Cockapoo – The definitive guide to a Cockapoo

Poodle and Cocker Spaniel mix

Cockapoo is a people-oriented designer dog that is also known as the “Spoodle” or “Cockerdoodle.”¬† The Cockapoo is one of the first crossbreeds and is a mix between a Toy or Miniature Poodle with a Cocker Spaniel. This mixed doodle was bred in the US with the aim of creating an allergy-friendly Cocker Spaniel mix.

These dogs were bred to be loyal and affectionate family companions.

American Cocker Spaniels were the ones that were mostly used in the breeding of Cockapoos. But some hybrids use English Cocker Spaniels which are referred to as Spoodles.

Despite all these, they can have genetic and behavioral problems and some Cockapoo puppies can look very different even if they are from the same litter.

Ever heard of the Parti Poodle? Learn more about this Poodle color variation. 

cockapoo

Why get a Cockapoo hybrid?

Just like the Cocker Spaniel Spoodle as remain acting just like puppies, a trait that they take even in their senior years.

But you are probably wondering why you should get a Cockerpoodle instead of going for a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel.

You may also like the Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever Guide.

Is a designer dog really necessary? Well, it is believed that when you cross two different dog breeds together you get even an even better dog by combining the best of the two. However, genetics does not always work like this.

The breeder does not have control of how the genes express themselves.

You might want to consider this before deciding to purchase this mixed dog, spending a lot of money on him.

The Cocker Spaniel has a sweet and stable temperament and his fame skyrocketed in the wake of the movie Lady and the Tramp.

Poodles are people-oriented dogs. Cockapoos do not require as much grooming as the Poodle.

Getting a Cocker Poodle that is even-tempered and healthy is more important than the appearance of this canine friend.

So, the Cockerpoodle hybrid came out as he was intended. In this pooch, you get an intelligent and high-spirited dog.

But all that is not important if you get a dog that is sweet, cute, and attached to you.

With all these being said, Poodles have a reputation of being hypoallergenic meaning that if you commonly suffer from dog-related allergies, this is a suitable doggie for you.

Because Cockapoos have Poodles in their heritage it is assumed that they will be hypoallergenic.

Cockapoo guide

Cockerpoodle History

Cockapoos have been in existence since the 1960s but it is believed that the 1st crosses were accidental.

These dogs got a good reception and their breeding continued from then.

Cockapoos are on the verge of becoming a true breed as efforts are being made to establish the breeds standards. Cockerpoodles are now producing offspring that have consistent traits and personalities and are becoming prized family dogs.

After dog lovers became aware of this Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix his popularity continued to grow.

In 1990, the Cockapoo Club of America was formed by Mary D.Foley to create a breed standard and breeding consistencies.

This club advocates breeding of multigeneration Cockapoos other than creating new lines of the same dog. By doing this, the dog’s desired qualities and traits are maintained which is sometimes not seen in newer generations.

The North American Cockapoo registry formed in 1999 is also striving to make the Cockerpoodle a viable breed.

This registry provides certifications to Cockapoos that are from the first generation all through to the 6th generation breedings.

All these efforts that are continually being made have increased the popularity of the Poodle Cocker Spaniel miz tremendously.

General Characteristics of a Cockapoo

Cockapoo summary table
Average height 12-24 pounds
Average height 10-15 inches
Lifespan 14-18 Years
Scientific name Canis lupus familiaris
Breed group mixes and more
colors Blonde, Chocolate, Black with Spots, red, Roan, Merle, Beige, Tan, Sable, Cream, White, Brown, Black

How big does the Cockapoo get?

The appearance and size of a Cockapoo can vary depending on the genes that the mix inherits from either of the parents.

There are 4 different Cockerdoodle sizes;

  • The Maxi or Standard Cockapoo
  • Miniature Cockapoo
  • The Toy Cockapoo
  • Teacup Cockapoos

The Standard or Maxi Cockapoo can weigh over 19 pounds and can be at least 15 inches tall.

A Standard Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix that was grown from a Standard Poodle can take up to 12 months to grow to full size. However, this growth rate can vary depending on the individual canine.

Cockerpoodle
A maxi Cockapoo

Miniature Cockapoos weigh between 13-18 pounds and can stand at a height of between 11-14 inches. This dog is ideal for you if you have a smaller house and want a dog that is less time-intensive.

The Toy Cockapoo has a sturdy build weighing up to 12 pounds and has a height that ranges from 9-10 inches. A Toy Cockapoo is a mix between a Miniature Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel.

The Teacup Cockapoo is the smallest in size weighing less than 6 pounds with a height that is less than 10 inches. This dog is got from breeding a Miniature Poodle and a small Cocker Spaniel and he is the perfect doodle for living in an apartment.

Cockerpoodle coat

Cockapoos have different types of coats and fur.

