While nobody wants to imagine the day they no longer have their furry best friend by their side, inevitably that sad day will come. Whether you’re a current or prospective Sheepadoodle owner, It’s only natural for us to wonder how many years we’ll have to spend with our furry companions.
So, how long do Sheepadoodles live? The average lifespan of a Sheepadoodle is 12-15 years. Micro and Mini Sheepadoodles will usually live a bit longer, with a life expectancy of 13-16 years. Standard Sheepadoodles, on the other hand, fall on the shorter end of the spectrum living to an average age of 10-13 years.
|Toy / Micro Sheepadoodle
Keep reading as we’ll dive deeper into what causes some Sheepadoodles to live longer than others as well as quick tips to give your dog the best chance at “beating the odds.”
Factors That Influence the Lifespan of a Sheepadoodle
While it’s impossible to realistically predict how long a particular dog will live to be, there are some common factors which help provide a ballpark estimate. Here are four things that may influence the life expectancy of a Sheepadoodle…
Barring a fatal accident or illness, size is the most predominant factor that will influence the life expectancy of your Sheepadoodle. The rule of thumb for any breed is that smaller dogs tend to live longer than larger dogs.
The reason behind this is that larger dogs put more strain on their physiological processes which cause them to age faster than smaller dogs.
The Sheepadoodle is no exception to this rule. On average, Micro and Mini Sheepadoodles will live 3 years longer than Standard Sheepadoodles, simply due to their size.
The generation of your Sheepadoodle determines how much theoretical DNA they share with a purebred Poodle and a purebred Old English Sheepdog. Normally, when your dog’s DNA is more similar to the breed with the higher life expectancy, they have a better shot at living longer as well.
However, in the case of the Sheepadoodle, both the Old English Sheepdog and the Standard Poodle have very similar lifespans. The Standard Poodle’s life expectancy ranges from 10-13 years while the Old English Sheepdog will typically live between 10-12 years.
Thanks to what’s referred to as “hybrid vigor,” Sheepadoodles have the ability to potentially outlive the average life expectancies of both their purebred parent breeds. Essentially, when you cross two unrelated breeds, the diversity of DNA has significant health benefits.
While an F1 Sheepadoodle has the most genetic diversity and therefore has a bit of a health advantage on other generations, this isn’t really a big enough difference to substantially effect life expectancy. For this reason, you shouldn’t expect an F1 Sheepadoodle to live a significantly longer or shorter life than an F1B Sheepadoodle or an F2 Sheepadoodle.
Just like you may inherit your mother’s eyes or your father’s height, the parents of your Sheepadoodle can pass along traits that influence how long your dog may live.
This is one of the many reasons choosing a quality Sheepadoodle breeder is important. Reputable breeders perform extensive genetic testing on their parents and select mates from good, healthy bloodlines.
If you’re interested in learning which hereditary illnesses your Sheepadoodle’s DNA makes them susceptible to in the future, Embark offers cheek-swab DNA kit for dogs that will tell you this. It can be extremely helpful in keeping you and your vet on the lookout of any potential issues that can be treated early.
Embark Breed + Health Kit
While generally a healthy breed, Sheepadoodles are prone to some health issues that could contribute to a premature death. While some are more minor like ear infections, others are much more serious like Addison’s Disease.
Even a seemingly healthy Sheepadoodles can be prone to accidents and illnesses over the course of their lifetime. This is why I recommend all responsible owners invest in pet insurance as early in their dog’s life as possible. With a policy from Healthy Paws, for example, you can pay as little as 10% of the total bill.
Calculating Your Sheepadoodle’s Age in Human Years
While it’s commonly stated that every human year your dog lives is equal to about 7 dog years, that’s not accurate. This figure depends on the life expectancy of the breed as well as your dog’s size.
Here’s a handy table to see roughly how old your Sheepadoodle is in dog years! It uses average weight of each of the Sheepadoodle sizes to give you a good estimate of how your dog compares to you in age.
|Toy / Micro Sheepadoodle
As you can see, Micro (Toy) and Mini Sheepadoodles tend to age slower than Standard Sheepadoodles. Beyond that, this table helps us understand what stage of life your Sheepadoodle is in.
