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Goldendoodle vs. Cockapoo: Breed Differences and Similarities

Thinking the Cockapoo or the Goldendoodle might make the perfect canine companion? Find out what's different and what's similar between these two popular doodle dogs!

Kelly Wilson

Last Updated: April 6, 2021 | 9 min read

Goldendoodle and Cockapoo Dogs

If you are asking yourself the question “Goldendoodle vs. Cockapoo?” you have probably hopped on the Doodle train and are trying to decide which of the many Poodle hybrid breeds is right for you. There are many different options in the doodle dog world, so finding the right one can be a bit confusing!

Both dogs make excellent companions and family pets. They are adorable, friendly, and smart. While the two breeds are similar in appearance, they do differ in size and energy level.

Below we will compare the Goldendoodle, arguably the most popular Doodle, with the Cockapoo, one of the original Poodle hybrids. Read on ahead to learn more about each breed, their similarities, and their differences to hopefully help you make the best choice in picking your four-legged companion.

Breed Comparison

Goldendoodle

  • Height 14-24 Inches
  • Weight 25-55 Pounds
  • Temperament Friendly, Smart, Loyal
  • Energy High Energy
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 10-15 years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 - $4,000

Cockapoo

  • Height 10-15 Inches
  • Weight 12-20 Pounds
  • Temperament Social, Loving, Intelligent
  • Energy Average
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 14-18 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 - $3,000

Breed History

The Goldendoodle and the Cockapoo are Poodle hybrids or crossbreeds. There are dozens of Poodle crossbreeds on the market today. Breeders crossbreed poodles for various desirable characteristics, such as hypoallergenic coat, intelligence, and friendliness, which the Goldendoodle and Cockapoo have been lucky to inherit.

Neither dog breed is yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club nor the Westminster Kennel Club, which only recognize pure breeds and consider both the Goldendoodle and the Cockapoo “mixed breed” dogs.  Let’s cross our fingers that this will change in the future, as these breeds become more established in their own right.

Goldendoodle

Fluffy Coated Dog Outdoors on Beach
As the most popular doodle dog, the Goldendoodle makes a perfect family companion dog.

The Goldendoodle is part Golden Retriever and part Poodle. The Goldendoodle is a relatively new mixed breed dog that first emerged in the 1990s, probably inspired by its predecessor’s popularity, the Labradoodle. In recent years, the popularity of Doodles, including the Goldendoodle, has skyrocketed.

They have arguably become one of the most popular doodle dogs, largely due to their easy going personalities. While they have yet to be established as an AKC breed, they remain one of the most popular and sought after mixed breeds that money can buy.

Cockapoo

Small Red Coated dog in Field
Cockapoos are extremely popular due to their small stature and lovable demeanor.

The Cockapoo is part Cocker Spaniel and part Poodle. The Cockapoo is likely one of the original Poodle crossbreeds, and people have bred them in the United States since at least the 1960s. Breeders sought to breed a mix that was a similar size of the cocker spaniel parent but alleviating some of their shedding habits and health concerns.

Now, decades of breeding experience guarantee a top-notch Cockapoo with few surprises regarding appearance, health, and temperament. As a result, this the most popular doodle dog, followed closely by few others.

Appearance

Two Small Teddy Bear Looking Dogs
While both dogs look similar, there are distinct differences in their appearances.

It is undeniable that both the Goldendoodle and the Cockapoo are adorable. However, beyond their cuteness and teddy bear appearance, there are several factors you should also consider, including coat color, coat type, and size, if the appearance is important to you.

Coat Color

When you visualize both dogs, a tan shaggy dog probably comes to mind. While the tan hue is pretty standard in both dogs, they also come in various other colors.

Goldendoodles can be cream, apricot, red, chocolate, or black. While Cockapoos can be white, buff, cream, apricot, red, chocolate, or black. In addition to solid colors, both dogs have coats that can come in a variety of patterns, including:

  • Parti – two or more colors, but at least 50% white
  • Abstract – white abstract or chrome markings on a solid coat
  • Merle – solid base coat with swirls of another color on some body parts
  • Phantom – darker base coat with lighter swirls on legs, under the tail, and sides of face.

