If you have recently become the proud owner of a Sheepadoodle, you will have equally realized that their luxurious coat will need a lot of grooming! While, thankfully, they shed minimally, there are still things you need to do to keep them looking and feeling at their best. But what exactly, and when? Well, I am going to be outlining it all here today.
So, how do you groom a Sheepadoodle? Grooming a Sheepadoodle requires daily brushing, routine bathing, and trimming of their hair and nails on a regular schedule. You should plan for your Sheepadoodle to be professionally groomed every 6-8 weeks.
Sounds like quite a lot, right?
But it’s also not complicated.
Nor does it have to be immensely time-consuming, either.
The trick is little and often, and not getting overwhelmed by it.
So let’s first look at the type of coat a Sheepadoodle has. That way, we know best how to care for it.
Then we will be looking at the grooming steps in much greater detail.
What Type Of Coat Do Sheepadoodles Have?
Because Sheepadoodles have one Old English Sheepdog parent and one Poodle parent, their individual coats can come in a few different varieties.
The vast majority of Sheepadoodles will have a long, wavy, fleece coat.
Occasionally a Sheepadoodle will take strongly after its Poodle parent and have a slightly thinner, tightly curled hair coat, and rarer still is a Sheepadoodle with a “straight” coat which is thick, long, and much straighter than wavy and curly-coated types.
Wavy coats are the most commonly seen coats in Sheepadoodles.
This coat type is considered by many to be the perfect blend of Sheepdog and Poodle.
The wavy coat adds a unique personality to an Old English’s usual straight fur, and the length and fullness of a wavy coat create an extra layer of cuddle factor when compared to the Poodle.
A wavy coat may be wavy all over or be somewhat straighter along the body with noticeable waviness around your Sheepadoodle’s face, legs, and chest.
Some dogs will have a distinct wave along the length of the hair, while others have a casual soft wave at the ends of their hair.
Tightly curled coats have great texture without getting quite as long in length as wavy coats.
A curly coat may feel and appear to be slightly thinner than a wavy coat.
While all Sheepadoodles shed less than many breeds, if you want the lowest-shedding Sheepadoodle coat, the curlier type may best suit your taste.
Curly coats can be prone to tangling around the underarms, ears, and rear of your dog, so plan to groom those areas carefully.
A straight coat is the rarest type of Sheepadoodle coat.
These dogs may not look much like their Poodle parent at all. Straight coats are long, fluffy, and have minimal texture.
They are likely to shed most of the three coat types.
While straight coats may not look like their Poodle parents on the outside, they often still display the intelligence, bravery, and athleticism of their Poodle background.
How Often Should You Groom A Sheepadoodle?
Despite the variety of coat types, all Sheepadoodles need some daily grooming care in the form of brushing. Sheepadoodles are not heavy-shedding dogs, but their hair can mat and tangle painfully if left unbrushed. Visits to a professional groomer should be scheduled every 6-8 weeks.
A professional groomer can trim overgrown hair, use their highly trained skills to find mats that may have been missed during home grooming, and can do excellent nail trims and full body washes.
Maintaining a Sheepadoodle’s coat and appearance requires several key steps on top of brushing.
These steps include bathing, filing or trimming sharp nails, and trimming back long or overgrown hair from the face and paws.
Below I will give you an idea of how often you can expect to perform these tasks at home.
A Sheepadoodle will need to be brushed at least every other day, with daily brushing being the best plan.
People may think that because their dog is not shedding very much, they don’t need to be brushed often, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Dogs who shed in limited amounts are more likely to have hair that mats, tangles, and holds on to dander or debris.
Plan to brush your Sheepadoodle’s body each day for around 15 minutes to lower these risks.
This length of time is long enough to do a good job and short enough to prevent your dog from getting bored or irritated with grooming.
I recommend brushing over the main part of the body every day.
Then include a rotating focus depending on the day of the week for closely detangling various high-tangle areas of the body such as the chest, rear, ears, and underarms.
