Cockapoo – The definitive guide to a Cockapoo


About the Cockapoo

Cockapoo is an adorable and small dog with a clown personality that dates back to the 1960s. The hybrid is also known as a Cockerdoodle or a Spoodle.

This dog is the first of the”designer dogs” and is completely people-oriented. The Cockapoo is a hybrid and a cross between a Miniature or Toy Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. Cockapoos were bred to be an affectionate and happy dog that loves being with the family.

American Cocker Spaniels were the ones that were mostly used in the breeding of Cockapoos. But some hybrids use English Cocker Spaniels which are referred to as Spoodles.

Despite all these, they can have genetic and behavioral problems and some Cockapoo puppies can look very different even if they are from the same litter.


Why get a Cockapoo hybrid?

Just like the Cocker Spaniel Spoodle as remain acting just like puppies, a trait that they take even in their senior years.

Cockapoos are so adorable that they can melt even the hardest of hearts with just their faces. But you are probably wondering why you should get a Cockerpoodle instead of going for a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel.

Is a designer dog really necessary? Well, it is assumed that when you cross two different dog breeds together you get even an even better dog by combining the best of the two. However, genetics does not always work like this.

The breeder does not have control of how the genes express themselves. You might want to consider this before going to get this dog and spend a lot of money. Getting a dog bred for you does not come cheap either.

The Cocker Spaniel has what you can call a sweet and stable temperament. Cocker Spaniel’s fame skyrocketed in the wake of the movie Lady and the Tramp.

Poodles have an orientation to people. Cockapoos do not require as much grooming as the Poodle. Breeders feel that getting a healthy and temperament is more important than the dog’s appearance something that they continue to strive for.

So, the Cockerpoodle hybrid works as it was intended. You get an intelligent dog with the spirit of a Poodle and the field spirit of the Cocker Spaniel which does not always work.

But all that is not important if you get a dog that is sweet, cute and attached to you.

With all these being said Poodles have a reputation of being hypoallergenic meaning that if you have allergies you can tolerate this dog.

Because Cockapoos have Poodles in their heritage it is assumed that they will be hypoallergenic.

Cockerpoodle History

Cockapoo is an old hybrid that has been in existence since the 1960s. However, the first breed might have been accidental.

The reception the puppies got was good and so the Cockapoo line began.

Cockapoos are on the verge of becoming a true breed as efforts are being made to establish the breeds standards. Cockerpoodles are now producing offspring that have consistent traits and personalities. These dogs are becoming a prized family dog.

The moment Cockapoos started becoming known his popularity continued to grow on and on. A Cockapoo Club of America was formed in 1999 by Mary D.Foley to create a breed standard and to create breeding consistencies.

What the club advocates for is the breeding of multigeneration Cockerpoodles other than creating new lines of the same. This is to maintain the desired qualities something that is not seen in the new generations.

The American Cockapoo Club was formed in 2004  and whose members have a breed standard. Members do not mix generation or breed Cockapoos back to Cocker Spaniels or Poodles.

The North American Cockapoo registry formed in 1999 is also striving to make the Cockerpoodle a viable breed.

This registry provides certifications to Cockapoos that are from the first generation all through to the sixth generation breedings. What the registry states are that a true Cockerpoodle is only that which is bred from a purebred Poodle and a purebred Cocker Spaniel.

With all these efforts in place Cockapoo’s popularity continues to grow and this dog may be on the verge of not only becoming a designer breed but also a purebred.

General Characteristics of a Cockapoo

Cockapoo general characteristics table
Average height 12-24 pounds
Average height 10-15 inches
Lifespan 14-18 Years
Scientific name Canis lupus familiaris
Breed group mixes and more
colors Blonde, Chocolate, Black with Spots, red, Roan, Merle, Beige, Tan, Sable, Cream, White, Brown, Black

Cockapoo may look more like a Cocker Spaniel or Poodle depending on the genes. Also, depending on the parent breeds their size and weight can vary greatly.

