Written by Vet Tech

The Cockapoo – Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
The adorable Cockapoo is the first of the 'designer dogs', dating back to the 1960s. But there is much more to this breed than adorable appearance and calm personality. Read on and discover if Cockapoo is the right dog for you.

The cockapoo is an adorable breed that has captured the hearts of dog lovers with their affection. With their goofy personality and their big hearts, it’s no wonder they are a part of so many families.

In this article, we’ll discuss what makes a Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix so special, and the ways you can keep them happy in your home.

Cockapoo History

The Cockapoo is one of the first “designer breed” dogs, making its debut in the 1960s. Though many believe the first litter was accidental, these puppies took the world by storm.

With this hybrid of two extremely popular breeds (the poodle and cocker spaniel), breeders were able to create an adorable fluffy, low-shedding, and loving breed that is treasured to this day. The breed received immediate recognition, and it wasn’t long before the Cockapoo was a hit in the dog lover community.

While the Cockapoo is still considered a designer breed, Cockapoo breeders are working to gain official breed recognition for this popular family dog. Many believe that in time, the Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix will be recognized as a true breed according to the AKC.

Cockapoo Physical Appearance

The Cockapoo’s adorable appearance is one of the many reasons they are such a popular breed.

The Cockapoo can range in size, with four recognized size categories.

  • The Teacup Toy Cockapoo
  • The Toy Cockapoo
  • The Miniature Cockapoo
  • The Standard Cockapoo

While these all sound similar, they generally range from 6 pounds to 20 pounds, with the Teacup being the smallest and the standard is the largest. Their height also ranges from 10 inches to 15 inches in height.

Aside from their range in size is their array of coat colors. The Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix can be brown, black, white, cream, red, roan, sable, or even parti-color, which is a combination of colors.

Part of what makes the Cockapoo so charming is their unique coat. They generally have a longer coat that can range from straight to lose curls. No matter the type of curl, their hair is plush and soft to the touch.

They are often considered “hypo-allergenic” due to their small amount of shedding and dander. While there is no such thing as a dog that never sheds, this breed does shed significantly less than others.

Cockapoo Personality

The Cockapoo’s personality is even more endearing than their fluffy appearance. If you could pick one word to describe this breed, it would be HAPPY. They love life, and they aren’t afraid to show it.

The cockapoo is the perfect companion dog if you are looking for a people-oriented pup. They thrive in the presence of their owners and are truly happy when they can cuddle with their favorite people. These dogs are some of the most lovable pups out there.

With this intense love of their people does come the possibility of separation anxiety. Early training is necessary to help your cockapoo tolerate their time away from you.

Along with their love of humans is their love for just about everything else as well. They are extremely outgoing, making their introduction to new people and animals quite easy.

With their happy disposition comes quite a bit of energy. Though they are happy to cuddle on the couch, they are also known to be quite hyper. Frequent active play is at the top of their list of favorite things to do.

Cockapoo Health

While Cockapoos can lead a generally healthy life of 12-15 years, they are prone to a few medical conditions. Some of these conditions include:

  • Allergies: The Cockapoo, like many other dogs, are at a higher risk of food allergies, contact allergies, and inhalant allergies. This could mean allergies to certain foods, allergies to plant material in the air, or allergies to certain shampoos. The list of possible allergies are endless, and each dog’s sensitivity will vary. Though their allergies can cause discomfort, there are usually several options for treatment and management that can relieve their symptoms.
  • Patellar luxation: Patellar luxation is a common problem in small dog breeds. This condition is essentially the dislocation of the kneecap, which can be frequent and can cause discomfort. While each dog’s condition will vary in severity, there are options for treatment and pain management.
  • Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a structural problem in the hip joints, causing the joint to grind and wear away with time. With the grinding of the hip joint, dogs often experience pain, limping, limited range of motion, lameness, and slow movement over time.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts are a condition where the eye becomes cloudy, leading to vision loss as it progresses. Cataracts can occur naturally with age, but can also be a result of other medical conditions. Though cataracts can severely impact their vision, there are options for treatment and repair.
  • Ear infections: Any dog with fluffy or floppy ears will be more prone to ear infections. The excess hair and the folded ear create a perfect environment for infection to brew. Because of this, the Cockapoos ears should be regularly checked by a veterinarian and cleaned according to your vet’s standards.