Daily brushing builds a reliable routine for your dog, prevents mats and tangles, and gives you an opportunity to show your dog your undivided love and affection for a few minutes each day.
Need a brush? -> Best Brush For Sheepadoodle [Recommended Picks And Buyers Guide]
If your Sheepadoodle is cared for by a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks, they should receive a bath at each visit.
If your Sheepadoodle doesn’t visit a groomer (though I strongly recommend it), you will want to give them a deep cleansing bath at home every six weeks.
For many Sheepadoodles, the 6-week bath rotation will be plenty to keep their coats clean and smelling fresh.
Bathing too often dries out a dog’s skin and saps away healthy oils from their coat.
If your Sheepadoodle gets muddy or rolls in something smelly, a bath at home between grooms may be needed.
Try to keep at least three weeks between full shampoo baths when possible.
Consider giving your dog a water-only bath to remove dirt and mud or spot rinsing problem areas instead of full washings if your dog loves to get dirty on outdoor adventures.
Dogs who see a groomer will have their nails checked and trimmed at each 6-8 week appointment. At home, many owners do an additional trim or file every 2-3 weeks.
Puppies often need their nails trimmed more frequently than adult Sheepadoodles. Puppy nails are very sharp and grow quickly.
Because puppies are still learning manners, it is often smart to keep their nails trimmed every 2-3 weeks to prevent them from scratching people or furniture.
Adult dogs may need somewhat less frequent trims.
If a dog has nails that are curling under or pressing heavily on the ground as they walk, it is necessary to trim back the nail.
Nails that are much too long can be painful and make it hard for a dog to walk or run.
Even if you choose not to trim your dog’s nails at home, be sure to inspect them at least every three weeks and seek out help with a trim if they are excessively long or sharp.
Trimming Hair Around The Face and Paws
Sheepadoodles have much more hair than many other dogs, and that hair can grow quite long.
The hair grows throughout the entire course of the Sheepadoodle’s life and therefore needs trimming to maintain a dog’s hygiene, vision, and comfort.
Plan for your Sheepadoodle to need trims of their hair at least every 8 weeks, with some dogs needing more frequent trims – especially of the hair around their eyes.
Owners of Sheepadoodles have reported that the hair around their Sheepadoodle’s eyes can grow too long for their dog to see well.
Learning how to trim this hair gently back allows you to give it a light trim every 4 weeks or so and maintain your dog’s vision.
Hair around the paws can get dirty, packed with mud and snow, or tangled.
Check your dog’s paws every two weeks for extra long hair between the paw pads, and don’t be surprised if your Sheepadoodle benefits from having this hair trimmed every 4-6 weeks.
The Perfect Age To Start Sheepadoodle Grooming
You should start daily brushing of your Sheepadoodle as soon as the first day you bring them home. Brushing, in the beginning, may often feel more like a lively play session than a relaxing spa experience, but as your Sheepadoodle quickly falls into your daily routine, this can become a very enjoyable time.
First baths at home can happen in the first week or two that you own your Sheepadoodle.
Think of first baths as learning experiences for both you and your dog. Keep them short and focused on enjoyment instead of worrying about the perfect wash.
You should take your Sheepadoodle to your local groomer soon after their first set of puppy shots.
This is usually when they are around 12 weeks old.
Getting into the groomer at a young age helps your Sheepadoodle to feel comfortable in the grooming environment and to build a positive relationship with the groomer who will assist you in their care.
How To Groom A Sheepadoodle
Brushing, bathing, towel drying, nail trimming, and sometimes hair trimmings are all part of fully grooming a Sheepadoodle.
While grooming involves several steps, our guide will help make doing it successfully easy.
Begin With A Full Body Brushing
Sheepadoodle owners should get in the habit of brushing their Sheepadoodle every day.
Soon this step of the grooming process becomes a normal part of their daily routine.
When preparing to do a full grooming or bath at home, it is vital to start with a careful brushing of your entire Sheepadoodle.
