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Sheepadoodle Dog Breed Guide

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The Sheepadoodle Breed

The Sheepadoodle is a beautiful mixed dog from the Old English Sheepdog and the Poodle. Some people call this mixed breed a Sheep-a-poo, Sheepdoodle, Sheepdogpoo, and Sheeppoo. Sheepadoodle puppies are intelligent and playful, inheriting desirable traits from both the Old English Sheepdog and Poodle.

This crossbreed existed naturally over the years, but they became very popular in the 1980s because they were great for people with allergies. After a while, Sheepadoodles lost their popularity only to regain it again in the early 2000s. Although no full grown Sheepadoodle is entirely hypoallergenic, the Poodle is as hypoallergenic as dogs get. Thanks to the full grown Sheepadoodle dog’s relationship to the Poodle, some of them are lucky enough to be hypoallergenic as well.

Sheepadoodle puppies have become popular household pets for a variety of reasons. They work great in families because they get along with many family types and sizes. Part of their popularity is due to their empathy. Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs are naturally great at reading human emotions, and this quality makes these puppies great therapy and emotional support animals.

An adult Sheepadoodle will stand between 16 to 22 inches tall at its shoulders and can weigh from 60 to 80 pounds. Even though Sheepadoodles are considered a large size dog breed, full grown Sheepadoodles act like puppies at heart. Many Sheepadoodle puppies come from a Standard Poodle and Old English Sheepdog, which gives them their large size. However, if you want to adopt a miniature Sheepadoodle or a toy Sheepadoodle, they will be considerably smaller because these Sheepadoodle puppies are bred from miniature and toy Poodles.

Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs will need plenty of activity to maintain physical health. Daily walks and games of fetch for exercise are great ways to help full grown Sheepadoodle dogs use their energy. When these dogs don’t get enough daily activity, they are physically weaker and less healthy and become destructive and bored. A bored dog is a troublesome pet, and they will often get themselves in heaps of trouble trying to entertain themselves in destructive ways.

Sheepadoodle puppies love children as much as they love adults. Sheepadoodles typically get along great in many family types, including single-family homes or rambunctious homes with lots of children. Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs will do great in any home as long as they get enough attention, training, and exercise.

Sheepadoodle puppies make great companions to other animals as long as they are correctly socialized. Many dogs can live with companion animals happily as long as they receive training to get along with other pets. Sheepadoodle puppies are no different, and having a furry friend might even keep them out of trouble.

Because some dogs are much clingier than others, they need owners who will be home more often. Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs are velcro dogs, and they would love nothing more than to attach themselves to their families and go everywhere with them. If you’re considering adopting a Sheepadoodle but are often gone for work, you should consider getting a less needy dog. Sheepadoodle puppies have moderate to severe cases of separation anxiety and hate having to entertain themselves for long periods. Busy owners can always consider hiring a dog sitter or taking their full grown Sheepadoodle to doggy daycare if they are out for long hours, but these methods can become pricey.

Potential Sheepadoodle owners need to be prepared to train their dogs. Thankfully, this hybrid breed is brilliant and easily trainable. However, their instincts from the Old English Sheepdog can sometimes make Shepadoodle puppies herd everything around them. Dogs with herding instincts will try to herd anything from small children and other animals to adult strangers. Owners can break this bad habit by training their dogs out of it as soon as possible. Sheepadoodle puppies are incredibly athletic, and they would excel in dog competitions, dog sports, and water sports. The only downside to a full grown Sheepadoodle and water sports is the clean-up afterward.

Potential owners looking to adopt a full grown Sheepadoodle puppy should know that these dogs are not difficult to care for, thanks to their friendly dispositions and ease of trainability. The only tricky part of caring for a full grown Sheepadoodle is their grooming needs and exercise regiment. Sheepadoodle puppies aren’t great for first-time owners, but any novice owner who feels confident in adopting Sheepadoodle puppies should do so. If you think grooming and activity needs won’t be challenging for you to meet, then adopt a full grown Sheepadoodle! Many of these dogs are in shelters across the nation, waiting for a forever home to call their own. Full grown Sheepadoodle puppies would do best in more active families that know they can play with their pup until they tire out. Full grown Sheepadoodle puppies would be at their best physical health with at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily.

Potential owners should also be prepared to help their Sheepadoodle with any health conditions they may contract. Sheepadoodle puppies can be at risk of health conditions that both parent breeds are at risk of developing. Overall, these pups are very healthy and live long lives, but occasionally, they might get sick. Treatment methods for these health conditions can range from a quick vet appointment with a simple pill to something more life-threatening. Any responsible dog owner must know the risk of health conditions and the symptoms that will appear in your Sheepadoodle puppies. We’ll cover this information down below in this article.

Sheepadoodle Breed History

Sheepadoodle puppies share the elegance and sophistication of Poodles with the friendliness and excitement of the Old English Sheepdogs. Their intelligent and enthusiastic personalities make full grown Sheepadoodle puppies seem like gentle giants.

Most people don’t know that full grown Sheepadoodle dogs began as a military dog experiment in the 1960s. It’s more than likely full grown Sheepadoodle dogs existed naturally for many years, but their population grew when the military began breeding full grown Sheepadoodle dogs. The military didn’t try breeding Sheepadoodle puppies for long, however, full grown Sheepadoodle dogs became popular again in the 1980s and early 2000s.

People saw the Poodle and Old English Sheepdog and wanted to create a mixed breed that was a large, low-shedding companion animal. The Sheepadoodle was everything they wanted and more.

Old English Sheepdogs were developed in England to help move livestock along roads to the market. 

