Cockapoo Health Problems: 7 Genetic Diseases Cockapoos Inherit

Cockapoo Health Problems

Like all dogs, Cockapoos  are susceptible to some genetic diseases. The parent breeds used to produce a F1 (or first cross) Cockapoo puppy will pass on hereditary diseases if not tested for breeding suitability.

This is the same for all dogs but the list below is particular for Cockapoo Parent dogs (the male and female are known as dams and sires or stud dogs ). If health tests are not carried out before breeding, the breeder and the eventual owner of the Cockapoo puppy might unknowingly be accepting a Cockapoo with health issues in later life.

As a buyer, it’s far better to understand what testing you should insist on seeing original written documentation for, rather than risk having Cockapoo health concerns as your puppy matures.

Below is a list of the most prevalent diseases to scrutinize to ensure you buy a healthy Cockapoo!

cockapoo health concerns
Four month old cockapoo puppy

Prcd-PRA – (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)

What is it: A genetic disorder that causes blindness. Cells at the back of the retina gradually decay and die leaving the dog suffering from night blindness and most likely full blindness by end of life.

Onset age: Early adolescence / adulthood

Symptoms: Night blindness, gradual short slightness

Cure: No

Prevention: Test parents before breeding

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel / English Shower Cocker / English Working Cocker / Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle

Health testing: Always. For all registered cockapoos one parent must be clear.

FN – Familial Nephropathy

What is it: A recessive inherited disease that destroys nephrons (cell structure that makes up the kidney)

Onset age: six to 24 months of age

Symptoms: drinks more, urinates more, weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea

Cure: No

Prevention: Test parents before breeding

Parent dogs affected: English Shower Cocker / English Working

Heath Testing: Always –  Always for all registered Cockapoos. (F1 and poodle back crosses are exempt) carrying English Show & Working Cocker Spaniel genes, must have one parent clear/normal.

Phosphofructokinase (PFK)

What is it: Phosphofructokinase (PFK) is an essential enzyme needed to produce energy. The disease occurs when the gene mutates and stops producing energy from sugar sources within the dog.

Onset age: adolescence / adulthood

Cure: none

Symptoms: jaundice, sudden weakness, cramping, and anemia

Prevention: health testing

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel

Health testing: Always for all registered Cockapoos. (F1 and poodle back crosses are exempt) carrying American Cocker Spaniel genes must have one parent clear/normal.


What is it: Primary Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure build up within the eye. It is classified as either primary or secondary. The eye’s drainage becomes blocked, but the eye keeps making fluid. As a result, pressure on the eye increases.

Secondary glaucoma

What is it: Occurs when other eye diseases cause fluid drainage problems. With secondary glaucoma be watchful for eye inflammation, cataracts, retinal detachment and movement of the lens.

Onset age: Adolescence / adulthood

Cure: It is crucial to determine if the dog is affected by primary or secondary glaucoma. The treatment needed and the prognosis for vision is different for each type.

Symptoms: Can start in just one eye

Prevention: Annual vet check-up can prevent secondary glaucoma. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) also have a scheme for specialist Canine Opthalomogist. A manual examination of the eye needs to be done.

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel / English Shower Cocker / English Working Cocker / Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle

Health testing: Preferable

Von Willebrand disease TYPE 1 (vWD1)

What is it: A bleeding disorder. vWD1 is a protein that  enables blood clotting.

Onset age: Early adolescence / adulthood. Often discovered after nail trimming, teething, spaying, sterilizing, tail docking, cropping

Cure: Type 1 is only results in mild bleeding. Type 2&3 are more severe and bleeding can occur in intestines, stomach, urinary tracts, genitals and joints

Symptoms: Spontaneous bleeding from the nose, gum and other mucous membranes. Excessive bleeding occurs after an injury, trauma or a surgery.

Prevention: Testing before breeding

Parent dogs affected: Miniature Poodle

Health testing: Advisable

Hip dysplasia

What is it: Hip dysplasia is an abnormal development within the hip joint, which leads to deformity in the joint.

Onset age: 14 to 26 weeks of age. The developmental ‘primary’ changes appear first. The secondary changes may be referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease or Osteo Arthrosis or Osteo-Arthritis.

