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Cockapoo or Golden Retriever?

(114 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Mon 10-Feb-20 19:27:58

Considering getting a dog for the first time and these two breeds appeal.

Any thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
MarshallPNutt Mon 10-Feb-20 19:30:45

Why do they appeal?

Genuine question, it makes the difference over which might be better.

Wht are yu looking for from a dog?

BaconAndAvocado Mon 10-Feb-20 19:43:48

Genuine answer, they appeal because (I think!) they are well-natured breeds and I like the look of both breeds.

OP’s posts: |
BaconAndAvocado Mon 10-Feb-20 19:44:46

I'm looking for afamily dog to love and be loved.

OP’s posts: |
Madvixen Mon 10-Feb-20 19:46:30

Remember that Cockapoos are just cross breeds and you have no idea what the dominant characteristics will be.

Are you looking for a puppy or a rescue?

bodgeitandscarper Mon 10-Feb-20 19:50:20

Id pick a retriever over a cockerpoo. However as lovely looking as they are, they need plenty of exercise, take up a fair bit of space, and act as mud magnets. You wont have an easy life keeping everything clean and hair free with one. Plus larger dogs generally have more expensive vets fees, and feeding costs, which can be a factor.

Hoppinggreen Mon 10-Feb-20 19:52:06

I’m biased as I have a GR BUT they are large hairy mud magnets. He is generally good natured but he has had his moments and has to be muzzled at the vets. He also used to resource guard so don’t assume they are all the big fluffy teddies they look like
As for Cockapoos, they are a crossbreed, nothing wrong with that but research the worst characteristics of both breeds and think about if you could deal with a dog that potentially has all of those.

Hoppinggreen Mon 10-Feb-20 19:53:08

Unfortunately love isn’t enough when it comes to dogs, if it was it wouid be easy (it’s not)

TeacupRex Mon 10-Feb-20 20:01:53

I'd strongly suggest researching both Miniature Poodles and English Cocker Spaniels (most common combination to make a cockapoo) if you are interested in the crossbreed. You may also want to research the American Cocker, Toy Poodle or working-line English cocker as these are also used for the cross. Many people find that the qualities that draw them to cockapoos are found in a well bred Poodle or Cocker! Some people like crosses because they are a bit of a lucky dip when it comes to traits (they could be a 50/50 mix, they could take on more poodle traits, some look and behave more like cockers etc) but as a first time owner it may be easier to go with a pedigree breed, as traits tend to be a lot more predictable.

Poodles and Poodle mixes (with the desired 'fleece' coat type) are not always the greatest choice for a first time owner, unless you are willing to learn how to maintain their coat properly (should be brushed thoroughly every 1-2 days if they are kept long) and take them to a professional dog groomer every 4-6 weeks to be clipped. Golden Retrievers require less intensive grooming, but should be brushed and combed each week to keep them mat-free and reduce shedding.

Both parent breeds should be screened clear for genetic health conditions relevant to their breeds, hip and elbow scored (very important for bigger breeds like retrievers) , eye tested. Ideally heart tested too if possible. Beware of breeders using dogs that have had no health testing whatsoever. Cockapoos in particular are very trendy at the moment and unfortunately there are many bad breeders hopping on the bandwagon and producing sickly, poor temperamented pups. Not to say there aren't bad breeders of Golden Retrievers, but cockapoos are even more popular right now, so you must be extra careful to ensure you are getting a puppy from a responsible breeder.

BaconAndAvocado Mon 10-Feb-20 20:08:48

Thanks all for all the tips and advice.

Apart from what I've read online and listening to friends who are dog owners, I don't know a huge amount!

Having said that, many of my friends were in the same boat as me and are now happy owners of happy dogs. I guess the learning curve will be a very steep one!

OP’s posts: |
Velveteal Mon 10-Feb-20 20:19:18

Come and have a look on the puppy threads, it’ll give you a realistic picture of how tough the early days are. We were new to puppyhood and only now, at 6 months is life beginning to settle down again.

MarshallPNutt Mon 10-Feb-20 20:42:25

Well natured could mean anything from outgoing and friendly (also trickier to recall around other purple and dogs because they love interacting with them). Or it could mean calm and obedient. Or loyal to their owner (also indifferent to other people and dogs so mostly ignore them).

It could mean easy to train. Or less needy of owner interaction. Or anything else you think it means.

I don't mean to be blunt but it's quite a vague term.

Do you mean friendly and outgoing? Sociable?

In terms of what you are e looking for from a dog I suspect it isn't just love. Most people also have other, often unstated demands. For example they want the dog to be quiet or lazy or playful or energetic or goofy or super smart etc.

I guess what I am suggesting is that before you start to narrow down on breed choices you spend some time thinking about specifically what you want.

Exercise? How many hours a day, in what weathers, in what kind of environments? What kind of exercise - running, agility, walking, pottering around a garden?

Grooming? How many mins per day? Do you wan to pay £40 a month to a groomer? Do you want to do it yourself?

