The Cockapoo is one of the original designer dogs. This pup is the product of the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. He’s been around for so long now that he has almost become a breed of his own. But not quite yet! He goes by many other names, with the Cockapoodle, Cockerpoo, Cock-a-Poo, and Spoodle being the most common variants. The Cockapoo happens to be one of the most popular Doodle mixes, as well as the most popular Cocker Spaniel crossbreed.
Cockapoos are a popular choice for families looking for a well-balanced dog, as well as a fluffy teddy bear lookalike. But this dog isn’t just a cute teddy bear canine. He has lots of energy that needs burning off, and his grooming regime takes longer than most people think.
Cockapoos come in three sizes, and to save any surprises, you need to know which size best suits your lifestyle. With needs you’ll have to meet, you need to be sure that you can meet them all. And here in this Cockapoo guide, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about him. So, let’s take a closer look at this gorgeous pup in all his glory.
Cockapoos are designer dogs, and like most, their history is not as clear-cut as most purebred dog breeds. But here’s what we know. It is believed that the first litter of Cockapoos came into existence in the 1960s. This was when they were first spoken of, and they may have been an accident or planned. No one knows! But their affectionate and easy-going nature, combined with their odorless and low-shedding coat, was a big hit.
Since his creation, he has become one of the most popular designer dog breeds. Because he is not a purebred dog and hasn’t been around for that long, he is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). But with his rise in popularity and several generations of Cockapoo, it might not be long until the AKC accepts them into the Foundation Stock Service group.
The Cockapoo Club of America was established in 1999 in the first bid to standardize the breed. This organization breeds multigenerational Cockapoos with one another. The American Cockapoo Club was established in 2004, and they do not mix generations. Instead, they create new generations that can be traced back to AKC registered Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. Breeding rules aside, there is a lot of work going on to standardize this popular breed.
The Cockapoo world can be a little confusing! Usually, the Cockapoo is a mix of the Standard Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. Sometimes, he can be a cross between a Poodle and an English Cocker Spaniel. Some breeders will call these pups Spoodles, and some breeders use the Cockapoo/Spoodle name for both.
Across the pond in the United Kingdom, Cockapoos are often a cross between a Poodle and an English Cocker Spaniel. Ultimately, there is very little difference between the variants. But if this is an important factor, you need to ask your breeder which Cocker line he comes from. And it’s worth mentioning that the Cockapoo is not to be confused with the Sproodle, either. He is the cross between a Poodle and a Springer Spaniel.
Cockapoos are well known for their well-balanced personality, and this is one of the main reasons for their popularity. Although not all designer breeds are guaranteed to inherit the best of both worlds, the Cockapoo has benefited from decades of select breeding. Meaning that those Cockapoos with well-balanced desirable traits were bred, each time increasing the more desirable traits. And overtime standardizing the breed.
Most of all, he adores humans. His Cocker influence means that he idolizes his family and would do anything for them. This is a trait that is sought after in the Cockapoo breed. His eagerness to please his master, combined with his intelligence, makes him a very trainable pup. It also means that he is prone to separation anxiety and doesn’t like to be without his two-legged friends.
He is a happy-go-lucky pup who is described as extraordinarily happy. If you seek a canine with an infectious smile and warmth, this is the pup for you. He is sickly sweet, but it is this trait that makes him such a great family pet. You could step on his tail, and he’ll smother you in kisses. Obviously, don’t try this, but he would. He is accepting of strangers and visitors and will greet them with a tail wag and kisses. He’s not too over the top, though, and respectful not to jump up at them.
Cockapoos have bundles of energy, especially the larger Cockapoos (we’ll talk you through the size differences next). So, you can expect a fun canine who is always up for a game of fetch or tug of war. There is never a dull moment with a Cockapoo about, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, some people, especially those seeking a small Cockapoo, expect a lapdog. But the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel are hunting and working dogs, meaning that the Cockapoo has a lot of energy.
Following on from this, it also means that he has a high prey drive. Although he can happily live alongside other pets, anything outside his family unit is game to chase. And he is surprisingly quick! You need to bear this in mind on walkies and when he is alone in your yard. We’ll explain this in more depth shortly.
Size & Appearance
There are three sizes of Cockapoos, and it is important to know which one you will be taking home. Although there isn’t an official breed size, the following categories are determined by height according to the American Cockapoo Club. Height is measured from the paws to the withers, also known as the shoulders.
