Cockapoos are one of the first designer dogs that ever existed. It is a crossbreed of the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. They are adorable little dogs with a big personality. Like with any crossbreed, you can never be sure of the traits and even appearance of the cockapoo you are getting. However, this hybrid has been around for a very long time, so most of you already know what to expect.
Generally, they are incredibly affectionate, intelligent, easy to train, and people-oriented. Cockapoos have a very gentle nature and rarely show aggression. You can trust them around children and other pets.
Cockapoo Key Characteristics
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Cockapoo Breed Highlights
- The Cockapoo is a cross between Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. They are one of the earliest designer dogs ever existed and became popular in the 60s.
- Both parents have standout traits and qualities that can be inherited by their offspring, which are also apparent in Cockapoos.
- This hybrid is energetic, fun-loving, affectionate, and sociable. They are safe to be around kids and other pets because of their gentle nature.
- The length of the coat, colors, and markings of Cockapoos vary even in puppies that belong in the same litter.
- They should be given proper nutrition, care, exercise, grooming, and training starting at an early age.
- They are predisposed to certain genetic health conditions that can be inherited from both parents. This includes hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, blood diseases, eye conditions, and other usual health issues.
- You can expect your Cockapoo to live up to 18 years depending on the overall lifestyle and health issues.
- They are intelligent and highly trainable. They have a shot of winning dog shows and competitive sports if you train them well.
- The price ranges from $1500 to as high as $3000 depending on the lineage, rare color and markings, and other factors. If you want one without spending money, you can adopt one in rescue centers, shelters, and other organizations. If you have to buy one, make sure to buy only from reputable breeders.
- The Cockapoo is registered as a crossbreed and recognized by several breed organizations around the globe.
Some believe that crossbreeds are a combination of the parents’ traits and appearance. However, that is not always the case. Often, puppies in the same litter may look more like one parent than the other. The color, temperament, size, and health issues also vary depending on the inherited traits of an individual puppy.
Generally, the size can range from small to medium and weigh no more than 30 pounds. Their coats are soft, moderately long, and can be fluffy, scruffy, or curly. If you have a litter of Cockapoos, you may notice that the color, markings, length, and kind of their coats only become apparent when they reach 6 weeks of age.
The variation in colors is the main reason why prospective owners of Cockapoos should wait until this point if they have a specific preference in mind. The colors include:
Their coat hardly sheds but may need regular brushing to keep their fur in excellent condition. Since Poodles are known to have hypoallergenic fur, Cockapoos are also the same.
As for the size, they are bred and categorized into four different sizes:
- The teacup Cockapoos weigh less than 6 pounds and stand at less than 10 inches in height.
- Toy Cockapoos are taller than the teacup and can reach more than 10 inches in height. They are bigger, sturdier, and weigh under 12 pounds.
- The miniature Cockapoos are 11 to 14 inches tall and weigh 13 to 18 pounds.
- The standard-sized Cockapoos are at least 15 inches tall and weigh around 19 pounds and above.
The accidental line and popularity of Cockapoos started in the 60s when the mating of a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle resulted in a litter of adorable, smart, and affectionate cockapoos. Since then, they have become well received and loved by many people.
Breeders are making some efforts to establish it as a pure breed with guidelines in breed standards to produce offspring with traits, appearance, and a temperament that are consistent with the lines and heritage.
One good example is the American Cockapoo Club, which was formed by breeders and Cockapoo lovers with the same goal of establishing breed standards to label the Cockapoo as a pure breed.
As clubs and organizations start to form, the popularity of the breed also rises. Maybe in a few years, it could become more than just a designer dog.
Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix Trainability
Trainability is a huge deal when choosing a dog regardless of breed. Most people do not like the challenge of having a dog that misbehaves and is difficult to train. Fortunately, these are always eager to please and are open to learning new tricks and commands.
Because they are sociable and gentle and affectionate, they are more likely to follow their owners wherever they go. They can also be excited when it comes to playtime and cuddling. Their temperament is an excellent motivator to train them. The closer the bond between the Cockapoo and the owner, the easier it will be to train their dog.
Potty training, obedience training, and social training should start during the puppy stage. Start with basic commands and always use positive reinforcement. They are quite sensitive so make sure that you focus only on the positive and avoid punishments at all costs.
Cockapoos respond well to positive training like most dogs. The only difference is that Cockapoos may have a faster learning curve than more stubborn breeds like the Bulldog. So be generous with praises and treats every time your dog follows a command. You and your dog will benefit most from this type of communication.
Both Cocker Spaniel and Poodle are generally energetic, happy, sociable, gentle, and fun-loving. Fortunately, Cockapoos inherited all these positive traits, as well. The 2011 winner of a contest called Britain’s Happiest Dog was a Cockapoo.