While they may act like one their entire lives, your Sheepadoodle will only be considered a puppy until around their second birthday. Adulthood lasts from around 2 years old until roughly 12 years old for Micros, 11 years old for Minis, and 10 years old for Standards. At that point they’ll hit their “golden years” and be considered a senior dog.
Common Signs of Aging in Your Sheepadoodle
More Frequent Health Problems
As your Sheepadoodle ages, they’ll likely struggle with more and more health issues over time. Not all of these are serious or life-threatening, but they could start to affect their quality of life. Joint issues are common, especially in larger Sheepadoodles.
Cognitive decline can also occur, which can sometimes be a sign of larger underlying issues. Look for abnormal behavior such as staring at walls, slow response times, or an unwillingness to do everyday activities like going outside.
Older dogs will gradually see a reduction in energy levels. This is completely normal and shouldn’t be discouraged. If your Sheepadoodle is a senior, they should be getting ample amounts of uninterrupted rest.
Reduction in Senses
Just like humans, a Sheepadoodle’s senses such as eyesight, smell, and hearing can deteriorate as they age. If you notice your dog becoming easily startled or less responsive to your commands, you should have a discussion with your vet to potentially address any more serious underlying issues.
You can help your older Sheepadoodle adjust by making their life easier. Keep as much routine as possible and try to avoid frightening them by touching or petting them without warning.
Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Aging can cause either weight loss or weight gain in your Sheepadoodle. It’s important to monitor their intake and exercise closely so their weight doesn’t rise or drop to unhealthy levels.
Having frequent conversations with your veterinarian about recommended portion sizes and activity levels is a great way to stay on top of weight management.
Declining Bladder Control
Senior Sheepadoodles may have trouble controlling their bladder when they hit their golden years. Never punish your dog for this—it’s not their fault and accidents can already be distressing for them.
Give your older dog more potty breaks throughout the day and consider alternative options such as potty pads.
Tips for Extending Your Sheepadoodle’s Life Expectancy
Get Pet Insurance
Every year, 500,000 pets in the United States are euthanized, not because their health requires it, but simply because their owners couldn’t afford the proper treatment.
The cost of veterinary care is rising at an alarming rate. Investing in pet insurance will ensure that you can always get the best care for your Sheepadoodle and never have to let your finances be a factor.
In my opinion, Healthy Paws has the best reputation amongst doodle owners due to their extensive coverage, quick reimbursements, and excellent customer service. You can get a plan that covers up to 90% of your Sheepadoodle’s medical expenses.
It may not seem urgent now, but if your dog has an accident or illness that costs thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to treat, you’ll be singing the praises of pet insurance like I do.
Having a chubby dog isn’t cute, it’s dangerous. Obesity in dogs can lead to so many other health issues, reduce their quality of life, and lead to an earlier death. If your Sheepadoodle is gaining weight, work with your vet to come up with a healthy weight management plan.
It’s not always easy, but feeding your Sheepadoodle a healthy diet and ensuring they get proper exercise are the two simplest things you can do to lengthen their life expectancy.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Dog
What’s one of the most common causes of an early death for Sheepadoodles? Getting lost.
If you lose your dog, the odds of them surviving are not good—only 23% of lost dogs are ever reunited with their families. What’s even scarier? 1 in 3 pets go missing at some point during the course of their lives.
Don’t become part of these statistics. I use and recommend the Fi GPS Smart collar. It tracks your dog’s location and will send your phone an alert if they leave your property without you. I even did an experiment to show how powerful (and potentially life-saving) this device is!
Fi GPS Smart Collar for Dogs
Use the promo code POPULARDOODLE25 to get $25 off your new Fi collar!
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Although often overlooked, a good oral hygiene regimen can fend off a long list of potential illnesses and lengthen your Sheepadoodle’s life.
Luckily, dental health for your dog doesn’t have to be hard. Brush your Sheepadoodle’s teeth regularly and give them the occasional dental treat. Yes, there are more things you can do, but those two things alone will go a long ways towards improving and sustaining your pup’s dental health.
Take Your Dog for Regular Checkups
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Schedule a checkup at least yearly with your local veterinarian. This will help you stay on top of potential health concerns before they become major problems. This simple step can contribute to a longer life for your Sheepadoodle!