There’s more to Cockapoos than cuteness and curls! Petplan customers tell us why they wouldn’t be without their Cockapoos – and what every prospective owner should know about these popular dogs.
The Cockapoo may resemble a teddy bear, but this breed is far from being a bit of fluff. In fact, it’s a crossbreed that comes from serious working-dog stock. Poodles and Cocker Spaniels were traditionally used as gundogs, thanks to their keen intelligence, boundless energy and eagerness to please.
They might be among the most sought-after dogs in the UK right now, but Cockapoos have been around for decades and stayed popular for plenty of good reasons. They’re loyal, friendly, fun and make great companions, as many Petplan customers know well…
The Cockapoo personality
It’s impossible to feel cranky with one of these dogs in the house, says Kirsty Ponder, loving owner of Jessie. ‘She absolutely adores cuddles!’ says Kirsty. ‘She will snuggle up right next to you and look at you with her big, brown eyes, until you have to give in and stroke her – or give her one of the tummy rubs she loves. She has the best personality and always makes people smile.’
As well as being affectionate, Cockapoos are sensitive, intuitive and good mood-gaugers, which is why they make great family dogs and also do well as therapy or assistance animals. If you’re feeling blue, chances are your Cockapoo will be by your side in an instant. As with any dog, their temperament will owe a lot to their parents and how they have been reared, but Cockapoos tend to mingle the faithfulness and energy of the Cocker Spaniel with the intelligence of the Poodle – and thrive on human company.
“They are such a loving, bouncy, happy breed that just want to be part of the family,” notes Alison Langham, pet parent to Zola. “We wanted a dog for a long while and met Zola for the first time in February 2020. We were due to collect her in April, but lockdown meant an early pickup, and we’ve never looked back! During such a difficult year she was the bright spot in our day, always wagging her tail, wanting to learn new tricks, and loving us all.”
Born attention seekers – and brilliant learners
Cockapoos are smart dogs that love to be kept busy and entertained. When a Cockapoo does something that earns them a rub or a treat, they’ll quickly learn to do it again and again, which means they can be great fun and rewarding to train. “Cockapoos are very clever, sweet and playful dogs,” says Tracey Morbey, proud owner of Flora. “Flora is absolutely adored by everyone, especially as she is good at tricks, so she’s quite the entertainer!”
Tracey advises prospective owners not to be swayed by Cockapoos’ cuteness, but think about whether they can provide all the mental and physical stimulation these intelligent dogs need – plus any training required if their affection turns to clinginess, or they become possessive around resources such as beds or toys. “Cockapoos can suffer from separation anxiety more than other breeds,” she says. “I had to actively train Flora to be left alone, though she’s really good now.”
Cockapoos can also be vocal dogs, as Tracey can testify. “It’s something I love, as we get the full conversational range from Flora,” she smiles. “However, she can be barky, which again is typical for Cockapoos.”
How much exercise do Cockapoos need?
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ rule when it comes to exercise, as it depends on your individual dog’s health and age – but most Cockapoos love being out and about, and adult dogs need at least an hour of activity every day.
Alison’s lively young Cockapoo, Zola, is typical of the breed: “She is very energetic. She loves her walks and swimming in rivers, and goes running every day with my husband.” Owners should try to build plenty of activity into their day, whether that involves ball fetching, playing with doggy friends, or even accompanying you on a quick lap around the park. And, of course, an unhurried walk always goes down well. “On walks, Jessie loves to run around, sniff and explore,” says Kirsty. “She’s a bundle of energy!”
Cockapoos shed relatively little hair and dander, making them a popular choice for people with allergies. But bear in mind that despite their sumptuous curls, Cockapoos love nothing better than mud, puddles and rolling around in interesting smells. “Their coat is high maintenance and needs regular upkeep,” notes Tracey. “It’s like Velcro for leaves and dirt – I often liken it to dragging a fleece blanket around a muddy field!”
Knots and matting can be an issue, so you’ll need to brush up (literally) on your grooming skills. But if you have the time, energy and love to take care of your Cockapoo, they’re sure to return it in spades.
Want to know if a Cockapoo is a good canine companion for you? Take our breed selector quiz to find out.
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