The Ultimate Cockapoo Breed Guide

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Finding a Breeder  |  Cockapoo Facts  |  Is a Cockapoo right for you?  |  Grooming  |  Health  |  Ownership costs  |  Are they good pets?  |  Do they need a lot of exercise?  |  Do they bark a lot?  |  Can they be left alone?

The main aim and the goal of this website is to help you decide not only whether the Cockapoo is the breed of dog for you, but also, as the prospective owners to be, that your lifestyle and home environment are right for the Cockapoo.

Below we will be giving you an introduction into all aspects of the Cockapoo breed from the temperament to the Pros and Cons of being the proud owners of one of these wonderful family pets, and that will also lead you through our website in a way that helps and informs you of the points and facts that you are looking to find out about the Cockapoo breed type.

Cockapoos are one of the Hybrid dog breeds, now also known as designer breeds, and in fact, were the first of the designer dogs. Sometimes called Cockapoodles they are the offspring from a purebred Cocker Spaniel and purebred Poodle (this can be standard, miniature or toy poodle) cross and their popularity has been steadily increasing in recent decades as this cross combines the wonderful and best traits of both their parent breeds.

The Cockapoo is renowned for being a loyal, charming, intelligent pet, with an all-round lovely nature and has the appearance, good looks, and sweetness that can melt anyone’s heart.

Remember, always purchase your dog from one of the reputable Cockapoo breeders and not just an advert that has Cockerpoos for sale, unless of course, you can be sure that the Spaniel and Poodle used for the cross are grounded dogs with the temperament, nature you would like to have in the puppy and also check that they have no health problems that you should know about.

Basic Facts about the Cockapoo

Lifespan – The cockerpoo has the average lifespan for a dog of its size which is between 12 – 14 years. This is worked out with the fact that the Cocker Spaniel has a life expectancy of around 11 years and the Poodles is about 14, although the American Cockapoo Club gives the average age as being between 14 and 18 years and there are even reports of them living to be a grand old 22 years old. The lifespan will depend on the health, weight, and amount of exercise that the dog receives though.

Height – The height of your Cockapoo will depend on the size of the Spaniel and Poodle parent dogs, but Cockapoos will usually grow to be between 10 and 15 inches tall.

Weight – Generally Cockapoos will weigh in at about 30 pounds, but once again it will depend on the Cocker Spaniels and Poodles that have been used for the cross and this can put a range between 6 and 30 pounds. That is quite a difference so you should ask the cockerpoo breeder or vet for the ideal weight of your puppy.

Breed Mix – Usually you will find that the mix of breeds used for the Cockapoo is the Cocker Spaniel and Poodles, but you can find them Poodles crossed with the English Cocker Spaniels, although these are sometimes now called Spoodles to differentiate the two Hybrid breeds.

Characteristics of the Cockapoo

Whether you have purchased your new Cockapoo puppy from a Cockapoo breeder or have adopted him or her from one of the rescue groups the characteristics of your puppy are important. Below we will try to cover the most important subjects and give you the basic information along with the links that will take you to a more detailed and informative article for any particular information that you might be looking for, either as research or to help you resolve a problem.

Grooming

As the Cockapoo is a low shedding breed you will sometimes hear it said by people, or by the Cockapoo breeder that the dog is hypoallergenic, this is not strictly true. It stems from the misbelieve that Poodles do not shed hair and are hypoallergenic, the truth is, they do and they are not, and because the Cockapoo is part Poodle and often inherits the coat, this claim is also made about them.

Unfortunately, allergies are caused not by a particular dog coat type but by dander, which are the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs and people. With this type of coat when the hair is shed it remains in the coat along with the dander until you brush it out, therefore, restricting the effect, it may have on someone with an allergy to dogs.

This does mean that the Cockapoo breed requires a reasonable level of grooming, not just for their appearance but to help maintain a healthy coat. It is worth bearing in mind that the Cockapoo can also inherit the coat of the Cocker Spaniel, which is soft and silky, as well as that of the Poodle.

