Too right! Lacking any slobbering traits, a coat which doesn’t shed, and a low dander count… it’s a wonderful hypoallergenic dog.
The Hypoallergenic Cockapoo
With an outgoing and loving personality that’s constantly optimistic and cheerful, the Cockapoo is a wonderful companion for singletons or families. But, most importantly for allergy sufferers, the Cockapoo is unlikely to cause any unwanted and unpleasant reactions—being one of the best hypoallergenic dogs. Get this. As a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, this pretty pooch has inherited the outgoing personality of the former, but with the hypoallergenic coat of the latter. In most cases, it’s not a dog’s fur that induces icky reactions in us two-legged creatures, but the dander—the dead skin cells. And, unfortunately, it’s an unavoidable fact of life.
Skin doesn’t last forever. Like all the cells in you and your pup’s body, they’re constantly being renewed. The truth is, you can’t see the regeneration of most organs (as they’re inside the body)—and you probably wouldn’t want to anyway.
But—as skin is external—the cells die and then fall off. And, in the case of pooch allergies, they fall onto the carpet, sofa or bed, or they’re released into the air to float around in your living space. However, the Cockapoo has secret weapons against allergies.
Firstly, its dander levels are low. It’s not that its skin doesn’t replenish and regrow at the same rate as other breeds—but that Cockapoos don’t inherently suffer from skin conditions, like huskies or malamutes for example, which could lead to greater dead cells in your home environment.
Secondly, with either a tightly curled or ringlet Cockapoo coat, the majority of dander is retained inside the fur, and can be removed with grooming.
And thirdly, Cockapoos have a low level of molting—meaning any skin cells don’t piggy-back their way onto your sofa through hair loss. Cool, huh? And, there’s one final allergy-busting bonus. Cockapoos don’t slaver, slobber or drool. Some pet parents react badly to the proteins in dog saliva, often promoting asthma and eczema symptoms. Luckily, these cutey Cockapoo canines don’t drip their mouthy mucus over you or your furniture. However, a little word in your ear. As they’re insatiably affectionate and attentive—they can be quite licky—especially if you’ve left them alone for a little while. However, easily trainable with positive reinforcement, you can teach them to cease these welcoming kisses.
The Cockapoo typically has either a straight, ringlet, or tight-curl coat. The straight coat retains the least dander—while the tight curl holds the most. Hence, if you have severe intolerances, it may be worth considering a Cockapoo with the latter variety of fur.
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The Story Behind the Cockapoo
Although these pooches are outgoing and not afraid to show their emotions, their background is less transparent. Little is known about how these clever canines first arrived—well, apart from two dogs had intercourse, obviously. The Cockapoo is a result of mating an English or American Cocker Spaniel with a miniature or toy Poodle.
Back in the 1940s, Cocker Spaniels were the most popular breed of dog, according to the AKC (American Kennel Club)—with the Poodle not far behind. Hence, it’s unsurprising that these two dogs enjoyed some nookie and produced offspring. Consequently, the first Cockapoo on record appeared in the USA in the 1950s. However, it’s unknown whether this was by accident or design. Since that time, these amazing animals have grown in popularity throughout the world—and are currently the #1 breed in the UK. That said, as hybrids, they’re not a registered breed with The Kennel Club, AKC, ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) or the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club). Image by Sally Wynn from Pixabay
Physical Characteristics and Coat of the Cockapoo
So, what does a Cocker Spaniel mix with Poodle genes produce? Well, coat-wise, there’s no specific answer—sorry about that. The fur features of the Cockapoo vary between individual doggies. As the pooches inherit characteristics from both parents, the predominant appearance can be different, depending on which particular genes are passed on. Scientifically speaking, it’s down to dominant and recessive genes—which is explained simply here. Even in one litter, all the tiny brother and sister pups can exhibit coat variation. Yet, there are three distinct fur types in Cockapoos:
- Tight and curly—typical of a poodle.
- Loosely hanging ringlets.
