When we got our dog, our friends immediately had lots of questions about owning a cockapoo, and wanted their own cockapoo almost instantly. So, we have answered these questions to give you the inside scoop on cockapoo temperament, cockapoo traits, their coats and every other question that people wonder about the cockapoo breed when choosing a cockapoo.
It is important to remember that these answers are based on our experience of owning a cockapoo, as well as the experience of friends and family who have also taken the cockapoo plunge.
Cockapoo temperaments can be different, and each will have a different personality. Their health and lifespan may well also vary but the answers below will help give you a good starting off place if you’re researching the cockapoo breed.
After reading, you might be interested in this article: 5 things we WISH we knew before owning a cockapoo!
Or, take our quick cockapoo quiz to find out if a cockapoo is right for you … or not!
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Or check out our ultimate puppy checklist if you’re want to know what you need to buy for your new pup.
Here are answers the most common questions about cockapoos…
What is the cockapoo temperament?
Cockapoo temperament is typified by them being caring, loyal family dogs. A cockapoo’s personality is generally playful and outgoing, and we’ve rarely met a cockapoo who is shy and withdrawn.
This is because cockapoo temperaments combine traits of poodles and cocker spaniels.
Poodles are known to be loyal and intelligent. They were historically bred as hunting companions, so they love to please humans and bond strongly with their owners.
Similarly, cocker spaniels are extremely loyal to their owners, as they were also bred to assist with hunting and retrieving. They are slightly more playful and friendly than poodles, and absolutely love to play.
If you combine these characteristics, you have the classic cockapoo temperament. Outgoing and playful, but also loyal and intelligent.
What does this temperament look like in real life? Well, our cockapoo:
- Is always extremely happy
- Is great with new people
- Loves snuggles
- Never sulks, even if you have to tell him off!
- Is easy to train
- Is a little needy
- Will run and run and run … and run
Wondering how this compares with cavapoos? Read our cockapoo vs cavapoo comparison.
Are cockapoos non shedding? Do they moult?
Cockapoos do shed, but in our experience it is much more similar to how humans lose strands of hair – you won’t find great tufts of hair on your clothes or sofa. As a general rule, the curlier the coat the less moulting you will see because it’s more similar to that of a poodle.
If a cockapoos coat is wavy or straight, then their coat will be more likely to shed because it is more like that of a spaniel.
So, Cockapoos do shed, but the degree to which they shed depends on which parent they are most like: poodle or spaniel.
If you’re after a low shedding cockapoo, choose a puppy that has a curlier, more tightly wound coat.
Are cockapoos hypoallergenic?
Cockapoos are generally regarded as hypoallergenic. This means that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in humans who suffer from allergies to animal fur.
This is because these types of allergies are often caused by contact with dead skin cells (dander) that stick to dog hair.
As cockapoos are low shedding, these skin cells are less likely to be present in the house.
That said, it’s impossible to say that cockapoos are 100% hypoallergenic to everyone. They are for most people (if they have a curly coat), but we would recommend spending time with a cockapoo if you’re worried about allergies.
Do cockapoos bark a lot? Are they yappy?
Unfortunately, cockapoos are known for being quite vocal animals! Our cockapoo likes to announce his presence every time we arrive at a park with loud barks.
He also barks when he hears the door, when people walk by the house, and when he meets new dogs.
Is he yappy? Sometimes when he’s very excited, his barking can get very high pitched.
This can be a little annoying (if we’re honest), but it has calmed down since he’s gotten older.
So in our experience, cockapoos do bark a lot and can be quite yappy, but it gets better over time.
If you’re trying to stop your cockapoo from barking, we have had some success by teaching him to bark on command. The accompanying command you have to teach for this to work (be quiet) helps if he then starts barking randomly!
If you want to learn more about this, then check out our article all about how to prevent and get your cockapoo to stop barking.
Will cockapoos get along with cats?
Yes! We have a cat and, providing you set clear boundaries for your puppy from the outset then cockapoos can get along with cats pretty easily.
You do have to be quite firm with your pup from the start for this to work.
This is because the poodle in the cockapoo traditionally have a strong prey drive. This means that they can be often seen bolting after squirrels and other small animals.
We sometimes see this trait emerge in our dog when our cat performs a sudden movement. But, because we’ve always been firm with him, when Ziggy catches up with the cat he just stops and sniffs him!
Now Ziggy is fully grown and less “excitable” the cat often comes and cuddles up next to him! Read about how we helped our cockapoo and cat to get along here.
How much should you pay for a cockapoo in pounds?
We performed an in depth search to understand average cockapoo prices in the UK. And we found that the average uk price for a cockapoo was £1,101.
This ended up being an average of the price charged by hobby breeders advertising on pets4homes websites, as well as the prices charged by larger breeders.
Now this isn’t cheap, especially when you consider all of the things you need to buy for your new puppy.
Are cockapoos hyper? How energetic are they?
