A Cockapoo is a dog that results from the crossing of a cocker spaniel and a poodle – or subsequent generations of dogs with this same ancestry. They’re a dog type rather than a dog breed, because they aren’t recognised by the Kennel Club, and so don’t have a formal breed standard or breed registry for showing purposes.
However, the fact that the Cockapoo isn’t a pedigree dog hasn’t stopped them from becoming hugely popular in the UK – and they are now in fact our fourth most popular dog type overall.
This means that demand for Cockapoos in the UK is at an all-time high – and that many people look for Cockapoos for sale and consider choosing a dog of this type to join their families every day.
If you have your heart set on owning a Cockapoo or are already starting to do your research with a view to making a purchase, you may be wondering what to look for when choosing the right dog. The lack of a formal breed standard for dogs of this type means that determining what the dog should look like or their most desirable traits isn’t always simple too.
In this article, we will share some basic pointers on what to look for when buying a Cockapoo, to give you a head start. Read on to learn more.
First of all, in order to give yourself the best possible chance of buying a healthy dog and improving the welfare of the Cockapoo dog type as a whole, you will need to choose a responsible breeder.
Professional dog breeders, hobbyists, and individuals who wish to produce a single litter from their own pet are all worthy of consideration – but you should take great care to ensure that you don’t inadvertently buy a Cockapoo from a puppy mill or puppy farm.
Because demand for Cockapoos is so high, many unscrupulous individuals want to cash in on this popularity to make a quick buck – which means that they breed dogs purely for financial gain, with little concern for the health, wellness or temperament of individual dogs, or the Cockapoo dog type as a whole.
Do your research before you commit to a purchase – and check out this article on how to avoid puppy farms when buying a dog. If you see an advert on Pets4Homes that you suspect was placed by a puppy farmer – or if the advert looks good on paper, but something seems amiss when you go to view the dogs in person – please report this to Pets4Homes using the “report” link on the advert itself, and we will investigate promptly.
Many people appreciate deliberate cross breeds like the Cockapoo because outcrossing two unrelated breeds brings with it all the benefits of hybrid vigour – which often means that a hybrid dog will be less prone to suffering from hereditary health issues that can be found in one of the two parent breeds.
However, buying a hybrid dog type is not in and of itself a guarantee of good health – and Cockapoos can and do still inherit health issues from either or both sides of their lineage.
Learn about the hereditary health conditions that can be found within both the cocker spaniel and poodle dog breeds, and Cockapoos themselves – and talk to the breeder you may be considering buying from about the dog’s ancestors and their health.
Ask also if the parent stock underwent any health tests prior to breeding – and ask to see the results before your commit to a purchase.
Temperament is another important factor to consider as well, and only dogs with excellent personalities should be bred from – so make sure you view the pups with their dam to get a feel for her temperament and ideally, that of the sire as well.
One of the original reasons for breeding dogs of the Cockapoo type, and one that is still a big selling point for many buyers today, is the type of coat that Cockapoos can inherit from their parents.
Poodles are very low-shedding dogs that are often considered to be a good pick for people who generally suffer from allergies to dog dander – and many Cockapoo breeders deliberately plan their mating matches to give their litters the best possible chance of inheriting this trait.
However, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog – and just because a dog has a poodle parent or ancestor doesn’t automatically mean that they will inherit a low-shedding coat.
Coat textures and types across the Cockapoo as a whole can be very variable – some will be very poodle-like, some more like the cocker spaniel, and others, somewhere in the middle.
Don’t assume that Cockapoo’s coat won’t shed, or that they won’t trigger allergy symptoms in people prone to them – and research the coat type of any individual dog you might be considering buying.
Cockapoos tend to be on the small side – with the poodle side of their ancestry generally being a miniature or a toy poodle. You may see toy Cockapoos advertised too, which usually specifically indicates toy poodle ancestry. However, standard poodles can also be used within Cockapoo breeding programs, although this is less common – and will result in a much larger dog.
When viewing a litter of puppies, it can be very hard to tell how large they will become when fully grown, so find out about the poodle variant used within the crossing, and assess the size of the dam and ideally, the sire if he is available to view too.
There is a reasonable range of variance in terms of the sort of prices that Cockapoos command, with an average across the board being in the region of £800 – or more than a lot of pedigree dog breeds with papers sell for on average!
This figure is just an average, however, and you will probably see lots of Cockapoo adverts offering dogs that cost a lot more, and a lot less too – and it is wise to find out why this is, before automatically assuming that a more expensive dog will be better, or a cheaper dog a bargain.