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Breed Series

Cockapoo

cockapoo as a puppy

Cockapoos are one of the oldest designer breeds, a mix between Cocker Spaniels and Poodles. They are also known as Cockapoodle, Cockerpoo, or Cock-a-Poo. 

Cockapoos have a sweet, loving temperament and love to be around people. They were bred to be companion dogs, are high-energy, and super intelligent dogs perfect for those with allergies because of their low-shed coats. 


Cockapoo History

Cockapoos were first recorded in the 1960s in the United States, making them one of the first designer dogs. Cockapoos were bred for their sweet, intelligent temperaments, as well as their hypoallergenic, low-shed coats. They are very sociable, energetic, good-humored dogs.

A relatively new crossbreed, it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club as it is a mixed breed, but the cockapoo is recognized by the Designer Breed Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and the International Designer Canine Registry. There are currently efforts underway to get the cockapoo recognized as a standard breed.

Cockapoo Appearance

Cockapoos look like real-life teddy bears, with their fuzzy coats, floppy ears, soulful brown eyes, and cute button noses – they are happy dogs that bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Cockapoos can have short-to-long coats that are straight to curly. They are often odorless and non-shedding, making them great for those who have allergies. Typically, they don’t leave a scent on clothes or furniture unlike other hypoallergenic dogs. Cockapoos can come in black, tan, red, brown, cream, white, sable, black and white, beige, and merle colors. Their specific appearance can vary based on their parents and can vary widely, even within the same litter.

Typically, cockapoos come in four different sizes, which are dependent based on the size and type of poodle used to breed. 

  • Teacup toy cockapoos weigh 6 pounds or less and are 10 inches or less tall.
  • Toy cockapoo weighs less than 12 pounds and can reach up to 10 inches tall. 
  • Miniature cockapoos are 15 inches or less in height and weigh between 12 to 19 pounds. 
  • Standard or maxi cockapoos are 16 inches or taller and can weigh between 20 and 65 pounds. 

Cockapoos may look differently, but they share key features that help distinguish them from other poodle mixes. 

Cockapoo Personality

Cockapoos have an incredibly easy-going temperament. They are outgoing and friendly. They love to be around people and are tremendously committed to their families. Because they are such social dogs, cockapoos may develop separation anxiety if left home alone too much. If this is the case, you may struggle to get any privacy – so you will need to be patient and work with your cockapoo to manage their separation anxiety.

Cockapoos are intelligent, enthusiastic, and highly trainable dogs. They have a lot of energy, and regularly can bounce with happiness and excitement, but don't let that fool you. Cockapoos are just as happy to curl up and cuddle with you on the couch or in bed as they are running around and playing.

They are not typically barkers or diggers, and the smaller they are, the less living space they need, making the mini cockapoo a great apartment dog. Bigger cockapoos should have more space so they can run and play. 

Cockapoo Exercise Requirements

Cockapoos typically need only about 15 minutes of exercise per day. This can be from playing in the backyard or taking walks – even swimming. The poodle side loves the water, though you will want to test their swimming before you throw them in the deep end. 

They are happy to get as much exercise as you are willing to give them, just as long as they are hanging out with you and your family! They also get along really great with other dogs, so you may want to stop by a dog park to get your cockapoo some friends. 

Keep in mind that the level of exercise will increase if your cockapoo is left alone or crated for long periods of time. If this is the case, you will want to get your cockapoo some exercise every four hours. This will help keep them mentally and physically stimulated, preventing potential destructive behaviors. Dogs that do not receive enough attention often cause damage.

Cockapoo Training and Care

Cockapoos are very smart dogs because of their poodle genes, so they are highly trainable dogs. However, their cocker spaniel sides can be distractable, so you will need to be patient and have lots of treats and positive reinforcement on the ready during training. Generally, cockapoos want to please their owners, so training them should be easy if you are consistent.

They do well with other dogs and cats, just as long as they receive proper socialization. Too, they are great with children and seniors, as well as adults. In fact, cockapoos are often used as therapy dogs, especially for those with mental health issues, because they exude happiness. They have been bred over time to be amazing companion dogs. 

You should be feeding your cockapoo two meals per day of between ¼ to ¾ cups of high-quality dry dog food. The amount of food and the type of food may vary per dog, so it is important to consult a veterinarian if you have a question about your dog’s diet. It is important they are not overfed lest they become overweight. 

Cockapoo Health

Cockapoos, like other designer breed dogs, are typically healthier than their purebred parents. They have an average life span of between 12 and 15 years. Still, they can be prone to some genetic health conditions, including:

  • Cataracts
  • Patellar luxation
  • Liver Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Skin disorders
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes

Breeders should provide health screening and certificates for the parents so you can be aware of any potential genetic health issues. Make sure to ask for this documentation, as not all breeders are reputable. If you are adopting, you will likely have less visibility into potential health issues, so just keep in mind what issues may come up. 

Cockapoo Grooming

Cockapoos need to be brushed regularly because of their curly coats, though they do not need frequent baths because they are odorless. Too frequent bathing can strip healthy oils that maintain their healthy coats, so just make sure to brush your dog to prevent mattes and take them to the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks. 

You should check their ears weekly, cleaning them and inspecting them for infection. Because they are floppy, cockapoo ears are prone to ear infections. Brush their teeth a few times a week to prevent tartar buildup, bad breath, and other oral hygiene problems that can lead to tooth loss and other oral hygiene issues.

You will also want to trim their nails at least once a month. Once their nails start clicking, it is time for a trim!