- A straighter, yet slightly wavy, coat.
Often, an experienced and reputable breeder is able to advise the likely coat appearance from the poodle and spaniel mix—although it’s not guaranteed. At about 3-4 weeks of age—as the coat begins to develop—it’s usually possible to identify the type of fur the doggie will have. However, whatever the coat form, it remains highly hypoallergenic.
The curls and waves retain dander, and all fur types have little-shedding proclivities. Its texture is dense, with silky and soft fur, as opposed to the coarser hair found on canines such as Great Danes.
Cockapoos may inherit a dense undercoat from the Cocker Spaniel, or a thin to non-existent type from the Poodle. In the straighter hair varieties, the fur can grow to a length of around six inches (15 cm). The Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix also generates a whole plethora of coat tones and patterns. Sometimes they’ll have one block color, or they can be white with patches of any hue. In addition, some of these cute canines have flecks and spots, known as ticking. Common colors include:
- Black with spots or a tuxedo pattern.
- Solid black.
- Tan, buff, and beige.
- Red, apricot, or auburn.
- Variations from light to dark brown.
- White or cream.
And, in keeping with the differences in coat color and waviness, their size is also somewhat diverse. Generally speaking, a Cocker Spaniel is around 13 inches in height. However, when you have a Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix, the height and weight of the Cockapoo will depend on the poodle parent.
These pooches are usually in pleasingly small proportions and have a powerful and agile gait. With adorable rounded heads are well-defined snouts, they have the appearance akin to an energetic teddy bear.
The Cocker Spaniel and Poodle share one particular characteristic—they’re both highly intelligent. In fact, the neuropsychologist Dr. Stanley Coren examined 200 dog breeds—and discovered that the Poodle was the second most intelligent canine in the world (after Border Collies). So, are Cockapoos smart? Well, a clever mum and dad means one canny canine. Naturally, this is to the benefit of the Cockapoo and their human parents and siblings. It makes them easy to train and learn quickly how to please you. But sometimes they can be too darn intelligent! In the most loving way possible, these poodle cross cocker spaniel doggies can be manipulative. They know which of your buttons to press to get the rewards, exercise, and attention they crave.
Furthermore, you have to be a little sly. Don’t think that hiding their treats in the back of a cupboard is going to prevent their little noses from seeking them out when you’re looking in the opposite direction. These cheeky chappies and chapettes will not consider a closed door much of a barrier.
So, are Cockapoos good family dogs? Undoubtedly! Fun-loving, happy-go-lucky and affectionate—Cockapoos are fantastic family members and are perfect for being around kids and small children. There are few Cockapoo behaviour problems and they absolutely thrive on human company—which does mean they’re not suitable for households where everyone is out all day. Leave them alone for too long and they get bored and lonely, which can lead to them developing separation anxiety. This can progress to Cockapoo behavior problems, such as chewing or destructing.
These Cocker Spaniel mixed with Poodle doggies—with their kind, sweet, gentle, and easily trainable personalities—are ideal pups for first-time owners.
However—if in a family environment—in the early months, it’s worthwhile ensuring that each member spends the same amount of time with the pooch—and takes turns in feeding. Typical Cockapoo behavior can include developing singular attachments—that is, being overly loyal to just one person. One final word, just in case you’re asking yourself, “Are Cockapoos good with cats and other pets?”. The answer is—yes. As long as you take time to introduce them gradually, they will accept other animals and live happily alongside them.
Looking After Their Coat
Due to the wide spectrum in coat types of these Poodle cross Cocker Spaniel dogs, the extent and frequency of grooming varies. Here are my quick tips on the three main classifications.
Straight to Slightly Wavy Coat
- It’s fine to give the straight coat Cockapoo a thorough comb and brush two to three times per week, with a bathing dip every two months.
- Check for hair growing over and between the eyes—and trim back with thinning scissors. Not only will this give your Cockapoo clear vision, you can also see its adorable eyes better.
