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The Cockapoo: One Of America's Favorite Mixed Dog Breeds

Updated on July 26, 2017

What The Heck Is A Cockapoo?

The Cockapoo (sometimes referred to as Cockerpoo) is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. This friendly, energetic mixed-breed is fast becoming one of the most popular 'designer mutts' in America.

So let's take a look at the characteristics and history of Cocker Spaniels and of poodles, to learn something about their mixed-breed offspring.


Photo used under Creative Commons from: Bob Jagendorf, on Flickr

About The "Cocker Spaniel" In Every Cockapoo

What Cockapoos Inherit From Cocker Spaniels

The Cocker Spaniel, the smallest of the gun-dog breeds, is a descendant of the Spanish hunting dog, who was introduced into other parts of the world and made his way into courtly English circles because of his abilities.

The smaller spaniels were found to be especially gifted in routing out woodcock, and hence became known as a "cocker" spaniel. What he lacked in size he made up for in sheer energy. Rather than stopping and pointing to game, the Cocker moves in quickly and flushes the bird from its hiding place.

This merry little dog is characterized by his love and faithfulness to his master and household. He is an alert, courageous, and easy-to-love fellow.

The Cocker's popularity as a show and pet dog increased rapidly in the United States during the 1940s and 1950s, and his hunting talents were de-emphasized, making it difficult to find a really good field dog of this breed in the U.S. today.

About The "Poodle" In Every Cockapoo

What Cockapoos Inherit From Poodles

The origin of the poodle is somewhat of a mystery, though some books tell us he is of early Roman or German background, while others say he is French. Paintings from the 15th and 16th century prove that the poodle was popular in Germany, France and Spain then, and the custom of clipping had already developed.

Certain canine genealogists feel that the poodle developed from an early strain of spaniel; if this is true, the Cockapoo might not be a mixed-breed after all. Whatever his regional and genetic origin, the poodle has long been the national dog of France. Poodles are hardy and easy to raise. They are beautiful, intelligent dogs and can be taught a wide range of practical lessons as well as limitless parlor tricks.

Though sometimes high-strung and sensitive, they have their own special bearing and dignity. Today the poodle is not known as a sporting dog, however, they were originally hunting companions. Their ability as swimmers made them excellent waterfowl retrievers. Poodles are excellent watchdogs as well.

Vid: Cockapoos . . . Gotta Love 'Em! - Cockapoos come in all shapes and colors . . .

This video really captures the wide range of paw-sonalities this mixed breed can produce.

Cockapoos Offer The Best of Both Dog Breeds

The Best Of Cocker Spaniels . . . The Best Of Poodles

So the Cockapoos have combined the characteristics of both the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. They usually have a full, curly coat of hair like a poodle. They resemble the poodle in body structure, though they have the head of a spaniel. Their bright eyes and alert expression, and their personality, are an indication of their spaniel heritage.

The primary drawback of the little dog is his tendency to shed hair. Proper clipping and grooming, as well as regular brushing, should help control this problem. If the owner wishes, the Cockapoo can be clipped like a poodle, though this is seldom done.

The Cockapoo must be fed and watered, trained and groomed, sheltered and exercised, kept in good health and attended while sick in much the same way the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel are.

Cockapoos are usually sensitive eaters, and some experimentation may be necessary until a diet is found that will not cause digestive upset. Just include large doses of affection and loving care, and the Cockapoo will return these ingredients in full measure . . . and always with a little bit extra!

The Cockapoo is a fun dog - an excellent companion for adults as well as a charming playmate for children. They seldom snap or resent the games and activity of a busy household. Cockapoos have a long memory for family members, and even after long absences seem to remember cousins and uncles when they return.

The Cockapoo's popularity grows daily... just because he's loving, loyal, and lots of fun to have at home.

What Is AMC's Stand On The Cockapoo?

Although enchanting, Cockaoos can not be registered with the American Kennel Club. AMC's main complaint: the unpredictable characteristics of mongrel (mixed breed) offspring. It is usually difficult to know what some mixed breeds will be like, for they are often a one-of-a-kind mixture.

But Cockapoos may be an exception to this generality. For example, if the variety of the Poodle (toy, miniature, or standard) is known, you can reasonably predict the adult size your puppy will become.

When breeding is purposeful an controlled, a dog's bad qualities can sometimes be eliminated and good qualities encouraged. If the breeding is conducted with care and knowledge, the net result should be a pet with excellent traits.

Vid: A Cockapoo & Her Blackberry - Really cute!

Let Me Know You Stopped By . . . Leave A Comment - Hope You've Enjoyed this Lens

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    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      We have a 3 year old Cockapoo and she is so sweet. She got a little more Poodle in her than Cocker, aside from her floppy ears.

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 

      5 years ago

      We love our cockapoo. Cute, cuddly and an outstanding personality!

    • Trixiesmom2u profile image


      6 years ago

      I loved your lens. I have a Cockapoo and love her dearly. She has never shed in six years. She's the curly kind, gets mistaken for a poodle all the time. She's black with a white chest. Smart, gentle, beautiful breed. Strong hunting instinct. Thanks god a wonderful read.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Two very good forums for cockapoo owners

      and a fab website all about cockapoos.

      i have 4 cockapoos and love the breed

    • kerbev profile image


      7 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I just got a cockapoo puppy. She's 12 weeks old and really quite smart.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 

      7 years ago

      I love cockapoos! My dog, Tucker, is technically considered a Cockapoopoo because he is three quarters poodle and only one quarter Cocker Spaniel. Everybody loves him, he had so many friends, human and dog. :)

    • missbat profile image


      7 years ago

      My first dog, Max, was a mutt but we think he was a cockapoo/Bichon Frise mix. He was quite the character! Great lens!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Cockapoo are so cute. One of these days I want a puppy again to raise and love.

    • jstarr lm profile image

      jstarr lm 

      8 years ago

      I love you lens - and I love my cockapoo! Thanks for sharing all the great info!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens. I have a PomPoo. I just finished a lens on it. http://www.squidoo/PomPoo-Hybrd-Dog Let me know what you think? Cockapoos are so cute!


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