A Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.
This cross breed has become increasingly popular over the past couple of decades.
Cockapoos can trace their origins back to the early 1960s but their surge in popularity occurred in the 1990s as “designer dogs”.
The Cockapoo’s hypoallergenic coat has proven particularly popular with dog owners prone to allergies.
These energetic dogs can make great family pets in the right homes.
However, just like any dog, Cockapoo will need proper socialization and training from a young age to ensure a balanced and happy dog.
In this article, we’re going to take a close look at the Cockapoo, learning about the key facts such as appearance, temperament and size.
Jump To Section
What is a Cockapoo?
The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Although they’re commonly referred to as a Cockapoo, they can also be called Cockapoodle or Cock-a-Poo.
Where do Cockapoo come from?
The Cockapoo has a relatively short history in comparison to other dog breeds.
They were first thought to have originated in the 1960s. The Cockapoo is created by breeding an American or English Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle.
The Poodle can come in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy.
The size of a Cockapoo is usually determined by the Poodle parent – the smaller varieties of Cockapoo have proven particularly popular.
The Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club don’t recognise the Cockapoo.
The Cockapoo Club of America was founded in 1998 by Mary D Foley before the American Cockapoo Club was formed in 2004.
The aim of these Cockapoo clubs was to create a consistency within these hybrid dogs. Both of the aforementioned clubs have a breed standard for breeders to adhere to if they’ve signed up to their respective code of ethics.
Cockapoos have proven a controversial breed. This mix is prone to being bred in puppy farms. Therefore, it’s vital potential Cockapoo owners do their research to find an ethical and responsible breeder.
Cockapoo size and weight
As we mentioned above, the size and weight of Cockapoos can vary depending on the Poodle used to create this hybrid dog.
Usually Cockapoo breeders will use miniature or toy Poodles to breed with the Cocker Spaniel parent.
There are generally four potential Cockapoo sizes. These are the Teacup toy (under 10 inches in height, weigh less than 6 pounds), the Toy (up to 10 inches, weigh under 12 pounds), the Miniature (11 to 14 inches tall, weigh between 13 and 18 inches) and the Standard or Maxi (at least 15 inches, weigh more than 19 pounds).
Cockapoos have a number of trademark features such as their rounded heads and long, floppy ears.
They’ve got dark, puppy-like eyes under bushy, hairy eyebrows and a black nose. They should have a well proportioned body that displays a sturdy appearance with the human eye.
They’ve got a medium length tail with a curly coat that is soft to touch.
The coat of Cockapoo can vary from dog to dog depending on the Poodle parent. However, it’s usually dense but it could be wavy or curvy. Cockapoos have little-to-no shedding.
Cockapoos can come in a wide variety of different colors. These include black, white, apricot, chocolate, red along with white markings.
Other less common colors include parti, phantom, sable, tri-color, merle and roan.
The Cockapoo is generally considered a loving, loyal, cuddly, fun and energetic family pet. They were created to be low-shedding companion dogs.
Therefore, you can expect a Cockapoo to enjoy the company of family members, often becoming something of a velcro dog as they follow you around the home.
Of all their traits, their general happiness is probably their most-famous characteristic. They’re usually sociable dogs that like to meet new dogs and new people.
However, as with all cross breeds, there’s no guarantee a Cockapoo will inherit certain traits from each parent.
Cockapoos will benefit from early socialization with different dogs (who have had all the necessary vaccinations), different people and different situations. In doing so, you can help your Cockapoo to build their social skills.
Some of these designer dogs are prone to separation anxiety. This is a chronic canine disorder that can manifests itself when a dog owner leaves their Cockapoo at home alone.
Is a Cockapoo a good family dog?
Cockapoos are usually friendly and well-mannered dogs. They’ve got happy-go-lucky personalities. However, as with any type of dog, some members of the breed can be prone to behavioral issues.
It’s a good idea to start socialization and training from a young age to lay down the boundaries and ground rules for your Cockapoo to learn and eventually follow.
If you have concerns about your Cockapoo’s behaviour, you should contact a breeder immediately.
Are Cockapoo smart dogs?
Cockapoo should be relatively smart dogs given the influence of the Poodle genes. The Poodle is considered the second-smartest dog in the world behind the Border Collie. Cocker Spaniels were ranked 18th in Stanly Coren’s Intelligence of Dogs.
