Is the cockerpoo a good family dog?

(40 Posts)
GlitterGreySparkle Sat 05-Sep-20 23:07:31

I had a shih tzu before DS (3) came along. He was a bit snappy with us, but unfortunately turned on our little boy so he went to live with my auntie who loves him very much (and he does bite her!)
It’s been about 18 months and we do miss having a dog. It’s a case of once bitten twice shy though. We’re considering a cockerpoo but want to do plenty of research first. Are they good family dogs?

OP’s posts: |
RaspberryToupee Sat 05-Sep-20 23:17:47

MN hates cockapoos so the answer will be a resounding no.

Our cockapoo is fantastic. She took a lot of training, more than other cockapoos we know and more than her litter mates. She is fantastic with kids and is great with my friends ASD child, and he hasn’t always been well behaved around her. Yes, we needed to put a lot into training her but that was never due to her aggressive, mostly because she was stubborn with recall and was quite excited.

isittimetogotobed Sat 05-Sep-20 23:17:56

We have one who is six months old. He is amazing, so gentle and loving. He timely trained well by 16 weeks and sleeps through the night 10-8 ish.
He is very affectionate and is non shedding. However like all puppies he is nippy at times and he is terrible for digging the garden.
We wouldn't be without him.

isittimetogotobed Sat 05-Sep-20 23:19:13

That should say toilet trained!

imissthesouth Sat 05-Sep-20 23:19:19

Any dog can be a good family dog in my opinion. It's mainly how/ when they're raised. If the dog arrives after the children the dogs are better with them. Having children after a dog means the dog sees itself as more senior in the "pack"

Hedgehog44 Sat 05-Sep-20 23:21:05

We've had labradors, springers and now have a cocker and cavalier. All great family dogs if you bring them up right and teach the kids to respect them.

MarleyTheDog Sat 05-Sep-20 23:24:57

Your last dog bit your DC. That wasn’t due to the breed of dog. That was because it’s owners weren’t up to the job of adequately training the dog. There is no breed of dog that cannot be trained. There are, of course, shit dog owners


wetotter Sun 06-Sep-20 06:47:02

They are certainly very popular. With a cross, you never know quite what you're going to be getting in terms of which breed traits will dominate (including what their fur is like and how high maintenance it will be)

I've never seen one which is not energetic.

In your shoes, I'd wait until your DC is at least school age, and ideally a bit older. Keeping the puppy safe and happy will mean constant supervision whilst your DC is at large plus good barriers (stairgates playpens)

ChardonnaysPetDragon Sun 06-Sep-20 07:07:09

Unless you have another auntie who can take the new dog off you then no, I wouldn’t.

Because a puppy will nip your toddler, whatever the breed. It’s what puppies do.

Bergerdog Sun 06-Sep-20 07:17:16

I work with dogs so know a lot about most breeds.

I wouldn’t have a cockerpoo. Despite being probably one of the most common dogs I see at the moment, I tend to find them slightly neurotic. Many suffer from separation anxiety issues. I’ve also met a fair few nervous aggressive ones, probably coming from a dodgy cocker line. I would say most are quite nervous in temperament when put in a new or stressful situation, there are fewer confident ones compared to some other breeds.

The hair can also be difficult to manage, as well as lots of ear and anal gland issues.

The vast majority need some serious training and exercise to get the best out of them. They are a high energy breed and I think lots of people underestimate this when they see a cute little curly haired puppy.
There are a few that I know that do competitive obedience and agility and I think these are the homes that really bring out the best in them.

The vast majority of temperament is genetic. You cannot make a dog of one temperament another thing so it’s important to pick a dog who’s parents you like and can see yourself living with. You can manage temperament to an extent but it’s very hard to change the personality dogs are born with.

I personally would find a shih tzu easier breed wise.

MJMG2015 Sun 06-Sep-20 07:26:43

I like them, I've known many & they've all been great, but often get a negative press on MN, because of being popular & a mixed breed 🤷🏻‍♀️

However, whatever breed(or mix you choose) I personally wouldn't get a puppy with a 3yo. It's a bit of a nightmare combination. Most puppies are 'mouthy' & most 3 Yo's are a bit excitable.

It'll be tough getting a dog from a rescue with a 3yo though.

Watch you don't get a lockdown puppy that was bought mindlessly, nit trained & will come with a host of issues. Not ideal with you have a child.