They have a single coat that can either be soft, have tight curls, wavy, straight, or have looping curls with most of them having coats that are wavy or curly but should not be kinky.

Some have a straight Cocker spaniel coat or just the typical Poodle coat.

The straight or curly coat is always soft.

Cockerpoodles can be found in all the colors that are found in either a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel with more color varieties than those seen in other breeds.

These colors are blonde, chocolate, black with spots, red, roan, merle, beige, tan, sable, cream, white, brown, or black. A breeder that has experience should be able to give you advice on what type of coat the puppy will have.

You will not be able to tell exactly what coat color this dog is going to have until he is a few weeks old.

Do Cockapoos shed?

Cocker Poodle mixes have a reputation for not shedding their hair, but is this very accurate? Depending on the gene that the hybrid inherits, the level of shedding will also vary as well.

With that said, you should note that the undesirable traits can be bred out over time.

One of those benefits is the Poodles tight curls which have always been great for people that cannot stand hovering upon loads of hair. The shed hair is held in the coat and not spread all over where you live.

However, there comes an age where a puppy is on the transitional period to adulthood.

During this period your puppy will blow out his hair as he loses the puppy coat and develops a new adult coat.

This molting period cannot be avoided but regular brushing and grooming will mean that you will deal with less hair.

Point to note. If you do not get rid of the molting hair that lovely coat that your Cockapoo has will start to matt and even grow dreads.

Cockerpoodles that inherit the Cocker’s coat will, however, have varying results from the ones that inherit the Poodles coat. Puppies that inherit the Cocker’s coat will have a coat that is wavy and can grow to a length of 15 cms.

However, while some Cocker’s shed-like crazy, some hardly shed at all. You can lessen this by keeping the hair at a manageable length and regular grooming.

You should also remember that the smaller the dog is the lesser he will shed.

Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?

Poodles are relatively known for being low shedding and producing lesser dander a trait that is carried to some of their crossbreed such as the Cocker Spaniel mix.

If you are a potential owner of this mixed dog, spend some with the adult parents or the puppy as monitor your reaction.

Bathing and your dog or having a groomer do it for you will help keep the dander level at its lowest.

Cockapoo’s personality traits

Cockapoo was bred to be a companion dog but his temperament may vary depending on the traits that he inherits from that of the parent.

Some of his best traits are that he is intelligent, eager to please, friendly, happy, and outgoing pleasing anyone that interacts with him.

The dog can be active or simply enjoy cuddling time with you on the couch depending on his temperament. Remember if the parents do not have the desired quality traits then neither will the offspring.

Being a companion dog a Cockapoo prefers being with the family and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.

Cockapoo

Cockerpoodles are incredibly intuitive and will pick up your emotions, routines, and even your attitude.

He is also very sensitive to the emotions of his owner and the overall mood of the environment he is in.

If you get upset, angry, insecure, or otherwise unstable, your Cockapoo tries to address these issues.

The problem comes in if your issues are long term. Try to keep calm when around your Cocker Poodle and, especially during training.

Also, If you are planning to own one or already have, be prepared to keep him busy.

They will need mental and physical stimulation to burn up their energy and not doing this may lead to behavioral and psychological issues.

Is Cockerpoodles good with children and other pets?

Cockapoos get along well with children and other pets.

Their high energy levels are enough even for the most active children.

These dogs like running like the wind and continue acting like puppies even when they get old. At the dog parks, these dogs are stars interacting and provoking even the quietest of dogs.

Their tendency to get overly excited can scare away some of the stand-offish pets.

Apartment living

You may be wondering if an apartment will be suitable for living with this dog. Cockapoos are very adaptable animals that can live even in an apartment.

However, smaller varieties of Cockerpoodle tend to do better in an apartment compared to the Standard or Maxi Cockapoo.

But, you still need to train them and keep them mentally and physically stimulated to prevent them from getting bored.

Does a Cockapoo bark a lot?

Any dog can bark with some breeds having a higher barking tendency than others.

This is especially for guard dogs that have an urge to protect the family, some bark just because they are bored.

Cocker Spaniels are hunting dogs that tend to get a little noisy and so your Cockapoo might bark from time to time. But, this is not a cause for alarm.

Never reward a dog for barking or otherwise, this will become a habit. Take time and train that barking is not a good habit.

You have to keep in mind that you should also not punish your dog for noise as this is just their way of communication. Punishing him might just make the situation much worse and you will end up with a very noisy companion.

How to feed a Cockerpoodle

You need to consider several things when it comes to feeding a Cockapoo with size being the 1st consideration.

For the Maxi Cockapoo, you can start with 1 and 3/4 cups of food in a day. Mini Cockapoos will require about a 1 and a third cups of food per day.

For Toy Cockapoos above 10 pounds and Minis under 15 pounds will need about one cup of food ina day.

