The Cockapoo is the result of crossing a Cocker Spaniel with a Toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle. The Cockapoo is one of the most popular hybrid dogs out there, with owners loving the combination of the Cocker Spaniels’s personality and energy with the non-shedding coat of the Poodle.
This small to medium sized dog is very active, who loves to be outside. However, they are also friendly and caring, liking just as much to curl up on your lap and to watch TV with you! These smart and affectionate dogs are great for the family and, if you’re interested in learning more about this adorable little pup, read on below.
History Of The Cockapoo
The Cockapoo has two very popular parents — the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle — so it is no surprise that the Cockapoo hybrid is also popular. These dogs can be used as working dogs such as guide dogs, although they were originally intended to be companions, especially for those with allergies who needed a dog with a low-shedding coat.
Because the Cockapoo is not a purebred dog, they are not recognized by any major Kennel Clubs, including The Kennel Club, The American Kennel Club, The United Kennel Club or The Canadian Kennel Club.
Instead, the American Cockapoo Club (ACC) was started and therefore the Cockapoo has a breed standard. Breeders must follow the rules when producing puppies to make sure they stay in line with the breed standard.
We can’t be sure when the Cockapoo was first bred, but it is thought to be around the 1950’s. To get a better understanding of where these dogs came from, we can take a look at the origins of their parent breeds.
The Poodle originated from the French and German border in the 15th and 16th century and was associated with the upper class. Because they are excellent water dogs, they were used to hunt water-fowl.
Later on, because of their adorable look, these pups became a very popular dog. The Toy Poodle was bred from the Standard Poodle by choosing the smallest pup from each litter and breeding with them. They were first seen in America in the 20th century.
Cocker Spaniels first came to the US on the Mayflower in the 17th century. They were registered in 1879 and the popularity of the Cocker Spaniel grew significantly during the 1930s and 1940s. The American Cocker Spaniel has a smaller prey-drive than the English Cocker Spaniel, which makes them better family pets. For the Cockapoo Mix, the parent can either be an American Cocker Spaniel or an English Cocker Spaniel.
Characteristics Of The Cockapoo
Although there is a breed standard for the Cockapoo, you still cannot be sure what traits you are going to get in a litter of Cockapoo puppies. These dogs can come in a range of colors and patterns and it all depends on which parent they take after more.
A Cockapoo puppy is normally born in litter sizes of four to eight pups. Because the Toy Poodle is the smallest size of all dog breeds, if you are crossing a Cocker Spaniel with one then the Toy will always be the father to prevent any complications. However, if the Poodle is a Miniature size, it does not matter whether they or the Cocker Spaniel are the mother because they are similar in size.
Cockapoos are popular dogs and this means that they can have a hefty price tag. You can expect to pay anywhere between $800 and $2000 for a Cockapoo puppy. Always ensure that you are buying from a reputable breeder.
The Cockapoo has a distinct look due to their adorable teddy-bear appearance! These dogs are classed as small-medium sized dogs, although their size will largely depend on whether they are bred from a Toy or Miniature Poodle. They can be anywhere between 12-24 pounds in weight and stand between 10-15” in height.
The Cockapoo is a well proportioned dog that is athletic and sturdy. Their heads are round and their eyes should be brown with a black nose. If they have a brown nose then their eyes should be black and if they have a lighter nose then they will have green or hazel eyes. Their ears hang down, too, giving them a super cute look!
There are three different coat types that the Cockapoo could inherit. Again, this depends on which parent they take after more. They can have a tight curly coat, a medium curl or a flat coat. All of the coats will be quite thick but they will almost always be a single coat.
One of the reasons the Cockapoo was bred was to inherit the low-shedding coat from the Poodle parent. While the coat is not hypoallergenic, these dogs do not shed as much as many other breeds and may be the perfect dog for those with allergies.
There are a range of different colors that the Cockapoo can come in and they can either be solid, part, phantom or tri-color. The colors include red, black, merle, tan, sable, brown, chocolate, and apricot.
The Cockapoo is a very energetic pup that loves to be outside exercising. They make an excellent running or hiking partner and also loving swimming and playing games with you such as “fetch”. Really, they just want to please you and be around you, so wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, they’ll be happy to follow and join in!
Because of the Cockapoo’s intelligence and want to please, they’re very easy to train and make excellent flyball and agility partners. Because of their hunting heritage from their parent breeds, the Cockapoo can still retain this trait so you will need to be careful when out and about. Proper training and socialization can fix this, and it can also help with unwanted or aggressive behaviors that the Cockapoo is sometimes known to develop if not socialized properly at a young age.
Friendly and loving, the Cockapoo will happily also spend time curled up next to you on the couch. They love attention and people and can be known to be very social dogs with children, pets and even other strangers.
The Cockapoo is an observant dog and will bark to warn you if something is out of place. They’ll also bark if they are bored, so it is a good idea to keep them entertained and stimulated mentally so they don’t do this! Occasionally, the Cockapoo can be prone to rage syndrome and, although rare, it is associated with Cocker Spaniels and they can sometimes pass it on to their young. Again, adequate socialization from a young age can help with this.
The Cockapoo has a long life expectancy. These dogs are expected to live to anywhere between 14 and 18 years old.
Known Health Issues
Due to the fact that these dogs are a mixed breed, they have fewer health concerns than many pups. However, unfortunately, they can still be prone to some health problems that their parent breeds are prone to.
