When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? Your eye color, your skin color, the color and curliness of your hair, or the shape of your ears. You may not see your likelihood to develop heart disease, mental illness, or certain forms of cancer, but nearly every trait of our appearance and health is “inherited” due to the genes we receive from the generations before us.
Likewise, ever since mankind domesticated the predators that would become man’s best friend, the genetics of dogs have been passed down to create hundreds of breeds of all shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments. What does this mean for sheepadoodles, and what makes them different from other dog breeds?
What Does F1 and F2 Stand For?
The parentage of puppies greatly influences the traits a dog will have. For sheepadoodles, the genes passed down from Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles determine not only the color of their fur, but of other important traits such as their overall temperament, whether or not they lightly or heavily shed, whether they are more hypoallergenic, and their chances of developing health problems as they age.
When you breed two purebreed dogs, the classification of the litter’s pedigree is designated with an “F” (which stands for filial hybrid, or a crossbreed). Accordingly, all sheepadoodles have an “F” in their pedigree. The number designation will tell you what generation a sheepadoodle is.
An F1 sheepadoodle will have an Old English sheepdog and a poodle as parents, resulting in a 50%-50% mix. This makes an “F1” a first-generation sheepadoodle. An F2 sheepadoodle is the next generation, a mix between an F1 sheepadoodle and another F1 sheepadoodle. Since the exact inherited genes of an F2 sheepadoodle are more difficult to determine, they are typically more unpredictable in many different ways.
What Are the Fundamental Sheepadoodle Differences?
While all dogs begin to change their behaviors with training and life experience, here are just a few of the ways genetics can influence a first-generation sheepadoodle and their second-generation counterparts.
The original F1 sheepadoodles were bred by the U.S. Army in the 1960s during their research to find the perfect military dog. Sheepadoodles didn’t quite make the cut, but it was apparent that the mix of an Old English sheepdog and a poodle made for very friendly and patient puppies. F1 sheepdogs play well with people of all ages, including children. And when raised and trained properly, these intelligent crossbred dogs are both upbeat and well-mannered.
F2 sheepadoodles often share similar traits. Due to their unpredictable nature, the variety of temperaments that emerge from each particular litter is much wider.
Shedding Habits and Hypoallergenic Fur
Sheepadoodles became a very popular breed in the 1980s when breeders came to recognize their short, curly hair, light shedding habits, and hypoallergenic nature. Considering the fact that poodles are well-known for passing this trait to their puppies, there’s no wonder why there are so many poodle breeds! Purebred sheepdogs are known for shedding, but the genes for a single-layer, light-shedding coat is often more dominant.
F1 sheepadoodles inherit this trait early and often. F2 sheepadoodles often do as well. However, because of the different ratios of sheepdog and poodle genes, the shedding inherent in sheepdogs can more easily emerge. There is no guarantee that an F2 sheepadoodle will help your allergies!
Energy Level and Overall Health
With their strong sheepdog origins, all sheepadoodles are full of playful energy and enjoy time outdoors much more than indoors. This may lead to destructive behavior if not allowed to run around and play fetch! F1 sheepadoodles are well-known for being friendly and full of vigor, and there’s no secret that their overall healthiness contributes to this.
Genetically, mixing two different breeds reduces the chances of physical and mental irregularities; if you have heard of the negative results of in-breeding, this is simple to understand. As their parents are two sheepadoodles, F2 sheepadoodles can lack the genetic variance they need to lead a life free from health conditions as they age.
You’re probably now wondering why purebred poodles and purebred sheepdogs don’t encounter these same difficulties. They do, in fact. This is why it is so important to understand the pedigree of the parents so that their puppies grow up happy and healthy. The pedigree of a dog is much more than a status symbol for the owner.
Find a Happy and Healthy Sheepadoodle At Poodles 2 Doodles
As professional breeders of sheepadoodles, bernadoodles, cavapoos, and many more, we take the health of our puppies very seriously. Our mission is to help them find safe and loving homes, and we would love to introduce you! No matter where in the country you live, give us a call for information on our latest litters and available breeds. Take a look at the sheepadoodle puppies we have for sale.