Welcome To Your Complete Guide To The Gorgeous Cockapoo. The Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix That Is Stealing Hearts Around The World!
You may feel one way or another about the new trend towards cross-bred or “designer” dogs.
But any reservations you have will likely slip away the moment you lay eyes on the cuteness overload with fur that is the Cockapoo dog breed.
Half Cocker Spaniel (either American or English), half Poodle (mini, toy or standard), the Cockapoo is all adorableness.
With bright, soulful eyes and a thick, curly coat you just want to bury your face into!
If you have been pondering bringing a Cockapoo dog into your family, you are likely on the hunt for every scrap of Cockapoo information you can find!
If that is the case, you are in luck, because this article will cover everything you need to know about this delightful, affectionate and social dog cross-breed!
What is a Cockapoo?
A Cockapoo is a cross-breed dog that has two parents of different breeds.
Either the father or mother is a purebred Poodle, and the remaining parent is a purebred Cocker Spaniel (American or English).
Here, it doesn’t matter which parent is which breed – it only matters that each is purebred in their breed.
Cockapoos are not a “new” cross-breed, either.
They are actually one of the most established of all such dogs, and have been popular since the 1950’s!
Speaking of which, celebrities are clearly not immune to the Cockapoo’s charms – Lady Gaga, Ashley Judd, Minka Kelly, Harry Styles and others are regularly spotted across the globe with the same not-optional sidekick – their beloved Cockapoo dogs.
Sometimes Cockapoos are called by different names. Such as the Cockapoodle, Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix, Cocker Spaniel Poodle, Cocker Poodle, Cockerpoo, Spoodle, Cock-a-poo and Cock-a-doodle. Although we think this last sounds more like a good name for a rooster!
One fun but at times also stressful aspect of choosing a Cockapoo adult or puppy for your next canine sidekick is that, due to the crossbred aspect, it can be harder to predict which behavior traits or health issues may arise during your dog’s lifetime.
There really is no way to tell for sure what you should be watching for health-wise, so you need to search for a puppy with both breed’s potential health problems firmly in mind.
Genetic testing in puppyhood and having the chance to meet both dog parents and talk to the breeder about your puppy’s cross-breed history can take some of the guesswork and stress out of the process.
But with a breed mix you are less likely to know exactly how your pup will develop.
Overall, the Cockapoo personality is known to be reliably happy, fun-loving, energetic, and sociable. To prove it, check out the 2011 winner of Britain’s Happiest Dog contest.
See a familiar face? “Alfie the Grinning Cockapoo” won the contest without even breaking a sweat, according to the Daily Mail and contest sponsor Penguin Books.
While there is always the outside chance that a Cockapoo puppy will inherit a less pleasant disposition from one or both parents, this should be considered a very rare occurrence.
And one which can be avoided by careful selection of the two parents as friendly examples of their breeds, and thorough socialization of your puppy.
The general consensus is that Cockapoos by nature are happy, friendly, family dogs.
They respond very well to training coming from a pair of intelligent parent breeds, and make for wonderful canine companions.
Some even call Cockapoos “big clowns.”
Cockapoo full grown
Cockapoo size and Cockapoo weight can vary greatly depending on a given puppy’s parents.
A fully grown adult Cockapoo can range anywhere from a mere 6 pounds all the way to 30 pounds or more.
At the tiny end, the teacup Cockapoo will weigh less than 6 pounds and the toy Cockapoo will weigh less than 12 pounds at adulthood.
A mini Cockapoo will weigh in at anywhere from 13 to 18 pounds. A maxi Cockapoo, or regular size dog, will weigh 19 pounds or greater.
Is the Cockapoo hypoallergenic?
The entire “designer dog” craze began when a gentleman named Wally Conron made his best effort to produce a hypoallergenic guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was highly allergic to dogs.
The challenge here was to find a dog breed with promising guide dog characteristics that also wouldn’t trigger the woman’s husband’s allergies.
But Conlon couldn’t find a single purebred dog that fit the bill.
So he crossed a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle and the “Labradoodle” was born.
However, even though in subsequent months and years the Labradoodle was touted as the first “hypoallergenic dog,” researchers have since verified that there actually is no such animal as a truly hypoallergenic pup.
The reason for this is simple: allergies are caused by pet dander, and all pets, regardless of breed, produce some dander, however minimal.
However, certain dog breeds produce far less dander than other dog breeds.
The Poodle is one of those dog breeds, although the Cocker Spaniel isn’t.
So, you have a chance of getting a dog that may produce less dander and thus trigger your allergies less frequently.
But here, even the Cockapoo is not a truly hypoallergenic dog.
Avoid any Cockapoo breeder claiming to have truly hypoallergenic pups.
All dogs do shed at times, regardless of what some experts may claim. But poodles as a breed tend to shed far less than most other dogs.
In actuality, the coat of a poodle is very short and wiry, and while the hair (fur) will shed out from time to time, it doesn’t fall to the floor in most cases.
Rather, the loose hair will stay in the coat until you brush it out.
This way, you can collect it in a dog brush or comb and dispose of it all in one fell swoop. Which means less chances of encountering it on your pillow or couch cushions, to be followed with itchy, watery eyes and a big sneeze.
Conversely, Cocker Spaniels tend to shed more than many dog breeds.
They have long, silky hair that they leave behind as a calling card to mark every place they’ve been on any given day.
As much as the Poodle may be a blessing to allergy sufferers, the Cocker Spaniel tends to have exactly the opposite effect.