For more tips and information on grooming pop over to our more in-depth articles here where you can find out things like when you should give your Cockapoo its first haircut and lots more.

You also need to consider the fact that there are many other aspects of dogs that can trigger a reaction and even skin allergies. To find out more about this topic, check out this post.

Health

Cockerpoos are a healthy hybrid breed and do not tend to suffer from health problems as much as the purebreds. But as with all things animal-related this will vary from dog to dog and they can inherit some of the genes from the purebred Poodle and Spaniel such as hip dysplasia. Also, because of their floppy ears and the way their ear canal is shaped, they can be prone to ear infections this you can help avoid with regular cleaning, but generally speaking, if you keep them fit and on a healthy diet you will help to give them a long and healthy life.

If you are really concerned about any health conditions that your Cockapoo might have inherited then by going to a reputable Cockapoo breeder your will be advised. Below this, you find some tips on how to find breeders.

For further information on health issues click here.

These are the health issues that can be inherited from the parents of this particular breed, but please note this, of course, does not mean that they will.

From the Cocker Spaniel Parent, it is possible that they may suffer with:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Eye diseases, connected to the breed’s tendency to have bulging eyes
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease, often discussed in shorthand as IDD
  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Blood Disease

From the Poodle Parent it is possible that they may suffer with:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Mitral Valve Heart Disease, Often referred to as just MVD
  • Patellar Luxation/Slipped kneecap (Though this only affects miniature and toy dogs)
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye disorders
  • Immune-related blood disorders
  • IDD (Again, only affects toy and miniature dogs)
  • Squamous Cell Disease
  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Diabetes

Tips on Finding Cockapoo Breeders

 If you have decided that you would like to purchase your family pet from a Cockapoo breeder you will need to make sure that they are a reputable breeder that uses effective and safe breeding practices.

A good breeder, with a good reputation to uphold, should be more than happy to welcome you into their home or kennel area and allow you to check out the surroundings that their puppies are raised in so you can see for yourself that they have been looked after and loved in those important first few weeks of their life.

This is also the time when they should advise you of the generic cross, for example, if you are looking for a first cross (F1) Cockapoo they should be able to show you the appropriate paperwork for your new puppy and the parents. Here you can find out more for buying a Cockapoo puppy through a breeder along with some recommended breeders that are registered with the Cockapoo Club of Great Britain (CCGB).

Do your research, you could take a look at their social media profiles and whether there are testimonials relevant to this breed, maybe ask your local vet if they know of a Cockapoo breeder in your area, talk to other owners, etc this will all make it quite a bit easier to find a breeder you can trust. Breeders should be the people that love their cockapoos the most and want to share their love of the breed with everyone so if you feel they are hiding something then they probably are, as remember there are unscrupulous money grabbing people out there so always be aware. 

Maybe before buying a have you considered the other option of adopting. Not only is it a lot cheaper overall, but it is also just a really wonderful way to find a dog. Lots of dogs end up with a rescue group looking for new homes through no fault of their own and just need some loving dog owners. This, of course, is a personal choice as you will not know the genetic parentage of the dog. It is rare to find a Cockapoo puppy that you can train from scratch and as with all rescue dogs they may come with some bad habits.

You can find out more about rescuing this breed, by checking out the Facebook Doodle Adoption page here and the Adoption and Rescue pages on this site.

Again we will say avoid an advert for Cockapoo for sale and a pet store purchase unless they have all the appropriate paperwork and you can see that the parents are well loved and in good health.

Are Cockapoos good pets?

The personality and temperament of the Cockapoos are known to be fun, cute and friendly, not just with the owners but they are usually, we say usually because there is always going to be an exception to the rule no matter how rare, good with people, children, cats and also other dogs and therefore make wonderful family pets.

