Cockapoo
Cockapoo Crossbreeds

The Cockapoo (A Guide to the Cocker Spaniel Poodle Cross)

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The Cockapoo is one of the first designer breeds, dating back to the 1950s. This breed is a cross between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel.  

The Cockapoo is a medium sized crossbreed dog that comes in many different shapes and sizes. Their coat is usually curly and can be one  of a number of different colors. They tend to shed less than other breeds and are considered to be hypoallergenic. 

Both Cockers and Poodles were bred to hunt and worked closely with their people. This means that the Cockapoo is an easy to train, eager-to-please, fun-loving, sociable, and happy dog.

What is a cockapoo?

The Cockapoo (also called a Spoodle) is a cross between a Poodle and Cocker Spaniel.

The breed comes in many different heights and weights. This is largely dependent upon the size of the Poodle parent. Poodles come in many sizes ranging from standard (the largest), miniature, and toy. This is one reason why you will want to meet the parents of a puppy so you will have a better understanding of how large the pup will be.

Poodle

The Poodle comes in many shapes and sizes

The type of Cocker parent can be either an English Cocker or an American Cocker and this can also greatly influence what the final Cockapoo looks like, as well as, possible health problems. 

A Cockapoo will usually have his hight fall somewhere in these guidelines: toys are less than 10 inches, miniatures are 11-14 inches tall, while the standard size is anything over 15-inches tall. 

The weight of a Cockapoo will be somewhere in these areas. The toy is less than 6 pounds, the miniature is under 12 pounds, while the standard is 19 pounds or more. Some have been reported to be as large as 30 pounds.

Cocker Spaniel

An American Cocker Spaniel

What Kind Of Coat Does A cockapoo Have?

The Cockapoo can have one of a large number of coat types.

Coat colors can be red, blond, black, chocolate, tan, cream, white, roan, and sliver. Some Cockapoos can even be sable, merle, or brindle.

The coat of a Cockapoo can be straight like a Cocker Spaniel or tight curls like a Poodle. However, the coat is more likely to be somewhere in the middle. You will often see loss curls or waves. This gives the breed an enduring, scruffy look. 

What Kind Of Temperament Does A cockapoo Have?

The Cockapoo is friendly, energetic, loyal, affectionate, happy, fun, thrives on attention, and is sociable.

Do cockapoos Make Good Family Dogs?

Cockapoos do well with active families when they are allowed to come along on all the family outings. The Cockapoo bonds quickly with his family. Cockapoos believe that they should always be with their people and never left out or left alone. 

The Cockapoo does well with children. This is especially true if the kids are trained in how to respectfully treat dogs. For the best results, a Cockapoo should be socialized with children at a young age and have nothing but positive interactions with kids.

Depending on the size of a Cockapoo they can be great apartment dogs as long as they get enough exercise and attention.

However, the breed does love a good run from time to time. So, a home with a yard or an apartment with plenty of visits to the dog park is ideal. Like most breeds, this one should not be made to live outside, unless you live outside.

cockapoo is a great family dog

The Cockapoo is great with kids

The Cockapoo also typically gets along well with other dogs and pets. Early socialization with small pets is a good idea since the Cockapoo is from two hunting breeds. It is a good idea to keep small pets safe from your Cockapoo until you know what your Cockapoo will do with them.

The main thing that a Cockapoo needs to thrive is your attention. This is not the breed for an owner who works 8+ hours a day, has a 2-hour round-trip commute, sleeps 8-hours a night (with their dog in another room), and typically hangs out with friends when not sleeping.

Unless, of course, you can bring your Cockapoo to work and bring him along to hang out with your friends. The breed can easily develop separation anxiety if left alone too much. This can lead to destructive behavior. So, be sure you have the time and attention to dedicate to a Cockapoo before you get one.

Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?

The Cockapoo is considered to be 'hypoallergenic'. However, we need to understand that hypoallergenic does not mean “no allergy.” All dogs can cause an allergic reaction, even hairless breeds. 

For the best possible knowledge of if a Cockapoo will cause you allergic issues be sure that the pup’s parents are a Poodle and a Cocker or a Poodle and a Cockapoo. The more Poodle the dog has in it, the less it will shed. The less the Cockapoo sheds, the less it should bother an allergic individual. 

