When you mix the beloved Poodle with the well-known Cocker Spaniel, you get a beautiful crossbreed fittingly named the Cockapoo, Cockerpoo, Spoodle, or Cockapoodle…
These are all valid names, so whichever you prefer, but we’ll stick with Cockapoo.
The Cockapoo is a hybrid dog breed, and even though it is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), it has become very popular throughout the world in a relatively short time.
But, this unique breed has its own special club called the American Cockapoo Club, founded in 2004.
While its precise origins are unknown, the Cockapoo breed has become increasingly common since the 1960s and has since been praised for its low shedding hair, chilled temperament, and small size.
Cockapoos have been bred since the 1960s with the goal to create a breed that takes the best of both worlds – the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel.
Combining these two breeds’ best characteristics and personality traits creates loyal, intelligent, and loveable dogs that come in small, cute packages.
From the Poodle side, breeders hoped to bring not only their natural intelligence and demeanor but also the curly, low-maintenance, and hypoallergenic coat.
On the other hand, the Cocker Spaniel gave them the love of people and family, easy-going temperament, and small, sturdy stature.
Today we mostly have Cockapoos that are first-generation, meaning they are direct descendants of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, or direct descendants of two Cockapoos.
Since both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel have a wide range of coat colors, their offspring are no different.
Cockapoos can be found in a multitude of beautiful combinations.
The height of the Cockapoo determines which variety it will be.
Cockapoos of about 10 inches or less in height are considered teacup variety, while the ones that are 15 inches tall or more belong to the standard Cockapoo variety.
Cockapoo temperament and personality
These dogs generally inherit the easygoing and mild-mannered temperament of the Cocker Spaniel.
As such, Cockapoos are known as friendly and affectionate family dogs that love their humans.
They are generally considered very social dogs and get along well with both humans as well as other animals.
Also, most owners describe their Cockapoo companions as extremely intelligent with a cheerful and friendly personality.
However, their high intelligence inherited from the Poodle side of the genetic mix can be a sword with two edges.
On the one hand, Cockapoos are quick learners and always eager to please their master. This makes them very easy to train.
On the other hand, if they are not given the attention they need, they might exhibit destructive behavior due to boredom.
Whatever the case may be, a Cockapoo is generally an excellent family dog.
They are also great for those living in condos, apartments, and people living in an urban environment.
Training your Cockapoo
Cockapoos are considered a highly trainable dog breed.
The desire to please, combined with their high intelligence, makes this breed adaptable to new training quickly. Also, they retain what they learn pretty well.
If you put in some effort and train your Cockapoo effectively and thoroughly, you will be rewarded with an awesome dog.
You should aim to start training your Cockapoo from an early age to ensure that any behavioral problems present while young don’t persist to adulthood.
A thing to keep in mind is that Cockapoos are very sensitive to their owner’s moods.
This means that scolding or negative feedback can have a great impact on your pup’s mood. You should try to give lots of praise and pets while training your Cockapoo, and the results will be much better.
Also, Cockapoo’s love agility training and solving puzzles. Adding these to your training routine will provide the necessary physical and mental stimulation your dog requires.
Socialization is another key thing in having a well-mannered adult dog. You should start socializing your dog from a very young age, so he gets accustomed to different people and situations.
Cockapoo exercise needs
Depending on the Cockapoo’s size, the amount and type of daily exercise should be adjusted accordingly.
These dogs are fairly energetic, so you have to provide them with exercise and stimulation that fulfills their needs.
Generally speaking, a Cockapoo will require at least one twenty-minute walk per day minimum.
When it comes to the teacup variety, this requirement is flexible, as many owners state that a short walk around the block keeps them healthy and happy.
For a standard Cockapoo, you might want to have some extended exercise sessions over the weekend and one longer or two shorter walks during weekdays.
The key thing is to adjust the amount of exercise to your dog’s size and its needs.
You don’t want to exhaust your teacup Cockapoo with tiresome exercise, but you also don’t want to have your standard Cockapoo walk around your house in boredom.
Cockapoo feeding requirements
To keep your Cockapoo as happy and healthy as possible, you have to keep an eye on its diet.
You should always seek to buy a high-protein food source made from high-quality ingredients.
Try to avoid grain-based filler foods like corn, wheat, and soy because these ingredients are known to cause allergic reactions in Cockapoos.