Toy Cockapoos below 10 pounds will need about 3/4 cups of food in a day. For Teacup Cockapoos you can reduce this amount to a half cup of food in a day.

Plan your feeding schedule according to your dog’s preferences.

Cockerpoodles tend to be high energy dogs and if that is the case for you, you may need to feed your dog more.

If your Cockapoo is lazy and is always laying around the house you may have to reduce this amount.

Also, if the food you are giving your pooch is filled with fillers and air that means it does not have all the nutrients that he may require. In this case, you will need to feed more to your Cockapoo.

You should also take the age of the mix into account when feeding a Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix.

Get puppy food for your puppy and young adult dog because these foods have more nutrients that help with their development.

Puppies eat 2 times as much as the adult Cockapoos. Older dogs should have food that has been specifically developed for them but they will eat less and will be less active compared to puppies.

What to feed your Cockapoo

Dry foods:

When it comes to dry food, there is a wide variety that you can choose for this canine.

Choosing the best one for your dog is the best thing that you can do to keep him energetic and healthy.

The best foods are the ones that have fish, chicken, or any other meat sources listed as their main ingredients to give the dog enough proteins. You should check to see that these foods have little grains that have been added.

Such foods provide dogs with high-quality nutrients with canines that are fed on dry foods having fewer allergies and their coats seem to shine.

BARF:

BARF is a short form that stands for biologically appropriate raw foods.

These foods are made to mimic the diet of wolves and other wild canines. 80% of the diet is made up of raw meat and bones and the rest comes from fruits and vegetables such as carrots, berries, and broccoli.

If your Cockapoo is a picky eater this food may be well suited for him.

However, canines fed on barf tend to have health issues, especially with their digestive system and their skin. If you don’t have time to prepare these foods for your dog you can simply buy those that have been manufactured.

Use safe procedures while working with raw meat. Clean the utensils, surfaces and your hands and remember to consult your veterinarian before giving raw meat to your dog.

Treats:

Your Cockapoodle loves it when you give him treats.

This is not bad but you should be aware that overdoing it can cause the dog to get overweight and in turn affect the health of the dog.

What many dog lovers and owners do not know, is that treats do not have to be store-bought. You could simply boil some well-slicked chicken or cubed liver and trust me, your pooch will love these as treats.

These treats come in handy, especially when you are training them.

If you are looking for outdoor treats then raw bones with no sharp joints or center holes will be great. Avoid all kinds of cooked bones as they tend to splinter.

Although these dogs love human food as treats this is not recommended and there are some foods that you should completely avoid.

These are foods such as onions, macadamia nuts, raisins, or chocolate as they are all toxic to dogs.

Cockapoo Calorie requirement table
Cockapoo weighing 25 ponds
You will need to feed him about 780 calories in a day

Cockapoo Puppies

Toy Poodles have the smallest litter size of all dog and it is for this reason that the Cocker Spaniel should be the mother and Toy Poodle should be the sire.

The litter size usually has anywhere between 4 and 8 puppies.

During the times when the Miniature Poodle is used, it does not matter who the mother or father is.

How much does a Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix cost?

Cockapoo puppies can cost anywhere from $800-$1200.

When the English Cocker Spaniel is used for breeding the puppies are usually bigger than those that are produced by the American Cocker Spaniel. Cockapoos generally mature within 12 months.

Cockckerpoodle puppy
A Cockerpoodle pup

Grooming requirements for a Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix

How to Groom a puppy

Although the coats of Cocker Poodle mix puppies may vary maintaining them is relatively easy.

During the first brush the coat 4 to 5 times a week for about 10 minutes.

When you are grooming during these months, you will need a simple grooming kit that consists of a brush, a comb, nail clippers, and a slicker brush.

You may also need to praise and give the puppy treats making grooming a pleasant experience for the pup and familiarize him with the whole process.

The nails should be trimmed every 2 to 3 months using nail clippers.

A professional groomer should be able to this at a low cost but if you want to it by yourself just cut the end hooks.

This is because dog toenails have blood vessels in them and if you are not conservative about it the dog might end up bleeding. Trimming the nails helps prevent painful tears.

As you are bathing the puppy you may need to use a shampoo that is free from detergents and soap to prevent your puppy’s skin from drying out. You will need to familiarise your dog with bathing because they all react differently.

Brush the teeth 2-3 times a week to remove bacteria and tartar between the teeth.

How to Groom an adult Cockerpoodle

After 8 months the adult coat starts to come in and the coat that was once seemingly easy to groom becomes more challenging.

This happens because your puppy’s coat is starting to molt to allow the adult coat to come in.

The new adult coat can grow up to 15 cms long and so you will need to have confidence and grooming knowledge to keep the coat this long.

grooming a Cockapoo
before and after photos of Cockapoo grooming

How to Groom a Cockapoo with a straight coat

For Cockapoos that have straight coats, you can keep them looking great by brushing the coats 2-3 times a week and bathing after 2 or 3 months.

