Cockapoos are a cross of cocker spaniels and poodles. You will never regret getting a cockapoo home, as they are very cuddly and adorable. Read this article to know more about the wonderful breed. If you own one, read ahead for some caring tips. If you don’t have one, read, so as to tempt yourself into buying one.
Cockapoo is one of the oldest known designer dog breeds. It has been popular in the United States since the 1950s. The American Cockapoo Club was founded by Mary D. Foley in 1998, and is dedicated towards the preservation of this lovely breed.
Cockapoos are so friendly and outgoing that they would not leave you alone even for a minute. They are very intelligent and active pets. They like playing, going for a walk, getting trained; actually anything which involves activity. These are not the kind of dogs that would lie around in the house dozing off all day.
Being very happy dogs, cockapoos will always cheer up your mood and make you smile. They also like being petted, and love meeting new people. You would also never find them chasing a cat. Cockapoos are both, cat and dog friendly. They are also used as therapy dogs. Therapy dogs are trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, disaster areas, and the like. They are even trained as hearing dogs for the deaf.
Breed: Cocker Spaniel and Poodle
Height: 10 – 15 inches
Weight: 12 – 24 pounds
Lifespan: 14 – 16 years
Temperament: Loving, Playful, Intelligent, and Outgoing
Diet: Protein-rich Food (chicken, rice, lamb, vegetables, etc.)
Adaptability: Very Good
Sociability: Very Good
Guard Dog Ability: Average
Amount of Shedding: Good
Energy Level: Good
Cockapoos have a lifespan of 14 – 18 years, and weigh somewhere between 12 – 24 pounds. Their height ranges from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 15 inches. Most cockapoos inherit the spaniel’s playful nature and the poodle’s intelligence and trainability. They need moderate levels of care and grooming. Being from the category of friendly dogs, they won’t bark much or cause any harm to anyone else.
The puppies inherit a certain amount of things from each of their parents, but certain habits and behavior need to be induced in them by training and conditioning. Cockapoos are very friendly, outgoing, and intelligent. Likewise, they also acquire the common traits which are most dominant from both the parents. For example, both spaniels and poodles are great companion dogs and like the presence of people around them. They won’t prefer staying tied in your porch or backyard for longer intervals. Instead, they prefer your lap for their afternoon nap. They need to be trained from day one, as a lot of effective learning occurs at a very tender age. Obedience training must start at a very young age to avoid the formation of bad habits. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train this breed.
Cockapoos are people dogs; extremely social. They have certain inherited qualities, like being social and friendly, but still, they need to be socialized. Exposure to sights, sounds, new people, social gatherings, new experiences, etc., is something they simply enjoy. Socialization is necessary, because they need to be taught how to behave in various scenarios and situations. Cockapoos love playing ball, especially running around a yard to fetch it. They are great playmates for children, and would never let a child feel bored and lonely. They are always on the run to do things filled with enthusiasm and energy. One should make a point to teach children how to behave with this dog breed, as they might accidentally hurt it.
A lonely or bored cockapoo could lead to separation anxiety, and the dog might get destructive and show signs like chewing things, relentlessly barking, etc. They always strive for every single minute of your attention. Always be around your dog and avoid leaving it alone in the house. You could drop it at a friend’s place if you plan to be away from home for some time. They easily get acquainted to new surroundings and people.
Dogs are very similar to babies. They have to be bathed, brushed, combed, their teeth needs to be brushed, ears need to be cleaned, and nails need to be trimmed. Cockapoos are designer dogs and need a lot of grooming. They do not shed much, and hence, the task of grooming them gets a lot easier. A cockapoo’s coat varies in texture; it can be curled, wavy, or straight. Also, the coat has rich colors like black, tan, beige, buff, red, brown, sable, cream, white, silver, brindle, and roan.
Brush their teeth every two days at least. This helps get rid of tartar, bad breath, and gum infections. If you have the time, you could even brush them daily.
Nail clipping is very essential. Do it once a month at least, and twice or thrice if you have kids around the house. If you are not well-versed with clipping nails, you might cut them too short, leaving the dog in some pain. Dogs’ nails have blood vessels, and trimming them more than necessary could cause pain, and would result in your dog refusing to let you do this task the next time around. Seek the advise of your vet in case you haven’t done it before.
Cockapoos have drooping ears, like those of a spaniel. This could restrict the circulation of air in the dog’s ears, causing infection. Make it a point to clean its ears frequently, and check for signs of redness, itchiness, and tenderness, which are common symptoms of any infection. Consult your vet for a solution to clean its ears. Do not stick ear buds inside the ear canal, as they could cause damage. Use a soft cotton gauge instead.
Bathing and Brushing
It is very important to brush the dog’s hair, prior to a bath. Choose appropriate brushes which suit the texture of the coat. For instance, a bristle brush is great for dogs with medium to long hair. It distributes the body’s natural oils throughout the coat, making it shine. A wire-pin brush is commonly used for curly or wooly coats. A slicker brush is another type of brush used for detangling and smoothing hair, suitable for dogs with long hair. Brush the entire coat section by section. Look out for knots, especially in the collar and armpit area. Avoid yanking at a knot, as it is very painful for the dog. If you find a knot, hold that patch of the coat and gently try untangling it. If the knot is pretty big, use a pair scissors and cut it off. You could also use a de-matter for minor matting.