It will help if you can see the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle that are the parents of cockapoo puppies if at all possible, as this will give you an insight into their temperaments, you know the saying like father like son, well this does apply with dogs as well. If you see cockapoos for sale and the breeders do not want or let you see the parents consider the reason why as this could be a game-changer when choosing your puppy.

cockapoos are the best breed

This breed is easy to fall in love with and incredibly cuddly dog that was first bred as early back as the 60s to make the perfect pet and companion.

Mostly, they are considered small to medium-sized designer dogs, that are big enough to have a rough and tumble with but small enough not to take up all the space in a small property. But there is some scope for variety as they can be a mix of a Cocker Spaniel, whether its an American or English Cocker and the Poodles may be standard, miniature, or a Toy Poodle. If you would like a Miniature Cockapoo then this will be crossed with a Toy Poodle and so on.

Are Cockapoos Intelligent

The combination of two of the smartest dogs as parents makes the Cockapoos an intelligent dog and therefore a dog that is easy to train. If you would like to find out more about training and what you can do to give you and your dog a relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle then pop over to our in-depth guide on various aspects of training here.

Obedience training is an important part of any training schedule that you might wish to do and with the Cockapoo, but you have one of the breeds that are generally easy to train, in saying that they are a crossbreed and can vary considerably in certain traits.

With both parents being from working dogs breeds, the Poodle was originally bred for water retrieval and the Cocker Spaniel for its ability to scent and flush out birds when on a prey drive, they also have a high energy level and a personality that just wants to soak up all the training you can give it. So you are off to a good start with your Cockapoo dog.

How much exercise does a Cockapoo need?

All dogs need exercise, even the laziest couch potato dog needs the occasional walk to ensure they have good health in general. However, as individual dogs are different from one another their exercise and personality will dictate how much they may demand.

Cockerpoos are a small to medium-sized dog and do not actually need too much exercise to keep them fit and healthy so we are probably talking between 15 to 30 minutes a day. Now that is not a lot, but remember they will be active and playing while with you and gain the benefits from that. It is also important that you have dog toys about for them and that you interact with them and teach them new games to play as they do have an active mind that needs exercising as well. They will love any dog sports that you can throw in their direction.

How Far Can They Walk?

As walking will be the predominant form of exercise you and your new Cockapoo are likely to engage in, this is another important point to consider. The crucial thing is actually not how far they can, but how far they should walk and at what ages, as bone development is crucial in their younger months.

Clay – Image kindly provided by his owner

They are unfortunately prone to suffering from hip dysplasia, meaning that if they are exercised too much as puppies and before their bones develop fully, they may experience long-term health problems.

But once they are a bit older the Cockapoo does tend to have the stamina of Cocker Spaniel dogs and an adult dog will love to go farther than you probably want to, that, if you ask anyone that has the great experience of being with a working Cocker Spaniel, will tell you. As working dogs go the Poodle is no lightweight in this field either.

How much is a Cockapoo and how much is the upkeep?

So you have fallen in love with this adorably scruffy coated little dog and are now wondering how much is a Cockapoo to buy. As they are what has become known as a designer dog it is not going to be cheap, especially if you want a first cross, purebred Cocker, with purebred Poodle (F1), this can be Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle or Toy Poodle.

You would be looking to pay a minimum of around the £900 mark if you do not specifically want an F1. There are the F2 crosses and some people have preferences about the coat colour and with certain colours being rarer than others, yes you’ve probably already guessed, those cost more and you would be right.

An important aspect of owning a dog is obviously how much it is going to cost initially but it is also equally as important to understand how much it is going to cost you to keep and maintain the dog to its full health and fitness, this will apply to all breeds of dogs, not just the Cockapoo breed.

In this section, we have broken down the various costs involved that you need to take into consideration before jumping into the decision of owning a Cockapoo.

We break it down into the following categories, so you can get the information you need, quickly:

Food – We have covered this topic in great detail and you can find out more about the best dog food for the breed,  what food you can feed them safely other than proper dog food, along with the food you can not feed them, and last but not least also about raw food diets.

