When we started the search for buying a cockapoo puppy, we found ourselves asking how to get a cockapoo puppy – like seriously, where do we start? How do we find cockapoo breeders, and how do we know if they are reputable or good?
The answer is: you need to workout your timescales, find a reputable breeder, ask questions, pay money and bring that cockapoo home.
I know that’s easier said than done, so in an effort to help others who are planning to buy their first cockapoo, I’ve written a complete guide to answer how to get a cockapoo puppy. And remember to check out my guide to what the F1, F2 codes are that breeders use if you don’t know what these mean!
How to find a cockapoo breeder?
Now there are plenty of websites out there if you do a search for “cockapoo breeders” or “cockapoo litter for sale”. But how do you go about finding a reputable breeder rather than a horrible puppy farm one that you read about in some newspapers?
Well, there are two places that we would recommend looking in the first instance:
- Our giant list of Cockapoo Breeders in the UK
The list of breeders above is a good first place to check, and look out for the ones that are accredited by the Cockapoo Club of GB, as that means they have signed up to a code of ethics and are inspected by the CCGB. You can use these breeders with a little more reassurance that they are not in the business of making a quick buck.
If you use this list though, you might find that the planned litters and waiting lists don’t quite fit with your timescales.
Pets4Homes is a website that lets breeders advertise new litters. It’s easily one of the most visited pet sites in the UK, and as a result has more and more reputable breeders choosing to list on it in addition to their own websites.
If you’re not willing to wait for a new litter, or bring your pooch home in a short timescale, then Pets4Homes is a good place to go.
When you find a breeder you like the look of, try and contact them straight away with a simple enquiry about the availability of the cockapoo puppies. You don’t need to worry too much about having a long conversation here, simply say something like:
Hi, I’ve seen your advert for X, and I’m wondering whether you still have any puppies available.
*Wait for their response*
That’s great – I’m just about to pop out to the shops, is it OK if I ring you later to get some more details from you?
Trust me on this because I lost count in the early days of the amount of time I researched the breeder before asking about availability – only to then find that all the puppies had been reserved!
Doing this straight away also helps to “screen” breeders – if they are rude or abrupt, my advice is that it’s best to steer clear.
Now, I should be clear that sometimes you might find breeders who are not “up-to-scratch,” but you can generally avoid that with some simple checks that I’ve put down below.
How to check a breeder is reputable before you visit?
One of the first steps to buying a cockapoo puppy is finding a good breeder. Before you visit a breeder, you can check if they are reputable by carrying out simple checks such as speaking to them, finding out where they keep their puppies, and doing some google research.
Unfortunately, because cockapoos are a desirable breed/variety of dog, many puppy dealers looking to make some easy money. Sadly, they don’t always care for the puppies properly, which can lead to all sorts of health complications.
Speaking to the breeder
Contacting the breeder as soon as possible is important. Key questions you can ask over the phone include:
- Did they breed the puppies?
- Is the mother available to view?
- Are you able to see where the puppies sleep?
- Are they open to having more than one visit?
- Do they have a local authority breeding licence?
A good breeder should be happy to answer all of these questions positively. If they answer no to any of them, then it could be a sign that the breeder is a puppy dealer and they are best avoided.
That said, they may not have a breeding licence if they are not breeding for profit.
A good breeder should also be very open to the possibility of you coming to visit the litter. Let them suggest the visiting dates, and if they can only do one date at one time, then that should send up a little warning flag.
This is because the less rigid they are on dates and times, the more likely they are to have the litter with them rather than have a puppy be shipped to them by a “friend.”
Don’t worry if the breeder starts asking you questions – this is good.
Reputable breeders will want to make sure that their cockapoo pups are going to loving, stable homes.
Researching your chosen breeder on Google
Once you’ve spoken to the breeder, use Google Street View to look at their premises. You are looking to see if anything looks out of place with what is on the breeder’s website or what you’ve spoken to them about
For example, if their website shows their litter rolling around and jumping in green open fields, but the street view shows that the breeder actually lives in a built-up suburban estate then you can be pretty sure that something fishy is going on.
Similarly, if the breeder tells you on the phone that they only have one litter a year but you see on street view that their property has a number of outbuildings then again that may be an indication that what they have told you is a little bit further from what the actual truth is.
The central message here is to just be at teeny weeny bit suspicious when buying a cockapoo. But I should say don’t overthink this part or get too stressed out if something doesn’t quite match your expectations.
Another quick and easy thing to research are the photographs of the puppies.
A dodgy breeder will often use puppy photographs that are commonly found on the internet. to check this, all you have to do is put the photo in some sort of reverse image search.
You can do this easily on Google by right-clicking the photograph, and selecting “search Google for image.”
If an image comes up that is not from the website of your breeder, or can be found on many different websites, it is likely that is not genuine.
You can also google the breeders phone number, or brand name, and see if the search returns any dodgy reviews or news articles.
Again, if anything seems odd or out-of-place, don’t immediately run for this hills, but do trust your gut.