Cure: Hereditary hip dysplasia is not curable. Secondary hip dysplasia can be treated as its primary cause is wear and tear

Symptoms: As Hip dysplasia can include joint looseness (laxity), inflammation, pain, new bone formation and bone erosion, changes in gait to pronounced lameness, stiffness after exercise.

Prevention: Not over exercising, particularly developing puppies in their first year.

Hip Score

BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme scores radio graphs. The lower the ‘hip score’ the less the better. The minimum (best) score for each hip is zero and the maximum (or least desirable) is 53, giving a range for the total score of 0 to 106.

Sires (fathers) to be bred from should ideally be ones whose offspring have consistently low scores. The same selection procedure should be used for breeding bitches, since the use of animals with higher scores will increase the risk of producing offspring with higher scores.

For fees and further information  contact: CHS, 7 Mansfield Street, London, W1G 9NQ.   Tel 020 7908 6380   Email     /

The breed mean score: The suggested mean score for Cockapoos is 12/13.

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel / English Shower Cocker / English Working Cocker / Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle

Health testing: Advised

[see diet and Hip Dysplasia]

Retinal Dysplasia

What is it: Retinal dysplasia appears as streaks and dots in the central retina affecting a dog’s eye site. Most cases are hereditary.

Onset age: Adult dogs

Symptoms: Mild retinal dysplasia may not show symptoms. In dogs with more severe cases, the symptoms may include being afraid of the dark (even inside the house), bumping into things and noticeable visual impairment.

Cure: None

Prevention: Other than an inherited condition, retinal dysplasia may be bought on by prenatal infections like the the Herpes-virus. Herpes-virus causes inflammation of the eye and retinal dysplasia may develop later on in life. Also Parvo-virus and exposure to toxins can cause retinal dysplasia in dogs.

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel

Health testing: Advisable


Most Cockapoo health problems can be avoided by selecting good breeder. Why roll the dice and buy a puppy off the internet – it will probably end in heart break 🙁

5 Impossibly Cute Cockapoos

Hopefully you’re not just wanting to own a Cockapoo for its good looks. But it is undeniable Cockapoos are some of the cutest dogs around.

Here are 5 cute cockapoos displaying a variety of cross breeding stock. The permutations include:

  • American Show Cocker Spaniel
  • American Working Cocker Spaniel
  • English Show Cocker Spaniel
  • English Working Cocker Spaniel


  • Toy Poodle
  • Miniture Poodle
  • Standard Poodle

The coat variation depends on how dominant genes are from either the cocker or the poodle.  I have compiled some photos of impossibly cute cockapoos but also with popular coat variations.

F2 Show Cocker spaniel cross toy poodle
F2 Show Cocker Spaniel Cross with Toy Poodle


The two tone Wavy  Coat, this looks like a teddy bear from 6-7 weeks old but becomes a high maintenance coat that will need regular attention and clipping/trimming to prevent matting. It will probably be light shedding.

cute cockapoos


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Is Sleeping With Your Cockapoo Bad For Your Health?

Do you sleep with your cockapoo?

sleeping with your cockapoo

The subject of how many people sleep with their dogs was discussed at last year’s annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. A survey they had commissioned reported half of patients who had sought help with their tiredness slept with their pets.

Cockapoos in particular are a breed that lends itself to being a popular nocturnal partner.

Why Is this the case?

1. As a companion dog a large proportion of cockapoo owners are single. With no partner to share a bed it’s easy for a dog to take the place of another warm body. At bed time it’s understandable that people want a bit of animal comfort and your adorable cockapoo is eager to oblige.

Dogs are looking for humans to re-create the warmth and security of the litter where they learned to be happy co-sleepers who want to snuggle up. Psychologist Stanley Coren refers to speculation among anthropologists that human-canine co-sleeping may even be encoded in our respective DNA.

2. Cockapoos are compact. It’s not like you’re making room for Saint Bernard. The largest cockapoo would be a Standard or Maxi weighing no more than 19 lbs. / 8.61 kg. The UK standard is slightly bigger than the American version of 15 inches with the longest being 24 inches long. So no need to go and buy a bigger bed.

3. They are very cuddly. Cockapoo owners would agree these are the cutest dogs on the planet. Their looks have propelled them to being one of the most popular dog breeds. On a cold night what could be more irresistible than hugging something this cute.  Also a dog’s body temperature is approximately three to six degrees warmer than our own.

