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Cockapoos - pros and cons?

(83 Posts)
punter Tue 17-Jan-17 17:30:52

Thinking of a second dog for 4 year old lab, any experiences of cockapoos? Tia.

Mrsladybirdface Tue 17-Jan-17 18:10:33

Oh people will come along about them being mongrals and the dog of the devil etc....but...
I have one (only 8 months old) and she is the greatest puppy in the world.
Positives of my puppy
Easy to train
Low shedding
Loads of fun out of the house
Calm at home
Super cuddly

High prey drive
Needs a good run out every day
Like to nibble the kids toys
Sensitive stomach

Lots of cockpoos round here and what I have noticed is that black ones seem to be calmer and smarter than apricot ones

Mrsladybirdface Tue 17-Jan-17 18:12:30

Join one of the facebook pages I think it's "for the love of cockapoos"...people love their poos!

InvisibleKittenAttack Tue 17-Jan-17 18:20:20

Oh, interested, we've got them on our "to research" list - DH has a lot of allergies but was fine round a friend's cockerpoo, are they very low shedding? Good with children?

LTBforGin Tue 17-Jan-17 18:23:13

Weren't cockapoos on a list compiled by a vet of which dogs should be avoided at all costs?

Health problems I think due to breeding

Mrsladybirdface Tue 17-Jan-17 18:25:21

Well my one is low shedding but allergy proof is not guaranteed with a cross.

Again mine is fab with my 9 and 5 year old.

She was nippy up until about 6 months but that is natural for most puppies.

They all seem to be a similar size of small to medium...perfect family sized Imo

leighdinglady Tue 17-Jan-17 18:26:46

This is ours. He's 1 year old. He's gorgeous and doesn't moult. Plus I'm not allergic to him


If I had the choice again I wouldn't pick a cockerpoo. He's so, so high energy. I walked him for about 5 miles today and he's still bouncing around the house. He's really intelligent which is great for training, but also makes them very strong willed. As a consequence it can be really difficult to get him to stop doing something he shouldn't be doing. He also resource guards (growls and can even go for you) when he doesn't want to give something up. Apparently that's very common in cocker spaniels as they have such a strong drive to retrieve. We've spent well over £1,000 in training schools, including a 3 week residential boot camp and still haven't been able to break this deep rooted habit.

Mrsladybirdface Tue 17-Jan-17 18:28:06

I'm sure that vets list will include cocker spaniels and poodles then...genetics and all that

LTBforGin Tue 17-Jan-17 18:30:40

Probably mrs but op didn't ask about them hmm

LizzieMacQueen Tue 17-Jan-17 18:32:48

If you already have a dog (and therefore not fussed about dog hair or allergies) why not get a pure breed cocker spaniel? It would be cheaper and you'd have a better idea of what you'd bought.

TransformersRobotsInDaSky Tue 17-Jan-17 18:39:46

You'll get loads of nasty comments on here from the 'designer breeds are the devil' brigade so put on your hard hat.

I have a 15m old black cockapoo and she is amazing.


- no shedding so great for my asthma
- loving and affectionate, my dog loves to cuddle
- clever and easy to train
- fab with kids


- highly prey-led, once she starts a chase its hard to recall her
- grooming has to be done daily to avoid matts
- like to jump up to greet, hard to train this out of them
- extremely clingy in the early days

Get one, but beware of bad breeders. Their popularity has meant they're a fave of the puppy farmers, research well and demand health checks. Good luck.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 17-Jan-17 18:42:16

I think it was cavapoos on the list of dogs to avoid because of all the health problems with cavaliers.

I have a cavachon and SIL has a cockerpoo. Both lovely dogs, I would say the cockerpoo is livelier than my comatose dog. But sweet natured and picks up training well.

You need to try and find a breeder which health tests the parents. There are plenty of cockerpoo breeders who will do this I'm sure. So research what hereditary conditions poodles and cocker spaniels can carry. I think poodles should be tested for PRA off the top of my head.

TrionicLettuce Tue 17-Jan-17 18:42:31

The main con is finding a decent breeder who fully health tests, breeds with clear aims, has their dogs independently evaluated somehow and gives high consideration to health, temperament and conformation.

Of course this is true of finding a breeder of any breed, cross or type of dog but the disadvantage of crosses is that there's no (decent) breed club which is usually the best place to start. There is a Cockapoo Club and they do have a list of approved breeders but a number of breeders on that list are glorified puppy farmers.

Like any highly popular cross or breed they're favourites with puppy farmers, BYBs and naive owners looking to have a litter for the sake of it so you do need to be extremely careful when looking for breeders.

Mrsladybirdface Tue 17-Jan-17 18:47:18

Agree with the above re breeders. We were lucky as we know the cocker she was bred from so knew her background. We bump into her brother in the park smile

KeyBored Tue 17-Jan-17 18:49:13

We have one. I was after a spaniel, but had my arm twisted by DP when he was seriously ill and my defences were low!

She's lovely. Honestly couldn't ask for a nicer dog.
Good size, adores everyone, stopped nipping quite early for a puppy, submissive to every dog she meets (and most cats).
Happy to walk miles or slob around the house, within reason.

She's not very bright, she sheds (curly) bucketloads, she has language difficulties with the cat, she's frightened of wheely bins but not of fast-moving traffic.

And despite every check we could think of, I still have the nagging thought that it might have been a clever puppy farm scam.

