When you’re looking for a new dog that will fit in with the family, there are many considerations that you need to make. Since you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about getting a Cockapoo. It’s true that Cockapoos make wonderful family dogs, so you’re definitely on the right track!
Cockapoos are popular dogs, so here’s a thorough overview of the breed and what you can expect when you bring one of these adorable dogs home.
Why Are Cockapoos Great Family Dogs?
They have the perfect amount of energy: It’s just enough to keep up with the kids but not so much that you have to run yourself ragged helping them burn off excess energy. Plus, they are always up for an enjoyable cuddle session at the end of the day.
Cockapoos are easygoing and friendly, and they do well when meeting strangers and other pets. Since they are so laid back and only moderately active, they make the perfect breed for first-time dog owners.
They are also gentle with children and just generally enjoy being around their loved ones. They are silly at times and can entertain the entire family with their antics.
The Cockapoo is probably the oldest designer dog breed, being an accidental crossbreed in the United States in the 1960s.
Once this perfect accident was discovered, fans of this new breed started intentionally crossing Cocker Spaniels with Poodles, and the results are the Cockapoo that we know today.
To fully understand the Cockapoo, you should take a look at their two parent breeds.
There are two breeds of Cocker Spaniels: the American and the English. They were used as bird-hunting dogs and are the smallest of the sporting dogs. Traditionally, the American Cocker Spaniel is the breed used for breeding the Cockapoo.
They are mellow yet upbeat dogs that are super affectionate. They are also renowned for being excellent family dogs and wonderful with children and other pets — with the proper introductions and socializing, of course.
The Poodle comes in many sizes, but the Miniature Poodle is typically used as the other half of the Cockapoo.
The Poodle is said to be the second most intelligent dog breed (the Border Collie has first place), and like the Cocker Spaniel, they were bred to be hunting dogs for waterfowl.
Poodles are easily trained because of their smarts, and they are eager to please. They also get along well with children and are happy to live with other pets, with the right socialization and training.
Different Kinds of Cockapoos
With the plethora of colors and patterns that both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle can come in, it’s difficult to pinpoint what a Cockapoo’s appearance will be. Additionally, while the Miniature Poodle tends to be the breed of choice for Cockapoos, other Poodle sizes are sometimes used.
When a Standard Poodle is used, they are known as Maxi Cockapoos and can weigh up to 65 pounds. The offspring of a Toy Poodle might mean that the Cockapoo is around 5 pounds, and while it’s rare, some breeders have made Teacup Cockapoos, which can be as small as 2 pounds!
All that said, a Cockapoo bred from a Miniature Poodle typically averages 15 pounds and stands at about 14 inches.
They tend to have the curly and hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle, although this is not a guarantee. Their coats can be wavy, curly, long, medium, or short and in almost any color or pattern.
Taking Care of a Cockapoo
If you’re still keen on getting a Cockapoo, you should know what goes into taking care of one.
Most Cockapoos have similar curly and hypoallergenic coats as Poodles, but they don’t always need the same amount of intensive grooming, like those famous Poodle cuts. They should regularly have their hair carefully trimmed around their eyes, though, so they can see well.
They will need daily brushing, and most Cockapoos should have their coats trimmed on a regular basis. The curlier the Cockapoo’s coat, the more frequently it needs to be trimmed.
The good news is that due to their Poodle parents, most Cockapoos don’t tend to smell, so they don’t need a bath that often. Once a month or as required will suffice.
One of the most important parts of caring for a Cockapoo is regularly cleaning their ears. Cockapoos have long and floppy ears, which are prone to the buildup of dirt, moisture, and wax, leading to ear infections. Their ears should be cleaned once a week with ear cleaning solution and cotton balls.
Like all dogs, Cockapoos need their teeth brushed every day, which is particularly important for small breeds because they are more prone to dental problems. They should also have their nails trimmed at least once a month.
Health Care 🏥
The Cockapoo is a healthy breed that isn’t as prone to health problems as their purebred parents. But there is still a chance that they could inherit the same genetic predispositions, including:
This isn’t to say that all Cockapoos will experience any of these health conditions, but it’s good to be aware of the potential.
Exercising a Cockapoo depends on their size. The smaller the dog, the less exercise they usually need. Cockapoos still require plenty of opportunities to be physically active, but small dogs will tire faster.
The average Cockapoo needs about 15 to 30 minutes of walking twice a day. Also, throw a Frisbee or ball around for your dog, which will give you a stronger bond with them in addition to the usual exercise.
Without proper activity, these dogs will resort to destructive behaviors, like digging holes in your yard and chewing up your furniture.
Training the Cockapoo is relatively easy due to the inherited intelligence and people-pleasing nature of their Poodle parent. But like most dogs, they will respond best to positive reinforcement. While they are easy to train, they might get a little excitable at times, thanks to their Cocker Spaniel parent.
Also, you need to ensure that your Cockapoo is well-socialized. This will give you a happy and well-balanced dog.
A Few Considerations
Cockapoos are happiest when they are with their family, which means they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. This also means they can act fairly needy at times, so they might follow you around and physically look for attention and affection, such as staring at you with big, melting eyes and nudging your hand looking for pets.
The negative side of this is that Cockapoos are prone to separation anxiety, so you might need to consider crate training, especially if you will be away for most of the day.
If you have a large Cockapoo (Maxi Cockapoo), they will do better in a home with a small fenced yard, but smaller breeds can do just fine in an apartment.
The Cocker Spaniel and Poodle have similar traits, which practically guarantees that their offspring, the Cockapoo, is smart, great with children, and energetic yet easy to exercise.
Keep in mind that when you’re on the lookout for a new dog or puppy, you should only deal with reputable breeders. Check their credentials, ask for references, and ask plenty of questions. Try to visit the breeder’s kennels, if you can, as this will enable you to meet the puppies and their parents and confirm that the breeder takes good care of their dogs.
Even better would be to adopt a Cockapoo at an animal shelter.
All in all, if you’re looking for the perfect family pet that is also low maintenance, the Cockapoo might just be the ideal dog for you!
Featured Image Credit: srw-photo, Shutterstock