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Everything you need to know about the Cockapoo

Golden cockapoo dog advice

The Cockapoo is very affectionate and easy to train

© Pixabay

A Cockapoo is a mixed breed between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. This scruffy-looking, bright-eyed dog is a friendly breed with a very affectionate personality. Retaining their puppy charm into adulthood, these puppies are very easy to train.

By Dawn Parrish

Updated on the 06/11/2020, 16:38

There's something about those big round eyes and the curly or wavy coat that just makes our hearts melt. It's no wonder the Cocker Spaniel cross Poodle has gained immense popularity in recent years!

If you are thinking of getting a new addition to your family, here are a few important facts about the breed.

History and origins of the Cockapoo

The Cockapoo is a result of the cross-breeding between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. It is one of the first “designer” dog breeds intentionally created over 50 years ago in the US. It combines the devotion and intelligence of a Poodle, with the vitality and energy of a Cocker Spaniel. They are sometimes also known as Spoodles.

The Poodle

A white Poodle
The Poodle ©Shutterstock

The Poodle comes in various sizes: The Miniature Poodle, the Toy Poodle, the Medium Poodle and the Standard Poodle. This dog breed is known for their elegant and sophisticated appearance. Therefore, they are very popular in dog shows. But behind such beauty, you will find a very intelligent family dog.

The Cocker Spaniel

A brown cocker spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel ©Shutterstock

The Cocker Spaniel is full of energy and will follow you on any adventure, especially when they can venture in nature. They have a strong hunting instinct. Just like the Poodle, this dog breed is particularly known for its beautiful physique.

With two beautiful parents to look at, the Cockapoo has definitely inherited from the good genes of these specific breeds.

Physical characteristics of the Cockapoo crossbreed

The Cockapoo
The Cockapoo ©Shutterstock

This breed takes its appearance from both parents, the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel which means you can end up with many coat and size variations! Its coat can vary from either a shaggier coat or tight poodle-like curls. All dogs have beautiful, soft coats that need regular grooming of course. Cockapoos often have a little hairy moustache that is quite endearing. They come in all shades of colours; brown, red, apricot, black and golden, or even a mixed variety shade.

In the United Kingdom, English Cocker Spaniels are more often used to breed Cocker Spaniel cross Poodles. Gaining in popularity though, is the use of the American Cocker Spaniel in the breeding of the Cockapoo. The American Cocker Spaniel has a shorter muzzle, domed head and a compact body.

Height Size: Varies depending on the type of Poodle used for breeding
Weight: 10 – 30 lbs                     
Life expectancy: 14 – 16 years

Temperament of the Cockapoo crossbreed

Making very good companions, the Cockapoo loves making friends, walking in the park and likewise, loves being with their family as much as possible. Because of their quiet temperament, they don’t make good guard dogs, very rarely showing any symptoms of aggression.

Certainly, due to their lovely temperament, they make good pets for children of all ages, but can sometimes be overwhelmed if the child is too boisterous. Due to their parents’ working abilities, the Cocker Spaniel cross Poodles love doing nose work and scent training. Many also compete in dog agility competitions.

Lifestyle requirements of the Cockapoo

Poodles are understood to be one of the smartest purebred canines around, which can result in your Cockapoo being very intelligent. For this reason, they are sometimes easily bored and can be often destructive. Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are from working dog stock that hunt and run about most of the day. Certainly, your Cocker Spaniel cross Poodle is more at risk of having behaviour problems through boredom. If left alone for long periods, they may look to make their own entertainment. This could, of course, include the destruction of your sofas, cushions and anything that isn’t already puppy-proofed. In conclusion, you shouldn't get a Cockapoo unless you're prepared to provide them with lots of exercise (1 to 2 hours a day), and mental stimulation. This aside, the breed is known to be very loving, friendly, outgoing and happy.

Cockapoos are very versatile when it comes to living accommodations. They are equally happy in the city, or in the countryside. They do, however, like to exercise a lot. They love to swim and run around too. A good point to add is that the Cocker Spaniel cross Poodle is virtually odourless – so no nasty doggy smells.

Grooming a Cockapoo

These fluffy and curly coated dogs need grooming on a regular basis. Just like the Poodle parent, their coats can be curly. At around nine months old, the puppy’s coat begins to change. As their adult coats begin to appear, matting can occur. Therefore, it’s very important to have a grooming routine in place. Some dogs do shed their coat but expect a very low moult. Those dogs that have more of a Cocker type coat will probably moult more than those with a Poodle coat. Unless you're comfortable trimming your dog's coat at home, you will probably have to take your dog to the groomer's once every couple of months. Indeed, their coat never ceases to grow!

Cockapoos are believed to be hypoallergenic – which means that just like Poodles, they don’t shed their coats. As a result of this, it won’t matter if their owners are allergic to dogs- they won’t trigger any allergies. This obviously isn’t set in stone, as people can also be allergic to a dog’s dander, saliva and skin, not just the fur. 

Cockapoo health problems

Cockapoos generally don’t have many health issues but owners need to be aware that Hip Dysplasia, Cataracts, Liver Disease and Ear Infections are all health issues associated with Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, and can therefore be passed on to any offspring they may have. 

Feeding your Cockapoo

Cockapoos aren't necessarily greedy, and prefer to be fed smaller amounts at frequent intervals. A good diet with the right level of nutrients is essential to keeping your dog healthy, especially as it pertains to joint health for these dogs.

Cockapoo puppies

If you're looking to adopt a Cockapoo, it's a good idea to try and find F1 puppies. F1 puppies are the result of breeding between a purebred Poodle and a purebred Cocker Spaniel. These puppies tend to be healthier than F2 puppies, who are the result of breeding between two Cocker Spaniel cross Poodle parents. Either way, you'll never get consistent results with mix breed puppies. To find the best breeders, make sure you turn to specialised dog clubs. 

Training sessions should be kept short and sweet, but you'll notice that Cockapoo puppies learn very quickly. Teach your pup to stay alone from a young age - the sensitive Cocker Spaniel side of them may lead to separation anxiety issues otherwise.

These adorable dogs have a huge personality. Being very affectionate and easy to train, you will certainly never feel alone with a Cockapoo! The pups love cuddles and will follow you around all day long. Several charities also use Cocker Spaniel cross Poodles as service dogs, helping people with disabilities as they are very easy to train. They are a very sociable breed, and will happily mix with both adults and children. They are usually quite placid dogs and don’t bark very often.

So if you’re looking for an energetic, friendly and above all smart addition to your family, the Cockapoo could be just the right dog to fill the space.

Did you like the Cockapoo? Check out these mixed breed dogs:

Frequently asked questions

Why does my Cockapoo bark so much?

Why does my Cockapoo howl?

Why is my Cockapoo aggressive?