Is a Sheepadoodle a good family dog?


Is a Sheepadoodle a good family dog?

Are you trying to decide whether to add a Sheepadoodle to your family? Wondering if these fun Poodle mixes are good family dogs? Let’s look at how you can judge whether this breed will be a great addition to your family!

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Are Sheepadoodles good family dogs?

All Poodle mixes have become increasingly popular in the recent decade. They are very common family dogs. Their low shedding coat, social nature and adorable looks make them hard to resist!

However, not ever family will find a good match in a Sheepadoodle. In order to understand better why these dogs are not always suited for family life, let’s look at their ancestors:

Sheepadoodles – OESs and Poodles

Sheepadoodles are a cross of Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles. It is important to keep in mind that both of these breeds were once developed to work hard and assist their owners – without getting tired and quitting.

Old English Sheepdogs worked as herding and guardian dogs of huge flocks of sheep, while Poodles originally were water retrievers. Both breeds are very intelligent and require daily mental and physical stimulation. They do not do well if they are left to their own devices without sufficient activity and training – and will develop poor manners and destructive behaviors.

While Sheepadoodles look like big teddybears, genetically they are anything but. They are a cross of working breed which require knowledgeable owners who will work with them daily.

black and white sheepadoodle puppy

What family is a good fit for a Sheepadoodle?

A Sheepadoodle can fit in with the right family. In order to provide all the mental and physical stimulation a Sheepadoodle needs, a potential family should:

  • Be very active and enjoy being outside, even in bad weather
  • Be ready to take the dog to training classes and train him at home every day
  • Have everyone on board with getting a high-energy puppy
  • Be prepared for the intense grooming needs of this breed – a Sheepadoodle’s coat is thick, long and will tangle if not brushed consistently
  • Have children that are 10 years or older. They can already participate in the care and training of the dog.

What is not a good fit?

If your family fits the following criteria, a Sheepadoodle is not the right family dog for you:

  • You have children under the age of 10. It is extremely hard to fulfill the needs of both young kids and working dogs. One of them will not get enough attention (usually the dog) and it will be frustrating for everyone.
    Not providing adequate exercise and training for your Sheepadoodle can lead to a number of behavioral issues, such as aggression, resource guarding or destructiveness.
  • Not everyone in the family is on board with getting a puppy. Your pup will require daily activity and training – this is impossible if not all family members are willing to contribute.
  • You are not a very outdoorsy family and enjoy relaxing on the couch, watching movies or playing board games. Your Sheepadoodle will need to spend 1-2 hours outside every day – no matter the weather.
  • You either have busy jobs or are very involved with your kids’ after-school activities. You cannot leave a Sheepadoodle at home alone for 12 hours. It is not fair to the dog, and his behavior will deteriorate if he is that bored.
  • You currently live in an apartment. It is very difficult to potty-train and exercise your dog on a leash with small children. Imagine trying to supervise your toddlers in the living room while taking your puppy for a much needed potty walk – it is impossible.

Deciding whether your family is up for a Sheepadoodle

Even with the best preparation, it can be tricky to fulfill every family member’s needs. Make sure to be very realistic about how much time and energy you have available to spend on your future dog. Sit down with the family and think in detail about the following questions:

  • Am I willing to give up some of my current free time in order to care for the dog? This might mean less Netflix and chill, not so many nights out with friends or fewer golfing and fishing trips
  • As our kids grow up, are we sure we can continue to maintain a daily activity and training schedule for the Sheepadoodle puppy? Does any of the kids have a big milestone come up that will eat up our time (such as advancing in a chosen sport or preparing for college)?
  • Do we have a good plan for where the dog goes when we go on vacation, visit relatives or take a weekend trip?
  • How will we manage possible problems that might occur with our future dog?

The last question is especially important. In an ideal world, every dog would always be healthy and well-behaved. Realistically though, at some point your dog will get injured, develop a lasting health condition (such as allergies, hip dysplasia, diabetes or kidney problems) or start to exhibit behavioral problems.

It is easy to not want to deal with this when you already have a busy family life – however, especially then your dog will need your care, attention and time!


The bottom line

A Sheepadoodle is a good family dog as far as his general disposition and temperament goes. However, many families are so busy with fulfilling their kids’ needs and managing everybody’s schedules that actually no dog is suitable for them at certain points in their life.

Remember that a dog cannot get taken along to work, to school, to hobbies or to sports – he will be waiting for you at home, and he needs to have daily activities and training. Without those, behavioral problems are pretty much guaranteed.

If everyone in the family is on board with getting a dog and happy to take part in the chores involved, a Sheepadoodle can be a beloved family member. If your life is already very busy though – hold off on getting a pet just yet.