4. They won’t leave too much fur behind. Cockapoos are often referred to as non-shedding. This isn’t quite true. But they are minimal shedders so you won’t have to be shaking out the duvet in the morning.

Here are some tips for a better nights sleep with your cockapoo:

  • Brush his teeth regularly. Bad breath is never welcome so make sure you brush regularly with a branded doggy toothpaste.
  • Avoid dog food that makes him flatulent. Experiment with giving your cockapoo the right blend of kibble and wet food. Too much canned wet food will often cause flatulency in a dog.
  • Don’t take him under the covers. Dogs don’t get a solid eight hours like humans. They mostly doze and like to move around a lot. Keeping them under the duvet will constrict their nocturnal movements causing them to wake you up.
  • Make sure your cockapoo is not over weight. As well as being a precursor to many health issues, an overweight dog is likely to snore.

In Summary

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School reported that “chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.”

Remember sleep deprivation is a torture technique so if your cockapoo doesn’t make a good bed fellow for whatever reason, be firm and deny him your bed.

However, if you follow the guidance above, sleeping with your cockapoo can be a great comfort for dog and owner.

Do Cockapoos Get A Long With Guinea Pigs and Rabbits?

Do Cockapoos Get A Long With Guinea Pigs

If you have other pets and you’re thinking about getting a cockapoo it’s sensible to investigate if they are likely to get a long.

After all, you don’t want a social experiment that goes horribly wrong!

Guinea pigs and rabbits are very popular pets and often encounter cockapoos in the home. Some people even have house rabbits that will roam the house  unsupervised.

The answer is thankfully cockapoos have friendly, well-adjusted temperaments perfect for domestic life. They get along well with all common household pets including guinea pigs and rabbits.

But here are some quick guidelines to make sure your cockapoo and guinea pig hit it off right from the start.


Cockapoos should be socialised to all new things they encounter and especially other animals in the home.

Take time to introduce your cockapoo puppy to their new house mates. I recommend having two people available for this activity with the dog owner holding the cockapoo and the helper holding the guinea pig.

It’s a good idea to have some favorite treats around to reward your cockapoo for displaying gentle behavior with the guinea pig. Also speak in reassuring soothing tones as this will help your cockapoo overcome any nervousness.

Choose a familiar environment

It’s best to make the introduction in a place where they are going to see a lot of each other. That may be outside in the garden near the run or cage or in your living room.

While you are seated, hold your cockapoo gently with both hands in your lap and let your puppy sniff your guinea pig. Be ready to restrain him if he tries to bite your guinea pig. For more information about encouraging soft mouth behaviour look at this article.

Initial introductions could take a good five or ten minutes.

Once your cockapoo has got used to your guinea pig put them both down and let them continue to experience what it’s like to be in each others company. After a while there should be periods of non-interest but this is desirable as your guinea won’t want to play with your cockapoo.

The next step is to leave them on their own for a while. Once your puppy has got over the novelty of having a new furry friend sneak out the room.

But don’t go far.

Peak into the room and just observe their behaviour together. It’s worthwhile mentioning that if your cockapoo is bred from a working-cocker parent he will have much more energy as he is used to retrieving.  A working-cocker cockapoo’s  socialization may take longer before you can leave him alone with your guinea pig. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean he will have a pre-disposition to be aggressive.

Once you are satisfied your cockapoo and guinea pig have got used to one another you can relax and leave them unsupervised.

Remember, when your cockapoo shows disinterest toward the guinea pig it means he has accepted him into his domestic life and rthis is signal successful socialisation.

In summary

It’s important to take the time to socialize them properly. Cockapoo’s have a playful temperament so they are naturally curious about other pets. If you know your cockapoo to have an unsound temperament then take precautions but this is rare for a cockapoo.

Be patient and keep a close eye on them before leaving them alone together while you are out. Cockapoos do suffer from separation anxiety so I would recommend caging your guinea pig or rabbit if you are leaving them alone in the house for a length of time.

For further advice about guinea pigs and rabbits check out these pages:onlineguineapigcare; and onlinerabbitcare.


How to Bath Your Cockapoo Puppy For The First Time

How to bath your cockapoo puppy
How to bath your cockapoo puppy


If you have just bought a cockapoo puppy home for the first time you may be wondering when he needs his first bath?

And how often you should bath your puppy after that?

The answer is you only need to bath him when he needs bathing.

Why is this?

