Cockapoo dogs are a cross between poodles and American cocker spaniels. They first made an appearance in the USA in the 1960s but have become increasingly popular as ‘designer dogs’ over the past few years. Cockapoos are bred specifically for temperament; that is, playfulness, loyalty, affection, gentleness and friendliness, and make wonderful family pets.
Because temperament trumps looks, Cockapoos don’t have a standard appearance and can come in a range of colors, including white, cream, chocolate brown, red and black.
Getting a Cockapoo puppy
Cockapoos have one of the lowest surrender rates among all dog breeds, so you might struggle to find an adult cockapoo to rescue. If you want a cockapoo, your best bet is to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder or to contact a breed-specific rescue organisation.
Cockapoo Facts and Information
Group: Cockapoos belong to the hybrid/companion groups of dog breeds.
Life expectancy: 12 – 17 years, although some cockapoos can live into their early 20s.
Size: There are four different sizes:
- Teacup Toy Cockapoo, which is less than 10 inches and 6 pounds.
- Toy Cockapoo, which is about 10 inches and 12 pounds.
- Miniature Cockapoo, which is 11 – 14 inches and 13 – 18 pounds.
- Standard or Maxi Cockapoo, which is 15 or more inches and 19 or more pounds.
Temperament: Cockapoos are intelligent, happy and spirited dogs with stable, even temperaments. They get on well with everyone, including children (older children being better than younger kids). They are very affectionate and can be a little clingy, which could result in separation anxiety in extreme cases. Cockapoos respond very well to positive reinforcement reward-based training.
Exercise: Cockapoos have moderate exercise needs; they need at least one walk per day and then some energetic play, such as fetch. Mental exercise is also important to stave off boredom, so enroll for training classes. Good options include obedience, agility, canine freestyle, and rally free.
General care: Cockapoos can have either straight coats or loose curls that require brushing, ideally, once a day. You will need to learn how to brush their teeth to prevent gum disease and you may want to learn how to trim their nails too. Cockapoos’ long ears can be prone to ear infections, so you will need to check them and clean them regularly. Your breeder or vet will show you how to do this.
Health concerns: Cockapoos are generally quite healthy dogs, but there are some health problems that you should be aware of, including cataracts, patellar luxation (knee cap problems), hip dysplasia, Legge-Calves-Perthes disease (affects the thigh bone), liver disease, ear infections and skin allergies.
Cockapoos epitomize companion dogs, thriving on human company and even getting on well with other pets in the household. They enjoy a quiet cuddle, as well as energetic play and are perfect for people who want a little bit of everything in their dogs. Toy or mini Cockapoos can adapt to apartment living, but generally they do better in homes with gardens. They are quite easy dogs to train and live with, so they are a good choice for first-time dog owners.