Are you interested in bringing a dog into your home? Have you given much thought to your new member of the family being a cockapoo? A cockapoo is a designer dog or mixed dog breed, that is a crossbreed with a cocker spaniel and a poodle. They are incredibly popular, thanks to their huge and loveable personality. Although there are many crossbreeds out there, the cockapoo was one of the first.
As well as having bountiful energy, they are also very warm and exceptionally clever. One of the main reasons why cocker spaniels and poodles were bred together, above all these other great personality traits, was to develop a breed that had a balanced temperament and was less likely to aggravate allergy sufferers.
However, you mustn’t rush into getting a cockapoo, or any dog for that matter. To help you make the decision of whether this breed is right for you or not, therefore, it’s a good idea to look at both the good points and the bad points. That is what we are going to discuss in the following post.
First, let’s take a look at some of the many pros of choosing a cockapoo as your new family member.
Cockapoos Make Great Companions
As cockapoos are exceptionally clever, they are easy enough to train. Compared to other breeds and crossbreeds similarly sized, they are known to better adapt to a new home. There is no question about their companionship and loyalty to their owners. Although they are better suited to a family with older, more responsible children, they are the kind of breed that will get on with just about anyone.
They Don’t Shed In Large Quantities or Regularly
As noted at the outset, one of the reasons the cockapoo crossbreed was planned in the first place was to have an animal that inherited the favourable characteristic of a poodle of it not shedding much. Even during the period of spring through to winter, which is an important transitionary period for a dog’s coat, they don’t shed much at all.
You still need to carry out regular grooming, like brushing their fur once a day to stop it from knotting or matting and their fur will need to be trimmed or clipped occasionally too. As well as not shedding fur much, they also don’t produce much dander, which is why many people see them as being hypoallergenic. While there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, cockapoos are one of the crossbreeds that come close to it.
They are Easy to Look After
Although it depends on the size of dog you get, you should look to feed it at least ¼ of a cupful to ¾ of a cupful of high-end nutritious dry dog food every day. It is best to divide this into two separate meals so they can feel satisfyingly full throughout the day.
Be careful, though, as you will need to adjust this amount based on unique factors affecting your own individual dog, including the likes of their metabolism, activity levels and many other things. For example, a dog that is always running around and playing outside will need more to eat than one that prefers to laze around.
They Are Generally a Quite Breed
Generally speaking, the majority of cockapoos are not especially big on barking. While it is likely they will bark to alert you, someone is coming to your home, they will be more likely to scuttle off and hide once they are close.
Cockapoos are louder when they have been left alone for a considerable amount of time. Many people recommend crate training for cockapoos, but as they are more likely to complain, it can be a little aggravating.
They Are A Very Accepting Breed
Are you looking for the best guard dog you can get? Look at other breeds, then. Cockapoos are a very accepting breed and are happy with both children and older members of the family. You will also find that they get on with most other animals, including other dogs, rabbits and cats.
There Are Four Different Size Options to Choose From
Interestingly, if you are not keen on having what would be considered to be a standard-sized dog and are looking for something smaller that has all the positive personality traits and is easy to look after, a cockapoo may still be a viable option. There are four sizes of this crossbreed to choose from, including the teacup size which has a height of less than 10-inches and weight of less than 6-pounds, while the toy variety is a lot stockier but still weighs relatively light at just under 12-pounds, with the miniature cockapoo measuring under 14-inches and weighing around the 18-pound mark. The biggest variety of cockapoo is the standard or maxi, which stands at 15-inches tall more or less and has a weight of more than 19-pounds.
There Are A Variety of Coat Colour Combinations Available
It’s not just their sizes that vary from one cockapoo to another, as there are numerous coat colour combinations available too. Generally, cockapoos grow just one long coat with loose curls in it. There are even some varieties to this, depending on what traits it inherits from what parent breed.
There is also a great deal of variety of colour combinations available, with cockapoos being bred in just about any coat colours you will find either a cocker spaniel or poodle with.
Now, so that you can make a thorough and informed decision, let’s look at some of the less than desirable qualities of cockapoos.
They Need to Be Socialised Early To Develop That Friendly Personality
While we stand by what we said that cockapoos can have friendly, warm and healthy personalities, it does not come about by chance. You need to expose your dog to various situations early on in their life to ensure they develop that personality. Therefore, you need to expose them to various experience, sights, sounds and people within the first few months of their life.
This is necessary for helping your dog to become an energetic and friendly animal that you and others will love and get on with. If you don’t, there is a chance that your dog will develop a serious case of separation anxiety. Undesirable personality traits and behaviours can form if positive reinforcement is not used properly during training. With all of the above in mind, you need to be able to devote a reasonable amount of patience and time to stop the development of problematic characteristics.
They Require Regular and Consistent Companionship
Cockapoos are dogs that don’t respond well to suffering from spending too much time on their own. They are very prone to suffering from separation anxiety, as hinted at above. Therefore, if you spend between 4 and 8 hours of the day away from home, you are bound to see the symptoms and actions of a dog suffering from social anxiety.
Cockapoos feel secure and safe when they are around people. Even if they have gone through crate training. Some of the negative effects that occur as a result of neglect are increases in destructive chewing and aggression.
They Generally Have a Lot of Energy
Although you will find that most cockapoos tend to adapt to living in apartments and flats without too much trouble, larger dogs need a lot more exercise and this needs to be attended to. Ideally, the kind of house that is best for a cockapoo is one that has a lower level and a yard with a fence that enables the dog to run around, explore and basically work off all that energy they have in reserve.
Like most things, the individual needs of your specific cockapoo will be different to another with regards to exercise. However, you should plan to take yours out on 15-minute walks every day.
There Are Some Health Issues Common to Cockapoos
As cockapoos mature, there are various health issues they are prone to suffering from. For instance, cataracts are a common development that cockapoos experience in older age. This gives their eyes a cloudy appearance and stops their vision from functioning properly. Another common problem with this breed is slipped stifles which are often related to issues with their knee joints. Other common and very serious issues they can develop include liver disease and hip dysplasia because of the cocker spaniel side of the breed.
Another spaniel-related health issue is their tendency to develop ear infections. This is due to the shape and structure of their ears, which often means they have moisture and debris trapped inside them. You will need to check and clean them regularly to prevent this. We, and most experts, would recommend having their ears cleaned at least once every week. As is the case with most animals, you need to brush their teeth between 2 and 3 times a week to stop the build-up of tartar and keep their nails trimmed neatly, dealing with them every couple of weeks.
As you can see there are just as many pros to owning a cockapoo as there are cons. Your decision about whether a cockapoo is right for you, your household and your lifestyle, is something you need to decide for yourself.
Using this list of pros and cons should make it easier, as you will be able to determine which positives you really want from a dog and the negatives you can look past. Whatever you decide, we know that if you put a lot of thought into it, it will be the right one.