- Breed group – Cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle
- Height – 10 to 15 inches
- Weight – 6 to 19 pounds
- Coat length & texture – Long, curly, non-shedding hair that must be groomed regularly.
- Coat color – Colors include black, blue, chocolate, cream, and red. The coat color may be solid or a combination of these colors, depending on genetics. Some puppy coats may change color by adulthood.
- Exercise needs – Medium
- Intelligence – High intelligence
- Barking – When necessary
- Life span – 13 to 17 years
- Temperament – Playful, friendly, happy, and outgoing
- Hypoallergenic – No
- Origin – United States
👉 No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but some are better than others for allergy sufferers.
Cockapoo fun facts
- Cockapoos are among the oldest “designer dog” crosses, dating back to the 1960s.
- Cockapoos are low-shedding dogs and, while not truly hypoallergenic, are a good choice for owners with dander allergies.
- Due to a “fading gene” in poodles, it is possible that your cockapoo’s coat color will fade as they get older.
Cockapoo temperament and characteristics
If you want a fun-loving dog that soaks up attention, a cockapoo is a great fit. These dogs are very intelligent and have moderate energy levels. While you don’t need to take them on your 5K run, they enjoy burning off energy. These sweet-natured pups get along well with young children and are not known for having issues with other pets.
Cockapoos can be somewhat cautious around strangers, so they may bark when new visitors come over. To prevent your cockapoo from developing any aggressive behaviors, make sure to start socializing them while they are still puppies.
Common cockapoo health problems
Being that cockapoos are a mix of poodles and cocker spaniels, your pet may experience some of the same health issues as their parent breeds. Cockapoos are generally long-lived so the overall health outlook is good. But, there are some common cockapoo health conditions to be aware of, including:
- Hip dysplasia. This is a genetic disease that impacts the hip, and can sometimes cause lameness though not in every case. In fact, though this is a condition developed while your dog is a puppy, some dogs may not show any signs until they are older. You can look out for wobbling or discomfort while standing, or the condition may first become apparent during an X-ray.
- Ear infections. Also called otitis externa, outer ear infections are particularly common in poodles and cocker spaniels. Your cockapoo may also be more susceptible. Look out for signs of ear infections such as head shaking, scratching ears, and inflammation.
- Cataracts. A cataract is when the lens of your dog’s eye becomes cloudy. This condition can be hereditary or age-related. There are varying degrees of cataracts, and you will want to consult a veterinary ophthalmologist to assess your cockapoo’s specific case.
- Glaucoma. Glaucoma is when there is increased pressure in the eye, which can cause serious complications with your dog’s vision. Watch for signs like eye pain, swelling of the eyeball, along with watery discharge.
Costs of caring for a cockapoo
When considering the cost of caring for your cockapoo, you should factor in normal expenses like training, regular vet visits, boarding fees, and grooming appointments. This is in addition to upfront costs you might pay from a reputable breeder or adoption agency. These costs vary depending on where you live and how often you have certain services performed. From a medical cost standpoint, ear infections are a less costly expense while something like cataracts may run a few thousand dollars.
Pet health insurance for your cockapoo may be a way to greatly reduce how much you pay out of pocket for health expenses. Some providers even cover medications and offer discounts for other services like nail trimming. A pet savings account is also another option when looking for ways to budget.
History of the cockapoo
Cockapoos are known as a “designer breed” and the hybrid dogs were first publicized in the 1960s. Cockapoos have long been popular in the United States due to combining the best traits of the small, playful cocker spaniel and the intelligent, athletic poodle.
While cockapoos are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, there are plenty of organizations where you can register your new dog. The Cockapoo Club of America and the American Cockapoo Club are both longstanding registers.
Caring for your cockapoo
Becoming a new pet parent can be overwhelming, but there are a few pointers to help you along the way. First, find a veterinarian and get your dog scheduled for their first vaccinations. Cockapoo puppies, and new dogs in general, will require you to make some adjustments around the house to prepare for things like teething, so make sure to puppy-proof beforehand. Many cockapoo breeders will also give you additional tips about their specific litter before bringing your new dog home.
Cockapoos range from small to medium size, giving them adaptability in various home environments. Both apartment dwellers and those in single-family homes will be fine with this breed. However, cockapoos are fun dogs with energy to burn, so at least 20 minutes of exercise a day will keep them in good shape. Cockapoos need a lot of attention, and playtime is a great way to bond with your pet.
Many dog lovers adore the curly, sometimes scruffy, fur that cockapoos don. Whether your dog inherits more of the poodle or more of the cocker spaniel will determine if their coat leans curly or straight. Regardless of texture, their coats are considered low-shedding and easy to keep clean which is a plus for many.
However, regular brushing is recommended for their coats. Overall maintenance will also depend on texture and how long you want your cockapoo’s hair to be. If your dog has a long, curly, full coat, you may want to visit the groomer at least once a month.
Also don’t forget about nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing, which are key to optimal health. Most groomers offer these as add-on services if you’re grooming your dog at home.
Diet and nutrition
A cockapoo’s diet should be completely balanced. This means these high-energy dogs need carbs and protein, plus plenty of nutrients to keep fueled.
There are no special nutritional requirements of note, but you will want to make sure you only feed high quality dog food. Consult your vet for help regarding the specifics about food portioning. Being that the size and energy level of your cockapoo can vary, the amount of food they need per day depends on your pup, too.
Training your cockapoo
Both cocker spaniels and poodles are highly intelligent breeds, so cockapoos often take well to training. In fact, cockapoos love pleasing their owners and enjoy the time spent together. Using positive reinforcement with treats or other rewards during training can be beneficial.
While you actually can teach an old dog new tricks, the earlier you start the sooner your pet will learn appropriate behaviors. If you have kids at home, it is good to also get them involved with training your cockapoo. Though the breed has a loving and sweet temperament, you’ll want them to learn how to respond appropriately to their younger family members as well.
Breeds similar to the cockapoo
Not quite sure that a cockapoo is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:
- Cocker spaniel. Instead of a hybrid, you can consider a purebred cocker spaniel. These dogs still have a playful and sweet temperament that make them great for families.
- Poodle. If you want a highly intelligent, athletic dog then you may want to consider a poodle. The most comparable in size to a cockapoo might be a miniature poodle, but you can choose a toy or standard size and still never have to worry about shedding. This is a higher maintenance dog overall, so always keep care and exercise needs in mind.
- Goldendoodle. Another poodle mix, goldendoodles are similar to cockapoos in terms of temperament and being hypoallergenic. Goldendoodles do require more exercise given their size, but you will love their affectionate nature and ability to be easily trained.
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Frequently asked questions
Is a cockapoo a good family dog?
Cockapoos generally make excellent family dogs. They are bred to be companion dogs and have a friendly temperament. Being that you can get a more miniature cockapoo, or one that is slightly larger, you can choose which size is best for your lifestyle.
Do cockapoos shed a lot?
One of the best traits of the cockapoo is that they don’t shed often and are considered a good choice for allergy sufferers. You do need to make sure to groom your cockapoo regularly to avoid mats in their coat.
What problems do cockapoos have?
Some common health conditions include cataracts, hip dysplasia, glaucoma, and ear infections.
Do cockapoos bark a lot?
Cockapoos do not bark excessively, though they will alert you when necessary. However, if your dog develops separation anxiety, they may start to bark when left alone. Always make sure to give your cockapoo adequate exercise and attention to help them thrive.