1. Key Breed Facts
2. Breed Characteristics
3. Looking for a Cockapoo ?
8. Intelligence / Trainability
9. Children and Other Pets
11. Caring for a Cockapoo
15. Average Cost to keep/care for a Cockapoo
Cockapoos were created by crossing two pure breeds, namely the American or English Cocker Spaniel with the Poodle. These charming dogs first appeared on the scene in the 1950's when it is thought that breeders in the States decided to create a low-shedding dog and their endeavours proved a big success with people all over the world. However, some people think they came about by pure accident. Today, the Cockapoo remains one of the most popular "designer dogs" around thanks to their charming looks and their kind, loyal and affectionate natures.
Cockapoos are one of the oldest "designer dogs" around having been developed in the United States back in the fifties. However, it is not clear whether these charming dogs were created on purpose or whether it was by pure accident. Whatever their true origins, the Cockapoo has become a much-loved dog that makes an excellent family pet and companion dog and one that fits in with many life styles. They were first introduced into the UK approximately 10 years ago and were an immediate hit with people all over the country thanks to their charming looks and kind, loyal natures.
Being designer dogs or "hybrids" as they also often referred to, the Cockapoo is not a recognised breed with any of the international breed clubs which includes The Kennel Club here in the UK (June 2016). However, many local breed clubs have been set up all over the world with an end goal being to make sure Cockapoos are bred responsibly so that puppies are healthier with less risk of them developing any of the congenital and hereditary health concerns that affect their parent breeds.
With this in mind, it's really important for potential owners to contact responsible breeders who routinely have all their stud dogs checked for any hereditary disorders which is the only way of reducing the risk of puppies developing any of the conditions. With this said, no matter how carefully bred a Cockapoo happens to be, there is never any guarantee they won't develop a congenital or hereditary disorder during the course of their lives. It does however, reduce the chance of this happening.
Height at the withers: Males 25 - 38 cm, Females 25 - 38 cm
Average weight: Males 5.4 - 10.9 kg, Females 5.40 - 10.9 kg
Because Cockapoos are a cross-breed, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with some dogs leaning towards the Cocker Spaniel whereas other inherit more Poodle traits whether it’s their physical traits or their temperaments. Some dogs may have the curly coat of a Poodle and others could have much straighter and longer hair because they inherited more of a Spaniel's coat, so it really does depend on the luck of the draw as to how a puppy Cockapoo turns out.
With this said, they are small dogs with most responsible breeders now using Miniature rather than Toy Poodles to cross with either American or English Cocker Spaniels to reduce the chances of puppies inheriting any of the many disorders that seem to affect the Toy Poodle. Although most dogs are small in stature, this is not to say that some Cockapoos are larger than others because it really does depend on their parents as to what size they throw to.
When it come to their coat, Cockapoos can be a variety of colours and as previously mentioned, they can have many different coat types too. The most commonly seen colours for these charming little dogs, however, tends to be as follows:
Cockapoos are highly adaptable little dogs that are known to be extremely affectionate and loyal to their families by nature. They are also highly intelligent, having inherited this from both their parent breeds. Poodles are among the smartest dogs on the planet and Cockers boast being very clever too although both can be a little too clever for their own good, a trait that Cockapoos certainly know how to use to their own advantage.
They are renowned for being happy, fun-loving characters that are a pleasure to have around. Cockapoos thrive on human company which is fine if they live in a household where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house. They are not the best choice for people who spend most of the time out of the home leaving their dogs to their own devices for long periods of time. If a Cockapoo is left to their own devices and they are not given the correct amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation, they quickly get bored and this can lead to all sorts of problems. A bored Cockapoo can develop unwanted behavioural issues and they can even suffer from separation anxiety which sees dogs becoming destructive around the home and barking incessantly when their owners are out of the house.
Cockapoos love playing interactive games and are known to be fast on their feet and very agile. Much like their parent breeds, a tired Cockapoo is a well-behaved, obedient dog and the best way to tire one of these charming, intelligent dogs out, is to give them a ton of exercise that includes lots of interactive playtime. They enjoy all sorts of canine sports which includes activities like agility and flyball.
Cockapoos are known to be very smart with both their parent breeds being high on the list of intelligent dogs. They also love to please and as such they are highly trainable. In the right hands, these charming dogs can learn new things extremely quickly and excel at many canine sports which as previously mentioned includes agility and flyball.
They are quite sensitive dogs by nature and therefore, they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction, nor do Cockapoos respond well to heavy handed training methods. They do respond very well to positive reinforcement and are known to be quite "voice sensitive" which means they quickly pick up the different tones owners use when giving them certain commands. It’s important to offer a dog fewer high quality treats rather than give them lower value ones which could lead to a Cockapoo putting on too much weight early on in their lives which could seriously impact their health later on.
Cockapoos are known to be very good around children which is why they make such wonderful family pets and why they have been a popular choice with people both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world for so long. However, any interaction between dogs and younger children should always be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with someone getting hurt.
They are also known to be sociable dogs by nature, especially if they have been well socialised from a young enough age which in short, means Cockapoos generally get on well with other dogs and animals which includes cats. Having said this, a Cockapoo would think nothing of chasing a neighbour's cat if they got the chance to. As with other dogs, care has to be taken when they are around smaller pets just in case.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Cockapoo is between 14 and 18 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other designer dogs, the Cockapoo is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues frequently seen in both their parent breeds which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active, charming dogs. The conditions that seem to affect Cockapoos the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Cockapoos need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Cockapoo's can have many different types of coat with some dogs having a more Poodle-like coat whereas others might boast having sleeker coats much like their Cocker Spaniel parent breed. They are considered low-shedding dogs, especially if they boast having more of a Poodle coat, but this does not mean they don't need to be regularly brushed because their hair tends to grow quite quickly. The only way to prevent tangles and matts from forming is to brush a Cockapoo on a regular basis especially if their coats are on the long side.
With this said, no matter what type of coat a Cockapoo may have inherited, they still need to be professionally groomed, trimmed or clipped several times a year. This makes it that much easier to keep a dog's coat looking smart in between visits to a grooming parlour. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Cockapoos are energetic dogs and they are smart which in short means they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and obedient dogs. They love being kept busy and enjoy nothing more than taking part in all sorts of canine sports which includes activities like agility, obedience trials and flyball to name but three, all of which they are known to excel at.
They need to be given anything from 40 to 60 minutes exercise a day. A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active and inquisitive dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Cockapoo puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.
If you get a Cockapoo puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Cockapoo, you would need to pay anything from £600 to over £1000 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Cockapoo in northern England would be £17.79 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of March 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £30 - £40 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Cockapoo and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £900 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Cockapoo would be between £60 to £90 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
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