Skip to content

How To Breed Cockapoos

A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Published on
Monday 18 May 2020
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
How To Breed Cockapoos
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Are you looking to learn how to breed Cockapoos? Perhaps you are an aspiring owner. In any case, our guide will teach you everything about this lovely designer dog. From the Cockapoos’ history to its pricing, to its health profile and its temperament, you will gain a solid foundation.

On top of that, we are also going to cover the different Cockapoo variations. If you want to own one or become a breeder, then you need to be aware of all the facts, to arrive at a decision. This is where we will aid you to do so.

What is a Cockapoo?

A Cockapoo is a mix between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, and it is the first designer dog in history, dating back to the 1960s. Therefore, unlike other hybrids, they have clearly defined appearance standards, breeding best practices, and the following institutions recognize them:

Furthermore, there are Cockapoos clubs working to actively to standardize the breed, in order to gain total breed recognition.

Background of Cockapoo Breeding

Now that you know what a Cockapoo is, let us check more about their background, by reviewing their origin and the breeding clubs that back them up.


Cockapoos are some of the oldest hybrid dogs since they date back to the 1950s. Nonetheless, the first solid reference to this crossbreed was an Oxford English Dictionary citation, which dates back to 1960. Therefore, since they have been around for decades, it is easier to find dedicated breeders with a long track of success breeding healthy litters of Cockapoos.

However, despite the efforts, breeders have not yet been able to standardize the crossbreed, and therefore, they do not have official recognition. Furthermore, it is important to note that the American Cocker Spaniel is the main specimen used for breeding Cockapoos as opposed to the English Cocker Spaniel. Nonetheless, it is also possible to find specimens whose parent is an English Cocker Spaniel, although such cases are a rarity.

Breeding Clubs

We have already seen the institutions and breeding clubs that recognize the Cockapoo. Properly put, these are the main three:

  • American Cockapoo Club (ACC)
  • Cockapoo Club of America (CCA)
  • The Cockapoo Club of GB (CCGB)

We recommend you to visit their websites because you will find a lot of information about Cockapoos and a list of breeders, which will help you to buy a healthy puppy. Furthermore, they allow you to register your Cockapoo, as you can do so at the American Cockapoo Club. Alternatively, in case you are an aspiring breeder, it will allow you to integrate the community.

However, it is important to know that, from all the breeding clubs, The Cockapoo Club of GB pushes the most for an authentic breeding standard. There is still a long way to go, but since it is one of the oldest dog hybrids, you can find many breeding clubs all over the world, but mainly in America.


To let you know more about this crossbreed, below you will find its ideal appearance standards, as well as insight into its temperament.


The Cockapoo is distinctive thanks to certain physical features such as their coat, skull, body contexture, and ears. We are going to review all of them below.


The body is long enough to allow the Cockapoo to have a free and straight stride. In addition, the chest should be deep and wide in moderation, and the ribs must be well-sprung. Therefore, the contexture of this crossbreed is muscular and solid.


The head is small and well-proportioned to the body. Furthermore, take the following aspects into account:

  • Skull: Moderately doomed
  • Eyes: They are expressive and should never look droopy. Furthermore, most of the time they are dark brown
  • Ears: They hand close to the head, and resemble the ears of the Cocker Spaniel
  • Muzzle: Narrow


According to breeders, they have three types of coats: flat, tight curly and medium curly. Nonetheless, all of them are long and full. Additionally, it comes in many different colors such as white, black, fawn, peach, blue and more. All colors are admitted.

Size Variations

Cockapoos come in different sizes, and the parents’ genetics determine it. Breeders classify them in three groups, based on the recognized sizes of Poodles:

  • Toy: 8 to 10 inches tall and they weigh up to 12 pounds
  • Miniature: 11 to 14 inches tall and they weigh between 13 and 18 pounds
  • Standard: 15+ inches tall and they weigh up to 19 pounds

Therefore, you can get an ideal-sized Cockapoo depending on your needs. If you have a big house with a huge backyard, then a standard Cockapoo would be most appropriate, since it will be able to run at will. Nonetheless, for apartment living, a toy Cockapoo will be splendid.

In case you are interested in breeding, you should know that variations – such as reducing or increasing size, or changing coat texture require genetic research. For example, to breed an authentic toy Cockapoo, it is necessary to make sure that the Cockapoo’s Poodle parent is of tiny toy size, and its pedigree should solely be composed of toy Poodle ancestors. Additionally, the Cocker Spaniel must be small and come from several generations of small Cocker Spaniels.


In general, Cockapoos are popular because they combine the best temperament traits of the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel. We have summarized everything in three sections: pros, cons and ideal owners.


Cockapoos are popular for being happy and outgoing, which makes them sociable with people and other dogs. Therefore, they make excellent family companions.

On top of that, they are affectionate and loyal. Therefore, if you want a dog that loves cuddling and that will thrive on your attention, then the Cockapoo will meet all of your expectations. They are smart and easily trainable. They can learn a wide myriad of tricks, and more importantly, you can teach them exactly how to behave. Because thanks to their desire to please, they will become the dog you want them to be.


