Cockapoo Advice guide (Before you buy)

Poodle and Cocker Spaniel mix

Cockapoo is a crossbreed of an American and/ or English Cocker Spaniel and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. The first Cockapoo was due to accidental mating in the 1950s and is known as Spoodle in Australia and Cockadoodle in Sweden.

Cockapoo pups vary in appearance even within the same litter because no two Cockapoos are alike. No breeder can guarantee how a pup will turn out.

Be knowledgeable about the dog before splurging hundreds of dollars on a pup. This guide helps precisely with that. Read on.

Cockapoo Overview

HeightTeacup: Under 10 inches
Toy: Around 10 inches
Miniature: 11 to 14 inches
Maxi: At least 15 inches
WeightTeacup: Under 6 pounds
Toy: Around 12 pounds
Miniature: 13 to 18 pounds
Maxi: Over 20 pounds
Lifespan14-18 Years
TemperamentHappy, Outgoing, Friendly, People-oriented, Quirky, and Intelligent

As mentioned above, the first Cockapoo resulted from accidental mating of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle in the 1950s. Intentional breeding accelerated in the 1960s wto developa prize family companion and therapy dog.

Both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel are working dogs known for their even-temperament, being active and intelligent. Additionally, Poodles bring the advantage of being low-shedding and are believed by many to be hypoallergenic. This isn’t exactly accurate.

It’s difficult to predict how this mix turns out, as most Cockapoos are first or second-generation crossbreeds.

For more consistent traits, different groups are working to standardize this breed. This led to emergence of Cockapoo-specific registries such as the American Cockapoo Club and the Cockapoo Club of Great Britain (CCGB).

Interesting read- Cocker Spaniel Golden Retriever Guide.

Cockapoo guide

Fun facts

  1. These dogs are fussy eaters.
  2. They are known for being smart, and highly trainable.
  3. This mix first appeared in the 1950s.
  4. Cockapoo is one of the first Poodle mixes.

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
✓ They are low shedding.
✔ Highly trainable.
✓ Very adaptable.
✔ Great with children.
✗ They are high maintenance.
✘ Are not hypoallergenic.
✗ Can develop behavioral problems

Height and weight

A Cockapoo’s size depends on the size of the Poodle parent resulting in 4 potential Cockapoo sizes that include;

  • Teacup Cockapoo stands at under 10 inches and weighs less than 6 pounds.
  • Toy Cockapoo stands at under 10 inches and weighs up to 12 pounds.
  • The miniature Cockapoo stands at 11 to 14 inches and weighs between 13 to 18 pounds.
  • Standard/Maxi Cockapoo is at least 15 inches tall and weighs over 19 pounds.

This Poodle mix takes around 12 months to reach full size but, the growth rates vary from a pup to another.

Coat & color

Cockapoos have different coat types from, the Poodle’s tight curls to wavy or straight coats like a Cocker Spaniel.

They have hair instead of fur that grows, continually up to 15 cm long. The coat thus needs regular grooming.

The coat color will not be apparent until the pup is a few weeks old and will either be a solid color or a combination of colors such as;

Black Tan Roan
Merle (Rare)Brindle (Rare)Silver (Rare)
White/CreamRed (Auburn to Apricot)Tan (Beige to Buff)
Brown (Light to dark shades)Sable (Brown with black tips)Parti (Black & White/Brown & White)

Do Cockapoos shed?

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

However, the shedding levels depend on the coat type. Cockapoos with straight coats shed the most while Cockapoos with tight curls shed the least as dead hair gets trapped within the curls.

Some will lose their coats twice a year. Pups also lose their coat, as the adult coat develops. This is known as molting and, should be accompanied by increased grooming to remove the undercoat and prevent matting.

Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?

Contrary to popular belief, Cockapoos are not hypoallergenic. Although they shed very little, studies have revealed that most allergies get triggered by protein flakes deposited in the coat due to licking other than cast-off hair.

Allergy sufferers should spend time with this pup and monitor their reactions.

Temperament & Personality traits

Cockapoos are primarily family companions. They are intelligent, eager to please, happy, friendly, outgoing, and comical. These dogs can go from active outdoorsy dogs to couch potatoes on a whim.

They are also intuitive and pick up on routines and emotions and are thus ideal therapy dogs. But it’s a disadvantage for Cockapoos with constantly anxious owners.

However, since they thrive on attention, they tend to develop separation anxiety signs when left alone for extended periods.

Cockapoos don’t bark a lot but, some will, occasionally as a stranger approaches the house or due to boredom or distress.

This Poodle mix is highly adaptable and can thrive in a farm, or smaller spaces such as apartment as long as physical and mental needs are met.

As a family dog;

Cockapoos are high-energy and playful family dogs that get along with children and other pets. However, they tend to get overly excited and jumpy which may scare quieter or standoffish dogs.

