11 Things You Should Know About the Cockerpoo

What do you get when you mix the sweet and energetic Cocker Spaniel with the intelligent and fun-loving Poodle? The adorable Cockerpoo of course!

As a mixed breed, the Cockerpoo is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not well loved. Prized as charming and clown-like family pets, Cockerpoos are popular all over the world. They enjoy particular popularity in America, England, Canada, Norway and Australia. Because of their loving nature and intelligence, some Cockerpoos are even used as emotional support animals.

Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles come in different varieties, and that means that their pups can display a wide range of different sizes, colors, and coat textures. If you are considering adopting a Cockerpoo puppy, it is important that you know as much about its genetic history as possible. This will help you to get an idea of the dogs full grown size, and his or her possible temperament.

However, it is important to remember that your Cockerpoo can inherit any mixture of behavioral traits and physical features from their parent breeds. You should not welcome one of these dogs into your home unless you are happy that both Poodle and Cocker Spaniel traits would be a great fit for your family.

Take a look at the following tables to see the possible pairings responsible for your Cockerpoo puppy:

This table shows first generation crosses, also known as F1 Cockerpoos

Ameican Cocker x Toy Poodle
American Cocker x Miniature Poodle
American Cocker x Standard Poodle
English Cocker x Toy Poodle
English Cocker x Miniature Poodle
English Cocker x Standard Poodle

So, does it matter what type of Cockerpoo you adopt? That’s a tricky question. With regards to the Poodle genes, there is not a huge difference between Cockerpoos bred from Toy, Minature, or Standard Poodles- except their size! Whilst nothing is guaranteed in the world of mix breeds, a Cockerpoo bred from a Standard Poodle has the potential to grow much larger than dogs boasting Minature or Toy Poodle ancestry. Because they are more suited for breeding, the majority of Cockerpoos are currently bred using Toy and Minature Poodles.

Looking at the Cocker Spaniel parent, English and American Cockers are similar in size, with the English Cocker standing only slightly taller than her American cousin, but they do have some differences in temperament. Generally speaking, the English Cocker is more active than the American, and needs more mental stimulation and physical activity to remain happy, healthy, and well behaved. Similarly, the American Cocker has a lower prey drive and is altogether more relaxed.

Now, this is where things get tricky. Not all Cockerpoos are first generation mixed breeds (F1). This table shows crosses that include at least one Cockerpoo parent, these dogs are known as F1B + Cockerpoos.

Cockerpoo x Poodle F1B
Cockerpoo x Cocker Spaniel F1B
F1 Cockerpoo + F1 Cockerpoo F2
F1 Cockerpoo x F2 Cockerpoo F2
F1 Cockerpoo + F3 Cockerpoo F2
F1b Cockerpoo + F1 Cockerpoo F2B
F2 Cockerpoo + Poodle F2B
F2 Cockerpoo + Cocker Spaniel F2B
F2 Cockerpoo + F2 Cockerpoo F3
F2 Cockerpoo + F3 Cockerpoo F3
F3 Cockerpoo + F3 Cockerpoo F4
F4 Cockerpoo + F4 Cockerpoo F5

Annnnd so on….

So what’s better, an F1 Cockerpoo, or an F1B+? Whilst no definitive evidence exists, some experts believe that first generation (F1) Cockerpoos are more robust than their F1B+ cousins. This is thought to be a result of hybrid vigor. This hybrid vigor is also thought to be the reason why F1 Cockerpoos are often larger than both their parents!

When two Cockerpoos are bred, an effect known as the ‘Grandad Effect’ has been observed. The ‘Grandad Effect’ refers to some puppies in a litter displaying significantly more Cocker Spaniel or Poodle characteristics, rather than appearing as a mix of both breeds.

Breed History

Believed to have originated in America, the origin of the Cockerpoo is a bit of a mystery. Nobody is quite sure whether the breed was the result of careful planning, or whether the first Cockerpoo pups were a happy accident.

Whilst we don’t know the date of the first Cockerpoo, we do know that they were popular by the 1960s. This means the Cockerpoo was around when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech, the Beatles sang ‘Hey Jude’, and the first man walked on the moon! This makes the Cockerpoo one of the longest enduring ‘designer’ dog breeds

The Cockerpoo at a glance:

Other Names: Cocker Spaniel x Poodle, Spoodle, Cockerdoodle,  Cockerpoodle, Cockapoo
Dog Breed Group: CrossBreed
Height: Variable
Weight: Variable
Life Span: 12-18 years
Suitable for First Time Dog Owners? Yes
Temperament: Happy, energetic, affectionate
Can be left alone? For short periods only
Barking Tendencies: Medium
Apartment-Friendly? Yes, if given lots of walks
Cat-Friendly? Usually, if socialized well
Dog-Friendly? Yes, if socialized well
Child-Friendly? Yes, if socialized well
Stranger-Friendly? Yes, if socialized well
Nutrition Should be fed with high-quality food matched to their age
Grooming Dependent on the coat- A Cockerpoo may have tight curls, medium curls, or loose waves- all of which will require different amounts of brushing. Poodle like coats requires the most attention. You may choose to have your Cockerpoo professionally groomed. If so their coats can be clipped to a more manageable length but will still need regular brushing to prevent mats.
Shedding Level Variable depending on coat
Exercise Needs Medium-high
Trainability High

Image of a brown Cockerpoo

Now we have covered the basics, let’s look at the 11 things you should know about the Cockerpoo:

Image of a Black Cockerpoo

Cockerpoos are not always low shedding dogs

Although ancestry gives perspective families a clue as to how big a Cockerpoo may grow, coat texture can favor either of the parent breeds.  This means that a Cockerpoo may not have the low-shed coat of her Poodle parent, a consideration for anyone choosing this breed specifically to avoid frequent shedding.