Do Cockapoos bark a lot?
Although Cockapoos don’t have a reputation for being excessive barkers, they may make some noise if they spot someone approaching the home or see an animal outside.
Alternatively, they could resort to persistent barking, howling or whining if they suffer from separation anxiety. In extreme cases, this won’t stop until their dog owner returns.
Cockapoos are generally quite high energy dogs so they’ll need sufficient mental and physical stimulation.
They need around 60 minutes of exercise a day, whether that’s a long walk, a trip to the dog park, fun and games in the backyard or a training session. These Cockapoo love to play boisterously with other dogs.
The American Cockapoo Club writes on their website:
They adapt well to apartments and homes, but are also “at home” on the largest farm. They have a moderate activity level. Cockapoos are not meant to be outside dogs.
Cockapoos can excel at a wide range of activities such as agility, fly ball and swimming. They’re versatile dogs.
Wag Walking recommend around 60 minutes of exercise per day.
Can Cockapoo be left alone?
These designer dogs can be prone to separation anxiety, just like any dog breed or mix. Separation anxiety is a chronic canine disorder that affects a lot of pooches.
It usually occurs when a dog is left at home alone. In some cases, it can occur before the dog owner leaves as your pet spots the tell tell signs you’re about to leave.
Symptoms of separation anxiety include excessive barking, howling or whinking, destructive chewing or digging, and urinating or defecating inside the home in extreme cases.
The Cockapoo Owners Club UK warn against leaving a Cockapoo alone for too long:
Many of our members that work full time do have dogs, but you do need to consider the length of time the dog is going to be left alone, especially during puppy and adolescent stages of development…You need to make adequate provisions such as having a family member or friend or dog walker pop in during the day to take them out for a walk, play and check they are ok etc.
Is a Cockapoo a good first dog?
Cockapoos can make a great dog even if you’re a first time owner as long as you do your research about the breed. Just like any dog, they’ve got their own unique set of needs that will have to be met.
For example, if you work a full-time job and you plan to leave your Cockapoo alone all day, they’re probably not the right fit for you. Alternatively, you may want to hire a dog walker or a dog sitter.
Are Cockapoo hypoallergenic?
If you’ve previously encountered the Cockapoo hybrid, odds are you’ll know they’re considered to be hypoallergenic dogs. This means they’re low shedding dogs.
The American Kennel Club write on their website that there’s no such thing a a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog. So even Cockapoos aren’t completely hypoallergenic.
However, these dogs are considered more hypoallergenic than most breeds. Here’s what the Cockapoo Owners Club UK have to say:
It is misleading for breeders to describe them as being totally hypoallergenic, as people can get allergic reactions to the dogs skin, saliva and dander and not just the fur. Due to the variations in the coats there is no 100% predictability and their coats can take on the appearance of either the poodle or cocker or a bit of both. Whilst Cockapoos can inherit the low moulting coats of the poodle, it is not a given, and whilst there are many people with allergies who do not react with Cockapoos it is advisable that if you are an allergy sufferer, time is spent with a Cockapoo to see if a reaction does occur, preferably over a period of time.
Do Cockapoo shed?
Poodles are famous for their low shedding coats. The influence of the Poodle parent means a Cockapoo is unlikely to be a big shedder. However, there’s no guarantee that a Cockapoo won’t shed to a certain degree.
The Cockapoo Owners Club of UK have some good advice for potential buyers:
Cockapoos can shed hair although a lot are very low moulting especially if they take on more of a poodle coat. But as there is no 100% predictability with coats, then expect that some hair may be shed, especially those who are more cocker like in appearance and have a more cocker spaniel coat or have less curly coats.
Cockapoo will need a trim from time to time. It may be necessary to trim back overgrowing hair from their eyes and fringe. This can protect against potential eye infections.
Some Cockapoo owners may trim their beard to prevent them from picking up dirt and debris near their mouth. It will also prevent a soggy chin after they’ve had a drink of water.
Most Cockapoo owners like to clip the coat to within two or three inches in length.
Cockapoos will benefit from a regular grooming to remove dead hair, debris and dirt from their unique coats. You can use a comb or a brush to give them a quick groom.
Other areas to check are their eyes and ears to ensure they’re in good condition. It’s a good idea to give their teeth a regular brush – too.
What health problems do Cockapoos have?
