Cockapoo Temperament: What to Expect from a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle Mix

This Cocker Spaniel and Poodle mix create that famous Cockapoo temperament that dog lovers adore.

Beautiful Red Cockapoo

The Cockapoo Temperament and Personality

Here is the highlight reel, if you will, of the glorious Cockapoo temperament that makes him quite the coveted dog.

Hard Workers

Because they are, by nature, working and hunting dogs, giving your Cockapoo a job will make him happy, even if it’s only fetching a Frisbee from the water.

And speaking of fetching, Cockapoos love to play flyball and enjoy agility training as well.

Devoted

This is a dog that does not want you to live his side. He does not like playing alone outside, and he does not enjoy when you coop him up for long periods of time. Some people call it “needy” – I call it “love.”

Super-Smart

The Cockapoo’s intelligence is truly impressive. Don’t underestimate him while you’re playing with him, nor while you’re training him. He doesn’t take long at all to “get it”.

Confident

Because he’s so friendly, the Cockapoo is also incredibly confident. You can almost hear him thinking, “Hi, new person! I like you – do you like me? Well, of course you do – look how cute I am! See that? You’re petting me. You do like me!”

Of course, every Cockapoo’s temperament is different, depending on which of his parents he is more like. So, you may adopt a Cockapoo who is more confident than needy, or more laid-back than playful. But, generally speaking, these traits remain the same across the board for a majority of Cockapoos.

A Brief History of the Cockapoo Breed

The Cockapoo first grew in popularity in the 1960s. Interestingly enough, the first Cockapoo may have actually come about accidentally.

However, once people realized that Cockapoos were intelligent, low maintenance, and easygoing dogs, the mixed breed took off. In fact, Cockapoos are one of the few “designer” dogs that people don’t really surrender. Once you have a Cockapoo, you generally tend to have a Cockapoo for life.

Cockapoo Appearance and Diversity

A crossbred dog like that which you get when you mix a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle can have an entire litter of pups that look nothing like one another. And it’s that diversity that people love.

There can be red curly coats mixed with brown fluffy coats, and yet they all share the same parentage. How crazy is that?

How Big is a Cockapoo?

The Cockapoo's size took the lead in a long line of Poodle mixes that have come to be known as designer dogs.

These dogs range in weight from a small 6 lbs. to a mega cockapoo, who weighs in at around 30 lbs.

Training and Socialization

Because they are smart and generally love being around kids, dogs and even cats, the Cockapoo temperament lends itself well to training and socialization. This makes your job a lot easier!

Start training your Cockapoo early to achieve the best results. Cockapoos are companion dogs on both sides of their lineage, so they will listen to you easily and will want to please you.

I recommend getting your Cockapoo into a puppy class as soon as you can. This will get you both started down the right path so you won’t have to battle a headstrong dog later on in life.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Cockapoo dog, your should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Exercise

The Cockapoo temperament loves playtime, but the best part – for you, anyway – is that they don’t require a ton of it.

Even moderate activity with their humans is just fine for the Cockapoo. And while they can hold their own at play, you should take measures to protect a smaller-sized Cockapoo from roughhousing.

Beautiful white Cockapoo

Staying Healthy: Cockapoo Health Issues and Concerns

The thought behind a hybrid dog is that such breeding can lessen the possibilities of genetic health issues. While this is what breeders shoot for, make sure you ask for and receive all appropriate health certificates from the breeder before you bring your new dog home.

If a breeder balks at this request or makes any other excuse not to get you the paperwork, seek a different breeder. Look for breeders with a star rating from the Cockapoo Club of America.

What this means is that they have their breeding stock certified each year by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.

And if you do get a healthy Cockapoo, you’ll have him for what feels like forever. These dogs live as long as cats, with an average lifespan of between 14 and 18 years! That is a remarkably long lifespan for a dog, even a little one.

The good news is that Cockapoos tend to be generally healthy dogs with no major problems. The only real problems they develop are issues with their knee joints and possible eye disorders.

Important Note about Maintaining Great Cockapoo Health

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Grooming

Here’s where that fabulous Cockapoo diversity trait comes into play.

Your pup could have soft, tight curls; big, looping curls; or even loose waves. It all depends on which traits the puppy inherited that are the most dominant.

Of course, this also means that you can’t know if a Cockapoo is a shedder until you meet him and see his coat.

Because the Cockapoo has a Poodle for a parent, he is a hypoallergenic dog who is good for families with allergies.

Generally, the Cockapoo temperament means he actually enjoys grooming because you are paying attention to him! You can have him trimmed to look more like a Cocker or more like a Poodle, or perhaps even get him a puppy cut.

A puppy cut on a Cockapoo means that the groomer trims his coat short but leaves more hair on his legs. The groomer will also leave his tail like a plume.

Black Cockapoo Sitting

It’s not all up to the groomer, though. Keeping your Cockapoo happy and healthy is partially your responsibility too, by regularly grooming him yourself when he’s in between visits to the groomer. Daily brushing goes a long way to keep your Cockapoo’s fur from matting and resisting skin infections.

