The Cockapoo: Care and Characteristics

The cockapoo is a cross between a poodle and an American cocker spaniel, because if an English cocker spaniel is used, then another hybrid breed is produced (called spoodle).
The Cockapoo: Care and Characteristics
Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez

Written and verified by the biologist Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Today’s dog breeds are the product of a selective breeding process. This means that humans intervene in their reproduction to ensure that certain striking traits are maintained. Today, this technique is still used to generate new types such as hybrids, which are the result of crossing two pure breeds. The cockapoo is recognized as one of the first hybrid breeds, also called designer dogs.

The cockapoo is the product of a cross between the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle breeds, so the result is a beautiful, intelligent, and very affectionate dog. Keep reading to learn more about this breed. HERE

The cockapoo: a cross between a cocker and a poodle

Designer dogs are the result of several “experiments” that seek to combine the characteristics of two breeds. This is usually done to improve certain aspects such as behavior, health, or aesthetics. However, to achieve this, established (pure) breeds whose traits don’t change much must be used, otherwise it would be impossible to predict the results.

The Cockapoo was born with the aim of maintaining the neat and adorable appearance of the Poodle, but without losing the sweet and energetic temperament of the Cocker Spaniel. This combination isn’t only a fascinating one due to its new characteristics, but it also manages to surpass in many ways its parent dogs, and is the best of both worlds.

However, the only problem is that the traits of the specimens can change even among the same litter (siblings).

A cockapoo outside.

Origin of the cockapoo

This breed has been popular since the 1960s, when the first hybrids were created almost by accident. The result of this “accident” caused breeders to realize their potential, so they continued with the production of this new type of dog.

The Cockapoo isn’t recognized as an official breed in the institutions that set canine standards, such as as the Kennel Club. This is because it comes from the hybridization of two different types of dogs, which would be defined as “impure” according to these associations. As a result, the owners can’t receive certificates of origin or pedigree, which certify its “purity”.

Characteristics of the breed

This breed can appear in at least 3 different sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. The size depends a lot on the parents that are chosen to produce it, but, more specifically on the type of poodle that’s selected. For this reason, the cockapoo’s height can range between 20 and 38 centimeters (8 to 15 inches).

This dog’s coat maintains certain similarities with its parents, as it’s usually wavy and a little fluffy. Its color is variable and can be seen with any of the patterns known for the Cocker or Poodle. In addition, it’s considered hypoallergenic because it does not molt easily.


Something that stands out in this pet is its amazing personality, as it’s affectionate, intelligent, playful, attentive, and obedient. In some cases, it can get very active, although this is usually controlled with some extra walks or games with their owners. The Cockapoo is perhaps one of the most loving and extraordinary pets, as long as it has a good quality of life.

Among the most serious problems with this hybrid breed is its tendency to suffer from separation anxiety. Its enormous affection for its owners means that it can’t cope with loneliness. For this reason, it’s best to avoid being away from them for long periods of time, otherwise, they’ll begin to have behavioral problems.

Main care

Most of the specimens of this breed aren’t very energetic as regards walks, so it’s enough to dedicate 15 minutes a day to walk them or to exercise. In fact, you can use this time to begin their training. Remember that one of the best training methods is positive reinforcement, although don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional if you don’t know how to carry it out.

The size of the Cockapoo means that it can live in small spaces such as apartments with no problems. For this reason, it’s a great choice for people who don’t have very big houses. However, under no circumstances should this dog live on balconies, rooftops, or any outdoor area, as this is dangerous and will make them feel isolated from their family.

This dog’s coat isn’t too curly or difficult-to-treat like the Poodle’s, which makes it easier to look after and maintain. Even so, it’s a good idea to brush their fur daily so you can interact with your pet for longer periods of time. Keep in mind that this is a loving breed that will enjoy any extra pampering or affection that you can give it.

Common diseases

Although hybrid breeds enjoy better health than their “pure” progenitors, they’re still susceptible to certain conditions. Not all dogs will have them, but it’s always good to be on the lookout for warning signs. The following list contains some of the most common diseases in the Cockapoo:

  • Dislocation of the patella: This when the small bone that stabilizes the knee joint (patella) slips out of position. This causes anything from mild pain to the inability to move.
  • Hip dysplasia is a congenital condition that causes problems in the joint between the femur and the hip, which can be aggravated and cause paralysis of the hind legs.
  • Cataracts: This is the loss of transparency in the crystalline lens, which interferes with eyesight. It manifests with white clouds in the eye that enlarge and end up completely obstructing the view.
  • Allergies: These are an overreaction of the immune system to various environmental substances (allergens). The main symptoms are inflammation, irritation, and itching, although this depends on each case.
  • Liver diseases: The liver is a fundamental organ for the body, as it’s in charge of “cleaning” the blood of all metabolic waste. Any disease that affects its function can cause serious and even lethal symptoms. The Cocker has a slight tendency to suffer from these problems, so the Cockapoo is also susceptible.
  • Otitis: Otitis is an infection in the skin of the dog’s ear, which can be caused by several factors. Cockers tend to have these problems because of their droopy ears.
A cockapoo.

As you can tell, the Cockapoo is a magnificent breed that can be an excellent family pet. However, it needs proper care so that both you and it can enjoy living together. Don’t forget that getting a dog is a big responsibility, as it’ll depend on you for the rest of its life. Take good care of it and rest assured that you’ll be rewarded with lots of love.

And if you’d like to know about another new breed that has been created using poodles – have a look at the article below!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Foley, M. D. (2012). Cockapoo. Fox Chapel Publishing.
  • Merizalde Londoño, J. S. (2017). Prevalencia de la displasia de cadera, en individuos registrados en la Asociación Club Canino Colombiano, entre 1990 y 2014. (Tesis de grado, Universidad La Salle)
  • Zambrano Ronderos, M. A. (2019). Relación entre diversas variables anamnésicas clínicas y evolutivas en 25 casos de otitis externa en animales de compañía de Bogotá. (Tesis de grado, Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales de Bogotá)
  • Nicholas, F. W., Arnott, E. R., & McGreevy, P. D. (2016). Hybrid vigour in dogs?. The Veterinary Journal, 214, 77-83.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.