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Cockapoo

Our guide to the breed

Cockapoo

My ideal owner | Exercise | Temperament | Health | Appearance | Cost | History

Key facts

Height: 36cm – 38cm

Weight: 8 – 22 kg

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Exercise Needs:  Medium

About Cockapoos

Hey there! I’m a Cockapoo. In a relatively short space of time, I’ve become one of the UK’s most popular dog breeds – or crossbreeds for that matter. I might not be recognised by the Kennel Club yet, but I’m definitely easily recognised in the street. Just look out for the shaggy pup with a spring in their step and you’ll spot me. I’m a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle – and I reckon I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’m intelligent, loyal, affectionate, and playful making me a pawfect family pet.

My ideal owner

I’m a loveable companion for people from all walks of life. That said, there’s a few types of people I am a pawfect match for. I love my people and I don’t like to be left alone for a long time, so you should be able to spend your days with me, or at least arrange for me to have company throughout the day. I’m great with children and love to play, and my easy going, trainable nature makes me a pawfect dog for first time owners.

First time owners

First time owners

Set of welly boots graphic

Families with kids

Hand with a heart icon

Constant companionship

Fun Loving Homes

Fun loving homes

Temperament

There’s all sorts of personalities amongst Cockapoos – some of us are friendly, whilst others are more shy, some of us are independent whilst others are reliant. It all comes down to our experiences, especially in our early years.

We certainly tend to be on the cheerful side though. We’re always up for playtime with all the family, and love to be in the centre of the action. We’re pretty smart so training is a doddle – make it a game and we’ll be excited to learn!

Cockapoo temperament scale

Health

We’re a pretty healthy bunch thanks to our diverse genetic makeup. That said, there are a few issues that we might inherit or be more prone to that you should know about if you’re planning on getting a puppy.

What are skin conditions?

Skin conditions can be caused by a variety of reasons, some inherited and some environmental. They can develop at any point in your dog’s life and will sometimes require ongoing treatment and prevention.

How are they diagnosed?

Make sure you groom your Cockapoo regularly so that you can spot the symptoms of a skin condition easily. Look out for soreness, red spots, flakes, and hair loss. You should also watch your dog’s behaviour – if they are itching, biting themselves or shaking more than usual it might be time to visit your vet once you have ruled out fleas and ticks.

Your vet will be able to confirm a diagnosis either by sight or by taking a skin biopsy for testing. 

What are the treatments for skin conditions?

The treatment that your vet will recommend will depend on the type of skin condition your dog has. It could range from medicated creams and shampoos to avoiding allergens in the environment.

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when part of the eye becomes cloudy. This can cause your dog to have blurry vision. They can become thicker and denser over time, potentially leading to blindness if left untreated.

How are they diagnosed?

If your dog’s eye starts to look cloudy, you should consult a vet. They will conduct a full examination of the eye and be able to confirm the diagnosis and treatment plan.

What are the treatments for cataracts?

For many dogs, treatment won’t be required, or recommended by your vet. They will be able to recommend strategies for helping your dog adapt to their differing vision and monitor them closely to ensure they do not develop glaucoma.

Surgery is an option for some dogs with cataracts. This will be carried out by a specialist ophthalmic surgeon who will usually remove the lens.

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

What are ear infections?

Ear infections can occur throughout a dog’s life and are often the result of a build-up of bacteria, yeast or mites. Cockapoos are at a higher risk due to their long ears, especially those bred from show lines.

How are ear infections diagnosed?

There are a few major symptoms of an ear infection that you can look out for. If your dog displays any of these symptoms, you should visit your vet as soon as possible to confirm the diagnosis and get treatment.

  • Your dog starts itching their ears more than normal
  • Your dog is shaking their head
  • Their ears become red and inflamed
  • Their ears develop a strong smell
  • A black or yellowish discharge is seen coming from their ears 

Once at a vet, they will use an otoscope to look into your dog’s ear canal to assess if an infection is present, and if it has been caused or exacerbated for foreign bodies, such as a grass seed, that have become wedged in the ear.

Your vet may also take a sample of ear wax and/or discharge for assessment in a laboratory. This will help your vet understand the type of ear infection and the appropriate treatment.

What are the treatments for ear infections?

Treatment for ear infection will depend on the type of ear infection your dog has, and its severity. At your first vet’s appointment, they will often clean and syringe the ear canal, and if possible, remove any foreign bodies. 

Your dog will usually be prescribed medication based on the type of ear infection they have, which will often be in the form of ear drops. Your vet will show you how to administer these properly and give you instruction on how regularly and for how long you need to use them.

In the most severe circumstances, where the ear infection has gone untreated for a long time, surgery may be required to provide relief for your dog.

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

What is progressive retinal atrophy?