- Some pet parents also trim the pooch’s beard on the lower jaw, to prevent soaking up drinking water and then sharing it with you during cuddle time.
- As with the straight coat, brush two to three times every week.
- Twice yearly, the undercoat will molt a little over a period of around 14 days. You’ll notice this by beginning to feel a little matting when you stroke your pooch. It’s important to remove this with a brush, otherwise it will ruin the appearance of the new growth.
- Ideally, do this while the fur is wet, and use a little dog conditioner. Otherwise, the coat turns into an ‘afro’ hairstyle, giving your pup a 1970s Motown appearance.
Tight Curly Coat
- As these coats are the most difficult for the pet parent to maintain, I recommend that, where funds allow, you take your Cockapoo to a professional groomer every three or four months. Alternatively, there are many local courses available, teaching you how to cut and trim correctly.
- The tight curls are a magnet for mud, dirt, and detritus. Hence, keeping the length to around 1-1.5 inches (3-4 cm) makes it easier to clean after your walks.
- Keep an eye on the ear canal. Cockapoos can have excessive hair growth inside, which traps wax and dirt, and can lead to infection. These need plucking out, ideally in conjunction with some canker powder.
Whatever the coat type, giving your Cockapoo a bikini wax isn’t vital. However, ensure you trim his or her nether regions—or give it a little shave on the lower tummy. Not only will your pooch appreciate this attention to genital grooming, but you’ll also enjoy an unstained, non-smelly coat when they’re on your lap. Generally speaking, there’s little more to Cockapoo care, apart from the basics. Ensure you trim the nails when necessary—usually every one to two weeks. Bear in mind that many small dogs are prone to gum disease, so brush those teeth two to three times a week too, using a dog-friendly toothpaste.
I know what you’re thinking—so how much exercise does a Cockapoo need? The answer depends on your home environment. These Cocker Spaniel cross Poodle doggies do have a lot of energy—that’s why they’re so darn bewitching. If you don’t give them sufficient physical activity, you’ll be watching your pooch jumping and tearing around your home, leaving you asking yourself, “When do Cockapoos calm down?”
Give them enough exercise—physically and mentally—and they’ll be sweet and docile in your residence.
Hence, if you share your apartment or yard/garden-free condo with a Cockapoo, he or she will need more exercise than those with an outside play area. Generally speaking, if you’re a pet parent that doesn’t have a garden, your fur baby will need around 90 minutes of exercise, ideally separated into two walks. For others with an outdoor area, two 30-minute perambulations a day should be sufficient. Here’s a quick tip. Some Cockapoodle mums and dads find their tiny terrors develop a lot of energy as evening approaches. In these circumstances, it’s a good idea to have a shorter walk in the morning, with an extended outing later in the day. Just bear in mind that—with their intelligent and inquisitive nature—Cockapoos will explore every inch of your yard or garden.
Firstly, ensure there’s nothing around that their little noses and mouths can cause trouble with. Secondly, check that gates, fences, and walls are secure. If they see a weakness or escape route, they’ll soon be out causing havoc in the neighborhood. Lastly, something to bear in mind—be careful with Cockapoo puppies.
Don’t over exercise them, as their bones and joints are still developing—overuse and pressure may lead to health issues in later life. Ensure they don’t jump on or off furniture, or race up and down stairs, as this could cause injuries.
They’re one of the smartest pooches on the planet—but are Cockapoos easy to train? Although having an amazing ability to think for themselves, they’re extremely eager to please, therefore will respond exceptionally well to training. However, Cockapoos are innately sensitive. So, no heavy-handed correction nor harsh commands—this will provide counterproductive results. Instead, use positive reinforcement—treats, fuss and, importantly, vocalization.