(Pro tip: if you are set on choosing a low shed Cockerpoo, wait until a litter is as old as possible before selecting a puppy- 6-8 weeks at the earliest). At this time it becomes easier to guess what the adult coat texture will be- but don’t forget, this will still just be a guess. Alternatively, adopt an adult dog from a shelter!)

They are not hypoallergenic

Cockerpoos are often marketed as hypoallergenic. This is untrue. Most pet allergies are not caused by fur, but by dander (dead skin particles). This means that even Poodles are not truly hypoallergenic.

So where does the myth come from? A low shedding dog, such as a Poodle or a Cockerpoo that happens to take after its Poodle parent, releases less dander into the environment than a high shedding dog. Less dander in the environment can mean that allergic reactions are less pronounced. However, no dog can be fully hypoallergenic. And it is important to remember, not all Cockerpoos take after their Poodle parent in coat texture.

Cockerpoos aren’t necessarily healthier than their parent breeds

Whilst Cockerpoos can benefit from the diverse genes of their parent breeds, poor breeding practices can result in unhealthy pups and Cockerpoos can inherit health problems common in either of their parent breeds.

Before choosing your Cockerpoo, research common health problems in both parent breeds and ensure that both of the parent dogs have been health tested where appropriate.

Many Cockerpoos are bred by unscrupulous breeders

Cockerpoos are popular and therefore profitable dogs to breed. This means that many of the Cockerpoos on the market are bred by unscrupulous backstreet breeders and puppy farms looking to make an easy buck.

This is a nightmare for the Mom dogs, and for the health of their litters.

To avoid buying your Cockerpoo from an unscrupulous breeder, always do your homework. Visit puppies with their Mom, ask the breeder plenty of questions about the health and ancestry of the Mom and Dad, and never ever buy a dog from a pet shop.

Unfortunately, some cockerpoos end up in shelters

Just like any other dog, some unfortunate Cockerpoos end up in shelters. Dogs find themselves in shelters for a variety of reasons, from changes in their owner’s circumstances or bereavement to personality clashes between new and existing dogs. Before you commit to buying a puppy, check whether your local shelter has any suitable Cockerpoos for your family.

By adopting your Cockerpoo, you not only give an unloved dog a second chance. You also have the opportunity to choose an adult dog knowing her personality, coat type, and size.

Cockerpoos are usually very intelligent (just call them Einstein)

Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world, and Cocker Spaniels aren’t too far behind in the brain department. This means that their pups are usually quick to learn, making them perfect pupils for learning tricks and even taking on canine jobs.

However, a bored Cockerpoo is an unhappy Cockerpoo. Because of their intelligence, they need plenty of games and stimulation to prevent behavior problems from taking root. Schedule regular play times and include puzzles to keep your Cockerpoo entertained, or you could even enroll your pup in agility training for some extra fun bonding time!

They need plenty of walks

In addition to keeping your Cockerpoos brain engaged, you should also keep her in tip-top physical condition with daily walks. Whether you opt for a hike through the woods, visit to the park, or stroll along the beach, your pup will thank you for the opportunity to stretch her legs and keep her heart healthy (she may also find the nearest muddy puddle, but that’s all part of the Cockerpoo charm!).

Not only do regular walks help keep your Cockerpoo trim and healthy, but they also offer an essential opportunity for her to explore the world with her nose, meet other dogs, and spend quality time with you!

Image of a Cream Cockerpoo

They do the ‘Doodle Dash’

Cockerpoos have a tendency to display bursts of energy, running around seemingly at random, chasing their tail, jumping on furniture, and even spinning in circles. This is affectionately known as the ‘doodle dash’.

Whilst the frequency of the ‘doodle dash’ usually decreases with age, many Cockerpoos continue to ‘dash’ well into old age (though they can, of course, be trained not to jump on furniture- if you’re patient!)

Cockerpoos are the clowns of the dog world

Even when not doing the ‘doodle dash’, the high spirited Cockerpoo is often described as clown-like by her owners. Whether they are getting into mischief in the biscuit tin, clambering their way onto unlikely surfaces, or just bouncing around happily to a tune of their own, Cockerpoos are rarely called boring.

Cockerpoos are love-bugs who usually adore their family

Cockerpoos are renowned for being loving, affectionate, and loyal. If you treat your Cockerpoo well you will be rewarded by heaps and heaps of love. They love nothing better than being with their families, exploring, playing, and cuddling up after a tiring day.

Providing they are well socialized, Cockerpoos are generally excellent with children. Their energetic nature makes them ideal for extended games with their younger humans. However, all interactions between children and dogs should be supervised to prevent accidents and injuries, and all children should learn how to treat dogs with respect. Cockerpoos may be a bit too boisterous for very young children so extra care should be taken to ensure both dog and child is safe when they meet.

They are prone to separation anxiety

Because Cockerpoos love their family, they don’t usually cope well with been left for long periods of time.

Separation anxiety commonly results in; barking, whining and crying for prolonged periods of time; destructive behavior, like chewing and scratching furniture; urinating and defecating; and displaying general fearful behaviors (e.g. panting, salivating, pacing).

Whilst no dog should be left alone all day, even breeds prone to separation anxiety can learn to spend a few hours alone if this is managed well by their humans.

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