The Cockapoo is one of the better-known designer dogs that can be found out there. Given its name, chances are good that interested individuals can guess that it was created using a couple of dog breeds, with one being the Cocker Spaniel. Generally speaking, the Cockapoo’s Poodle heritage comes from Miniature Poodles. However, there are those that can claim descent from other kinds of Poodles as well. In any case, these designer dogs are quite popular, meaning that they are more common than what interested individuals might have expected.
How Did the Cockapoo Come Into Existence?
Designer dogs aren’t that old in the grand scheme of things. Mixed-breed dogs have been a thing since either the creation of purebred dogs or before the creation of purebred dogs. One can make the first argument because the concept of mixed-breed dogs are so connected to the creation of purebred dogs, which are a product of the Victorian era for the most part. Meanwhile, one can make the second argument because different kinds of dogs have been mixing with one another since long before the Victorian era. Regardless, the important point is that the creation of designer dogs tends to be much more intentional in nature than the creation of their mixed-breed counterparts, seeing as how they are meant to combine desirable characteristics from two dog breeds in a single dog. As such, it is possible for designer dogs to be new while mixed-breed dogs are very much not. Having said that, it is amusing to note that Cockapoos seem to be one of the older designer dogs that can be found out there. Generally speaking, the origins of designer dogs are associated with the late 20th century, which was when there was a huge surge of interest in the concept starting with the Labradoodle. However, dog breeders in the United States are known to have started creating Cockapoos in the 1960s, which were quite some time before that. Presumably, this is connected to their popularity as well as their parents’ popularity.
Of course, those parents can trace their roots much further back. Confusingly, Cocker Spaniel can refer to not one but two dog breeds. This is because there are both American Cocker Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels, both of which are called by the much more convenient name of Cocker Spaniel in their respective homelands. The ultimate origins of these dogs are unclear. Most people believe that spaniels originated in Spain, which is why spaniels are called spaniels. Whatever the case, spaniels are known to have existed in England by the Late Middle Ages. There, they saw extensive use as hunting dogs. Indeed, interested individuals might be able to guess that the original Cocker Spaniels were named thus because they were specialized for hunting woodcocks. Later, the Cocker Spaniels brought to what would become the United States were still specialized for hunting woodcocks. However, they were bred towards a somewhat different end because they were meant to go after a somewhat different animal. After all, woodcock refers to a number of similar but not quite the same birds, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the woodcocks hunted in England weren’t the exact same species as the woodcocks hunted in the United States. That was the start of the split between English Cocker Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels, which has become more pronounced over time.
Meanwhile, the Poodle has a very strong connection to France in the popular imagination. However, while there are those who believe that it originated in France, most people believe that it originated in Germany instead. Essentially, they believe that it is the water dog that emerged in Germany in much the same manner that other water dogs such as the Barbet and the English Water Spaniel emerged in other European countries. Even now, Poodles have numerous characteristics connected to their original use as hunting dogs in spite of their successful transition to other roles. To name an example, the iconic Poodle look is meant to make them better in the water. The hair on their chest serves to keep their vital organs warm in the water while the shorn hair on their hindquarters serves to reduce the drag on them in the water. Similarly, the hair on the joints are meant to keep them warm in the water, which would have been important for preventing the development of rheumatism. On the whole, Poodles can be considered an example of hunting dogs that have managed to find new purposes for themselves, not least because the same characteristics that made them excellent hunting dogs made them excellent for other tasks as well.
They Aren’t 100 Percent Predictable
Purebred dogs tend to be pretty predictable. It isn’t uncommon for some of these dogs to go against the expectations of what they are supposed to be like. However, purebred dogs tend to be pretty predictable because those exceptions aren’t supposed to get the chance to pass their genes down to the next generation. Cockapoos and other designer dogs don’t have the same consistency. They possess a mix of characteristics from both sides of their heritage, but they are unpredictable when it comes to which characteristics will show up and which characteristics will not show up because even the best dog breeders don’t possess perfect control over genetics. Due to this, if people want to get a Cockapoo, they need to familiarize themselves with the specific dog in question. Otherwise, interested individuals can be very surprised if their dog turns out to be different from what these designer dogs are supposed to be like in general. This is particularly true because Cockapoos aren’t guaranteed to have one Cocker Spaniel parent and one Poodle parent. Simply put, there are plenty of multi-generation mixes out there.