Poodles came from Germany, where they were duck-hunting dogs. While there, the Poodle breed eventually grew in popularity, and Louis XIV took some Poodles with him to France. After he brought some Poodles over, this breed became the staple of France’s canine culture. Noble families adored the smarts of this inherently intelligent dog breed. Poodles worked as street performers, circus entertainers, and hunters.

The beginning of the Sheepadoodle is not very clear, but it is clear that these dogs started rising in popularity on purpose in the early 2000s. Part of the reason so many full grown Sheepadoodles were adopted is that people fell in love with these loving, teddy bear-like dogs. Another reason these hybrids were so popular is that hypoallergenic dogs have become hot commodities in the past twenty years. Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs became incredibly popular for their friendly dispositions, hard work ethic, and loyalty to their families.

Often, when breeders start ‘cherry-picking’ desirable traits from two dog breeds, it is either to create a new breed intended for a specific job or to get rid of less desirable qualities in a dog breed.

Sheepadoodle puppies grew in popularity because they inherited desirable traits from both the Poodle and the Old English Sheepdog and lacked a number of health issues that come with some of their parent breeds. The United Kingdom Kennel Club announced that the Old English Sheepdog was on their 2018 breed watch list. When dog breeds land on a watch list, it’s because they commonly suffer from health conditions or points of concern. The Old English Sheepdog has an issue with excessively long and thick coats. This breed also struggles with cow hocks, making the back legs look splayed, as well as weak hind movements. Mixing the Old English Sheepdog breed with the Poodle allows an excellent breed to continue without jeopardizing an entire breed’s health.

close up photo sheepadoodle dog with blue eyes

Sheepadoodle Breed Intelligence

The Sheepadoodle hybrid comes from two naturally intelligent dog breeds. These dog breeds have been trained for centuries to work alongside their families, and full grown Sheepadoodles carry this instinctual urge to be a working member of their families. When provided with positive reinforcements and treats for rewards, owners can train their Sheepadoodle puppies to do any trick or job.

Thanks to their relation to the Poodle, Sheepadoodle puppies are happy to please their owners. Because of this habit, owners should begin training lessons as soon as possible after rescuing a Sheepadoodle pup. Even if you adopt a full grown Sheepadoodle that’s a year or older, they can still be great at training. Repetition and consistency are the keys to training your Sheepadoodle to behave well.

Often, full grown Sheepadoodle puppies have a terrible habit of jumping on people. They are gentle dogs, but it doesn’t change the fact that they generally weigh at least 60 pounds . Potential owners can efficiently train Sheepadoodle puppies out of bad jumping, chewing, or herding habits by keeping training sessions fun and short.

Providing your full grown Sheepadoodle with their favorite toys during training and great treats to keep their attention are two ways to start with an excellent training regiment. When Sheepadoodle puppies are training and get something wrong, it’s best not to scold them. They will be much more responsive to owners who only provide guidance and praise. The more love, the happier they will be to learn new tricks for you.

In addition to being easy to train, many full grown Sheepadoodles would love nothing more than to be taught a wide variety of tricks. These dogs have plenty of mental energy, and getting them to perform multiple tricks can help keep their minds sharp.

Some full grown Sheepadoodle puppies have become emotional support animals and therapy dogs. This breed excels at these jobs because they are so trainable and have a rare ability to understand human emotions, proving how intelligent Sheepadoodle puppies are.

Health Conditions That Affect This Breed

Many scientists and vets believe that crossbreeds are less likely to inherit the health conditions of their parent breeds. Even though a lot of scientists say this, some dispute this theory. No matter which is true, Sheepadoodle puppies are generally very healthy dogs.

Like every breed, this hybrid has its fair share of risky health conditions they can experience. However, many of the illnesses that Sheepadoodles are genetically predisposed to are not life-threatening.

Typically, crossbreeds are at risk inheriting a few conditions their parent breeds are at risk of developing. Poodles typically have skin conditions and joint problems in their breed, while Old English Sheepdogs have similar joint issues and weight problems. Full grown Sheepadoodle puppies can develop skin diseases, obesity, joint dysplasia, severe anxiety, and a few other health conditions.

These health conditions can alter a dog’s quality of life, but overall, these conditions will not shorten a full grown Sheepadoodle expected lifespan. The average full grown Sheepadoodle lives a life somewhere between 12 and 15 years long. These dogs are typically the picture of health, especially when they get their regular vet check-ups and daily activity.

Sadly, full grown Sheepadoodle puppies are at risk of some health conditions that are much more threatening. Sheepadoodle dogs are at risk of experiencing conditions like bloat, Addison’s disease, or heart disease. Some of these conditions can cause death in a full grown Sheepadoodle if they go untreated. But potential dog owners should stay calm, knowing it’s infrequent for these conditions to appear in Sheepadoodle puppies. Even with a genetic predisposition, certain conditions are less likely to occur in dogs because of how rare they are, like heart disease or skin diseases.

Sheepadoodle owners, or potential owners, should know what health risks their dog may experience. Even though it’s unlikely for most Sheepadoodle puppies to experience conditions like bloat, knowing the signs and symptoms of these conditions could prepare owners for emergencies.

Think of it like practicing a fire alarm exit route. In large buildings, there are always fire alarm exit routes, and even if you don’t ever think about them, they exist in case of emergency to help whoever is inside. Knowing the health conditions dog breeds are at risk of is like accepting that sometimes things happen beyond our control, and the best you can do is prepare yourself for an emergency. Prepare yourself by understanding these conditions, what they are caused by, and the signs your full grown Sheepadoodle will show if they are experiencing any of the below health conditions.

sheepadoodle puppy laying on the grass

Epilepsy

Many different dog breeds suffer from epilepsy and need medical help to aid them in their health condition. Full grown Sheepadoodles have a predisposed risk of developing epilepsy because Poodles have a higher risk than most dogs of developing this condition. There are many different causes of epilepsy, and while some are hereditary, sometimes epilepsy can also be caused by brain malformations or toxins. Epilepsy is a common neurological condition where the brain has some sort of abnormality that causes random and repetitive seizures.

