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Everything you need to know about: Cockapoos

Written by Napo HQ
Reviewed by Dr Louisa Lane
4th May 2022
6 min read
Summary
Cute and clownish Cockapoos are the most popular crossbreed in the UK, and are generally considered to be good family pets. Cockapoos need grooming 2-3 times a week and at least an hour of exercise a day, and can be more prone to ear infections, hip dysplasia, and pancreatitis. New owners should be aware that the high demand for these dogs means some irresponsible breeders are taking advantage of unknowing owners and selling low-welfare puppies.

Key Stats

Height
25 to 40cm
Weight
3 to 11kg
Size
Small to large
Lifespan
12 to 15 years
Coat
Medium, smooth, curly
Exercise
30 to 60 mins
Grooming
Weekly
Temper
Smart, playful, sweet

Breed History

Cockapoos are a crossbreed of dog created by breeding Poodles and Cocker Spaniels together. They have boomed in popularity in the last few years.
However, this crossbreed has actually been around since the 60s and is sometimes called the first “designer dog”.
A cream Cockapoo puppy

Appearance

Cockapoos can be small, medium, or large dogs depending on what size Poodle is in their ancestry. Their appearance can also look more like a Cocker or Poodle depending on their genetics.
Usually, they’re medium-sized dogs with a “teddy bear” face, curly fur, and long floppy ears. They also come in dozens of different colours.

What colours can Cockapoos be?

Cockapoos can be any of these colours, and might have some white or tan markings:
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Sable
  • Liver
  • Cafe au lait
  • Apricot
  • Cream
  • Lemon
  • Gold
  • White
  • Silver
  • Blue
  • Blue roan
  • Red roan
  • Lemon roan
  • Liver roan
A little girl cuddling a red Cockapoo puppy

Temperament

The typical Cockapoo temperament is excitable, full of energy, and extremely affectionate.
They have the outgoing and hardworking traits of a Cocker Spaniel combined with the intelligence and loyalty of a Poodle. Their smarts and eagerness to please make this breed easy to train too.
Because Cockapoos are intelligent and active dogs, owners must provide their dog with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy.
Their affectionate nature means they can be prone to separation anxiety.
Napo
covers behavioural treatments, so you can get help to stop your dog from feeling anxious when you’re not there.
However a Cockapoo is a crossbreed, so their temperament can vary depending on their genetics. A good breeder will only breed dogs with good health and great temperaments, and you can find out how to spot a good breeder
with this blog post
.

How much exercise do Cockapoos need?

How much exercise a Cockapoo needs depends on their size.
Toy Cockapoos only need 30-60 minutes of exercise per day, but bigger dogs need one hour per day as a minimum.
An adult black and white Cockapoo

How to groom a Cockapoo

Because Cockapoos can have curly or smooth coats, how you care for their fur will depend on the kind of coat they have.
Smooth-coated Cockapoos will need to be brushed 2-3 times a week and bathed every few weeks.
Curly coated Cockapoos need to be combed 2-3 times a week to prevent matting. They should also have a haircut every 3 months because their fur grows continuously and does not shed.
Regardless of coat, all Cockapoos need to have their ears cleaned every 1-3 months, and their claws must be trimmed 1-2 times a month.
red Cockapoo puppy sitting on a bed

Common Cockapoo health problems

Because of their shared genetics, Cockapoos can inherit any problems Cocker Spaniels or Poodles are prone to.

Ear Infections

Cockapoos long and floppy ears let less airflow in, so moisture, dirt, and bacteria can get trapped and infected.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a painful condition where the ball and socket joint of the hip don’t fit together properly. Weight loss, physiotherapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs can help some dogs, but many require corrective surgery.

Epilepsy

Cockapoos may develop epilepsy if it is inherited from their Poodle ancestors.

Allergies

Touted as an anti-allergenic dog, Cockapoos are prone to allergies themselves. Their parent breeds can develop skin allergies - which may need treatment and testing to identify the cause.

Pancreatitis

All dogs can develop pancreatitis, but Cockapoos are more likely to suffer from the condition than most.

Luxating Patella

Both parent breeds are prone to luxating patella, when the kneecap dislocates or moves out of place. Mild cases usually don’t need treatment, but severe ones need corrective surgery to allow dogs to move freely without pain and prevent osteoarthritis.

Hormonal conditions

Poodles are predisposed to many different hormonal problems which some Cockapoos can inherit. Some of these conditions include Cushing’s Disease, Addison’s Disease, and Hypothyroidism.

Frequently Asked questions

Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?
Cockapoos are often considered “hypoallergenic” because they can inherit the Poodle's no shed coat. However, many Cockapoos take after their Cocker parentage and can shed and may still trigger allergies.
It’s important to remember that no dog is ever completely hypoallergenic, even breeds that don’t shed.
Are Cockapoos good family dogs?
Cockapoos are generally considered to be great family pets because they are sweet-natured, loving, gentle, and playful. They’re sociable amongst other dogs and humans of all ages, making them a good choice for families.
However, young children and dogs must always be supervised together and children should be taught how to safely interact with any pets in the household.
Are Cockapoos easy to train?
Cockapoos are relatively easy to train because they’re smart like a Poodle and eager to please like a Cocker Spaniel.
Poodles and Cockers are both working breeds originally with biddable and trainable temperaments which most Cockapoos inherit.
Like any dog, you’ll need to be patient and consistent with training. Regular socialisation and positive reinforcement of good behaviour are key.
When is a Cockapoo fully grown?
A Cockapoo is considered fully grown by the time they’re 12 months old.
They usually reach their adult height by 9 months old, but continue to fill out and put on weight for a few more months. (Just make sure they don’t put on too much weight and become obese.)
When do Cockapoos calm down?
Most people love Cockapoos because they have tons of energy and a bouncy, puppyish personality.
That being said, many Cockapoos calm down once they reach adulthood and you might notice your dog settles down when they’re between 1 and 3 years old.
What does an F1 or F2 Cockapoo mean?
F1 means a first-cross, so an F1 Cockapoo’s parents are a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.
Each number means an additional generation, so an F2 Cockapoo has Cockapoo parents, but Cocker Spaniel and Poodle grandparents.
An F1b Cockapoo means the dog has one Cockapoo parent and one Poodle or Cocker Spaniel parent.
An F2b Cockapoo would have Cockerpoo parents, but a mix of Cockapoo, Poodle, and Cocker grandparents.
Cockapoo vs Cavapoo: What's the difference?
Cockapoos and Cavapoos look alike and have similar personalities.
However, Cavapoos are bred with a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel so they are usually smaller than Cockapoos. They are also believed to be calmer.
Meanwhile, Cockapoos are bigger, have longer muzzles, and require more exercise.