Although cockapoo fur does vary between short poodle-like fur and longer cocker-style hair, your puppy will have a thick fur coat. And within a few months, this soft puppy coat is replaced by an adult fur coat.

The Adult Fur Coat

When the adult fur comes it will have the added benefit of being very water proof.

The natural grease and oils that a dog secretes, coat each strand of their hair. You may have noticed a greasy smearing on a white pillow or wall if your dog has come into contact with it.

Bathing your cockapoo regularly will wash the natural grease and oils from his coat. Not only will the coat loose its natural lustre, when your puppy gets wet he will be more cold and take longer to dry.

Of course, if your puppy roles in something smelly he will need a bath, but for minor mishaps and dirty paws try using wet wipes to clean him up.

What Shampoo?

If it’s essential to bath him then don’t reach for a human shampoo. The chemicals it contains are not designed for a puppy’s sensitive skin. It may lead to skin complaints.

A baby shampoo can be used but a puppy shampoo is ideal.

Where to bath your Cockapoo puppy

Most puppies are quite intimidated by a big white bath tub and it can cause your puppy to panic.

Pick a place where your cockapoo knows he is safe like the kitchen sink.

For very small puppies a plastic tub on the kitchen floor would be ideal.

It’s bath time – be prepared

Until your little cockapoo has got used to the bathing routine I recommend having two people doing the job. A wet wriggling puppy can be hard to manage.

Make sure you are using warm water and have a plastic cup for rinsing. You will also need several hand towels.

Favourite treats are always a good idea to reward your puppy for calm compliant behaviour.

Washing your puppy

bathing your cockapoo puppy

Take your time wetting your puppy slowly using  the plastic cup while using your best soothing, reassuring voice. You will notice because his fur is water proof it takes some time to get them thoroughly wet.

Take a good amount of the puppy shampoo and spread it down your puppy’s spine massaging gently. With slow deliberate strokes start working your hands into the fur coat. Then gently do each leg in turn. Lastly do his tummy and bottom.

The face should not be washed with shampoo unless absolutely necessary. Again wet wipes are usually fine. And always remember to keep the soap away from your puppy’s eyes.

Once your puppy’s fur coat has been thoroughly washed with the shampoo change the water in the bowl. With fresh warmish water you can then begin to rinse him off with the plastic cup.

Don’t forget to be generous with treats. This will help your puppy remember bath time isn’t a bad experience!


When he’s done

If you do have a helper it’s a good idea that one washes and one dries. Once you have rinsed all the shampoo from the fur scoop him up and place him in your helpers lap. They should have a hand towel on their lap and another one to dry.

Now comes the fun part for your cockapoo puppy as they love getting dry!

You will find no matter how good a job you do towelling him off as soon as you put him down he will want to shake himself.

Finally, leave him to air dry in a warm part of the house and leave a towel out for him to play with and roll dry. You may want this to be away from your living room as the wet dog smell is inevitable 😉

If you’re going to use a hairdryer try and get your puppy used to the noise first. Remember to set it on low heat as it can get hot fast on his sensitive skin. Try and dry the fur through your fingers so you can make sure his delicate puppy skin is not getting too hot.

Wrapping it Up

A false start with bathing because you’re upset or stressed your puppy is messy can cause your cockapoo to be apprehensive about bath time.

Like every aspect of socializing your puppy, try and make it fun and enjoyable so they are relaxed about the routine next time.

How Do I Stop My Cockapoo Puppy From Biting?

red cockapoo

My Cockapoo Puppy bites – what can I do?


If you have spent some time reading dog forums you will know the subject of puppies biting is often bought up.  On one hand it’s to be expected but on the other… IT HURTS!

New owners are quick to question their Cockapoo puppies temperament but this really is not necessary. All puppies bite. But a sensible owner will teach their puppy soft mouth behaviour a long with other essentials like toilet training. As a puppy grows up you will find that they learn bite inhibition naturally as they notice that their playful bites cause pain and draw a negative reaction from their owner. After all, all  puppies are looking for signs about how to please their owners.

So teaching bite inhibition is doing what most owners do in an accidental way by withdrawing when the bite becomes painful. By making the process into a intentional structured program you can encourage soft mouth behavior to happen sooner rather than later.

Why wait for your Cockapoo just to grow out of biting? What if there are children at home?; what if those sharp puppy teeth break the skin and a dressing needs to be applied?