Here are the serving recommendations, depending on the size of your pooch:
• Mini or toy Cockapoo
For these small dogs, the recommended amount of food is a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup split into two meals.
This should be sufficient for Cockapoos weighing twelve pounds or less.
• The standard or maxi Cockapoo
Any Cockapoo weighing 30 pounds or less is considered a larger variety and should be given 3/4 to 1 cup of food split into two even meals.
The important thing is to determine how much food your specific Cockapoo needs.
This depends on how active your pup is, if it’s overweight, and whether or not the food you are giving has a high amount of fillers in it.
In any case, make sure you don’t overfeed your Cockapoo to prevent bloat and gastric torsion.
Due to the hybrid nature of these designer dogs, a Cockapoo’s appearance can vary dramatically.
Typically, they are small to medium-sized dogs with a long, wavy, or curly coat.
They also have round, brown eyes with a cheeky expression. Combine this with their curly fur, and you get the adorable “teddy bear” look that everyone loves to see.
Various haircuts that groomers provide can further emphasize the look and make them cuddlier than ever.
As mentioned, Cockapoos come in different sizes ranging from toy to medium-large dogs. This depends mostly on whether the Poodle parent is a toy, miniature, or standard type.
The size and the build also depend on the type of Cocker Spaniel parent. For instance, the most commonly bred are the American Cocker Spaniel, but there is also the English type.
An English Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mix are also called English Cockapoos.
The degree to which Cockapoos resemble either a Cocker Spaniel or a Poodle varies depending on their genetic makeup.
A pup’s appearance may lean towards one side or the other, but it will generally have round dark eyes, thick fur, and the teddy bear appearance characteristic of the Cockapoo.
Also, rest assured that choosing a color should not be a problem. These pups come in a vast array of color combinations, just like their parents.
Thanks to the array of combinations available in both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, there is a wide range of coat patterns and colors in Cockapoos.
In addition, since Cockapoos are not a recognized dog breed, there are no breed standards for them.
This can be a source of confusion since different breeders will have different names for the many coat color variations.
For example, one breeder might call a pup “cream” colored, while another name it “buff.”
But, there are standards for coat color and patterning for Poodles and Cockers.
Cocker Spaniels come in five solid colors, various combinations of these colors, and sable and roan coat patterns.
On the other hand, there are around ten different solid colors of Poodles. When you combine these numbers, you can see that there are dozens of possible Cockapoo color combinations.
Let’s break down all the possible color combinations from Poodles and Cockers.
Potential coat colors of Cocker spaniels
1. Solid color
• Black and white
• Black and tan
• Lemon and white
• Red and white
• Liver and tan
• Liver and white
• Black, white, and tan
• Liver, white, and tan
Additionally, cockers can also come in a coat pattern called “roan,” where their base coat color is mixed with white and colored hairs. The color variations of roan fur include:
• Blue roan
• Red roan
• Lemon roan
• Liver roan
• Blue roan and tan
• Liver roan and tan
Poodle coat colors
Poodles usually carry only solid colors. These can be:
• Café au lait
Even though these curly pooches tend to be one color, they can also have sable coats.
Sable coat is a term used when a dog’s fur grows in one shade at the base of the hair, but the tips of the fur are in another color.
Like the roan variety in Cocker Spaniels, this is another way of getting all sorts of different patterns and color combinations in a Cockapoo.
Grooming a Cockapoo
Like most dog breeds, Cockapoos require regular grooming and care to maintain their happy and healthy condition.
Their coat sheds very little and produces less dander than most other breeds, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require brushing.
You should begin brushing your Cockapoo from a young age to get them used to the process.
Cockapoos with straighter hair on their coats don’t need regular trimming, but they do require a thorough brushing two to three times a week.
Also, they should be bathed at least once every three months.
They might require some facial grooming as well, so be prepared to cut the hair around their eyes from time to time, just so they can see clearly.
Meanwhile, curly-coated and wavy-coated Cockapoos need more intense but less regular grooming.
Apart from regular brushing, many Cockapoo owners take their pets to a professional groomer.
One of the reasons is to take advantage of the various cute haircuts that Cockapoos are known for but, more importantly, to keep their coat in a healthy condition.
Taking care of their coat is just one part of keeping your pup healthy and satisfied.
