Mini Sheepadoodle – Breed Review & Answers to Questions

A black and white Mini Sheepadoodle sporting a recent haircut relaxing on a lawn.

All of the various Doodle dogs today are adorable and have characteristics that many people are looking for in a companion animal.

However, the Mini Sheepadoodle truly stands out from the crowd with unique color patterns and an appearance that melts hearts instantly.

What is a Mini Sheepadoodle? Mini Sheepadoodles are a designer breed resulting from the pairing of an Old English Sheepdog and a Miniature Poodle. These gentle, loving dogs typically weigh 20 – 40 pounds, are black and white, and have a soft, wavy coat. Prices range from $1,000 to $4,000.

Knowing what a Mini Sheepadoodle is exactly is just the tip of the iceberg, especially if you’re considering adding one of these cuties to your family.

Let’s dive in to take a closer look at what you can expect with a Miniature Sheepadoodle as far as appearance, temperament, and daily care are concerned.

What to Expect With a Mixed Breed

With mixed breeds, be prepared to expect the unexpected as they can inherit traits from either parent breed.

Elements from each parent will be present, but most of the time the traits are softened or diluted to an extent.

It’s much like what would happen if you were to have two paint brushes, one dipped in blue and one in yellow.

If you were to swipe the brushes randomly all over a piece of paper, there would be areas where the original colors were still distinct, right?

In other areas, the colors would have blended to green. This illustrates what to expect when an Old English Sheepdog is paired with a Poodle.

A resulting puppy may have the deep, ringing bark of the Sheepdog and the high intelligence of the Poodle but have a coat with combined features from each breed.

Mini Sheepadoodle Characteristics

Mini Sheepadoodles are smart, easy-going, and delightful in every way.

Their shaggy coats and alert, intelligent faces are hard to resist, but their joyful, sometimes goofy personality is really the icing on the cake.

They love people and are happy to do what is asked of them, making training much easier than with breeds known for being stubborn.

They are, however, not all the same, and appearances and traits can differ significantly, even in puppies from the same litter.

Most Mini Sheepadoodles are created by breeding an Old English Sheepdog with a Miniature Poodle to produce what is known as the first generation (F1).

Some breeders, however, use a Moyen or Toy Poodle and others may cross an F1 Sheepadoodle with a Mini Poodle (F1B generation) or breed two Mini Sheepadoodles to produce F2 puppies.

F1 puppies will be the most variable in terms of appearance, temperament, coat, and shedding, while F1B puppies are more predictable and are typically very allergy friendly.

Here’s a quick look at key Mini Sheepadoodle facts.

Parent breeds Old English Sheepdog and Miniature Poodle
Also known as Sheepapoo, Sheepadoo, and Sheepoodle
Height  Approximately 18 inches
Weight 20 – 40 pounds
Coat Soft, dense, and wavy 
Colors Black and white is most common
Cost $1,000 – $4,000
Temperament Easy going, happy, gentle, and affectionate
Exercise needs 30 – 45 minutes daily
Intelligence High
Trainability High
Shedding Very low to nonexistent
Hypoallergenic? Likely
Grooming requirements High
Health Generally healthy, but conditions from parent breeds possible
Life expectancy 12 – 14 years

What Does a Mini Sheepadoodle Look Like? 

A black and white Mini Sheepadoodle puppy standing beside his food bowl on an outdoor patio.

A Mini Sheepadoodle looks a lot like other popular Doodle dogs except for the striking coat coloration.

This mix is a medium-sized dog with a sturdy, muscular build.

The ears hang down, and the head is not quite as massive as that of a Sheepdog but not as delicate looking as that of a Poodle either.

Most Sheepadoodles are black and white and have a luxurious, wavy coat that makes them appear larger than they actually are. 

Mini Sheepadoodle Size 

Most Mini Sheepadoodles will be under 45 pounds as adults.

However, as there is no official breed standard, breeders are left with a lot of leeway as far as breeding and terminology are concerned.

Because of this, sizes can vary significantly, with some breeders claiming that any Sheepadoodle less than 50 pounds is a Mini.

Others may use Moyen Poodles to obtain larger than average Minis, and some may use Toy Poodles to create really small Minis.

How Big Do Mini Sheepadoodles Get? 