Cockapoos are generally considered healthy dogs, combining the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle breed.
If you’re thinking about a Cockapoo as a dog, you want to find out whether they’ve had health tests for eye conditions.
Other health concerns to be aware of include luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, pancreatitis, meningitis and epilepsy.
Cockapoos have an average lifespan of 14 to 18 years. However, some Cockapoos are thought to have reached 20 years old.
Just like any breed of dog, Cockapoos require a balanced and complete diet. Based upon our experience, we really believe in dog food delivery companies who provide freshly prepared meals delivered direct to your doorstep. You can check out our top dog food delivery recommendations.
RELATED: The eight best dog food delivery companies
Cockapoo price can vary. Usually, these designer dogs will cost between $900 (£700) to $2,500 (£1900). However, price isn’t necessarily an indication that the breeder has been ethical and responsible.
Other Potential costs include dog food, pet insurance, grooming, vet trips and much more. You can check out the best pet insurance options in the USA and the UK.
As we mentioned above, Cockapoos are one variety of dog that are often found at puppy farms.
In order to find a good, responsible breeder, we recommend visiting a Cockapoo organization such as The Cockapoo Club of America, the American Cockapoo Club or Cockapoo Club UK.
These type of organizations have a breed standard and a code of ethics that breeders who are part of their organization have to sign up to. Therefore, you can be assured that these breeders are looking to breed based upon sound temperament and good health rather than size or color.
The Cockapoo Owners Club UK have some helpful advice for people looking to buy these mixed dogs on their website irrespective of where you are in the world:
Word of mouth and personal recommendations are a good place to start. Ask people you know who own them or you can use dog forums and ask on these too. Some vets may also know of local breeders.However, these are only recommendations based on personal preferences and should be used as part of your screening process.What one person may feel is appropriate in their breeder another may not, so always do your own research on breeders that are recommended to you. Jot down any names given and then start to investigate whether they will be the right breeder for you.
We don’t recommend buying a Cockapoo from a pet store, generic puppy website or a third party dealer. We advise that you visit the breeder, ask to see the parents, request to look at the health checks and ask as many questions as possible.
Of course, you may prefer to give a Cockapoo a forever home rather than buying a puppy. There are quite a number of Cockapoo rescue organizations throughout the world. You can find these rescue organizations by visiting the websites of The Cockapoo Club of America, the American Cockapoo Club or Cockapoo Club UK.
Cavapoo v Cockapoo
Cavapoo and Cockapoo can often be confused. These are two different designer dogs.
The Cavapoo is a mix between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Cocker Spaniel. They’re a popular choice for dog lovers looking for a hypoallergenic pooch.
Cavapoo are usually slightly smaller than a Cockapoo.
Goldendoodle v Cockapoo
Goldendoodles are another popular cross breed. They’re a combination of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
The Goldendoodle is a bigger dog than the Cockapoo. Goldendoodles are usually around 24 inches tall and can weigh between 50 to 90 pounds.
They’ve got a golden coat with curls similar to a Poodle. However, they can also be black, brown and red.
Cockapoo to follow on Instagram
If you want to learn more about the Cockapoo breed, you could check out some of these dogs on Instagram.
Usually dog accounts on the social media platform are willing to provide owners with information about their dogs to help other potential buyers of the breed.
Here are some Cockapoo accounts to check out on Instagram.
• Cha Cha (@chachathecockapoo)
• Poppi & Oscar (@two.london.poos)
• Casper (@cockapoo_casper)
• Mochi (@mochimoo.thecockapoo)
• Kona (@cockapookona)
Anything else to consider?
As we mentioned above, the Cockapoo is a popular designer breed. However, you should be cautious if you’re trying to buying one of these dogs.
If you see a Cockapoo puppy advertised online or in a paper, approach with caution. You should do thorough research on the breeder.
Wrapping up – our final thoughts
We’ve reached the end of our feature on the Cockapoo hybrid breed.
They’re a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. The result is usually a happy, energetic and sociable dog that can make great family pets.
Just like any dog, they’ll benefit from regular socialization and training from a young age.
Having first appeared in the 1960s, the Cockapoo has become increasingly popular over the past couple of decades.
The popularity is partly down to their coats which can be hypoallergenic.
The Cockapoo has some grooming needs to maintain the health of their coats, eyes, ears and teeth.