Are you thinking about getting or adopting a Cockapoo Puppy? Or just curious about Cockapoos? In this article, we will talk about Cockapoo facts and everything you need to know about Cockapoos.
The Cockapoo – also known as the Cockerpoo, Spoodle (if you’re in Australia), and even Cockadoodle is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. The Cockapoo is not a purebred or pedigree, but a hybrid or crossbreed. Over the last couple of decades, crossbreeds have exploded in popularity.
- 1 Origin
- 2 Cockapoo Personality & Temperament
- 3 Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?
- 4 Cockapoo Coat Types
- 5 Cockapoo Coat Colors
- 6 Cockapoo Sizes & Weight
- 7 Generation
- 8 Cockapoo Lifespan
- 9 Cockapoo Health
- 10 Grooming
- 11 Cockapoo Training
- 12 Exercise
- 13 Feeding
- 14 Cockapoo Price
- 15 Common Cockapoo Traits
- 16 Is Cockapoo Right For you?
The Cockapoo is the first designer dog and has been known and loved in North America since the 1950s. More recently, it has shot through the canine ranks to become one of the most common dogs in the UK and other countries across the world. You won’t go far without spotting one of these lively, friendly dogs; they are everywhere.
But nobody knows the exact origins of this crossbreed and whether it happened by accident. But these days, Cockapoos are born by design. Cockapoos are very intelligent and very loyal, and with the right stimulation and training, they make brilliant pets.
Cockapoo Personality & Temperament
One of the outstanding features of the Cockapoo is its excellent temperament. These dogs are intelligent, easy to train, and eager to please, affectionate and loyal, have a sunny disposition, and get along well with other dogs and people – from children to the elderly.
A cockapoo can have any or all of the characteristics of one or both of its parents. Lets look at its parents personality in little more details.
The ancestors are one of three types of Spaniel. The English Cocker Spaniel could either be a show type or a working type.
The English Show Cocker is the largest of the three types.
Working Cockers are smaller and more athletic. They have higher energy drives and exercise requirements than Show Cockers.
The third type is the American Cocker Spaniel, which is slightly smaller than its British cousins.
The trademark characteristic of all three types of Spaniel is the always wagging tail; these are happy dogs with a great desire to please their owners. They are affectionate and enthusiastic and enjoy learning, with scent work being high on their priority.
The other breeds that make up the Cockapoo are the Poodle – usually the Toy or Miniature. We may think of the Poodle prancing around a show ring with elaborate hairstyles, but people often forget that the Poodle was bred as a water dog in Germany, where it was known as the Pudelhund.
Apart from its unique appearance, the Poodle has two other outstanding features: the unique wool coat and intelligence. Yes, the Poodle has beauty AND brains! After the Border Collie, this is the most intelligent canine on the planet.
All Poodles – even small ones – like to run, play and swim, and exercise is necessary for their happiness. They excel at agility and obedience classes, being both athletic and highly intelligent. The breed has a reputation for being intuitive, i.e., picking up on their owner’s moods. Because of this, some Poodles do not respond well to stress, loud noises, or overly boisterous households.
Given sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, Cockapoos are relatively uncomplicated and suitable for first-time owners. Their intelligence, even-tempered nature, and love of humans make them excellent therapy, service, and assistance dogs.
Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?
No dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic. With its unique tightly-curled wool coat, the Poodle is regarded as a minimal shedder and a hypoallergenic breed. It is one of the main reasons why Poodle hybrids like the Cockapoo has become so popular. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that individual Cockapoos with wool or wavy coats shed little to no hair and do not trigger a reaction in many allergy sufferers.
Some Cockapoos have coats similar to the Cocker Spaniel, which does shed hair.
There is no breed that will never cause an allergic reaction in someone. This is particularly true with crossbreeds like the Cockapoo, as there are even more variables than with a purebred dog – even puppies in the same litter often look different, are different sizes, and have different coat types.
Cockapoo Coat Types
Cockapoos come in various sizes, shapes, and colors and with different coat types. The Cockapoo coat type varies as characteristics are inherited from both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. There may even be some variety within a litter. The three possible coat types are a tight curly coat, a loose wavy/ringlet coat, and a straighter coat. Cockapoo coat’s texture usually consists of dense, soft, or silky fur, unlike the coarser fur found on many dogs, and all three coat types of the F1 Cockapoo are low-shedding/dander with low-allergen qualities.