Due to these difference, the Cockerpoodle has four different size categories:

The Standard or Maxi Cockapoo can weigh more than 19 pounds and can get to at least 15 inches of height. A Standard Cockapoo that was grown from a Standard Poodle can take 9 months to grow to full size. The color of the dog does not determine the rate of growth.

A maxi Cockapoo

Miniature Cockapoos weigh between 13-18 pounds and can stand at a height of between 11-14 inches. This dog is ideal for you if you have a smaller house and want a dog that is less time-intensive.

The Toy Cockapoo has a sturdy build weighing up to 12 pounds and has a height that ranges from 9-10 inches. A Toy Cockapoo is a mix between a Miniature Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel.  This dog can live for up to 17 years.

The Teacup Cockapoo is the smallest in size weighing less than 6 pounds with a height that is less than 10 inches. This dog is got from the breeding a Miniature Poodle and a small Cocker Spaniel. If you are also looking for a perfect dog for apartment living this dog will suit you just right.

Cockerpoodle coat 

Cockapoos have different types of coats and fur. They have a single coat that can be soft, have tight curls, wavy, straight or have looping curls. Most of them have coats that are wavy or curly but should not be kinky.

Some have a straight Cocker spaniel coat or just the typical Poodle coat. The straight or curly coat is always soft.

Cockerpoodles can be found in all the colors that are found in either a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel with more color varieties than those seen in other breeds.

These colors are blonde, chocolate, black with spots, red, roan, merle, beige, tan, sable, cream, white, brown or black. A breeder that has experience should be able to give you advice on what type of coat the puppy will have.

Also, when the puppy is just a few weeks old you will be able to start seeing the coat take shape.

Do Cockapoos shed?

Cockerpoodles have a reputation for not shedding their hair, but is what they say true? The good thing about hybrid dogs is that the traits that are not desirable can easily be bred out.

No one knows why exactly the Cockapoo was bred though the benefits are quite clear. One of those benefits is the Poodles tight curls which have always been great for people that cannot stand hovering upon loads of hair. However, there comes an age where a puppy is on the transitional period to adulthood.

During this period your puppy will most definitely shed hair as he loses the puppy coat and develops a new adult coat. This molting period is something that you cannot avoid but regular brushing and grooming will mean that you will deal with less hair.

Point to note. If you do not get rid of the molting hair that lovely coat that your Cockapoo has will start to matt and even grow dreads.

Cockerpoodles that inherit the Cocker’s coat will, however, have varying results from the ones that inherit the Poodles coat. Puppies that inherit the Cocker’s coat will have a coat that is wavy and can grow to a length of 15 centimeters.

However, while some Cocker’s shed-like crazy some hardly shed at all. You can lessen this by keeping the hair at a manageable length and regular grooming. Also, remember that the smaller the dog is the lesser he will shed.

Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?

Poodles are relatively known to be low dander producing dogs and are also low-shedding.

This is a trait that is carried to their cross-breeds like the Cockapoo. Cockapoos produce less dander than the average.

The thing that you can do if you want to be a potential Cockerpoodle owner is spending some time with the puppy or even the adult dog and get to monitor your reaction. Bathing and your dog or having a groomer do it for you will help keep the dander level at its lowest.

Cockapoo’s personality

Cockapoo was bred to be a companion dog but the temperament will vary depending on the traits that he inherits from that of the parent.

With the best trait being that he is intelligent and easy to please. You will find that the dog’s friendly, happy and outgoing nature will please anyone that he interacts with.

The dog can be active or simply enjoy spending time with you on the couch depending on the temperament. Remember if the parents do not have the desired quality traits then neither will the offspring.

Being a companion dog a Cockapoo prefers being with the family and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long.


Cockerpoodles are incredibly intuitive and will pick up your emotions, routine and even your attitude.

All this leads us to another point of the dog temperament which is that he is a very sensitive dog. They react to your emotional state and mood. If you get upset, angry, insecure or otherwise unstable your Cockapoo tries to address these issues.

The problem comes in if your issues are long term. If you are always anxious your dog will become messed up to one wreck of an animal. Try to keep calm when around your Cockapoo and this is especially during training.

