Owning a cockapoo puppy – 5 Things we WISH we knew!

Cockapoo running in a green field
Ziggy burning off some energy!

Written by Jo Littlewood

Owning a cockapoo is brilliant. In fact, we love our pup so much we created this website to tell the world about what a brilliant breed a cockapoo is. 

But that doesn’t mean that it’s all smooth sailing. In fact, even though we thought we had researched the breed to exhaustion, there were still some things that caught us by surprise. 

If you’re wondering whether a cockapoo is right for you, try our Cockapoo or Not? quiz after reading this article.

Here are 5 things that we wish we knew before owning a cockapoo: 

1. Coat and grooming

Obviously, one of main reasons people start looking into the cockapoo breed is their gorgeous coat. 

Supposedly, cockapoo coats don’t shed and are hypoallergenic. 

Well, you’ll be pleased to know that this is definitely the case with us: friends with allergies love our dog, and he only sheds at the same rate as humans (the occasional hair here and there). 

But, what we didn’t anticipate was the sheer amount of brushing his coat would require. You also have to regularly groom and trim your cockapoo’s face to keep them looking cute!

It’s a magnet for twigs, grass seeds and mud when we go on walks. And, unlike other dogs, once something is caught in a cockapoo’s fur, it needs finding and brushing out to prevent knots and tangles. 

In fact, even if he’s looking well turned out, regular brushing is still essential to preventing knots. If left unchecked, knots can be painful for the dog and something that can make grooming an absolute nightmare – especially if you’re like us and like to groom your Cockapoo yourself. 

All in all, we probably spend around an hour a week brushing him. Not the end of the world, but not something that we especially enjoy doing and is definitely one of the drawbacks to owning a cockapoo!

2. Cockapoo energy levels

Well, you can’t say you haven’t been warned! Sure, we read all about how a simple walk isn’t enough for a cockapoo. And yes, we knew that we would have to exercise him for a minimum of an hour a day. 

But boy oh boy are cockapoos an energetic breed! To give you an example: 

When he was old enough, we took Ziggy on a mammoth walk in a near-by national park. He was off-lead the whole time, zooming back and forth as we completed an 11 mile hike up and down steep, hilly terrain. With all of his scooting around, he easily completed 20 miles that day, and by the end of the walk, he was clearly pooped, as were we. 

But then, following a 30 minute car ride back home, he sprang out of the car, tail wagging and proceeded to zoom around the house with a toy in his mouth for easily another hour! 

We’ve found that this has always been the case. At the time of writing, he’s now 4, and we’ve continued taking him on mammoth days out. Whether that be 5 miles of running by our bikes, or completing a 17 mile trek*, all the dog needs is a half an hour kip and he ready to go all over again! 

Would we change that? Not for the world, but we didn’t quite realise that when we read that cockapoos were a little “nutty”, “bouncy” or “full of beans” what we were supposed to read was: a highly energetic dog who doesn’t carry a lot of weight and loves to run! 

*As a word of caution, we should say that you have to build cockapoos up to this level of fitness – we don’t want to be blamed for any puppy sprains! 

Interestingly, when we researched the breed, we found cavapoos were less energetic than cockapoos – so if you’re worried about this, cavapoos might be a good way to go!

3. Ear infections and how much they cost to treat when you own a cockapoo! 

Do cockapoos love to swim? You betcha. The poodle in them was bred to retrieve from water and spaniels are pretty happy in water too. 

Cockapoo carrying stick in water

But, if you’re not careful, these doggy diving sessions can easily lead to all sorts of bacteria building up in their adorable floppy ears. 

Now, this is fairly easy to avoid by: 

Doing the above will help massively reduce the number of ear infections your cockapoo’s ears. But, even so, floppy ears are always more prone to infection because they act as mini heat lamps for bad stuff. 

And, when the time comes when you have to go to the vets, we wish we knew how much an ear infection would cost to treat! Last year, we had to take Ziggy to get treated, and by the time you factor in the follow-up visit (essential if ever you want to claim a future cost back from your pet insurer) the total cost was upwards of 100!  

