Depending on the Sheepadoodle generation, your dog may have one of a few different coat types, may be hypoallergenic, or may be non-shedding. Sheepadoodles are a hybrid designer dog, a cross between the Old English Sheepdog and the Poodle, so genetics play a huge factor in the features of a dog. Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles have extremely different personalities, so if your dogs get more Old English Sheepdog genetics, they will be extremely different from a dog that gets more Poodle genetics.
Breeders explain the genetic makeup of a dog through letters and numbers like F1 Sheepadoodle or F1B Sheepadoodle. It’s important that you know what the letters and number mean like F1, F1B, F1BB, F2, F2B, F2BB, or F3 (multi-gen) Sheepadoodle. If you don’t learn the letters and numbers, you won’t fully understand the genetic makeup that Sheepadoodle will have. This includes personality, temperament, coat, and how much the pup will shed.
In this guide, we’ll explain what the letters and the numbers mean so you can decide the best Sheepadoodle generations that are right for you.
Sheepadoodle Generations Overview
In order to understand the terminology, we will start with an example. In this example, we’ll explain what “F1B Sheepadoodle” means so you get a good understanding of what the letters and numbers signify.
What does the “F” stand for in F1B?
In a F1B Sheepadoodle the F represents Filial Hybrid. This may sound like a hard word, but it just means that this is a crossbred canine. All Sheepadoodle generations will begin with the letter F because they are a hybrid dog between the Old English Sheepdog and the Poodle. In other words, they are not a 100 percent purebred dog.
What does the number stand for in F1B?
In F1B Sheepadoodle, the 1 represents the generation that the dog is. In this case, the number is 1 which means that it is a first-generation Sheepadoodle. It is the first offspring of an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle.
What does the “B” stand for in F1B?
In F1B Sheepadoodle, the B stands for the word Backcross. Backcross is a term that means that it bred back to one of the purebred dog families (either a purebred Poodle or a purebred Sheepdog). Almost always, an F1B Sheepadoodle is a backcross back to a purebred Poodle because they don’t shed and are hypoallergenic.
Genetic Breakdown for Common Sheepadoodle Generations
Below is the genetic breakdown for the most common Sheepadoodle generations. This will show you the amount of Poodle versus Sheepdog genetics in a dog. In the section below, we go into more depth for each generation..
- F1 Sheepadoodle: 50% Poodle & 50% Old English Sheepdog
- F1B Sheepadoodle: 75% Poodle & 25% Old English Sheepdog
- F1BB Sheepadoodle: 87.5% Poodle & 12.5% Old English Sheepdog
- F2 Sheepadoodle: 50% Poodle & 50% Old English Sheepdog
- F2B Sheepadoodle: 62.5% Poodle & 37.5% Old English Sheepdog
- F2BB Sheepadoodle: 81.25% Poodle & 18.75% Old English Sheepdog
- F3 Sheepadoodle or Multi-gen Sheepadoodle: Multiple generations of Sheepadoodles backcrossed with the Poodle.
Pet owners prefer Sheepadoodles that have more Poodle genetics. Sheepadoodles are usually backcrossbred to the Poodle for their nonshedding qualities. However, it should be noted that there are some specific cases where a breeder may backcrossbreed to purebred Old English Sheepdogs in which case an F1B Sheepadoodle will be 25% Poodle and 75% Old English Sheepdog. These cases almost never happen; check with your breeder if you have any doubts.
The F1 Sheepadoodle (50% Poodle, 50% Old English Sheepdog) is a first generation Sheepadoodle that is bred from a 100% Old English Sheepdog and a purebred Poodle. The creates a Sheepadoodle dog that is 50% Old English Sheepdog and 50% Poodle.
F1 Sheepadoodle genetics aren’t very desirable to dog owners. This is because the genetics can vary significantly which will affect their looks. For instance, F1 Sheepadoodles can have straight coats that shed or curly coats that don’t shed. Since it is a 50% Old English Sheepdog and 50% Poodle, you won’t know what will present when the puppies are born. Doodle lovers prefer predictability.
The F1 Sheepadoodles’ coats can be flat like the Old English Sheepdog or curly like the Poodle. However, it is worth noting that F1 Sheepadoodles gain the most health benefits of a health term called hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor means the first cross between two purebred canines will almost always be healthier than any of the parent purebred canine. A purebred dog is basically inbreeding of the same genes which causes genetic defects over time.
Since Sheepadoodles are a hybrid dog, they will only inherit genetic problems that are common to both the Poodle and Old English Sheepdog.
F1 Sheepadoodle Characteristics
- Coat Type: Unknown. Flat, wavy, or curly.
- Non-shedding: Unknown. It may shed a lot of hair or not much at all.
- Hypoallergenic: Unknown. It may be hypoallergenic if it receives more Poodle genetics.