Dogs that experience epilepsy might start showing signs as young as six months of age. Vets can only diagnose epilepsy once they know its cause, and vets cannot supply any treatment without knowing the type of epilepsy. Sheepadoodle puppies with epilepsy will show a few different symptoms and can experience a variety of seizures.

Standard Poodles are more at risk of epilepsy than smaller size Poodles, so the standard full grown Sheepadoodle is more likely to experience epilepsy than mini and toy Sheepadoodles. Poodles specifically experience focal seizures and generalized seizures the most, so it’s reasonable to think Sheepadoodles with epilepsy may have similar experiences.

Focal seizures occur when a full grown Sheepadoodle has a signal come from one particular part of the brain, and the seizure symptoms only appear on the part of the body. Generalized seizures are quite the opposite, and they begin in both hemispheres of the brain and can have many signs on a dog’s body. Sheepadoodle puppies can also experience many other seizures.

Another type of attack epileptic full grown Sheepadoodles might have is a tonic seizure. Tonic seizures occur when Sheepadoodle puppies experience an increased muscle tone and can last for a few minutes. An atonic episode looks like the opposite; a full grown Sheepadoodle can suddenly lose muscle tone and can last up to a minute. Tonic-clonic attacks happen when Sheepadoodle puppies have a tonic seizure but immediately follow it with short jerking movements. Myoclonic episodes seem like a full grown Sheepadoodle is having quick muscle contractions.

Other types of seizures dogs can have include status seizures, which occur when dogs have one episode quickly after another, or if Sheepadoodle puppies have a seizure that lasts five minutes or longer. Sheepadoodle puppies can have cluster seizures when they have two or more attacks in twenty-four hours.

Poodles with epilepsy are somewhat rare because the most common type of seizure they experience begins as focal seizures and branches out into a generalized seizure. Sheepadoodles may also have this strange quality because of their relation to Poodles. These seizures might look like Sheepadoodle puppies have an aggressive cramp in their leg that spreads across their whole body.

Sheepadoodle puppies might experience other types of seizures such as reactive seizures or reflexive seizures. Reflexive seizures are reactive attacks to external stimuli. When loud noises, flashes, or other alarming events occur around animals, they can reflexively have a seizure. Reactive seizures respond to internal stimuli like metabolic derangements or ingesting toxins. Even though Sheepadoodle puppies can have these seizures, epilepsy doesn’t cause them. However, reactive seizures can cause a full grown Sheepadoodle to develop one type of epilepsy.

Sheepadoodles can have a few different kinds of epilepsy, and the one they could inherit genetically is idiopathic epilepsy. When a full grown Sheepadoodle has an unidentifiable structural cause or a metabolic disease, it can develop idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy can be the result of a particular genetic breed defect. All the variations of Poodles are more commonly affected by idiopathic epilepsy than any other type. Sheepadoodle puppies may carry this same tendency. Typically, idiopathic epilepsy gets diagnosed between one and five years old. If a Sheepadoodle puppy has seizures and normal neurological functions, they likely have idiopathic epilepsy.

If Sheepadoodle puppies experiencing epilepsy have identifiable structural issues, they likely have structural epilepsy. Structural epilepsy can result from inflammatory brain diseases, intracranial tumors, or head traumas. Sadly, any vascular events like strokes can cause a full grown Sheepadoodle to develop structural epilepsy. Vets may test for this type of epilepsy with MRIs or spinal fluid analysis. Owners play a big part in helping vets diagnose a specific type of epilepsy because owners can see more symptoms than vets can. If Sheepadoodle puppies show neurological abnormalities between their seizures, vets will suspect structural epilepsy. Also, vets may consider this type of epilepsy if your Sheepadoodle puppies are outside the typical age range that idiopathic epilepsy gets diagnosed.

Dogs may also experience epilepsy of an unknown cause. When vets suspect a full grown Sheepadoodle has structural epilepsy but have no identifiable reasons or have yet to complete examinations, they will diagnose dogs with epilepsy of an unknown cause.

Refractory epilepsy is when a full grown Sheepadoodle experiences seizures while being treated for epilepsy and usually means the anti-epileptic medication they are taking is not effective anymore. Typically this means that two different epileptic drugs fail, and this type of epilepsy occurs in 30-40% of all dogs diagnosed with epilepsy.

If Sheepadoodle puppies have epilepsy, they need their owners to identify different symptoms they might experience while suffering from epilepsy. If any owner believes their Sheepadoodle puppies have epilepsy, they should record whatever observable symptoms they can.

Owners should keep track of what body parts the seizures affect and how long they last. Knowing when the seizures occur, how often they occur, and your dog’s behavior during and after they occur can also help your vet decipher which type of epilepsy your dog has. Owners should also track automatisms such as repetitive motor activities that resemble voluntary movements like licking, smacking lips, or chewing. Noticing if your dog has these behaviors during seizures can also help vets.

When dogs experience seizures, the list of symptoms is long and varied. Sometimes, Sheepadoodle puppies could experience blindness, loss of consciousness, anxiety or difficulty standing. If you notice your dog had a strange event before the seizure, this information is crucial for vets to most accurately diagnose epilepsy.

