Speak to any Cockapoo owner, and they'll tell you what fun, intelligent, and at times crazy bundles of energy they can be.
The Cockapoo is the offspring of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle and was bred as one of the first "designer dogs" in the 1960s. They’re known as a hybrid and are not considered purebred or pedigree dogs.
Breeders wanted to combine some of the character traits of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle to create a smart, playful companion dog with a good temperament. They’re one of the most popular dog breeds in the US, and their endearing personality makes them an ideal family dog.
The most common type of Cockapoo in the US is a Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Miniature Poodle. Your Cockapoo’s breeder can help you understand your pup’s parentage and genetic history. Your pup’s genetic makeup will influence its overall look and temperament.
What Colors Can Cockapoos Be?
As a mix, Cockapoos come in a variety of shades and colors. The most common include Black, white, cream, apricot (a golden brown color), brown, and red.
It’s common for puppies to start off with a jet black, chocolate brown, or red coat color, which will begin to change as they grow up. More specifically, Cockapoo owners often notice the lightening of their pup’s coat color as they age. This is due to the fading gene that comes from the Poodle line.
What Does F1 and F2 Mean in Cockapoos?
If you’re thinking of adopting a Cockapoo, you may learn they come in various F types such as F1 and F2. The F type will help tell you the parentage and genetic history of your dog.
Within any new litter of Cockapoos, all puppies look very similar up until five weeks of age. During this time, it’s difficult to predict the look and coat of each pup. But after five to six weeks you should have a better idea of what they’ll look like.
Knowing your pup’s F type can be informative.
Here are some examples:
F1 Cockapoo: When a Cocker Spaniel is mated to a Poodle to produce a Cockapoo. This is also known as a first-generation cross.
F1B Cockapoo: This is when a Cockapoo is mated with either a Cocker Spaniel or a Poodle. The B means "back-bred," which tells you that this dog has been back-bred to a Cocker Spaniel or Poodle.
F2 Cockapoo: This is when two Cockapoos are mated together to produce the next generation. The number two reflects this second generation of Cockapoo.
F3 Cockapoo: This is when a puppy or puppies have been bred by two F2 Cockapoos.
F4 Cockapoo: A Cockapoo bred from two F3 Cockapoos – and so on.
Here’s a short list of F-type guides:
F1 Cockapoo + F1 Cockapoo = F2
F1 Cockapoo + Poodle = F1b
F1 Cockapoo + Cocker Spaniel = F1b
F1 Cockapoo + F2 Cockapoo = F2
F1 Cockapoo + F3 Cockapoo = F2
F1b Cockapoo + F1 Cockapoo = F2b
F2 Cockapoo + Poodle = F2b
F2 Cockapoo + Cocker Spaniel = F2b
F2 Cockapoo + F2 Cockapoo = F3
F2 Cockapoo + F3 Cockapoo = F3
F3 Cockapoo + F3 Cockapoo = F4
Regardless of the F type of the litter, you will sometimes find different variants within the same litter! The F type won’t tell you what size your Cockapoo will be. This will be determined by its parents and its Poodle lineage.
Cockapoo coats can vary greatly and will depend on the characteristics of both parents and the F type of your pup. Tight curly coats, loose wavy coats, and straighter coats are all possible with F1 Cockapoos.
Those with strong traits and characteristics from the Poodle line tend to have longer noses and curly coats. Those pups with a smoother coat and leaner physique will have inherited these traits from a Spaniel. If a pup’s coat takes on Spaniel characteristics, its coat will shed more, while those that are shaggy tend to be non-shedding.
Cockapoo Personality and Characteristics
The personality, character, and appearance of Cockapoos can vary greatly depending on their parentage and ancestry.
Because they’re not a recognized pedigree breed, it’s not easy to apply specific dog traits to Cockapoos in the same way one can with other breeds. But Cockapoos are generally known to be intelligent, friendly, and highly energetic dogs that are easy to train.
When you first meet your Cockapoo as a puppy, it’s tough to tell which personality traits and characteristics they’ve inherited immediately. Some Cockapoos can look like a Poodle but act more like a Cocker, and vice versa. This won’t always be apparent until they become older.
Cockapoos can get along well with other dogs and children, but they do not enjoy being left on their own for long periods of time. They can be susceptible to separation anxiety if you don’t teach them early on how to be alone for short periods. They’re a companion breed, so they need owners and family members with the time and energy to give them the attention they require.
Like all dogs, Cockapoos need good early socialization and exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they’re young. This will help them grow up to be confident, well-rounded dogs.
Cockapoos need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. As puppies, they’re known to be quite hyperactive, so if you’re a first-time dog owner, be prepared! It can be difficult to provide Cockapoo puppies with enough exercise to tire them out the way you can with other breeds.