Children should learn how to best handle this dog without hurting him but, always supervise their interactions.

Buying a Cockapoo puppy

Cost

With a Poodle sire and a Cocker Spaniel sire, you can expect the litter to have between 4 and 8 puppies.

Cockapoo puppies cost anywhere between $800 and $3000 depending on the breeder, pedigree, coat type, and location. Adoption costs around $200 in fees to cover health procedures and to support the shelter.

What to look for

You can either buy or adopt a Cockapoo from reputable sources.

It’s normal for reputable sources to have a waiting list. Regardless, the pup from the breeder should be;

  • Healthy and well-fed.
  • Have a shiny coat free of patches, dandruff, or greasiness.
  • Able to walk and run with ease and energy.
  • Have clear eyes free of discharge.
  • Clean with no fecal accumulation around the genital area.

Get in touch with and visit several breeders before a decision for a sense of the kennel conditions. A responsible breeder will provide loads of information on the Cockapoo and should ask personal lifestyle questions as he/ she probes if the pup will be in good hands.

As a cautionary tale, never adopt a pup whose kennel you can’t visit or whose parents you can’t meet in person. You should at least meet the dam (mother). Ask for a couple of pup videos or a live conference before your visit.

Additionally, the breeder should provide you with medical and genetic records. Ask for a health guarantee and a contract of sale with the potential for a refund.

If possible, do a medical evaluation before taking the pup home but wait until the pup is at least, 8 weeks old before picking him up.

Exercise vigilance and avoid breeders or kennels involved in unscrupulous breeding practices.

For adoption, check the dog’s background and the reason for abandonment. The Cockapoo may have been given up because of changed family circumstances, or unprepared owners, not aggression.

Bringing the puppy home

Bringing a puppy home is an exciting experience that needs adequate preparation. The first week will play a big role in shaping the dog’s future traits.

Puppy-proofing

Cockapoo puppies are snoopy and will explore and chew on anything and everything small enough, especially during teething.

Limit the area of exploration to prevent sensory overload as the pup adjusts to his new home. This area should be safe and cozy for the dog to feed, sleep and relax.

You will need to remove hazards and, prized possessions such as shoes in areas the pup have access. No electrical cords, cleaning products, pillows, drapes, and so on should be within the pup’s reach.

Some plants such as ZZ plants, are hazardous to dogs. Here is a list of toxic plants by ASPCA.

Conversely, get appropriate supplies including, the right-sized travel and sleep crate/kennel. Put some of your cloth items in the kennel to get the pup used to your scent.

Don’t allow this ball of fluff to sleep on your bed. Let him get used to the crate and learn to associate it with a positive experience which will be useful when not home to supervise him. A crate-trained pup, should not freak out when put in the crate.

Introduction to other pets

Animals are territorial. As such, household pets should be introduced to the Cockapoo puppy in a controlled manner and neutral space, especially with other dogs.

Introducing two dogs is best done outdoors. Be calm during the introduction and ensure you are in control of both dogs. Let them sniff each other from a safe distance but monitor the body language for signs of aggression. Don’t scold the older dog for growling but separate them instead if this happens.

Feed them separately to prevent any mealtime competition.

Housebreaking

House and crate training go hand in hand. A crate-trained Spoodle will not defecate or urinate in its den as dogs are hygienic creatures.

Have a designated potty spot preferably, outdoors or on puppy pads. When using potty pads, place them close to the door as you slowly work your way outdoor as he learns to associate the door with relieving himself. Progressively, train the pup to ring a bell whenever he has to go out.

Establish a routine for better adjustment. Feed the pup at the same time each day and take him out after each meal, before and after sleep, and after a walk or play session or each time he shows signs he needs to relieve himself such as circling, sniffing, agitation, whining, and so on.

Puppies have less bladder control and need frequent bathroom breaks and attention to their body language. Because of this, the pup should not be left unattended for long periods.

Praise the pup for properly relieving himself and use treats to reinforce it. Accidents are going to happen. Don’t punish the dog instead clean to eradicate any odor to prevent the pup from going to that spot again.

Cockckerpoodle puppy

Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix Care

1. Grooming

Cockapoos need regular maintenance. Puppy coats will be easier to maintain compared to adult coats.

Have grooming equipment at hand. Supplies will include a slicker brush, medium or wide-toothed metal comb, bathing supplies, de-matting rake, nail clippers, shampoo, conditioner, ear cleaning solution, absorbent towels, and a dryer, and so on.

Each coat type has specific requirements;

  • Straight coats– need brushing at least three times a week and bathed when necessary. Brush the coat in direction of hair growth. Get the hair around the ears and eyes trimmed for clear vision.
  • Wavy coats– require extra commitment and care. Spritz it with a conditioner before line brushing as dry hair may break as frizzy, human hair would. After brushing the coat it should feel smooth without knots or mats.
  • Curly coats– require daily brushing as they easily tangle, mat, absorb murky water, and trap debris between the curls. A teddy bear trim (~4 cm long) by a groomer every six makes it easier to maintain. You can brush this coat when dry.