Sheepadoodle owners cannot prevent epilepsy in their dogs. Sheepadoodle puppies with epilepsy would be best taken care of by owners that remain informed and astute to their dog’s actions. Vets can treat Sheepadoodle puppies with epilepsy by prescribing anti-epileptic drugs. These drugs work by blocking the neurotransmitters that cause seizures. Some dogs don’t respond as well to certain anti-epileptic drugs as they do to others, but vets often prescribe two or more medications at once. These drugs can have significant side effects that affect your dog’s behavior or other health factors, which is why it’s so crucial for vets to be able to determine the cause of seizures properly. Sometimes dogs can’t receive treatment for epilepsy, but this is rare. Some owners have found that CBD helps Sheepadoodle puppies have fewer seizures overall. Technically, CBD is not an official treatment, but Sheepadoodle puppy owners can always talk to their vet about the benefits of treating epilepsy with CBD. While there are many treatment options, there is no cure for epilepsy. Dogs will need treatment for the rest of their lives.

close up photo of sheepadoodle puppy

Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Sheepadoodle puppies are very loyal dogs, making these dogs more likely to suffer from separation anxiety. Full grown Sheepadoodles can still be very dependent dogs and might be down or stressed when their family leaves for long periods of time. Some Sheepadoodles with separation anxiety act out and misbehave when they’re left home alone. Many animals that misbehave when left alone are actually having panic attacks.

When families adopt Sheepadoodle puppies from rescues or shelters, the puppies are more likely to have separation anxiety. However, Sheepadoodles raised in one family home since puppyhood are much less likely to suffer from separation anxiety as long as they receive proper training at a young age. Sheepadoodles are predisposed to developing separation anxiety because of both of their parent breeds. If a Sheepadoodle puppy experiences forms of abandonment, trauma, change in guardianship, or change in residence, then they are more likely to experience separation anxiety.

Many Sheepadoodle puppies have symptoms that present when they suffer from separation anxiety. For example, before owners leave the house, Sheepadoodle puppies with separation anxiety may start crying, barking, or whining at their owners. Anxious dogs may try to prevent their owners from leaving with these methods. Some Sheepadoodles will try to block the doors, and very rarely, some dogs become aggressive trying to convince their people to stay.

Symptoms of separation anxiety can look like your dog howling, chewing, digging, or in other ways destroying your home and space when you aren’t home. These dogs might urinate or defecate out of anxiety while they’re left alone. There is a wide range of symptoms that full grown Sheepadoodle puppies with separation anxiety experience, and usually, the more often and severe the symptoms, the more complicated their separator anxiety is.

When adopting a full grown Sheepadoodle, owners need to allow their dogs a period where they can become accustomed to having a home. This means owners simultaneously need to give their dogs space but not leave the house often. To correctly accustom a dog to being left alone, owners need to leave their full grown Sheepadoodle puppies alone in short periods that slowly extend as the puppy gets more comfortable. Give your Sheepadoodle puppies special treats that they only ever receive when left alone. Once your full grown Sheepadoodle becomes more comfortable, you can start extending the time you’re gone.

Some owners try giving specific treats to calm their Sheepadoodle puppy’s nerves. CBD is a typical treatment for separation anxiety, and some vets may recommend mild separation anxiety with counterconditioning techniques.

Counterconditioning is a treatment meant to slowly change an animal’s fearful, anxious, or stressful reaction to a good one instead. This treatment works best when owners are patient and slowly work with their Sheepadoodle puppies. You can try giving your dog puzzles to entertain themselves with or leave them alone for ten minutes at a time, always rewarding them when you come back. Buying your Sheepadoodle puppy a comfy bed and some fun toys can also help them pass the time while you’re away.

In severe cases of this separation anxiety, full grown Sheepadoodle puppies can get so anxious that they don’t eat. These cases require professional help in counterconditioning your severely anxious Sheepadoodle puppy. Certified trainers will understand where your Sheepadoodle’s fears root from and help unfold the best way to help them manage their separation anxiety. These methods can fully turn around a Sheepadoodle with separation anxiety. However, if another inciting incident such as abandonment or trauma occurs, these factors can cause separation anxiety to appear all over again. Vets may prescribe medications or other treatments to help Sheepadoodles with separation anxiety.

sheepadoodle dog laying in front of white background

Gut Health

Bloat

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), otherwise known as bloat, is a life-threatening medical emergency that takes the lives of many dogs. Typically, vets say that if a full grown Sheepadoodle experiencing bloat can walk into an emergency vet hospital, they have a 50% chance of surviving. Many dogs that contract this disease don’t get to a veterinary hospital while they can walk and often arrive at the vet in their owner’s arms. Bloat kills about 30% of dogs that experience this condition.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus is a medical condition where the stomach traps food, liquid, or gas inside of it and begins bloating. When bloat occurs, blood cannot access the hind legs, abdomen, or heart. This condition often progresses to the point where the stomach flips. When this part of the condition happens, dogs are in a life-threatening position. A flipped stomach often traps the spleen and pancreas and cuts off blood flow to multiple organs. Also, dogs with bloat often have extreme difficulty breathing because the bloated belly is pressing up on the lungs.

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Bloat is so deadly that even if surgery is successful, allowing the pressure in the stomach to be released and returning all affected organs to their original areas, dogs can still die from other complications. For example, when the stomach turns and grabs the pancreas, the blood supply to the pancreas stops. When the pancreas doesn’t have oxygen, it automatically releases very toxic hormones into a dog’s system. One of these poisonous hormones actually results in the heart stopping. Sadly, there is no way to tell if a full grown Sheepadoodle has reached this point or not after the stomach has turned.

