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!
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:
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
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
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!)
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.
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:
- Do you have the time?
- 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!
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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!