Time alone? Will the dog be left and if so for how long?

Training? Do you want to train? How much training? Just a bit at the start or all the dogs life? Advanced training such as high level obedience?

What else do you want the dog to participate in? Days out? Holidays? What kinds?

What dog behaviours can you not cope with? Barking? Digging? Chewing? Suspicion of strangers? Nervousness? High energy? High mental needs? Guarding?

How much space do you have in your home, garden, car? Are you willing to change any of them for a dog?

How much ££££ per month do you expect to spend?

Those kind of things....

They make a difference to what dog ultimately might beat suit.

MarshallPNutt Mon 10-Feb-20 20:54:03

It's worth also remembering that breed traits are only a guide. Whilst goldies might typically be outgoing and calm (when older), it's not a guarantee and you may end up with a shy, nervous one. Or one that is very energetic right into old age.

Dogs are individuals so if you absolutely need a specific character then your best chance is to get an adult dogs whose personality is formed and easy to see. Puppies are a gamble.

adaline Mon 10-Feb-20 20:56:17

Well, they're both quite different. The things to think about would be:

How much exercise can you give a dog on your worst day? As in, when it's pissing it down and you have a streaming cold - how far would you be willing to go? Both breeds would need at least two hours a day, ideally spread out over two walks once fully grown.

Do you work? If so, what will you do with the dog? Four hours alone per day is the maximum most places recommend so can you afford to pay for daycare? Most charge at least £15/20 per day if not more.

If you have kids (I assume so as you say you want a family dog) what will you do with the dogs on holiday, or if you want a day out to say, a theme park or an attraction that doesn't allow dogs? Do you have someone who can have the dog or would you need to pay for daycare or kennels?

What grooming are you willing to do? Both breeds require brushing and trips to the grooming parlour to avoid knots and problems with their hair. This can be pretty expensive unless you're willing to learn how to do it at home.

Also, mess. Both breeds are mud and water magnets and will get your home covered in said mud and water! Short haired breeds are easier to care for (I can just wipe my beagle over and he's clean) and also don't require as much work when it comes to grooming and coat maintenance.

Cost - the bigger the dog, the more expensive they are. In terms of food, vet treatment (more medication = higher costs), insurance, and even things like grooming costs are higher the larger the dog.

Basically, how much time and money do you have to dedicate to your dog for the next 10-15 years?

I've recently become self-employed as a dog walker/sitter and I have a client who needs my services because she's injured her knee and her husband works away and she needs someone to walk her dog. Another lady needs overnight care as her husband is going into hospital hundreds of miles away. They're all things to consider - in other words, if you become unwell or injured or incapacitated in some way, can you still give your dog what they need (either yourself or by paying to outsource the care to someone else).

If I have a client who needs their dog walking five days per week, that costs them £200 per month, give or take. Daycare and overnight stays are even more expensive.

frostedviolets Mon 10-Feb-20 21:22:15

well-natured breeds and I like the look of both breeds

Comments like this irritate me.
ANY well bred, well socialised and well trained dog of any breed should turn out well natured..

What are you looking for?

As in how high energy, clingy or not clingy, a watchdog, barker or quiet, how high a prey drive, how much grooming etc etc.

There's no way anyone can advise with 'well natured' as the only criteria.

My personal experience of cockerpoos is I can't stand them.
I find the majority hyperactive at best and neurotic and aggressive at worst.

Retrievers, some lines have severe problems with resource guarding but that aside I generally find them nice but very very boisterous and mouthy.
Certainly not the placid easy going family pet people seem to perceive them to be.
Unless they are old and/or obese.
But healthy young ones should be very lively.

RubySunset Tue 11-Feb-20 13:29:29

Golden Retrievers:

- large
- expensive in both food and vets bills (usually)
- breed has some serious health risks to be aware of, hips and cancer being the big two
- requires daily grooming
- loves mud and water
- athletic so needs two good walks a day, something like 2 x 1 hour off lead
- stay immature for a long time so it takes patience and work to get to the calm older dog stage
- tends to be friendly and even tempered but breed can also be nervous and guarding of food, toys etc
- tends to jump and mouth a lot when young
- heavy shedding
- tend to be smart so respond well to training and require mental work to remain happy

Poodles:
- also athletic, require similar amounts of exercise
- can be large or small and often in cockapoos there is limited ways of knowing which size genes your dog has
- low shedding
- tends to be lively and mischevious, also clever so can make their own entertainment if not provided any - which might not be a good thing
- is usually good with people and other dogs but can be nervous and emotionally fragile
- sensitive so will not cope with stricter/harsher training such as shouting at or loud homes etc
- also very bouncy when young
- can be pretty vocal
- will require clipping every 6-8 weeks
- also love mud and water
- can play the clown
- may not cope with being left alone

Cockers
- smaller than the other two
- also lively, playful, bouncy
- also prone to jumping and mouthing when young
- also athletic and require similar exercise to the other two
- may also struggle to be left alone
- is normally ok with other people and dogs but can have tendancies to fear aggression and resource guarding, especially show strains
- shed lots
- require daily brushing
- love mud and water
- tend to want to be involved in whatever you are doing

A cockerpoo might be all poodle, all cocker, the best of both or the worst of both. There is not (yet) a way of being sure what mix you will get because the 'breed' has not stabilised.