Cockapoos are definitely towards the top of the energetic rankings for dog breeds.This is because the two breeds that form a cockapoo were both traditionally bred to be hunting dogs that needed to work for long periods of time.
Cockapoos also don’t support a lot of weight – as shown in our article about cockapoo weight. This means that they can run and run without a great deal of effort!
Add to this, the fact that they are intelligent dogs that require lots of stimulation, and you can sometimes understand the reputation for cockapoos being hyper.
We think this is unfair though because, if properly exercised and stimulated with mind-bending toys, they aren’t hyper at all.
So, to answer this question in a sentence: energetic yes, hyper no.
Can cockapoos be left alone?
Separation anxiety is common trait in cockapoos, sadly. In large part, this is down to the fact that at their heart cockapoos are people pleasers.
They love being around human beings, more so that other dogs in lots of cases. This means that they can often suffer from anxiety with their “pack” leaves for work or school.
Crate training and providing your cockapoo with enough mental stimulation when you leave it can help with separation anxiety.
Another way to combat this is to get your pooch used to being left alone when you’re in the house.
A great way to do this is to avoid immediately going to the room your pooch is in when you return home. Instead, make a cup of tea, or get changed, and then great your dog once he’s in a calm state of mind.
Eventually, this will teach him that the reward of human company comes when he’s calm and settled.
Are cockapoos good apartment dogs? Can they live in cities?
As you might have guessed from the above answers, cockapoos are hugely energetic and can be quite loud! As a result, they might not strike you as the best breed for flats or apartments.
That said, cockapoos are highly adaptable. While apartments aren’t ideal settings for cockapoos, they will be able to cope providing they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Cockapoos can certainly live in cities or built up areas. You don’t have to live in an ideal countryside setting to own a cockapoo! It all depends on your ability to give your cockapoo “off lead” time so that it can get a really good run around throughout the week.
So, if you have a local park that allows dogs, or are prepared to drive to a large outdoor space, then cockapoos can definitely live in cities and built up areas.
How long should you walk a cockapoo?
Generally speaking, a cockapoo should be walked for around 30-60 minutes twice a day. However, it is not necessarily the time that matters but the quality of that time.
If you’re only going to walk you cockapoo on a lead, then they won’t really get to burn off energy. They will still get mental stimulation from all of the different smells, sounds and sights, but they will still want to run!
As a result, we would recommend playing a high-paced game of fetch with your cockapoo for at least 30-60 minutes a day, and couple this with a more relaxed “on lead” walk.
What we tend to do is do an energetic morning walk and a more relaxed evening walk each day, and then go for a big hike in the countryside at the weekends. This, though, is our minimum – and often we do a lot more (including going on bike rides and regular runs).
Sadly, even though we would love everyone to have a cockapoo, we don’t recommend getting one if our answer to this question puts you off! Cockapoos have a lot of energy and need to burn it off.
If you’re not prepared to exercise your cockapoo, you are likely to have a pooch that you don’t get on with!
In fact, this is one of the things we list in 5 things we WISH we knew before owning a cockapoo!
Are cockapoos easy to train?
Cockapoos are enormously easy to train, but there are some challenges and you need to do it correctly.
Poodles are classed as ranking only slightly behind border collies in terms of intelligence, and this shows through in every cockapoo we’ve met.
Because of this, training can have some challenges. Cockapoos can get bored quickly and like to second guess what their owners are about to ask them. As a result, you need to keep them on their toes by keeping training sessions short. And you need to vary your instructions to them.
If you always say “lie down” after “sit” then they will just lie down when you say sit!
At their heart, though, they are people pleasers to their core and want to please. So providing you train them positively and reward them with treats or toys, they will always catch on to what you want them to do.
To give you an indication of just how easy our cockapoo was to train, here are some “tricks” we taught him with the rough time it took for him to “get it”:
- High five – 15 minutes
- Stand up – two lots of 15 minutes
- Bang and play dead – four lots of 15 minutes.
If you’re wondering what we used to train him, we relied heavily on dog clickers to let him know what he was doing right and rewarded him everytime we clicked! These are really cheap and can be found here on amazon.
What size do cockapoos get?
Cockapoos bred from a mid-sized miniature poodles (most common) will get to a height of between 25cm to 40cm (10” to 15”) measured from paw to shoulder.
This is around the height of a coffee table or, more simply, about knee height when fully grown.
A good breeder will be able to give you an indication of the likely height of a cockapoo puppy when you go to visit. A good indication of whether your cockapoo will be big or small is to look at its paws: the bigger the paws, the bigger the dog!
Fully grown cockapoos bred from toy poodles will generally be shorter than 25 cms, and cockapoos bred from standard poodles will typically be the collie sized.
That said, we would generally recommend only getting a cockapoo bred from a miniature poodle as they are most similar in size to cocker spaniels, so are a much better breeding match.
Are cockapoos a good size? We think so because they are not too small to get under your feet, but not too big to knock you over or pinch food off the kitchen sides!
Are cockapoos good with kids and children?
