- Average Height: 14 to 15 inches
- Average Weight: 12 to 30 pounds
- Coloring: Cream, Red, Chocolate, or Black
- Coat Type: Curly to Scruffy
- Dog Breed Group: Crossbreed
- Average Lifespan: 13 to 17 years
Key Personality Traits:
AffectionateGood with Cats/DogsGood with KidsLoyalCoachablePlayful
The Cockapoo is a mix between the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Cockapoos are bright-eyed and scruffy-coated. They tend to have happy, affectionate personalities, but require extensive grooming.
The Cockapoo is a crossbreed. It’s often assumed that a crossbreed will combine the best of two or more breeds, but it doesn’t always work that way. That’s something to keep in mind before you lay down lots of money for a dog that you have been assured will be hypoallergenic or healthier than a purebred.
Cockapoos who are carefully bred and lovingly raised should be happy, affectionate dogs that love families, children, other dogs, and even cats. Without the benefit of health and temperament testing, however, they can be a mess of genetic and behavioral problems.
Cross-bred puppies like the Cockapoo can look very different even if they’re from the same littler. The Cockapoo’s size, color, coat type, temperament, activity level, and health risks will vary depending on what traits an individual puppy has inherited.
Generally, they should weigh less than 30 pounds and are somewhere between fluffy and scruffy in a variety of colors and markings. Like the Poodle, they can also be curly. If that description seemed a little vague, it’s because the Cockapoo is just that diverse.
At their best, they are friendly and affectionate, and, at weights ranging from 6 to 30 pounds, they are a comfortable size for most homes.
Poodles have a reputation for being hypoallergenic, meaning that they can supposedly be tolerated by people who have allergies to dogs. Because they have the Poodle in their heritage, Cockapoos are sometimes promoted as being hypoallergenic. But allergies are caused not by a particular dog coat type but by dander (the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs and people). There is no scientific evidence that any breed or cross breed is more or less allergenic than any other dog. Some people with allergies may react less severely to particular dogs, but no reputable breeder will guarantee that her dogs are hypoallergenic.
Cockapoos are companion dogs. They love their people and need to live in the house, never outdoors.
Other Quick Facts
- A well-socialized Cockapoo should have a happy, friendly temperament.
- The Cockapoo is sometimes touted as being hypoallergenic, but all dogs produce dander and can cause allergic reactions to varying degrees.
- Cockapoos come in different colors and sizes depending on the genes they inherit.
The History of the Cockapoo
A Cockapoo is a cross breed, the result of a mating between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle or two Cocker/Poodle crosses. The dogs have been popular since the ’50s.
The Cockapoo Club of America was founded in 1998 by Mary D. Foley. Its goal is to breed the perfect family pet.
Cockapoo Temperament and Personality
The Cockapoo’s temperament will vary depending (in part) on what traits an individual puppy has inherited from his parents. At his best, the Cockapoo is friendly, people-oriented, and easy to train. He’s a companion dog on both sides of the pedigree, so he should live indoors with his family and never be kept in the backyard or garage for long amounts of time. He’s also a hunting and working dog on both sides of his pedigree, so he needs a certain amount of activity to keep him from becoming bored.
If you begin socialization and training early and use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards, you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion.
Cockapoos are typically friendly with other dogs and with cats, and they tend to like children. The smallest dogs need to be protected from overly rough play.
Cockapoos have a moderate activity level that is adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They need a nice walk or active playtime each day. If you’re interested and the dog is in overall good health (your vet can help determine this), they are athletic enough to participate in such dog sports as agility, flyball, obedience, and rally.
The perfect Cockapoo doesn’t come ready made from the breeder. Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious habits such as barking, digging, and counter-surfing if left untrained or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with in adolescence. Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at 8 weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training, or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with.
If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know about your lifestyle and personality. Whatever you want from a Cockapoo, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.
What You Need to Know About Cockapoo Health
All dogs can develop genetic health problems. Even though crossbreeds like the Cockapoo are often believed to have a lower chance of developing certain inherited diseases, the can still be susceptible to the health problems of both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. The very nature of genetic variation makes this difficult to predict for a mixed breed dog.
You can’t always detect an inherited condition in a growing puppy. That’s why finding a reputable breeder who both raises her puppies in a good environment and offers a health guarantee is a must. They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for genetic defects and deemed healthy for breeding.
Breeders who wish to earn a star rating from the Cockapoo Club of America must have their breeding stock certified annually by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Other information about the CCA’s star ratings is available on its website.
Don’t fall for a bad breeder’s lies. No matter what the breeder says, these genetic tests are necessary, even if she’s never had problems in her lines, her dogs have been “vet checked,” or she gives any other excuse for skimping out on her due diligence.
Fortunately, many of the most common health concerns for your new puppy are within your control. Obesity is one of those issues. Keeping a Cockapoo at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure to feed your Cockapoo an appropriate amount while ensuring he also gets enough exercise.
The Basics of Cockapoo Grooming
Cockapoos can have different types of fur, including soft, tight curls, big looping curls, loose waves, and straight hair. Most have a curly or wavy coat, but a minority possess either the typical Poodle coat or the straight Cocker coat. Curly or straight, it’s always soft.
Cockapoos can be groomed to look like a Poodle or a Cocker. You can also keep them in a puppy clip, with the body coat trimmed to a short, fluffy length, the hair on the legs a little fuller, and the tail left long and plumy. Some owners learn to use the clippers and do the job themselves, but most rely on the pros.