Something comes up with this dog’s intelligence and it is boredom which does not fare well with a Cockerpoodle. If you are planning to own one or already have, be prepared to keep him busy.

They need mental and physical stimulation to channel their energy and not doing this will lead to psychological and behavioral problems.

Is Cockerpoodles good with children and other pets?

Cockapoos are great with children and other pets. They have energy levels that are enough even for the most active kids and also their patience makes ideal if you have kids.

These dogs like running like the wind and continue acting like puppies even when they get old. At the dog parks, these dogs are stars interacting and provoking even the quietest of dogs.

Their tendency to get overly excited can scare away some of the stand-offish pets.

Living in an apartment

You may be wondering if an apartment will be suitable for apartment living.

We got the answer to that. Cockapoos are very adaptable animals that can live even in an apartment.

However, smaller varieties of Cockerpoodle tend to do better in an apartment compared to the Standard or Maxi Cockapoo. But, you still need to train them and keep them mentally and physically stimulated to prevent them from getting bored.

Does a Cockapoo bark much?

Any dog can bark. Some breeds of dogs tend to bark more than others.

This is especially for guard dogs that have an urge to protect the family, some bark just because they are bored. Cockapoos are not guarding dogs but remember that they are a mix between the Poodle and Cockers. Cocker Spaniels are hunting dogs that tend to get a little noisy and so your Cockapoo might bark from time to time. But, this is not a cause for alarm.

Never reward a dog for barking or otherwise, this will become a habit. Take time and train that barking is not a good habit.

You have to keep in mind that you should also not punish your dog for noise as this is just their way of communication. Punishing him might just make the situation much worse and you will end up with a very noisy companion.

Feeding a Cockerpoodle 

There some things that you have to consider while feeding your Cockapoo. The first thing that you have to put into consideration is the size of the dog.

Cockapoos fall into four different sizes when fully grown. For the Maxi Cockapoo, you can start with 1 and 3/4 cups of food in a day. Mini Cockapoos will require about a 1 and a third cups of food per day.

For Toy Cockapoos above 10 pounds and Minis under 15 pounds will need about one cup of food ina day. Toy Cockapoos below 10 pounds will need about 3/4 cups of food in a day. For Teacup Cockapoos you can reduce this amount to a half cup of food in a day.

Plan your feeding schedule according to your dog’s preferences.

Cockerpoodles tend to be high energy dogs and if that is the case for you, you may need to feed your dog more.

If your Cockapoo is lazy and is always laying around the house you may have to reduce this amount.

Also, if the food you are giving your pooch is filled with fillers and air that means it does not have all the nutrients that he may require. In this case, you will need to feed more to your Cockapoo.

While feeding your dog also take age into account. Get puppy food for your puppy and young adult dog because these foods have more nutrients that help with their development.

Puppies eat two to three times as much as the adult Cockapoo. Older dogs should have food that has been specifically developed for them but they will eat less and will be less active compared to puppies.

What to feed your Cockapoo

Dry foods:

There are many commercially available dry foods and it can be difficult to choose what suits your Cockapoo.

The best foods are the ones that have fish, chicken or any other meat sources listed as their ingredients to give the dog enough proteins. You should check to see that these foods have little grains have been added.

Such foods provide dogs with high-quality nutrients. Dogs that are given dry foods tend to have fewer allergies most skin allergies and their coats seem to shine.


BARF stands for biologically appropriate raw foods. These foods are made to mimic the diet of wolves and other wild canines. 80% of the diet is made up of raw meat and bones and the rest comes from fruits and vegetables such as carrots, berries, and broccoli.

If your Cockapoo is a picky eater this food may be well suited for him. Dogs fed on barf tend to have health issues, especially with their digestive system and their skin. If you don’t have time to prepare these foods for your dog you can simply buy those that have been manufactured.

Use safe procedures while working with raw meat. Clean the utensils, surfaces and your hands and remember to consult your veterinarian before giving raw meat to your dog.


Your Cockapoo will love it when you give him treats.

Giving treats to your dog is not bad but you should be aware that giving him too many can affect his health. If your dog is inactive giving too many high-calorie foods can make him overweight.

You don’t have to give them store-bought treats, you can just boil some chicken or cubed liver and trust me Cockapoos love these as rewards.

These treats come in handy especially when you are training them. If you are looking for outdoor treats then raw bones with no sharp joints or center holes will be great. Avoid all kinds of cooked bones as they tend to splinter.

Although Cockapoos love human food as treats there are some foods that you should completely avoid. These are foods such as onions, macadamia nuts, raisins or chocolate as they are all toxic to dogs.

Cockapoo Calorie requirement table
Cockapoo weighing 25 ponds
You will need to feed him about 780 calories in a day

Cockapoo Puppies 

Toy Poodles have the smallest litter size of all dog and it is for this reason that the Cocker Spaniel should be the mother and Toy Poodle should be the dad. Litter size is usually anywhere from 4 to 8 puppies. Poodles are generally smaller than Cocker preventing birth and mating complications.

During the times when the Miniature Poodle is used, it does not matter who the mother or father is.

Cockapoo puppies can cost anywhere from $800-$1200.

When the English Cocker Spaniel is used for breeding the puppies are usually bigger than those that are produced by the American Cocker Spaniel. Cockapoos generally mature within 12 months.

Cockckerpoodle puppy
A Cockerpoodle pup

Grooming requirements for a Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix

Grooming a cockapoo puppy

Although the coats of Cockapoo puppies may vary maintaining them is relatively easy.

During the first brush the coat 4 to 5 times a week for about 10 minutes. For grooming during these months, you will need a simple grooming kit that consists of a brush, a comb, nail clippers, and a slicker brush.

You may also need to praise and give the puppy treats to make grooming a pleasant experience. Although your puppy may not really need treats, as the adult coat comes in you will them to familiarize the dog with the grooming process.

The nails should be trimmed every 2 to 3 months using nail clippers.

A professional groomer should be able to this at a low cost but if you want to it by yourself just cut the end hooks.

This is because dog toenails have blood vessels in them and if you are not conservative about it the dog might end up bleeding. Trimming the nails helps prevent painful tears.

As you are bathing the puppy you may need to use a shampoo that is free from detergents and soap to prevent your puppy’s skin from drying out. You will need to familiarise your dog with bathing because they all react differently.

Brush the teeth 2-3 times a week to remove bacteria and tartar between the teeth.

Grooming an adult Cockapoo

After 8 months the adult coat starts to come and what was once an easy coat to care now starts to matt.

This happens because your puppy’s coat is starting to molt to allow the adult coat to come in.

The new adult coat can grow up to 15 cms long and so you will need to have confidence and grooming knowledge to keep the coat this long.

grooming a Cockapoo
before and after photos of Cockapoo grooming

Straight coats

For Cockapoos that have straight coats, you can keep them looking great by brushing the coats 2-3 times a week and bathing after 2 or 3 months. It may also be necessary that you trim the hair around the eyes and the ears to help them have a clear vision.

Wavy coats

To keep this wavy coats at their full length you will have to pay an extra price which is extra grooming tools and extra grooming.

If you are planning to keep the coat at full length it would be important you note that the coat will molt two times every year for a period of about two weeks.

When you stroke your dog’s coat you may not be able to feel the skin but you will feel the matting. At this time you must give special attention to the coat while removing the molted undercoat.

It will be a slow process that will involve several grooming sessions so you should have patience.

Groom the coat while it is still wet and conditioned as brushing the coat while it is dry can damage the hair shaft and breaks it to some degree.

If you are not willing to go through all these hustles you can just give the dog a teddy bear trim that is neat.


Tight curly coats

Keeping this coat at the full length is an almost impossible task as this coat mats very easily.

So, you may just need to give the dog a teddy bear trim like the one mentioned above. You should trim the coat to about 4 centimeters long. This is because the coat absorbs a lot of dirt and this length can be easily rinsed off and dry.

A coat of this length can be brushed when dry.

You may also need to be taking the dog to a professional groomer after every 3 months but during the period in between, you will be doing routine grooming. Also, pay close attention to the hair around the ears to prevent them from blocking the wax in the ear canal.

It can be helpful that you as the dog owner learn to groom the dog by yourself to avoid incurring extra costs from a groomer. This also improves the bond between you and your dog by spending time with him during grooming.

Training requirements 

Both of the Cockapoo parent breeds are considered very easy to train and are actually on the list of the easiest dogs to train.

Most of the Cockapoo owners claim that training this dog is easy and fun. This crossbreed is not completely established and the claims cannot be fully proven as each generation usually has different traits.

However, if you own a Cockapoo you will find that he responds well to reward-based training and positive reinforcement.

For example, if you want to train your dog to sit, reward him when he sits.

The dog quickly associates the behavior with a reward and will always react positively. If she fails to sit then do not punish her and instead of doing this then just ignore the behavior.

You should note that due to the sensitive side of the Cocker Spaniel you should avoid being aversive by all means. Rewards can be treats, praises and even petting.

Potty training should be your first priority immediately your dog gets home or when the Cockapoo is still a puppy. To learn more about toilet training you can visit the article in this link. Crate training should be your next priority.

Once you have completed the home training you can now move on to manners training. You should train your dog to stop jumping on people and that biting is not good behavior. Details are in the articles in the links.

Make sure that your dog does not get bored as he may end with some behaviors that you may not like such as biting, barking, chewing on stuff and even digging.

Cockapoo health problems 

Cockapoos are regarded as healthy breeds that do not have a lot of health issues. However, they can develop some health issues such as cataracts, ear infections, patellar luxation, allergies, liver disease, and hip dysplasia.

You should note that not all Cockapoos have these issues or will develop any of these issues.

Hip dysplasia

This is an inherited condition where the bone at the thigh fails to fit hip joint snugly.

Some dogs will show signs of pain on one or both of the rear legs but others may not show any sign that they are not comfortable. To diagnose the best thing you can do is to get an x-ray screening. As the dog gets older he may develop arthritis.


Dogs commonly suffer from allergies and the Cockapoo is one of them. The most common forms of allergies are food allergies. You can treat food allergies by stopping your dog from eating certain foods.

Inhalant allergies are also common. They are caused by airborne allergens such as mildew, dust and even pollen. There are also contact allergies which are reactions to topical substances such as chemicals, dog shampoos, beddings, and powder to get rid of fleas.


Cataracts cause opacity of the eye lenses that results in poor vision. You will see a cloudy appearance in the dog’s eyes.

This condition mostly occurs at an old age. Cataracts can be treated by surgery where it is removed to improve the dog’s vision.

Patellar luxation

This condition is also known as stifles and is a condition that is common in small dogs. Luxation basically means the dislocation of an anatomical part.

Patellar luxation occurs when the dog’s kneecap(patella) is gets dislocated from the grove of the thigh bone in the femur causing a lot of pain to the dog.

This condition can also cause your dog to get crippled but your Cockapoo can still lead a normal life even with the condition.

Ear infections

Cockapoo may be plagued by these conditions because of the floppy ears.

This is because the ear can trap dirt, debris, and even moisture. It is for this reason that you should get your pooch regular ear checks and clean.

Your vet can assist you in getting the best ear care products.


Cockapoo is not a known barker but some of them will bark when they see a stranger approaching the house or when he is left alone for long periods.

Cockerpoodles have a low amount of dander making them good for people that have allergies.

This Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix should be a low non-shedding dog with little dog odor.

Cockapoos are mostly happy and friendly as they were bred to be companions for human beings.

With positive reinforcement training, the Cockapoo should not be a hard task for you thanks to their intelligence.

The size, look and personality of a Cockapoo is not as predictable as that of a purebred.

There you go WOOF!!!

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One thought on “Cockapoo – The definitive guide to a Cockapoo

  1. It’s interesting to know that even though cockapoos will generally not shed that at some point they will lose their puppy coat and grow an adult coat. My wife and I are both allergic to most animals, but we’re thinking of trying to get a dog anyway. If we get a cockapoo, we’ll have to remember to brush it when it gets to that stage so that we can manage the hair a bit easier.

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