All the use like make sure the dog has a safe space it can retreat to where DS is NOT allowed to bother it, stair gates & stuff

Good Luck.

sashh Sun 06-Sep-20 07:28:12

No one can tell you that as they are not an actual breed.

What you are asking is, 'are mongrels good family dogs?'

Why would a breeder of one type of pedigree suddenly start cross breeding?

MarieG10 Sun 06-Sep-20 07:47:40


Your last dog bit your DC. That wasn’t due to the breed of dog. That was because it’s owners weren’t up to the job of adequately training the dog. There is no breed of dog that cannot be trained. There are, of course, shit dog owners

There is no dog that can be 100% trusted not to bite

Cockerpoos are very expensive dogs since Covid. Friend looked and was £2500

Ken1976 Sun 06-Sep-20 07:52:53

We have a four month old cockapoo who we love very much . She's a bit bitey but this is getting less . She is very well behaved and very confident but does as she's told. When we got her we already had a 2 year old Shih poo who tends to keep the puppy in line . They play rough and tumble together and the older dog only lets her go so far with the biting. The dog groomer she'll in love with her , saying that she has never met such a well behaved puppy grin
Puppy is crate trained and house trained and because she has the older dog there is no separation anxiety . (We have a little video camera ) . I suppose my advice would be to have more than one dog , whatever the breed . Ours love each other so much .

FelicityPike Sun 06-Sep-20 07:59:31

As mongrels go they’re all much of a muchness. It depends on how the dog is raised.

bluebluezoo Sun 06-Sep-20 08:01:14

like them, I've known many & they've all been great, but often get a negative press on MN, because of being popular & a mixed breed 🤷🏻‍♀️

That’s not why MN hates them.

It’s because they aren’t a breed, so there is unpredictability in temperament and physical traits. They have the “non shedding, hypoallergenic” myth- and often end up in rescue because they aren’t. You want hypoallergenic and non shedding? That is much more likely with a poodle, yorkie etc.

Most people get a “poo” because they don’t like the idea of a poodle. They want the coat, the temperament, the breed traits, but in a different dog. But crossing means you end up with a puppy where you have no idea if it’ll be poodle-like or whatever it’s crossed with.

Finally they’re unpopular here because they’re almost guaranteed to be puppy farmed. No pedigree, no kc papers, which means they don’t need to health check, the bitch can have as many litters as they can produce. Most reputable breeders concentrate on one breed. If they have multiple breeds with lots of crossed litters that’s a warning sign.

Lastly why would anyone fork out £2k for a cross, when pure pedigrees, where you can predict breed traits more accurately and know what you’re getting, for half the price?

heatseeker14 Sun 06-Sep-20 08:39:11

I personally would wait until your son is older before getting another dog.
We have a cockapoo and he is a fantastic family dog. Super confident and friendly. He is bright and likes mental games as well as two walks a day. I wouldn’t have wanted to juggle training with a young child.
We chose him because his parents had great temperaments and the breeder had carried out health tests. We didn’t want a poodle. This was down to personal preference. We absolutely adore him.

Ilovewillow Sun 06-Sep-20 08:46:20

We don't have a cockerpoo but we had a dog trainer due to some issue with our rescue dog and when we then sought their advice over a puppy they suggested that a cocker spaniel or a cockerpoo make good family dog and are comparatively easier to train. We decided on the spaniel.

BrokenBrit Sun 06-Sep-20 08:57:49

Firstly, I would wait until your son is a bit older before getting any dog.
I wouldn’t get a cockerpoo.
Cockerpoos have a tendency towards resource guarding which means you have to work consistently with a trainer, who uses modern and scientific methods to dog training (not an old style outdated ‘dominance’ theory believer trainer).
Children are at particular risk from resource guarding as dog will pick up their toy, child will grab it back, dog will bite. This may sound extreme to you but it’s a story that has been repeated thousands of times. Of course all dogs can bite.

As well as resource guarding they are prone to being very anxious, which can also be difficult to manage especially around a young child.

I know any dog can bite, or develop behavioral issues but cockerpoos are a particularly difficult type due to a variety of factors.
They aren’t actually a breed, so the type of breeder who usually invests in good health checks, temperaments and bloodlines, is not usually drawn to producing these pups. Instead it is often back yard breeders who will take any specimens of cocker and poodle and breed to create very over priced pups. If these are then bred in a barn and not socialised properly in the early weeks you are being set up for a dog with behavioural issues, and possibly health ones too. Both cockers and poodles have specific health tests needed before they are bred from.