There is also the Pet Insurance, dog walking if your schedule does not allow you to do it yourself. Have you thought about the need for a dog sitter or the kennel fees for when you are off gallivanting around the globe on your annual holidays?

As we have touched on before, the Cockapoo will need to be groomed regularly and that is not to make it pretty but to ensure that the dogs’ coat is maintained and in good condition, even if you decide you can do the grooming yourself you will still need to purchase the necessary tools for the job.

To get more information and finer details about the costs that you need to budget for  Click here.

Coat Type and Colours

You will know if you have spent any time looking at pictures and researching this breed that they come in a wide variety of colours and coat types. Generally, there are three main coat types which are a tight curly coat, a loose wavy/ringlet coat and a straighter coat.

But this can vary even in the same litter of puppies, the same is true of coat colours. Buff, beige or tan, champagne, cream white, chocolate, white, golden and black are among the most popular, while reds are fairly common too. Mike, the owner of this site, has one that is apricot.

We have a post that looks at some of the most common of the colours and which goes into more detail and gives you a few more of the facts and details that will help you in your decision making, as we Cockapoo lovers know they are just all so cute and cuddly.

You can use this as a guide to help you find the coat colour, type and size of puppy or dog you might want to welcome to your home, but, just as much as the colour might be important to you it can also have a connection to the name you call your wonderful new Cockapoo puppy, so we thought it would be a nice idea to give you some help and provide you with a comprehensive list of great Cockapoo names which we hope you will enjoy reading after all the name is for life and very often gives a clue about the personality of the dog.

However, it is important to stress that unless the breeder can categorically promise you will have a specific coat colour or type, it can be a bit of a lottery until the puppy starts to grow the full adult coat. 

Are cockapoos barkers?

So you have fallen in love with Cockapoo puppies and before going out to purchase one you are doing your research and need to know if Cockapoos are barkers. Cockapoos make a good indoor family member for those of you that have close neighbours as they are not known to be barkers.

But as we have said before, being a breed from two working dogs Cockapoos are active and intelligent animals and it is advisable to give them toys and activities in the home to keep them engaged and stimulated.

But maybe you felt it was better that you rescue and a Cockapoo from a rescue center and find that it has developed a habit of barking already, don’t worry here is an article on How to deal with it and stop it here, we will look at the different reasons and scenarios where your dog might bark as much like growling, barking is a form of communication that dogs use and in order to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy barking.

Can They be Left Alone in the Day?

As they are known to be very sociable, companion dogs, they are not happy when they are separated from their pack or their primary dog owner and care provider. Therefore, one of the most important considerations you need to make when you are thinking of getting any dog, not just a Cockapoo is if you are going to have enough time for the dog. Different dogs do have different needs to find out in more detail about how long you can leave your Cockapoo for, in this section, you will learn a number of important factors such as:

  • Does your dog have Separation Anxiety?
  • How to Deal with it
  • Short-Term Solutions
  • What not to do

Separation anxiety is a serious issue with many dog breeds and can actually cause health issues, but this breed in particular, seems to suffer from it badly if you are not taking the right measures to prevent it from developing. 

Should You Get a Cockapoo if You Work Full Time?

Obviously, the ideal working situation for having a dog, whether it’s a Cockapoo or another breed, is to work from home. Ultimately, cockerpoos will not do very well if they are left alone for long periods of time. We understand that this is not always the case and that not everyone has the luxury of this and in this post, you will find out helpful information about whether you should get a dog if you work full-time hours.

Is the Cockapoo the Right Hybrid (Designer) Dog for You?

It’s all very well if you have done the research on the dog breed of your choice but do know for certain that it is the best dog for you. If you are relatively new to this dog breed, or dogs in general, it is worth comparing and contrasting it with some of the other hybrid breeds, just to make sure the Cockapoo is a good fit for your household and lifestyle as a bad fit is not good for the cockapoo health and will not be as enjoyable for you .