If something’s not right, is it explainable? If not, then get shot.
Is the cost of your cockapoo right?
Once you’ve found a good selection of cockapoo breeders, you may want to start narrowing down your search.
When you’re narrowing down your breeders, it might be helpful to think of cost as a factor. Are they too cheap? Too expensive? Why is this?
We (or rather Paul) researched this and I wrote an article about the average UK cockapoo price.
We found that the average price for a cockapoo in the UK is around £1,101, although this amount changed depending on the type of breeder it was.
It’s worth reading this article and then asking yourself what your breeder is charging.
If they are selling cockapoos above the market rate, what is their justification for this? If their price is too far below, why so cheap?
Again, this isn’t going to give you a hard and fast rule, but it will help you to figure out if a breeder after a quick sale, or is trying to rinse you out of your hard earned cash.
What to look for when viewing a cockapoo puppy litter
The next step on buying a cockapoo puppy is to visit your breeder. When you visit a breeder, there are several things that you want to be on the lookout for
As well as the questions you should ask (which we list below), you should also be looking to see if:
- The house is clean and smells fresh
- The puppies appear well looked after (i.e. their coats are clean and they don’t smell)
- The litter-mum is present and is happy, healthy and allowed to interact with her pups.
- The breeders are well presented and polite
- The breeder is the same person you spoke to on the phone
This is all common sense really, and again it’s about trusting your gut.
We, sadly, did visit a litter when we were looking for our cockapoo puppy and found that the breeder was suddenly away on “holiday” and the litter mum wasn’t allowed to interact with her pups – two big warning signs.
Questions to ask when buying a cockapoo puppy
When you visit your breeder and your new cockapoo, there are a number of questions to ask when buying a puppy. They are:
1. Have the puppies / mother / father had any health problems?
A good breeder should be able to answer that one reasonably easily – no. But, more importantly, an open and honest breeder might also say that the mum once had an ear infection, or the dad has a sensitive stomach.
These aren’t things to worry about, and it shows that the breeder is being nice and transparent with you.
2. Have the puppies been treated for worms?
A good breeder will be able to say that their pups have been wormed at 2, 5 and 8 weeks of age.
3. Have the puppies been visited by the vet and/or given vaccinations?
The answer for this may vary, but again a good breeder will be able to say “yes” more often than not. They should also be able to advise you on what vaccines the puppies have been given, or what you need to do to get them vaccinated.
4. Where are the other puppies?
If the breeder has only brought one or two puppies out to view, ask where the other ones are and if you can get to see where your cockapoos have been sleeping. Ideally, they should all be there (even if they have been reserved), and their living conditions should be clean, fresh smelling, and there should be signs of toys.
5. Can I see your health testing certificates?
I won’t go into too much detail here about the various medical testing that needs to be done to ensure you have a healthy cockapoo. The British Cockapoo Society has a good overview of all of the health testing that gets carried out to prevent common illnesses being passed on to cockapoos.
That said, you should expect to see certificates and documents for these common illnesses in poodles and cocker spaniels:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (loss of eyesight – both breeds)
- Glaucoma (eye damage – cocker spaniels)
- Hip dysplasia (hip problems – both breeds)
- Familial nephropathy (kidney problems – cocker spaniels)
- Von Willebrand Disease (a blot clotting disorder – poodles)
Some breeders may not have certificates for all of these things, but if they don’t they should be able to explain why. If you’re unsure, make a note after your visit and look up anything they’ve said.
Any certificate shown to you should be official in nature and not a photocopy. Again, use your gut, if it seems fishy, then it probably is.
6. What will my cockapoo come home with?
Reputable cockapoo breeders will answer this question by listing a whole variety of items they’ll give you to take back with your pup. This should, as a minimum, include a small amount of the food its been eating, all relevant documents, and a soft toy or blanket that smells of its brothers and sisters.
7. Re-ask a question
A really good tip about buying a cockapoo that a friend once shared with me when I asked her about questions to ask when buying a puppy is to re-ask a question that you have asked earlier.
That could be a question you asked over the phone, or a question you asked on an earlier visit (yes it is ok to visit your puppy more than once!).
What you’re doing here is trying to see if the answers are the same.
For example, if you were to ask: how many puppies are in the litter? And the answers turn out different, then you can be pretty sure that all is not as it seems!
Paying a deposit and buying your cockapoo
Once you have found the perfect breeder, and you have fallen in love with your chosen cockapoo pup, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
The first step is to pay a deposit which secures your cockapoo until it is ready to come home with you.
Now, it’s hard to give an exact figure on what that deposit sum will be, but we paid around 10/15% of Ziggy’s total price as a deposit.
Generally speaking, a breeder should be happy to take all forms of payment, but of course we all know that some people “prefer” cash.
A cash payment shouldn’t put you off, but it does mean that there is less of a paper trail if the breeder was to suddenly turn round and claim not to know you.
