Disadvantages of having a Cockapoo: 6 Common Issues

disadvantage of having a cockapoo

Written by Jo Littlewood

Cockapoos are bred from both poodles and cocker spaniels and have many desirable traits, but there are some disadvantages of having a cockapoo. Full disclosure though: I think they’re so awesome, and I created this site dedicated to this wonderful dog breed. That said, It wouldn’t be fair to anyone considering the pros and cons of cockapoos to only present them with the good. To really make up your mind about owning a cockapoo, you need to know the the disadvantages of having a cockapoo are. 

Just before talking about the disadvantages of cockapoo ownership, I don’t want you thinking that it’s all bad. Cockapoos do also have some amazing advantages to go in their favour. For example, they have a wonderful temperament that is very people-focused. They are also extremely clever and easy to train, without being “too” clever – if you catch my drift. 

The number one reason why I think they’re so good, though, is because they are known for being such an open and friendly breed of dog – I’ve lost count of the times our cockapoo has made us laugh, or has greeted a guest with such enthusiasm that he instantly melts their heart.

All in all I think cockapoos are an excellent breed, but there are some disadvantages of having a cockapoo. These are:

1. Cockapoos love to bark and make a racket

Do cockapoos bark a lot? Yes. Cockapoo are well known for barking and being one of the more vocal dog breeds out there. Like cats who learn how to meow to get what they want, cockapoos are very clever at being able to use their full vocal range to get attention from their humans. 

So, not only do cockapoos bark, but they also whine, whimper and grunt! 

Not sure what I mean? Check out this video: 

The advantages of having such a vocal dog is that cockapoos make great guard dogs – or should I say alert dogs! I’ve written before about how our cockapoo was able to scare off an intruder who was prowling around our front garden, and more recently Ziggy bark out to us about the presence of a large fox in our back garden – helping to save our cat from a sticky end! 

disadvantages of having a cockapoo snuggling with a cat
Snuggling with his best bud

However, the disadvantages of having a cockapoo that barks and whines a lot will mean that you’ll frequently find yourself in some of the following situations: 

  • You’ll be watching a TV show, and just as a crucial plot point gets revealed, you’ll miss every word of it. Why? Because your cockapoo has suddenly decided that he doesn’t like the sound of some wind outside and is barking furiously by the window. 
  • You’ll have a friend round for coffee and your conversation will be interrupted by whining at your knee because your cockapoo hasn’t been stroked in the last ten minutes. 
  • You get the idea. 

Now, is this a major disadvantage of having a cockapoo? Perhaps not, but I’m building slowly here – don’t forget I’m biased, love cockapoos, and don’t want to scare you away from this breed just yet! Also, there are solutions out there to stop your cockapoo from barking!

2. Cockapoo coats require lots of grooming 

So is one of the main reasons you’re reading about the cockapoo breed is because you’ve heard that they don’t shed and are hypoallergenic? Well, you’re right. The poodle part of their heritage means that most cockapoos shed very little and have lovely, soft, curly coats. 

But what people don’t always like to tell you is just how much grooming you have to do to keep that prized dog coat looking tip top. 

I’m not talking about the weekly brushing you have to do. And, I’m not talking about the nail trimming, or the specific ear cleaning techniques you have to do with flop-eared breeds. I’m not even talking about learning to trim your cockapoo’s face regularly so it can see properly or cleaning your cockapoo’s teeth.

No, I’m talking about one of the main disadvantages of owning a cockapoo: regularly cutting their coat. 

Now before you dismiss this one, know that this is one of the most non-negotiable aspects of cockapoo ownership. 

Why is this such a disadvantage of having a cockapoo? Well, mainly because of two reasons: 

  1. Money
  2. Time

In the UK the average cost to get a cockapoo groomed is £35. This price may vary depending on location, but it’s a pretty accurate estimate. A cockapoo needs to be groomed at least once every 2-3 months, which means that the cost of grooming a cockapoo totals around £140 each year or £2100 over their lifetime. 

Now, I don’t consider this to be a huge expense, but it does all add up when you take into account things like paying for dog food, pet insurance and the rest of the things you need to buy for a new puppy.

Now, let’s say that you decide to learn how to groom your cockapoo yourself. Well, this is what we have started to do – more because we can’t seem to find a good groomer near us, than to save money. 

If you do that, then you’re faced with another con of cockapoo ownership because its going to take you around two hours to properly groom, bathe and clean up, and that’s when you’re good at it! 

I would say this is quite a big disadvantage of having a cockapoo – sometimes I’m envious of friends’ dogs who shed and require very little upkeep!

3. Cockapoos can suffer from separation anxiety

Results of Cockapoo separation anxiety stuffing on the floor

So you know how I said earlier that I was building up to the bigger disadvantages of owning a cockapoo? Well, this is a big one. 

Unlike other breeds of dogs, who have historically been bred for working purposes, cockapoos are specifically bred to be companion dogs. 

This means that good breeders will breed from dogs that are human orientated in order to get the cockapoo temperament just right: kind, loyal and eternally friendly. 

