The majority of Sheepadoodles have a curly coat similar to the Poodle. However, there are some Sheepadoodles with straight hair that more closely resembles the Old English Sheepdog.
These dogs can be referred to by a few different names. Some breeders call them “flat coat Sheepadoodles.” Others refer to them as “straight hair Sheepadoodles.” Finally, these dogs are sometimes said to have an “improper” coat.
What does that all mean? Is there something wrong with a Sheepadoodle puppy if they have a flat coat? Should you avoid straight-haired Sheepadoodles? Let’s answer all those questions and find out if this unique type of Sheepadoodle may be a good fit for your family.
Can Sheepadoodles Have Straight Hair?
While not particularly common, some Sheepadoodles have straight hair that resembles the Old English Sheepdog more closely than the Poodle. Sometimes these flat coat Sheepadoodles are bred intentionally, while others are the result of genetic chance.
For reasons we’ll discuss later in this article, most breeders strive for curly-haired Sheepadoodle puppies that inherit their coat genetics from their Poodle ancestry. This is why Sheepadoodles with straight hair are often referred to as having an “improper” coat.
As a result, while this type of Sheepadoodle may be a tad harder to find, they can sometimes be less expensive than their curly-haired counterparts.
Studying the ancestry and genetics of their parent dogs help breeders predict the coat type of a future litter.
Sheepadoodle generations such as the F1B, F1BB, F2B, and F2BB are all closer to the Poodle in DNA and are more likely to inherit the Poodle’s coat traits. On the other hand, “reverse” generations, like the reverse F1B Sheepadoodle, are closer to the Old English Sheepdog and are more likely to inherit their straighter coat.
However, genetics can sometimes be unpredictable, especially with Sheepadoodle generations that are a more even split of the two breeds, such as the F1 or F2. So, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee whether puppies will have curly or straight hair before they are born.
Shedding & Allergies
Straight hair Sheepadoodles are likely to shed a considerable amount. While this shedding may not rival that of a purebred Old English Sheepdog, you shouldn’t count on them being much better in this regard.
Due to this shedding and the resulting spread of dander, flat coat Sheepadoodles are NOT considered hypoallergenic. If you have dog allergies, a curly-haired Sheepadoodle is likely to be more tolerable for you. However, if your allergies are severe, you may want to opt for a purebred Poodle or a Poodle mixed with a second hypoallergenic breed to guarantee you won’t have issues.
The number one reason many people love Poodle-mix breeds is because of their propensity to be low-shedding and allergy-friendly. As a result, there is far less demand for straight hair Sheepadoodles, and breeders strive for curlier, more Poodle-like puppies.
What Coat Will My Sheepadoodle Puppy Have?
As we discussed earlier, the best indicator of whether a future litter of puppies will have curly or straight coats is their generation. Once a littler of puppies are born, you’ll be able to get a more definitive picture of their future coat.
Remember, a Sheepadoodle’s puppy coat is typically significantly different from their future adult coat. Sheepadoodles usually shed their puppy coat around 1-2 years of age as their adult coat grows in.
However, a breeder will be able to help you identify which puppies are likely to have curly hair by looking for “furnishings.” Furnishings are hair on the bridge of a Sheepadoodle’s nose and around their eyebrows that indicate a curly coat. These hairs are what gives Poodle-mixes their classic, teddy bear-like appearance.
Here’s an example of a Sheepadoodle with and without furnishings:
Remember, just because a Sheepadoodle will have furnishings doesn’t mean they’ll be completely non-shedding and hypoallergenic either! Some breeders offer a “t-shirt” test where they’ll send you home with a t-shirt that’s been around the litter of puppies to give you an idea of whether they’ll trigger your allergies.
In Conclusion: Pros and Cons of Flat Coat Sheepadoodles
After learning about the flat coat Sheepadoodle, it may be evident whether you prefer curly or straight hair for your future puppy. In some cases, it may not matter to you!
To summarize, here are a few pros and cons of straight hair Sheepadoodles…
- Potentially cost less money.
- Less competition for litter picks.
- More unique appearance.
- More shedding means more fur around the house and on your clothes.
- Will likely trigger those who suffer from dog allergies. Even if you may not have dog allergies, your close friends or family may be affected by your puppy.
- No classic “teddy bear” appearance.