Apart from the coat, clean the floppy ears to prevent wax and dirt build-up. Trim long nails at the ends without cutting the quick, and brush the teeth 2-3 times a week to prevent tartar buildup.

In addition, use treats and praises to make grooming pleasurable for you and the Cocker Poodle mix.

2. Diet and nutrition

Cockapoo dietary needs change as the pup develops.

Choose a puppy diet based on specific development needs. The less active Senior Cockapoos also have specific nutritional requirements. Consult your vet for dietary advice for your dog.

The energy needs will depend on the size of the Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix. As a general rule of thumb, each dog needs about 30 calories (K/cals) for every pound oe weighs.

SizeCalories/day
Maxi Cockapoo~800 calories or 2 cups of dry food
Miniature Cockapoo~600 calories or 1.75 cups of dry food
Toy Cockapoo~400 calories or 1.5 cups of kibble
Teacup Cockapoo~180 calories or 0.75 cups

Food options

  • Dry foods/Kibble is preferred, for convenience and storage ease. Ingredients such as meat/meat by-products, fats/oils, cereals, grains, minerals, and vegetables are mixed into a dough, dried/baked, and cut into kibbles of different sizes and shapes. There is a wide variety of kibble. High quality kibble will have high quality protein sources such as fish or chicken as the main ingredient. Those with artificial fillers add no nutritional value to the dog.
  • Wet foods are made from the same ingredients as kibble plus water mixed and cooked in air-tight packaging. They come as a paste, loaf, jelly, or gravy. The food remains good until unpackaged or at the end of its shelf life.
  • Raw diet/BARF mimics a wolf’s wild diet and is great for picky eaters. It’s prepared by mixing ingredients such as meat/bones, fruits, and vegetables such as carrots, berries, and broccoli. Avoid this for a Cockapoo with digestive issues and for puppies, instead, consult your vet for dietary advice.
  • Treats– Treats complement the diet and are especially useful for training. Cockapoos love high-value treats, store-bought or homemade. There are various easy homemade treat recipes on the internet such, as this one from itdoesnttastelikechicken.com. Treats should only make up a small portion of the calorie intake but, you should account for additional calories taken in as treats to prevent obesity.

3. Exercise requirements

Cockapoos are high-energy dogs requiring constant physical and mental stimulation for about 45 minutes a day. The occasional walk to the park, indoor exercises and games such as tug of war, fetch, puzzles and kong will meet these needs.

Cocker Poodles also appreciate water games and fishing thanks to their Poodle ancestry. Doing this is a great way to meet the dog’s instinctive and socializing needs as it allows them to smell and chase in a controlled manner.

When going for walks, ensure you are in control of the dog and that the Cockapoo pup is leashed trained. Use a leash attached to a harness for better control. Recall training will also come in handy in instances of need.

As the pup grows, avoid strenuous activities as bones and joints are not fully-developed. To be on the safer side, limit exercises to about 20 minutes a day for up to 5 months of age. Stop whenever the dog shows any signs of over-exertion like heavy panting.

4. Training

Start training and socializing the Cockapoo pup as soon as he gets home.

Fortunately, this should not be difficult as both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel are intelligent and eager to please, traits that the Spoodle inherits.

Cocker Poodles are highly-trainable, can learn over 150 commands, and respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training. Make training fun for the dog and limit training sessions to about 10 minutes.

Reinforce desired behavior, and stay calm but use a firm tone during training. Let the dog learn to associate good behavior with positive rewards.

Ignore some of the minor undesired behaviors but address others before they get out of control. Also, avoid shouting or punishment as this may do more harm than good.

Give preference to potty, house, crate, and obedience training when your pup gets home and slowly build up the difficulty from here.

A well-socialized and trained pup will prevent undesired behaviors such as biting, barking from developing, or getting out of hand.

Health Concerns

Cockapoos are generally healthy dogs but just like with any other ball of fluff are susceptible to certain health complications such as;

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Patellar luxation
  • Ear infections

To finish up

Cockapoos are people pleasers and happy fluffs. They are perfect for a snuggle or a trail hike.

They understand our emotional states making them regarded as family and therapy dogs. However, this works to their disadvantage at times and leaves them vulnerable to human-induced anxiety if you are constantly worried.

As a prospective Cockapoo owner, be aware of this emotional intelligence and how to best handle the dog.

An ideal owner will be able to meet the dog’s health, physical and emotional needs to make a Spoodles ideal companions.

Is this your next snuggling mate? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.

There you go! WOOF!

GG

As a dog lover, George understands how they behave and how to best take care of them. He is also well versed with various dog breeds and loves writing about them.

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