Let’s talk about… Cockapoos: what are they
- Cockapoos started to be deliberately bred in the United States in the 1960s, and are one of the earliest “designer” crosses. They were initially a cross between American cocker spaniels and miniature poodles, but now come in many more cocker spaniel and poodle crosses. Some cockapoos have both parents as cockapoos.
- Although not a recognised breed, they are very popular, well-known and well-loved.
- Cockapoos, (even in the same litter!) can look quite different to each other, as some take on more spaniel and some more poodle traits.
- They are widely known for being loving, friendly, full of energy and a great family pet. They generally love playtime, walks and plenty of cuddles! Their high level of intelligence and work-ethic from their gun dog roots, also makes them excellent assistance dogs.
- Most cockapoos weigh between 7-11kg but this depends on what cross they are.
- They have a height of between 23-46cm, again depending on the cross. Checking out the size of mum and dad can give you a bit more of an idea on what height they will be.
- Their lifespan tends to be between 12-16 years depending on the health of the individual dog. The oldest recorded cockapoo is reported to have lived for 23 years!
Overview of article
What is the temperament of cockapoos like?
- Cockapoos are very friendly and personable. They are often described as one of the happiest breeds of dogs.
- If socialised with them at a young age, they enjoy the company of children and other animals.
- They are often thought of as a good first dog, as they are amenable to being trained and easy to handle.
- Some people have cockapoos that don’t make a peep, and others have ones that have a lot to say. So whether they bark a lot or not, can be quite individual. In general cockapoos are happy to use a woof or a bow wow to get your attention.
- As cockapoos love company so much they can get a bit upset when left alone. But like with any dog, appropriate training can help to prevent separation anxiety, or working with a dog behaviourist if your dog already has this issue.
What kind of exercise do cockapoos need?
- On average, an adult cockapoo needs about 1 hour of exercise a day, split into two 30mins walks, but a lot of them will happily walk further.
- Puppies should get less than this and a basic guide is 5 minutes per month of age.
- Cockapoos can be full of energy, and also very smart, so as well as the physical exercise they get on walks, they need plenty of mental stimulation.
- To engage their brains, why not make your cockapoo our DIY Spin Bottle Dog Toy?
Do cockapoos need a lot of grooming?
- Cockapoos come in over fifteen different pawsome colours. These include cream, apricot, red, black and chocolate. Any of these solid colours can have white markings too. They can also be roan (even mix of white and colour), merle (dappled), sable (lighter coloured hair, with black tips) and tri-colour (solid, with white and tan).
- Their coats can be soft, tight curls, looser waves or even a straighter coat.
- Cockapoos are often thought to be hypoallergenic, and usually shed a low amount of hair. Some allergies us humans have though, can be to the dog’s skin cells and not the hair, so borrowing a cockapoo first before adopting can be a helpful idea before adopting your own!
- How much grooming cockapoos need depends on their coat type. However regular brushing and visits to the groomer approximately every 3 months can be beneficial for them. Some will need more regular haircuts.
- As with all dogs, as they don’t sweat, unless they have a specific skin condition and are advised to do so by your vet, only bathe cockapoos when they’re dirty. This can be more often than other breeds as they love water and muddy puddles!
- Some people recommend plucking the hair from the ears of cockapoos, but it is often not needed in a dog with healthy ears. But all dogs are different, so your vet and/or groomer can advise in your dog’s individual case.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are cockapoos easy to train?
- Cockapoos are smart which means they can be easy to train, as long as they are kept engaged and also get plenty of breaks so they don’t get tired and frustrated.
- They love to please so will be very keen to show to their beloved owner their skills.
- They also love attention and treats so both can be useful training rewards.
- Their great sense of smell, means scent work can be a great fun area for training and games. It can also mean they are easily led astray, so keep them engaged.
- They love to retrieve things, sometimes the challenge can be getting that thing back, but with training they can be very good at giving what they ‘find’ to you.
What do cockapoos eat?
- Adult cockapoos should eat a balanced diet twice daily. They can also have occasional treats, but like any dog, watch out for the extra calories. Puppies should initially eat four times a day, then down to three, then to two at six months old.
