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Cockapoo - breed information and advice

The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. As it can be bred from a wide variety of parents, its appearance and size can vary greatly, as can its character traits. Generally, Cockapoos are extremely friendly, easily trained, energetic dogs whose curly coats are particularly good for allergy sufferers.

Breed information


Size: Small to medium

Coat: Curly or wavy, and they rarely shed

Exercise: 1+ hours a day for adult dogs, plus plenty of mental stimulation

Life span: 13+ years

Breed group: The Cockapoo is a cross-breed

Eye conditions

Eye disorders are very common in dogs. Dry eye, for example, occurs when a dog isn’t producing sufficient tears, while conjunctivitis is due to the most superficial layer of the eye becoming inflamed as a result of infections, irritants, allergies or trauma. Another common, painful eye irritation is corneal ulceration, which happens when the surface of the cornea is grazed as a result of scratches from other animals or vegetation, or because of foreign material in the eye, chemicals, heat or smoke, or infection. Treatment depends on the type and severity of eye problem and may be required for life to keep the dog’s vision in good health. Corneal ulcers, for example, can be treated using eye drops and sometimes surgery.


We paid £2,680 to treat Rosie the dog for an eye condition in 2016

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Like all dogs, Cockapoos are susceptible to various forms of skin problems, often involving the skin within the ear. The ear canal can become irritated by parasites, allergies or infections, and Cockapoos are particularly prone to getting grass seeds lodged in their ear canals. Irritation can lead to a condition called otitis, which simply means ‘inflammation of the ear canal’. It causes an intense itch, leading the dog to shake its head, flap its ears and scratch them using its back paws. If the otitis is due to an allergy, treatment is required for the lifetime of the dog.


In our experience, Cockapoos are three times more likely to need treatment for ear conditions than all dogs we insure

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Skin allergies

The skin is the largest organ of a dog’s body and can be affected by a number of disorders. Like many other breeds, Cockapoos can suffer from allergies that lead to dermatitis (skin inflammation). Allergies can be caused by many different items, including things that are inhaled (such as pollen or dust mites), items that are eaten (for example, wheat), items that the dog comes into contact with (for example, washing powders), or bites from parasites such as fleas. As allergies cannot be cured, treatment may be required for life, but is usually effective enough to ensure that the dog can enjoy a happy, normal existence.


We paid £1,389 to treat Archie the Cockapoo for skin conditions in 2016

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Heart disease

Heart disease in dogs is classified as either congenital heart disease (which means ʻborn with itʼ) or acquired heart disease (which means the disease develops later in life). Both of these defects can lead to a state called ʻheart failureʼ, wherein the heart struggles to pump blood around the body. Early diagnosis of heart problems is key, because if they progress to the ʻheart failureʼ stage, treatment will then be needed for the rest of the dogʼs life.


We paid £1,362 to treat Holly the Cockapoo for heart disease in 2016

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Gastrointestinal disorders

Cockapoos, like all dogs, can suffer from problems affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract is a long, winding tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus, with various twists and turns along the way. Conditions such as gastroenteritis or an obstruction within the bowel (due to the dog to eating stones, cloth or string, for example) commonly cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Treatment depends on the exact cause, but prompt intervention usually results in a full recovery.


Gastrointestinal disorders are the second most common illnesses we see in Cockapoos

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