Welcome To Your Complete Guide To The Cockapoo. The Beautiful Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix.
Known as a Cockapoodle, or a Cockapoo, this charming cross-breed is a great companion.
Read on to discover the Cockapoo’s origins, its temperament, lifespan and parentage.
You’ll also get great tips on how to buy a Cockapoo puppy, how to train it and finding a good breeder.
This owner-friendly guide contains all the Cockapoo information potential and current owners need to know!
What is a Cockapoo?
A Cockapoo, or a Cocker Poodle, is one of the earliest known breed hybrids.
Its full name is a Cocker Spaniel Poodle, as it is a mixture of those two popular dogs.
In Australia, these gorgeous mutts are known as ‘Spoodles’!
Popular in the US since the 1950s, the Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix was in demand long before the craze for designer dogs.
They even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1960!
As with all cross-breeds, Cockapoos can vary depending on their parentage.
Cocker Spaniels can be either American or English, while Poodles can come in three different sizes.
These differences can lead to a lot of subtle variation in the Cockapoo dog breed.
The American Cocker Spaniel was first recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1878. Since then they’ve grown in popularity to become the 29th most popular dog breed.
Energetic sporting dogs, they are known for their endurance and happy nature.
They share these characteristics with the English Cocker Spaniel. This breed wasn’t recognised by the AKC until 1945.
There are three types of Poodles – toy, miniature and standard. They are another well-established breed, becoming official in 1887.
The Poodle is fast becoming one of America’s most popular dogs for first generation mixes.
Cockapoos have become a seriously sought-after cross-breed today.
And it’s no surprise when you look at their personalities.
Cockapoo’s are loving, loyal and energetic pets.
They love to be active and enjoy walking, running and playing.
Like their Poodle parents they also boast above-average intelligence.
Cockapoos also display the characteristic gentleness of Cocker Spaniels.
Eager to please and very affectionate, these furry companions are ideal for families and often have a natural affinity for children.
In fact, they are so gentle and loving towards kids that Cockapoos have even been used to help autistic school children learn better.
In a 2010 project, two Cockapoos were enlisted to help austistic children do better at school. Having the dogs in the classroom improved pupils communication and social skills.
Calm and sweet-natured, Cockapoos are great companions for the younger members of the household. They will tolerate boisterious kids well, and are easily house-trained.
The happy-go-lucky Cockapoo personality has won them many celebrity fans.
Famous Cockapoo owners include Jennifer Aniston, Ashley Judd and Lady Gaga!
Cockapoo full grown
Cockapoo size depends on the dog’s parentage.
A straightforward, first generation Cockapoo will be a mix of a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel.
A second generation can be a Cockapoo bred with either of its parent breeds or another Cockapoo.
When it comes to Poodle hybrids, they can be small, big or anything in between!
This is because Poodles come in Toy, Miniature and Standard.
A Toy Poodle is less than 10 inches high, a Miniature Poodle is 10-15 inches and a Standard Poodle is over 15 inches tall.
However, Miniature Poodles are the most commonly bred for Cockapoos – making a mini Cockapoo.
Cocker Spaniels are a medium-sized breed, ranging between 13.5 – 15.5 inches tall and weighing between 20 and 30 pounds.
In her book, Cockapoos, Mary Foley, Founder of the Cockapoo Club of America, attempts to classify the different variations of Cockapoos. She looks at Cockapoo weight to determine the different types.
A Teacup Cockapoo (the smallest) is under 6 pounds, according to Foley. A Toy Cockapoo should weight between 7 and 12 pounds. A Miniature Cockapoo is 13 to 18 pounds and a Maxi Cockapoo weights over 19 pounds.
Is the Cockapoo hypoallergenic?
Many owners choose Cockapoos believing they will inherit the hypoallergenic coat of their Poodle parent.
However not all Poodle mixes are hypoallergenic.
While chances are good that your Cockapoo puppy will be hypoallergic, breeders can never be 100 per cent certain.
It is impossible to know how the coat will develop as the dog matures.
Depending on their parentage, Cockapoos have three different types of coats – tight and curly, loose and wavy and straight.
An experienced breeder should be able to tell you how a puppy’s coat will develop.
Cockapoo coats can come in many colors. These include black, chocolate, white and blonde and apricot and red.
Black cockapoo coats can change in color, thanks to a ‘fading gene’ inherited from Poodles. This can result in the black fading to grey or silver.
Happily for allergic owners, Cockapoos do not shed much. Especially if you brush and groom them regularly.
They have very soft fur and are known to be a low-maintenance dog.
A general rule of thumb is that the straighter the coat, the more the dog will shed.
The Cockapoo Club of America advises that you brush and comb their fur regularly. Groom them every six to ten weeks and take them for a clipping at least once a year.
You may need to clip them more often if your Cockapoo has a straighter/longer coat.
Be sure to use a professional groomer and discuss your options beforehand. They will be able to give your dog a cut that suits both your lifestyle and his.
It’s important to start brushing Cockapoos early.
If you establish a routine when they are a puppy it gets them used to the process, and helps create a bond between pup and owner.