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is the term for a group of inherited diseases that affect your dog’s vision due to the deterioration of certain cells in their eyes. It can lead to night blindness, and eventually complete blindness.

How is it diagnosed?

It can be difficult to diagnose PRA in its early stages. If vision loss is suspected, your vet will look for sluggish responses to light from your dog’s pupils, and unusually dilated pupils. They will usually then refer you to a specialist to confirm the diagnosis using an ophthalmoscope or electroretinogram (ERG). Genetic testing for PRA is also available to identify carriers of the disease.

What are the treatments for PRA?

There are currently no effective treatments for PRA. In some rare circumstances your vet may recommend surgery to prevent the retina from detaching.

If you find out your dog has PRA, the most important thing you can do is to help them transition into blindness confidently and comfortably. Consider the arrangement of furniture and other hazards in your household and keep them on a lead when outside the home in an unsecured environment.

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

What are gastrointestinal disorders?

Gastrointestinal disorders are conditions that affect your dog’s normal digestion. These disorders can range from mild to life threatening so it is important to always consult your vet whenever you notice symptoms.

How are they diagnosed?

The symptoms that your Cockapoo will show depends on the type of disorder they are suffering from. You should contact your vet if you see any of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in their faeces
  • Straining to go to the toilet
  • Refusal of food
  • Excessive hunger or thirst
  • Bloated tummy
  • Failure to defecate for more than two days
  • Sensitivity around their rear or belly
  • Soreness or redness around their anus

Your vet will be able to diagnose the condition and recommend a treatment plan.

What are the treatments for gastrointestinal disorders?

The treatments for gastrointestinal disorders vary considerably depending on the type of disorder your dog is suffering from. They can include a change in diet, medication or even surgery in some severe cases. Ensuring your dog sees a vet as soon as you suspect a gastrointestinal disorder gives them the best chance of a speedy recovery.

*This information should not be considered to be veterinary advice. Please always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

Exercise needs

Medium

I’m a playful pup with lots of energy, so you’ll need to make sure I get enough daily exercise. I’m usually satisfied with a couple of daily walks and some playtime but making sure I get mental stimulation is just as important. I’ll excel in canine sports where we work together, and I love games that make me think. Try hiding my favourite treats around the garden for me to find or playing fetch somewhere I can get to release my inner gundog.

Get your dog’s tailored exercise goal by downloading the free PitPat app

Appearance

I can come in all shapes and sizes and it all depends on my parents. Because I’m not considered to be a purebred, there’s no clear ‘breed standard’ so there’s a melting pot of coat types, colours, and sizes out there for our people to choose from!

My silky-smooth curly coat is one of the reasons I’m such a popular dog. Even so, there’s plenty of variation to be had, depending on my parents. I could end up with tight curls, waves or ringlets or a straighter shaggy coat. Whichever coat I end up with, I tend to have a low-dander count, making me a great choice for people with allergies.

The range of colours I come in is huge ranging from blonde to black, particoloured to merle. Whatever colour we are, we all share the same playful love for life that make us such brilliant companions.

My wonderful coat only stays that way with regular, professional grooming though. Those of us with straight coats need regular brushing and occasional bathing, with trimming around our face to make sure we can still see! For wavy and curly coated dogs, the upkeep is more intensive, so lots of our owners prefer to schedule regular visits to the local dog groomer.

Cockapoo silhouette

Colours

Blonde

Red

Chocolate

Black

Particolour (More than 50% white)

Bicolour

Sable

Roan

Merle

Tricolour

Grooming needs

Bath as needed

Brush and comb multiple times a week

Regular professional grooming required

Hypoallergenic?

Yes– though this can vary between individual dogs.

Costs

One off costs

£3161

This includes the average cost of a puppy, and all the gear they will need, like their collar, bed and grooming tools.

Ongoing costs

£25 per week | £109 per month | £1308 per year

This includes your ongoing costs such as insurance, food, toys, and standard veterinary care, but not dog sitting, training or veterinary costs not covered by insurance.

History

Us Cockapoos are often called the original designer crossbreed. We are thought to have originated sometime in the 1950s in the USA – perhaps as the result of an accidental union between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.

As we grew in popularity, cockapoo clubs started to spring up around the world. Some of these clubs have even started the process of creating breed standards and preparing to petition Kennel Clubs to recognise us as a breed.

That might be a while off though since we are still such a wonderfully diverse bunch. Our breeders have experimented with lots of different combinations to create Cockapoos of different sizes, colours, and coat types. You can also find first- and second-generation Cockapoos, those bred from Cockapoo parents rather than a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. 

If you’re thinking about welcoming a puppy into your home, make sure you choose a licensed breeder who can show you the health tests for both parents. Make sure you see the puppies with their mother in a home environment and check with your breeder what size they expect the puppies to be. 

cockapoo walking in the woods

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