The Ultimate Guide to Owning a Cockapoo

Emma Tucker is the proud owner of Bear the Cockapoo. In our latest  Breed Guide, she takes a closer look at this cuddly and lovable pooch.

Cockapoos have won hearts and minds with their teddy bear-ish looks, and reputation for being good natured. Admittedly, they’re not a ‘recognised’ breed, but they’ve become one of the most popular poodle crosses out there – regularly appearing at the top of polls. Here’s your StyleTails guide to all the pros, and cons, of owning one.

TEMPERAMENT

One of the reasons cockapoos are so well-loved is for their nature. Every dog is an individual, of course, but this crossbreed is known for being loyal and loving. They’re often people-focused, which means they’re happy to make friends with anyone that crosses their path. Typically affectionate, these dogs won’t stray far from you in the park or in the house either.

Be prepared for a velcro dog that likes to be near you at all times. Bear in mind though, this can also be their downfall, as many cockapoos become anxious when left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety. If you’re the sort of person that’s out of the house all day, you might want a more independent pup.

SIZE

As cockapoos are a mix of poodle and spaniel, it can be hard to predict just how big a puppy is going to get. Cockapoos range from around 5kg at their smallest to 10kg and above, and around 11-14 inches high. These are just guidelines though. Owners that are very specific about the size of dog they want should look for specific poodle crosses, opting for toy poodles if they want a smaller pooch, and standard poodles if they’re after something bigger.

EXERCISE

This is an energetic breed that will need more than a quick walk around the block to burn their abundance of energy. Expect a good hour of walking every day – preferably including off-lead time – to make sure they’re tired out. Cockapoos do have a reputation for being a bit nutty, and it’s not necessarily something that goes away with age. Many of them retain a certain puppyish energy well into adulthood, which means lots of games and exercise to keep their brains and limbs occupied and stop them getting into trouble.

My Cockapoo, Bear

LIVING ENVIRONMENT

Cockapoos can vary in size tremendously, depending on the kind of poodle they’re descended from. The smaller kinds – who have have toy or miniature poodles as ancestors – are happy to live in flats, as long as you can put up with them bouncing off the walls during zoomie moments. Often, although it’s not guaranteed, they don’t shed, which means they’re a good choice for interiors-conscious owners. We’d recommend would-be dog parents live within easy distance of a park or other greenery, as this is a breed that definitely needs some space to run.

GROOMING

Cockapoo fur comes in a wide range of varieties, from gently wavy to more tightly curled. Unless clipped short they’re prone to matting, especially around the ears, and will need regular brushing. This is a dog that definitely requires grooming from time to time, to prevent their fur from becoming unmanageably fluffy. We’d recommend owners opt for a shorter clip during hot summers, and let the fur grow out a bit more as the weather turns cold.

HEALTH

As with many crossbreeds, cockapoos often suffer from less problems than some pedigree dogs. However, they can still inherit health issues from their parents, including eye, hip and kidney issues. Good breeders will be able to display the parents’ genetic tests, which show the presence of any hereditary illnesses.

Do you own a Cockapoo or are you thinking about getting one? Tell us about your experience with this breed in the comments below!

Emma Tucker is a London-based writer and editor, who's been covering all things design-related for the past six years. After studying English Literature she spent several years working at magazines including Dezeen and Creative Review, before going freelance. Emma's now a regular contributor to several magazines, including The Spaces and Pitch, and also works with design brands on copywriting and editorial projects. On a day-to-day basis she's assisted by puppy PA and cockapoo Bear.

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