Coat Type

Goldendoodle coats can be straight, wavy, or curly. Cockapoo coats are usually wavy or curly. Wavy and straight coats are generally softer and easier to groom than curly coats. While coat length varies, both dogs have denser, longer coats. Both dogs also have typically longer eyebrows, mustaches, and beards, which gives them their characteristically fluffy faces.

Size

The Goldendoodle tends to be bigger and almost twice as heavy as the Cockapoo. This is not surprising based on the difference in size in the two breeds’ parentage. Though it is impossible to predict the exact height or weight that any puppy will grow up to become, breeders bred both dogs into several size categories that can help narrow down their size.

There are currently four sizes of Goldendoodles available:

  • Petite: 14 inches or shorter at the shoulder/ 25 pounds or less.
  • Miniature: 14-17 inches at the shoulder/ 26-35 pounds.
  • Medium: 17-21 inches at the shoulder/ 36-50 pounds.
  • Standard: 21 inches or taller/ more than 51 pounds.

There are currently three sizes of Cockapoo available:

  • Toy: 10 inches or shorter at the shoulder/12 pounds or less.
  • Mini: 11-14 inches at the shoulder/12-20 pounds.
  • Standard: 15 inches or taller at the shoulder/ more than 20 pounds.

Temperament

Two Active Dogs Outdoors in Grassy Field
Both dogs are quite friendly with both family and strangers alike.

Breeders intended for many of the early Poodle mixes to be service dogs due to their friendly and gentle disposition. Poodles are also highly intelligent, proud, and active. The Goldendoodle and Cockapoo inherited the Poodle’s temperament, along with characteristics from the other half of their parentage.

Just like the Golden Retriever, the Goldendoodle is very friendly, smart, and loyal. Like the Cocker Spaniel, the Cockapoo is also friendly, intelligent, and energetic.

Both dogs are highly social and will be a great addition to a family environment. They will welcome – if not demand – plenty of love, attention, cuddles, and will quickly become a member of your family. They should live inside and are not typically outdoor dogs.

Since they are social pups, both dogs usually do great with other dogs and family pets. To socialize them, help them stay active, and keep them happy, consider taking them to the dog park or on a playdate with your neighbor’s dogs. Neither of the two dogs are big barkers. They will usually only bark to new stimuli, making them both better watchdogs than guard dogs.

Exercise

Two Shaggy Dogs Outdoors Walking
When it comes to exercise, both dogs need around 60 minutes per day of outdoor activity.

Both the Goldendoodle and the Cockapoo do great in a house or an apartment, as long as they get exercise daily. The smaller variations of both dogs are better suited for apartments or homes without a backyard. Both dogs come from a line of hunting dogs, so being playful and burning off energy outside is in their DNA.

The Goldendoodle requires more activity and will need 60-90 minutes of exercise daily broken down over several trips outside. The Cockapoo will need approximately 45-60 minutes of outdoor playtime daily. The intensity of exercise will depend on the dog’s age and personality. As they age, both dogs will likely mellow out but will still need light exercise.

If either dog does not get enough exercise, it may become overweight, and lethargic. It may develop additional behavior problems, like excessive barking, digging, and biting.

Training

Two Small Fluffy Dogs in Training Session
Both dogs are eager to please and quick to learn new commands.

Like their lineage, the Goldendoodle and Cockapoo are both very smart and highly trainable. Whether you plan to train your puppy yourself or enlist the help of a professional, you will find that both dogs are highly motivated and eager to please.

The two breeds are quick learners and it may take as little as a few weeks to potty train your new puppy. By six months, both dogs should be potty trained with regular work. Both dogs learn best with positive reinforcement, which involves the trainer providing the dog with a reward, such as a treat, for the wanted behavior.

Health

Two Golden Fluffy Dogs Outside in Grassy Areas
When it comes to health, both dogs have longer lifespans than their purebred parents.

Both dogs are reasonably healthy. You can increase the chances of bringing a healthy dog home if you purchase from a reputable breeder. The two breeds are predisposed to certain health conditions passed down from their parentage, including:

  • Hip dysplasia or dislocation
  • Eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma
  • Luxating Patella or wobbly knees

A healthy Goldendoodle’s lifespan is about 10-15 years. The Cockapoo’s lifespan is about 14-18 years, though some healthy Cockapoos can live to reach their 20s.

