Cockapoos are a mixed-breed dog that is a cross between a poodle and a cocker spaniel breed. These adorable little guys and gals have a big personality, always trying to be the life of the party in your home. It is one of the first “designer” breeds created by crossing poodles with other breeds to create some specific results. They are people-orientated, highly intelligent, and very forgiving. Their affection is at such a high level that you’ll never feel like you are alone.
The goal of breeding cockapoos was to create two specific results: to have a breed that created fewer histamines in people with allergies and create an animal with a stable temperament. Although there can be individual variations in this cross-breed, you’ll discover the results are highly favorable in both categories.
When the cross-breeding efforts work as intended, you will have a pooch with the spirit and intelligence of a poodle and the sturdiness of the cocker spaniel.
List of the Pros of Cockapoos
1. Cockapoos accept everyone.
If you think that a cockapoo is going to be a fantastic guard dog, then you’ll want to look at a different breed. These little dogs accept everyone and everything. That is a tremendous advantage if you have seniors or children in your home. They are very welcoming of other pets as well. They are big enough that they can romp around your backyard with bigger pups, yet they still have the right size to fit in your lap. You’ll find that their zest for life provides new energy to your home that is highly contagious.
2. These dogs are relatively quiet.
Most cockapoos are not barkers. They might alert you to the fact that someone is approaching your home, but they are going to wiggle away once that person comes close. These dogs tend to be more vocal when you leave them alone for a long time as well. Crate training is a possibility with these little guys and gals, but some tend to complain more than others with this method. Their intelligence will help you to train them to behave in ways that are acceptable to your apartment building or HOA agreements.
3. There is very little shedding from the cockapoo.
Cockapoos don’t shed very much, even when you are in the spring and winter transitory times for the coat. You will need to brush the coat at least once per day to prevent matting and knots from forming. There are times when the hair will need to be clipped or trimmed as well. This advantage extends to the dander they produce, which is why they are considered a somewhat hypoallergenic option. People with extreme sensitivities may not find this cross-breed to be an option, but many people can.
4. Cockapoos are excellent companion dogs.
This cross-breed is highly intelligent, and that makes them very easy to train. They even adapt well to the housebreaking process better than most other dogs of their size. Their companionship is unquestionable, with most individuals showing an extraordinary level of happiness with their pet parents. Older, considerate children tend to be better for them since they can’t always handle the roughhousing of smaller kids, but they tend to be a fairly hardy breed that can handle some rambunctious adventures with their family.
5. There are breed standards that apply to many cockapoos.
The Cockapoo Club of America formed in 1999 to create more breeding consistency with these “designer” dogs. A breed standard was established, and the organization began to promote the idea of having multi-generational cockapoos bred to each other instead of creating more first-generation pups. This technique works to maintain the desired qualities while limiting the issues that can arise with personality stability.
The American Cockapoo Club formed in 2004 to further this trend. They don’t mix generations and will not breed cockapoos back to a spaniel or a poodle. Some registries track up to sixth-generation breedings to make them as close to a registered dog breed as possible.
6. Cockapoos come in four different sizes for you to consider.
There are four different cockapoo sizes for you to think about if you want to bring this kind of pup into your home. The first is the teacup size, where the adult dog weighs less than six pounds and is under ten inches in height. You can step up to the toy version with its sturdier build, but they tend to weigh less than 12 pounds. Miniature cockapoos can be up to 14 inches high and weigh about 18 pounds, while the “maxi” or standard version weighs above 19 pounds and is at least 15 inches tall.
7. Caring for your cockapoo is an easy process to follow.
Depending on the size of your cockapoo, you’ll want to feed them between 1/4-cup to 3/4-cup of a high-quality dry food each day. Divide this amount into two meals so that they feel satisfied each day. You may need to tweak that amount based on their activity levels, metabolism, and other unique factors. A dog that plays in the backyard every day is going to need more food than one that prefers to be a couch potato. Don’t leave the food out all of the time because your cockapoo is going to keep eating it.