Sadly genetic diseases are not confined to pure-breed dogs.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disease found in both Poodle and Cocker Spaniels. Unfortunately this means it sometimes makes the leap to their offspring.
PRA causes cells at the back of the eye to degenerate and die. Most affected dogs eventually lose their sight.
There is no cure for PRA, but thankfully it can be eliminated by careful breeding.
Testing for the disease before breeding can prevent its spread. It’s important to use a reputable breeder and ask for health screening records.
Glaucoma can also be passed on from Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. This is where pressure in the eye can damage sight.
Again, glaucoma can be tested for and avoided.
Both Poodles and Cocker Spaniels can also suffer from hip dysplasia. This is a painful condition where the hip joint develops abnormally.
Symptoms include discomfort, lameness and swelling at the hip joint.
Make sure the parents of your Cockapoo puppy have been screened for hip dysplasia.
One of the ways of avoiding hip dysplasia is to avoid over-exercising your puppy in its first years, when its bones are still developing.
The amount of exercise they need as adults can vary according to the dog’s size.
Teacups and Toy Cockapoos may tire quickly so be prepared to pick them up if they start to lag behind!
Standard or Maxi Cockapoos love to run around and enjoy a good game of fetch.
Like Cocker Spaniels they are very agile and prefer fetch-and-retrieve games where they perform a task.
They also love to swim so consider taking them out to a pond and letting them dive in for a paddle.
Looking after your pup’s mental health is just as important as his physical needs.
Thanks to their Poodle and Cocker Spaniel genes, Cockapoos are very intelligent and obliging.
They love to follow commands and ‘help’ their humans.
If possible, get started early with puppy training.
We recommend positive reinforcement training.
This focuses on rewarding the dog for good behavior, rather than punishing it for bad.
And remember to make time for toys. Cockapoos love to play with their human family!
Cockapoos are extremely sociable and dislike being left alone for long periods.
Your Cockapoo may develop anxiety and depression if he’s not given enough attention.
Cockapoo life expectancy
The average lifespan of a Cockapoo adult is generally thought to be around 13.5 years.
We know for certain is that Miniature Poodles live on average 14 years, and Cocker Spaniels 11.5 years.
Being a small breed and being a mixed breed are both factors influencing a longer lifespan.
So although there are not currently any scientific papers showing 13.5 years to be a fact, it certainly makes sense.
To make sure your canine companion is around as long as possible, ensure he has plenty of exercise, regular trips to the vet and a good quality diet.
Puppies should not be chosen until they are at least six to eight weeks old.
This gives the breeder a chance to see how their coats will develop, and what personality traits they display.
When buying from a breeder, ask for the parent’s health clearances.
They should have been checked for genetic diseases including PRA, hip dysplasia and glaucoma.
Letting your new puppy get to know you in familiar surroundings will ease their transition into their new home. Give them a chance to give you a good sniff!
Ask for information on the dog’s coat, manner, dietary needs and predicted size.
A good breeder will know their pups well and be happy to answer any questions.
When you go to collect your new furry friend, bring a crate, bedding and make sure you get a sales contract and any instructions on care and feeding.
A good contract should allow you time to take the dog to your own vet to ensure it is healthy.
Searching for trustworthy breeders is always a concern for potential dog owners.
Especially when looking for a ‘designer dog’ like the Cockapoo. For years hybrids like these were considered controversial.
Many believed the rise in popularity of cross-breeds would led to more puppy mills and haphazard breeding practices.
Some see mixtures like the Cockapoo as merely overpriced mutts, sold by inscrupulous and greedy opportunists.
Thankfully this is not the case in most incidences.
As with any breed, it’s important to know your breeder and ensure they follow industry standards.
The Cockapoo Club of America has a list of approved breeders by state.
Cockapoo cost can run up to $750 – $1250. Your choice should be dictated by the quality of the breeder, not by the price.
Cheap Cockapoo puppies may have health problems due to lax breeding standards.
For those buying in the UK, The Cockapoo Club GB can help you find a good breeder from its approved database.
If you’re interested in Cockapoo adoption, there are a number of Cockapoo puppies rescue centres that can help you select a dog.
With rescue puppies, it’s important to remember that you may encounter problems.
It’s rare to get any information about parentage and possible health concerns with an abandoned animal.
Should I buy a Cockerpoo puppy?
Cockerpoos are amazing dogs, with a beautiful appearance.
It’s not surprised so many people are tempted.
If you want a Cockapoo in your life, then make sure that you are in the right position.
These clever little dogs need plenty of training, exercise and company during the day. They are not ideal for those who work full time, or who don’t want to spend much time keeping them busy.
Find a breeder who health tests both parents, and is happy to answer any questions you have about them.
Then you will have a fun, clever and very cute companion to share your life with.
References & Resources
- The Cockapoo Club of America
- The American Kennel Club
- Cockapoo Club GB
- British Cockapoo Society
- Stone, B, “Cockapoos in the Classroom: Providing Unique Learning Opportunities for Children with Autism”, Exceptional Parent, 2010
- Foley, M, “Cockapoos”, i5 Publishing, 2012