The downside of this is that they just love to be around their owners – like really love to be around you. 

As a result, when you’re not around, they can often suffer from separation anxiety which is a really distressing thing to witness.

4. Cockapoos can have health problems 

vet treating health issues of cavapoo and cockapoos

Poodles and cocker spaniels, which are bred to make cockapoos, have a few genetic health problems. Add to that the fact that cockapoos are a desirable breed of dog that can fetch really high prices, and it means that sometimes people will end up with a cockapoo puppy with a whole host of health problems – a major disadvantage of having a cockapoo! 

If you buy from a breeder who isn’t really that reputable, you’ll need to watch out for these issues which can arise as a result of poor breeding practices:

  • 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)

Luckily, if you buy from a reputable breeder and follow my guide to finding a good cockapoo breeder, you’ll be able to avoid all of these health issues. 

5. Cockapoos have extreme energy levels 

Because cockapoos are bred from two traditionally working breeds of dogs, they have a really high drive for activity. 

If you’re a farmer with acres of land for your cockapoo to trot around in, this may not be a huge issue. But, most cockapoo owners aren’t farmers! As a result, within the confines of normal day-to-day life, cockapoos can sometimes come across as a little too energetic for their own good. 

One of the major disadvantages of having a cockapoo with high energy levels is the sheer amount of exercise that they need to keep them calm and sensible when they’re home. 

Now, some websites you come across may tell you that a cockapoo only needs a light 15 minute walk to keep them happy – don’t be fooled. 

As a minimum, we walk out cockapoo for around an hour a day (split between a morning and evening walk). But this is only the minimum and we “top up” his activity levels with lots of jogging and cycling, as well as much longer countryside walks at the weekends. 

In a typical week, we’re out with our cockapoo for around 11 hours. This is obviously a major time commitment. 

Luckily, by jogging with our cockapoo, we can cut this time down considerably over busy periods by making sure he’s got a good leg stretch in a lot less time! We also regularly do little things that help to keep us interested and motivated to keep to our dog walking routines.

Recommended read: When do cockapoos calm down?

6. Cockapoos absolutely love to swim (a smaller disadvantage of having a cockapoo!)

Cockapoo carrying stick in water
Ziggy enjoying a swim!

Ok, so this is perhaps a more lighthearted way to end this article, but it is so true that cockapoos absolutely love to swim and this can actually be a disadvantage to having a cockapoo.  

The main reason for cockapoos liking to swim seems to be because of the poodle heritage that they have. Poodles are known to be water retrieving dogs, who retrieve fowl from lakes and rivers.

Fast forward to the cockapoo and it’s no surprise that they love to swim. In fact their coats mean that they are ideally suited to water as they are ever so slightly water repellant. Many cockapoos will also have inherited webbed feet, which means that they can power through water with ease. 

The fact that cockapoos like to swim can actually be considered to be a huge positive if you live near a good stretch of water, as it can help to tire them out without putting too much stress on their joints. 

The reason why I’ve put it in this list of disadvantages of having a cockapoo is because this love of swimming can also result in lots of ear infections. 

This is because water can get trapped in a cockapoo’s ear canal, and because of their flop ears, it doesn’t evaporate. As a result, over time all sorts of bacteria can grown in this warm and moist environment. 

This means you have to keep up with cleaning your cockapoos ears regularly to avoid expensive trips to the vets, as well as learn how to bath and dry them properly

So, when all is said and done, should these disadvantages of having a cockapoo put you off owning this breed of dog? In my view, absolutely not. Hopefully, if you’ve been reading attentively, you’ll see that most of these issues can be managed. In fact, I try to write as many helpful articles as I can to help cockapoo owners solve these problems – so you’ll always find friendly advice here if you need help. 

Ultimately, if you’re weighing up the pros and cons of cockapoo ownership, and you’re trying to figure out if its the right breed of dog for you, I think it comes down to two questions: 

  1. Do you have the time? 
  2. Do you have the money? 

Hopefully, if you’re considering a cockapoo it also means you have the money (as they are quite a pricey dog). So really, it comes down to time. If you’re prepared to put the effort into training, walking and caring for your cockapoo you’re not going to go far wrong. 

The cockapoo really is a fantastic dog. Take it from me… I’m not that biased (says the owner of a cockapoo website…) Still not convinced? Take our cockapoo quiz

If you liked this article and found it useful, please spread the word and share it on social media! 

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

  • My dog growing up was a cockapoo… she was 21 when she passed. I now have a 3 year old Cockapoo… she doesn’t bark much lol except sometimes if there is a squirrel. The separation anxiety is sometimes… she mostly just sleeps when alone. I love ALL dogs. But yes … vet bills can get high. Get on pet insurance…. should’ve seen when I gave mine a different puppy food with grains…

  • It happened, we had to put Brandy down Thursday evening. This is hard, my wife and I are having a hard time coping with it. After having daily interactions with our friend for the better part of 18 years to suddenly have nothing, it’s tough. I am second guessing my self for telling the vet to go ahead, maybe she may have come around. I hope our pain goes away soon.