Other things include regularly checking and cleaning their ears and eyes, as well as trimming their nails with dog clippers when required.
Do Cockapoos molt?
Yes, these pups can molt, but in turn, they are known to have little to no shedding.
Molting and shedding are both connected to loose hair that falls off your dog, often triggered by seasonal changes.
Poodles are not prone to molting since they shed very little, and the fur they do lose gets tangled up with the rest of their coat and doesn’t drop to the floor.
Generally, Cockapoos will molt to varying degrees. Most of them shed very little hair, but those who inherit more traits from their Cocker spaniel parent will shed more.
Do Cockapoos shed?
Most Cockapoos will shed a very small amount of hair. However, this depends on their coat type and which side of the parenting mix their genetic makeup leans on.
As mentioned above, Poodles have a single coat that sheds very little, and the small amount of hair that does shed gets caught in their tight curls.
This means that it is far less likely for dog hair to spread around your home.
On the other hand, Cockers have a double coat and shed seasonally. This is why there is no guarantee for how much your Cockapoo will shed, but most of them shed a little.
If you want a higher chance of a dog that is a low or non-shedder, you should consider getting an F2 Cockapoo.
With the second generation of this crossbreed, it is easier to predict what kind of coat, appearance, and other characteristics they will inherit.
Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?
This is a somewhat tricky question to answer. Technically, no, Cockapoos, like every other dog breed, are not completely hypoallergenic.
All breeds shed to some extent releasing dander and bodily fluids that usually cause most allergic reactions.
Even if you find a Cockapoo that doesn’t shed its fur, it will still drop a tiny amount of dander over time.
However, even though there is no 100% hypoallergenic dog breed, a Cockapoo can come pretty close to that number. They hardly shed their fur and drop a very low amount of dander.
This makes them great companions for people suffering from lesser and mild allergic reactions, and to these folks, they might be completely hypoallergenic.
But, for people who have a more severe dog-related allergy, they might still cause problems.
Like with the shedding issue, an F2 Cockapoo has a higher chance of being hypoallergenic.
If you or someone in your family has severe allergies but you can’t resist getting a Cockapoo, the second generation might be your best bet.
But, you should keep in mind that there is no way to be completely certain of how your pup will turn out.
Cockapoo health issues
The positive effect of choosing mixed-breed dogs such as Cockapoos is that they tend to have longer lifespans with fewer health issues than purebreds.
That being said, both male and female Cockapoos can still be susceptible to some serious health problems that you should be on the lookout for.
Some of the known health problems of Cockapoos are the following:
This condition primarily affects teacup and miniature breeds. This is a pretty common ailment in the Cockapoo breed since both of its parent breeds are affected by it.
Patella luxation happens when the patella (kneecap) dislocates from its normal position.
Look for signs of sudden lameness in one limb during activity or exercise. This can be an indicator of the early stages of this condition.
Hip dysplasia is usually found in larger dog breeds; however, a minority of Cockapoos are affected by it.
This condition happens due to a loose connection where the femur sits in the pelvic girdle and can be extremely painful.
This loose connection leads to the cartilage between bones wearing off unevenly and building up scar tissue.
As your dog gets older, the built-up scar tissue and damage in the hip connection can cause painful lameness or even arthritis.
Luckily, you can at least determine if your dog has hip dysplasia from an early age.
Have your vet conduct a physical exam of your pup’s hips, and he will tell you for sure if your dog is going to struggle with this condition.
Progressive retinal atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA is an eye problem commonly found in Cockapoos where photoreceptor cells in their eyes deteriorate over time.
At first, the signs of PRA can be minuscule and manifest in your dog having difficulty recognizing objects in dim light.
But, as the illness progresses, your dog’s ability to distinguish objects even in daylight will drastically decrease.
Their vision will continually be more and more restricted, ultimately leading to a total loss of vision.
Since PRA is an inherited disease, you should always inquire about the Cockapoos’ parent lineage with the breeder.
This way, there is a higher chance of you ending up with a dog that will not be affected by this ailment.
This is another disease that can affect your dog’s vision. It happens because of an increase in fluid pressure in your dog’s eyes.
Over time, this pressure builds up due to inadequate drainage, thus leading to vision problems.
Both parent breeds in the cute Cockapoo mix are prone to developing glaucoma. This is why you should always look out for symptoms to quickly address the problem.