The best tool for brushing a Sheepadoodle is a rectangular, fine-pinned slicker brush. They easily work with textured hair and can gently pull tangles out of even the longest of coats.
- Comfortable and effective grooming - reduces shedding, detangles, removes dirt & debris, keeps coat looking shiny and healthy
- Easy and versatile use – great size, shape and weight.
- Automatic cleaning - Simply retract bristles with the push of a button, then wipe away collected hair
- Smart Efficient Design - Fine, angled bristles, ergonomic comfort grip, and push-button retraction make it easy to keep your dog looking happy & healthy
- Ideal for poodle and hybrid dog coats and doodles; Cockapoos, Cavoodles, Maltipoos, Bernedoodles, Goldendoodles, Shih Poos etc.
It may even be preferable to get a metal single-tooth comb for working through areas around the face, ears, and tail.
A comb is nice when you want to be precise with the area being groomed.
Some owners also like using a soft-bristled brush after detangling to help smooth the hair and bring oils to the surface of the coat for extra shine.
Before bathing, brush your Sheepadoodle with your slicker brush, starting along the neck and behind the ears.
Brush small sections in the direction the hair naturally lays, making sure to start brushing as close to the skin and hair root as possible.
Some owners make the mistake of only brushing the top layer or ends of the coat but to loosen and prevent mats; you want to get as close to the base of the hair as possible.
Continue brushing the hair down the neck, chest, legs, and body.
Working your way from the front of your Sheepadoodle to the back ensures you get each part detangled and creates a smooth, lying finish.
Areas to focus on with the slicker brush include behind your dog’s front legs, the bottom of their chest, and over the back of their hips and hind legs.
Be careful if you decide to use the slicker brush on their face.
You could use a comb instead to carefully comb the muzzle and top of your dog’s head.
These are sensitive areas, so work gently, and if you cannot easily comb out a tangle, contact your groomer for help.
After slicker brushing and combing, your dog will be ready for the next step.
Do not skip the brushing step before bathing. Any knots or tangles in your dog’s hair will become worse once they are wet.
Give Your Sheepadoodle A Bath In Warm Water
While your Sheepadoodle may receive the majority of its baths at a professional groomer, you will find that you will likely need to give a bath at home from time to time.
After brushing, you can safely bathe your dog using warm water and shampoo designed for use on dogs.
The first few times you bathe your Sheepadoodle, especially if they are a puppy, it may be wet and adventurous.
This step will become easier with time and practice for you both.
The easiest way to wash a large dog, such as a Sheepadoodle, at home is in a tub or shower with a detachable shower head.
When you can spray the water directly on troubled areas and across the body for rinsing, it is easier to get your dog clean.
If you do not have a detachable shower head, you can fill your tub about halfway with water and use soaking and a bowl to help scoop and pour water over your dog to get them clean.
You will want to put your dog into the tub or shower and turn the water to a comfortably warm temperature.
Too cold of water is not enjoyable for you or your dog; water that is extremely hot could burn your dog.
Test the water with your hand before using it on your dog.
Start by getting your dog wet from their neck to across their body.
Do not spray water directly on their face or their ears.
Water in the ears can get stuck and cause ear infections. Spraying water in the face is scary for your dog. Instead, use a wet washcloth to clean these areas.
Once your dog is wet, you can use a shampoo designed for dogs to scrub your pup clean.
I suggest starting with a quarter size amount of shampoo in your palm, rubbing your hands to create a lather, and then massaging the soap into your dog’s coat with your hands and fingers.
Add more soap as needed but try to use the smallest effective amount. Less soap means less rinsing will be required at the end of the bath.
If your dog has a lot of white fur or is very dirty in specific areas, take time to massage in the soap down through the fur.
Do not put soap in your dog’s eyes, ears, or nose. This could sting and be uncomfortable for your dog.
It can be tempting to use slightly cheaper human shampoo on your dog, but many of these shampoos contain chemicals that can irritate a dog’s skin and strip their coat of natural oils.