Early Socialisation

If your puppy has had a normal start to life early experiences naturally teach bite inhibition while the puppy is nursing from the mother. If the puppy sucks too hard and uses teeth by accident the mother will push the puppy away or get up and leave. Also, when puppies begin to play with their litter mates, they learn to use their teeth softly or their play mates soon stop playing with them.

For this reason if your puppy is an orphan it may have a harder bite than other puppies who have had normal socialization with the mother and siblings. Also, for puppies that have not had this normal early socialization they don’t have a “tolerance for frustration” since they are not used to having to wait when siblings compete for attention.

Another factor that makes the cockapoo a good candidate for teaching bite inhibition is that genetically it has not been trained to bite down hard like some breeds. However, if you find your cockapoo puppy is biting down harder than expected you need to begin the process of teaching him/her self restraint straight away.

You can start lessons as soon as you like in fact after 5 months your puppy will start to grow adult canine teeth and have a stronger jaw so that is another incentive to start training early.

Anyone can teach their puppy bite inhibition

Start the process  – The 4 Rs

Remove – When you are bitten severely enough, let him/her know it hurts and say “Oowww” as calmly as possible. Take your body part (hopefully just a figure) out of its mouth and look away. This is showing your puppy that biting hard means he/she will lose your attention and of course that is not desirable for any puppy.

If he/she keeps wants to continue biting move to a different room until the puppy is calm. Then re-engage their interest.

Repeat – This is a process but keep being consistent and you will begin to notice that the bite intensity becomes less hard.

Your puppy won’t stop biting. They have such a strong urge to bite and chew you won’t cure this. But repetition will lead to increasingly acceptable bites over the coming weeks and months.

As the bite intensity decreases you can increase your sensitivity to the bite. Still  “Oowww” and remove. This will encourage softer and softer bites that slowly shape the puppies bite inhibition.

Reinforce – As with most training positive reinforcement is key. Softer bites should be rewarded with praise but keep withdrawing yourself as a negative consequence for harsh bites. Eventually soft mouth behaviour will be more common.

Redirect: You will probably notice times when your  puppy is just in a rambunctious mood. Spare yourself some pain and have some chew toys to hand and leave the training for a calmer time.

How not to do it

Physical punishment is not the way to go. Firstly because it won’t achieve your goal. Hitting a dog on the nose with a rolled up newspaper will just make your dog cower and suppress anger. This suppression can then come back at stressful times and result in severe biting. It’s also worth saying that it’s never a good idea to push your dog’s patience level to the point its good behaviour is stretched to the limit. Dogs growl for a reason, it’s their way of saying, enough is enough please don’t continue annoying me or something worse might happen. This is a particularly good point to teach children  as they love play with puppies but do not always understand where the boundaries are. (See “The Gift of Growling,” Whole Dog Journal October 2005.)  For a full discussion on physical punishment read this discussion thread.

Teaching bite inhibition to an adult Cockapoo dog

Teaching bite inhibition to an adult dog is much harder as we all know old habits are hard to break. You can however, use this variation of the “Oowww” remove technique.

Have a treat in your gloved hand and only open it when your dog starts to bite more softly. Gradually they learn hard bites mean no treats!

Thick gardening gloves are recommended if you are teaching adult dogs bite inhibition. Be careful, an adult canine jaw has much more strength and a harder bite than a puppy!

Wrapping it up

With puppies and adult dogs you will find that biting down hard comes back at times of high emotion but gradually this will lessen if you keep on with positive / negative reinforcement.

Do continue to reinforce bite inhibition with your adult cockapoo dog, and guard against putting your Cockapoo puppy in stressful emotional situations where his/her tolerance might be tested. A dog is an animal and biting is natural to them even when they are part of a human family. It’s rarely a questionable temperament cockapoos have but environments that cause anxiety or over exuberance owners need to be mindful of.



bite inhibition video (not a Cockapoo) but still useful to watch


Thinking of Breeding Your Cockapoo? Read This 13 Point Checklist First

cockapoo breeders

Cockapoo breeders are on the rise due to the Cockapoo’s fashionable status. However, dog breeding is a complex and serious business that should not be entered into lightly. You’re own circumstances, the dog or bitch you are breeding from, and your motivation are all factors that need to weighed up before making a decision.  Here is a checklist to work through.