As others have said, it depends on what you want.

Knowivedonewrong Tue 11-Feb-20 13:52:15

I'd choose the Retriever, simply because I have one.
However he wasn't an easy puppy, but easier than our Lab was.
He is also reactive to certain other breeds of dog. So don't always assume they are an adorable bundle of fluff.

LangClegsOpinionIsNoted Tue 11-Feb-20 14:06:32

So much of the below is completely NOTHING like my golden.

Golden Retrievers:

- large
- expensive in both food and vets bills (usually) nope, feed dry food only, from pets at home, no big bills yet and dog nearly 7.
- breed has some serious health risks to be aware of, hips and cancer being the big two
- requires daily grooming gets a brush every couple of weeks.
- loves mud and water no more so than any other dog I know
- athletic so needs two good walks a day, something like 2 x 1 hour off lead lazy dog. Gets 2x10 minutes and 1x30 minutes a day in the week, usually one good (hour plus) walk at the weekend.
- stay immature for a long time so it takes patience and work to get to the calm older dog stage has been 'old' since she was two!
- tends to be friendly and even tempered but breed can also be nervous and guarding of food, toys etc
- tends to jump and mouth a lot when young no jumping, no mouthing, ever. Trained her not to.
- heavy shedding
- tend to be smart so respond well to training and require mental work to remain happy fecking stupid. Honestly. Just intelligent enough to train, not clever enough to be trouble!

Just goes to show that breed traits are not reliable. You don't know what kind of temperament an individual dog will have. Make sure you're prepared for the worse case scenario!

LochJessMonster Tue 11-Feb-20 14:11:54

I would choose a cockapoo.

Golden retrievers are pretty large dogs and they shed like hell!
Having had small and large dogs, I would pick small. It makes every day life so much easier.

Both have a similar sort of drive and exercise needs.

RubySunset Tue 11-Feb-20 14:17:18

Indeed, I forgot my normal caveat that all dogs are individuals and so expect plenty of people to come along to say their dogs are nothing like the breed description smile

My own gun dog shakes his toys like a terrier trying to break a neck, so I totally agree that you can easily end up with one that doesn't fit the normal mould grin

LangClegsOpinionIsNoted Tue 11-Feb-20 14:19:57

Ruby my retriever won't retrieve! Gave up trying to play fetch years ago. She never brings anything back! grin

BrokenBrit Tue 11-Feb-20 14:35:13

As Cockerpoos are a trendy crossbreed they are often, not always, bred by people who don’t really care about things like breed standards or health certificates.
They may inherit the worse traits of cockers and poodles and may be bred from poor standards of those dogs. Many cockerpoos have guarding issues and behaviour traits like hyperactivity and demanding and their coats can be difficult to manage too.
They are bred from 2 highly intelligent working dogs and need a lot of training and time.
Why a cockerpoo and not a cocker or a poodle?

Personally for a family dog an adult rescue which you can get to know and already has their personality can be a good fit and you are doing a good thing. Otherwise a well bred and well raised bichon is a similar ‘type’ but usually much more reliably tempered.

Goldens can be a nice dog but are big and can be mouthy and bouncy especially when young. They also shed a lot and are prone to hip issues. I also remember they are responsible for the most bites, presumably as people think they are so friendly they allow their children to treat them like toys and not dogs!

PolloDePrimavera Tue 11-Feb-20 14:36:54

Some sensible advice above. I have a cockapoo, her mum is a cocker, her dad a miniature poodle (toy poodles are smaller). I absolutely adore her. But... She needs lots of exercise (two good walks a day), she's a picky eater and would much rather have human food over dog food, she's a resource guarder which comes from the cocker side - she's not aggressive in the slightest, just crap at sharing, she's a bit emotionally needy so doesn't like staying with other people etc, she will do it but is withdrawn at first. She doesn't shed, her coat is not too hard to deal with at all, she doesn't chew or destroy things, her recall is vg probably as she's needy, she's excellent with children.
Golden retrievers are completely gorgeous dogs and either is an excellent choice. What about a golden doodle though? Sorry I haven't rtft and someone else may have suggested...

PolloDePrimavera Tue 11-Feb-20 14:38:10

Ps ask for local recommendations: go for a walk, ask owners where they got their pooch from, join a local breed group on Facebook etc

TildaKauskumholm Tue 11-Feb-20 14:42:27

Re cockapoo - recently my elderly aunt was talking about someone breeding dogs, a cross between two breeds, called a Poospan grin I think that's a much better name!

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