Most pet stores will have a variety of dog shampoos of various scents, ingredients, and price points. Or you can just get it on Amazon.
Once your dog has been scrubbed with shampoo (the shampoo may foam), rinse your dog in the same way you originally wet them down.
Work from neck to tail using your free hand to push soap and water across and off your dog.
Rinse until the water runs clean. Leaving behind soap residue can lead to build-up on your dog’s skin that causes itching and irritation.
When the water runs clean, you are ready to dry your dog.
Use A Towel To Dry Your Dog
It might seem smart to grab your hair dryer or other hot air appliance and quickly dry off your dog.
However, these can be dangerous and scary for your dog. Instead, have a towel or two designated for use to dry your dog.
Most Sheepadoodles will require two towels, possibly three, to be effectively towel dried.
Use your towel much like you would on yourself, rubbing across the hair in an orderly fashion to remove extra water.
Be prepared; it is a natural instinct for your dog to shake and help move this process along.
Once most of the water is removed from your Sheepadoodle’s coat, a little patience will do the trick for getting them the rest of the way dry.
Do not let them outside in cold weather until you know they are completely dry.
Again, try not to use hair dryers on your dog. Dog skin is quite sensitive, and the hot air from a hair dryer can burn your dog.
The loud noise is also scary for many dogs, and we want them to learn to enjoy being groomed.
The next few steps can be done as your dog finishes air drying.
Use A Cloth To Wipe Your Sheepadoodle’s Eyes and Ears
Grab a cloth dampened with plain water and gently wipe the corners and underside of your Sheepadoodle’s eyes.
This loosens and removes any residue or build-up from the eyes to prevent infection.
Many dogs with floppy ears are prone to getting ear infections when dirt and moisture get trapped inside the ear.
Get in the habit of lifting your dog’s ears and taking a peek at the soft tissue underneath.
Looking at your dog’s ear, you should see pink skin without any dirt residue, noticeable smell, or bright red color.
If you notice any of these things, talk with your veterinarian about having your dog checked for an ear infection.
Most ear infections are easily treatable with at-home prescription ear rinses you can get from your veterinarian.
If you see some loose dirt on the ear flap or outer edges of the ear canal you can use a soft cloth or cotton ball to gently wipe them away.
If your dog has hair inside their ears that concerns you, talk with your groomer.
Do not try to trim ear hair on your own without training and guidance from a professional.
Inspect Your Sheepadoodle’s Nails
While your Sheepadoodle dries from a bath is a great time to inspect their nails; remember, I do not want our dog’s nails to be curling under or to be extremely sharp.
If you notice that your dog’s nails are quite long (puppy nails grow fast) or appear to have very sharp points, you may want to consider trimming them at home.
Pet stores sell specialty nail clippers designed for trimming down the tips of dog nails. They are a very useful, relatively inexpensive tool for a dog owner to have.
When trimming at home, you only want to remove a small portion of the tip of the nail. Enough that your dog’s nails are no longer curled under, or so they are not quite as sharp as they were.
Trimming too far back could lead to cutting of the sensitive nail “quick” and lead to bleeding.
If you trim the quick, your dog will likely yelp and begin to bleed from the nail.
Do not panic; use a cotton ball and apply pressure to the nail to stop the bleeding. If bleeding is excessive or does not stop in ten minutes, consult a veterinarian.
If you are uncomfortable with home trims but know your dog could use a nail trim, many groomers will do nail trim-only appointments for established clients at a special rate.
End With Brushing Your Sheepadoodle
After your Sheepadoodle is dry it is time to give a final brushing.
This brushing follows the same pattern as the first brushing and removes any tangles that form during bathing and drying.
This final brushing is very rewarding because you can see your Sheepadoodle’s coat get softer and sleeker with every stroke.
Let your Sheepadoodle know how good they have been with a treat and lots of verbal praise.
How Do You Groom A Sheepadoodle Face?