The majority of Mini Sheepadoodles will be about 18 inches tall and weigh between 20 and 40 pounds.

Final size depends heavily on the size of the parent dogs and the way in which genes are expressed in the puppy.

Many breeders are able to estimate a puppy’s adult size fairly accurately based on the size of dogs previously produced from the same breeding pair.  

When Are Mini Sheepadoodles Full Grown? 

Sometime between the ages of 9 and 12 months, a Mini Sheepadoodle will reach approximately 90% of their adult size.

Any growth after that won’t be very noticeable.

What you will notice is that up until the 18 month mark, they’ll steadily acquire a more muscular appearance as they fill out and become full-fledged adults.

Mini Sheepadoodle Vs. Standard 

Mini Sheepadoodles are the smaller version of the Standard Sheepadoodle, which is produced from the Old English Sheepdog and the Standard Poodle.

Minis are several inches shorter and weigh much less than their Standard counterparts, but they will be the same as far as colors, temperament, training, and other traits are concerned.

What Is a Micro Sheepadoodle? 

While some breeders may refer to a Mini Sheepadoodle as a Micro, this is not the norm.

Micro Sheepadoodles are the next size down from a Mini and are typically produced by pairing a Mini Sheepadoodle with a Toy Poodle.

They are usually less than 20 pounds and close to 15 inches in height. Micro Sheepadoodles are often more energetic than the larger Sheepadoodles, thanks to the Toy Poodle’s active nature.

Micro Sheepadoodle Mini Sheepadoodle Standard Sheepadoodle
Height: average 15 inches

Weight: less than 20 pounds

Height: average 18 inches

Weight: 20 – 40 pounds

Height: 22+ inches

Weight: 45 – 85 pounds

Mini Sheepadoodle Colors

For Mini Sheepadoodles, the most common color by far is the black and white combination.

However, solid black, red (in various shades) and white, solid chocolate, chocolate and white, shades of brown (solid or with white markings), silver or gray, and even tricolors are available, though rare, and highly sought after.

Mini Sheepadoodle Coat 

The coat of a Mini Sheepadoodle can vary between long, loose, and wavy to moderately wavy to loosely curled.

The majority of Sheepadoodles will have a moderately wavy coat that requires frequent brushing and a monthly trim.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Double Coated?

Although it is possible for a Sheepadoodle to inherit a thick double coat from their Sheepdog side, most Mini Sheepadoodles will have a soft, plush, thick single coat like the Poodle, though the tight curls are transformed into waves of varying undulations.

Mini Sheepadoodle Temperament 

The Mini Sheepadoodle is a loving, smart, gentle, happy dog who adores people and is great with children.

These friendly Sheepdog/Poodle mixes are outgoing, active, easy to train, and naturally nonagggressive.

They are known for being clowns at times with their silly antics, but their intelligence balances out their goofy side nicely.

Mini Sheepadoodle Energy Level 

Mini Sheepadoodles are not hyper, but they are not couch potatoes either.

They have plenty of energy for backyard games, long walks, hikes, and keeping up with the kids outside but seem to sense that when indoors, it’s time to relax and rest.

Really, they are the best of both worlds – fun to play with outdoors and quiet and calm when indoors.

Do Mini Sheepadoodles Need Lots of Exercise? 

Mini Sheepadoodles are fairly active and energetic and will need 30 – 45 minutes of exercise each day.

Running around playing fetch, enjoying a brisk walk, swimming, and playing with the kids or other dogs are all excellent ways to ensure that your Sheepadoodle is receiving enough daily physical activity.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Easy to Train?

Mini Sheepadoodles are smart, attentive, and eager to please their owner, so training is typically quite easy as long as the sessions are kept brief and interesting, commands are consistent, and rewards are provided for correct behavior.

One thing to note is that, thanks to their Sheepdog background, nipping during play and chasing after anything that runs could be problematic.

This “herding” behavior should be corrected as soon as it’s noted to prevent future problems when the pup grows up.

In some Sheepadoodles, stubbornness can impede the training process occasionally, but with persistence it can be overcome completely, and any Sheepadoodle can be trained to be incredibly obedient as seen in the video here.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Good Family Dogs? 

A Mini Sheepadoodle can be an excellent fit for active families who don’t mind the grooming requirements that come with having a shaggy dog.

