The miniature Cockapoo is perhaps one of the most popular crossbreed dogs to date, but would he make the right pet for you?
Let’s find out!
What Is a Miniature Cockapoo?
The Cockapoo is the offspring of the purebred Cocker Spaniel and the Miniature Poodle.
A mix of two intelligent and loving breeds, it’s no wonder the miniature Cockapoo has become such a favorite amongst those with an affinity for the designer dog craze.
Still, there is a lot to consider before making the commitment to this hybrid dog.
Let’s begin by talking about the crossbreed controversy.
Designer Dogs – The Crossbreed Controversy
Not everyone is on board with the crossbreed craze, and there is quite a bit of debate revolving around the practice.
While some claim crossbreeds and mutts are one in the same, others disagree and point out that crossbreeds are the “designed” result of breeding two specific purebred dogs in the hopes of getting a desired mix of traits.
Mutts, on the other hand, are mixed dogs with a largely unknown lineage.
But there is more to consider when talking about crossbreeding especially when it comes to health.
It is well known that purebred dogs suffer more from hereditary health defects due to generations of overbreeding in progressively dwindling gene pools.
Supporters of crossbreeding claim that the practice may actually help reduce the chances of genetic diseases being passed down from parent dogs to litters.
However, cynics insist that purebred dogs and crossbred dogs are just as susceptible to inheritable diseases.
Otherwise, keep reading to find out more about the designer dog that brought you here, the Cockapoo!
Origin of the Mini Cockapoo
Where did the Cockapoo come from?
Considered a newer generation crossbreed, the miniature Cockapoo’s true origin is rather vague.
However, we can learn more about what makes him unique by checking out the backstories of his two purebred parents.
Let’s start with the history of the Cocker Spaniel!
Origin of the Cocker Spaniel
Hailing from Spain, the modern-day Cocker Spaniel is the descendant of what was once a very large group of spaniel-type breeds who were originally created for small game hunting.
It wasn’t until the 19th century when the vast majority of spaniels were finally separated into their own categories.
Today, there are two different varieties of the Cocker Spaniel—the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel.
So what makes the American Cocker Spaniel different from the English?
American vs English
Well, for the most part, these two types of spaniels are rather similar.
However, the American Cocker Spaniel, by breed standard is a bit shorter than the English Cocker Spaniel.
Along with being taller, the English Cocker Spaniel is also said to have a thicker coat and a larger head than his American Cocker Spaniel counterpart.
Officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, (AKC) in 1946, the Cocker Spaniel of today is a beloved family companion known for his gentle nature, love for children, and adoration for the family.
The Cocker Spaniel currently resides at number 29 out of 194 on the AKC’s list of most popular dog breeds.
Origin of the Miniature Poodle
A French dog with German roots, the mini Poodle is the tiny successor of the Standard Poodle, who was initially bred over 400 years ago to hunt duck and other small game.
Although the Poodle is often referred to as a French Poodle, the breed actually hails from Germany.
There he was a humble working dog whose fanciful pom-poms were more for work than for show.
That’s right, those luscious pom-poms the Poodle breed is famous for today once had a practical purpose.
They protected the Poodle’s sensitive body from the cold, harsh waters during his duck hunting days.
German Utilitarian Becomes French Flair
Eventually, the Poodle found favor amongst French nobility, who adored the breed for his flamboyant look and considered him an accessory to help show off their abundance and wealth.
But the Poodle was not only for show.
With brains to match his beauty, he went on to be a favorite amongst circus shows and street performers, dazzling audiences with his numerous tricks and flair for the spotlight!
But how did the mini Poodle come to be?
The Standard Poodle was all the rage for quite a while, and it was not until the 20th century when smaller versions began to crop up, created for those looking for lap-sized versions of their favorite flashy dog.
Today, the Poodle comes in three size varieties: standard, toy, and miniature.
He resides at number 7 out of 194 on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds!
Miniature Cockapoo Temperament
Whenever we are discussing a crossbreed, we are careful to point out that a prospective owner could get a number of different traits in their dog depending on what he inherits from his purebred parents.
Things like temperament, coat color, and more will be left up to genetics and chance.
Still, it is always wise to take a look at the possible options.
In this case, if your Cockapoo takes after his Cocker Spaniel parent, expect him to be incredibly loyal, even-tempered, and loving.
This is a breed who adores his family and has an affinity for children.
Without a mean bone in his body, the Cocker Spaniel’s only mission in life is to love and be loved.
For this reason, he does great with families and with other household pets, and he adores kids of all ages.
However, this is not a breed who does well being left alone for many hours at a time, as he can be prone to separation anxiety and depression.
He is also quite sensitive, so training should be done with a gentle, loving hand.
But what about the Poodle?
The Miniature Poodle is known for his intelligence and athletic nature.
Whether he is a standard or a mini, he is full of life and pizazz and loves showing off.
Eager to please and willing to learn, the Poodle’s intelligence means he needs plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Considering both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel are such family-oriented breeds, this mix will likely do well in family settings with children and other household pets.
Still, even though this is a crossbreed who is by all accounts gentle and loving by nature, we always recommend early socialization and obedience training beginning in puppyhood.
This will help to ensure your Cockapoo grows up to be happy, healthy, and well-rounded in all types of environments.
Physical Appearance of the Miniature Cockapoo Dog
As stated above, your miniature Cockapoo adult is going to have traits that are left up to chance and genetics.
While it can be frustrating to not be able to get a better idea of what your miniature Cockapoo full grown will look like, you can get a better idea of the possible options by checking out his purebred parents.