- Toy: Up to 10 inches. These dogs usually weigh under 12 pounds.
- Mini – 11 to 14 inches tall. These dogs typically weigh between 12 and 20 pounds.
- Standard – 15 inches and over. Standard Cockapoos will weigh over 20 pounds. And some have been known to tip the scales at 50 pounds.
As you can see, there is a HUGE difference between the smallest Toy Cockapoos and the largest Standard Cockapoos. Some breeders will also further categorize their Cockapoos into other groups. Even smaller Cockapoos will sometimes be described as the Teacup Cockapoo. And larger dogs will be described as Maxi Cockapoos. But really, they just fall into one of the three groups above. It’s important to ask your breeder which category he will fall into. Because Toy Cockapoos could happily live in apartments, whereas Standards might not.
Many larger Cockapoos are often confused with Goldendoodles or Golden Cocker Retrievers because they look very similar. They have cute round eyes and little button noses. Their ears are set high on their skull and fall down to their jaw level, always dropped rather than erect. Some Cockapoos have naturally docked tails, and some have ‘normal’ length tails. They are well-proportioned dogs that are athletic but not too muscular. The larger Cockapoos are more athletic-looking than their toy counterparts.
Coat & Colors
Cockapoos are loved for their curly teddy bear looks. They usually inherit the waves of the Poodle parent, with the longer hair of the Cocker Spaniel. Their coats are usually thick and dense, which is why they need lots of grooming. Soft to the touch, it’s easy to see why we love to spoil them with cuddles. There are many different coat styles to choose from, from teddy bear cuts to pet cuts, stylish Poodle-esque designs, and all-natural.
Cockapoos are usually single-coated, but this is not always guaranteed. The Poodle is a single-coated breed, whereas the Cocker Spaniel breed is double-coated. Many breeders with second and third generations dogs will be able to guarantee single-coated breeds more than first-generations. If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog, you’ll need to look elsewhere. There truly is no “hypoallergenic dog” just pups that tend to shed less than others.
The Cockapoo has a variety of coat colors to choose from. The most common are black, white, buff, cream, apricot, red, chocolate. They can be these colors with white markings or a combination of these colors and white markings. They also enjoy various coat patterns, including parti, phantom, sable, tri-color, merle, and roan. The Cockapoo coat rainbow is endless!
The Cockapoo is an active pup, but his exercise requirements depend on the size you choose. If you have a Toy Cockapoo, you’ll expect to exercise him up to 30 minutes a day. If you opt for a middle-of-the-road-sized Cockapoo, you should expect to exercise him up to 45 minutes a day.
And if you pick a Standard Cockapoo, he’ll need around 60 minutes of exercise a day. This is another reason why you need to ask your breeder what size a pup will be. Because not all families want to or can accommodate an hour of exercise every day.
Toy Cockapoos are happy to walk around the neighborhood for a leg stretch several times a day. But Mini and Standard Cockapoos will need their exercise to be varied. Otherwise, they will become bored with the same activity every day. He’ll enjoy all kinds of activities, from hiking to woodland exploring. Some will love to swim, and all will love to meet their friends at the local doggy park.
Cockapoos are intelligent, and so they will also need mental stimulation throughout the day. Interactive fun with their humans is a great way to burn energy and bond. And solo playtime with chew toys and treat-dispensing puzzles is great to keep them occupied while you need some time to yourself. One toy is never enough, so be sure to invest in a few for this intelligent pup.
The Cockapoo is as adaptable as he can be. As long as his favorite humans are there with him, he is happy to live in most environments. Of course, a larger Cockapoo will not do well in a tiny apartment. Still, with common sense, all types of family homes are suitable. If he has access to a yard, make sure it is secure. The Cockapoo will make friends with everyone, and he’ll wander off if he isn’t prevented from doing so.
He is great with children of all ages. Just remember to supervise your dog around children (like you would with all dogs), and always teach younger children how to interact with dogs. The same goes with other pets, just as long as he is socialized well as a pup. Multi-pet households are suitable for the Cockapoo! He might not feel the same way about the neighbor’s cat, though, but if they will come into his yard!
The Cockapoo is a very trainable canine and an ideal pick for first-time dog owners. His Poodle parent is ranked as the 2nd most intelligent dog breed, and the Cocker Spaniel is ranked the 24th. And out of the hundreds of dogs out there, you can be sure that your Cockapoo will be very intelligent. This, combined with his eagerness to please, makes him relatively easy to train. But you still need to put the effort in, and he still needs to be shown the ropes of puppy etiquette.