- For most cockapoos you can make the change from puppy to adult food gradually at between 10 and 12 months old. Your pet food supplier and/or vet can advise in individual cases.
- Although not the worst breed for weight gain, cockapoos can get overweight relatively easily. You should be able to comfortably feel your pup’s ribs, but not count them, when they are standing normally. They should also have a nice neat waist when you look from the top, and then should have a bit of a tuck from their chest up to their tummy. If you are worried your cockapoo could be a bit overweight then contact your vet practice for advice.
- Some cockapoos have food intolerances or allergies. In some cases this can be seen as an upset stomach, but with a lot of dogs signs like itchy skin and ears, can be caused by food allergies! Your vet can advise on specific diets if they think this could be happening to your cockapoo.
- Cockapoos love a good treat as a reward, but like any dog, this should only make up a maximum of 10% of their daily calorie intake. Whinnie, the cockapoo, loves our banana and peanut butter yoghurt treats, so why not try to make them for yours?
Are cockapoos healthy?
Cockapoos were bred to be healthier than cocker spaniels and poodles individually, but they are still at risk of some of the conditions recognised from each of these breeds.
These can include problems with:
- Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be
- Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint
- Allergies - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and usually results in skin irritation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - over time the back of the eye becomes damaged which can reduce your dog’s vision, eventually leading to blindness
- Glaucoma - the pressure of the eye becomes too high which can damage the eye
- Cataracts - this common condition leads to clouding of the lens of the eye, which can lead to blindness
Always make sure to have your dog insured, so you don’t get caught out with any unexpected vet bills.
Our vet top tip
Get cockapoos used to grooming at a young age, even if you just start with a soft brush when they’re puppies. Particularly those with curly poodle coats, might need regular trips to the groomer, and making them see early that grooming is fun and filled with rewards is a great way to make groomer trips less stressful
BorrowMyDoggy loves Cockapoos
BorrowMyDoggy has 26,967 Cockapoo members
What do BorrowMyDoggy owners and borrowers say about their cockapoos?
Stanley's owner Aimee says:
He is lovable, playful but also highly intelligent so responds well to play time and tricks/rewarding. He loves long walks but is equally happy nestled up on the sofa.
Really pleased that we joined BorrowMyDoggy as it's opened up a whole new world for me, as I've never owned a dog! My husband and I chose 2 small friendly dogs... Ruby a 1.5 year old Cockapoo who we walk 1-2 times a week, I'm confident enough to walk her on my own now. She is adorable and we've introduced her to our 2 grandsons, who love to help to walk her. They're gaining experience around dogs and Ruby's owner is pleased that she is getting used to children, so it's been beneficial to us all. Our other dog is Sandi a 3 year old Dachshund who has a great personality. She is friendly towards other dogs, unless they have long legs, then she barks at them! When our grandsons met Sandi they loved the novelty of feeding her dog treats that her owner provides. We live opposite a park and now we walk the dogs so many more people stop to talk to us. It's been a wonderful experience and given us such pleasure, without the responsibility of owning a dog ourselves.
Ruby and Sandi's borrower, Christine from Brighton
I joined BorrowMyDoggy as my girls have always been desperate to have a dog but work and other commitments have meant this was not possible. It has been a really positive experience for us all as the girls love their new friend and are now desperate to get out for walks at every opportunity rather than being stuck in front of a screen. Rolo, a 3 year old Cockapoo, is a lovely dog but the biggest surprise has been how kind and generous his owner has been, allowing us to borrow him on a very regular basis. All in all, I can't recommend BorrowMyDoggy highly enough. I wish we had done it sooner.
Rolo's borrower, Julian and family from Birmingham
And what are some of our Cockapoos’ quirks?
Owner Helen on her Cockapoo, Willis:
He is very obedient apart from when a tennis ball is involved!
Owner Chloe on her Cockapoo, George:
George is very well natured but is a little mischievous, stealing soft things is his favourite game.
The most popular name for a Cockapoo on BorrowMyDoggy is Teddy.
20 most popular Cockapoo names on BorrowMyDoggy
BorrowMyDoggy member, Mary, joined with her adorable Cockapoo, Digby and found some pawsome local pals for him:
Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.
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