At the same time, they shouldn’t be over-exercised as puppies. Their joints and bones are still growing, and too much exercise can lead to ligament and joint issues later. Once they reach adulthood, Cockapoos need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
Cockapoos enjoy a good walk, but a great way to keep them stimulated and active is through a variety of fun play sessions.
How Big Do Cockapoos Get?
Cockapoos come in all shapes and sizes. Their adult size will depend on their parents — in particular, their Poodle lineage.
The Cockapoo was traditionally bred from the Miniature Poodle, as the size is more compatible in mating with a Spaniel, so the bone structure size is often similar to the Miniature Poodle. Both Toy and Standard Poodles are also used to breed Cockapoos.
As a guide, you can expect the following:
A Toy Poodle will lead to the size of a very small toy dog, usually under 10 inches in height
A Miniature Poodle will lead to a more mid-size dog, similar to a Cocker Spaniel
A Standard Poodle will lead to a dog the size of a Labrador Retriever or something even taller
You can also find variants to the size of the Spaniel, which can impact the Cockapoo’s size to a degree.
When Do Cockapoos Calm Down?
Owners of Cockapoos will often tell you that they can be quite a handful due to their huge amounts of energy. First-time Cockapoo owners can sometimes wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into!
If you adopt a Cockapoo as a puppy, you'll start to notice that, between the ages of 12-24 months, Cockapoos will begin to calm down a bit.
Ensuring your Cockapoo gets lots of mental stimulation is important in managing their energy levels. To help them calm down, you could include them in any sports or activities you participate in, like running or bike riding.
Giving your Cockapoo engaging toys will also help keep them occupied and stimulated. Puzzle toys where you can hide some dog food are a great choice. The puzzle provides them with a good challenge and a tasty reward at the end.
Cockapoos are now one of the most popular dogs in the US, so pet insurance for them is widely available. In 2022, our average premium for Cockapoos was $35 per month. This is less than the average 2022 premium across all dog breeds and ages, which was $37 per month.
This low cost says a lot about just how healthy Cockapoos are: Breeds that are more prone to health conditions tend to be pricier to insure.
(And keep in mind, these are just averages based on data from all customer premiums. Your pet's age and location will heavily affect your monthly price, and your pet's premium may differ from the average — get a quote here!)
Just remember: It’s a good idea to buy dog insurance when your Cockapoo is still a puppy. That way, you're far less likely to run into any pre-existing condition exclusions, and they'll still be covered if these conditions develop later in their life.
Cockapoo Health Problems
In 2022, the average claim ManyPets received for Cockapoos was $452 — but we received Cockapoo claims that ran as high as about $3,400.
Ear infections (AKA “otitis externa”) are one of the most common health issues that affect Cockapoos.Your Cockapoo’s big, floppy ears are to blame. Ear infections are caused by bacteria, yeast, or ear mites inside the ear, which cause discomfort and irritation. You may notice that something is wrong when your pup starts shaking their head or tries to scratch their ear.
In 2022, ManyPets received Cockapoo claims for otitis externa that ran as high as about $770.
Cockapoos also suffer from mobility issues due to their kneecaps becoming dislocated. This is known as a luxating patella, and the condition affects many small breeds. If you notice your Cockapoo limping or holding an unusual posture, it may signify a luxating patella.
Luxating patella can be extremely costly to treat, especially when surgery’s involved. Surgery for patellar luxation can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 per knee.
Since Cockapoos can inherit traits from both Spaniels and Poodles, it’s worth speaking with a breeder or your vet to understand some of the likely health conditions that may be passed down.
Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?
Allergens from dogs and cats are found in skin cells that stick to their hair (dander). “Hypoallergenic” simply refers to dog breeds with low-shedding coats that produce less dander. High-shedding coats produce more dander, which can cause problems for people with allergies.
No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic. But as a low-shedding hybrid, Cockapoos are good for people who suffer from allergies. As a mix, your Cockapoo might shed hair. Just how much will depend on its parents and inherited genes.
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to the color and texture of Cockapoo coats. Some coats can be very curly while others are straighter, but they will generally all be low-shedding in quality.
It’s the Poodle lineage that influences whether your Cockapoo is likely to be more or less non-shedding. A Cockapoo with greater Spaniel genes will probably shed more hair. But compared to other dog breeds, Cockapoos are known to be low-shedding.
Frequently asked questions about Cockapooss
How do I choose a Cockapoo puppy?
Choosing a hybrid like a Cockapoo is different from picking a puppy from a purebred litter. It’s a good idea to wait at least six to seven weeks before choosing your Cockapoo puppy. Experienced and responsible Cockapoo breeders will not let you choose any puppies that are younger.
The look, size, and overall temperament of Cockapoos are not as predictable or as uniform as other dog breeds, and this is something to consider when thinking about this mix.
How big can Cockapoos get?
Pay attention to the size of the parents! If dad’s a Standard Poodle, that little bundle of fluff could grow to the size of a Labrador, or maybe even bigger. But again, Cockapoo sires are most often miniature poodles.