For this reason, make sure to ask for a receipt when you pay a deposit. After all, It is still a business transaction – even though it feels a little strange to ask when buying a cockapoo.
When your puppy is old enough, around 8/9 weeks, it is time to pick him up and make your final, eye watering payment.
Again, make sure to get a receipt, along with any documents, food, and toys to take back with you.
Bringing your cockapoo home
The first journey with your cockapoo can be a nerve racking one. To prepare yourself, you’ll need to get a pet crate suitable for cockapoo puppies.
I really recommend this lightweight fabric pet carrier. We used it when we picked up Ziggy (we got the medium sized one). It served us really well not only for the first journey, but on all of the extra ones you have to do when visiting the vets (and eager friends and family!). It is super sturdy, and I really liked the fact that it wasn’t fiddly to close up. Also, because it folds away, you can keep it in the car boot!
The first journey can be really scary for little pups, so make sure to drive carefully, take bends slowly and, ideally, have somebody with you who can soothe and comfort your cockapoo while driving.
Once you have your cockapoo home, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got all of the essential supplies in ready. We wrote a great big list of all of the different items you need, but the absolutely essential kit is as follows.
Generally speaking, it is best to keep your puppy on the food that your breeder was feeding it on for the first few weeks. After that, though, you’ll want to switch the food to a brand that you know is good for your pooch.
If you’re unsure, I’ve written an article on the 4 best foods for cockapoos that we’ve actually been tried and tested.
Unless you have already chosen your cockapoo’s name, you may not want to spring for a personalised set of food and water bowls.
We opted for some cheap and cheerful food and water bowls from Amazon. In the early days it’s important to get “non-tip” bowls to prevent puppy carnage!
A comfy dog bed
Having a comfy dog bed that is easy to wash is key to helping your pup settle in on its first night. A great tip is to leave an unwashed t-shirt or item of clothing in the bed that smells of its new owners. If you combine this with any toy that the breeder has given you, it will really help your puppy to have a good first night’s sleep.
A dog crate
The prices of dog crates have really come down over the years, and now they are super affordable. We really recommend dog crates because they are a great way to get your cockapoo toilet trained!
It also provides a sense of security to your puppy, because they come to see it as their den and quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of family life.
If you’re unsure about which one to choose, I would suggest the dog crate pictured. It’s low cost, and comes with two doors which is great because it gives you lots of options about where to put it.
As to what size crate you should get for your cockapoo puppy, get one as big as you are comfortable having in your house! This is because there is no hard and fast rule about when you should stop crate training, so it is always best to get a crate that your pup can grow in to.
Toys – lots of toys
The most important thing: toys!
When you get a new cockapoo puppy, you’ll likely be given loads of new toys from friends and family who come to visit your new family member.
But, as a starting point, I would recommend getting at least a few cuddly toys, a few chew toys, and one or two tug or rope toys. Inevitably they will get chewed and shredded, but that’s all part of the puppy fun!One toy that worked extremely well for our cockapoo was this puppy kong. We used to fill it with some rather gross easy treat liver spray that is a bit like squirty cream. This kept him occupied for literally hours as he tried to lick up all of the paste, which is a god send if you’ve got chores to get on with!
Puppy Training Pads
Yes, unfortunately one of the drawbacks to owning a puppy is teaching them that they have to do their business outside!
Puppy training pads are a great way of toilet training your cockapoo puppy because they teach them that they have to think about where they should pee!
They are also incredibly useful in the first week or two if you see your cockapoo about to squat and you don’t have enough time to “chuck” them into the garden!
One word of caution here is: don’t buy a cheap brand of puppy pad. We learnt the hard way and ended up switching to this exact brand of puppy pad because the cheap ones leaked…
Buying a cockapoo puppy is quite a long process, and it does require effort on your part to find the best, most reputable breeder.
In this article on how to get a cockapoo puppy, I’ve gone through how to find breeders, how to research them and what questions to ask when buying a new puppy. I’ve also gone through some of the essential items to buy a cockapoo puppy – if you want the complete list of all 31 things, we’ve also got that!
Hopefully you’ve found this a helpful and useful guide to buying a cockapoo. Ultimately, the thing to remember is that the time and effort you’re putting in to finding and choosing the right cockapoo puppy will pay off for years and years to come!
If you’re thinking about cockapoo names, here are 29 name suggestions that might help you get some inspiration!
Read Next: Puppy Proofing Your Garden (7 Easy Steps)
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Top picks for our cockapoo
1. BEST CUTE ACCESSORY
We love: This practical, reversible plaid dog jacket – super cute and is holding up well after multiple washes.
2. BEST COCKAPOO CLIPPERS
We love: These fantastic Wahl dog clippers – they’ve never let us down when performing some DIY pandemic grooming on Ziggy!
3. BEST UNIQUE DOG TOY
We love: This fun-packed, foraging snuffle mat – load your treats, or even normal doggy biscuits, and watch your cockapoo’s tail start wagging!