Cockapoo

In today’s guide, you can learn all about the Cockapoo, one of the world’s oldest designer breeds. Learn about their personality, history, health issues, and more!

Black Cockapo on white background

Cockapoo Characteristics:
Height: 10-15 inches
Weight: 5-11 kilos
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): No, this breed is not registered with the Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives

Check out the positive and negative Cockapoo traits below:

Pros:

  • Hypoallergenic, ideal for allergy sufferers
  • Suitable for apartment living
  • Easy to train
  • Family-friendly pets

Cons:

  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • High grooming maintenance
  • Vocal, likes to bark
  • Requires lots of exercise

Overview

The Cockapoo is one of the first designer breeds to be created. With a 60 year history, this pooch quickly climbed the ranks of popularity, despite not being recognized by any official Kennel Club. Cockapoos are prized for being ideal family pets and companions. Their parents are the Poodle and the American/English Cocker Spaniel.

Most Cockapoos will inherit the hypoallergenic gene, making them ideal breed choices for allergy sufferers. However, this distinctive trait isn’t necessarily inherited by all puppies in the litter. If you are interested in purchasing or rehoming a Cockapoo dog speak to the breeder or rescue center. Find out if the dog you’re interested in possesses this trait.

Cockapoo puppy looking up at the camera

Unfortunately, these canines require human company on a regular basis. Somebody from the household must be available to stay with the Cockapoo. Whilst they can be left alone for a few hours here and there, they are prone to separation anxiety if this becomes continuous.

Many people ask how big is a Cockapoo? This is down to the variety of sizes the Poodle has to offer. A Cockapoo full grown will reach a maximum of 15 inches and 11 kilos. Apart from the standard size, there is also the toy Cockapoo and miniature Cockapoo. The difference in size depends on the type of Poodle used for breeding.

Do note the Cockapoo adult weight and height guides are averages only. As this breed hasn’t been recognized by any official club, a certified set of breed standards haven’t been produced.

History

Cockapoos are a hybrid, crossed between an American Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. On some occasions, the English Cocker Spaniel may be used for cross breeding instead. These designer dogs have a long history compared to other hybrid types and have been popular since the 1960s. America is where the Cockapoo was officially created.

American Cocker Spaniels are closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel but were distinguished as their own breed in the 20th century. They were originally bred as gun dogs to hunt Eurasian Woodcock but also made excellent family pets. Spaniels are believed to date back to the 14th century and many assume they originate from Spain.

Poodles are known as the National Dog of France despite originating from Germany. They are one of the oldest breeds developed by the French to hunt Waterfowl. Their name derives from the German word ‘Pudel’. The translation means ‘to splash in the water’. Rather fitting for this breed!

Since their creation, some Cockapoo enthusiasts have been working to establish these dogs as their own breed. Yet other Cockapoo lovers believe the traditional breeding method works best. Like other hybrid canines, the Cockapoo isn’t able to compete in dog shows.

Unofficial clubs have since been created for Cockapoo owners and lovers. The Cockapoo Club of America was formed in 1999 followed by the American Cockapoo Club in 2004. In the UK the British Cockapoo Society and the Cockapoo Club of GB are available for UK Cockapoo enthusiasts.

Related: Learn all about the Cane Corso dog in our latest guide.

Personality

Cockerpoo Temperament:

The Cocker Poodle is an easy-going, adorable canine that’s been prized for its family pet status. They’re intelligent and easy to train, which is why some first-time dog owners find this breed appealing. Unfortunately, these dogs do love the sound of their own voices. Training will be needed to prevent excessive barking.

This adaptable breed is well suited to city life. They’re highly sociable and love spending their time doting on their owners. An outgoing, playful, and cheerful pet that will always bring a smile to the faces of those in their households. The Cockapoo personality is certainly a friendly one.

Cockapoo puppy playing in the grass

Are Cockapoos Good With Strangers?

The Cockapoo puppy will need socialization around those they don’t know to prevent fear. If they’ve been socialized correctly, Cockapoos will feel at ease around strangers. This breed is confident and friendly. If their owner decides to invite a stranger into their home the Cockapoo will happily greet and befriend them!