How much your Cockapoo pup follows the shedding tendencies of one parent or the other will always relate back to how the genes of her parents (Cocker Spaniel, Poodle) distribute in each individual puppy.
As with all purebred dog breeds, both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles have certain genetic inherited health issues.
Overall, Cocker Spaniels are vivacious, loyal, loving dogs. They have great personalities and can live up to 15 years with proper care.
However, in addition to the usual round of canine health concerns (worms, fleas, obesity), Cocker Spaniels can also develop these congenital health issues:
- Blood diseases.
- Intervertebral disc disease (IDD).
- Eye diseases related to this breed’s naturally bulging eyes.
- Heart valve disease.
- Hip dysplasia
These gorgeous, intelligent and social dogs range in size from mini and toy to standard. They can live for 12 to 15 years with proper care.
Poodles and Cocker Spaniels share some inherited health vulnerabilities, while others are specific to the Poodle breed:
- Squamous cell disease.
- Intervertebral disc disease (IDD) (for toy and mini Poodle breeds only).
- Immune-related blood disorders.
- Eye issues.
- Kidney disease.
- Slipped kneecap (patellar luxation) (for toy and mini Poodle breeds only).
- Mitral valve heart disease.
Speaking breed-specifically, Poodles tend to have a higher incidence of occurring congenital health issues than do Cocker Spaniels, but all this can shift in Cockapoo puppies depending on which parent most heavily influences their DNA.
When choosing a Cockapoo breeder, go for one who health tests both parents for the diseases relevant to their respective breeds.
Cockapoo life expectancy
In some ways, the new trend towards crossbred pups does these canines a favor in terms of longer life expectancy and lower risk of congenital health issues overall.
This is definitely the case with the Cockapoo, who can live from 14 to 18 years depending on several factors. Including weight, activity level, diet, and overall lifestyle.
Size at adulthood can also be a factor, and the toy or miniature Cockapoo, like many small dogs, may outlive her larger Cockapoo cousins.
Trainability can be a huge influence in which dog breed (or cross-breed) you choose. Most people aren’t looking for a challenge here. Rather, they want to know their new furred partner will be eager to learn and train!
The good news here is, Cockapoos as a whole are people-centric and eager to please. Right from the start, your Cockapoo will likely want to be where you are, doing whatever you are doing.
Because Cockapoos are so social and people-oriented, the closer your bond is, the easier Cockapoo training will become.
Throughout training, whether you are focused on potty training, leash walking, basic commands or something else, positive reinforcement will be your key to success.
Cockapoos are particularly sensitive to punishment, so you will want to avoid this at all costs and focus solely on positive reinforcement during training sessions.
Purchasing a Cockapoo puppy from a reputable breeder can often reduce the risk of later high vet bills due to inferior parents.
Here, a reputable breeder is one that will let you meet and spend time with BOTH parents.
Provide a certification of good health for 6 to 12 months and review parental health issues and lineage.
They will ensure any puppy released to a customer has had all required vaccinations.
And run a clean, efficient operation that is clearly “dog health and safety first.” Along with offering referrals to past and current customers.
They will also have carried out genetic testing on both parents to reduce the chances of the puppies inheriting diseases.
In nearly all cases, however, you will likely find the price of breeder-born Cockapoo puppies clearly reflects these valuable extras!
Cockapoo cost generally begins at $1,000 and can run as high as $3,000 for show quality stock or rare colorations. In some cases, simple demand in a given local area can also raise prices.
There are two main ways to find your new Cockapoo dog. You can purchase Cockapoo puppies or consider Cockapoo adoption of a puppy or adult dog.
Cockapoo rescue can be tremendously satisfying. You are giving a relinquished dog a loving forever home – what could feel better?
Plus, your cost will likely be quite a bit lower even with adoption fees and possible spay/neuter fees.
Of course, there are also some trade-offs in pursuing Cockapoo puppies rescue. There is no guarantee that you are getting a pure cross-breed Cockapoo, even if the dog you are considering looks and acts like one.
You also won’t likely know much if anything about your new puppy’s parents or background (here is where genetic testing can really be important, not just to confirm breed but in predicting future potential vet bills due to inherited health issues!)
And if you have your heart set on a puppy, you may also discover that rescued Cockapoo puppies can be harder to find than adult dogs.
But it is definitely worth it to look around and find out if there are any Cockapoos waiting for a good home before you pursue the breeder route, especially if budget is a concern!
A Cockapoo for you?
A well breed, well raised Cockapoo can make a wonderful addition to most families.
They require lots of company and mental stimulation due to their lively intelligent natures, but will give so much back in terms of love and loyalty.
Clearly, if you are keen to add a Cockapoo to your family, you have excellent taste!
We hope this informative overview has given you all the information you need to decide if the Cockapoo is the right choice for you!
If you do end up purchasing or adopting a Cockapoo, we’d love to hear your story!
- Coren, S., PhD, DSc, FRSC, “A Designer Dog-Maker Regrets His Creation,” Psychology Today, 2014.
- Collins, R., et al, “Allergy-Free Dogs,” Healthline, 2016.
- Kane, J., “10 Reasons You Need A Poodle Crossbreed In Your Life,” The Huffington Post, 2015.
- Lambrecht, K., DVM, “Your Cocker Spaniel,” West Towne Veterinary Center, 2014.
- Shuler, S., et al, “Your Poodle,” Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital, 2010.
- American Kennel Club