Summerisdone Tue 17-Jan-17 18:50:12

I adore my Cockapoo Kevin, best dog by far for DS and I.
Great with kids (DS was only 9 months when I got my poo)
Very loving
Lovely nature and very friendly
Loves to play
Quite intelligent and can be trained
Very loving (I know I've already said it, but needs to be said again because it's VERY true grin)

Can be a bit too excitable for some people
Can be too loving (my poo sits on my knee for cuddles even whilst I'm on the loo grin)
Can be mischievous (that could just be influence of my toddler though hmm)
High maintenance with grooming

TBH as long as you're prepared for an excitable dog with plenty of energy that will need daily brushing as well as visits every 3 month to groomers, there isn't really huge cons with a cockapoo.

Summerisdone Tue 17-Jan-17 18:52:16

Just wanted to add, as many have already; please do just as much homework on the breeder as you do on the breed before purchasing. That stands for whichever breed you decide to get though TBH

Deadnettle Tue 17-Jan-17 18:57:17

I don't own a cockapoo but I know lots.

Nice dogs
Most are very friendly

Poodles and cockers have the same genetic eye problem (PRA) so as a cross cockapoo's aren't always healthier
Grooming- a cockapoo can have a coat that is more poodle or more cocker or a horrid mixure of both
Because cockapoos are a cross there is no way to tell if they will shed or not
Around here you can buy a cocker AND a poodle for the price of a cockapoo!

TrionicLettuce Tue 17-Jan-17 19:00:47

What you need to look for health test wise depends a little on what crosses the breeder is producing, i.e. whether they're backcrossing to either parent breed or just breeding straight crosses.

Ideally both the cocker and poodle parent would be hip scored with results in single figures. They should both have current (repeated annually) BVA eye tests and the cocker should have a current (repeated every three years) gonioscopy. Both should have had DNA tests (and at least one of them must have tested 'clear') for macrothrombocytopenia and prcd-PRA. The poodle parent should also have had a DNA test for von Willebrand type I. Although vWD is not present in cockers it is possible (though rare) for dogs who are carriers to show some level of symptoms so this test should be done regardless.

If the breeder is breeding (or intending to breed) their crosses back to either parent breed then the list of necessary DNA tests increases for the cocker side. In this case they should also be tested for familial nephropathy, adult onset neuropathy, exercise induced collapse and acral mutilation syndrome.

If they are using cockapoos as either stud dogs or breeding bitches as well as the hip scores and both eye tests they should have all the available DNA tests for both breeds.

The DNA tests can be foregone if there is a record of both that dog's parents having tested clear for each particular condition. In these cases the dog is referred to as "clear by parentage".

Obviously health testing is only a single facet of responsible breeding but it's a good place to start, particularly as (providing the purebred parents are KC registered) you can look up their results on the KC website.

FATEdestiny Tue 17-Jan-17 19:15:43

I have a KC Reg cocker spaniel, my best friend has a cockerpoo. Their tempriment is identical.

The massive con for a cockerpoo is finding a breeder. You are deep into puppy farm territory here. I ranted discussed this at length when BF was looking for hers. The answer came along in the form of a schoolyard friend she knew who had a litter from her cockerpoo pet. Not ideal, but at least she was guareteed to know she was buying from a cared-for bitch with a cared-for, single litter and definitely not a puppy farm.

Not buying from a puppy farm should be your priority, imo.

someonescj Tue 17-Jan-17 19:22:54

They don't lose hair.

People coming up to you in the street going "awwwwww is that a cockapoo?" And thinking its perfectly acceptable to prod and poke stroke your dog without asking.
You have to regularly brush their coat or it will become matted and uncomfortable for the dog plus a nightmare to cut, they also need regular hair cuts.
My mums loves water, so he always needs a bath after going for a walk somewhere with even an inch of water.

wizzler Tue 17-Jan-17 19:43:46

Agree with all the posters who mentioned the difficulty in establishing whether a breeder is legit or not. I gave up and got a poodle instead.

Littlelostdinosaur Tue 17-Jan-17 19:44:53

Our cocker poo is now five. She's black and completely contradicts the comment above re being calmer!! She was nuts til at least two years old.
She was easy to train but I fell pregnant at the same time so lacked energy. She was very very bouncy for two years thennhas gradualy settled down.
She needs a good run every day but currently have new baby and toddler so sometimes had to have a quick walk.
She is very fussy and cuddly but can also be very grisly as someone said Alice, guarding things. She will take them to her bed and would bite if you tried to take it from her. Could be a bit of paper or good. She's never ever even growled at the children though, although I'd never let them near her then anyway. But she's placid with them playing with her

No shedding, great to train but be warned they are crazy. My friend didn't believe me and got two. She regrets it as they are just so lively!!

Mrsladybirdface Tue 17-Jan-17 19:48:34

My black/apricot theory is all anecdotal grin

Sparklywine Tue 17-Jan-17 20:04:43

Hi, agree with most of the above except to say that my seven month old poo is very laid back and always has been. Has her moments and could walk for miles but in the house she'll heave a big old sigh and settle down to watch us.
She'll follow us round the house and is quite loving but not like other people's poos who'll cuddle,she's quite aloof.
On walks she will pick up and chew anything she can get hold of, likewise in the house which is why my son's school shoes are on a high peg out of reach!
They do seem as a breed to be fussy about their food and have quite delicate stomachs, perhaps in part due to eating all sorts of crap!
They are fab dogs, love ours and it was the perfect choice for a first time dog owner with three cats and a young son. I thought a pure bred spaniel would be a bit much for us and given the ones we've met in the park I'd agree with this, otherwise we'd have gone for a spaniel. Maybe next time!
Good luck with what you decide to do, and loving the balanced, informative posts and the lack of need for the usual flack-jacket!

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