The Cockapoo can have several different types of coat:
- Loose, wavy coat, this is the most popular and is also low shedding.
- Tight, curly coat, with tight curls like the Poodle; this is low-shedding and more common in backcross (b) Cockapoos.
- Straighter coat, slightly wavy, this has more of the Spaniel’s coat properties.
Cockapoo Coat Colors
Cockapoos come in various colors. They may be:
- Black With Spots
- Tan, beige, or buff
- Red, including auburn and apricot colors
- Brown, varying from light to dark
- Sable, a brown color with tipping and shading in black
- Merle (commonly blue, brown, shades mixed with white or cream)
- Beige with brown and grey markings
Cockapoo Sizes & Weight
As well as the different coat colors and parentage, there are other factors to consider when considering a Cockapoo, namely size and F numbers. The size and weight of a Cockapoo depend on which type of Poodle went into their makeup. The most popular sizes of Cockapoo are Toy and Miniature, bred from Toy and Miniature Poodles.
The sizes of Cockapoos are:
- A Teacup Cockapoo (seen in the US) is less than six pounds in weight and under 10 inches in height.
- A Toy Cockapoo weighs less than 12 pounds and can reach 10 inches in height, but has a sturdier build.
- A Miniature Cockapoo ranges from 13 to 18 pounds and stands 11 to 14 inches high.
- A Standard or Maxi Cockapoo (bred from a Standard Poodle) is less common and weighs more than 19 pounds. It stands at least 15 inches high.
These sizes and weights vary from Cockapoo to Cockapoo. If you are considering a Cockapoo puppy, find out exactly what the parent breeds are and ask to see both parents, if possible. It will give you a good idea of the size of the adult dog.
The Cockapoo is a crossbreed, not a purebred. It is the product of crossing two breeds of dog: the Cocker Spaniel and the Miniature, Toy, or Standard Poodle.
In the canine world, F numbers describe the generation of a crossbreed dog. The F comes from the Latin filius (son) and means “relating to a son or daughter.”
An F1 Cockapoo is a first-generation cross. One parent is a pure Cocker Spaniel, and the other is a pure Poodle, so 50% Spaniel and 50% Poodle. Many of today’s Cockapoos are F1 crosses with two pure breed parents. While this cross often throws a loose, wavy coat, it can occasionally throw tighter curls or a straighter, shedding coat like the Spaniel. Many experts believe that this first-generation cross is healthier and grows better than either parent line.
An F2 Cockapoo is the second generation. It is generally a cross between two F1 Cockapoos, so it is still 50% Cocker Spaniel and 50% Poodle.
An F3 Cockapoo is the offspring of an F2 parent when the other parent was F2 or higher.
Further down the line, there are also “multi-generations.” The idea behind multi-generations is that breeders can more reliably produce a Cockapoo to type with a low-shedding coat and consistent features
Note: The F numbers are worked out by always adding one to the lowest number. While an F2 could be the offspring of two first-generation doodles (F1 x F1), it could also be the product of an F1 x F2 or higher (bigger) number cross.
Then we get on to the Bs – the B stands for “Backcross” to one of the parent breeds – normally the Poodle (when a Cockapoo is bred with a Poodle). Breeders do it to increase the possibility of a low shedding coat. It is not common practice for breeders to backcross to a Spaniel. So a typical F1B Cockapoo will be one-quarter Spaniel and three-quarters Poodle.
An F2B is the result of an F1 Cockapoo bred to a Cockapoo backcross (F1B). Although three generations in the making, F2Bs are technically second-generation dogs.
Cockapoos bred from healthy parents are robust dogs with a good lifespan of 10 to 15 years, even longer in a few cases.
Health has a significant impact on an animal’s quality of life and should always be considered when choosing and raising a dog. The first step is to select a puppy from a breeder who produces Cockapoos that are sound in both body and temperament – and this involves health screening – and secondly, to play your part in keeping your dog healthy throughout his or her life.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they get a Cockapoo, he or she will automatically be healthier than a pedigree (purebred) dog because the gene pool is more extensive, and two separate breeds are involved. This is not true; you still have to make sure that both parents are healthy.
Fortunately, the Cockapoo is currently a relatively healthy crossbreed. Responsible breeders are playing their part in producing healthy pups from healthy breeding stock.