Due to their high need for attention, they can become clingy and experience separation anxiety easily, which is a con if you leave your home alone for several hours every day.

They need plenty of mental stimulation, otherwise, they get bored. When they do get bored, they can become destructive as well. In addition, they will start barking at night. Therefore, you should make sure that you can fulfill all of its physical and mental requirements daily.

Ideal Owners

Therefore, the ideal Cockapoo owner needs to have enough time to bring it plenty of attention and to keep it entertained, as well as to train it properly. If you can do it, then you will get an amazing companion that will fill your days with happiness!

Health issues When Breeding Cockapoos

Cockapoos have very few health problems and can live between 14 to 18 years old. Therefore, they are a healthy crossbreed, but they still tend to suffer certain health issues. You will find all the details below.


Cataracts are opacities that affect the lens of the eye of your pet. If they are small, then they will not disturb the vision of your dog too much, but if they are big, then they can lead to blindness. Cockapoos have a higher incidence of developing cataracts like other small breeds, due to inherited cataracts. Therefore, specimens that present cataracts should be excluded from breeding. These are the most common signs of cataracts:

  • White, gray or bluish layer in the eyes
  • Clumsiness
  • Reluctance for walking upstairs or jumping
  • Excessive blinking
  • Eye redness
  • Rubbing of the eyes

You should take your dog for immediate treatment as soon as you notice these signs, to guarantee the success of the surgical procedure. The veterinarian will remove the lens and replace it with an acrylic/plastic lens, which will restore vision.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that provokes the deformation of the hip socket. Even though it is more frequent in large breeds, it still affects small dogs like the Cockapoo. Furthermore, it is the leading cause of arthritis of the hips. If your Cockapoo suffers from hip dysplasia, it will display the following symptoms:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Lameness in the hind end
  • Swaying gait
  • Looseness in the joint

For the mildest cases, physical therapy, exercise restriction on hard surfaces and anti-inflammatory drugs will be enough. However, for the most severe cases, surgery will be the best way to fix it.


Cockapoos are especially sensitive to toxins, allergens, and pollutants, and therefore, they can exhibit allergic reactions easily. Therefore, it is critical to watch what they eat, and therefore, to avoid commercial foods with fillers such as soy and cornmeal.

In addition, they require regular grooming to remove dander and pollutants from its coat, which can lead to infections and even cause dermatitis. Finally, always watch out for allergic reactions when you expose them to new environments or if you use a new product at home such as an essential oil spray.

Patellar Luxation

Like most small dogs, Cockapoos are also predisposed to developing patellar luxation, which is the dislocation of the kneecap from its normal position in the groove of the femur. According to reports, it has an incidence rate of 1.30% in the general dog population. However, for small dogs like the Cockapoo, the incidence rate is up to 12 times higher. The dislocation can range from Grade 1 – which is the mildest – to Grade 4 – which is the most severe – and it can cause the following consequences:

  • Rupture of ligaments
  • Cartilage erosion
  • Arthritis
  • Pain
  • Inflammation

A dog will luxating patella will show these signs:

  • Abnormal gait
  • Crying
  • Licking at the knee
  • Reluctance to put weight on the affected leg
  • Popping noise in the knee

From Grade 1 to Grade 2, it can be treated with physical therapy, especially in senior dogs. However, in the most severe cases, it will require surgical intervention, especially in young dogs.

Ear Infections

Similar to Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, Cockapoos are also susceptible to ear infections. Since their ears are long, they tend to accumulate an excess of debris, wax, and moisture, which can lead to bacterial growth, and consequently, cause infections. Therefore, it is essential to clean the ears of your pup regularly. In addition, watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Scratching of the ear
  • Hair loss around the ear area
  • Yellow/Brown discharge
  • Bloody discharge
  • Head shaking
  • Odor in the ear

The treatment will depend on the severity. For the majority of cases, it will be enough to clean the ears thoroughly using a medicated cleanser, whereas severe cases will require anti-inflammatory drugs and oral antibiotics.

Liver Disease

Cockapoos are prone to liver disease because Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to two types of liver disease: liver shunts, an unnecessary passageway, and chronic hepatitis, long-term inflammation. Similarly, Poodles are also prone to developing chronic active hepatitis. Therefore, it is important to monitor the health of your Cockapoo, to detect such problems early, especially liver shunts, since they can ruin the normal development of your puppy. These are the most common signs of liver disease in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Exacerbated thirst
  • Yellowish gums, eyes or tongue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy

Your veterinarian will determine the most appropriate treatment, but it will include dietary changes, steroids, antibiotics, ursodeoxycholic acid, and IV fluids.

How to Breed Cockapoos

Know that you possess a solid background about Cockapoos – which includes their history, temperament, appearance standards and health profile – it is time to explore breeding-specific points.