4. Neediness (or … how much they love you)

Cockapoos are highly intelligent creatures who, for the most part, are bred from dogs who have reliable temperaments that tend towards companionship. This is why owning a cockapoo is so attractive to most people.

As a result, almost all cockapoos are loving, caring and make great family pets because of their need to please humans and be surrounded by humans at all times. In fact, as I’m writing this right now, Ziggy is curled up next to me! 

Now, this is lovely, and this is what we wanted from a dog, which is one of the main reasons we chose the cockapoo breed. 

But, this can have its draw-backs because Cockapoos love humans, no ifs, no buts. I’ve lost count of the number of times Ziggy has sat looking at me with a toy in his mouth while we try to watch a film. Or the number of times a peaceful bath has been interrupted by him barging his way into the bathroom! 

And, whilst these things are cute, they can get a little tiring – especially when sometimes all you want to do it sit back and relax! 

More importantly, though, this neediness needs to be managed correctly if you want a cockapoo that doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety. Especially, if you’re going to be leaving him or her for any long periods of time. 

For this, we found that a combination of crate training and making sure that he was surrounded by some mind-stretching toys whenever we left the house has worked brilliantly! 

5. How much we would love owning our cockapoo! 

Yes, I know, a little corny. But it’s true. Even with the huge amounts of exercise, brushing and cleaning his ears. Even with the hassle of taking the time to fill his kong and set out toys every time we leave the house, we wouldn’t be without him for the world. 

Cockapoos really do fill a house with joy and energy. And, ultimately, owning a cockapoo is brilliant. Ziggy makes us laugh almost every day with the dappy things he does. He gives us a reason to go for some exercise when its raining and cold out. And, above all, he makes an excellent, cuddly companion to share our lives with!

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Unfortunately, we’ve had to temporarily suspend the ability to add new comments due to some issues with spam. Hopefully, we’ll get a solution to this and open up our articles for comments once again. Thanks for bearing with me! Jo xx

  • Justin Zim

    Oh hi
    I hope you are well.
    Firstly thank you for your really informative and honest help on your site it’s great.
    I have a question regarding the average cost question I keep seeing.
    I am a past dog owner and have been l my life and have always had pedigree breads.
    I’ve seen your average price calculation and a few others and they always seem to be coming out much much lower than the reality of prices at present.
    We are looking at a pup at the moment ant it is £2100 which compared to a lot of the others relatively cheap. But still way higher than all the averages given
    I just wondered if u could shed some light on this for me. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places . I don’t know.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Justin,

      Thanks very much for your kind words. Really appreciate it! And yes, prices have fluctuated quite a bit recently! We have a friend who paid £3000 for their new Cockapoo, so I can imagine that prices may seem very different from what we’ve described here. In terms of average costs, COVID has really caused demand for pets to skyrocket in the UK (I read yesterday that another 3.2 million pet owners have been created this last year alone). Obviously, this is going to cause prices to go up as supply wasn’t geared towards such demand. We’ve not updated the average prices here for two reasons: first, to give new owners a sense of what “normal” prices are like, and second because like you have found breeders seem to have adapted very different pricing points (some, for example, seem to be selling very high and then discounting heavily for unreserved puppies etc.). This second point makes it extremely difficult to come up with an average figure that’s anyway near accurate.

      What I’d say on your point about looking in the wrong places – I think that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a puppy at the average price we list on the page right now. That said, once the pandemic is over, it’s likely that prices will come down again towards these averages or at least stabilise to arrive at a new accurate figure (although not a guarantee). It’s of course up to you, but if the timing is right, I think the price should come second to whether you like and trust your breeder (we’ve got a guide about this on the site). While it may be tempting to make a big up-front saving, this can sometimes come at the expense of proper breeding practices, which can result in long-term health issues (and vet bills).

      I’m not sure if this helps you in your search, but bottom line: prices have gone up, but they will probably come down, so it’s a decision about timing and whether you have found a breeder you like and trust.

      Jo x

Who runs this website?

Hello, Jo and Paul here! We have owned a number of different breeds of dogs over the years, but none as amazing as our cockapoo Ziggy!

We created this site to share everything we have learned about this brilliant breed of dog!

You can learn more about us, and how we approach the topics we write about on our about us page.