Potential hereditary issues are eye problems and hip dysplasia, and Cockapoos are at medium risk of suffering from cataracts and other eye issues. Cockapoos often live into their teens, but this does not mean that you are guaranteed a healthy dog by choosing a cockapoo. However, indeed, your chance of getting a puppy with no hereditary problems is significantly increased if you buy from a breeder who DNA health tests her dogs.
Grooming doesn’t just mean giving your Cockapoo a quick tickle with a brush every couple of weeks. There are other facets that play a part in keeping your dog clean and skin-related issues at bay. Time spent grooming is also time spent bonding with your dog. This physical and emotional inter-reliance brings us closer to our pets. Regular grooming sessions also allow you to examine your dog’s coat, skin, ears, teeth, eyes, paws, and nails for signs of problems. And once they have got used to it, most Cockapoos enjoy the attention.
Most Cockapoos require extensive clipping and grooming throughout their lives, so get your puppy used to being groomed from an early age; adults do not take it kindly to being handled if they are not used to it.
You can start gently brushing your Cockapoo puppy a few days after you bring her home and book an introductory trip to the groomers as soon as it’s safe to do so after vaccinations. Puppy hair is soft and matts easily, so regular grooming early on, i.e., a few times a week, is essential. Don’t risk permanently destroying some of the coat qualities by neglecting the task. A slicker or pin brush (pictured) is a useful tool for brushing your puppy and getting the tangles out. Be careful not to damage the skin.
Other benefits of regular brushing are that it removes dead hair and skin, stimulates blood circulation, and spreads natural oils throughout the coat, keeping it in good condition.
If your adult Cockapoo has a curly or straight coat, brushing once or twice a week is enough, but the more common soft, wavy coat requires more time and effort. Cockapoos with low-shedding coats need to be trimmed regularly, which could be anything from every six to 12 weeks. If you are considering full grooming at home, here are some things to consider buying:
- Electric clippers – quality and price vary; cheap ones blunt quicker.
- Brush – a slicker brush or pin brush
- Steel comb and possibly a de-matting comb
- Pet scissors with rounded ends
- Shampoo formulated for dogs.
- Nail clippers or grinder
- Styptic powder to stop bleeding from the quick (nail)
- Eye wipes
- Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
- Ear powder if your Cockapoo has hairy ears
Training a young dog is not unlike bringing up a child. Put lots of time in early on to work for a better mutual understanding, and you’ll be rewarded with a well-adjusted, friendly individual who is a joy to live with, and you can take anywhere.
Dogs are not clones. Some are more strong-willed, independent, or have higher energy drives than others. But generally, Cockapoos want to please their owners. They enjoy showing off and are receptive to training. It won’t magically happen overnight; you have to make time for training. Cockapoos are super family dogs and companions, but let yours behave exactly how he or she wants, and you could finish up with an attention-seeking adult who rules your life!
Cockapoos are highly motivated by reward – especially praise and treat – and this is a big bonus when it comes to training. Your dog WANTS to please you and enjoys learning. All you have to do is spend the time teaching him what you want him to do, then repeat the actions, so it becomes second nature. The secrets of good training are:
Many owners say that Cockapoos have empathy (the ability to pick up on others’ feelings). They respond well to your encouragement and a lively atmosphere; they do not respond well to shouting or heavy-handed training methods.
Cockapoos are certainly “biddable,” i.e., willing to learn – provided you make it clear exactly what you want them to do; don’t give conflicting signals.
They enjoy socializing and love a challenge. Cockapoos can excel as therapy dogs – see Denise Knightley’s story at the end of this chapter on how Cockapoo Carmen Rose is helping young children. They also do well in Obedience and Agility, which not only keeps their bodies exercised but their minds too.
All dogs have one thing in common – including every Cockapoo ever born – they need daily exercise. Even if you have a large garden or back yard where your dog can run free, there are still many benefits to daily walks.
Cockapoos love going for walks but are usually happy to lounge around at home if you have to skip one. Don’t think that because yours is happy to snuggle up on the sofa with you that they don’t need regular exercise – THEY DO.