They Aren’t Guaranteed to Be Healthier
Mixed-breed dogs are supposed to be healthier than their purebred counterparts. After all, they come from a bigger gene pool. Furthermore, mixed-breed dogs haven’t been bred for certain characteristics that are quite detrimental to them. For instance, protruding eyes can look very amusing, but those protruding eyes are much more susceptible to eye injuries, with prolapse being a potential outcome. The issue is that something true for a population isn’t guaranteed to be true for a particular member of that population. For that matter, the sheer demand for designer dogs means that a wide range of dog breeders have gotten involved in creating them. Unfortunately, that includes those whose dog breeding practices are meant to produce as many Cockapoos as possible even if that means sacrificing the latter’s well-being in the process. Something that can have very detrimental consequences for these designer dogs. This is the reason that interested individuals should make sure to get their dog from a reputable dog breeder. If nothing else, this would be the most pragmatic option because both physical issues and behavioral issues can be very expensive for dog owners in the long run. The treatment for just a single medical problem can cost thousands of dollars. Never mind the multiple medical problems that can come up if they and their dog are particularly unlucky.
Sometimes Promoted as Being Hypoallergenic
Poodles are often promoted as being hypoallergenic. As a result, Cockapoos are often promoted as being hypoallergenic. This can be rather misleading. There is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic dog. Instead, interested individuals are looking for dogs that have lower chances of triggering people’s allergies, which is the best that they can hope for. Generally speaking, when a particular dog breed is called hypoallergenic, that tends to mean that particular dog breed is less prone to shedding. That can be helpful for some people, but for others, well, suffice to say that both dog dander and dog saliva are capable of triggering the dog allergies of others. Cockapoos are often promoted as being hypoallergenic because they are descended from Poodles. However, even Poodles can trigger dog allergies. Never mind how Cockapoos aren’t guaranteed to take after Poodles when it comes to their coat. This is one more reason why interested individuals need to get to know the specific dog that they are thinking about taking home. Otherwise, it would be very bad if they took home a dog that they are allergic to.
Come in a Fair Range of Sizes
Poodles come in a range of sizes. Most places recognize Standard Poodles, Toy Poodles, and Miniature Poodles. However, there are some places that recognize Medium Poodles as well. Unsurprisingly, this means that Cockapoos come in a range of sizes as well, particularly since they aren’t always bred from Miniature Poodles. Still, these designer dogs are on the smaller end of things for dogs. They tend to have a height of 14 to 15 inches, which would be about 36 to 38 cm. Similarly, they tend to have a weight of 20 to 24 pounds, which would be about 9.1 to 10.9 kg. Interested individuals should definitely keep these things in mind when getting ready to bring home a Cockapoo.
Tends to Have a Friendly Temperament
Generally speaking, Cockapoos have a friendly temperament. Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are popular choices for household companions. As a result, it isn’t unreasonable to expect a Cockapoo to be well-suited for the same role. Supposedly, these dogs are even capable of getting along with other dogs, other pets, and small children. Please note that people should be very careful when letting any dog interact with the latter. Essentially, small children don’t just have automatic knowledge of how to interact with dogs. Thanks to that, they could upset dogs, which could cause said animals to lash out. This is particularly problematic for smaller dogs, which can include Cockapoos. It is hard to imagine small children being able to hurt the biggest dogs that can be found out there. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for smaller dogs. Something that makes for one more reason to supervise small dogs interacting with small children. Of course, there is no such thing as a dog that is born with a perfect temperament. These dogs need both early training and early socialization for the best results because they are influenced by both nature and nurture.
Needs a Moderate Level of Activity
There are some dog breeds out there that are fine with minimal activity. However, the Cockapoo apparently isn’t one of them. They aren’t on the extreme end of things when it comes to their daily activity requirements. Even so, most Cockapoos do need at least a daily walk or some daily playtime for the best results. Fortunately, they can be quite playful, which should come as welcome news for people who enjoy that kind of thing. As for their other requirements, Cockapoos need regular grooming as well. Otherwise, it tends to be very easy for them to develop mats and tangles.
What Should You Expect to Pay For a Cockapoo?
Cockapoos are popular. As a result, they are on the more expensive end of things at about $1,500 to $3,000 for a puppy from a reputable dog breeder. Thanks to that, interested individuals might want to look for opportunities to either adopt or rescue one of these dogs, which might not get them a puppy but will nonetheless provide them with a much better price than otherwise possible. As for buying a Cockapoo at a much lower price than normal, interested individuals will want to be very careful when doing so. There are a wide range of dog breeders with a wide range of policies, so it isn’t impossible for them to find a healthy puppy at a better price than what they might have expected. However, there are also a lot of puppy mills, thus making looking into the dog breeder’s practices very important.