It is also a good plan to meet the Cockapoo you are intending to bring into your home. Each Cockapoo and person are different. If you have met a Cockapoo in the past and it did not upset your allergies this does not automatically mean that all Cockapoos will not upset your allergies. 

How Long Do Cockapoos live for?

Just like most dog breeds, a Cockapoo can live for anywhere from 10 to 15 years. If there are any health concerns with the parents then it may shorten the life of the Cockapoo.

Luckily the most common health problems that can affect Poodles and Cocker Spaniels are problems with joints and skin or ear infections. These can often be helped with supplements and a good diet (I recommend raw). Some Cockapoos have been known to live into their late teens, and the American Cockapoo Society gives an average lifespan of 14-18 years.

Are Cockapoos Easy To Train?

The Cockapoo is very intelligent and eager-to-please. This makes for a dog that is a joy to train. Positive reinforcement training is the way to go with this breed. They can be very sensitive to harsh training methods, so use positive methods for best results.

Socialization is an essential part of any dog’s training program. This is true for the Cockapoo as well. If you want a dog that is well adjusted and not flustered by anything, you need to socialize. Help your dog have a positive association will all kinds of people, kids, animals, environments, dogs, sounds, sights, smells, and being touched all over. Socialization starts with the breeder and should continue for the life of the dog. 

As stated before the Cockapoo comes about from mixing a Poodle with a Cocker Spaniel. The parent breeds are both hunting breeds and as such, they have plenty of energy! These breeds were bred to be able to hunt out in the field or marsh all-day. This means that the Cockapoo needs plenty of exercise.

The amount of exercise will depend upon the actual size of the Cockapoo. Smaller cockapoos will need less exercise because they have to take more steps. While a larger Cockapoo will need more exercise because of their long stride. However, in general, a Cockapoo will do well with two 30-minute exercise sessions a day. This could be hiking, walking, or playing in the yard.

Because the breed is a joy to train and is so energetic they do well in dog sports. Cockapoos can enjoy agility, canine freestyle, obedience, rally, disc dog tournaments, and more! Training for these events is great exercise and a great way to spend time with your Cockapoo.

Check out this really clever Cockapoo called Sushi as he demonstrates his tricks.

How Do You Groom A Cockapoo?

The grooming care for a Cockapoo can vary quite a lot depending upon the type of coat he has. However, it is a good idea to give him a daily brushing as some coats types are more prone to mat. Talk with your breeder or a groomer to know how best to brush and maintain your Cockapoo’s coat daily. 

Cockapoos can be left with long hair or you can trim it. Most people opt to have their Cockapoo’s coat trimmed by a professional groomer. Most people will take their Cockapoo for professional grooming at least once a month.

Be sure to get your Cockapoo used to standing on a table and being brushed. Also, get him used to the sound of scissors and having scissors close to his face. Be sure he has a positive association with being touched everywhere ears, paws, tail, rump, legs, around his eyes and face. Use lots of treats. This will ensure that going to the groomer is not too scary of an experience for the dog or the groomer. 

How often do you bathe a cockapoo?

Bathing can be done once a month at the groomers or home. Be sure to use a safe shampoo for dogs. The Cockapoo can have a thick coat so you may want to use a blow dryer on him after his bath if you bath him at home.

What Causes Cockapoo Tear Staining?

This breed can be prone to tear staining. Tear staining is that dark-colored line that you will see along the sides of the muzzle and under the eyes of some dogs. This tear staining can be unsightly and smelly! 

Feeding your dog a low-carb, low-starch diet is the best way to reduce tear staining. Also, be sure to reduce stress and support your dog’s immune system as tear stains are caused by bacteria. 

How Do You Look After A Cockapoos Ears?

Ear cleaning is an important part of grooming for this breed. Cocker Spaniels are known for their ear problems. Combine that with the thick fur of a Poodle and you have a Cockapoo that is even more prone to ear issues. So, keeping an eye on a Cockapoos ears is very important. 

Check the ears daily for excess wax or a bad odour. Also, observe your dog to see if he shakes his head a lot or scratches his ears. These can be signs of an ear infection. The inside of the ear should be a little pink, but not red. 

If you see that your Cockapoos ears have a little extra wax you can easily clean the ears with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half filtered water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and use it to gently clean the part of the ear that you can see. You can also drip a bit of the solution into the ear. This solution is great to help clean and dry out the ear at the same time. 

