The Cockapoo (American Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mix breed)
Cockapoo (pronounced KOK-a-poo); noun, definition - As the name brings to mind, a cross between cocker spaniel and poodle. Through documentation and establishment of a genetic database this wonderful hybrid is being brought to status as its own breed. A dog of outstanding intelligence, wonderful disposition, abounding affection, low to no shedding or 'doggy' odor, easily trained and long lived. A dog that is amazingly forgiving of the indiscretions of small children with a keen intelligence any adult can appreciate. Cockapoos come in a myriad of colors and a range of sizes to fit any family's desires.
Cockapoos have been bred since at least the 1950's as an ideal companion pet and family dog. The hybrid vigor resulting from crossing these two popular breeds creates a dog that exhibits not only the "best of both" breeds but produces a better family pet than in either parent breed. The Cockapoo has become known and in demand for its wonderful disposition, high intelligence and curiosity, devoted loyalty, as well as for the hypoallergenic characteristics of little to no dander, shedding or odor.
This hybrid cross is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generation crosses. Note: some Cockapoo clubs are working towards making the Cockapoo a purebred dog by multi-generation crossing, while other breeders are sticking to the basic Poodle / Cocker mix stating they wish to preserve the heterosis effect in the hybrid mix. Ask the breeder you contact which type of Cockapoo they are breeding.
Although most cockapoos are healthy, they can suffer from certain problems common to their parent breeds.
Both poodles and cocker spaniels can suffer from luxating patellas (loose knees). An OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) exam is required to check for this problem before dogs are bred. Poodles and cocker spaniels can also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA, an eye disorder).
Cockapoos have become popular because they generally combine the outgoing, loving personality of the cocker spaniel with the low-shedding, low-dander qualities of the poodle. The poodle parent also contributes intelligence and a tendency to be very active, resulting in a loving, intelligent, energetic and agile dog that sheds very little.
Strictly speaking, the cockapoo cannot be described as a purebred because it does not 'breed true'. In breeders' terms, 'breeding true' means that the pups will have more consistently predictable characteristics, and will resemble both their parents, rather than exhibiting the varying characteristics of the dog breeds in their ancestries.
Cockapoos, however, may inherit the characteristics of either or both their parent breeds. While some cockapoos appear more similar to cocker spaniels, others will exhibit more poodle traits, creating a variation in cockapoo appearance and temperament. Cockapoo size and weight are a function of what type of dogs the parents were. Breeders usually use a toy or miniature poodle as the poodle parent. The following table describes the weights and heights of toy poodles, miniature poodles cocker spaniels and cockapoos, using AKC standards and other information.
Teacup Toy - under 6 pounds (3 kg.) grown weight
Toy - under 12 pounds (5 kg.)
Miniature/Mini - 13 to 18 pounds ( 5.5 - 8 kg.)
Maxi - over 19 pounds. (9 kg.)
Height: 14-15 inches (35-38 cm.)
Breed Average Height Average Weight
Toy Poodle 10 inches or less 6 to 9 pounds
Miniature Poodle 10 to 15 inches 15 to 17 pounds
Cocker Spaniel 14 to 17 inches 25 to 34 pounds
Cockapoo 10 to 15 inches 12 to 20 pounds