” that sheds minimally and has a low-allergen coat. A sheepadoodle can have a varying percentage of one of the two parental breeds in its gene pool, depending on the generation. A sheepadoodle is smart, loving, and loyal, inheriting some of the best traits from both of its parents. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, history, and care of this adorable breed.
Characteristics of a Sheepadoodle
A sheepadoodle can vary in size, appearance, and temperament, depending on the genes it inherits from its parents. However, some general features of a sheepadoodle are:
- Size: A sheepadoodle can be a medium to large dog, depending on the size of the poodle parent. A standard sheepadoodle is a cross between a standard poodle and an Old English Sheepdog, and can weigh between 60 to 80 pounds and stand 16 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder. A miniature sheepadoodle is a cross between a miniature poodle and an Old English Sheepdog, and can weigh between 25 to 45 pounds and stand 13 to 16 inches tall. A toy sheepadoodle is a cross between a toy poodle and an Old English Sheepdog, and can weigh between 10 to 20 pounds and stand 10 to 13 inches tall.
- Coat: A sheepadoodle has a thick, curly, and soft coat that can be solid or have various markings in many colors, such as white, black, gray, blue, silver, brown, apricot, or merle. The coat can be wavy or curly, depending on the influence of the poodle parent. A sheepadoodle’s coat is hypoallergenic, meaning it produces less dander and saliva that can trigger allergic reactions in some people. A sheepadoodle also sheds very little, making it a good choice for people who don’t want to deal with a lot of dog hair.
- Temperament: A sheepadoodle is a friendly, outgoing, and affectionate dog that loves people and attention. It is also intelligent, trainable, and eager to please, making it easy to teach new skills and commands. A sheepadoodle can be comical and bumptious, and have a sense of humor. It can also be strong-willed, independent, and stubborn, and need a firm and consistent leader to guide it. A sheepadoodle is not a guard dog, but it can be a sensible watchdog, alerting its owners of any strangers or intruders with a loud bark. A sheepadoodle needs early socialization with other pets and people, as it can be somewhat dog aggressive, especially the males. A sheepadoodle is best suited for an active and attentive owner who can provide it with enough exercise, mental stimulation, and love.
History of a Sheepadoodle
A sheepadoodle is a fairly modern breed that first emerged in the United States in the 1960s. It was created by crossing an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle, two ancient and well-established breeds with different origins and purposes.
The Old English Sheepdog is a large and shaggy breed that originated in England in the 1800s. It was developed as a herding and droving dog, helping farmers to drive cattle and sheep to market. It was also used as a cart and wagon puller, and as a companion and watchdog. The Old English Sheepdog is known for its profuse and distinctive coat, which covers its eyes and gives it a peak-a-boo hairdo. The coat also protects it from harsh weather and predators. The Old English Sheepdog is a friendly, loyal, and adaptable breed that can adjust to different environments and lifestyles.
The Poodle is a medium to small breed that originated in Germany, where it was bred as a water retriever, hunting ducks and other waterfowl. It was also used as a circus performer, a truffle hunter, and a military dog. The Poodle is known for its curly and hypoallergenic coat, which can be clipped in various styles, such as the elaborate Continental clip or the simpler Sporting clip. The Poodle is one of the most intelligent and trainable breeds, and excels in various canine sports, such as agility, obedience, and tracking. The Poodle is also a friendly, elegant, and lively breed that enjoys human company and attention.
By crossing an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle, breeders hoped to create a dog that would combine the best qualities of both breeds, such as the intelligence, trainability, and hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle, and the gentle, loyal, and herding instincts of the Old English Sheepdog. The result was a sheepadoodle, a charming and versatile breed that can be a great family pet, a working dog, or a show dog.
Care of a Sheepadoodle
A sheepadoodle is a relatively easy dog to care for, as long as it is given enough exercise, grooming, and attention. Some of the basic care requirements of a sheepadoodle are:
- Exercise: A sheepadoodle is an energetic and athletic dog that needs at least an hour of daily exercise to keep it healthy and happy. A sheepadoodle can enjoy various activities, such as walking, jogging, hiking, swimming, playing fetch, or doing agility courses. A sheepadoodle can also benefit from mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys, obedience training, or learning new tricks. A sheepadoodle should not be left alone for long periods of time, as it can become bored, lonely, and destructive.
- Grooming: A sheepadoodle has a thick and curly coat that requires regular grooming to keep it clean, mat-free, and healthy. A sheepadoodle should be brushed and combed at least once a week, and more often if the coat is longer or more curly. A sheepadoodle should also be bathed every month or as needed, using a mild shampoo and conditioner. A sheepadoodle’s coat can be clipped in different styles, depending on the owner’s preference and the dog’s lifestyle. A professional groomer can help with clipping and trimming the coat, as well as the nails, ears, and eyes. A sheepadoodle’s ears should be checked and cleaned regularly, as they can be prone to infections. A sheepadoodle’s teeth should also be brushed daily or several times a week, using a dog toothpaste and toothbrush.
- Feeding: A sheepadoodle is a medium to large dog that needs a high-quality and balanced diet to meet its nutritional needs. A sheepadoodle should be fed according to its age, weight, activity level, and health status. A sheepadoodle puppy should be fed three to four times a day, while an adult sheepadoodle should be fed twice a day. A sheepadoodle should have access to fresh water at all times, and should not be overfed or given too many treats, as it can become overweight and prone to health problems.
A sheepadoodle is a wonderful and unique breed that can be a great addition to any family that can provide it with enough exercise, grooming, and attention. A sheepadoodle is a smart, loving, and loyal dog that can be trained with ease and fun. A sheepadoodle is also a beautiful and hypoallergenic dog that can be suitable for people with allergies. If you are interested in getting a sheepadoodle, you should do your research and find a reputable and responsible breeder that can provide you with a healthy and well-socialized puppy. You should also be prepared to commit to the care and training of your sheepadoodle for its lifetime, and enjoy the companionship and joy that it will bring to your life.