Cockapoos are known as dogs that are highly voice responsive, picking up on your tone and volume. Some lightly spoken, high pitched congratulatory words will work wonders with these clever canines. From the moment your Cockapoo enters your home, it’s important to lay down the house rules. Even as young pups, these pooches have the ability to learn quickly. Hence, at the very least, begin your educational sessions with the following commands:
This is most important, before letting your pooch off the leash. They can rapidly become overexcited, which could lead to an annoying aspect of Cockapoo behavior — distraction. Turn your back for a couple of seconds and your tiny terror will be racing across the park to make new friends. Command training from day one means being able to keep control of your pooch. When your doggie is fully grown, you can then move onto more fun, exercise-based Cockapoo training. They absolutely excel at obedience competitions, agility meets, and flyball games. However, as mentioned earlier, wait until their bones, muscles, and joints are fully formed before taking on these more extreme activities. But what about the all-important question—are Cockapoos easy to house train? Luckily, yes.
Coming from Poodle and Cocker Spaniel parents, the Cockapoo has a chance of inheriting the congenital health issues common to both of these breeds. But don’t be alarmed. With increased genetic diversity, the chances of your pooch developing problems are reduced. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to detect inherited issues in your growing puppy. Hence, take care to observe your Cockapoo as the months pass and, should anything appear a little out of the ordinary, consult your veterinarian.
Common issues affecting Cockapoos include:
Less common health issues can include:
The Cockapoo is an outgoing, highly intelligent and teddy bear-like pooch, who is a wonderful companion for the whole family. Inquisitive and eager to explore, this delightful doggie wants to be involved in everything you do. Trust me—if you want some personal bathroom time—you’ll need to close the door!
Just bear in mind that these pooches will need a lot of attention, frequent grooming, and aren’t suited to being left alone for long periods.
However—for allergy sufferers in particular—they’re ideal. Little shedding and with a low dander level, the Cockapoo hypoallergenic pooch will not leave you or your family sneezing, coughing, or itching.
Do Cockapoos Smell?
Not usually. Cockapoos are proud dogs that take pride in their personal appearance. However, to prevent any aroma issues, ensure that the hair around their private areas is shortly trimmed, and bathe them every couple of months. To keep breath fresh, mix the Cockapoo diet with meaty bones, which can have a cleaning effect on the teeth.
Are Spoodles Hypoallergenic?
Yes! They have a low rate of shedding and produce little dander. Furthermore, their ringlet-type coats help retain the small amount of dander that is created—meaning it doesn’t drop onto your furniture or become airborne. A little weekly grooming will help to remove these dead skin cells from their coat.
Are Cockapoos Non Shedding?
One of the first considerations when choosing a hypoallergenic dog, is do Cockapoo dogs shed? All coat varieties of these pooches have low hair-shedding characteristics, with the tightly-curled types losing the least hair.
Are Cockapoos Easy to Potty Train?
Yes. As highly intelligent pooches, Cockapoos are one of the easiest small-dog breeds to house train. However, always use positive reinforcement, as they respond badly to harsh correction.
Do Cockapoos Bark a Lot?
When over excited—or bored—Cockapoos can be a little vocal. However, keep them regularly exercised and this shouldn’t be an issue. Additionally, don’t leave your Cockapoo alone for extended periods. These pups need company and can suffer from separation anxiety if isolated.
What Is an F1 Cockapoo?
When you mate a pedigree Poodle with a pedigree Cocker Spaniel — their offspring are referred to as F1 Cockapoos. Bear in mind that while they are a first generation cross, you may still find their pups exhibit a variety of appearances and coat types, depending upon whether they take after their mom or dad.
What Is an F2 Cockapoo?
If two F1 Cockapoos mate, their puppies are F2s. This combination can sometimes lead to what’s called—in breeding circles—the ‘Grandad Effect’. This is where some of the fur babies in a litter can both inherit and display strong traits from either the Cocker Spaniel or Poodle grandparent — while the other pups may have the appearance of their mom and dad. So, theoretically, in just one litter, you can have puppies that have the wavy Poodle coat, the straight Spaniel coat, or the ‘Cockapoo appearance’ of their parents.
What Is an F1b Cockapoo?