Socializing your pup from a young age is the key to a polite pup. A responsible breeder will start this straight away by raising him alongside his littermates and mom. When the pup is old enough, a breeder will mix him with different dogs, animals, and other humans. And it’ll be your job to continue this as soon as you get him home. Introduce him to the neighbors and their children and pets. And visiting the doggy park is a great way to socialize him.
Always use the positive reinforcement method to train your Cockapoo, as he will respond well to your praise. Making each training session and command a pleasant experience for him will increase the chances of him succeeding. The Cockapoo will be motivated by objects and your praise primarily, with treats falling not far behind. Crate training your Cockapoo is another important aspect of his training to put in place as soon as you get your pup home.
Dogs naturally crave shelter, and research suggests that dogs find their crate a comfort when you aren’t there. Making this an important aspect for the potentially anxious Cockapoo. You’ll need to consider a stronger crate made for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety.
The Cockapoo is a relatively healthy dog breed that enjoys a typical lifespan of 14 to 18 years. Smaller dogs tend to outlive their larger counterparts, so Toy Cockapoos will usually be around for longer than a Standard Cockapoo. Do everything you can to keep him healthy.
The easiest way to keep your pup healthy is with regular exercise, high-quality nutrition, and keeping up to date with vet appointments. Working with a responsible breeder who health checks their dogs is also important, so be sure to ask for their health certificates.
The Cockapoo is prone to the health concerns that his parents are, so this is where we are going to look for guidance. Cockapoos might suffer from none or just some of the following health concerns. And some might suffer from completely different conditions altogether, so it’s important not to rule anything else out. Here are the most common conditions seen in the Cockapoo.
Also commonly known as ‘slipped stifles,’ this is where the knee cap becomes dislocated. This is a common condition in small dog breeds and will probably only be seen in Toy and Miniature Cockapoos. Your pup could become lame in the affected limb or develop an abnormal gait, which can be very painful. It needs to be evaluated by your vet as it will eventually require surgery if not treated.
This will be more common in the Miniature and Standard Cockapoos as it affects larger breeds more than smaller ones. This occurs when the affected joint develops abnormally and results in increased wear and tear, eventually leading to painful arthritis. Struggling to stand or lay, climb heights, and exercise intolerance are symptoms of hip dysplasia.
All sizes of Cockapoo are prone to various eye conditions. Glaucoma, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy are amongst the most common issues to look out for. All of these conditions can lead to complete sight loss, so it’s important to react quickly to changes in or around his eye.
The Cocker Spaniel is prone to two types of liver disease, chronic active hepatitis, and copper toxicosis. Meaning that your Cockapoo is also prone to these liver conditions. Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, excessive urination, swollen abdomen, and jaundice (yellow tinge in gums and eyes) are all symptoms to look out for.
The amount you feed your Cockapoo is dependent on his age, energy levels, but most importantly, his size. It’s hard to state how many cups of food your Cockapoo will need because it is drastically different between the smallest Toy Cockapoo and the largest Standard Cockapoo.
The best way to find out how much you’ll feed your pup is to use the feeding guidelines on the packaging. Use your dog’s weight to calculate how much to feed him. You may have to adjust it a little because each dog is different, but with a little trial and error, you’ll get it right.
If you have a Toy or Miniature Cockapoo, you should feed him a kibble designed for small breeds. A Standard Cockapoo will do much better on a generalized adult kibble. Always feed your Cockapoo an age-appropriate kibble, i.e., puppy kibble, adult kibble, and senior kibble.
This is especially important during puppyhood when his body needs all the nutrition to develop healthily. Some Cockapoos can be fussy, and if this is the case, try adding a splash of warm water or wet food to make it more appealing. It’s worth noting that Cockapoos can have sensitive stomachs, and may react better to a limited ingredient dog food like those made by Taste of the Wild.
Never overfeed your Cockapoo because unnecessary weight gain can lead to a multitude of health problems. Plus, a chunky Cockapoo is an unhappy one, at least in the long run anyway! And if your Cockapoo is diagnosed with a liver condition, your vet will suggest a particular kibble or maybe a prescribed diet.