Even if they go to a professional groomer, all Cockapoos need regular, often daily brushing to prevent mats as well as regular baths in between appointments with the groomer. Those with the curlier Poodle coat require professional grooming every four to six weeks. Either way, it’s essential to take proper care of the coat, because without regular grooming it will quickly become a matted mess that can cause painful skin infections at the roots of the hair.
Keep the Cockapoo’s ears clean and dry. Also, Cockapoos are among the breeds that commonly develop reddish-brown tear stains beneath their eyes. Your best bet is to wash the face daily, carefully wiping beneath the eyes to prevent stains from setting.
Your Cockapoo doesn’t need a bikini wax, but you do need to trim the genital area for cleanliness or have the groomer shave the lower belly. This prevents urine from staining and stinking up the coat and feces from getting caught in the hair around the anus.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease, so brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.
Choosing a Cockapoo Breeder
Cockapoo puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Cockapoo a favorite amongst puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. There’s no need to pay big bucks for a Cockapoo. You can often find a wonderful example of this hybrid dog at your local shelter or through adoption organizations such as Petfinder.
The Cockapoo is one of the few cross breeds with a breed club, so if you choose to buy one, start your search at the website of the Cockapoo Club of America. There you can find more information on the history, personality, and looks of the dogs or find a list of breeders. Choose a breeder who is committed to following the CCA’s guidelines regarding breeder ethics, which prohibit the sale of puppies to pet stores or wholesalers and outline breeders’ responsibilities to the crossbreed and to buyers.
Select a breeder who has done the health testing to ensure that her puppies won’t carry the genetic diseases common to Cocker Spaniels and Poodles. If you are going to pay several hundred dollars or even $1,000 or more for a dog, you should get your money’s worth. Buying from a breeder who is smart and caring enough to do health certifications, even for a cross breed, is the best way to do that. And while there are no guarantees in life, it may also be a good way to minimize the possibility of big veterinary bills relating to an inherited illness.
Buying a puppy is a major purchase. As such, you should put an equal amount of effort researching your breeder and her puppies before committing to anything. Vetting the right breeder starts right at the introduction: Many reputable breeders have websites that detail their operation and commitment (or lack thereof) to breeding ethics. Consider a different breeder if you notice over-availability, multiple litters on the premises, a choice of any puppy, and the ability to pay online with a credit card. The right breeder will champion placing puppies with the right person over a big paycheck. So, while these conveniences may sound nice to you, they are almost never associated with reputable breeders.
Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, don’t forget that old adage “let the buyer beware”. Puppy mills can be hard to spot among more reputable organizations. While you can never guarantee purchasing a fully healthy puppy, doing your research on Cockapoos, touring the breeders facility, and asking the right questions before bringing one home can help you avoid disaster. Your veterinarian can also be a solid resource for referrals to known and reputable Cockapoos breeders, so make sure to ask before starting your search.
Adopting a Cockapoo From a Rescue or Shelter
Prefer to adopt rather than buy a Cockapoo puppy from a breeder? There are several great options as you begin your search. Here is how to get started.
Use the Web. The internet is a fantastic tool for finding a new pair of shoes, reading up on the latest news, and, believe it or not, finding a Cockapoo to adopt. Sites like Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com help you find Cockapoos in your area, allowing you to filter by specific traits like housetraining status and age. Looking to rescure? AnimalShelter is your best bet for finding local animal rescue groups. Social media is another great way to find a dog. Posting to your channel about your intention to add a new Cockapoo to your family will help invite your community to on the lookout for you.
Reach Out to Local Pet Pros. Vets, dog walkers, groomers, and other pet pros in your area can be great resources for finding a Cockapoo in need of a home. They are often first to know about new dogs becoming available, because they are the ones many dog owners turn to for a trusted opinion.
Find a Rescue Organization. Most people who love Cockapoos love all Cockapoos. That’s why breed clubs have rescue organizations devoted to taking care of homeless dogs. The Cockapoo Club of America’s Rescue Network can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. You can also search online for other Cockapoo rescues in your area.
Rescue groups tend to be upfront about any health conditions the dogs may have and are a valuable resource for advice. And, if you’re not ready to dive headfirst into puppy parenthood, they also often offer fostering opportunities.
Puppy or adult, take your Cockapoo to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
How big do Cockapoos get?
Cockapoos come in many different sizes, ranging from teacup and beyond. The average Cockapoo will range between 15 and 30 pounds in weight, and 14 to 15 inches in height. Males are more likely to fall in the higher end of those ranges, while females are often smaller.
Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?
Cockapoos are often touted as one of the more hypoallergenic breeds out there. However, allergies are caused not by a particular dog coat type but by dander (the dead skin cells that are shed by all dogs and people). Some people who are allergic to dogs may react less severely to Cockapoos, but it’s not true to call them 100% hypoallergenic.
Do Cockapoos shed?
When it comes to shedding, Cockapoos are known to shed very little. However, the amount of hair they leave around your home depends partly on their genetic makeup. Because Cockapoos are a mixed breed, it is impossible to predict which traits they will inherit from their parents. If a Cockapoo’s coat resembles more its Poodle parent, then you can expect little to no shedding. And, if it resembles its Cocker Spaniel’s parent’s coat, then it has a higher likelihood of shedding a moderate amount.
How long do Cockapoos live?
Cockapoos often surpass the average lifespan of most dogs. On average, you can expect one to live between 13 and 17 years. Mixed breeds have a reputation for having fewer major health concerns than purebreds due to their higher genetic diversity.