Average Litter Size

The Cockapoo has an average litter size of four to seven puppies. Nonetheless, during the first pregnancy, the number may be lower, ranging from two to four.

The best way to guarantee a big and healthy litter is to breed the parents when they are young but have reached sexual maturity, which is around 6-12 months, especially after the second estrus cycle. Always check you are not breeding a dog too young or old in the case of both the bitch and stud. In addition, as a breeder, you need to monitor the pregnancy of the mother and bring it the proper care and a healthy diet, which will guarantee the normal development of the puppies.

Birthing Problems

Since Cockapoos fall in the category of toy and small dogs, they are more likely to experience dystocia than larger breeds. Since one of their parents are a Cocker Spaniel, you should know that this breed has a higher incidence rate of dystocia.

Therefore, the danger of birthing issues is always present when breeding Cockapoos, especially if you are breeding an F1 Cockapoo to a Cocker Spaniel. In the case of Cockapoos, a common health problem is uterine inertia and the inadequate size of the birthing canal. In addition, it can also be due to an abnormal orientation of the fetus.


The Cockapoo is one of the most expensive designer dogs, with a price that ranges from $1,600 to $5,500. The price depends mainly on the reputation of the breeder, the pedigree and bloodline of the parents, as well as desired physical and temperament features. To bring you a proper insight into how the price fluctuates, you will find real-world examples below:

  • A female Cockapoo puppy whose parents come from top bloodlines, has ideal physical features such as a teacup size, free of congenital defects, vaccinated, vet checked and with all the documents in order will cost you $2,999
  • A parti-colored female puppy that is vet checked, vaccinated, 1-year health guarantee and all documents in order will cost you $1,050

As you can see, the bloodline has a huge influence on the price, as well as highly sought after physical features such as an authentic teacup size.

Cockapoo Breeding – FAQ

We found out that aspiring breeders and owners of Cockapoos tend to ask these questions frequently, and therefore, we put them together along with a concise answer.

Is the Cockapoo a Healthy Breed?

Cockapoos are healthy dogs since they do not have a predisposition to developing serious health issues nor have dangerous congenital defects. Furthermore, they have a long life expectancy of 14-18 years. However, according to owners, if you feed your Cockapoo a proper diet full of high-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as minerals and nutrients, and supplement it with plenty of physical activity, they can live up to 20 years. Therefore, it is one of the longest-living crossbreeds.

Nonetheless, they have a tendency to develop common health issues in small breeds such as luxating patella and hip dysplasia. Therefore, a proper inspection during puppyhood will allow you to detect these problems early. The best way to guarantee the health of Cockapoo puppies is to screen the parents – be them purebred Poodles or Cocker Spaniels, or Cockapoos for F2 breeding – to make sure that they do not carry any congenital defect or disease.

Is it Better to Breed Two Cockapoos than to Breed a Purebred Cocker Spaniel and Poodle?

It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want a typical Cockapoo, then it is better to breed a purebred Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, which will bring you an F1 puppy. On the other hand, if you want to standardize the puppies and make them look more purebred, then you should breed two Cockapoos, in order to give birth to an F2 puppy, which are known for having scruffier and straighter coats. Furthermore, due to this texture of the coat, the dander falls off even easier, which makes them even more hypoallergenic.

In addition, you can also mix an F1 puppy with a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel, in case you want to elevate the presence of the genes of either of the parents. Therefore, it depends on the kind of puppy you want to accomplish. If you want to make your dog even more hypoallergenic, then breeding two Cockapoos is the answer, especially if you want to market it to this segment of aspiring owners.

Are Cockapoos hypoallergenic?

Cockapoos tend to shed little thanks to their Poodle heritage, which counteracts the excessive shedding of Cocker Spaniels. Therefore, they are a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. Nonetheless, remember that they still shed, and therefore, remain vigilant of allergic reactions.

However, they require weekly brushing to remove dander from their coat, which is the element that triggers allergies. Along with that, they require a bath every two months. Give your Cockapoo proper coat maintenance and it will cause no problems at all regarding allergies. Be especially wary if your Cockapoo spends a lot of time outside since its coat will start to collect more allergens and pollutants, which can trigger allergies. Furthermore, take into account that you can react negatively when your dog licks you since certain proteins in its saliva can trigger allergies as well.

Do Cockapoos Need Extra Care and Attention?

Cockapoos need extra care and attention since they require plenty of love and affection to remain emotionally healthy. Therefore, they are best for families who never leave their house alone.

Furthermore, they have moderately high exercise requirements. Therefore, you need to walk them at least 30 minutes a day – which can be divided into two sessions of 15 minutes each – and add a playtime session of 15-20 minutes. They are active, smart and affectionate dogs, and therefore, they require extra care and attention to thrive and become amazing companion dogs.

These are very intelligent and moderately active little dogs. They can be a wonderful addition to a home and whether you are researching how to breed a Cockapoo or are just interested in them as a breed, this concise summary should have answered all of your questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *