The Cockapoo is a mixed breed dog, combining the best traits of two popular dog breeds – the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. Possibly the first of the designer dog breeds, Cockapoos first entered the picture officially in the 1950’s and have found their way into the hearts and homes of dog lovers worldwide ever since.
Cockapoos are registerable with both the North American Cockapoo Registry and the
Cockapoo Club of America.
The Cockapoo Club of America now recognizes two distinct variations of the Cockapoo Breed; The English Cockapoo and the American Cockapoo . As you may have guessed, these two varations were named according to the Cocker Spaniel side of the family – whether an AKC Registered English Cocker Spaniel or an AKC Registered American Cocker Spaniel were bred to an AKC Registered Poodle – whether Toy, Miniature or Standard.
The Cockapoo most likely was the result of an “oops” breeding between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, where the resulting puppies were so friendly and outgoing that the breeders decided to repeat the breeding. This crossbreed caught on, and breeders named this mix the Cockapoo, and thus began the history of this popular mixed breed.
The Cockapoo combines the best of the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel, with a wavy single coat (no undercoat) that sheds much less than double coated dogs, and is generally better for allergy sufferers. Cockapoos can be almost any color – inheriting the wide range coat colors found in both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle; Buff, Black, Apricot, Silver, Grey and others.
When it comes to size, the Cockapoo also presents a variety of choices. Depending on whether a Toy, Miniature or Standard Poodle was crossed with a Cocker Spaniel in a particular Cockapoo’s background, the puppy can grow to be anywhere from 4 pounds to 50 pounds or more.
Well bred, well socialized Cockapoos that come from healthy parents with sound temperaments are one of the most child-friendly dogs one can find. They are intelligent and loving, playful and outgoing, and can be a fantastic pet for families with small children, disabled people or elderly dog lovers.
That being said, no dog, regardless of the breed should be left unattended around small children. This is for the benefit of both the dog and the child. Any dog may nip or bite in self defense in response to torture from a toddler, and many a toddler I have met has been known to pull ears and tails, hit with toys, gouge at eyes with crayons, and perform other atrocious actions if given free reign with dogs and puppies. You should always supervise toddlers around dogs and puppies – regardless of the breed. A toddler can cause serious harm to your pet, and a dog nip or bite can be a life-threatening situation to your child. No dog is 100% child-safe. A Toy or Teacup Cockapoo is NOT a good choice for families with small children – too dainty.
Cockapoo Exercise Info
Size pretty much dictates the activity needs of the Cockapoo. Toy and Teacup Cockapoos require minimal amounts of exercise and are a good match for people living in small spaces such as apartments or condos. The larger Cockapoos from Standard and Minature Poodle lineage need more exercise and a securely fenced yard in which to romp.
All Cockapoos enjoy a good walk with their owners, and will gladly accompany their family on outdoor excursions.
Cockapoos inherit the athletic ability of their Poodle and Cocker Spaniel parents, and do very well in dog activities such as obedience, agility, flyball, frisbee, etc. Cockapoos also make excellent therapy dogs.
Cockapoo Grooming Info
This is about the only drawback to owning a Cockapoo. Grooming can be a bit demanding. Most owners have their Cockapoo groomed about once every 2 to 3 months, at cost of anywhere from $30 to $60. If you’re the “do it yourself” type, a set of dog clippers and a grooming kit can easily be obtained at your local pet store or Walmart. Basic dog grooming is a skill that can be mastered fairly easily, especially with such a mild mannered and agreeable subject to work on.
Other than regular clipping, you should try to give your Cockapoo a good brushing every couple of days to keep mats and snarls at bay. Ears should be wiped out weekly or so with an acidifying cleanser (also available at the pet store or Walmart) to keep the ears clean and free from yeast infections and mites.
Cockapoo Training Info
Training a Cockapoo is quite straightforward. These dogs are intelligent and respond well to consistent training.
As with all dog breeds, obedience training should begin at an early age and be consistent, and all members of the family should be involved, so that your puppy does not receive confusing, mixed messages from different members of the family.
With a little bit of work, your Cockapoo can be an extremely well behaved member of the family.
Cockapoo Health Info
The Cockapoo gains a great benefit from being a mixed breed dog – hybrid vigor. This term basically means that by mixing two or more healthy dog breeds, nature usually passes on the healthy traits to the offspring. Hybrid dogs are generally healthier than purebred dogs, since they come from a much larger gene pool. Genetic diversity helps ensure a healthy dog that is free from hereditary disorders.
That being said, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder from which to buy a Cockapoo puppy. A responsible breeder will ensure that only healthy dogs are bred to healthy dogs, further reducing the incidence of genetic conditions that can affect the puppies.
Your breeder should screen her breeding dogs for the following conditions that can be found in Cockapoos:
Patellar Luxation (OFA)
Hip Dysplasia (OFA)
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (OFA)
Eye Problems (CERF or Optigen)
Is a Cockapoo Dog or Puppy Right For You?
In a nutshell, yes, the Cockapoo is the breed for just about everyone. This adorable, intelligent, trainable, easygoing, child loving, fun-loving canine is a good match for dog lovers of all ages, and enjoys both city and country living. Cockapoos get along really well with other dogs, cats and other pets. The only type of pet that may pose a problem is pet birds, since both the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle were originally bred as bird game dogs, and may behave a bit oddly in the presence of a pet bird. It’s best to err on the side of caution if you are a bird owner.
Grooming can be a bit demanding too, but most Cockapoo owners say that it’s a small price to pay for having the priviledge of owning such an amicable, intelligent and loving canine companion.
Otherwise, a Cockapoo is a great choice, and finding a reputable Cockapoo breeder is your next step.
<h2>Finding a Responsible Cockapoo Breeder</h2>
Choosing the right Cockapoo breeder is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your quest for the perfect Cockapoo. There are many dog breeders out there – some are highly responsible – others not so much.
We recommend the following criteria be used when choosing a responsible Cockapoo breeder.
* Breeding only health screened, AKC registered parents, or health screened generational Cockapoos with AKC registered, health screened lineage.
* Breeds for health and temperament.
* Is knowledgeable and truthful about their dogs and puppies, and does not make exaggerated claims as to the non-shedding or hypoallergenic traits of the breed.
* Offers advice and assistance with housetraining, puppy care, nutrition, etc.
* Places puppies only with carefully screened owners with a good potential for providing a loving, forever home.
* Puts the welfare of her dogs and puppies before profit.
* Is committed to her dogs and puppies for life, and will provide advice and support after you take your puppy home.
* Can provide you with plenty of references from past puppy buyers, veterinary references, etc.