Cocker Spaniel or Cockapoo: Which is Right for You

Cocker Spaniel or Cockapoo: Which is Right for You

Life As A Pet Parent

Cocker Spaniels have been one of the most popular family pets for decades, but they have always been highly prized for their hunting abilities throughout the ages too. Dependable, loyal and affectionate, Cockers love being part of the family in a home environment and because of all these wonderful traits, they have been crossed with other breeds which includes the Poodle with the result being the Cockapoo. Although not recognised as a breed by any of the major kennel clubs, Cockapoos have fast become one of the most popular hybrid dogs around, but which would best suit your lifestyle, a Cocker Spaniel or Cockapoo?


Cocker Spaniels and Cockapoos are both easy going dogs although Cockapoos are a little more demanding in certain ways which includes not liking being left alone for too long, but then no dog likes to be on their own for great lengths of time. Both need to have their coats professionally groomed several times a year to ensure they are kept in good condition.


Cocker Spaniels shed a little more hair than their Cockapoo counterparts thanks to the Poodle in them although some dogs inherit more of a Cocker Spaniel coat and as such they are prone to shedding that much more especially if they have thrown more to the Cocker than the Poodle.


Cocker Spaniels were originally bred to hunt and are registered with the Kennel Club as Gun Dogs. They are super intelligent and renowned for being amenable to learning new things which means they are a good choice for first time owners. When it comes to Cockapoos, they do are very smart, but they need more of a firm hand to keep them in line not because they are naughtier, but because their attention span is not as good as that of their Cocker Spaniel cousins. It takes a little more in the way of patience and understanding when training a Cockapoo.


Cocker Spaniels tend to be calmer about things, but both they and Cockapoos need to be given about the same amount of exercise which is anything up to an hour or more a day. Both love taking part in dog sporting activities and both are very good at agility and obedience to name but two.

Children and Pets

Cockers and Cockapoos are a great choice as family pets because they seem to really enjoy being around children, but as with any other dog, it's best to keep a close eye on toddlers when they are around just in case things get boisterous. With this said, both breeds are among the most popular family pets.

Cocker Spaniel origins

Cocker Spaniels are an old breed and one that has always been highly prized for their hunting skills and their kind, loyal natures. They are native to be UK where they were originally bred to hunt and retrieve, but over time, Cockers became a very popular family pet. They are registered by all major international clubs including the Kennel Club as Gun Dogs.

Cockapoo origins

Cockapoos were first developed in the States by crossing either an American Cocker with a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. They are relatively new to the dog world, but already they have become one of the most popular hybrid dogs on the planet. Cockapoos are not recognised as a breed it their own right by any of the major kennel clubs, but many local clubs have been set up throughout the world to ensure good breeding is maintained.


The Cocker Spaniel is a smart dog and one that adores working, but they are just as happy in a family environment loving nothing more than being involved in everything that goes on around them. They are gentle, affectionate and incredibly loyal which are just a few of the reasons they have remained such popular family pets.

The Cockapoo is known to be a very adaptable dog and like the Cocker Spaniel they are known to be very affectionate and loyal to the people they love. They are highly intelligent having inherited this from both the Cocker and the Poodle. Cockapoos are also known to be fun-loving dogs by nature and they form strong bonds with their families which does have a down side, namely these charming dogs can develop separation anxiety if they are left on their own for any length of time.


Cocker Spaniels have silky, flat lying coat with a tremendous amount of feathering which adds to its length.

Cockapoos can have a different coat type depending on which of their parent breeds they have thrown to. Some dogs have curlier coats whereas others have flatter coats.

Coat colours

Cocker Spaniels come in a variety of charming solid colours which includes black, liver, red and golden, but they can be particoloured, bicoloured, tricoloured and roan coloured too

A Cockapoo’s could be a number of colours and textures depending on which parent breed they throw to.

Cocker Spaniel life expectancy

The average life span of a Cocker Spaniel is between 11 and 12 years.

Cockapoo life expectancy

The average life span of a Cockapoo is between 14 and 18 years.

Cocker Spaniel size

Male Cocker Spaniels stand at anything between 39 and 41 cm at the withers whereas females are slightly smaller being 36 to 38 cm at the withers. Males can weigh in at between 13 and 14.5 kg with females weighing around the same.

Cockapoo size

Cockerpoos typically stand at anything between 25 and 38 cm at the withers and weigh in at around 5.4 and 10.9 kg.

Cocker Spaniel health

Cocker Spaniels are prone to develop certain health issues some of which are more serious than others like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and skin allergies. Other problems the breed is known to suffer from includes the following, but again not all Cockers would develop any of these health issues during the course of their lives:

  • Cataracts
  • Benign tumours
  • Deafness
  • Bite issues
  • Canine dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Heart murmurs

Cockapoo health

Cockapoos are known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which includes ear problems and eye problems with progressive retinal atrophy being the main one. They are also known to suffer from luxating patella, but it's worth noting that not all dogs would develop any of these conditions during the course of their lives.

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