If you mate an F1 Cockapoo with a pedigree Poodle or Cocker Spaniel — the resulting puppies are called an F1b. Alternatively, if the Cockapoo parent was an F2, the litter would comprise F2b babies.
What’s the Difference Between Spoodle and Cockapoo?
Apart from the spelling, there isn’t one! These are just different names that have evolved around the breed — dependent on the country of origin. For example, in the US and UK they’re known as Cockapoos, Spoodle in Australia, and the French Montay in, well, France. There are also many other unofficial names, such as the Cockerdoodle and Cockapoodle.
Do Cockapoos Chew?
Usually, no. However, being highly intelligent and sociable dogs — they can begin to exhibit this unwanted trait if not sufficiently stimulated or if they are left alone for long periods.
Do Cockapoos Shed a Lot?
No! Which makes them ideal for allergy sufferers! Cockapoos are renowned for having a coat that doesn’t have a propensity to drop hair on furniture and carpets. The tight curl variety sheds the least out of all the coat types.
Do Cockapoos Moult?
With a dense, soft, and almost silky coat, the Cockapoo molts very little and has low dander.
When Do Cockapoos Stop Biting?
Nibbling and biting is common in Cockapoo puppies and is nothing to worry about — it’s simply a combination of playful behaviour, teething, and their way of beginning to explore the world. Typically, they grow out of this trait at the age of around 14-16 weeks. However, you can encourage your pup to stop this annoying characteristic by emitting a sharp ‘Ow!’ and giving them a hard stare everytime they nibble.
Are Cockapoos Good With Dogs?
Yes! Cockapoos mix extremely well with other pooches. Introduce them to other doggies as early as possible (once they’ve had all the necessary vaccinations), to ensure that they don’t bark or develop any apprehension when approaching other canines.
Are Cockapoos Smart Dogs?
They’re incredibly clever. Research indicates that, in 200 studied dog breeds, the Cockapoo is the second most intelligent dog in the world (after the Border Collie).
|Other Names||Cockerpoo, Spoodle, Cockerdoodle, Cockapoodle and French Montay.|
|Height||Toy Parent: 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) Miniature Parent: 11-15 inches (28-38 cm)|
|Weight||Toy Parent: 8-10 pounds (3.6 to 4.5 kg) Miniature Parent:15-18 pounds (6.8 to 8.16 kg)|
|Temperament||Comical, inquisitive, and curious. Excellent with children, strangers, and other pets. Will shower you with adoration and love.|
|Colors||Can be solid colored or bi—including black, tan, buff, beige, merle, red, apricot, auburn, sable, white, cream, brindle, or roan|
|Coat||Depending on inherited characteristics, can be straight with a little wave, ringlets, or tight curls|
|How much grooming?||Moderate—three times per week to prevent matting and remove any ‘locked-in’ dander|
|Do Cockapoos shed?||The Cockapoo shedding rate is low—especially in the tight-curl coat types|
|Dander levels||Very low—has few skin issues and any dander remains locked within the coat—not released into the air|
|Saliva||Loves to lick, but will not slaver or drool|
|Energy levels||Moderate to high|
|How much exercise do they need?||The Cockapoo exercise needs are about 60 minutes of walking per day. Loves to run around the garden: for apartment life, walks should be extended to 90 minutes|
|Health problems?||Few—but can be prone to ear infections, patellar luxation, and eye issues|
|Good for an apartment?||Will be perfect for apartment living due to their small size, although they still require adequate exercise every day, to prevent boredom and frustration|
|Suitable for kids?||Perfect—they adore children.|
|How much do they bark?||Sometimes—mainly when separated from family members.|
|Can they be left alone?||Only for short periods—they love being around people and can suffer separation anxiety if alone for too long|
|Intelligent?||Incredibly—one of the cleverest canine breeds|
|Trainable?||Easy—intelligent and with a huge desire to please|
|How popular as a pet?||Very—the most popular breed in the UK. And, because of the Cockapoo hypoallergenic properties, they’re favored by pet parents with allergy issues|