Start exercise patterns early, so your dog gets used to a routine. Dogs love routine. Daily exercise helps to keep your Cockapoo happy, healthy, and free from disease. Regular exercise:
- Strengthens respiratory and circulatory systems
- Helps to get oxygen to tissue cells
- Helps to keep a healthy heart
- Wards off obesity
- Keeps muscles toned and joints flexible
- Aids digestion
- Releases endorphins that trigger positive feelings
- Helps to keep dogs mentally stimulated and socialized
Cockapoos’ ancestors on both sides were originally bred to run and retrieve all day. One of the main things that surprise many new owners of Cockapoos – especially those that retain a lot of sporting instinct – is how much energy they have and how much physical and mental activity they need to stop them from becoming bored.
Note: Cockapoos bred from American Cocker Spaniels tend to have less drive and lower energy demands. Cockapoos from show strains of English Cocker Spaniels generally have calmer dispositions than those bred from working English Cockers.
To keep your cockapoo’s biological machine in good working order, you need to give him the right food. The correct diet is essential for keeping your dog fit and healthy.
Dogs are individuals, just like people, which means that you could feed quality food to a group of dogs and find that most of them thrive on it, but some do not do so well, while a few might get an upset stomach or even an allergic reaction. The question is: “Which food is best for my Cockapoo?”
If you have been given a recommended food from a breeder, rescue center, or previous owner, stick to this as long as your dog does well on it. If you do decide to change his diet, then you have to do it gradually. There are several things to be aware of when it comes to feeding:
- Food is a big motivator for many dogs, making it a powerful training tool. You can use feeding time to reinforce a simple command daily.
- Greedy dogs have no self-control when it comes to food, so it is up to you to control your dog’s intake. Dogs of all breeds, including Cockapoos, can have food sensitivities or allergies.
- Some cockapoos do not do well on diets with a high grain content. There is enough anecdotal evidence from owners to know that this is true of some Cockapoos.
- There is evidence that some dogs thrive on home-cooked or raw diets, particularly if they have been having issues with manufactured foods, but you need the time and money to stick to them.
- With processed dried foods (kibble), you often get what you pay for, so a more expensive food is usually – but not always – more likely to provide better nutrition in terms of minerals, nutrients, and high-quality meats. Cheap foods often contain a lot of grain; read the list of ingredients to find out. Dried foods have improved a lot over the last few years, and some of the best are the right choice for a healthy, complete diet. Dried foods also contain the least fat and most preservatives.
- Sometimes elderly dogs get bored with their diet and go off their food. It does not necessarily mean that they are ill, simply that they have lost interest and you should introduce them to the new food gradually.
The price of a Cockapoo puppy can vary significantly from breeder to breeder. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $900 to $2,500 per puppy.
This exact price will change depending on the breeder and even the individual dog due to rare coat colors, the health history, genetics, bloodlines of the parents, and the puppy’s age.
Common Cockapoo Traits
Every dog is different, but they also share some traits. Here are some typical characteristics – some of them also apply to other breeds but put them all together, and you have a blueprint for the Cockapoo.
- Cockapoos are great companions and should have a naturally sunny temperament.
- Cockapoos often bond with the entire family, rather than just one person.
- Some Cockapoos retain sporting instincts and enjoy chasing small mammals and birds when outdoors.
- Even if they chase things outdoors, most Cockapoos live happily with cats and other animals inside the house when introduced at a young age.
- Many – although not all – Cockapoos have an instinctive love of water from the Poodle side.
- Like a Spaniel, they usually have a highly developed sense of smell and love to run with their noses to the ground.
- Cockapoos often love playing in the snow – although their feet may need gently “de-icing” afterward.
- All Cockapoos love running off the lead (leash), although many are adaptable to exercise. They can go hiking for hours or snuggle up on the sofa all day.
- They are not aggressive dogs and generally get on well with other dogs if they have been properly socialized.
- A few Cockapoos can be a little nervous around new people, dogs, and situations. Socialization from an early age is the key.
- They enjoy being the center of attention.
- They are sensitive dogs and can pick up on emotions.
Is Cockapoo Right For you?
There are always pros and cons to any dog breed or crossbreed. I have summarized some pros and cons for Cockapoos below:
- Cockapoos are clever and active.
- They make excellent companions and family dogs and are patient with children, once trained.
- They are friendly with everyone.
- Cockapoos are easy to train.
- They shed very little.
- Because they are friendly with everyone, they do not make good guard dogs.
- They do not like to be left alone for long. You will need to spend a lot of time with them.
- They require regular grooming.
- Cockapoo puppies can be very “mouthy” as their ancestors were bred to pick up and carry things in their mouths.