A mini sheepadoodle is a combination of two well-known purebred dogs, the Mini Poodle and the Old English Sheepdog. Ever imagined what it’s like to breed the curly and dense poodle and the fluffy sheepdog? If you both love these breeds, their offspring is surely the dog of your dreams! Learn more about this adorable cross-breed in today’s post.
Mini Sheepadoodle Appearance
The mini sheepadoodles grow up as medium-sized dogs. However, some of them develop as large as their sheepdog parents. They weigh no more than 55 lbs. and grow not taller than 20 inches. A full-grown mini sheepadoodle is around 16-19 inches in height.
The pup grows at a fast rate until it turns eight months old. You will only get an idea of their standard weight they will have the rest of their lives once they hit the 16th month mark. At this moment, they will show a noticeable increase in weight to their upper chest and hips.
They have a strong resemblance to the sheepdog but many of them don’t have the fur-covered eyes like the sheepdog parent. Some of them have blue eyes, which may occur both in the mini poodle and the sheepdog. It is also noticeable that they have the same ears as the mini poodle. The ears are hairy, hanging close to their face, and have a noticeable curvy shape.
The mini sheepadoodle came from two adorable breeds. The miniature poodle is just one of the five types of poodles. It is smaller compared to the standard type of poodle. History says it has been around since the beginning of the 18th century.
Mini sheepadoodles are bred because there are pet parents who wanted a smaller version of the standard sheepadoodle. Still, the size of the mini sheepadoodle will depend on the parents. If the sheepdog is quite large, it has the tendency to become taller than expected.
The first sheepdog reputedly hailed from England’s old pastoral dogs. It is believed that they are descendants of the Cotswold Cor, a bobtailed drover’s canine during the 19th century. Old English Sheepdogs are sometimes called the “bobtails” due to their docked tails during puppyhood.
Breeders began combining the sheepdog and the poodle back in the ‘60s. It is the United States Army that initiated the crossbreeding the two purebred dogs. The sheepadoodle mini is just a variation of the popular sheepadoodle mix.
Mini Sheepadoodle: Recognitions and Other Names
Aside from the term sheepadoodle, the hybrid is also referred to as sheepapoo, sheeppoo, and sheepdoo. As of this writing, the crossbreed has not received recognition from major kennel clubs in the United States such as the American Kennel Club. In spite of that, it is acknowledged by the Dog Registry of America and the American Canines Hybrid Club.
Coat Type and Color
Majority of mini sheepadoodles take their coat color from the sheepdog parent. You can find them in black and white especially as puppies but some of them develop into gray and white over time. Some of them are either mostly white or mostly black. They often have the tuxedo white pattern as pups.
While the mini sheepadoodle does not have the same solid-colored coat as the poodle, many of them got the coat texture of the latter. It is wavy and has a noticeable good harsh texture. A few inherited the coat texture of the sheepdog, which is free from curl and not straight but shaggy. It is rare to find a mini sheepadoodle with a coat texture as straight as the Old English Sheepdog.
Tips in Grooming and Bathing Mini Sheepadoodle
Mini Sheepadoodles require high coat maintenance, because of their shaggy coat. It is a characteristic it inherited from its parents. It has a long coat just like the sheepdog and the mini poodle. The hair is not as straight but is not too curly as well.
- Brush – Due to their long coats, they need frequent grooming. In fact it is recommended to brush them every other day to avoid having mats. Aside from brushing the hair every day, it is also recommended to do a thorough brushing once a week. Don’t forget to brush the fur regularly to avoid knotting. Regular brushing prevents the hair from getting tangles, which can resort to skin issues.
- Cut tangles as needed – If your pet already got tangles, don’t brush it out because it can be painful. Just cut the knotted hair. When you are not comfortable in doing this, it will be safer to bring the dog to a professional groomer.
- Give him a trim – Many owners of this dog bring their pets to the groomer once or twice a month. Asking for a short pet trim will reduce the need to groom the pet as often as needed. Professional grooming is a requirement for mini poodles.
The best thing about the mini sheepadoodle is it does not shed much. Yes, they are actually hypoallergenic dogs in spite of having long and fluffy hair. The mini poodle sheds infrequently while the sheepdog does not shed a seasonal coat.
Mini Sheepadoodle Personality
Their affectionate nature is one characteristic that stands out among mini sheepadoodles. You will see their sweet and calm side even as puppies. It is a trait that is also very natural among the Mini Poodles and Sheepdogs. This makes them ideal as family dogs and even as therapy dogs.
