Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
fast facts

About Cockapoo

6-20 lb
10-12 years
Not Applicable
Best Suited For
Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
Sweet, loving, playful, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
Cocker Spaniel, Poodle
Top Breed
10-15 inches
Cockapoo Basics

Some designer dog breeds are so new that no one can even agree on a name. Others have been around long enough to be almost as beloved as pure breeds. One of the oldest designer dog breeds, the Cockapoo is a sweet and loving companion. These beautiful dogs have been a popular choice for a family pet for decades, and with good reason. Cockapoos are friendly, affectionate, and smart. Everything that you could possibly want out of a family pet. This designer dog is accepting of strangers as well as other new animals. Although he will bark when people are about, the Cockapoo will more than likely invite an intruder in to share a cookie and perhaps, a cup of tea. This hybrid dog loves everybody.

The Cockapoo is a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. The purebred parents of these designer dogs pass on to them a host of fantastic traits, including a low shedding coat, impressive intelligence, as well as a sweet and loving temperament. Playful and affectionate, the Cockapoo makes a great family companion. These mixed breed dogs can be a perfect choice for a wide variety of owners. From active retirees looking for a furry friend to spend their golden years with to families that want their children to grow up with a loving a pet, everyone could use a little more Cockapoo in their lives. To find out if these popular designer dogs are the right choice for you as well, read on to find out all about them! You just might discover that the gaping hole in your life needs to be filled with some Cockapoo.


The term designer dog was coined in the late 1980s, but what we now consider to be designer dogs have been around for so much longer than that. Mixed breed dogs with two purebred parents existed for centuries, but they were labeled as ‘mutts’ rather than designer dogs. This was little more than snobbery on the part of dog owners and breeders. The highly popular Cockapoo is in the same boat. While there are no details about the origin of the breed, we know that the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mixes had been deliberately bred long before the designer dog craze took the world by the storm. You might call the Cockapoo ahead of their time.

The late 1950s brought the world the wonderful Cockapoo that we know today. The breed was created in the United States and later developed by various breeders. First, it was an accidental mating between the two purebreds that produced the litter of these crossbreeds, but it didn’t take long before people started crossing them intentionally. People realized that the combination of the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel has many advantages as it combines the best of both worlds, which is why the Cockapoo has been a popular pet for over half a century. This pups are so lovable that people couldn’t wait to bring them into their homes long before hybrid dogs were even considered worthwhile by the canine community.


The Cockapoo was developed through an accidental breeding of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. This “accident” resulted in a few gorgeous, intelligent, and family-friendly dogs that were instantly beloved. Naturally, once people realized that the Cockapoo possesses many extraordinary qualities, they started breeding more of them en masse. Instead of being a product of unplanned mating between purebreds, these dogs became a result of intentional breeding efforts. The term designer dog didn’t exist yet, but that’s exactly what Cockapoos were.

In the beginning, all Cockapoos were F1 or first generation mixes. One parent was always a Poodle and the other a Cocker Spaniel, resulting in a mixed breed dog with a 50-50 percent of both parents. These first generation hybrids are often the most unpredictable. They can sometimes resemble Poodle more than the Cocker Spaniel and vice versa, and there are no set personality standards they adhere to either. Multigenerational crossings, on the other hand, result in a more uniform look and behavior. Through further breeding with other Cockapoos or unrelated Cocker Spaniels or Poodles, breeders hope to create a new, standardized breed. F2 Cockapoos certainly exist, but they don’t always dominate the market. Slowly that will change and since the Cockapoo has been around longer than most designer dog breeds, it should happen with this breed before most other hybrids.


Cockapoos need a healthy, well-balanced diet to lead long and happy lives. Choosing the proper food for your pet will go a long way for their overall health. Luckily, these hybrids are not demanding when it comes to their grub. Cockapoos do best on high-quality dry food for dogs. To make sure that your choice of food is really the best for your pet, pick kibble that is formulated to meet their unique needs. First, choose a dry food formula that is suitable for their age (puppies, adults, and seniors all have different dietary needs after all). Second, the kibble you chose should be appropriate for their size and activity levels. Cockapoos come in different size and not all will require the same kibble formula. If you are ever concerned about which kibble to feed your Cockapoo, then it is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian. While dog food manufacturers provide valuable guidelines to their customers, every dog is different. No one will understand the unique dietary needs of your specific pup quite like your vet. So, never be afraid to ask them about this. Any vet is far more qualified to choose your dog’s diet than a pet food manufacturer looking to shift product.

Cockapoos are exceptionally intelligent dogs. They are super easy to train because they have a strong desire to please their people.