When dogs experience bloat, it is vital to their survival that the owner gets their dog to the vet as quickly as possible. Symptoms of this health condition in dogs can manifest as a bloated stomach. Some dogs experience excessive drooling, panting, restlessness, or whining. Many dogs that have this condition will try stretching to relieve the gas, and often a sign a dog is struggling is when they try to vomit, and nothing comes up. The most common symptom Poodles show when they experience bloat is a failed attempt to vomit. It’s reasonable to think that this may be a common symptom for Sheepadoodle puppies to show as well. Some dogs with bloat also lose consciousness or collapse.

Without treatment, it might take an hour or less for a dog to die. After two hours, your dog will likely enter shock, raising its heart rate and weakening its pulse, and the shock will eventually lead to death.

Many vets don’t know the exact cause of bloat, but they know what can raise the risk of bloat. Bloat is most common in deep-chested large dogs, however, smaller dogs can experience this as well.

Vets will treat a dog with bloat by assessing where they are in the severity of the condition. If a dog is in shock, vets must first stabilize the animal before receiving treatment for bloat. Once stable, vets will perform a simple surgery to twist the stomach back to the correct position and deflate it of whatever is causing the excess pressure. After stabilizing a full grown Sheepadoodle puppy, vets will usually perform a preventative surgery called gastropexy to prevent the stomach from twisting again.

Dogs that experience bloat are 90% more likely to experience the condition again. Many vets always perform preventative surgery on dogs that have bloat. This surgery attaches the stomach lining to the abdominal wall, preventing the stomach from ever twisting, thankfully stopping many health risks that this can cause.

Owners may find it difficult trying to prevent bloat, since the exact cause of this condition is unclear. However, there are many suggestions about what will make bloat less likely. Dogs that devour their food quickly or drink a lot of water immediately before or after eating increase their risk of developing bloat. Owners want to keep their Sheepadoodle from being too energetic right before or after eating. Some people believe that raised food bowls cause bloat, but years prior, the same claim was made about food bowls located on the floor, so it is hard to decipher what methods will work. Specific ingredients like soybean meals, excessive oils, fats, or carbs in the first four ingredients of any dog food can increase a predisposed risk of bloat fourfold.

Dogs that eat one large meal a day are twice as likely to experience bloat as dogs that eat multiple smaller meals. A slow feeding bowl can greatly reduce the risk of binge eating-induced bloat. Highly anxious dogs are more likely to boat as well as unhappy or fearful dogs, so well-exercised dogs are less likely to have bloat.

Some owners and vets choose to perform preventative gastropexy surgery on a full grown Sheepadoodle before they ever experience bloat. High-risk dogs, especially tall dogs with thin but deep chests, are more predisposed to this health condition than other breeds. Vets may opt to attach a dog’s stomach to their abdominal lining at the same time they perform sterilization. These procedures are not complicated and don’t take much work to perform. Sadly, it may not be cost-effective to get this preventative surgery done. Still, dogs breeds at high risk of experiencing bloat, like the Sheepadoodle, may benefit greatly from this preventative surgery.

No matter what owners do, there is no way to prevent bloat from occurring entirely. Even by ensuring you are doing as many preventative methods as possible and giving your full grown Sheepadoodle the preventative surgery, dogs will still have a chance of experiencing bloat. This chance will be much smaller than the risk before these changes, but there is no definitive way to prevent this condition. If you ever see symptoms of bloat in your full grown Sheepadoodle or, for any reason, think your full grown Sheepadoodle may be experiencing bloat, take them to the emergency vet clinic right away. Ten minutes could be the difference of whether a full grown Sheepadoodle with bloat lives or not, so be aware of this condition, especially if you still want to adopt a Sheepadoodle puppy.

Many larger dogs and dog breeds are at higher risk of developing bloat. This percentage is partly because of the hereditary effect bloat has on dogs and because larger dogs with deep chests are more at risk of developing this health condition because of the room their stomach has to twist. Sheepadoodle puppies experiencing bloat will always need veterinarian care to help them.

happy sheepadoodle dog laying on the grass

 

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Obesity

This hybrid breed comes from two very active larger breeds. Large active breeds can be the silliest and most active of companions, but they can also easily become obese. Dog obesity is often caused by a lack of exercise or by overfeeding.

Sheepadoodle puppies should only be fed food formulated for large dog breeds with a lot of energy, ensuring they get all the nutrients and vitamins they need to stay energetic. Owners of Sheepadoodle puppies should feed their dogs multiple times a day and ensure their dog does not scarf their food down.

Typically, the ideal amount of food a Sheepadoodle will eat is between three and four cups of high-quality dry dog food daily. Dogs with deep chests like the Sheepadoodle benefit from multiple small meals a day, so owners should feed their full grown Sheepadoodle at least two meals daily. However, to help dogs that eat quickly, three or four small meals can benefit their metabolism and other health issues. Sheepadoodle puppies under six months old must eat at least four meals daily.

Sheepadoodles have specific dietary needs that may change depending on a wide variety of factors. Factors that can affect a regular diet include weight, sex, age, activity levels, or other health conditions that affect the dog. Owners can work with their veterinarians to decide on a proper diet.

About 50% of all adult pet dogs in the United States are obese, and full grown Sheepadoodle dogs have numerous raised health risks because of their excessive weight. Obese Sheepadoodles risk developing type two diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and heart disease. Obesity can cause a Sheepadoodle to have a higher risk of developing conditions they’re already predisposed to, such as hip dysplasia. Also, on average, obese dogs live a shorter lifespan of up to two and a half years.