The Cocker Spaniel, for starters, is 13.5–14.5 inches tall and weighs 20–30 pounds.
He is a sturdy, compact dog known for his long, flowing ears, docked tail, and sweet, expressive eyes.
The Cocker Spaniel’s wavy coat is silky to the touch, thick, and sheds slightly.
It comes in a wide variety of colors, including black, orange roan, and silver—among many others.
The mini Poodle, on the other hand, stands about 10–15 inches high and can weigh 15–17 pounds.
And while no breed of dog is 100% hypoallergenic, the Poodle barely sheds and produces less dander than most other dog breeds.
His thick, curly coat comes in ten colors, including apricot, blue, and brown.
Keeping the above in mind, your miniature Cockapoo size could be anywhere from 13.5–15 inches tall and he could weigh anywhere from 15–30 pounds.
But remember, the type of coat your Cockapoo has, as well as the colors and his build, will be entirely left up to chance and whichever purebred parent he takes after most.
Now, let’s talk about grooming!
Grooming and General Care of a Mini Cockapoo
Grooming your miniature Cockapoo mix is going to depend on the type of coat he inherits from his parent breeds.
While the Cocker Spaniel is not a heavy shedder, he still sheds a bit and requires consistent brushing and bathing to keep his silky hair healthy and tangle free.
The Poodle is also a breed that requires a lot when it comes to grooming, especially since his coat is so curly and can be prone to mats.
Since we are dealing with the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel mix, a prospective owner should prepare for weekly brushing to keep his coat healthy and at its best.
The Cockapoo will also need occasional bathing and his nails will need to be trimmed regularly to keep them from cracking and splitting.
Finally, his ears will need to be cleaned often to keep waxy build-up and moisture from causing ear infections.
Lifespan and Health Concerns for a Miniature Cockapoo
All dogs are susceptible to inheriting certain genetic health issues from their parents, and the Cockapoo is no exception.
For this reason, we suggest early health screening in your miniature Cockapoo dog, which can help you to keep an eye out for any of the potential health issues he may be at risk for.
To get a better idea of what your Cockapoo could be prone to, let’s look at what his parent breeds face.
The Cocker Spaniel has a life expectancy of 10-14 years;
He is predisposed to:
- hip dysplasia
- ear infections
- urinary stones
- otitis externa
- phosphofructokinase deficiency
- cherry eye
- liver disease
- heart issues like congestive heart failure
The Poodle, on the other hand, lives around 10 to 18 years.
He can be prone to:
- Addison’s disease
- hip dysplasia
- progressive retinal atrophy
- thyroid issues
A future Cockapoo owner should expect this crossbreed to live anywhere from 10–18 years.
And remember, he could be susceptible to any of the above-mentioned health issues.
Miniature Cockapoo Exercise and Training Needs
Both the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel are intelligent dogs who are eager to please, so a prospective owner of the miniature Cockapoo crossbreed can expect a similar type of dog.
Still, keep in mind that the Cocker Spaniel is especially sensitive and only aims to please.
The Poodle, while intelligent, can offer up somewhat of an independent streak if training isn’t kept interesting.
Experts recommend being consistent and patient, and always use a loving hand when training your dog.
The positive reward system works best with all dogs, and this, of course, includes lots of praise and treats!
When it comes to exercise, your Cockapoo will do best with a brisk walk or romp in the yard.
Since the Cocker Spaniel is prone to obesity and the Poodle is naturally athletic, a prospective owner should take care to make sure their crossbreed’s offspring is getting an adequate amount of exercise every day to stay happy and healthy.
However, due to the miniature Cockapoo’s smaller size, a good half hour walk and a romp in the yard should be enough to meet his needs.
What Is the Ideal Home Type for a Mini Cockapoo?
The Cockapoo is a loving, loyal, and intelligent crossbreed who, due to his size, is rather compact and adaptable.
This is a dog who does well in either a house or apartment living, as he really only requires a moderate amount of exercise every day to stay healthy.
He does well with children of all ages and gets along famously with other household pets.
However, due to his purebred parents’ coat types, the miniature Cockapoo may require some maintenance when it comes to grooming.
Furthermore, the Cockapoo may not handle being left alone too often.
He would do better with a family that has a flexible work schedule and is able to spend lots of time with him.
Picking the Healthiest Miniature Cockapoo Puppy!
Do you think the Cockapoo is the perfect pet for you?
Are you now just wondering how you can go about finding the healthiest miniature Cockapoo puppies?
Don’t worry, we are here to help!
Whether you are planning to rescue your Cockapoo, or you are hoping to go through a breeder, the most important thing to do is your research.
When looking to check out mini Cockapoo puppies through a breeder, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to over $1000, especially if the parent breeds are show quality.
Luckily, most reputable miniature Cockapoo breeders will have health screened their pups.
They should provide you with certificates proving your new puppy is healthy and ready to go to his forever home.
But what if you want to rescue a miniature Cockapoo puppy?
It’s always great to rescue, and one of the benefits is going to be the price!
Adoption fees are typically around $50 to $100 and many shelters will even cover the first vet trip!
So are you a fan of the Cockapoo?
We would love to hear about your experiences with the mini Cockapoo in the comments!
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Lowell Acumen DVM, DACVD, MBA, MOA, The Genetic Connection; a Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs, Second Edition, 2011
Carol Beuchat Ph.D. The Myth of Hybrid Vigor in Dogs…Is A Myth.