The Cockapoos coat requires more grooming than most other dog breeds as it is prone to tangling and matting. His coat will need to be brushed most days to keep the waves tangle-free. If you decide to keep his coat long, it’ll take you longer to get through it. And of course, you’ll need to spend longer brushing a Standard Cockapoo than you would a Toy. Although this might sound obvious, this is something that you need to consider when deciding on a Cockapoo size.
The best brush for the job is a slicker brush. Just be sure to get a soft or rubber-ended brush because his skin is more delicate and exposed than double-coated dogs. The Cockapoo will shed minimally, which is great news for everyone. Less sweeping for you, and less hair on your clothes. But, no dog is completely shed-free, so do not let breeders tell you otherwise.
Most Cockapoos will have a single-layered coat. And these tend to grow quickly as they are more similar to human hair than double-layered coats. So you’ll want to find a trustworthy groomer, or get yourself on YouTube and learn how to do it yourself. Thankfully, if you get it wrong, it’ll grow out quick, so don’t feel too bad! Expose your Cockapoo puppy to his grooming regime from a young age so that he learns to enjoy it.
The Cockapoo needs bathing once every two months or so. Do not bathe him more often than this unless absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you risk damaging his natural coat oils and irritating his sensitive skin. Use a gentle doggy shampoo made from natural ingredients. Brush his teeth several times a week with doggy toothpaste to avoid periodontal diseases. And it’s also important to clean his ears with ear cleaning products because his long ears are prone to bacterial infection.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
The Cockapoo is a common hybrid dog breed in America. So, depending on where you live, you shouldn’t have to travel too far to find a responsible Cockapoo breeder. But, expect to be put on a waiting list for pups as the demand for this popular breed is quite high. Always do your research when it comes to finding a good quality breeder. A great place to begin your search is on the American Cockapoo Club’s Cockapoo breeders page.
A Cockapoo puppy’s average price from a good-quality breeder is around $1,000 and up, with the average closer to $1,500. If you find a Cockapoo pup for a price much less than this, you might be dealing with an irresponsible breeder. Or worse, a puppy mill. They lure customers in with low prices. But because they often produce sick puppies, you can be sure that you’ll end up paying much more in vet bills in the long run.
A top-quality breeder will answer any questions you have. They will also be interested in you and your lifestyle to ensure that you can offer the Cockapoo the right home. Always meet the breeder, their pups, and at least one parent in their home environment. Inspect the puppies for good health, and ask to see their health certificates too.
Buying a Cockapoo puppy isn’t just for Christmas. It’s for the rest of his life. So, you need to factor in all the costs associated with a puppy. From setting up your home with beds, crates, harnesses, and toys. To keeping up with the ongoing costs such as veterinary costs, insurance, food, and grooming. It all needs to be factored in.
Rescues & Shelters
Buying a Cockapoo puppy from a breeder is not the only option for Cockapoo lovers out there. You can also consider adopting a Cockapoo. However, there are far fewer Cockapoos in rescue shelters compared to other dog breeds. So, when one comes up for adoption, you’ll need to be quick. The cost of adoption is much lower compared to buying a puppy from a breeder.
Head out to your local rescue shelter and speak to the staff there to talk you through the process. And, of course, introduce you to the resident Cockapoos waiting for their forever homes. Alternatively, head over to the Poo Mix Rescue. Theis rescue dedicates their time to rehoming popular Poodle mixes.
As Family Pets
- The Cockapoo makes a fantastic family pet for all types of families.
- He is a well-balanced dog who is fun but not too in-your-face.
- He loves his humans and likes to spend every minute with his family.
- Don’t leave him alone for too long because he can be an anxious pup.
- He is lots of fun and always happy to play with you.
- The Cockapoo needs between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise a day.
- He is very friendly with strangers, so don’t rely on him to be a guard dog.
- His coat needs to be brushed every day to avoid tangles, but he doesn’t shed that much.
- This popular mixed breed is a very intelligent and trainable dog.
- He has a high prey drive but gets along well with other dogs.
- They can happily live in a multi-pet household.
The Cockapoo is a hybrid canine who makes a wonderful family-friendly dog. He is sweet, affectionate, friendly, and fun but also calm, respectful, and obedient. Making him a well-balanced dog. There aren’t many people that couldn’t offer this pup the right home because he is super adaptive and generally happy-go-lucky.
But it’s still important to meet his needs. And remember to ask your breeder what size he’ll be to avoid any nasty surprises. But all in all, it’s easy to see why Cockapoos are one of the world’s favorite designer dog breeds.