Keep an eye out for signs of eye pain. Your dog might exhibit behavior such as rubbing its eyes or shying away when you try to touch one side of its face.
Another sign of glaucoma can be watery discharge from the eyes, so try to pay close attention to your Cockapoo’s behavior and appearance.
Cataracts are a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and occluded.
As this issue progresses, it can lead to impaired or even complete loss of vision.
This problem can appear at any age, but it’s mostly found in older dogs. Like the other two vision-related conditions, cataracts are also hereditary.
This is another reason why you should always ask the breeder about the puppy’s parents to get more information about the possible illnesses your pup might have.
Since Cockapoos have a predisposition towards ear infections, it is very important to make cleaning and checking the ears a regular part of your pup’s grooming routine.
A Cockapoo’s long, floppy ears are the perfect hiding place for yeast and bacteria to build up.
Look for a brown discharge accumulating near your pup’s ears or a distinct and unpleasant smell from its ear. These can be possible signs of ear infections.
Other signs may include:
• General distress
• Scratching at one ear repeatedly
• Shaking its head
• Shying away when you touch around their ear
Fortunately, ear infections are treatable with proper medication, so detecting them early and keeping to a treatment plan is crucial.
How long do Cockapoos live?
The life expectancy of this hybrid dog breed tends to be quite long. The average Cockapoo lives around 13 to 16 years, so if you choose one of these pups, you’ll have many happy years with them.
This long lifespan is attributed to the dog being a crossbreed. But, lifestyle is still an important factor in any dog’s life expectancy.
This is why you should always look to provide your Cockapoo with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet to extend the time you will share together.
Can Cockapoos be left alone?
The Cockapoo is a companion dog in every sense of the word. They thrive on being with their owners or any other human for that matter.
When it comes to leaving them alone at home, it depends on the individual dog and how well it is trained.
Adult dogs that are raised properly can be left alone for several hours, but be prepared to give them plenty of attention and exercise once you get home.
Younger dogs that haven’t had the time to get used to being alone can be left only for short periods.
Cockapoos are very prone to separation anxiety, so it is up to you to a certain extent to train them properly. Thorough training is a key factor in helping them stay calm when left alone.
By the time you notice your dog going through separation anxiety, the behavior will be well-established.
This is why you should aim to teach your dog from its puppy years that being alone isn’t scary, and you will always be back to give them a hug.
You have most likely seen terms like F1 Cockapoo or F2 Cockapoo during your search for a Cockapoo puppy.
These F’s and numbers may be confusing at first, but you will understand them for any Poodle mix once you get a hold of them.
An F1 Cockapoo stands for the first-generation mix of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Meanwhile, F2 Cockapoos are second-generation, and their parents are both F1 Cockapoos.
As the tree of Cockapoos branches, the number of generations grows. Today, you can find F3 Cockapoos that have two F2 Cockapoo parents. Also, there are F4 Cockapoo puppies that have two F3 Cockapoo parents.
There is also a thing called cross-back breeding. This is when you take an F1 generation of Cockapoo and mix it back with a Cocker Spaniel or a standard, mini, or toy Poodle. Their offspring is called an F1b Cockapoo.
Later generations of Cockapoos can be deliberately bred to have the most desirable traits. This gives a more precise way of determining what characteristics a Cockapoo pup will have.
But, the first-generation of any mix is considered to be the healthiest and most stable one. This is true for Cockapoos as well, since hybrid vigor is stronger the closer it is to the root of the mix.
How big can these dogs get?
Generally, Cockapoos stop growing by the time they are one year old. They reach their adult height at nine months but don’t stop growing until they hit the one-year mark.
Meanwhile, Cocker Spaniels reach their adult height on their first birthday but keep growing until they are two. This is when they reach their average adult weight.
All of this means that you can expect your furry friend to reach its full height at around one year of age but continue gaining weight for several months after.
The Cockapoo: final thoughts
Cockapoos are loyal, intelligent, and, most of all, cuddly little dogs. They are hypoallergenic to a certain extent and get along well with all humans and pets.
If you are looking for a dog to light up your home, a Cockapoo can be a perfect choice.
Just remember that even though they are small dogs in general, they require plenty of exercise and stimulation.
They require regular maintenance but less than some other breeds and will rarely shed hair around your home.