    • So, so, so sorry to hear this. You have all of my sympathy, and I hope that your pain will one day be replaced with the happy memories of your time together with Brandy. Jo xx

  • Kirsten

    We just lost our cockapoo, Magni (god of great strength and size LOL!) just two days ago. The pain is very fresh, but reading your article comforted me. This was Magni to a T! I only had three years with him at the end of his life (my partner’s childhood dog), but he was just as energetic as a puppy! Three years felt like a lifetime of knowing him – he loved me most haha! This article makes me confident — I would do it all again!!

  • Kathryn Leedham

    I really loved reading this, our two cockerpoos, Bonnie & Clyde, brother and sister, tick most if not all of the boxes. Except I am pleased to say, at 7 years and 7 months they have had barely had any health issues. Bonnie however was very poorly two years ago with IMHA. She spent a week in the vet hospital and only got better after a blood transfusion. It was hell, like having one of your kids in hospital. Other than that, they both bark at nothing, can’t keep them out of water, love, love, love running around on our walks, and when they are not in water, they get on the trail of anything and are set on sniffing it out. We have totally hoomanised them, if only they could talk! They hate it when on rare occasions we have to leave them, them the rubbish bin gets it!
    The only other thing to mention is they do have sensitive tummies, and easily get upset if you change their food, or on longer car journeys.
    Other than that, they truly are wonderful, intelligent, loyal, loving, HIGH maintenance, best friends.
    Ps they have their ‘spa’ day every 5-6 weeks 🤣. Clyde hates having his paws messed with, and creates merry hell with Sue our groomer.
    Love, love, love them.

  • Sharon G

    Our cockapoo must go to doggie daycare at least twice a week, or he is annoyingly hyper and somewhat destructive. The socialization and playtime with other dogs has been great for him. He does not like being groomed, so he is muzzled. He is a real love, and we adore him, but we owned cockers in the past, and is definitely is more active, not a deal breaker, just wish we did a bit more research. When home we run around the yard and play ball, and we take nice walks too. A very sweet breed and a people lover, but they do get bored at times and watch out. Lol

    • Yes they are real balls of energy, but like you say they are so, so sweet. My hope is that this website will help would-be owners with that research! Have a lovely day, Jo xx

  • Jane Francis

    I just lost my love, my 5 year old cocker spaniel I desperately want another dog and was wondering if a Cockapoo would have less health issues and be a good dog. Puzzie died of a clotting disorder that I have since found was often found in cockers. I’m an 80 year old young lady that loves cockers but am afraid to try
    again. Could this be an alternative?

  • i had to put my cockapoo down about 2 months ago as had acute kidney disease. I had Murphy for little over 13 years. I got him as a pup. He was the best dog i ever had! He was easy to potty train and extremely smart. He was easy to train and was excellent with the young grandchildren. Murphy became a school mascot with the elementary school children. Hated water and getting a bath but got accustomed to it. He loved his walks and always came at 11 to tell me it was time to go to the mailbox. He did acquire some health issues. We did have problems with teeth and ears, and finally kidney issues at 11years old that got worse over the next few years. Would i get another Cockapoo? Yes I would, but I am still getting over the loss of my best friend.

    • Doug, I’m so very sorry to hear about Murphy, but also in awe of the bond you had with him. He truly sounds like a gentleman of a cockapoo, and I’m sure that you take comfort in the many amazing memories you must have of him. All the best, and thank you so much for sharing your story. Jo x

  • Thank you for this website – visit it all the time and I love how down to earth you guys are!

  • I had my Cockapoo girl for almost 17 years. I read your article to try to talk myself out of getting another one lol…. it’s not working. Your article was a fairly accurate description of our old girl… but I’ve only ever owned one. Some differences with our girl is she never had any separation anxiety and really only barked if the door bell rang or when I was filling her dish. She absolutely hated water or even getting her feet wet. She did have ear and eye issues tho and near the end lots of lumps, bumps and warts. She also had a heart murmur and the last couple years she was completely deaf. I 100% agree with the regular grooming requirements… she had a standing groomers appointment every 8 weeks with a quick butt shave between appointments…. I think I’d get my own clippers to do the bum between grooming appointments if I ever got another Cockapoo.
    Thank you for your article. They are definitely the best dogs out there and we miss our old girl so much.

    • Thank you for sharing your story Robyn and for the kind words. I wish you all the best. Jo x

  • Chris Conlon

    Our cockapoo is 14 years old and still plays like a puppy~everyday!! No health issues but seems like he is having some loss of eyesight. He totally misses us when we leave and because of this, our trips out and about are very short!!! We love him!

  • I finally know that all that barking at the front door even when no one is there is normal. Barking in the back yard until he gets all of the dogs going and my neighbors hating him is normal!! But he’s still my little Charlie Brown who I love so much

  • Thanks. I kind of wish I’d read this before having a Cockapoo but it has reassured me that some of the things my puppy is experiencing (especially the separation anxiety) are not unusual. Cheers.

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.