First introduced in the 1960s, cockapoos are one of the first breeds to come under the term "designer dog." They are a result of an intentional cross between a poodle and an American cocker spaniel. Considered a great success for hybrid-breeding, cockapoos are now very popular family dogs.
The cockapoo has become a firm favorite among dog lovers, and for a good reason: the characteristics of the poodle and cocker parent breeds combine to make a friendly, good looking dog that barely sheds.
Due to their hybrid breeding, cockapoos are not all the same size. The tiny teacup toy measures under 10 inches in height. The next size up is the toy cockapoo, at a similar 10 inches high, but with a sturdier build and more muscular body. The Miniature Cockapoo is the next biggest, at around 11-14 inches in height, and the Maxi (or Standard) Cockapoo stands at over 15 inches in height.
This breed of dog is highly intelligent. They can be taught to obey commands and like to be rewarded for good behavior with treats. Their obedience and quick thinking make them great company, and they quickly feel like part of the family. They thrive off of interaction and attention, but they reward this with excellent behavior, making them a pleasure to have in the family.
As well as being clever, cockapoos are also emotionally intelligent. They are often used as therapy dogs, providing emotional support and affection to patients in hospitals and retirement homes. They seem to have the ability to read people's feelings, especially if someone is in need of comfort. Cockapoos are extremely friendly and are excited by everyone they meet, so they are the ideal family pet, but don't make very effective guard dogs.
A cockapoo's fur usually looks like a relaxed version of a poodle's trademark curls and is easy to groom. A quick daily brush and regular clipping will usually suffice in keeping their coat looking neat and tidy. Cockapoos come in a large range of colors, including many shades of reds, browns, black, and grey. The intensity of the fur color can fade and change over time, thanks to the poodle 'fading gene'.
One of the reasons cockapoos have become so popular is that they don't shed in the same way that other breeds do. They do lightly shed hair, as all dogs do, but to a much lesser degree than many other breeds. It is still possible for people with highly sensitive allergies to be allergic to cockapoos, but generally, they can make a great pet for a family with mild allergies.
Cockapoos generally suffer from fewer health issues than purebreds and usually enjoy a long lifespan of 15 to 18 years. One of the few common health complaints of the cockapoo is their predisposition to developing cataracts. Both the poodle and the cocker spaniel breeds are prone to this condition, making the risk higher for cockapoos. Ear infections can also occur, especially where the cocker spaniel ear shape has been passed down.
Although a cockapoo that is exercised regularly can adapt to apartment living, they are better suited to larger homes with yards. Their friendly nature makes them ideal family pets, and they love to be around people. This breed's loving and emotionally intelligent disposition means it is considered a safe option for families with small children. After a day of fun, cockapoos love nothing more than snuggling up with their owners.
These high-energy dogs are a good match for any young family. If there is fun going on, cockapoos want to be involved. Regular exercise is a must, with short daily walks required to keep the dog fit and healthy. They thrive off the fun element of a walk, so ball games, fetch games, and any family fun will make your cockapoo very happy and tire them out.
Possibly due to their low shedding levels, cockapoos barely smell at all. Regular grooming of your dog, and cleaning of the living area, means it's possible to keep your home smell free. This is another of the reasons this breed of dog is so popular.
The loving and affectionate nature of cockapoos means that they would love nothing more than to be able to sleep on your bed with you. However, this is not desirable for most owners, so a dog crate is a suitable alternative. If cockerpoos are trained to go into a crate from being very young, they learn to treat it as a safe space and will often retreat inside for day time naps or quiet time.
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