Do Sheepadoodles Change Color?

By: Matt

Sheepadoodles are a rare, unique breed of dog. Pet owners everywhere become shocked and confused when they see their dog’s fur begin to change colors. However, this is a common occurrence for the Sheepadoodle.

The Sheepadoodle’s color change happens predominately due to genetics, which also determines the color your dog grows into the most. Sheepadoodles colors are typically variations of black and white. However, some rarer breeds can have brown, red, blue, or silver.

Keep reading to learn more about the Sheepadoodle’s color-changing coat and answers to the following:

  • What is a Sheepadoodle?
  • Why do Sheepadoodles change color?
  • When do Sheepadoodles change color?
  • Do all Sheepadoodles change color?
  • What colors can Sheepadoodles be?

What Is a Sheepadoodle?

Sheepadoodle is a crossbreed between a Poodle and an Old English Sheepdog. This mixture of genes gives these adorably fluffy pups an incredibly unique coat that often changes color as the dog ages. 

Additionally, Sheepadoodles are relatively hypoallergenic due to their partial Poodle genes, which makes them great pets for households with allergies. Sheepadoodles also have a double coat that merges as they grow. This double coat is much of the reason for their color change.

These adorable pups are super friendly and easily trainable. Sheepadoodle can live for around 12-15 years and typically grow to be about 60-80 lbs for standard sizes. You can get Sheepadoodles in other sizes as well, such as toy size or mini. 

Their coats can vary, as with almost all doodle breeds, from straight to curly and anywhere in between. This also means that these pups require regular heavy grooming, much like other doodle breeds, including daily brushings, de-shedding, and frequent trims.

Why Do Sheepadoodles Change Color?

Sheepadoodles change color due to their Old English Sheepdog genes. Old English Sheepdogs commonly fade in color as they age, leaving most adult dogs with a mixture of grey, white, and black patches. 

Sheepadoodles, however, can retain some of their Poodle colors as they grow and may have spots of reds and browns. Another phenomenon often referred to as the Poodle fading gene, may cause their fur colors to fade and dull over time.

The Poodle fading gene may cause your Sheepadoodles coat to change from black to grey.

Sheepadoodles also have a double coat that merges into one as they age, which can cause a color change. Because of this double coat, you will surely have a fluffy pup, no matter what color they are.

When Do Sheepadoodles Change Color?

Since not all Sheepadoodles change color, it isn’t easy to pinpoint the exact age that they might begin changing. Often the shift is so slow pet parents hardly notice until their fur color has dramatically changed.

The change simply occurs as the dog ages. Typically by 6-8 months old, when the dog is fully grown, its color will begin to fade.

This change happens in most Sheepadoodles to some degree. However, some breeds with a higher percentage of Poodle genes may retain more of their original coat than those with more Old English Sheepdog genes.


Do All Sheepadoodles Change Color?

To some degree, yes. The degree to which your pup changes color will depend mainly on its genetics. The most common color change for Sheepadoodles is black fading to grey. However, Sheepadoodles can be many other color variations.

What Colors Can Sheepadoodles Be?

The color of your Sheepadoodle will depend mainly on its Poodle parent since poodles come in many more colors than Old English Sheepdogs. Poodles can be any of the following:

  • Black
  • White
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Golden
  • Blue
  • Cream, or
  • Black and white mixed

However, Old English Sheepdogs are usually a mix of black and white that fades into grey as they age. If you are looking for a specific color variation, you should check with several breeders before picking out your pup, as not all breeders have rare colored Sheepadoodle available. 

Additionally, it is impossible to determine the coat color and pattern your pup will have as an adult without genetic testing. This is why you should research your breeders before seeking adoption if you have a desired color or pattern.

Common Sheepadoodle Colors

Most Sheepadoodles will end up being some sort of black, white, or a mixture of the two. Common colors for Sheepadoodles include:


These pups are entirely black from nose to paw pads. Some black Sheepadoodles can have small patches of white around the face, muzzle, and chest.


Much like the all-black coats, these pups have all-white coats. However, their noses will remain black because both parents have black noses.

Black and White

These pups typically have a base of either black or white with patches of the opposite color. These patches most commonly appear around the face, muzzle, and chest.


The grey Sheepadoodle is the most common coat color. This is due to the Old English Sheepdog genes. These pups’ coats usually start black and fade into a smokey grey color as they age.

Rare Sheepadoodle Colors

Not all Sheepadoodle coats are as common, though. Variations of reds and browns may appear if you have one of these rare pups:


The tri-color coat is typically a mixture of black, brown, and white. However, if the Poodle parent has red fur, you’ll likely see some of that too. These pup’s colors can appear in patches and as one massive mixture of colors on a white base.


This is the rarest Sheepadoodle you can find. The merle gene is a gene that creates a unique splotchy pattern in the dog’s fur. Merle Sheepadoodles can be red, black, brown, silver, or white, depending on the Poodle parent’s fur.

Poodles commonly have merle fur patterns. However, Old English Sheepdogs with merle are incredibly rare. The poodle parent doe not need to have merle fur to produce a merle offspring. However, both parents must have the M locus gene to create a merle Sheepadoodle.

You’ll want to find a breeder that works with genetic testing and has experience producing merle Sheepadoodles if you want one of these unique pups.

Final Thoughts: Do Sheepadoodles Change Color?

If you’ve made it this far, you now know all about Sheepadoodles and their unique color-changing coats. Sheepadoodles are one doodle breed on the rise in popularity. This is mainly due to their playful and loving nature. 

Sheepadoodles are full of energy and love being with humans. They are great for families with or without kids, and since they come in various sizes, they can live almost anywhere, including apartments. 

If you’re looking for a fun, friendly, and adorable new addition to your family, consider the Sheepadoodle for your next dog breed.

Photo of author


Enthusiastic Poochon/Bichpoo/Bichonpoo (how many names) Owner. Husband, Father and Dog walker extraordinaire.

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