Grooming Your Cockapoo

Since the Cockapoo has a longer coat, they will require some extra steps in the grooming department. Some things to consider include:

  • Haircuts: Each Cockapoo hair length will vary depending on their parents, but most Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix parents prefer to give their dogs a sanitary trim. This is the trimming of the hair around the behind, making sure no dirt or filth gets trapped in their coat. Any trapped debris can lead to discomfort.
  • Brushing: Since they have a long and plush coat, they benefit from daily brushing. Not only does this prevent tangles and mattes, but this can be a perfect time to bond with your pup. While the Cockapoo hardly sheds, daily brushing can also help to reduce pet dander.
  • Bathing: Cockapoos are known to have a coat that produces less dander, meaning they shouldn’t have to be bathed any more than once every 3 months. The Cockapoo has oils on the skin that are there to keep their skin moisturized and protected. By bathing them too often, you can throw off the natural PH of their skin. Throwing off their natural PH can lead to skin irritation and dryness.
  • Ear cleaning: Since this breed is prone to ear infections, it’s recommended to purchase an ear cleaner that your veterinarian recommends, and perform at home ear cleanings. You should speak to your veterinarian about the frequency of the ear cleaning, as you never want to irritate the ear more than necessary, and since each dog will vary with ear debris.
  • Nail trimming: The nails can often be hidden by their furry paws, so it’s important to keep their nails trimmed and at a comfortable length. One to two times a month is usually acceptable for nail trims for a Cockapoo.
  • Anal glands: Many small dogs have difficulties expressing their animal glands on their own, which are tiny sacs located on the inside of their anus. These glands are meant to express naturally when passing stool, but some small dogs have difficulties. When full, these glands can become painful and infected. Because of this, most veterinarians recommend expressing the anal glands once a month at your vet or groomers.

Training Your Cockapoo

Since the Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix is so intelligent, the training process is usually quite easy, including the potty training. They catch on quickly and truly enjoy a fun training process.

The Cockapoo responds extremely well to positive reinforcement. When offering treats and positive attention during your training process, you are creating the perfect environment to best suit your Cockapoo’s learning process. Not only do they love to learn, they appreciate any time that they get to spend with their favorite humans.

It’s recommended to start training your pup at 8 weeks of age, or at the point of adoption. While it is easier to train them from the time they are a puppy, they respond well to training at any age.

Cockapoo Exercise

Cockapoos have a moderate energy level, meaning they do appreciate the daily play. While they may not need hours of endless activity, they do prefer at least 15-20 minutes of stimulating fun.

They can get bored with activities, so make sure to alternate between walks, fetch, toys, and any other activities that they enjoy.

If you are living in a home without access to a yard or room for exercise, it’s recommended to walk your Cockapoo daily so they don’t experience pent up energy. A restless Cockapoo can be destructive and can lead to behavioral problems.

Important Tips For Owning A Cockapoo

A Cockapoo would be an incredible addition to any home, as they make a wonderful companion for any family. If you choose to adopt a Cockapoo, here are a few tips to remember:

  • They are a hybrid breed, meaning they are not recognized as a true breed. This does not make them any less lovable, though.
  • They range in size, and there are 4 different size groups of Cockapoos.
  • They are intelligent, meaning they thrive in a stimulating environment.
  • They are outgoing and kind, meaning they are a great option for families with other pets.
  • They respond well to positive reinforcement training, not fear-based training.
  • Since they are at risk to a few genetic conditions, it’s best to get your Cockapoo from a breeder that has health certificates on your puppies parents. If you adopt a Cockapoo from a rescue, you should have them seen by your veterinarian to out any major health conditions.
  • They love playtime, so try your best to set aside 15-20 minutes of daily play.
  • They can experience separation anxiety, so if you are not home for the majority of the day, this may not be the right breed for you.
  • Since they have a plush coat, they benefit from daily brushing.


Overall, the Cockapoo is a treasured pet in the dog world and continues to prove just how amazing of a companion they are. If you are looking for a sweet and outgoing pup for your family, the Cockapoo may be for you!