8. There are several coat combinations to consider with cockapoos.
The cockapoo grows a single, long coat that can have loose curls to it. The dogs are found in all of the colors and combinations that you can find with poodles and cocker spaniels. That means you’ll see a rich variety of different hues that can still meet the breed standard of the various clubs. You should trim the coat 2-3 inches at maximum if you have an adventurous pup who gets into outdoor trouble. You may need to trim some of the hair around the eyes to help with their vision. Most don’t need baths so that the coat can retain its natural oils. Then you can enjoy the general lack of odor that makes this breed such an advantageous choice when living in a confined environment.
List of the Cons of Cockapoos
1. Some cockapoos are closer to cocker spaniels in personality.
Because breeders are combining genetics to create a cockapoo, you’ll find that some of the dogs tend to have more of the spaniel traits than the poodle ones that you want. Some of the pups from this designer option can create individuals with high anxiety levels. They can be overly submissive as well, fearing any response could create trouble for them. Some even become fear-biters because their size works to their disadvantage. These disadvantages are not common, but it is a reason to work with certified breeders.
2. You may not know what spaniel breed was used for the cockapoo.
Most breeders prefer to cross a standard poodle with an American cocker spaniel, but there is no guarantee that this is what will happen. Some of them are bred with English cocker spaniels instead. Some call the latter a “Spoodle” to differentiate them from the cockapoo. Despite efforts to separate them into two different designer hybrids, it is not a reliable process. You’ll want to ask before signing any agreement to take the dog home if the actual breed is important to you.
3. Cockapoos tend to be a high-energy breed.
Most cockapoos adapt to apartment living without much difficulty. The larger individuals might need more exercise than their smaller counterparts, but it typically works out with a little effort. The ideal situation for this cross-breed is to be in a house that has a fenced yard where they can romp around and explore. You’ll want to keep an eye on them if you live in a rural area since the smaller pups are the right size for some hunting animals in the area. Expect to take a 15-minute walk at least once per day, and then including a variety of different games to maintain the fitness of your pet.
4. Cockapoos need early socialization to develop their personality.
You will want to expose your cockapoo to a variety of situations to help them develop a healthy personality. That means you’ll need to introduce them to a variety of people, sounds, sights, and experiences during their early months. This process will help them to become the friendly, energetic dogs that people love so much. If you are unable to do so, then the risk of developing high levels of separation anxiety will increase. Unwanted behaviors can develop when positive reinforcement training is not used either. You need to have a lot of time and patience available to counter this potential disadvantage.
5. There are several health issues to manage with cockapoos.
Cataracts are common in cockapoos as they get older. It causes the eyes of the dog to have a cloudy appearance and can interfere with the animal’s vision. Cockapoos also have slipped stifles, which means there can be problems with the knee joint. Hip dysplasia, liver disease because of the cocker spaniel traits, and ear infections require management over time as well for many individuals.
Because cockapoos have the spaniel ears, you need to check them often because they like to trap debris and moisture. Make sure to have them cleaned at least once per week with appropriate care products. You’ll want to brush their teeth 2-3 times per week to remove tartar buildup. Senior dogs may need daily brushing. It helps to trim the nails a couple of times per month as well.
6. Cockapoos require regular companionship.
This breed does not like being left alone for an extended time. If you are going to be away from home for 4-8 hours every day, then you will see higher levels of social anxiety. They need people around to feel safe and secure, even if you have had a successful crate training experience. Expect your dog to become very vocal while you are gone after a couple of weeks of being by themselves most days. You might see furniture damage occur over time as well. Some individuals can become aggressive about their favorite spaces due to their separation anxiety as well, which means they might think that your couch or bed is now their territory to manage.
If you want to bring home a friendly dog that will love everyone, then a cockapoo could be the best breed choice to consider. They love to snuggle just as much as you do. If you have a lap to offer, then you’ll have a happy pup. There are some issues to manage, but that can be said of any breed or cross-breed. If you have time to play and room to have them live inside, then having one of these pups at home can be a very rewarding experience.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.