Mini Sheepadoodles love people, adore playing, are typically calm when indoors, and are easy to train.

This crossbreed is affectionate, patient, playful, and gentle by nature, so Sheepadoodles and kids are a winning combination, but a Mini Sheepadoodle will be just as happy in an all-adult home as long as he’s given plenty of love and adequate daily exercise.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Calm? 

Owners often report that it’s as if their Mini Sheepadoodle has an on/off switch.

When outdoors, they love to zip around the yard, play tag or ball, or any other number of activities, but as soon as they come back inside, they tend to settle right down and be perfectly calm and well behaved.

Do Mini Sheepadoodles Like to Cuddle? 

The Sheepadoodle is a very affectionate dog who loves to snuggle up beside (or on top of) family members for some quality cuddles and bonding time.

These dogs will actively seek your attention and will thrive when showered with loving physical contact routinely.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Good With Cats? 

Most Sheepadoodles will get along quite well with cats and other small pets, especially if they have been raised alongside one another.

Those with a Sheepdog-like temperament may attempt to herd or round up the family cats, but this can easily be corrected with training.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Good With Babies? 

Mini Sheepadoodles are known for being great with children of all ages, including babies.

Many Sheepadoodles will naturally protect and watch over little ones, and a strong bond between dog and baby will form quickly.

Of course, no dog should ever be left alone with a baby, and you should not allow babies to tug on, poke, or harass a dog in any way.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Aggressive?

While some Mini Sheepadoodles inherit protective traits from their Sheepdog relatives, the protectiveness is manifested in watchdog behavior, not aggression.

Although it’s true that any dog who has not received training and socialization or has been abused may react with aggression when cornered or afraid, aggression is extremely rare in Sheepadoodles.

Do Mini Sheepadoodles Bark a Lot? 

Mini Sheepadoodles are not yappy dogs as long as they are allowed to get plenty of exercise each day and have been trained and well socialized (see our Complete Guide to Socialization to learn what this entails).

They may bark in greeting, during play, or whenever someone approaches the house, but nuisance barking should not be an issue.

Do Mini Sheepadoodles Shed? 

Most Mini Sheepadoodles will not shed or will only shed very lightly. However, because the Old English Sheepdog is a moderate shedder, there are no guarantees.

Purchasing an F1B puppy, that is a puppy produced from a Mini Sheepadoodle and a Miniature Poodle pairing, will greatly increase the odds of receiving a nonshedding dog.

Are Mini Sheepadoodles Hypoallergenic? 

Of course, no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic, but Mini Sheepadoodles are generally well tolerated by those with allergies.

While many breeders claim that Sheepadoodles are hypoallergenic, a person could have a reaction from one Sheepadoodle but be fine with another.

Before purchase, spend time with your chosen puppy or rub a towel all over the dog and then sleep with the towel beside your head that night to gauge your reaction before you fall in love with a Sheepadoodle that your allergies just won’t tolerate.

How Often Do Sheepadoodles Need to Be Groomed?

Sheepadoodles will need a full-body trim every four to six weeks either at home or by a professional groomer.

If the coat is more than a few inches long, a thorough brushing every other day will be necessary, but short coats may only need brushing once a week.

Like all other dogs, Sheepadoodles will need their ears cleaned every few weeks, their nails trimmed about once a month, and their teeth brushed several times each week.

Tip: On rainy days, using towels or wipes to clean those muddy paws is a hassle. Trust me on this one – get a paw-cleaning tumbler. You just add water, insert the paws one at a time, and voilà – clean feet and no mess!

Dexas Lidded MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner,...

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Best Brush for Sheepadoodles 

For Sheepadoodles, there are really five must-haves for routine brushing:

  • A slicker brush – for reaching deep within the coat to remove loose hair and stimulate the skin. Recommended: this self-cleaning brush with comfort grips is easy on your hands.
  • A pin brush – for working through small tangles, especially on the outer portion of the coat. Recommended: this pin brush has long, sturdy pins that efficiently glide through the coat.
  • A stainless steel comb – for removing tangles/mats and for use on the legs and facial area. Recommended: this dual-sided comb has rounded tips that are more gentle on the dog’s skin.
  • A dematting tool – for slicing through and removing mats. Recommended: this easy-grip dematting rake with thumb rest to ensure safe, correct positioning during use. 
  • A detangling product – for pain-free brushing. Recommended: this detangling leave-in conditioner eliminates tangles instantly and leaves the coat shiny and soft.

