Why we don’t breed anything but 1st Generation (F1) Standard Size Sheepadoodles (Purebred Standard Poodle x Purebred Old English Sheepdog) to produce our beautiful Sheepadoodle Puppies.

When we started Lawpdoodle in 2008, we had not yet learned of the Sheepadoodle breed and followed the current trend at that time of researching and adding to our program the Labradoodles and Goldendoodles. Our desire to be part of these wonderful breeds was inspired by a dear friend who purchased her own Goldendoodle as a beloved pet a few years before.

Something Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers have in common is their historic popularity as family pets especially with children. They also share the characteristics of excessive shedding with their “fur” which also can trigger allergic reactions in people with mild animal allergies.

The beginning of Doodles began many years before Labradoodles and Goldendoodles made the headlines. I remember hearing about Cockapoos when I was very young even as far back as 40 years ago. Also, although not intentional, I grew up with what was likely the first ever Schnoodle. He was advertised in the Washington Post for $50. My parents were intrigued because they laughed so hard at the “breed name”. Too bad that lady who’s Schnauzer decided to get cozy with the next door neighbor’s Poodle didn’t patent the name! This was the Spring of 1973 when we brought our beloved Snuggles home to our family. Snuggles was with us until his passing for 12 years.

And so we now have the Doodles, a cross between shedding breeds (some lesser known than others but no less of a Doodle!) and the Poodle of all sizes. 

Although no longer part of our program, we bred F1 Goldendoodles and F1B Labradoodles. The further generations is advantageous in both of these Designer breeds as it lessens the shedding and allergy issues. However, we struggled with the frustration of inconsistencies in coat types and textures with both breeds (i.e. some curlier, soft and wavy and some wiry like a Terrier coat) all within the same litter. 

A year and a half into our business, I stumbled upon the Sheepadoodle Designer breed. I fell in love for more reasons than one and I’ve explained much of that on our page “Our Sheepadoodle Story” within our website. 

Genetics are a mystery in so many ways unless you are a scientist or a medical professional. Even then, there are still many unknowns.

It is very true that the purebreds we know today are historically the result of mindful breeders’ goals by combining certain characteristics and purposes for work and companionship from several very ancient breeds. However, these breeds took time, generations and in some cases, centuries to develop the consistencies and characteristics in the purebreds of today. Although not without their own controversies in what is “perfect” in the eyes of a judge for various breeds, it is the heart of these purebred breeders to maintain the integrity of their breed through continued generations. I get that. I really do. But I also get the need for the combined characteristics creating our Doodles as stated above. Together, we can co-exist to keep our beloved, well bred pups as part of our lives. At times, I believe the human race needs the canine companion more than canines need us!

Back to our Sheepadoodles. Unlike the Designer breeds that involve a shedding breed, unbeknownst to many, the Old English Sheepdog has “hair” not “fur”, and therein is a non-shedding/allergy friendly breed in itself. We decided after the consistency we experienced in our first litter of Sheepadoodles in the Spring of 2011, there was no need to breed further generations or backcross our Sheepadoodles. I refer to the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Aside from the differences in color patterns, the coat textures were very consistent in every puppy. They are non-shedding/allergy friendly in the first generation….period. 

Referring back to our “genetics” discussion above, I also fear that furthering the generations in this already awesome breed increases the specific genetic health issues attributed to each breed. I also believe temperament, for which the Sheepadoodle has gained most of its popularity, is also more consistent and maintained in the first generation (F1’s) 50/50 cross.

With all this in mind, we always have and always will sell our Sheepadoodles for PETS ONLY! We reserve the right to obtain legal council if we suspect they were purchased under false pretenses. 

Which also brings me to the concerns of today’s up and coming breeders of Sheepadoodles as their popularity and demand continues to grow. I’ve said numerous times and stated long ago within our website we were not the first Sheepadoodle breeders. However, when we stepped into the arena, we were one of only a very few. Due to the scarcity of the purebred Old English Sheepdog, especially within the US, it took us a year to find our first OES for our program, our beloved Yoggi (still with us and retired). Not only are the numbers still low for the Old English Sheepdog, but even harder still is finding a reputable breeder with healthy genetics that is willing to give breeding rights for Doodles. I have always been the type of breeder who is upfront and honest about my intentions when contacting another breeder for one of their puppies. If they decide they would prefer not to sell to me because I am a breeder or because I want to produce Designer Breeds, that is their right and I’m okay with that. As I expect others to do when inquiring with us, I will NOT LIE to obtain a puppy for our program. It is not to that breeder that I will have to answer to, but to my Eternal Father in Heaven. 

Well, as with anything when it becomes popular, there are those that want to join in the arena to capitalize on that popularity. I’ve witnessed multi-gen Sheepadoodles popping up in the market with the increase of Sheepadoodle breeders. I attribute this once again to the scarcity of well-bred purebred Old English Sheepdogs. I’ve also seen an increase in health issues, the highest risk being when a Sheepadoodle is bred to a Sheepadoodle. You will also begin to see more inconsistency in the litters with coats and temperments, some carrying more of the Poodle traits and some more of the Old English Sheepdog. My question and also should be yours when researching Sheepadoodle breeders is “why?”

To conclude, I will add my disclaimer to all above. All I have stated above is based on my opinions through my years of breeding experience, research and plain old common sense. I do not claim to be an expertise on the science of genetics or claim any medical background. Due to the low priority of animal reproduction to be included in the curriculum among veterinarian schools, when we experienced our first c-section a few years ago, our veterinarian at the time requested we be involved during the surgery and birth of the puppies because “we knew more about the process of working with newborns than she did.” Experience is oftentimes much more valuable than book knowledge, and I DO NOT speak with regard to the veterinarian industry alone. 

I do hope my words above have enlightened you enough to think for yourself in your decision to add a puppy to your family. This is our explanation as to why we will not join other Sheepadoodle breeders in producing further generations such as F1B’s, F2’s or multi-gen, but only F1’s. I assure you we will continue to acquire healthy, quality purebreds for our breeding program with a pure pedigree and eligibility for registration through AKC. 

Thank you so much for visiting our website and considering Lawpdoodle K9 Manor for your future puppy.

Author and Owner, Tina Law
Lawpdoodle K9 Manor
December 10, 2019

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