Nutrition

Two Fluffy Dogs Waiting to Eat
Nutritional needs will depend on the size of the dog, regardless of which pup you prefer.

Neither the dog has any special dietary requirements. To keep these breeds healthy and active, look for a dog food that contains high-quality protein as the main ingredient. Avoid a lot of filler, like grain or corn, as your dog may become allergic or sensitive to these types of ingredients.

When both dogs are in the puppy stages, you may need to feed them in smaller portions as frequently as 3-4 times a day. Your adult dog will require larger but less frequent meals, about 1-2 times per day.

Goldendoodles will consume anywhere from 1 to 3 cups of dry dog food per day, depending on their size. Cockapoos will likely only eat 1-2 cups per day, as they are smaller dogs. You’ll want to make sure both are eating a high-quality dry kibble that’s age-appropriate.

Although it might be hard to resist their adorable begging faces, avoid feeding your dog human food and table scraps. Healthy dog snacks are a great way to treat or reward your dog!

Grooming

Two Fluffy Dogs Getting Groomed
When comparing grooming needs, both dogs are very similar in their shedding habits and bathing requirements.

One of the myths why both of these dogs are so popular is that they are hypoallergenic, making them perfect companions for people with allergies. There is no truly hypoallergenic dog, but dogs that shed less often get thrown into this category. Goldendoodles don’t shed much, nor do Cockapoos. This makes them easy to clean up after. However, do not let this fool you; neither breed is low maintenance.

Both the dogs are about average when it comes to maintenance. Both dog breeds will require regular grooming due to the type of coat. The curlier their coat, the more frequent grooming they will require. Without proper maintenance and grooming, their coats will become tangled and matted, in some cases requiring a full shave.

Goldendoodles and Cockapoos with curly coats will require nearly daily brushing. You will need to brush those with straighter coats several times a week. Bathing your dog at home is fine, as long as you fully dry their coats and ears. Towel drying a either dog after a bath increases the chances of matting.

You will have to take your pup to the groomer as frequently as every six weeks for a trim or cut. The grooming fees can vary from $50-$200 depending on the type of services you require and the temperament of your dog at the groomers. You can start acclimating your puppy to the groomer by taking them regularly and ensuring that their coats stay healthy into adulthood.

Puppy Prices

Two Small Red Coated Puppies in Grass
Puppy prices will vary depending on the breed lineage, and history of the dog.

Since both dogs are very popular, they tend to be expensive. On average, expect to pay a breeder about $2,000 for a puppy of either breed.

The average price for a Goldendoodle bought from a breeder is $2,100, though the cost can vary from $1,000-$4,000. While owners rarely put Goldendoodles up for adoption, you might be able to find one to adopt in a shelter for a few hundred dollars. If you are looking for a puppy with unique characteristics, such as specific coat color or size, it can cost significantly more than the average.

The average price for a Cockapoo bought from a breeder is $2,000, though the cost can range from $1,000-$2,500 or more. Since the Cockapoo has been around for a while and is a bit less in demand than the Goldendoodle, you might be more likely to find one for adoption at a shelter.

Some disreputable breeders and puppy mills have tried to profit from the Doodle craze. While getting your dog from an uncertified seller might be tempting since they are likely to offer lower prices, experts highly recommend buying your dog from a certified breeder.

Though it tends to be more expensive and there might be a long waiting list, buying from a certified breeder guarantees your dog’s genetics and ensures that they are healthy and well-adjusted when they join your family. Check the Goldendoodle Association of America and the American Cockapoo Club for a list of reputable breeders.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, after reading this, you are more excited than ever to meet your new furry best friend. By now, you should also feel better prepared to decide whether the Goldendoodle or the Cockapoo is the best fit for you.

If you live in a small house or an apartment and have a busy 9-5, the Cockapoo is probably the best breed for you due to its smaller size and lower energy. If you have a big back yard or work from home a lot, then the Goldendoodle’s size and exercise needs probably will not seem daunting to you.

You may still be undecided about both of these amazing breeds, which is completely understandable. Picking a dog is a big decision! If you have your heart set on a Doodle, this list of different doodle dogs may help you find exactly what you are looking for.

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