 Cockapoo Breeders: 13 point checklist

  1. Does your Cockapoo bitch have the right temperament and has she been genetically tested as fit and healthy?
  2. Do you have enough money to afford the necessary health tests for the bitch before mating?
  3. Can you afford vaccinations, worming and micro chipping for the whole litter?
  4. Is your knowledge of the whelping period sufficient to help a bitch if complications arise?
  5. Could you pay for the veterinarian fees for a caesarean should the bitch have difficulty during whelping?
  6. Do you have adequate resources to cope with a large litter of 10-12 puppies?
  7. Do you have the knowledge and resources to rear a litter including provision of safe, sanitary warm environment for a large litter?
  8. Can you put into place a basic early socialisation program for the puppies?
  9. Do you have the time to devote to rearing the litter (around eight weeks) before the puppies can be released to a responsible home?
  10. Are you expert enough to advise the new owners on puppy contracts, care plans, diet, training and common health problems?
  11. Do you know an expert Cockapoo breeder or an experiences dog breeder who can assist you?
  12. Will you have a screening process for potential puppy owners to make sure the puppies are well homed?
  13. If someone brings a puppy back for whatever reason could you cope?

You should give careful consideration to these questions and if you are in any doubt, a responsible Cockapoo breeder will decide against breeding from the Cockapoo bitch.  If this is the case it is wise to get her spayed to stop unplanned pregnancies. If you want to ask more questions informally, try some of the better known Cockapoo forums listed here: CCGB; Cockapoo Owners Club

Other Resources

Dog breeding course

Socialising Cockapoo puppies to people


white cockapoo
Cockapoo puppies need to meet a range of different people during their ‘socialisation period’ (between about 3 and 12 weeks of age) to ensure that they accept contact with people as a normal and positive part of life. During this period, puppies learn what is ‘normal’ in their environment and what to expect in different circumstances.

It is therefore important for all puppies to learn that contact with all sorts of different people is a normal part of life. They also need to learn about the various types of interaction that people have with dogs. For example, they need to accept being handled all over, picked up, their feet being handled and cleaned, ears examined, coat groomed, and nails cut. They also need to learn about the various things that people do, for example, coming in and out of the house / kennel area. They also need to learn that sometimes people interact and play, but at other times they may be present but not interacting with them.

The aim of a structured socialisation program is to give puppies the best chance of coping well with the various types of people, circumstances in which they appear, and ways in which they interact with dogs, before they are homed to a domestic environment. In order to ensure they develop a positive perception of people, it is important for the introduction of new experiences to be gradual and controlled. It is also important that puppies are not already anxious or fearful when they interact with people, as this will increase the risk that they will associate human contact with a negative experience.


  •  Plan in advance how you will ensure that puppies experience different types of people. All puppies should have contact with a minimum of four people. This should include at least one person of each gender. It should also include at least one person who is above retirement age. Puppies should also experience controlled contact with children. Ideally this should include at least one older child ( 8 years +), and also a baby or toddler
  • For safety, children should only have contact with puppies under the supervision of their parents or responsible adult. Where access to young children is not feasible, puppies should be exposed to the noises of babies and young children using good quality recordings
  • Prepare in advance any items which will help broaden puppies’ experience of people. For example, having a brightly coloured and rustling jacket (as worn by postmen or delivery people), a motorcycle helmet, a cap, a back-pack, a pushchair, a zimmer frame and an umbrella available will mean that puppies can people engaged in socialising the puppies can introduce puppies to items that they will commonly see associated with people as adults

Before you start 

  • Make sure the puppy is in a place he / she knows well
  • Have plenty of toys and treats
  • You should be able to recognise signs of anxiety in a puppy before starting the socialisation sessions, so you can withdraw if the experiences you are introducing to the puppy cause him/her to be frightened

