The Cockapoo, also known as the Cockerpoo, Spoodle, or Cockerdoodle (Australia), is a mixed breed dog. This is a cross between either an American Cocker Spaniel or an English Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.
Briefly, the English Cocker Spaniel comes from the spaniel type of dog, which has been around in Great Britain for hundreds of years. Their popularity soared in the 1800’s, and they often won many dog shows and competitions.
The English Cocker Spaniel was brought to the United States in 1620, on the Mayflower, the famous pilgrim ship. Over the next roughly 300 years, the breed was developed in America and turned into both a companion and a working dog. Finally, in the year 1946, the American Kennel Club recognized the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel as separate breeds for the first time.
The Poodle originated in Germany, but was popularized in France. Originally, it was used as a hunting or retriever dog. Then, during World War II, it was put to work in the military. The Poodle has also been known to compete in many different sports.
The Cockapoo, again, is the result of these breeds crossbreeding. Since the 1950’s, breeders in the United States have been producing these dogs. However, quite unfortunately, these dogs are often seen in puppy mills or other horrible living and breeding conditions, since people are just looking to make a profit.
The Cockapoo has yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club and several other purebred associations, such as the Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, and more.
The Cockapoo, being a mixed breed dog, does not breed true. This means that characteristics are not predictable in the offspring simply based on previous examples of the breed. This also means that puppies of the same litter can have greatly differing characteristics, depending upon which breed (Spaniel or Poodle) they take after most.
Generally, though, the Cockapoo is a medium sized dog that is somewhere in the middle of Spaniel size and Poodle size. This can differ, though, since all Poodles (Standard, Miniature, Toy) can be used to create the Cockapoo. On average, the Cockapoo falls in between 10 and 15 inches and 12 and 24 pounds.
The Cockapoo’s coat can vary in color, but there are some other traits that are pretty set. For instance, they tend to be low shedding and low dander dogs, which help greatly for people who have allergies that want a dog. Basic colors include black, tan, beige, buff, red, auburn, apricot, brown, sable, cream, white, silver, brindle, and roan. They can also have various different markings (of many colors; white, brown, black, etc.), including patched, spotted, freckled, and merle. Lastly, their coat can either be sleek or curly and requires frequent grooming.
The Cockapoo also has droopy ears, one of the few features that is the same for each dog. Average life span will vary depending upon genetics.
The Cockapoo, like the Cocker Spaniel, is generally outgoing and friendly. These dogs are very loving and loyal to their owners and tend to form very strong bonds. One downside to this, however, is that they can be quite needy. When left alone for an extended period of time these dogs are very susceptible to separation distress or anxiety, which could lead to a wide variety of behavioral issues. These issues range from chewing, barking, refusing to eat or drink, pacing, etc.
Cockapoos are also very active. They need frequent exercise in order to thrive. Without it, the same behavioral issues could set in because they will become very distressed and bored. They are also very agile and enjoy games and other activities. These could include “retrieving” games (ex. throwing a Frisbee or ball), swimming, going on walks or slow jogs, general “rough housing” etc.
Some can inherit more Poodle traits in their temperament, however. While these dogs are also active and playful, like the Cocker Spaniel, they have also been known to be mischievous and even aggressive at times. They are also hunters in nature, so the Cockapoo may have that instinct. If that is the case, then they may not do so well in households with small children or other animals. They may be especially dangerous to pet rabbits, hamsters, cats, mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.
Overall, though, the Cockapoo is a very easy dog to keep in the house. It tends to get along great with people of all ages, including children, and personalities. It also does well with other pets. Because it is very gentle and patient, yet playful, parents and pet owners have no problems bringing a Cockapoo into the home. They can also be trained to live in a variety of different environments.
Generally, the Cockapoo is meant as a companion animal. For one thing, its personality does make it an excellent dog to have as a family pet. It is also relatively easy to take care of, as they are kind, loving creatures with few health problems, usually. While many dog owners like to enter their pets in dog shows, the Cockapoo is unable to be registered since it is still not recognized by the American Kenell Club. However, there are three official Cockapoo clubs in the United States which are working on developing a standard and breeding for it, so that it may one day be recognized. Although, since they do not breed true, there is a long road ahead of them.
People can, however, enter Cockapoos in sporting events. Again, they are very athletic and love swimming and retrieval games, so events that reflect these qualities are wonderful fits for the Cockapoo. They tend to perform well in these events.
Lastly, due to their Cocker Spaniel nature (affectionate, gentle, etc.), many people choose to use these dogs as therapy dogs, which help to provide comfort and consolation to those in need. They may be taken to visit people in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, retirement homes, and more.
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