Of course there are exceptions to this and im sure good cockerpoo breeders exist, but I imagine such breeders have a huge waiting list.

The coat of a cockerpoo also takes a lot of work and regular grooming to prevent them becoming matted. I’ve seen one needing to be shaved down to the skin as they have become a giant matt without daily grooming and regular trims.

Both cockers and poodles are clever, high energy dogs bred for working. Crossing them together doesn’t eliminate this.

Honestly I don’t know why Bichon Frise are not more popular they are similar curly little dogs and have a much more balanced temperaments usually, although of course each dog is different depending on its genetics and how it was raised.

kazza446 Sun 06-Sep-20 08:58:44

We have a 3 year old cockapoo and he’s lovely. We got him when youngest child was 4. Previous to this we had a springer, who sadly passed away. Temperament wise, he’s a bit more highly strung than the springer and can be a bit moody. (Will growl if he’s not happy) but he’s never bitten anyone. We have no issues leaving him throughout the day and post puppy phase he’s never chewed or destroyed anything whilst we have been out. He’s not as mad as the springer but does need significant exercise. He doesn’t shed but he does cost me £40 every 6 weeks for grooming.

Wolfiefan Sun 06-Sep-20 09:03:38

You can’t get a pup with a 3 year old.
Your inability to handle your last dog and your child would suggest to me that you shouldn’t have another at all.
Definitely not a cross from a puppy farmer who’s breeding for cash. A high energy pup that could need masses of grooming and won’t come from a reputable breeder.
So no. Don’t get a dog.

Ughmaybenot Sun 06-Sep-20 09:14:20

I’ve a cockapoo, and I cannot fault him. He’s quiet, well behaved and is generally a fantastic companion. I didn’t set out to get a cockapoo but I’ve had a lot of dogs along the way, working and pets, and I shouldn’t have favourites but... he’s the best dog I’ve ever had.
He doesn’t particularly like being left alone, but I feel I made a mistake in his upbringing there as I was home 24/7 after an op on my leg during the first few months so he never had to be on his own so 🤷🏼‍♀️
On the flip side tho, he’s a happy little soul who has never shown any signs of aggression to anyone. My nieces and nephews (aged 2-8) all adore him and he loves them, I wouldn’t leave the smaller children alone with him as with any dog but I never worry about him.
Grooming amounts to £30 a couple of times a year for a full groom, but he goes so long because we have him shaved right off short to begin with. We’re on a farm so it’s just more practical to have shorter hair! I give him a brush after a bath/when needed but he’s very low maintenance. I think we might be in the minority there tho. He also doesn’t shed much at all.
He’s prone to laziness. He’ll have five minutes of running around at high speed but once he’s done that, he just wants to curl up on your lap/by your feet/by the fire and snooze. He’s snoring on my legs right now despite the fact he refused to go for a proper walk this morning because it’s rainy today 😂

All that said tho, I wouldn’t buy one at the minute, the prices are an absolute pisstake.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 06-Sep-20 09:46:16

I see a lot around here and they are on the whole confident, happy, energetic little dogs. However, you would need to do your due diligence very carefully because as PP have said, they are very often puppy farmed in terrible conditions. There is plenty of advice on the net of things to look for and things to avoid when looking to buy a puppy. Also, as PP have also said, prices at the moment are through the roof.

Since your previous dog bit, in your shoes I would take a lot of advice on training from someone qualified to give it, since it would be hard to tell if the biting was due to genetic temperament or upbringing. Also consider how much time you have to train and look after a puppy as they are massively hard work for months (rather than weeks): I speak from experience that having a puppy and small DC at the same time is verybricky. Also consider whether it is possible in your house to keep the puppy and the toddler apart when you can't directly supervise them.

cjpark Sun 06-Sep-20 12:10:38

I wouldn't be considering any puppy, let alone an expensive crossbreed with a toddler. They are high energy dogs and need a firm owner. Cockerpoos seems to be the latest 'doggy trend' around here - I think people buy into the non-shedding, teddy bear look! The reality is the ones I know can be neurotic, suffer from separation anxiety, need regular grooms at £30 a pop and medication for ear infections.

WALKING2 Sun 06-Sep-20 12:15:05

I personally think they are great family dogs and since a crossbreed less health worries that 'KC registered' dogs. The best of 2 popular breeds.

I would only have a first cross though to get the mix of genes and not end up with more poodle or more cocker so to speak.

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