The Cockapoo can be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) that both their parent breeds have also been known to develop. This is an eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye.
Patellar Luxation is another condition the Cockapoo may inherit from their Poodle parent. This is a common condition in smaller dogs and is caused when the patella is not properly aligned. This can cause lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced. Trusted breeders will do health checks on both parent breeds and will not crossbreed if there is a chance of passing on any severe issues to offspring.
Now we know all about the Cockapoo temperament and traits, we can take a look at what daily life with one of these pups is like. We will cover their food and diet, their exercise needs and their grooming needs.
Food And Diet
A Cockapoo needs roughly 600 calories of food a day, which equates to around two cups of kibble. Of course, you should always double check the back of the food packet to see the exact amount you should be feeding your dog based on their weight.
The food you feed your Cockapoo should be high-quality and nutritious. You should try to split their food into at least two meals a day. As a puppy, their food should be split into three meals a day.
Unfortunately, this Poodle Mix can be a fussy eater so it may take you a while to find a food they like. Take a look below at the food we recommend for this breed.
Best Dog Food For The Cockapoo
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Dog Food
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We recommend the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for the Cockapoo. This food is specially formulated for small dog breeds and ensures that a pup of this size gets all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. With high-quality protein from chicken, this kibble helps to maintain your Cockapoo’s lean muscles and there are wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and fruit in the recipe too.
Even better, this Life Protection Formula contains a blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that supports immune system health, life stage requirements and a healthy oxidative balance. There are also no artificial colors or flavors in the recipe.
The Cockapoo is a very active dog with lots of energy. Because of this, their exercise needs are great. You should expect to exercise your Cockapoo for at least 90 minutes every day and you must be sure you can dedicate this time to them before buying one of these dogs.
This 90 minutes of exercise should be split into two 45 minute walks. Your dog could also accompany you on a hike or a run, and you can play games with them such as “fetch” to keep them entertained. Remember, the Cockapoo can get bored easily, so keeping them occupied with games and playtime is very important. These dogs are also great at flyball and agility training, so this is something to think about!
You should keep your Cockapoo on a leash when around livestock or in busy public areas. This is due to the hunting nature that they could inherit from their parent breeds.
The Cockapoo makes an excellent family dog. A small to medium sized pup, this dog is great for those who don’t live in a big house but still want a loving companion in the home. These dogs are very friendly and sociable and they love people, so there won’t be an issue when it comes to bonding.
Cockapoos get on well with children and other animals, although early socialization is needed. They also get on with strangers, again with the right social introduction.
The Cockapoo does require a lot of exercise and can be quite a handful, so they are not always recommended for first time dog owners. They have high energy levels that need to be met and are prone to becoming bored, so need constant mental stimulation. They can also suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long. The Cockapoo thrives in a family home where there is a lot going on and a lot they can join in on!
That being said, they are very happy-go-lucky and friendly pups who just want to be loved. Their trainability also makes them a desirable pet and they make the perfect exercise companion.
The Cockapoo is an intelligent dog that is easy to train. They respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training, including verbal praise and treats. Unfortunately, the Cockapoo can become fearful and anxious when not trained properly and, because they pick things up quickly, this can be difficult to train out of them. Because of this, training should start from a young age.
We have mentioned above that Cockapoos love people and generally get on well with children, animals and even strangers. It is important to note that while this is true, it is likely down to socialization. If a Cockapoo is not socialized properly they can become very scared and nervous out in public.
You should start socialization from a young age. This will include introducing them to new sights, sounds, smells, places, people and animals so they learn there is nothing to be afraid of.
Unfortunately, the Cockapoo has high grooming needs. Due to the fact that their coat is thick, they need regular grooming. If you can’t groom them everyday, then it is a good idea to keep their fur clipped short and you may need regular trips to the groomers. This will prevent matting and knots from forming. Their coats should be clipped in a teddy bear cut.
Because the Cockapoo is prone to ear infections, you need to keep their ears clean. This can be something else the groomer can help you with. Try to brush their teeth often too, to prevent dental decay and disease from building.
How much does a Cockapoo cost?
A Cockapoo is a designer dog and is therefore quite expensive. They can be difficult to breed too and are highly sought after, which only makes the price higher. You can expect to spend anywhere between $800 and $2000 for a Cockapoo puppy. You should always buy from a reputable breeder who gives you proof of health clearances from both parent breeds.
If this is out of your price range, you can always check your local shelter. There may be a Cockapoo there who is looking for their forever home!
Is a purebred dog better than a crossbreed dog?
There has been a rise in crossbreeding in recent years. This is because there is a desire to breed dogs with certain characteristics and to get rid of unwanted characteristics within dog breeds. With crossbreeding you can get designer breeds, although some worry that they are more susceptible to health problems.
In fact, in a recent study, there was no indication that mixed dogs were more prone to health issues that purebred dogs. The most important thing to look for in your dog is the breeder. They should be a reputable breeder and both the breed parents should be healthy.
The Cockapoo is a friendly and affectionate dog that is the result of breeding a Cocker Spaniel with a Toy or Miniature Poodle. Very active and energetic, these dogs require a lot of exercise and are not for first time owners. However, they are very intelligent and easy to train, and love to be around people. The Cockapoo must be kept entertained and out of trouble, but as long as you show them enough love and attention, they can make a great family dog and an even better companion dog.