They have a want-to-please attitude and they tend to be devoted with their owners. Overall, the mini sheepadoodle is such a friendly dog. It is good with children and they go well with other pets. They came from parents that both love being in a group or a pack.
However, it has the tendency to herd or nip at the heels of family members or visitors. If you have young children at home, keep an eye when they are around your pet. Herding is a trait that is normal among sheepdogs. Poodles, on the other hand, belong to the non-sporting group but there are a few of them that tend to herd too.
Mini sheepadoodles are among the most sociable hybrids. They enjoy their time outdoors. You would not have to worry when bringing them out for a walk because they are friendly even towards strangers. Your main concern is making sure your pooch always gets company because they hate being left alone.
One of the things to love about them is their strong will. This is a trait it inherited from the Sheepdog. The only drawback about their strong willingness to do things is it is difficult to train them. It comes as no surprise, since the Old English Sheepdog and the Miniature Poodle are both known for their high levels of intelligence.
Mini Sheepadoodle Health and Caring Tips
The average lifespan will depend on the parent with the more genetic influence. A mini poodle may be smaller in size but it has a longer lifespan than the Old English Sheepdog. They live 12-15 years while the latter has a life expectancy of 10-12 years. Some poodles even live as long as 18 years!
Regardless if it takes the average lifespan of the sheepdog parent, you can help your pooch live longer by providing proper nutrition and exercise. It also helps to be aware of the typical problems associated with the parents as they may be passed on the offspring. Here are some of their common health issues:
- Hip dysplasia – The leading health concern among mini sheepadoodles is hip dysplasia. Both the sheepdog and the mini poodles are prone to this condition. This condition is a result of the abnormal formation of the hip socket. It may cause arthritis of the hips in its severe form. Hip dysplasia can be prevented by taking him on walks and runs. It helps become physically fit especially as an adult dog.
- Otitis externa- since they have the same ears as their mini poodle parent, they may also be susceptible to otitis externa or the inflammation of the outer ear canal. In fact, it is very common in dogs regardless of the breed. It is just that their ears make them more prone to it than the others. If there is a smelly discharge from the ear and if it looks inflamed, take the dog to the vet to identify and manage its primary cause.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – simply known as Perthes disease, this condition affects the femur or the ball being referred to in the ball and socket joint. Unfortunately, the cause for this condition is not yet confirmed but studies suggest this has something to do with hip’s disrupted blood flow.
Do note that the sheepdog and the poodle have varied activity levels. The Old English sheepdog will thrive in a few minutes of regular exercise while the mini poodle is quite energetic and may need more physical activities. Be prepared for lots of play time with your mini sheepadoodle.
Mini Sheepadoodle Feeding
Many dogs including the mini sheepadoodle do well with dog food or kibbles. Pet owners just need to make sure they are approved by the vet and loaded with minerals and nutrients. Because dogs thrive in a protein-rich diet, it is helpful to add meat into their diet. If you are planning to offer meat though ensure it is of high quality and not only by-products. Never give processed meats as they are loaded with sodium that can harm your pet in the long run.
Biologically appropriate raw food is such a trend in the dog community. However, not all vets advocate it because there are no studies proving its benefits. In spite of that, it would not hurt to give the dog bones and raw food every now and then, as long as they were carefully selected.
It helps to create a feeding schedule for your pet. This way, you can prevent overfeeding that contributes to a lot of health conditions such as obesity and pancreatitis. The meal portions should also be appropriate for their age. If you happened to have a mini sheepadoodle that is less than three months, consider free feeding. Your pup can start being fed thrice a day once it reached the third month of life.
Your mini sheepadoodle would thrive on a balanced diet that is rich in proteins. It is fine to add some healthy grains, fruits, and vegetables. Just be careful in offering anything new to your pet because it may cause gastrointestinal issues.
Mini Sheepadoodle Ownership
When you are decided to have a mini sheepadoodle, communicate with reputable breeders to find healthy litters. The cost of a mini sheepadoodle ranges from $1000-$3000. It depends on the inclusions and coat color. A good breeder should be able to give you tips in raising the pup and will provide you with the necessary health records.
Having a small yard is not an issue when you have a Mini Sheepadoodle. They are adaptable to any living environment. Before taking home your mini sheepadoodle, you may need to prepare his crate. It is safe to put him in the crate overnight or even up to half a day as long as will provide safety and security.
A mini sheepadoodle is the best crossbreed for you if you want a fairly easy to train pup. It’s perfect for you if you don’t mind having a high maintenance dog. As with any dog, it needs to loved, cared for, and nourished for it to fully show its natural good traits. However, you have to be more understanding of their needs particularly their grooming requirements.