The hairs around the ears and the eyes need to be trimmed to help the pooch have a clear vision.

How to Groom a Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix with a wavy coat

To keep these wavy coats at their full length you will have to pay an extra price which is in terms of grooming tools and extra time and attention.

You should note that the coat will molt two times every year for two weeks.

When you stroke your dog’s coat you may not be able to feel the skin but you will feel the matting. At this time you must give special attention to the coat while removing the molted undercoat.

It will be a slow process that will involve several grooming sessions, so you should have patience.

Groom the coat while it is still wet and conditioned as brushing the coat while it is dry can damage the hair shaft and breaks it to some degree.

If you are not willing to go through all these hustles you can just give the dog a teddy bear trim that is neat.

cockapoo

How to groom a Cocker Poodle with Tight curls

Keeping this coat at the full length is an almost impossible task as it mats easily.

So, you may need to give the dog a teddy bear trim, trimming the coat to about 4 centimeters long. This is because the coat absorbs a lot of dirt and this length can be easily rinsed off and dry.

A coat of this length can be brushed when dry.

You may also need to be taking the dog to a professional groomer every 3 months but during the period in between, you will be doing routine grooming.

Pay close attention to the hair around the ears to prevent them from blocking the wax in the ear canal.

It can be helpful that you as the dog owner learn to groom the dog by yourself to avoid incurring extra costs from a groomer. This also improves the bond between you and your dog by spending time with him during grooming.

Training requirements for a Poodle Cocker Spaniel

Both of the Cockapoo parent breeds are considered to be very trainable and are actually on the list of the easiest dogs to train.

Most of the Cockapoo owners claim that training this dog is easy and fun.

This crossbreed is not completely established and the claims cannot be fully proven as each generation usually has different traits.

However, if you own a Cockapoo you will find that he responds well to reward-based training and positive reinforcement.

For example, if you want to train your dog to sit, reward him when he sits.

The dog quickly associates the behavior with a reward and will always react positively. If she fails to sit then do not punish her and instead of doing this then just ignore the behavior.

You should note that due to the sensitive side of the Cocker Spaniel you should avoid being aversive by all means. Rewards can be treats, praises, and even petting.

Potty training should be your priority immediately your dog gets home or when the Cockapoo is still a puppy.

Crate training should be your next priority.

Cockapoo health problems

These dogs are generally healthy canines with fewer health issues.

However, they may develop some health issues such as cataracts, ear infections, patellar luxation, allergies, liver disease, and hip dysplasia.

You should note that not all Cockapoos have these issues or will develop any of these issues.

Hip dysplasia

This is an inherited condition where the bone at the thigh fails to fit the hip joint snugly.

Some dogs will show signs of pain on one or both of the rear legs but others may not show any sign that they are not comfortable.

To diagnose the best thing you can do is to get an x-ray screening. As the dog gets older he may develop arthritis.

Allergies

Dogs commonly suffer from allergies and the Cockapoo is one of them. The most common forms of allergies are food allergies. You can treat food allergies by stopping your dog from eating certain foods.

Inhalant allergies are also common. They are caused by airborne allergens such as mildew, dust, and even pollen.

There are also contact allergies which are reactions to topical substances such as chemicals, dog shampoos, beddings, and powder to get rid of fleas.

Cataracts

Cataracts cause opacity of the eye lenses that results in poor vision. You will see a cloudy appearance in the dog’s eyes.

This condition mostly occurs at an old age.

Cataracts can be treated by surgery where it is removed to improve the dog’s vision.

Patellar luxation

This condition is also known as stifles and is a condition that is common in small dogs. Luxation means the dislocation of an anatomical part.

Patellar luxation occurs when the dog’s kneecap(patella) is gets dislocated from the grove of the thigh bone in the femur causing a lot of pain to the dog.

This condition can also cause your dog to get crippled but your Cockapoo can still lead a normal life even with the condition.

Ear infections

Cockapoo may be plagued by these conditions because of the floppy ears.

This is because the ear can trap dirt, debris, and even moisture. It is for this reason that you should get your pooch regular ear checks and clean.

Your vet can assist you in getting the best ear care products.

Breed Summary

Cockapoo is not a known barker but some of them will bark when they see a stranger approaching the house or when he is left alone for long periods.

Cockerpoodles have a low amount of dander making them good for people that have allergies.

This Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix should be a low non-shedding dog with little dog odor.

Cockapoos are mostly happy and friendly as they were bred to be companions for human beings.

With positive reinforcement training, the Cockapoo should not be a hard task for you thanks to their intelligence.

The size, look and personality of a Cockapoo is not as predictable as that of a purebred.

There you go WOOF!!!

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