The Cockapoo is a mix of either Cocker Spaniel breeds (American or English) and a Poodle (often a Miniature or Toy Poodle). This cross-breed has become more and more popular since it was first selected in the 1950s.
Cockapoos are not purebred and they don't "breed true" which means offspring won't consistently inherit predictable features of the breed. This is why your Cockapoo can sometimes resemble a Cocker Spaniel more than a Poodle, and viceversa.
The variety within the breed allows for a multitude of coat colours and patterns: your pup could feature a solid colour or complex markings including a merle variety. Don't be surprised if you'll now start to notice black, silver, white, cream, sable and brindle Cockapoos!
Cockapoos are a combination of two of the smartest dog breeds, the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel which in return produces highly intelligent cross-breeds. Cockapoos are extremely friendly both with people and other pets but they can sometime seem a little "needy" of receiving constant attention from their owner. Being so smart, Cockapoos respond very well to training: both obedience and agility can be beneficial in keeping your dog fit and happy as it concentrates on a new task.
The downside is that such intelligence means your Cockapoo will require new tasks and different kind of games not to get bored. So keep creating new ways of interacting with your pet: play fetch or hide and seek, go for a run in the park or simply take some time to teach it some new tricks like "roll over", "down", etc.
Although this cross-breed is highly social, a young Cockapoo may be slightly nervous around other dogs. Group training and puppy classes can be of great help to gradually teach your dog how to behave and play with other pets.
Making sure your pet follows a healthy and balanced diet is one of the most important aspects of being a dog owner. If you've purchased your Cockapoo puppy from a breeder you will usually receive some of the food it has been weaned with so that you can gradually introduce a different kind of dog food without upsetting its stomach.
Many Cockapoo owners tend to choose dry kibble as this is keeps their teeth free from tartar and facilitate digestion however not all dogs are alike. Your pet may prefer wet food so observe its reaction and adjust the diet based on your dog's needs.
All pets must be able to live safely inside the house and this is the owner's responsibility. Puppies especially are too young to know what is ok to play with and what it's not safe to eat so we must be prepared and work on preventing any accident that may be harmful for our furry friend.
If you're thinking about welcoming a Cockapoo pup you'll need to gradually teach it the house rules while you prevent it from getting into trouble. Consider having a small and secure area dedicated to your new pet: this can be a kennel, crate or playpen in which your Cockapoo can be left unattended. Setting up a small space where your puppy can feel safe while playing and learning how to interact with the world around it will give you peace of mind during the house training process. You can use the crate even when you're in the house so that your dog doesn't associate it with being left alone when you go to work. You can find some useful tips on how to crate train your puppy here.
If you're home but busy doing something else be sure to remove any small or sharp objects as well as food that your furry friend could easily reach. Don't leave your pet in the backyard unless you're able to closely monitor it while playing.
Cockapoos are highly active and playful dogs that enjoy long walks, running and a good play session. As any other dog breed, they require daily activity in order to be healthy and fit.
If you're thinking about a Cockapoo as your new pet be absolutely sure you'll have the time and patience to walk your dog daily. Allowing your pup to be inactive for too long can increase the chances of it developing anxiety and obesity. So take your pet to a dog park and allow it to socialise while releasing any build-up energy; in case you have a backyard, let your Cockapoo run around and interact with it by playing with a ball or fetch. You'll be surprised at how good this cross-breed can be at any game involving agility, retrieving or water.
The Cockapoo should be closely monitored when off leash as its great desire to socialise with both people and dogs will push it to great lengths which could become dangerous for its wellbeing.
Keep in mind that as every dog with long ears, Cockapoos are prone to infections so it's essential that you regularly inspect this area especially after your pooch has been playing with other pets, in the backyard or in water.
Being cross-breed Cockapoos may be subject to the same health issues affecting Cocker Spaniels and Poodles including luxating patella and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is important to only purchase your pup from professional breeders who will avoid breeding if any issue is affecting the either of the parents.
Once you welcome your new furry friend be sure to have the vet perform an initial general health checkup so that you can keep track of your pet's health and growth. A dog should be closely monitored by its owner for any sign of distress or illness and seen by an experienced veterinarian at least every couple of months.