I also recommend that you get your Cockapoo used to having his ears touched and cleaned at a young age. Offer plenty of treats when you do. You don’t want your dog to dread getting his ears cleaned or touched!

How Do You Take Care Of A cockapoos Teeth?

Taking care of your Cockapoos teeth is a daily part of care. If you have a toy Cockapoo then dental care is even more important. You will want to brush your Cockapoos teeth daily with a dog-specific toothpaste. These toothpastes are made in such a way that they can be swallowed. 

Brushing is not the only way to clean a dog’s teeth. Providing your dog with plenty of things to chew is also very important. Chewing is good for a Cockapoo’s dental health, physical health, and mental health. 

Choose chewing options that are meat-based and preferably only one ingredient. These could include dehydrated trachea, bully sticks, lamb ears, pig ears, beef snouts, freeze-dried rabbit ears, and raw bones (don’t feed cooked bones). All of these offer great nutritional benefits as well as oral hygiene benefits. 

How Do You Look After A Cockapoos Nails?

I recommend that you trim your Cockapoos nails weekly. This will help to keep the nails short and trimmed before they need to be trimmed. Long nails are not just unsightly but they can also cause issues to the dog. 

Long nails can be painful and even lead to misalignment of the toes, up the leg, into the hips and shoulders, and even into the spine and neck. So, short nails can help to prevent pain and expensive vet visits. 

What Health Problems Can Cockapoos Have?

The health concerns of the Cockapoo can be many and varied.

The health issues will vary based on which breed of Cocker the parent was, and the overall size of the dog. Smaller dogs often have a harder time with dental disease.

Let’s look at the health issues of the American Cocker, English Cocker, and the Poodle. Keep in mind that your Cockapoo could get any of the health problems of either parent breed or he might not get any at all.

1. American Cocker Spaniels

The American Cocker can have blood diseases, lymphoma, melanoma, intervertebral disc disease, eye diseases, heart valve disease, hip dysplasia, patella luxation, and, due to their long floppy ears, ear infections.

2. English Cocker Spaniel

If the Cocker parent of your Cockapoo is an English Cocker Spaniel be on the lookout for progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, familial neuropathy, adult-onset neuropathy, and ear infections.

3. Poodle

Poodles can be susceptible to diabetes, lymphoma, melanoma, squamous cell disease, intervertebral disc disease, immune-related blood disorders, eye issues, kidney disease, luxating patella, marital valve disease, cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, idiopathic epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, von Willebrand’s disease, immune-mediated disorders, Legg-Calve-Perthes, and bloat. 

The Cockapoo is also known to have allergies, liver disease, cataracts, glaucoma, and separation anxiety.

There are many ways to help prevent these diseases and health issues. First, get a good breeder who does appropriate health tests and chose the parents based on temperament and health. Second, do your research on each of these health issues, know the symptoms and how to prevent these health issues.

Third, provide your dog with the best diet possible, make sure they get enough exercise, reduce his stress and toxins. 

What's The Best Food For A Cockapoo, And How Much Do You Feed Them?

The Cockapoo can be prone to weight gain but remember you are in control of what your dog eats and how much. The Cockapoo will do best on a diet that is low in carbohydrates and is high in meat. It can be hard to remember that the adorable Cockapoo is a carnivore, but they are. So, they will thrive best on a diet that is high in meat. 

Doing your research and finding a diet that is low in carbs and high in meat is a great way to prevent a multitude of diseases and ailments. High carb diets can lead to inflammation which has been linked to all sorts of chronic diseases. Most dogs will do best on a diet with very little carbs, but some thrive best with no carbs at all!

The diet options that you have at your disposal include kibble, canned, semi-moist, freeze-dried, homemade, and raw. There are some good options in all of these categories. Just be sure that the food is low-carb and high-meat. 

salmon oil for dogs

A raw, natural diet can be a good option for the Cockapoo

The amount you feed your Cockapoo will depend on what you are feeding. If you are feeding a commercial diet then follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you are feeding a raw diet you will feed 2-3% of your dog’s body weight daily. In general, it is best to watch your dog. Is he gaining weight? Is she losing weight? Adjust the amount of food you feed accordingly. 

For treats, it is best to feed treats that meet the same standard of low-carb, high-meat. The best treats are a single ingredient (meat) that is minimally processed. They could be dehydrated or freeze-dried or simply some boiled chicken. 