Cockapoos are exceptionally intelligent dogs. They are quite easy to train because they have a strong desire to please their people. They are thrilled to do anything that will make their owners happy and will be happy to learn all sorts of tricks to make you smile. New Cockapoo owners are always shocked to see how quickly this crossbreed learns and responds to commands. Many enthusiasts report that by the age of six months, Cockapoos can sit, stand, stay, come, heel and sit up on command! This is a bright mixed breed. While training your Cockapoo will be a breeze, it’s still important to lean into positive reinforcement, encouragement, and treat rewards when training your pup. Punishment and negative reinforcement is far closer to abuse than training and should be avoided at all costs. No pup deserves that, especially not one as naturally lovable and trainable as the Cockapoo.

In fact, the Cockapoo is such an amiable pupper that he makes a great therapy dog. He has a good nature and general affection for people. This hybrid breed can be quite the competitor in obedience trials and agility courses. So, if you’re looking for a show dog, then this might be your next champion.


Cockapoos come in a variety of sizes. The Teacup Toy should weigh less than 6 pounds, while the Toy Cockapoo should weigh below 12 pounds. Mini Cockapoos must weigh between 13 and 18 pounds and the largest of Cockapoos should weigh over 19 pounds. At this point, there’s a Cockapoo for any home. It’s just a matter on finding you perfect pup.


The temperament of multigenerational Cockapoos is more standardized than that of 1st generation breeding. Cockapoos are affectionate with their families as well as to strangers. Generally, they have the attitude that whomever they meet is a long, lost friend and should come home with them! They love people and people usually gravitate to them as well. Seriously, they will melt any heart that they come in contact with.

Cockapoos bond quickly with their families. They also believe that their people should be with them all of the time. This crossbreed does best with an owner who is at home most of the time or can take the dog with him when he has errands to run. Otherwise, the Cockapoo can show signs of separation anxiety such as chewing, destroying things, and incessant barking. So keep that in mind before committing to a Cockapoo. This is not a dog to leave alone in a small apartment for hours on end. They thrive far too much on being social for that.

The Cockatoo is playful and energetic. One of his favorite things to do is to run around the yard with kids and try to get the ball first. He might be small but he can run with the best and yes, he will see to it that he gets the ball. The Cockapoo is a great companion for families as he loves kids and adults alike. These dogs love to play and as long as you can keep up, they will play with you for life.

Common Health Problems

As a hybrid breed, the Cockapoo is generally healthy. He is predisposed to ear infections, simply because of his coated drop ears. He is also prone liver disease, cataracts and patellar luxation. So, it’s obviously worth taking your Cockapoo into the vet regularly for check ups. While it’s unlikely that your pup will suffer from one of these conditions, identifying them early is the best way to avoid any significant problems if these conditions pop up.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of the Cockapoo ranges from 12 to 15 years.

Exercise Requirements

Cockapoos are active dogs who love to play and romp. A brisk walk through the neighborhood is a good thing for this hybrid dog, but he also needs to run. A fenced and secure play area is necessary for him to stretch out and play hard. For those who don’t have yards, dog parks are a great place for the Cockapoo to exercise. It’s important to take your Cockapoo out to exercise regularly, otherwise they may burn off excess energy in your home in ways that you probably won’t appreciate. This crossbreed also should never be left off leash as they will go to great lengths to socialize with other people and pets and potentially get run over by a car.

Dog sports are a great way for you to bond with your dog and let him get his exercise. Obedience classes as well as running agility courses will help him burn up his energy. The competition is fun for all, so definitely consider it!

Cockapoos are affectionate with their families as well as to strangers.

Recognized Clubs

The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Cockapoo as a breed at this time. The American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, North American Cockapoo Registry, Cockapoo Club of America, American Cockapoo Club, Cockapoo Club of Great Britain, International Designer Canine Registry and the Designer Breed Registry do recognize this dog as a viable breed.


The Cockapoo’s long coat should be straight or have loose curls. It should be a non-shedding crossbreed but because it is still in its infancy, some shed and some don’t. Unfortunately, that’s hard to predict and will vary from dog-to-dog. Any color is acceptable for a Cockapoo as breed standard has yet to be set.

Grooming is important with this hybrid dog. His wonderful coat must be brushed daily to prevent tangles and mats and keep it looking silky and luxurious. Cockapoos are an odorless crossbreed so bathing only needs to be done seasonally.


Cockapoo puppies are cute, cuddly and bundles of energy. They need early socialization to ensure that the puppy doesn’t grow up to be nervous or shy around people or other pets. Puppy Kindergarten classes are important too. They will give the puppy the training foundation that they will need so that they can learn new things throughout their lives.

Photo credit: East Springs1/Wikimedia; Hurworth/Wikimedia; Themastereditor3000/Wikimedia

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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