A Quick Look at the Cockapoo…

The Cockapoo is a relatively recent breed that is a hybrid between the Cocker Spaniel and the Miniature Poodle. There are three different sizes of Cockapoo, the Toy, the Mini, and the Standard.  They were created with the intention of developing a breed of dog that is very sharp but that has virtually no shedding. The dog breed is still considered to be a hybrid cross and is therefore not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club.

A Quick Look at the Cockapoo…

Dog Group:
hybrid dog not recognized by AKC
Recognized By:
Small to Medium
Toy – 11 lbs or less (5 kg or less)
Mini – 12-20 lbs (5.5-9kg)
Standard – 21 lbs or more (9.5kg or more)
Toy – 10 in. or less (25 cm or less)
Mini – 11-14 in. (28-35.5cm)
Standard – 15 in. or more (38cm or more)
Average litter size:
4 – 6 puppies
Life expectancy:
15 to 18 years (a healthy dog can live 20 years)
Health problems:
Coat care:
Exercise needs:
Suitable for children:
Pet compatibility:
Barking frequency:

Brief History

The Cockapoo has been started in several different countries. In the United States, it began in the 1950s with the name Cockapoo. However, the same hybrid cross has also occurred in Australia, where they are referred to as Spoodles, and in Sweden, where they are known as the Cockerpoo.

The Cockapoo can be created by breeding a poodle with either an American Cocker Spaniel or an English Cocker Spaniel. Both crosses have successfully created a multitude of Cockapoo generations.

Cockapoo Breed Appearance and Characteristics

General Appearance – As of yet, a Cockapoo appearance standard has not yet been attained; which has resulted in its lack of recognition by the American Kennel Club so far. Even several generations into breeding, some Cockapoos still demonstrate a greater likeness to their Cocker Spaniel ancestry, whereas others show more of the traits of their Poodle background. For this same reason, there is not only a wide variety of different appearances for the Cockapoo, but characteristics and temperaments, as well.

Overall, the Cockapoo will generally have a coat that can be anything from straight to quite curly. Their eyes are almost always brown and will generally be well-set and large. Their ears won’t be small, but will range from medium to quite long. There shouldn’t be an over- or under-bite, but the teeth should have an aligned bite. The body should have a general square, compact build.

Typical Temperament – The Cockapoo is accepted to be a pleasant, tolerant, and patient dog that associates well with children and other animals. They enjoy playtime with kids and have an understanding way about them.

They are a very smart type of dog and are also quite curious. They are social, enjoying time around their family and other people, and enjoy the opportunity to perform and be the center of attention.

Cockapoo Care Requirements

Grooming – It is quite easy to groom a Cockapoo, since only the most basic upkeep is required. For the desired appearance and to keep the dog clean, a good brushing every day or two as well as a bath once or twice per year is all that is necessary.

Exercise – The Cockapoo does not require a great deal of exercise to keep energy levels under control and ensure optimal behavior. As long as the dog has a daily walk and a bit of playtime inside or outside every day, he or she will have all the activity needed.

Approximate Food Cost – The monthly cost of food for the Cockapoo will depend on his or her size, age, health, and activity level. For a standard sized Cockapoo, for example, it should cost at least $10 every month at the minimum weight level, as he or she should consume around 1 ½ to 2 cups of an average dry food every day.

General Health Information

As the Cockapoo is a mixed (hybrid) breed, there may be less of a susceptibility to the genetic health problems that are more common in the purebred dogs from either side of their ancestry. While purebreds may be likely to have common genetic diseases due to their parentage, the dilution of the pure lines through the breeding cross may make this proclivity notably lower.

This is especially true when the hereditary problem is the result of a recessive gene, since it would require both parent dogs to have the same recessive gene in order to produce the ailment in the puppy. As there are two breeds necessary to create a Cockapoo, this reduces the potential rate of the recessive gene dramatically and can therefore minimize or even eliminate the instance of a specific recessive condition.

Common Illnesses include: heart failure, dental issues.

Are You the Right Cockapoo Owner?

Living conditions – Since the Cockapoo does not require a tremendous amount of exercise, as long as he or she receives a daily walk and some playtime, the breed can live happily in just about any home, from an apartment to a large house or a farm.

Training – Because this is a hybrid breed, there is no standard as to trainability regarding every individual. Though overall they are patient, intelligent dogs that are social and have a desire to please, there are defects from this general nature that can lead to instances of possessiveness over toys, furniture or food, begging, hard headedness, and being strong willed.

For this reason, all Cockapoos should be shown strong leadership and guidance and be trained using positive reinforcement techniques that are both kind and consistent. This will allow the dog to take a neutral role in the hierarchy of the family “pack”, as opposed to allowing him or her to attempt to assert dominance over family members.

Common Problems – As this is a hybrid, it is difficult to pin down a single problem that is common throughout the entire breed. However, this, in itself, can be a problem. Because it has not yet been defined as a breed (a recognition that occurs when at least two generations in a row with the same physical and temperament characteristics can be produced) it is very difficult to know what an individual dog will look like, how he or she will behave, and what health and other problems are likely to occur throughout the lifetime of the dog.

Though there is a better idea with these dogs than with a “mutt” of unknown background, it can still be somewhat of a guessing game for owners, who simply have to learn as they go.

The bottom line…

Though as of yet, there is no true standard for Cockapoos, overall, they have been known to be gentle, and calm dogs with a positive and loving way about them. They are social, friendly to strangers and to their own family, are smart, and seem to be healthy and sturdy animals.

For this reason, many Cockapoos do very well living with families that have children, other dogs, or other non-canine pets. They do seem to adore people the most, but they are happy dogs overall with other living creatures.

Since their shedding is low and they are a low-odor dog, they are desirable pets for people with mild dog allergies or who have a strong desire to keep the pet hair in their homes well under control.

Filed Under: Cockapoo Training


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