In order to help obese dogs lose their excess weight, owners must be ready to give their dogs strict mealtimes and food measurements along with more vigorous exercises. Dogs with underlying health conditions such as hypothyroidism will not lose their excess weight until the underlying health condition gets treatment.

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Eye Health

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Sheepadoodle puppies are one of many breeds predisposed to experiencing progressive retinal atrophy. Poodles carry a gene mutation in their breed that can cause this blinding health disease and risk passing it on to their Sheepadoodle descendants. Sheepadoodle puppies with progressive retinal atrophy lose their eyesight over time. Sheepadoodle puppies can inherit this health condition genetically, although they’ll need two copies of this gene mutation to be affected by this condition. This disease typically appears within the first few months of a Sheepadoodle puppy’s life. By the time Sheepadoodle puppies reach one year old, they will likely be blind, although some owners found a way to postpone their dog’s blindness until they were three or four years old.

When progressive retinal atrophy affects Sheepadoodle puppies’ sight, it slowly degenerates the rods and cones of the eyes. Sheepadoodle puppies with this health condition lose their ability to see at night first. When they lose this ability, they may become frightened of going outside at night or jumping onto a bed in the dark. After Sheepadoodle puppies lose their night vision, they lose their peripheral vision. Sheepadoodle puppies in this stage might be terrible at catching treats or toys and may get startled easily. Lastly, progressive retinal atrophy targets a dog’s ability to see in bright light, and Sheepadoodle puppies are left blind.

While owners have tried to treat this eye condition with supplements or additional medications, there are no official treatments to extend an affected Sheepadoodle dog’s vision. Sometimes dogs with this disease grow cataracts before they lose all of their vision but become blind faster because cataracts block their eyesight. If this situation is caught early enough by an owner or vet, surgery can remove those cataracts prolonging your dog’s eyesight. Sheepadoodle puppies with progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts will still go blind over time if their cataracts get removed.

Owners need to be able to assist their Sheepadoodle puppies as they become blind. Because this happens over a series of weeks, dogs can usually adapt pretty well on their own to their limited eyesight Sheepadoodle puppies may have a hard time walking or turning corners in your house, but over time, your full grown Sheepadoodle will adjust to these little things and maneuver around better. Owners can assist Sheepadoodle puppies by marking certain rooms with scented or tactile markers. Scented markers might not be a big thing for people, but the sense of smell is a Sheepadoodle puppy’s number one sense, so it makes sense that they would better adapt to their surroundings this way if they lost their eyesight. Owners can also help their Sheepadoodle puppies feel comfortable by changing visual cues to verbal ones before dogs lose their vision completely. Always go with your blind full grown Sheepadoodle outside and never let them off the leash. If your full grown Sheepadoodle starts to get nervous outside when they lose their vision, give them plenty of praise and pets, and let them know you’re there.

There is no way for owners to prevent progressive retinal atrophy in Sheepadoodle puppies. Most blind dogs can live a regular life with some extra guidance from their families.

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Cataracts

Many dog breeds risk inheriting cataracts, and Sheepadoodle puppies share a somewhat elevated risk of developing this eye condition. Cataracts are caused by lumping up proteins in the eyes, creating a cloudy film blocking the dog’s eyesight. This film can look like it’s a bluish-gray or white color, but it will obstruct a Sheepadoodle puppy’s eyes. Cataracts can’t be prevented in Sheepadoodle puppies.

Cloudy eyes can appear in a dog’s face overnight. If you and your vet are adamant about checking your dog’s eyes, you should be able to spot cataracts early on. Depending on the cause of cataracts and how early in their development you catch them, vets may recommend surgery to remove your full grown Sheepadoodle dog’s cataracts. Vets then use plastic or acrylic films to replace the ones they remove because of cataracts. The downside of this is that surgery can be very costly. Other than surgery, there are not many treatments for cataracts.

sheepadoodle dog running through the grass

Immune Health

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrands disease is common in Standard Poodles, which means Sheepadoodle puppies are at risk of developing this health condition. Von Willebrands disease is a specific type of blood deficiency. A scientist by the name of Von Willebrand found this disease, and he noticed that some dogs lack a particular factor that helps blood clotting. The missing factor that causes this disease was named after the scientist that found it.

Sheepadoodle puppies with this blood disease experience bleeding more often than others, and they may go through random bursts of nose bleeds, or they might bleed from their gums or minor wounds for more extended periods. Sheepadoodle puppies with this health condition often show few symptoms and don’t get diagnosed until three to five years old.

Sheepadoodle puppies can carry this gene but not be affected if they don’t have two copies of it, but about 9% of Standard Poodles carry the trait for this disease. However, only 1% of Poodles are affected by this disease. Even though Sheepadoodles have a higher risk of developing this condition than other breeds, many Sheepadoodle puppies will never have this. Although this disease affects a full grown Sheepadoodle dog’s ability to clot blood, it isn’t life-threatening. Because this condition is a blood issue, it is not preventable. There are no medications dogs can take to clot their blood faster.

To help Sheepadoodles with Von Willebrands, owners can ask their vets to test for this issue. Full grown Sheepadoodles can typically live long lives without this disease being diagnosed since it has mild symptoms. However, if dogs experience surgery or accidents where they bleed a lot, they can be in a lot of danger. Vets will usually recommend that owners no longer allow their Sheepadoodles to exercise on hard surfaces like concrete, tile, or hardwood.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease, also called hypoadrenocorticism, is severe for many dog breeds. If full grown Sheepadoodle dogs receive the correct treatments and diagnoses, they might live an expected lifespan. However, Addison’s disease can shorten a Sheepadoodle dog’s natural lifespan.

