The Cockapoo is the UK’s most popular hybrid dog type, or deliberate cross breed – consisting of the crossing of a cocker spaniel with a poodle, or subsequent crossings of subsequent generations of cockapoos with each other, or with their two parent breeds.
However, the Cockapoo isn’t just the most popular hybrid dog type in the UK – they are also a lot more popular than most recognised pedigree dog breeds too, and have been rising in popularity at a rapid rate over the last three years.
In this article, we will explain what a cockapoo actually is, and look at some of their core traits in an attempt to answer the big question – why is the cockapoo so popular in the UK? Read on to learn more.
A Cockapoo is a type of dog that is produced when you cross a poodle (usually a toy or miniature poodle) with a cocker spaniel – or subsequent generations of dogs that are born from matings between two cockapoos or a cockapoo and one of their two parent breeds.
This makes them a hybrid or cross-breed – which is what many people would call a mongrel, and this term is still technically correct to use when describing a dog of mixed parentage. However, rather than simply resulting from a happy accident, cockapoos are deliberately bred to create this popular hybrid, which combines all of the best traits of their two parent breeds to produce a dog type that is thoroughly unique and very versatile.
This is why we tend to refer to the cockapoo as a hybrid dog type rather than a mutt or a mongrel – and many cockapoo owners and breeders put a lot of thought into their crossings to ensure that the resultant dogs benefit from both good health and a superb temperament, as well as good looks.
The cockapoo is not classed as a pedigree dog breed, because they are not recognised by The Kennel Club – the UK’s umbrella organisation for dogs and dog breeds – and so, cannot be registered and shown in breed shows.
There is no formal breed standard in place for the cockapoo to dictate the traits that the breed should possess or regulate their temperaments and appearances, and there can be quite a wide range of variance between different cockapoos in terms of their looks and personalities.
However, most pedigree dog breeds that we know today were deliberately bred or created by means of selective breeding for certain traits, which over a sometimes-extensive period of time, leads to a degree of uniformity across the breed that ultimately, forms the basis of the breed standard.
Given the popularity of the cockapoo and steps that have already been taken and are likely to be taken in the future by cockapoo breeders and enthusiasts, it is entirely possible that the cockapoo will be considered for recognition as a pedigree dog breed in its own right at some point over the course of the next couple of decades.
Whilst there is a significant level of variety in terms of what any two cockapoos might look like and the type of personalities that they will have, there is also a reasonable degree of uniformity in the core traits of this dog type.
The most popular and desirable cockapoos combine all of the best traits of their two parent breeds, both in terms of looks and personalities, and other factors too. Perhaps the most important factor that most cockapoos possess in terms of desirable traits is the type of coat produced from crossing a cocker spaniel and a poodle. The end result of such a crossing will commonly lead to a coat that is lese densely curled and rather softer than that of a pedigree poodle, but that retains the poodle’s trait of shedding very little fur.
This helps to reduce the amount of both hair and dander that cockapoos shed, making them neat housemates as well as a more viable choice of dog for people with allergies to pet hair, who might otherwise be unable to live comfortably with a dog due to their allergies.
The high intelligence of the poodle coupled with the lively, energetic but not overbearing nature of the cocker spaniel also ensures that the average cockapoo is good to live with and intuitive to train, as well as having a kind nature and a calm, laid back disposition.
The fact that the cockapoo tends to be small to medium-sized also contributes to their versatility, and regardless of the level of variety that can be achieved within the type in terms of their coat type and colour, they are widely if subjectively considered to be good looking dogs with an open, friendly appearance that is backed up by their wining personalities.
As recently as a decade ago, the term “cockapoo” was relatively unheard of, and the average dog owner in the street would probably not have been able to recognise the type, nor known what a cockapoo was.
However, as the word has spread about the cockapoo’s excellent temperament, good looks and generally low-shedding coat, demand for dogs of this type has risen exponentially, and the cockapoo is climbing up the rankings of the most popular dog types year on year.
As of March 2018, the cockapoo is ranked fourth in terms of popularity on Pets4Homes, based on user adverts and searches. In 2017 they took seventh place, and in 2016, tenth – and they also hold the distinction of outranking both of their two parent breeds, and being the only non-pedigree dog to fall within our top ten rankings.
Whether or not the cockapoo continues to expand their reach enough to challenge the dogs in the top three positions over the coming years remains to be seen – but it is certainly fair to say that the cockapoo is the UK’s most popular hybrid dog type, and one of our most popular dog types overall too.