Of course, it is not impossible to inherit some unpleasant traits from one or both parents. However, because of the temperament of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, inheriting a negative trait is extremely rare. Even the most gentle and affectionate breed can display aggression especially when provoked or untrained.
Negative behavior can be avoided through proper training and socialization. Theys make a lovely companion and family pet. They are safe to keep around children and other pets. However, they are sensitive to abuse and negative treatments. Young children that tend to be extra playful to the point of getting abusive at times should not be around Cockapoos.
In short, you should never worry about your Cockapoo misbehaving or showing aggression especially when you train and take care of them properly. When a problem arises, do not be quick to blame your Cockapoo. The only reason pets misbehave is when their owners and other people or pets around them misbehave.
Regardless of the breed, dogs should have proper nutrition by feeding only the best nutrient-dense dog food. Remember that dogs should eat according to their age, size, and life condition. If you have a puppy, make sure you get the best puppy food to support the puppy’s growth and development.
If you have a nursing dog, you must give your dog the appropriate dog food that can help with the supply of milk the puppies need. If you have an adult dog that is active and energetic, it is best that you feed your dog with high-calorie, protein-rich dog food for muscle growth and energy consumption.
Lastly, if you have an old dog, feed it with the right kind of dog that fits its age and condition. It is best that you ask your vet for recommendations especially if your dog is already exhibiting symptoms of a particular health issue.
Keeping your Cockapoo healthy and in good shape entails feeding the right kind and amount of dog food, providing proper care and exercise, and addressing health issues immediately.
Cockapoo Health and Care
Like most purebred dogs, Cocker Spaniels and Poodles have genetic health issues that can be passed on to Cockapoos. There is no way one can predict how both parents’ genetic makeup can affect the offspring. It is best that we tackle some of the most common health issues of each parent.
When given proper care, Cocker Spaniels can live up to 15 years. However, there are certain health conditions this pure breed is prone to having. Here are some of them:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Large breed dogs and overweight dogs are known to be prone to this condition. It is also a common health issue of Cocker Spaniels. It happens when the joints of the elbow and hips are weak and become dislocated.
- Eye diseases such as Cataract, Ectropion, and Entropion – Cocker Spaniels have prominent and bulging eyes, which is why they are prone to eye problems. Cataract is not a severe problem. But when left untreated, dogs with eye cataracts might have to undergo surgery.
- Ectropion- This is a condition where the lower eyelids of a dog droop.
- Entropion- This is a genetic issue in which a portion of a Cocker Spaniel’s eyelid is inverted. It is not a serious problem. However, it can cause irritations that can lead to severe problems. The dog might scratch the eye, causing corneal perforation, ulceration, and pigmentary keratitis.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – This is an eye disease that is extremely serious and can cause blindness when not addressed immediately.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – This is a degenerative spinal disease that is common in dogs but can also exist in cats. The condition occurs when the intervertebral discs between vertebrae lose the ability to hold water, causing it to dry out or become dehydrated.
- Heart valve disease – A mitral valve disease happens when unoxygenated blood flows back to the heart causing the mitral valve to wear out and leak. Veterinarians can detect this condition early when they notice a heart murmur, which means there is a heart failure waiting to happen.
- Melanoma – This condition is like malignant melanoma in people. It is a type of cancer of skin cancer that affects the melanocytes.
- Lymphoma – Canine Lymphoma is a blanket term for a group of cancers that happens when Lymphocytes fail to fight off infection in the body, which causes a weak immune system. There are different types of Lymphoma, and it is best that owners discuss this problem with their veterinarians.
- Glaucoma – This is common to dogs especially when they get old. This condition happens when there is eye pressure, and the eye is unable to drain the fluid. Cocker Spaniels are predisposed to this condition.
This intelligent, sociable, and sweet breed can live up to 12 to 15 years when given proper nutrition and care. The sizes of the Poodle can range from mini teacup to standard, which affects health and life expectancy. Some of the most common health issues of Poodles are the following:
- Hip Dysplasia – This happens when a dog’s hip joints and the socket does not form or connect correctly, after which it gets dislocated. It is a hereditary condition that can be passed on to offspring. Sometimes, this condition is detected as early as 5 months old. Overweight Poodles are also prone to this condition.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This is a serious health condition that affects the eyes and can cause blindness. Owners should be aware of the early symptoms to be able to get their dogs all the proper health and medication to avoid or prevent this from happening. Some of the most common symptoms include glassy eyes, dilated pupils, noticing that your dog is bumping into pieces of furniture in front of them, and night vision problems.
- Epilepsy – This is a condition that is common in Poodles. Symptoms include drooling, unresponsiveness, difficulty breathing, sudden unconsciousness, pacing when walking, and other abnormal movements. Poodles exhibiting these symptoms should be taken to a vet immediately to avoid canine seizures.