- Hybrid Vigor: Yes, it has the best health qualities and will be the healthiest generation in terms of genetic defects.
The F1B Sheepadoodle (75% Poodle, 25% Old English Sheepdog) is a cross between an F1 Sheepadoodle (50% Poodle & 50% Old English Sheepdog) and a purebred canine which is either a 100% Poodle or 100% Old English Sheepdog. The backcross is usually the Poodle because they don’t shed hair and are hypoallergenic. Since the dog is a backcross, we call it the F1B Sheepadoodle.
A F1B Sheepadoodle is 75% Poodle and 25% Old English Sheepdog. The F1B is by far one of the most popular generations of Sheepadoodle. Most of these dog breeders will claim that F1B Sheepadoodles don’t shed and are allergy-friendly.
The F1B Sheepadoodle has some distinct features that you will notice in this dog. First, F1B Sheepadoodles will almost always have a mostly wavy or curly coat that is inherited from the Poodle. The curlier the coat the more unlikely the dog is to shed. Also, this generally means that the canine is going to be more allergy-friendly than a Sheepadoodle with a flat or straight coat.
The downside of a coat that doesn’t shed is that you will have to regularly groom your Sheepadoodle with pet clippers or take them to the groomers. Grooming your dog get’s very expensive unless you decide to do it yourself.
Secondly, F1B Sheepadoodles are likely to get the hereditary qualities of a Poodle, including personality and temperament. It’s likely that they will have long legs, have tons of energy, and require physical exercise and mental stimulation. If the F1B Sheepadoodle isn’t regularly exercised or mentally stimulated, they will get bored and may chew things around your house.
Lastly, F1B Sheepadoodles get the health qualities of being hybrid vigor. This means the this generation of Sheepadoodle is likely to be healthier than the purebred parents. An F1B Sheepadoodle is technically the 2nd generation so it does lose some qualities of hybrid vigor. With each passing dog generation, the amount of hybrid vigor declines.
F1B Sheepadoodle Characteristics
- Coat Type: Mostly wavy or curly like a Poodle.
- Non-shedding: Virtually non-shedding coat.
- Hypoallergenic: Virtually hypoallergenic.
- Hybrid Vigor: Yes, but not as much as the F1 Sheepadoodle.
The F1BB Sheepadoodle (87.5% Poodle and 12.5% Old English Sheepdog) is the mix between an F1B Sheepadoodle (75% Poodle, 25% Old English Sheepdog) and an original purebred dog that is either the Poodle or Old English Sheepdog. Breeders will almost always pick the Poodle to breed with an F1B Sheepadoodle because that dog will be a nonshedding and hypoallergenic pup. It’s called the F1BB Sheepadoodle because this is the second backcross with a purebred Poodle so it gets the second letter “B” in its name and is referred to as an F1BB Sheepadoodle.
The F1BB Sheepadoodle is the most non-shedding of all the F1 generations of Sheepadoodles due to a large amount of Poodle genetics. F1BB Sheepadoodles will almost always come with a curly coat that will need to be brushed and groomed every day. In addition, this dog will need to be groomed with a dog clipper every 6 to 12 weeks to prevent the fur from tangling and matting. This Sheepadoodle generation is the best for people who want a non-shedding dog.
An F1BB Sheepadoodle is technically the 3rd generation of dog offspring so it will have less hybrid vigor qualities as compared to the F1 Sheepadoodle or F1B Sheepadoodle. Breeders may also call the F1BB Sheepadoodle a multi-generation Sheepadoodle since they are beyond the 2nd generation of offspring.
F1B Sheepadoodle Characteristics
- Coat Type: Curly.
- Non-shedding: Nonshedding.
- Hypoallergenic: Hypoallergenic.
- Hybrid Vigor: Yes, but less so than an F1 and F1B Sheepadoodles because they are the 3rd offspring.
The F2 Sheepadoodle (50% Poodle, 50% Old English Sheepdog) is the second filial generation of the Sheepadoodle. This is the cross between the F1 Sheepadoodle and another F1 Sheepadoodle. This results in genes that are 50% Poodle and 50% Old English Sheepdog.
The F2 Sheepadoodle is very similar to the F1 Sheepadoodle generation since they have the same genetic percentage of Old English Sheepdog and Poodle. Usually, most breeders try not to breed an F2 Sheepadoodle because this generation is unpredictable in terms of shedding, coat, and pet allergies. In addition, most dog owners usually don’t want an F2 Sheepadoodle because they won’t know if their pooch will shed or not.
F2 Sheepadoodle Characteristics
- Coat Type: Unpredictable. Could be straight, wavy, or curly.
- Non-shedding: Not known.
- Hypoallergenic: Not known.
- Hybrid Vigor: Only a little bit.
The F2B Sheepadoodle (62.5% Poodle and 37.5% Old English Sheepdog) is usually a cross between the F1 Sheepadoodle (50% Poodle, 50% Old English Sheepdog) and the F1B Sheepadoodle (75% Poodle, 25% Old English Sheepdog). Some breeders will choose to breed an F1B Sheepadoodle to another F1B Sheepadoodle which results in the F2B being 75% Poodle and 25% Old English Sheepdog.
Regardless, this F2B Sheepadoodle generation has a majority of Poodle genes which gives the dog a wavy or curly coat. This implies that it’s likely the Sheepadoodle will also have less shedding hair and be more hypoallergenic.
The F2B Sheepadoodle generation is usually referred to as a multi-generation Sheepadoodle since they are the 3rd generation of dog offspring.
F2B Sheepadoodle Characteristics
- Coat Type: Wavy to Curly.
- Hypoallergenic: Yes, mostly.
- Non-shedding: Yes, mostly.
- Hybrid Vigor: Some, but less than any F1 generation.
The F2BB Sheepadoodle (81.25% Poodle, 18.75% Old English Sheepdog) is a cross between the F2B Sheepadoodle (62.5% Poodle, 37.5% Old English Sheepdog) and an original purebred Poodle. This is the second backcross as part of the 2nd filial generation, so it gets a second letter “B” in its name and is named an F2BB Sheepadoodle.
An F2BB Sheepadoodle is very hypoallergenic and non-shedding because of the large amount of Poodle hereditary qualities. This Sheepadoodle has the 2nd most Poodle genes, only behind the F1BB Sheepadoodle (87.5% Poodle, 12.5% Old English Sheepdog). F2BB Sheepadoodle will have a curly coat that will need to be groomed with dog clippers since the hair doesn’t shed. However, this Sheepadoodle generation is best for people who have pet allergies and don’t want to have to pick up their canine hair everywhere.
The F2BB Sheepadoodle is almost always going to be called a multi-generation Sheepadoodle since they are the 4th generation of offspring. Many breeders won’t say F2BB, but will use the term multi-generation Sheepadoodle.
F2BB Sheepadoodle Characteristics
- Coat Type: Very curly.
- Hypoallergenic: Very hypoallergenic.
- Non-shedding: Very nonshedding.
- Hybrid Vigor: Not much.
F3 Sheepadoodle or Multi-generation Sheepadoodle
The F3 Sheepadoodle is also called the Multi-generation Sheepadoodle. This is the 3rd generation or later of a Sheepadoodle dog.
There are many variations of the F3 Sheepadoodle, but they are commonly bred with anx F1B Sheepadoodle and another F1B Sheepadoodle. Alternatively, breeders also make an F3 Sheepadoodle with an F2 Sheepadoodle and another F2 Sheepadoodle. Multi-gen Sheepadoodles carry a significant portion of Poodle genetics and usually don’t look like an English Sheepdog. The F3 Sheepadoodle generation coat can vary from somewhat wavy to very curly.
Multi-generational Sheepadoodles is a term used to describe a dog beyond the 2nd generation. This includes some of the Sheepadoodle generations listed above like F1BB, F2B, and F2BB. Many breeders will simply list multi-generation Sheepadoodle instead of listing the exact generation of Sheepadoodle. You will have to ask your breeder to specify which generation your Sheepadoodle is.
F3 Sheepadoodle or Multi-generation Sheepadoodle Characteristics:
- Coat Type: Mostly curly
- Hypoallergenic: Usually.
- Non-shedding: Usually.
- Hybrid Vigor: Not much of these health qualities.
Conclusion: Best Sheepadoodle Generations
If you want a Sheepadoodle generation that is nonshedding and hypoallergenic, you need to pick a generation that has a lot of Poodle genetics. The generations with the most Poodle genetics are below:
- F1B Sheepadoodle (75% Poodle, 25% Old English Sheepdog)
- F2B Sheepadoodle (62.5% Poodle, 37.5% Old English Sheepdog)
- F1BB Sheepadoodle (87.5% Poodle, 12.5% Old English Sheepdog)
The most popular generation of Sheepadoodle is going to be the F1B. However, if you don’t care about nonshedding and hypoallergenic features, then pick the dog that you like the most and take a closer look at Sheepadoodle coat colors. If you want a Sheepadoodle with a straight coat, pick a Sheepadoodle generation that has more Old English Sheepdog, like an F1 Sheepadoodle or F2 Sheepadoodle.
Dr. Sabrina Kong graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in England in 2016 and has been working at a small animal clinic in Northern California since then. She grew up in the Bay Area and got her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She also became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through a program at the University of Tennessee.
When she isn’t in the clinic taking care of her four-legged patients, she enjoys traveling and trying new foods with her friends and her three-legged dog, Apollo. She adopted Apollo from her clinic when he was a puppy with numerous health issues. Dr. Kong truly cares about taking care of animals.