Socialisation to different types of people

  • Puppies should be familiar and confident with their main carer before the introduction of further people. This person should spend time playing and interacting with puppies until all of the puppies in the litter approach the carer voluntarily on entering the kennel / room. Where individual puppies show signs of fear or anxiety, such as cowering at the back of the pen, moving away, trembling, or pulling back on contact, they should be given additional attention. This should involve the carer being quiet and calm, crouching or sitting a short distance away from the puppy and encouraging the puppy to approach.
  • Approaches should be rewarded with food treats. Interaction with nervous puppies should develop with gentle stroking on the chest area: avoid putting the hand directly towards the puppy’s head as this may be perceived as threatening. With increased confidence, the puppy can be gradually stroked on the shoulder, back, flanks and head
  • Once all puppies in a litter confidently approach and interact with their main carer, a program of introduction to other people can be started. Puppies’ response to the introduction of one other person should be evaluated first. Signs of fear or anxiety in individual puppies should be addressed by the main carer. Once puppies confidently interact with the second person, further new people can be introduced. These should include adults of both gender
  • When puppies are confidently interacting with a number of adults in a familiar environment, they can be introduced to people in different circumstances. For example they should experience people coming and going through a threshold (e.g. door in a household), and meeting people when they are in an outside garden or run
  • The socialisation program can then be expanded to include contact with children where possible. Older children can interact with puppies, but should be instructed how to appropriately handle and play with puppies before the interaction begins. Contact with children should be supervised at all times to prevent the occurrence of negative experiences for either puppies or children. Where younger children or babies are introduced to puppies, they should be held by their parents. Should direct contact with children not be impossible, puppies should experience the range of noises made by babies and children through use of a good quality sound recording
  • Puppies should be given additional experience about the variation in the ways people might appear to them through the use of ‘props’. For example people can interact with the puppies wearing a florescent jacket, motorcycle helmet or backpack. They can also walk past the puppies using a ‘zimmer frame’ or pushing a push chair or trolley. These experiences will help puppies to learn that all these variations of how people appear are a normal part of life.


Many dog owners will think a puppy socialisation program is extravagant and not worth the time spent. It’s up to the individual how in-depth they want to make the program but at at the least, remember to introduce your puppy to people, noises, props, and new environments carefully and remember you have a delicate sentient being to nurture into the a very scary world!


Cockapoo Temperament- What You Need To Know

cockapoo rescue puppies

Understanding the Cockapoo temperament

Cockapoos love people. This particular hybrid dog has an outgoing happy disposition that makes them the perfect family pet; its no wonder the cockapoo temperament is so desirable.

Their playful personality has made them one of the most popular mixed breed dogs, and they engage old and young alike with their intelligent and playful nature. Coupled with a forgiving disposition they make the perfect child-friendly household-pet. Their compact size has made them an ideal apartment dog but they are just as happy exploring the great outdoors or having fun at the beach.

Their parentage (cocker spaniel and poodle cross) ensures they are easy to train but because they are people orientated they should not be left on their own for long periods.

The companion dog

cockapoo aggression

Understand from the beginning that Cockapoos have a reputation for being needy. Crate training is recommended to deal with their bouts of separation anxiety. If not addressed, this anxiety can manifest in very destructive chewing and digging. This trait does not reflect the current reputation in the majority of English-bred Cockapoos however, especially those that have been professionally bred and have had a normal early socialization period with their mother and litter mates.

To properly understand the Cockapoo temperament you need to understand the nature of parent breeds. Poodles and Cocker spaniels are regarded as among the most intelligent of all dog breeds so it should come as no surprise that Cockapoos are very clever.

Beyond buying from a responsible breeder, all Cockapoo owners agree that their dogs have a unique temperament and personalities that can be a little eccentric, even comical.

If you want to make sure your Cockapoo is born healthy, only buy from a registered breeder.  The Cockapoo Club GB maintains a list on its website and we also have list here. The America Cockapoo Club maintains a list as well.  These breeders will have had their premises inspected and subscribe to a code of ethics which will include rigorous health checks before breeding.

Whether a breeder is registered or not they should all aspire to standards that address the concerns of prospective dog owners. A Breeding Standard for all dogs has been published by the Dog Advisory Council (DAC).

If a Cockapoo is not kept happily engaged intellectually and is allowed to become bored, they will soon find mischief. While aggression is not at all common with Cockapoos, they will come up with highly inventive and occasionally destructive ways to keep themselves entertained. These can range from barking and jumping, to chewing furniture and at worst self-destructive scratching.


cockapoo temperament health

It is imperative that a Cockapoo not be asked to just hang around all day doing nothing. Being a couch potato does not come naturally to them. These dogs excel at negotiating obstacle courses and are prime candidates for agility training. They love puzzle toys and are surprisingly powerful chewers, requiring the strongest synthetic bones available. There is a positive to this fact, however, since constructive chewing relieves stress and is excellent for the animal’s teeth and jaws.

