Are you looking for a puppy that will melt your heart? If the answer is yes, then let’s introduce you to the Cockapoo! While their features and characteristics can be drastically different than even their littermates, they are guaranteed to be adorable.


Also known as the Cockapoodle, Cockerpoo, and Cock-a-poo, the Cockapoo is a family favorite dog breed. They tend to be on the smaller side but have huge personalities you can’t help but smile at. Smart and loyal, they are a well-rounded dog to introduce to the home.

If you’re thinking about adopting a Cockapoo, it’s important to know what they will be like in their adulthood. Here is everything you need to know about the Cockapoo breed including appearance, behavior, grooming needs, required training and exercise, and medical concerns.

Meet The Cockapoo Breed

Cockapoo dogs are a crossbreed between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. Considered one of the first designer dogs, Cockapoos first gained popularity in the 1950s in the US. More and more homeowners wanted a family-friendly dog and one that didn’t shed much. And so, the Cockapoo become a household favorite!

Since they are a crossbreed, you never know what you will get with Cockapoo puppies. Poodle and Cocker Spaniel breeds vary widely in size, passing on those traits to their puppies. The same litter can have very different-looking dogs depending on what genes they inherit from their parents. 

They can be different sizes, colors, with varied coats, and their temperament, activity level, and health concerns can differ as well. 


Ideally, they are bred to bring out the best traits from their parents. Overall, they are extremely friendly, energetic, intelligent, easy to train, and very loyal dogs. Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are companion dogs, so your Cockapoo will be the happiest living inside the house. You can expect your Cockapoo to live 13-16 years if living a happy and healthy lifestyle.

With enough stimulation and proper training, they make for amazing pets. They tend to have very low surrender rates, quickly capturing the hearts of their owners.

Cocker Spaniel Characteristics

Cocker Spaniels have been a household favorite for decades. With the epitome of puppy dog eyes, they are known for being very gentle and sweet-natured. Highly affectionate, they love the attention of their owners and make for a good family pet. With all the love they receive, they will give it right back.

Despite their moderate size, they are known for being energetic and talented. You’ve probably seen a fair few show dogs who are Cocker Spaniel!

Most Cockapoos come from the breeding of an American Cocker Spaniel. However, any Cocker Spaniel and Poodle crossbreeding will be considered a Cockapoo. If the size of your Cockapoo matters to you, be sure to talk to a breeder about the type of Cocker Spaniel their Cockapoos are bred from.

Poodle Characteristics

A highly intelligent breed, Poodles are known most for their ease of training. They catch on quickly and will shine above other dogs in their loyalty and obedience to their owner.

Poodles gained a reputation as a high-maintenance dog mostly due to their grooming needs. With such a curly coat, they are prone to matting and need frequent baths. Luckily, Cockapoos have fewer grooming requirements than their Poodle parents.

Poodles are known as hypoallergenic dogs due to their low shedding tendencies. It’s important to note that allergies to dogs are not caused by dog hair, but their dander (dead skin cells). People who have allergies can react differently to dogs, but no dogs should ever be guaranteed as hypoallergenic.

Types Of Cockapoo Dogs

When it comes to choosing Cockapoo puppies, the first thing you should know is the different types of the dog that are out there. They can vary greatly in weight and height – Cockapoo size ranges from 6 to over 25 pounds, and up to 22 inches tall.

You can get Maxi, Miniature, Toy, and Teacup Toy Cockapoos.

 Maxi CockapooMiniature CockapooToy CockapooTeacup Cockapoo
WeightOver 25 lbs13-25 lbs6-12 lbsUnder 6 lbs
Height*16-22 inches11-15 inches10-11 inchesUnder 10 inches
Age at Full-Grown12-14 months9-12 months7-9 months5-7 months
*A dog’s height is measured to the withers, which is the space between the shoulder blades.
  • Maxi Cockapoos are the largest. They can be over 25 pounds and stand at 22 inches in height at their shoulder.
  • Miniature Cockapoos are the next largest. They range from 13-25 pounds and 11-15 inches in height.
  • Toy Cockapoos are much smaller. They are usually under 12 pounds and stand at about 10 inches in height. Expect a sturdier build.
  • Teacup Toy Cockapoos are the smallest. They are around 6 pounds and stand less than 10 inches tall.

Most Cockapoos are small enough to cuddle, yet large enough to rough it with the big dogs. Keep in mind that Maxi Cockapoos may not be suited for apartment living. Teacup and Toy Cockapoos may not be suitable to play with large dogs.

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Cockapoo Dog Traits

While every dog is different based on their inherited traits and how they are trained, there are some commonalities you can expect in Cockapoos. If you’re looking at a litter of Cockapoo puppies, this is what you can expect as they mature into adults.


Half goof, half valedictorian – the Cockapoo breed is a fun-loving dog to have around. They are known for loving life as they are extremely playful and love attention. Being highly affectionate, they will bond very quickly with their owner and family.

With high energy comes restlessness, however. Cockapoos need stimulation and they will get bored if they are left alone for too long. However, they are quite adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle.

