Information about the Cockapoo

A Cockapoo is a cross breed dog. It is the cross of an American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle (in most cases a miniature poodle or toy poodle), or of two Cockapoos.

A Cockapoo can be the result of mating either the American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. They have been known in the United States since the 1950s. The earliest known dictionary reference was a 1960 OED citation.

Purebred breed associations such as the AKC, the UKC, and the CKC, do not recognize the Cockapoo, or any other crossbred, as a breed.
A healthy 12-week-old cockapoo.

Overall cockapoos are usually healthy and happy dogs. As with a lot of smaller dogs they tend to be quite long-lived, and it’s not unusual for cockapoos to live to 15 years or more.

However, both purebred poodles and cocker spaniels can suffer from luxating patellas (loose knees), and this can be passed on to their offspring. For this reason, an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) exam is recommended to check for this problem before dogs are bred. Purebred poodles and cocker spaniels can also suffer from a number of eye disorders, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). A CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) exam and DNA test for PRA should therefore be performed before breeding. Like many floppy-eared breeds, cockapoos can be subject to ear infections, and it’s important to keep their ears clean and dry.

Cockapoos have become popular because they generally combine the outgoing, loving personality of the Cocker spaniel with the low-shedding, low-dander qualities of the Poodle. Cockapoos are intelligent and active, and thrive when they receive regular exercise.

The Cockapoo is a cross-breed, not a purebred, and does not “breed true”. In breeders’ terms, “breeding true” means that the pups will have consistently predictable characteristics. Cockapoos, however, may inherit the characteristics of either or both their parent breeds. While some Cockapoos appear more similar to Cocker Spaniels, others will exhibit more Poodle traits, creating a variation in Cockapoo appearance and temperament.

Cockapoos also vary in color. They may be:

  • Black
  • Tan, beige, or buff
  • Red, including auburn and apricot colors
  • Brown, varying from light to dark
  • Sable, a brown color with tipping and shading in black
  • Cream
  • White
  • Silver
  • brindle
  • Phantom

Cockapoos can be one solid color or can have complex markings. They can be white with patches of any color. They can also have spots or freckles of color, called ticking.
Cockapoos are often active and agile.

Cockapoos may also have a merle coat, where random portions are diluted to create a mottled appearance.

The coat of the Cockapoo will vary from dog to dog. Most will have a coat somewhere between the a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. However, some will have a coat more similar to the sleeker coat of the Cocker Spaniel, while others may have a curlier coat like a Poodle.

Cockapoo size and weight are a function of what type of dogs the parents were. Breeders usually use a toy or miniature poodle as the poodle parent. The following table describes the weights, and heights of toy poodles, miniature poodles, cocker spaniels and cockapoos, using AKC standards and other information.