If you have a bathtub, fill it halfway with water. Make sure that the water is warm and not hot. Always remember to make the dog’s bathing experience pleasant, and avoid associating any unpleasant or painful things to it, which could cause it to hate bathing the next time. After filling the tub, bring your cockapoo inside and latch the bathroom door, just in case it jumps out and creates a mess in the whole house. Give him a minute to get used to the water. Cockapoos love swimming, and are very naughty in this regard. They’ll start splashing water everywhere. You could give him his favorite toy to play with in the water. Pour water gradually over your pet, and use a dog shampoo, preferably a tear-free one, to clean the coat. Clean your dog very neatly, covering each and every area of its body; the tail, spine, anal area, ears, and armpits. Be gentle, so that your dog feels your touch to be comforting. After you have applied the shampoo, rinse it thoroughly with water, ensuring that all the shampoo has been washed away. A conditioner meant for dogs could be used to keep the long coat silky and soft.
As you would anyway be washing every inch of your dog, you could use this opportunity to carefully examine it for rashes, infections, ticks and fleas, skin irritations, and other health concerns. Next is drying. Use a big towel to blot as much water possible from its body. Use a small soft towel to clean sensitive parts, like the ears, eyelids, nose, etc. Blow drying the dog’s coat makes the task faster. But be careful that you hold the blow dryer at a considerable distance and hover it all over its body continuously. Holding it too close or focusing on one area only may cause the dog’s skin to burn, leaving it in pain. Make the process rewarding by giving the dog its favorite snack. This positive reinforcement would make it love this experience, and it would eagerly look forward to it in the future.
After around 8 months a cockapoo’s coat changes to an adult coat. The dog will shed its puppy coat gradually and grow a new one. An adult cockapoo’s coat can grow up to 15 centimeters long. While keeping a long coat is preferred by many, it is necessary to trim the fur near the eye area with a pair of thinning scissors, to make the dog’s vision clearer. Apart from keeping the natural length, you could also trim the coat to give the dog an altogether different look. This can be accomplished by a visit to a professional groomer. Cockapoo haircuts include: the teddy bear trim, the puppy cut, the summer cut, and the classic Cocker Spaniel cut.
Begin your concern for a cockapoo’s health right from the time you go to a breeder to buy one. It is a must on the part of the breeder to conduct regular ophthalmologic examinations of their breeding stock, which ensures freedom from inherited diseases. Inquire for such certification, so that you get a healthy puppy and don’t need to worry about such diseases in the future. It is always better to spend in the beginning, rather than repent later and pay frequent visits to the vet. Consider it this way; you are not buying a commodity, but adding a member to your family.
Try to meet the breeder personally, rather than inquiring over the phone. You could take your family along on a weekend to help you choose better. The breeder could also make a rough judgment about how your family is, and would help you with a suitable pup. Inquire about the temperament and health of the parents. This is very important, as it defines whether the dog would suit your lifestyle or not. Whatever is dominant in the parents is likely to be dominant in the offspring too.
Cockapoos are prone to certain major and minor ailments. Let’s have a look at them.
A very commonly seen ailment in cockapoos, patella luxation, is a condition wherein the patella, or the kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal position. The dog has difficulty in walking, and hence its movement reduces. This condition can be treated by a surgery, which includes the realignment of the patella in its appropriate location.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Again, a genetically inherited disease, features the deterioration of the retina in both the eyes, leading to deterred vision or blindness, in extreme cases. The exceptions to this disease are only two dog breeds; one being the Siberian Husky and the other, the Bullmastiff. Most dog breeds usually inherit this as an autosomal recessive trait. This disorder has no treatment.
Being dogs with droopy ears, cockapoos stand a high chance of developing ear mites, bacterial infections, and yeast infections in the ears. Certain preventive measures need to be used with proper advice from the vet. Infections can be cured with simple treatments if done on time.
Cockapoos require a certain level of activity everyday. A quick walk in the evening is great. Apart from a walk, the exercise that the dog gets from its activities indoors and outdoors is sufficient. It’s not good to overfeed the dog. Maintaining proper weight is very essential to ensure a greater lifespan and prevent diseases.
If you are planning to buy a new puppy, keep some basic things in mind. Buy a crate. Crate training is very important in the initial months, as it lets your dog have an area of its own where it could find some peace and sleep. Make the crate comfortable; you could place a vetbed and one of your old blankets which has your scent. Do not force the dog into the crate. Keep some of its favorite snacks inside, like sausages, bits of chicken, etc. Keep the door of the crate open always. When the dog gets comfortable with the crate, you could place some toys or chews inside. This will encourage the pup to stay in for a longer interval. Always remember, puppies initially would chew on anything they get to, so don’t buy expensive toys.
After this, slowly introduce the pup to your room. Close the door of the crate for short periods. Let the process be gradual. Give it the treats previously placed in the crates yourself. If you wish, you can allow it to sleep in the crate at night. Take good care of your dog, and give it lots of love. Always focus on positive reinforcement, as this helps accomplish a lot of basic training.