Generally speaking, cockapoos are great with children because they love being part of a family. As a result cockapoos make great family pets. They are extremely loyal, and their endless energy means that they are always ready to play!
This is great because their size and general “teddy bear” look means that children aren’t intimidated by them and instantly want to play! This is great if your kids bring friends home from school, as even the most timid child is happy stroking a cockapoo.
So, providing you put in clear boundaries and you teach your children that sometimes the dog needs some relaxation time, your cockapoo will get on really well with your kids.
How long do cockapoos live?
Like other smaller breeds of dog, cockapoos tend to live longer than larger breeds and typically live for around 13-18 years.
There are all sorts of things that can impact on a cockapoos life expectancy, including their diet and whether you feed them quality dog food from brands like the ones we recommend.
That said, because they are a hybrid between two different breeds, they are often regarded as healthier than a lot of single-breed dogs, which helps with their relatively long lifespan.
What health problems do cockapoos have?
Common health issues for cockapoos may include:
- Ear infections
- Eye problems (such as progressive retinal atrophy)
- Skin allergies
- Tummy upsets (or Gastrointestinal disorders)
In general, cockapoos are generally regarded as extremely healthy when compared with some purebred breeds such as boxers and labradors. They are even healthier when compared with cavapoos.
This is because, if you get your cockapoo from a reputable breeder, they will have made sure that your pooch has been bred from dogs that have been properly health tested.
This is especially important when it comes for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which is basically where a dog’s eyes deteriorate overtime until they go blind. This isn’t nice!
Good breeders can help prevent PRA by making sure that a cockapoo’s parents have been tested as PRA clear. If they have, then your cockapoo will not suffer from PRA.
It is a really normal thing to ask to see your breeder’s PRA certificates, so please do! And, if they don’t show you, or you’re not happy that they are genuine then walk away! You should also ask your breeder lots of other questions to make sure that they are genuine.
As tempting as it might be to rescue a puppy from a bad breeder, you shouldn’t. Buying from a bad breeder will always end in heartbreak for you, and it will help to keep them in business.
Do cockapoos like water and swimming?
Cockapoos absolutely love to swim. Both poodles and cocker spaniels were bred to retrieve, part of which meant retrieving from water.
As a result, your cockapoo will almost certainly love water and diving in to fetch sticks!
The upside of this is swimming is fantastic exercise for your dog as it means that they don’t put strain on their joints.
It is also incredibly funny watching your pooch dunk their head underwater trying to find a lost stick!
The downside of the cockapoo love for water is that you’ll often have a wet car seat and will need to bath your cockapoo properly. You’ll also need to make sure that you regularly clean and dry their ears to prevent infections!
Be warned though: you’ll need to introduce your cockapoo to water gradually and teach them to swim by letting them paddle first. Then once they look comfortable, get your cockapoo swimming by playing games of fetch.
Are cockapoos chewers?
Cockapoos are clever dogs that need stimulation to stop them from what humans would regard as destructive behaviours. An under stimulated cockapoo, like all dogs, might resort to chewing items they shouldn’t.
That said, we’ve never had any chewing issues with our cockapoo because we always made sure that there are plenty of toys in the house to keep his attention. When he was a puppy, we also sprayed tempting items like table legs with no-chew spray (this brand on amazon worked really well).
Some friends who have cockapoos have reported chewing to be an issue, though, so this one seems to be dog dependent rather than a trait of the breed.
Are cockapoos good for security?
Haha! Of course not! The one way in which a cockapoo might be good for security is their bark, which might deter intruders or alert you to the presence of some nerdowells. BUT as soon as a burglar sees your cockapoo I’m afraid that unless they have some mortal fear of dogs, they won’t be put off by a furry teddy bear
Having said that, the one time we’ve had cause to worry about an intruder (someone in our front garden who had “mistaken the address”), Ziggy did bark his head off and made such a racket that the “mistaken” person was already halfway down the drive by the time Paul confronted him!
So, maybe I’m being a little unfair – in certain circumstances a cockapoo is good for security!
Should I get a cockapoo?
Absolutely, yes! If you’re answers on this page, and you know you can provide a cockapoo with a good home, trust me: you won’t regret it.
Our cockapoo has brought us so much joy every day we’ve had him. The fact that he’s so energetic is a great plus for us as we’re hugely active, and the fact that he doesn’t moult is awesome and means our clothes aren’t caked in fur!
Not only that, but our cockapoo’s temperament is also so kind and loving and he can really cheer us up after a hard day!
Now, we are definitely a little biased on this site, but if your 50/50 about whether a cockapoo is right for you… don’t be. Just go for it, and trust us: it will be one of the best decisions you make!
If you still need convincing, why not take our cockapoo quiz?
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If you’ve reached the end of this article and want to know more about owning a cockapoo, check out our own experiences here.
Or, if you want to know what you should get your new puppy to make him (or her) as comfortable as possible, please check out our ultimate puppy checklist.