Keep his ears clean and dry and wipe his face every day to avoid his incurring long-term tear stains.

Cockapoo Feeding and Weight Management

In order to keep the Cockapoo temperament jolly, it’s important to give him the right food in the right amount. Just like a person, his personality can change quickly if he is overweight and unhappy.

It’s best to feed him twice a day, rather than free-feeding him. This is when you leave the bowl down all day and let him “graze.”

If you aren’t sure whether your Cockapoo is overweight, try this test: look down at him, you should be able to see his waistline. Now, run your fingers over his ribcage. If you can feel his ribs but not see them, then he’s at the perfect weight.

Cockapoo vs. Cavapoo

Their names may sound similar, but what are some of the true differences between the Cockapoo and the Cavapoo?

For one thing, while both dogs have one Poodle parent, the Cavapoo has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, rather than a Cocker Spaniel, for the other.

Both dogs are just as friendly, and both tend to shed less than other breeds, so those are pluses. Both dogs also weigh the same and are about the same height.

As for temperament, the Cavapoo is a much more relaxed dog than the Cockapoo. While the Cockapoo is crazy-energetic, the Cavapoo, you would imagine, is more interested in laying in the grass, watching the Cockapoo do his thing.

Cavapoos also love children, particularly small children, and do their very best to form a close bond with them.

Cockapoo vs. Goldendoodle

Now that you know some of the main differences between a Cockapoo and a Cavapoo, how does the Cockapoo compare to the Goldendoodle?

For one thing, instead of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or the Cocker Spaniel, the Goldendoodle’s other parent, in addition to the Poodle, is, of course, a Golden Retriever.

Many use Goldendoodles as therapy dogs. This is because they are gentle, easygoing dogs who tend to get along well with most everyone they meet.

Unlike Cockapoos, Goldendoodles are not barkers. Even if they know or sense a stranger is on your property, they may not bark or whine to alert you. So, the Cockapoo makes for a better watchdog than the Goldendoodle.

Goldendoodles are larger dogs, and they tend to be less clingy than the Cockapoo.

Finding the Perfect Cockapoo

Interested in bringing a Cockapoo puppy home? You can find a Cockapoo for sale either from a Cockapoo breeder or through your local rescue or adoption agencies.

Cockapoo Puppies for Sale

The average Cockapoo price is around $300 if you’re looking to adopt. This includes fees associated with neutering the dog and providing him with one final vet visit before you bring him home.

Buying a Cockapoo from a breeder is, of course, more expensive. You’re looking at between $1,000 to $2,100 for a Cockapoo puppy for sale.

Cockapoo Adoption and Rescue

Adopting a dog can be a rough road because you don’t know the history of the dog before you bring it home. Most times, the shelter doesn’t even know. Their job is to find homes for homeless pets, and hopefully the pet turns out to be a good match.

For this reason, especially if you’re interested in adopting a mixed breed dog, you have to be open to the possibility that you may get a dog with problems. The dog should have health clearances from the shelter’s vet, but if he’s not First-Generation, he may develop issues later on in life.

The good news is that most shelters train their dogs, if their masters didn’t already, to make them more adoptable so that they find good homes. So, the dog you bring home should have a fair amount of training with little to no behavioral issues. Though, if he spent a long time in the shelter before he met you, he may some kinks that you both will need to work through.

But, in the end, it’s absolutely worth it. You get to give a homeless dog a “furever” home, and he rewards you with the purest forms of love and devotion. And it doesn’t get much better than that!

Cockapoo Breeders

I can’t say it enough: be careful when buying a mixed breed dog from a breeder. If the dog is not a First-Generation dog, this means that instead of being a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, he is the result of a Cockapoo mating with another Cockapoo. This is the surest way to get a dog with problems, both behaviorally and medically.

Make sure the breeder can give you health clearances for the pup you’re interested in, and that she can provide proof of his parents’ stock.

And speaking of his parents, you should stick around and watch him in his natural habitat. Watching him interact with both the breeder and his parents, along with the behavior of the parents themselves, can give you insight into the kind of dog he’s going to grow up to be.

Do your due diligence when selecting a breeder, and trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, find another breeder. And, whatever you do, don’t buy a puppy from a pet store or over the internet. Nine times out of ten, you’re supporting one of those evil puppy mills with your purchase.

Ready to Take Your Cockapoo Puppy Home?

If you’re looking for a fun-loving and affectionate companion dog, the Cockapoo temperament will fit the bill well. He loves his family, including small children – particularly because they love to play hard – and so does he!

The Cockapoo can be a barker because he simply loves to hear himself. You can train him out of this, though, if neither you nor your neighbors share his sentiment.

The Cockapoo is also a smart little fella, so training him should not be a problem. Still, you can always enroll him in obedience classes while he’s still young if you feel like you’re not getting through to him.