Best Clippers for Sheepadoodles

You’ll need a reliable clipper set that won’t run dead in the middle of a trim and will be powerful enough to work through the coat.

This set will get the job done easily no matter how lush the coat is and can be used without the cord or while you charge it.

It includes six guards in different sizes, blunt-end scissors, and a comb, and best of all, the price is both reasonable and affordable.

ONEISALL Dog Shaver Clippers Low noise...

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Mini Sheepadoodle Haircut

Once every four to six weeks, a Mini Sheepadoodle will need a full-body clip to prevent painful mats and keep the coat at a manageable length.

A puppy cut is an adorable style and is versatile as well.

With this style the hair is clipped to an equal length all over the body, but you have the option of asking the groomer to leave the hair longer on the legs, ears, or around the face for a rounded, teddy bear look.

How Often Should I Bathe My Sheepadoodle? 

If you choose to let a professional groomer handle your Sheepadoodle’s haircuts, your dog will be given a bath before each trim, saving you the job.

However, if you opt for DIY grooming, your Sheepadoodle will need a bath once a month with a gentle shampoo for dogs and a nourishing conditioner.

Of course, an extra bath might be occasionally needed if your Sheepadoodle gets extra dirty outside, but avoid bathing too frequently as this will dry out the coat and lead to itchy, irritated skin.

Mini Sheepadoodle Diet

This crossbreed will do well on a high-quality kibble or a homemade diet (consult with your vet first).

Generally, a grain-free formula free from questionable and artificial ingredients is best to prevent digestive, allergy, and health issues.

Our Ultimate Guide to the Best Dog Food explains exactly what to look for and what to avoid.

Mini Sheepadoodle Health Issues 

As with most mixed breeds, Mini Sheepadoodles tend to suffer from fewer health issues than their purebred parents due to a larger and more diverse gene pool.

However, it is possible that conditions commonly seen in the parent breeds can be passed on to their mixed offspring.

For the Mini Sheepadoodle, possible issues to be aware of include: 

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Heart disease and defects.
  • Patellar luxation.
  • Skin conditions, such as sebaceous adenitis and allergic responses.
  • Allergies.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Addison’s disease.

Selecting a responsible breeder who performs genetic testing on breeding stock will greatly diminish the likelihood that your Mini Sheepadoodle will ever experience any major health conditions. 

How Long Do Mini Sheepadoodles Live?

Old English Sheepadoodles have a life expectancy of 10 – 12 years, and Standard Poodles typically live for 10 – 18 years, so Mini Sheepadoodles can be expected to have a similar lifespan to the parent breeds with 12 – 14 years being a reasonable estimate.

How Much Do Mini Sheepadoodles Cost? 

The price of a Mini Sheepadoodle can range from $1,000 to $4,000 but prices between $3,000 and $4,000 are the most common.

With Sheepadoodles, the price is often based on color and pattern, with rare colors, such as red or merle, on the higher end of the price range and the common black and white dogs being more modestly priced.

Where Can I Find a Mini Sheepadoodle Rescue to Adopt?

Checking with local shelters may yield results, but reaching out to social media groups is often more productive.

Also, check with rescue groups dedicated to the parent breeds as they will often take in mixes as well as purebreds.

The Rescue Shelter Network will provide you with a list of rescues both in America and around the world for both Sheepdogs and Poodles (and all other breeds as well).

Related Questions:

What is the smallest Sheepadoodle?

Currently, the Micro Sheepadoodle is the smallest Sheepadoodle being produced, weighing in at under 20 pounds.

Typically, a Mini Sheepadoodle is bred to a Toy Poodle to produce a Micro; however some breeders are already at the stage when they are able to breed a Micro to another Micro to produce puppies with more consistent features. 

Do black Sheepadoodles turn gray?

Some black Sheepadoodles may experience color fading over time, but some will retain the deep black coloration throughout life.

It all depends on whether the fading, or graying, gene is present.

As this gene is common in both Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles, the possibility of black Sheepadoodles becoming lighter certainly exists.

Last update on 2021-04-17 at 10:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API