Cockapoos are one of the oldest of the hybrid dog breeds. Created in the US in the 50s, they were introduced into the UK around 10 years ago. The fact that pairing any two breeds results in what are effectively ‘mongrels’, means that cockapoo breeding can never be an exact science hence the myriad of different shapes, sizes and colours we see today.
A quality breeder, often specialising in certain types of crosses, choose their breeding stock with care and therefore produces the best results. Unfortunately, the high price tag attached to a cockapoo attracts the less reputable breeders who can sadly flood the market with puppies with dire inherited traits.
While American Cockapoo Clubs are working towards standards to make the cockapoo a recognised breed, The Cockapoo Club of GB promote: “Open and Ethical Breeding to Protect the Cockapoo of Tomorrow, Today.” advocating for a “Breeding Standard” over a “Breed Standard”.
Cockapoo Colours – solid
Blonde (Also known as Champagne or Golden)
Cockapoo Colours – combo
Phantom – usually a solid black or tan base with lighter colouring on eyebrows and muzzle, sometimes on legs and paws.
Tri – any three colour mix, usually sable, white and black.
Tuxedo – solid colour with white chest
Parti – more than 50% white combined with either chocolate or black.
Roan – blue (more pronounced mix of black, grey and white) blonde or chocolate mixed with white.
Sable – varying degrees of chocolate or red, combined with black and honey.
Merle – blue (varied mix of black, grey and white) or red (varied mix of red, brown and white)
Ticking – spotted coat
More information on dog coat colour genetics here.
Cockapoo Coat Types
Flat coat – resembles a spaniel with low maintenance and shedding.
Straight coat – Very loose and slightly wavy. Medium maintenance, clipped every three or four months.
Wavy to curl – Teddy bear look, non-shedding, high maintenance with comb through every day as high tendency to matting.
Corkscrew curl – non-shedding, high maintenance as needs to be combed through each day to prevent matting. Needs regular trimming.
Cockapoo puppy coats are no guide to the maintenance required when their adult coats begin to appear at around seven to nine months. Puppy coats are easy to care for if you quickly comb through each day. Other than a trim around the face, a good groomer will advise you not to clip the coat, but to wait until this begins to shed when the adult coat comes through.
Unfortunately, if you allow the adult coat to come through without regular grooming, you will end up with a matted coat that will need shaving off. I introduced Freya to grooming practice from a very early age, so she became used to being handled. After a very disappointing first clip, I now groom Freya myself to enable me to control her ‘look’.
If, like Freya, your cockapoo has more of a poodle-type coat, this means it will consist of wool rather than fur. This makes them suitable for the majority of those who, like me, have allergies.
Noses and Eyes
Noses tend to come in black or liver.
Eyes in brown, hazel/green and blue in merles.