In this section, therefore, you will find informative posts that look at the Cockapoo when compared to a variety of different hybrid breeds, including:

  • Cockapoo Vs. Cavapoo – These are very closely related, so to help make distinctions between them, we compare both, considering various factors.
  • Cockapoo Vs. Labradoodle – If there’s one hybrid dog that is almost as popular as the Cockapoo, it is the Labradoodle. We look at both to help you choose the one that’s right for you.
  • Cockapoo Vs. Cavachon – In this section, we look at how they are compared to another Spaniel crossbreed, the lovely Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Friese.
  • Cockapoo Vs. Mini Goldendoodle – The Mini Goldendoodle is an adorable mix of a Golden Labrador with a Miniature Poodle, but is it better for you than a Cockapoo?
  • Cockapoo Vs Pug – Given their popularity, it would be unfair to leave Pugs out of this discussion. How do the jokers of the dog world compare to Cockapoos?
  • Cockapoo Vs. Maltipoo – They are gaining popularity, so it’s worth seeing if this breed might be better for you than a Cockapoo.

Behaviour Problems with Cockapoos?

If you have already taken the plunge and you have a Cockapoo but have now noticed he or she is not behaving as you imagined. The important thing is not to panic. 

Although they are known to a wonderful temperament, just like any other breed of dog, they can learn or develop behaviour issues. These can be dealt with quickly and easily, especially if you figure out the route cause. To find out more about likely problems and how to resolve them click here.

Pros and Cons

Below we will give you just a few of the pros and cons of being an owner of a Cockapoo as we could write about them forever.

Pros

As you have probably realised we could ramble on about how wonderful Cockapoos forever but we think you will know most of the best pros from just reading about them.

Cons

If you find your dog has developed any other problems after you have had it for some time then you can always use this site for reference and check out all about their behaviour here.

We have now informed you all about the Cockapoo but have not said too much about their parents, so we will now give you a quick run down on both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle.

Cocker Spaniel the Breed

The Cocker Spaniel is is a companion dog, but are also highly respected working dogs and used as bird dogs, for both flushing and retrieving. They are highly affectionate and just love cuddles, but being intelligent they are easy to train as if they are pleasing you they are at their happiest. Recognised in the kennel club as a small gun dog but this does not affect the friendliness and loving nature and these dogs make great family pets that are suitable for smaller homes. When you look at the breed standard that the breed clubs put on different dogs nature, temperament, and merriment that they require of the Cocker Spaniel sums up the personality perfectly.

Poodles the Breed

Elegant, proud, and clever about sums up these wonderful dogs. If you are already in the club of poodle lovers you will probably know that although they are often receiving blue ribbons and have fancy haircuts they make wonderful pets. However, they are a highly intelligent dog that will need the excise and stimulation to match. Whether it is a Standard or Miniature poodle they all carry the same traits and paired with the Cocker Spaniel make the wonderfulness of the Cockapoo.

Summary

The Cockapoo dog is a hybrid breed that has been bred for not only the wonderful traits and temperament of two breeds but also its coat type, which is light shedding. It is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, depending on what size your preference is, this can be with a breed Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodles, or Toy Poodles. It was the first of the hybrid breeds and has been around since as far back as the 1950s.

Loved for its affectionate personality it is an intelligent and active dog that will grab any ones heart immediately, they have a high activity level and suit playing with young children as they just love it and are also renowned for getting on with both people and other animals. They are a good indoor dog that will suit someone in a small apartment or flat and if paired with one of the Toy Poodles the size will fit perfectly, that being said even when crossed with a Standard Poodle they only grow to about 15 – 18 inches in height so are still only a medium size dog.

If you suffer from allergies that are caused by dander, the dead skin cells that all dogs and humans shed then this is a good choice because it is said that they have less than other dogs, although this is hotly debated, and they do not shed in the same way as many other dogs, with any lose hair having to be brushed out with grooming, which in itself helps reduce the amount of dander in your home.