Cockapoos are highly affectionate and crave the company of their owners. So if you own one, don’t leave it alone for long periods of time as it is likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder. For more information on the personality traits and general care and grooming tips for Cockapoo dogs, read this DogAppy article.
Did You Know?
Several studies show that mixed breed dogs are less susceptible to genetic illnesses than purebreds.
The Cockapoo is not a pure breed. It is a cross between the Cocker Spaniel (American or English) and the Poodle (miniature or toy). Hence, it does not ‘breed true’ (the characteristics may vary from dog to dog). Physical characteristics of the pups of pure breeds (described as breeds that ‘breed true’) are always predictable. A cross-breed may exhibit the characteristics of either or both parent breeds. The appearance, size, and temperament of Cockapoo puppies aren’t as predictable as those of purebreds. It is not possible to predict which characteristic feature, from which parental breed, will be exhibited in a puppy.
Both American Spaniel and English Spaniel are breeds of sporting dogs, rather gun dogs, who were trained and used for hunting and retrieving the prey, especially birds. English Cocker Spaniel is more compact than the American one. Poodle, developed as a water dog (gun dog, bred to hunt and retrieve game from water), is also an active and intelligent breed. Like its parents, a Cockapoo is also active, agile, and intelligent.
Basic Information about Cockapoo Dogs
The Cockapoo is the first of the designer dogs (hybrids). They were first developed in the United States and are popular since the 1960s. Also known as the Cockapoodle, Cockerpoo, or Cock-a-Poo, Cockapoos are friendly, affectionate dogs who need to live in the house and not outdoors. They love families, children, and even other pets like cats. As this is not a pure breed, the size may vary from dog to dog. Life expectancy of a Cockapoo is 14-16 years.
How to Maintain the Coat
Cockapoos have fast growing dense coats. Although they shed less, they require daily maintenance. They come in various colors and markings. The coat may have patches or freckles of various colors, called ticking. The length of the coat may vary from dog to dog. The hair can be straight or curled.
✦ Brush the puppies 4-5 times during a week if they have long hair, otherwise brushing once in a week is sufficient. A brushing session may last for 8-10 minutes. It would also help develop a powerful bond between you and your puppy. Adult coat starts to appear after about 8 months.
✦ For bathing, use a puppy shampoo that doesn’t contain soap and detergents. Remove tangles, matts, and debris and comb the coat before bathing. Dry him well after bathing. Use a towel and a hair-dryer. Then brush and comb the coat again, starting from the head to tail, parting the hair in sections.
✦ Shampoo your cockapoo once in a month. Never use a human shampoo, use only a dog shampoo. After bathing, the coat will look shiny and healthy.
✦ Being silky, the coat of an adult may matt easily. Adults need extensive grooming. Regular brushing and bathing would help maintain hygiene. Along with the outer coat, undercoat should also be brushed regularly. Use a brush that reaches to the undercoat.
✦ With the help of thinning scissors, trim back the hair growing in between the eyes. Remove the hair inside the ears. Trimming off the beard at the bottom of the jaw is also recommended, as it often gets waterlogged while drinking water.
✦ Cockapoos look cute even in natural untrimmed coats. But they may suffer from matts and knots, especially around the collar area, behind the ears, and in the armpit area. Get a rolled leather collar for your pet.
✦ Check for fleas and ticks regularly.
✦ The coat can be trimmed into a ‘teddy bear trim’ or a ‘lamb cut’ or a ‘puppy cut’. The puppy cut is relatively easy to maintain, regardless of the coat type. You may take your pet to a professional groomer every 3 or 6 months, if you want to try different grooming styles. Your dog would definitely win a prize in a dog show.
✦ Tight curly coat can give the dog a totally different look.
✦ After bathing, if you brush his hair using a blow dryer, the dog will look more like a poodle.
✦ If the coat of your dog is similar to that of a Cocker Spaniel, let him air dry after bathing. Use a blow dryer without brushing. The dog won’t look fluffy.
✦ It is easy to cut the hair when they are wet. While trimming the hair, use a comb attachment, and run the dog clippers against the coat, from tail to head. Then run the clippers on his legs, sides, chest, and belly.
✦ Do not use the comb attachment while trimming the hair on his muzzle. Trimming the hair at the bottoms of its ears, top of its head and tail will give it a clean look. If your dog looks like a Cocker Spaniel, then it may not be necessary. The process of trimming the hair largely depends upon the type of hair.
✦ You would require at least a comb, a brush, nail clippers, thinning scissors, and a slicker brush for dog grooming. Various types of grooming tools are available in the market.
Cockapoo Dog Care Instructions
✦ Cockapoos are good-natured companion dogs. They should not be left alone in the backyard or garage for long periods of time. They bark when left alone or when they see a stranger. The dog may turn destructive if left alone.
✦ These well-behaved social pets thrive on love and affection. They are happy with family members. Being small in size, they are ideal for city life and small homes. They are travel-friendly and require less food, as compared to bigger dogs.
✦ Cockapoo puppies are very small and may escape through very small holes and gaps. So, the house and the garden should be perfectly secured.
✦ Puppies should be trained early. They are responsive and cheerful. Early socialization and training helps them develop into well-mannered, obedient, and friendly adults. They should be taught to trust you and accept you as their leader.
✦ Never feed your dog with leftovers as it may affect its digestive health seriously. A healthy diet should include high quality dog food. Read the list of ingredients on the label, and choose the one which contains most natural ingredients. Do not change the food frequently. If you want to change the type or brand, change it gradually. You may give him treats occasionally.
✦ Always keep the water bowl filled with fresh water. Let him drink plenty of water.
✦ Walking your dog for 10-15 minutes at least twice a day is essential to maintain its health. Regular and sufficient exercise plays an important role in its physical as well as mental health. Let it play in your yard for a couple of hours.
✦ Brush the teeth of your dog once a week. Use specially designed dog brush and dog toothpaste. Brushing will help maintain the health of the teeth. It will help get rid of tartar.
✦ With the help of a dog toenail clipper, clip the claws every other month. Check the area between the pads for ticks, fleas, and injuries.
✦ Using a clean damp cloth and tepid water, keep the face of the dog clean and dry.
✦ Design activities in such a way that your dog will get an opportunity to exhibit its natural instincts. As its parents were developed as gun dogs, a Cockapoo will be happy if you would give it a chance to explore hidden/new things. Pour 1-2 drops of a scent on his toy and hide it. Ask him to bring it. Also, let him chase and retrieve balls. Allow him to interact and play with other dogs by arranging group dog walks. Let him track his hidden food.
Common Health Problems
✦ Sparkling bright eyes reflect the health of the dog. But like other breeds, this breed is also likely to suffer from hereditary eye problems like Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Goniodysgenesis (a painful condition), Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy, etc.
✦ As Cockapoos have floppy ears, they are more prone to ear infections. Clean the inside of ears once a month with a cotton ball and dog ear cleaner. Do not try to reach far inside the ears. This may hurt the dog. Just swipe the easily-reachable areas. Take it to the vet if you notice rash, foul odor, or wax inside the ear.
✦ They may suffer from hip dysplasia or luxating patella, (loose and wobbling knee).
✦ Along with ear mites, check for bacterial and yeast infection in ears.
✦ Lethargy and extensive hair loss suggest hyperthyroidism.
Cockapoos don’t shed much. So, they are less likely to cause allergies. Friendly and people-oriented, they are easy to train. With moderate energy level, they enjoy activities as well as snuggling up on the couch or bed with their master. They are always happy, they just want love and affection from their master.