Not only will they love you, but they will love each and every person they meet. Whether that’s on the street or in your home, you can expect your Cockapoo to want to say hello. This also goes for other dogs as well! They are even friendly towards cats, as they are not prey-driven dogs.

Cockapoos are not very territorial and aren’t known for being barkers. Like any dog, however, they can develop all sorts of bad habits if left untrained.

Since they are such people-orientated dogs, they can be prone to separation anxiety. Avoid leaving your dog at home alone for long periods. They can be crate trained, but they should not be left in one for more than a few hours (except for sleeping at night).

If you are gone for a full day, consider doggy daycare where your Cockapoo can have fun with other dogs. Another alternative is to have a dog walker stop by.


Socializing your Cockapoo at a young age will help to prevent separation anxiety. Make sure they can explore their world, hang out with other cool humans, and meet plenty of other good dogs.

Since their behaviors can vary, let the breeder know what you’re looking for. They’ve been with the Cockapoo puppies for a couple of months now and will know them best. Making a good selection that fits your lifestyle and personality is a must.

Grooming Needs

While they don’t require as much grooming as their Poodle parents, they do have higher grooming needs than the average dog.

Their coats are usually fluffy and scruffy, with waves or curls being their most prominent feature. While it is possible to inherit the tight curls of poodles or the straight hair of Cocker Spaniels directly, it is very rare. They come in a range of colors including red, blonde, and chocolate. Perfect for cuddles, their coat is always soft to the touch.

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Cockapoos don’t shed much and have a minimal odor, making them good for those with allergies. That being said, they still need frequent grooming due to their curly and scruffy coat. It can easily become matted, especially on the belly and legs. Brushing once a day will help to prevent matting. Your Cockapoo will also require baths between trips to the groomers.

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Keeping your Cockapoo’s ear clean and dry is also important. Clean their ears weekly with a cleaning solution recommended by your vet. They are also prone to have red or brown tear stains below the eyes – wiping with a warm, wet cloth can help.

When they’re a puppy, get them used to being groomed and examined. Since they will require frequent grooming, this will make it so much easier for yourself and those at the doggy spa.

Grooming Essentials

To keep your Cockapoo clean and looking like a ten, make sure to get these grooming essentials:

  • Brush: Since you’ll be using it every day, invest in a high-quality brush. There are a ton of options out there including pin brushes or slicker brushes. Find whichever one works best for your dog’s coat.
  • Metal Comb: A brush works best at keeping your dog’s coat in good shape when it is paired with a metal comb. This can help get out certain knots better while being more gentle.
  • Detangler: No matter how often they are groomed, matted hair is a fact of life for Cockapoos. Using a detangler product will help to get rid of any mats.
  • Shampoo: A safe, dog-friendly shampoo will keep your Cockapoo’s coat sleek and healthy while at home.

Training a Cockapoo

With the energy and brains of two breeds under their belt, Cockapoos excel when it comes to training. If you begin training them the day you bring them home, they will know all of their basic commands by the age of 6 months. You may be surprised how fast they pick things up!

They excel at agility and obedience training classes. But like any dog that is left untrained, they can develop bad habits such as barking, digging, jumping, and more.

Cockapoos are eager to please and take to positive reinforcement such as treats or praise well. While training, you may notice how they pick up the different tones in your voice when giving commands. This is because they are very voice-sensitive.


Cockapoos also like to keep busy. They need daily exercise, at least 30 minutes twice a day. While a walk is great, giving your Cockapoo a chance to run is even better. This can be in your backyard or at a dog park.

However, they can adapt to their owner’s lifestyle. Cockapoos can be very athletic if they are in good shape and have a clean bill of health from the vet.

Cockapoos can live in an apartment if they are given enough walks and stimulation. If you live in an apartment, consider getting a smaller type of Cockapoo. Of course, a house with a fenced backyard is ideal. Every dog loves the chance to be wild and free in its own safe space!

Medical Conditions

Typically, all crossbreeds are going to be healthier than their parent breeds. The goal is for them to inherit as many good traits as possible and to leave the defects behind.

One of the biggest health concerns with Cockapoos is their ears. Since they have long, floppy ears, they are prone to getting things stuck in their ear canal as well as ear infections.

Poodles have hairy ears and are vulnerable to allergies. This means that a Cockapoo can have itchy ears most often caused by an allergy. This can also manifest as a gastrointestinal issue depending on what they eat.

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Cockapoos may also develop a luxating patella or hip dysplasia. Most of these signs will show up while they are still puppies.

When looking at a Cockapoo puppy, always go to a reputable breeder who offers health guarantees on their litters. A good breeder will also be upfront and honest about any health concerns they may have with the dog.

Overall, it’s up to you to keep your Cockapoo healthy. By ensuring they maintain a proper weight and get enough exercise, they will live well into their teens.

As you can tell, there are a ton of positive things to say about the Cockapoo breed. They are friendly, dependable, and make for a wonderful family dog. If you’re looking for a dog to love, then a Cockapoo is certainly going to love you back!

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One thought on “Cockapoos 101: An Intro to the Cocker Spaniel-Poodle Mix

Anne Funderburk Reply

Enjoyed this article and we are loving our new Cocapoo, Bella

February 6, 2024 at 9:35 am

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