Smart, playful and hypoallergenic. This breed was one of the first designer dogs created.
Cockapoos are adorable and lovable dogs that are the most popular mixed breed in the UK. The history of Cockapoos, also sometimes referred to as “Spoodles”, dates back to the 1950’s in the United States where they were developed by crossing Cocker Spaniels with Poodles, making this breed one of the earliest known “designer” dogs on the market, but it is not known whether this was breed came about intentionally or by pure accident. The Cockapoo gets its intelligent nature from their Poodle ancestry, where they also get their beautifully curly coat that is hypoallergenic and rarely sheds. From their Cocker Spaniel parents the Cockapoo get their playful and kind nature, eager to please their owners and great with small children.
As they the Cockapoo is a mixed breed, it means that the dogs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Dogs that inherit more of the Poodle side may be taller and have tighter curls on their coat; dogs with more Cocker Spaniel are likely to be smaller with longer, straighter coats and have longer ears also. Cockapoos also come in a large variety of colours, as would be expected from their vast and mixed gene pool, the most common coat colours for Cockapoo’s are red, blonde, chocolate, black, tan and brown. The Cockapoo is not recognised by the Kennel Club as pedigree dog breed, so ensure that you get your dog from responsible breeders with experience and care.
Behaviour & Personality
- Cockapoos are exceptionally intelligent, a trait inherited from their Poodle and Cocker Spaniel parent breeds. This means they should be mentally stimulated on a daily basis to ensure they do not pick up poor behavioural habits from boredom
- They’re extremely playful and love using their inherited skills and traits for interactive games
- This breed is a loyal family dog that loves spending time with their owners, a Cockapoo is not ideal for a working family that is out the house often as the dogs can get separation anxiety
- Cockapoos are a low shedding dog which has made them popular for city dwellers and those with fur allergies
- As with many mixed breeds, this breeds coat can vary quite a bit, but generally most dogs will need a weekly brushing and can be time intensive to keep tangle free and looking healthy
- Their coat should be professionally groomed several times a year and may need trimming and clipping if particularly Poodle like
Exercise and Training
- Cockapoos are an intelligent dog breed meaning that they require regular mental stimulation
- They excel at outdoor games with toys and balls, they especially love flyball
- This breed also has high energy levels so should be getting plenty of daily exercise, around 1 hour of exercise a day is recommended for Cockpapoos to keep their curiosity fulfilled
- The Cockpoo’s eagerness to please and high intelligence means they’re great for training and can obey many commands and learn a lot of skills
- They’re lovable and sensitive so do not cope well with strict or harsh training techniques, instead aim for positive reinforcement and use tonal signals to give cues to Cockapoos on how they’re performing
- As with most intelligent dogs, start training from an early age and teach them basic commands to lay a strong foundation for training. Failure to test this breeds abilities can cause boredom and acting out
- Cockapoos can live a long healthy life, sometimes up to 18 years, when fed a nutritious and healthy diet with plenty of exercise
- There are a few health issues that they inherit from both parental breeds which is common with most mixed breed dogs, some of these can be tested for with a DNA test
- Watch out for a luxating patella, where the knee caps slips out of its normal place, causing significant pain along with inflammation and tendon damage
- Hip dysplasia is common among Cockapoos, a genetic condition that is caused by joint deformity and can be costly to treat with surgery or pain medication
- As with their Cocker Spaniel parent breed the Cockapoo is susceptible to ear problems such as disease or infection so ensure those long ears get a good clean on a regular basis and get aired out
- This breed can also carry an inherited eye condition call Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) which is a degenerative disease leading to blindness and which sadly has no cure currently