Are Cockapoos Good With Children?

Yes, this breed is excellent with children. Cockapoos are known to be remarkable family pets thanks to their playful, friendly, and gentle nature. Their size and tolerance make them ideal around smaller children.

Are Cockapoos Ok With Other Dogs?

Yes, Cockapoos can get along very well with other dogs. They can also live amongst different canines and even cats. This sociable pooch would love to introduce themselves to any new dog they see.

Exercise

Cockapoo dogs are a fairly active breed needing at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. A Cockapoo puppy may require longer. Coming from gun dog stock (the Cocker Spaniel) the Cockapoo will benefit from off-leash exercise. However, the dog’s recall must be good before allowing it off-leash.

Happy Cockapoo puppy on a leash sitting and looking at the camera during walk in the park

As a sociable canine, the Cockerpoo can happily attend any group doggy walks. Mental stimulation should also be factored into their exercise routine. Both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle are exceptional working dogs. This is why the Cockapoos brain needs to keep active despite solely being a companion dog.

Recommended: Find out more about the Border Terrier in this guide.

Health

Below are the breed-related health issues of the Cockapoo:

  • Glaucoma- An increase of pressure in the eye due to a lack of fluid drainage causes symptoms such as pain and a loss of vision.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy- This degenerative disease affects the photoreceptor cells within the eyes. As these deteriorate, blindness becomes imminent.
  • Luxating Patella- This term describes the kneecap moving in and out of place. It may cause a dog to use only three legs for a few seconds before the kneecap returns back into its original position.
  • Hip Dysplasia- When the ball and socket don’t fit in place, they will grind against one another. The condition will lead to arthritis.
  • Cataracts- Hereditary cataracts will cause a murkiness in the eye after a change of lens. If this interferes with vision, blindness will follow.
  • Corneal Ulcerations- These painful ulcers can develop for a variety of reasons and can damage the surface of the eye.
  • Atopy- Dogs with atopy face this condition for life. It’s a skin disease causing itchiness, redness, and possibly inflammation. Dog owners will need to try and manage this health issue as there isn’t a cure.

Intelligence & Training

Super intelligent and easily trainable, the Cockapoo is impressionable and can be a great listener. Of course, their active mind may wander off here and there, but with short unique training sessions, they’ll quickly get back on track. Owners that are consistent with training and boundaries will see a difference in their pet within a matter of weeks.

Housebreaking isn’t always easy. Some dogs grasp this quickly and others don’t. Make sure they are given access to the outdoors every couple of hours, and every 15 minutes after they have eaten. Reward the dog at the exact moment they finish going toilet.

Cockapoos are people-orientated. They love making their owners happy which is a great bonus when it comes to training. Due to this, the breed can be sensitive. They don’t like harsh training methods and could become deeply unhappy as a result.

Practice techniques indoors before venturing outside into different locations. Puppies can be trained as early as 8 weeks and the sooner they start, the easier it will be. As a mixed breed, you can never be certain which traits the Cockapoo will inherit from their parents. Keep this in mind when adapting your training sessions.

Recommended: The pros and cons of owning a West Highland Terrier can be found in our guide.

Grooming

Sometimes the Cockapoo can take more of its traits from a specific parent. Those that closely share the Poodle’s coat will barely shed their fur. This gives them the hypoallergenic feature and because of this, brushing will be needed multiple times a week. Dogs that inherited a similar coat to the Cocker Spaniel won’t be hypoallergenic.

close-up of a black cockapoo

They’ll also shed much more than those with curly fur, so do keep this in mind. Soft bristle brushes, metal combs, and slicker brushes are ideal tools for this type of fur. If grooming isn’t maintained, knots and tangles will quickly appear.

Baths should be given every 2-3 months. This pooch isn’t afraid of mud or water so they may get dirty rather quickly. Give them a quick hose down as opposed to frequent bathing. The coat should be brushed beforehand as tangles are much harder to remove when wet.

Other routine grooming methods include ear cleaning, nail trimming, and teeth brushing. Ears will need a cleanse weekly to prevent a build-up of debris that could lead to infection. File their nails every 3-4 weeks and aim to brush their teeth at least three times a week.

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