You will often find the Cockapoo copying your behaviour – if you are on the sofa, they want to be there with you; if you are at the computer, they are underneath your desk; but if you pick up a leash – well, all of a sudden they are jumping up and down saying, “great, it’s my time for exercise!”

Friendly & Intelligent

So long as a Cockapoo has adequate physical and mental stimulation, you will be hard pressed to find any dog that is more consistently friendly. They are ready to play at the drop of a hat and get along brilliantly with other dogs at the park or at meet ups. Often a buoyant Cockapoo takes the lead in getting quieter dogs in the middle of a game, rather like a four-legged activity co-ordinator.


cockapoo temperament problems

Cockapoos also have a charming reputation for their intuitive natures. They don’t just pick up on your daily routines, but also on your current emotional state. This sensitivity makes them excellent therapy dogs. If you are crying, expect to have a very concerned dog at your side licking away your tears and trying to address and help with the problem.

While this is a sweet and endearing trait, in some instances it works to the detriment of the dog’s well-being. In the presence of long-term anxiety on the part of their owner, Cockapoos can dissolve into a state of nervous collapse themselves.

Certainly you can’t always control what life throws at you, but realize that your dog will pick up on your state of mind and react accordingly. If you are calm, your dog will be calm. If your excited your dog will be excited and it is always best to steer clear for pro-longed periods of over exuberance as this can test any dogs good behaviour.


A lot of Cockapoo owners enjoy the social aspect of being a part of a community of dog owners that appreciate the breed. Below is a video that shows Cockapoos enjoying themselves at the beach. There is a strong community of Cockapoo owners enabled by the internet age that has  meet ups all over the UK. This is also the case in other countries where the Cockapoo is popular such as USA, Australia and Sweden.

Cockapoo Puppies Temperament


black cockapoo puppies It’s not uncommon for all new dog owners to think from time to time their puppy is a devil dog. Getting a Cockapoo puppy is no different. Don’t judge your Cockapoo’s temperament by it’s puppy behaviour. This is just a phase that they grow out of. Raising a puppy is a challenging, time intensive part of your life and the best way to combat this is a basic training programme. The three essential programs I recommend starting immediately are house training, crate training and bite inhibition or “soft mouth behaviour”. A Cockapoo’s temperament is not discernibly different from any other dogs temperament that has had a normal socialization period with its mother and litter mates. Ideally all puppies should not be re-homed until about 7-8 weeks. Taking away these early socialization experiences is harmful to the development of a healthy puppy.

Any more questions about Cockapoo temperament?

There are couple of good forums where Cockapoo owners would be delighted to answer questions and generally be helpful about breed-specific information: Cockapoo Club of Great Britain or CCGB and I love my cockapoo are a good place to start.

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Cockapoo diet: are you making hip dysplasia more likely?

Hip dysplasia in cockapooMany Cockapoo owners are not aware that what they feed their dog can affect whether he/she will suffer from gets hip dysplasia. Three factors are known to contribute to the advance of this joint disorder: genetics, exercise, and nutrition. Your puppy’s genetics are not changeable, but the other two factors are still under your control.

To decrease the likelihood of your puppy developing hip dysplasia, avoid overfeeding and in particular over dosing their food with extra calcium, vitamin D.

Cockapoo diet

Excess calories promote rapid growth, which places strain on a puppy’s developing bones and joints. Excess calcium also interferes with normal cartilage development and growing bones.

Your dogs size is already determined by inherited genetics so your puppy will reach a full grown size whether you feed him rocket fuel or sensible portions.

A good way to prevent overfeeding is to be present when your dog eats so you know for sure what has been eaten.  Leaving a dog bowl out that constantly gets topped up is an easy mistake that leads to canine obesity.

The factor is exercise. A small dog like the Cockapoo only needs light exercise, but that doesn’t mean no exercise at all. One session of 30 minutes is the minimum but two sessions are ideal. Cockapoos thrive on exercise and this will burn off extra calories just like in humans. Managing your dogs weight is key to preventing hip dysplasia.

To check your dogs weight, lay your hands on your dog with thumbs either side of the spine. If your puppy is at the right weight you should be able to feel the ribs without pressing.  If you are still unsure ask your vet to check your puppies weight.

For more information on treatment of HD read here