Providing things for your dog to chew on is important for their dental health. Choose chews that are high-meat with little to no carbs. Raw or dehydrated trachea is a great idea for your Cockapoo because they are a natural source of glucosamine which is great for joint health. Raw bones are also a wonderful option that provides hours of enjoyment and lots of healthy nutrients.

To help prevent or treat chronic health conditions, you can also add some natural health boosters such as seaweed extract, glucosamine, chondroitin, green lipped mussel and salmon oil. I highly recommend you do some research on these and other supplements that can really improve the long term health of your Cockapoo (and all dog breeds). Check out my guide to giving your dog salmon oil here.

Where Can You Get A Cockapoo And How Much Do They Cost?

Expect to pay between $850 and $3000, or more, for a Cockapoo puppy. This will depend upon where you buy the pup. If he is a rescue he will likely cost less than at a pet store and at a pet store will likely cost less than a breeder.

However, with the varying prices also come health and temperament variations. A rescue was surrendered for a reason, could be temperament, could be health. A pet store puppy was bred for profit and nothing more, health and temperament were not a consideration. Breeders can vary in how well they breed, with some going for profit and some breeding for the best possible puppies (health and temperament). 

As with any breed, I always recommend getting a puppy from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder will breed with the health and temperament of the litter in mind. They will also have a rigorous socialization program in place. They will want to ask you all sorts of questions and be willing to answer all of yours. They should have one or both of the parents on sight for you to meet. 

You can check the American Cockapoo Club to see a list of breeders and to get more information. Remember that just because a breeder is registered with this club it does not automatically mean that they are a good breeder. Go with your gut and your brain. Don’t buy a puppy spur of the moment.

Since the Cockapoo is considered a hypoallergenic breed this can be a good way to weed out bad breeders. Ask the breeder about their Cockapoos and if they will cause an allergic reaction. If the breeder claims that their puppies will cause no allergic reaction, this is a lie. Even hairless dogs can cause allergic reactions. So, even if you aren’t an allergy sufferer, ask the breeder about it.

If you would like to get a rescue Cockapoo they are available too. Again you can check with the American Cockapoo Club to see about rescue groups in your area. There is also a Poo-Mix Rescue site where you can search for Poo-mixes in your area. Of course, you can always go into your local shelter and see if they have a Cockapoo available.

Always remember with a rescue that the dog was surrendered for a reason. Perhaps the dog has health or temperament issues or just demands too much attention or has separation anxiety. Ask yourself if you are prepared to deal with these potential issues. Are you ready to spend the time, money, and potential heartbreak? If you answer yes, then good for you! These dogs deserve forever homes too.

The Cockapoo - Summary

The Cockapoo is a loving and fun little dog. They love to be involved in everything that you are doing. They would gladly be with you all day, every day. Carefully consider whether you have enough time to dedicate to this breed before you get one. They are prone to separation anxiety.

The Cockapoo can vary is hight and weight quite a lot. This will mostly depend upon the size of the Poodle parent. In general, the Cockapoo can be less than 6 to over 19 pounds. The hight of the Cockapoo ranges from under 10 to over 15 inches tall.

The Cockapoo’s coat can vary from straight to tight curls with most being somewhere in the middle. Cockapoos come in many colors. They will need daily brushing. A monthly visit to the groomer can be a good idea.

Cockapoos do well with children, other dogs, and other pets. This is especially true if the dog is well socialized at an early age. This breed can do well as an apartment dweller if he gets enough attention and exercise. They love to run and thus also do well in a home with a yard.

The Cockapoo is energetic and eager-to-please. This makes for a dog that is a joy to train. They do well at agility and other canine sports. The Cockapoo should get around an hour of exercise daily.

The Cockapoo is vulnerable to many health issues. A healthy diet and lifestyle can help to prevent many of these issues. The diet of a Cockapoo should be low-carb and high-meat. 

If you have the time to dedicate to a Cockapoo they will make a wonderful companion for you. 

About the author

Jenna Brady

Jenna Brady

Jenna has been a pet lover all of her life. She is the proud owner of three cute dogs (Molly, Oscar and Dobby), and regularly fosters and cares for puppies that have fallen on hard times. She is currently studying Animal Sciences and has a special interest in animal behavior, welfare and grooming.