Grooming a Sheepadoodle face requires patience, a small comb, and a good pair of small blunt-tipped scissors. Take your time grooming your Sheepadoodle’s face to make sure the experience stays happy and safe.
Start by using the comb to detangle the hair on top of your Sheepadoodle’s head, along their muzzle (nose/mouth), and between their eyes.
This hair can get quite long and tangled. Regular combing will help this process run smoothly.
The face is a sensitive area for dogs, so go slowly and if your dog appears unhappy or in pain, pause and try again later.
Once you have removed the tangles, you can assess if your dog needs their facial hair trimmed.
Hair on the top of the head and between the eyes can get long and block your dog’s vision. Hair around the mouth grows out and can become a trap for dirt and water.
If you are trying to trim back the hair around the eyes, use the fingers on your non-dominant hand to gently lift the hair straight up and away from your dog’s face.
Slide your fingers along the hair to the desired length. Then use your blunt-tip scissors to trim away any hair still sticking out above your scissors.
Cut back only small sections at first; you can always cut more later. Let the hair lay down to check the length.
If you accidentally cut more than you mean to, don’t panic. It will grow back, and your pup is still the same sweet soul they were before you gave them a trim.
You may also want to trim the hair on the muzzle along the jawline.
Follow along your dog’s lower jaw and clip the hair back that hangs long below.
This helps prevent your dog from having a constantly dirty or wet face after playing outside or drinking water.
If you feel unsure about these grooming steps, ask your groomer for advice, most are happy to help you maintain your dog’s hair trim at home between grooms.
What Is The Best Cut For A Sheepadoodle?
The most popular Sheepadoodle cuts are the “puppy cut,” “teddy bear cut,” and “kennel cut.” Some owners also love leaving their Sheepadoodles shaggy!
Things to consider when choosing a cut are your living climate (a close shave during a cold winter may not be ideal), the amount of time you want to dedicate to grooming, and what look you think appears best.
That being said, the best coat for a Sheepadoodle is the one that you as their owner loves most.
Young Sheepadoodles will grow a natural “puppy cut” as their hair transitions from the appearance of a very young puppy into adulthood.
Puppy cuts tend to have hair that is mostly one length over the entire body. The hair is also quite long compared to other cuts.
The longer one-length fur of a puppy cut is popular for its eternally youthful appearance.
It is, however, one of the most grooming-intensive cuts. You will need to be dedicated to your daily brushing routine to maintain this cut without mats and tangles.
Teddy Bear Cut
The “teddy bear” cut is a good mid-length cut between a puppy cut and a kennel cut.
This cut tends to have hair that is cut slightly shorter across the body and left a bit longer around the head/face and legs.
A teddy bear cut focuses on creating a soft round head shape that resembles that of your favorite teddy bear.
The hair on the body is shorter than a puppy cut and can be easier to keep groomed.
The legs are usually a bit longer than the body, with the hair around the dog’s feet being cut into a gentle round shape.
The kennel cut is another cut often used by owners who want to minimize grooming time, have dogs who do a lot of swimming (and need to dry quickly), or during hotter months of the year.
The kennel cut is a very short cut over the dog’s entire body.
Kennel cuts take away from some of the fluffy snuggle factor that Sheepadoodles are known for but do help keep the fur healthy and easy to clean.
If you struggle to maintain your dog’s brushing or your dog becomes matted, your groomer may suggest a kennel cut to help remove mats and reset the coat for fresh growth.
Feel safe trying out several cut styles on your Sheepadoodle.
The hair will grow back if it doesn’t suit your taste, and your Sheepadoodle will love you no matter the length or look.
When you bring home a Sheepadoodle, many people may think that his low shedding dog won’t require much grooming.
However, these dogs require daily maintenance and care to stay soft, happy, and healthy.
Knowing about the steps of care going into ownership will allow you to build a routine that both you and your dog look forward to bonding over for many years.
It is commonly accepted that a Slicker brush is the best type of brush to use on a Sheepadoodle. Though you may want to consider a fine comb for use around the face and other sensitive areas.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.