- Addison’s Disease – This is a condition that affects the adrenal glands of dogs, causing them to become lethargic, anxious, depresses, and some digestive problems. This condition usually requires hospitalization.
- Thyroid Problems – Another common health issues of Poodles is Canine Hypothyroidism, which is caused by inadequate levels of hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
- Hypoglycemia – This is a common health condition that exists in Poodle puppies. It happens when the level of blood sugar suddenly drops as a result of improper care, stress, anxiety, and not given enough food.
These common health conditions of Cocker Spaniels and Poodles can be passed down to their offspring, which means, Cockapoos are predisposed to these health conditions as well. Breeders and owners should not be surprised if one or more of these conditions affect their dogs. Most of these conditions are preventable and easy to treat when addressed immediately.
To further prevent these conditions from happening, it is best that you only get a dog from a reputable breeder. Doing so will not only prevent your dog from suffering, but it can also prevent you from heartache, and spending too much money on vet visits and unnecessary medical procedures.
Proper Care of Cockapoos
Caring for your Cockapoos is the same as caring for any breed of dog. They need to eat the best dog food. They need to be taken to a vet for regular check-ups, get updated vaccinations, and get enough exercise and sleep every day.
Activity Level and Exercise
They need to get enough exercise every day. They are energetic and athletic, which is a common trait found in Cocker Spaniels. They need mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. If given a chance, Cockapoos can do well in competitions and other sports.
Adequate care, an absence of severe health conditions, or proper management of genetic problems lower the possibility of your dog living a short life. Cockapoos can live up to 18 years depending on the factors mentioned above as well as their overall lifestyle.
Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix Grooming
Cockapoos’ coat hardly shed, which makes them a low maintenance breed. However, regular clipping and brushing may be necessary to keep their coats in top condition especially those with longer coats. You do not need to take your dog to a professional groomer to do this. You can efficiently groom your dog and keep its skin and coat in a healthy condition.
Like most toy dogs who stay at home most of the time, you do not need to give your Cockapoo a regular bath. You can bathe them once or twice a month or whenever necessary. The hair from the ears should be removed to prevent dirt from accumulating and causing infection.
Nails must be trimmed when they get too long, and teeth should also be brushed daily. Healthy grooming habits should start when a Cockapoo is still a puppy so it will be easier for the owner to groom their dogs on their own without the dog protesting or giving the owner a hard time.
Here is a video demonstration of how to groom a Cockapoo:
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Prospective buyers should only get a puppy from a reputable breeder and wait at least 6 weeks before making the final decision as to which puppy to choose from a litter. If you have a preferred appearance or trait, in a puppy, you should check the papers, lineage, and the appearance before buying.
Once you have your heart set on a specific puppy, you should think about its nutritional needs, care, and how to introduce it to your family and other pets. You have to make sure that the puppy is already weaned and is starting to eat solid food before taking it home.
Choose the best dog food for your puppy so that it caters to their specific needs. They must contain the highest nutritional value for optimal growth. You should also start potty training, obedience training, socialization, and establish grooming habits at this stage of your puppy’s life. Make sure that you only use positive reinforcement to encourage your puppy to learn.
When they reach adulthood, you should carefully transition your puppy to eating adult food, ensure that all necessary vaccinations are complete, and make sure that your dog responds well to commands when you are out in public. Keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated by providing treats and ensuring that they are getting enough exercise every day.
There are ways that you can get a Cockapoo without actually buying one. You may want to consider visiting a shelter for adoption. Surely, you can find an adorable one that has been abandoned for some reason and is in need of a new loving home.
But if you cannot find one to adopt, you can always search for a reputable breeder that sells Cockapoos. Responsible breeders will even show you the parents of the prospective puppy you want to get. They will also give you a health certificate of the parents, so you are aware of any parental health issues.
Lastly, they will ensure that all puppies get all the required vaccinations before they release them. A Cockapoo can cost you around $1200 to $3000. The most expensive ones are priced based on rare colorations, markings, or sometimes from show quality lineage.
The price does not include all the necessary items you have to buy before you take your puppy home. Consider the cost of dog food, a bed, grooming materials, and other pet supplies that you need to provide your new puppy with a comfortable place to grow and live.
Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix Breed Organizations
Cockapoos are recognized by several organizations and clubs across the globe. It is not recognized as a purebred dog, but it is registered as a crossbreed by some of the world-renowned breed organizations around the world. Here are some of them:
- Cockapoo Club of America
- American Cockapoo Club
- The Kennel Club
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- International Designer Canine Registry
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
- Dog Registry of America
A well-raised Cockapoo can make a wonderful lifetime companion and addition to your household. Aside from the basic needs, they require attention, mental and physical stimulation, and lots of love. In return, you can expect the same respect, affection, and loyalty from your beloved Cockapoo.