Addison’s disease occurs when adrenal glands fail to produce any hormones that they’re responsible for spreading. The most important hormones these glands produce are steroids, aldosterone, and cortisone. These hormones are responsible for regulating your Sheepadoodle puppies’ internal organ systems. Because this disease can fail to control your dog’s internal organs, Sheepadoodle puppies must get diagnosed with this disease as soon as possible. If they go undiagnosed or go without treatment, their bodies can begin to deteriorate, leading to severe secondary health conditions or death.

The cause of Addison’s disease is unknown, although vets and scientists suspect that many cases of this health condition result from an autoimmune process. However, some causes of this disease are known, such as destruction of the adrenal gland, metastatic tumors, hemorrhage, granulomatous disease, or infarction. Some dog breeds are more likely to develop this health issue, like Sheepadoodle puppies.

This condition is dangerous because of its significant effect on a Sheepadoodle dog’s health and how difficult it is to diagnose. Vets have come to call this disease the ‘great imitator’ for its ability to mask its symptoms, appearing as other diseases.

Sheepadoodle puppies that get successfully diagnosed with Addison’s disease usually get diagnosed during an Addisonian crisis. When the disease reaches a severe stage, and your Sheepadoodle may be having life-threatening symptoms, vets will stabilize them then perform a series of tests to determine the types of diseases the full grown Sheepadoodle may have.

Sheepadoodle puppies with Addison’s disease may show various symptoms, including inappropriate responses to stress, poor appetite, and lethargy. Other symptoms might be weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, alopecia, or bloody stools. If your Sheepadoodle puppies have weak pulses or irregular heartbeats, they should be taken to the vet immediately. Some Sheepadoodle puppies have increased urination, increased thirst, dehydration, low temperature, a painful abdomen, low blood sugar, or hyperpigmentation of the skin. Because of how long this list of symptoms is, it is tough to diagnose Addison’s disease before a full grown Sheepadoodle falls into an Addisonian crisis.

Addison’s disease cannot be prevented or cured. Some owners opt to try testing for Addison’s disease by allowing a vet to medically induce an Addisonian crisis in their dogs. It may seem harsh, but knowing your Sheepadoodle puppies have these attacks can save their life. Once vets determine a diagnosis, they will become replacement hormones to help your Sheepadoodle puppies deal with their hormone deficiency.

sheepadoodle looking off to the side

Joint Health

Hip Dysplasia

Sheepadoodle puppies are at risk of experiencing hip dysplasia because of both their parent breeds. Hip dysplasia is a joint issue that can drastically reduce a dog’s quality of life if it isn’t caught early and treated. This joint issue is a common skeletal condition and mainly occurs in larger dogs, but breeds more predisposed to this disease can appear in any size.

The hip joint works as a ball-in-socket, and the femur should align with the joint and allow the joint to slide smoothly, but Sheepadoodle puppies with this condition lack hip joints that align correctly.

Sheepadoodle puppies may inherit this health condition because of genetics, and this condition can also magnify its risk with improper care. Obesity, excessive exercise, a lack of exercise, wrong weight, or poor nutrition can magnify an already existing predisposition for hip dysplasia.

Sheepadoodle puppies with hip dysplasia will usually show symptoms through arthritis or inflammation. If full grown Sheepadoodle dogs have unregular degrees of looseness in their joint or suffer from decreased range of motions, they also show they’re suffering from hip dysplasia. Sheepadoodle puppies may have reduced activity or difficulting standing, rising, jumping, or running. Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs may struggle when using the stairs and might develop a strange swaying ‘bunny hop’ walk. Many dogs with hip dysplasia lose muscle mass in their thighs and gain muscle mass in their shoulders because they compensate for the hind legs. Hip dysplasia can cause pain, stiffness, soreness, or other physical issues to any affected Sheepadoodle puppies.

If owners are observant of Sheepadoodle puppies and their activities, they might be able to catch this health condition early on. Owners cannot prevent hip dysplasia, but they can lower the risk their dogs develop this condition by keeping a full grown Sheepadoodle healthy and making sure obesity isn’t a health risk for them. Obesity is one of the main contributions to dogs suffering from hip dysplasia. Vets can perform physical exams to diagnose this health condition. Vets can diagnose hip dysplasia faster if owners keep a detailed list of any observable qualities that may point to hip dysplasia, especially if they think their Sheepadoodle puppies suffer from this health condition.

Treatment options for hip dysplasia vary depending on the severity. Dogs can take supplements to help them with this issue. Even when arthritis progresses through the hip joint, these supplements can be safe and helpful in treating hip dysplasia. Treatment for this issue can look like lifestyle modifications or surgery. Weight reduction can take the stress off the hips, but dogs suffering from hip dysplasia cannot participate in many exercises. Owners should avoid physical activities like running, jumping, or long walks on hard surfaces. Vets may recommend physical therapy for dogs that receive surgery or even dogs that don’t. Anti-inflammatory medication, joint fluid modifiers, or common surgeries can aid dogs with hip dysplasia.

Owners can try to prevent Sheepadoodle puppies from experiencing hip dysplasia by ensuring they get the proper nutrients and daily exercise. Sheepadoodle puppies that receive the correct amount of exercise have well-oiled joints that don’t get overly stiff on their own. Over-active dogs tear down vulnerable cartilage on predisposed hip joints. Owners can also try to prevent this condition in their dogs by providing comfortable resting places for their dogs to relieve their joints. The best way to provide this is by allowing your dogs to rest on your furniture, like a bed or couch, or getting them a thick dog bed, so their legs don’t lay on the ground. Pet owners that want to go above and beyond can provide all of these things for their full grown Sheepadoodle to prevent hip dysplasia.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a health condition when the elbow joint doesn’t align correctly. The elbow is comprised of three bones: the radius, ulna, and humorous, and when these bones connect correctly in the joint, they can support and withstand a lifetime of use. Still, when they don’t, they grind and eventually lead to elbow dysplasia.

Elbow dysplasia is an umbrella term for a number of more specific diseases that lead to the same elbow joint prognosis. Elbow incongruity, ununited medial epicondyle, osteochondritis dessicans of the medial humeral condyle, fragmented medial coronoid process, and ununited anconeal process are a few names of the specific diseases that encompass elbow dysplasia.

Sheepadoodle puppies with elbow dysplasia will typically experience symptoms of discomfort, usually in one of their front two legs. This discomfort might present itself in the form of lameness in your Sheepadoodle dog’s arms. Affected Sheepadoodle puppies might also show reluctance in many activities, and these dogs might stop using stairs. In most cases, the joint becomes stiff and shows signs of pain and swelling. Many cases of elbow dysplasia present themselves when Sheepadoodle puppies are between six and ten months old. Still, it is also common for dogs with elbow dysplasia to go undiagnosed for years.

As this condition develops, the joint becomes more damaged. If an owner suspects their Sheepadoodle might have this condition, they should call their vet.

Vets expect that 80-85% of patients with elbow dysplasia will respond favorably with physical rehabilitation and pain management medication. The other 15-20% of patients will require more advanced procedures for successful treatments. These advanced procedures usually come in the form of corrective elbow surgeries or joint replacements. An entire elbow joint replacement is not as successful as a whole hip replacement, but vets might advise this type of procedure depending on the severity of the condition.

Sadly, there aren’t many ways to prevent elbow dysplasia. Sometimes, owners try to decrease their full grown Sheepadoodle dog’s chances of getting elbow dysplasia by providing particular vitamins and nutrients or providing rest. Obesity is a huge contributing factor to all joint issues in dogs. Ensuring your Sheepadoodle receives the proper amount of exercise is a key factor in maintaining their healthy weight and joints. Large dogs are more prone to joint dysplasia because of how much pressure their joints take from their physical weight. When large dog breeds, like the Sheepadoodle, are overweight, it magnifies the risk of developing elbow dysplasia.

When animals don’t get enough activity, their joints stiffen, gradually losing range of motion. For a standard Sheepadoodle, less exercise leads to stiffer, more arthritic joints and bone over time. On the other hand, dogs that get too much activity can wear and tear their cartilage away.

In addition to that, after long walks or hikes, or periods of activity, owners should have places their dogs can comfortably rest. Any dog owner needs to be committed to providing proper exercise levels for their dog.

sheepadoodle puppy sitting next to wood fence

 

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Skin and Coat Health

Routine Coat Care

Sheepadoodle dogs get their coats from both parent breeds. The primary colors of Sheepadoodle coats are typically a mix of black and white, or they can be solid black or even gray. Because full grown Sheepadoodle dogs are related to the Poodle, they’re a great choice of pet for people who suffer from allergies. No dog is 100% hypoallergenic- not even the standard Poodle. Still, Sheepadoodle dogs have very little shedding and tend to be great companions to those with dog allergies. Sheepadoodle puppies still shed, although they do much less than many long-haired dogs.

This adorable hybrid breed can have flat, wavy, or curly fur coats. Their coats tend to be dense and long, so they thrive in cooler weather. However, Sheepadoodle puppies can do great in warm areas as long as their fur is kept short.

Sheepadoodle puppies need their coat brushed two to three times a week to be at their healthiest. This ensures that no dead hair gets stuck, and your pet’s coat will remain clean and soft. Full grown Sheepadoodle dogs’ coats will mat and attract dirt and debris without regular brushing sessions. Matted fur can also trap air net to the skin without allowing it to circulate, and this can cause bacteria to build up and lead to secondary skin infections.

Sheepadoodle puppies have beautiful fur coats that must be trimmed every two to three months. Many owners don’t feel comfortable trimming their dogs’ fur themselves, and they take their dogs to professional groomers. However, if an owner feels they can take care of this by themselves at home, there is no need to take your Sheepadoodle to a groomer. Dogs that live in warmer climates will need short hair and thus need their coats trimmed more often.

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Sheepadoodle Puppies are Great Dogs

Sheepadoodle puppies are some of the kindest, fluffiest, and silliest dogs on the planet. This mixed breed’s popularity has boomed in the past decade because they work so hard to please their families. This intelligent, naturally adorable breed is a great fit for many families, but not all families are a great fit for them.

Sheepadoodle puppies need families who know they can provide the minimum daily activity. Active families who love hiking, swimming, or competing in dog sports would be a great match for this type of dog. Families looking to adopt a Sheepadoodle puppy need to be absolutely sure they won’t get annoyed with a velcro dog or an overly-affectionate puppy because full grown Sheepadoodle dogs will do their best to become permanently attached to their owners.

As long as potential owners know about a dog’s training and health needs and believe they can care for them, then they should be set. Responsible pet owners will never look into rescuing an animal they aren’t completely sure they can support.

A great way to test the waters is to foster some rescue Sheepadoodle puppies in your home. You may find out that while you love Sheepadoodle puppies, a miniature size Sheepadoodle is a better fit for you and your lifestyle. Or, you might have a match made in heaven the first moment you meet a Sheepadoodle dog. Sheepadoodle puppies see their humans as their earth, moon, and sky. These puppies deserve committed owners who will love them wholeheartedly.