Many people contact me about getting pet insurance when they have just got their Cockapoo form a rescue or as a puppy. There are a lot of different pet plans out there, in fact the market is saturated with options for dog owners to choose from it’s really confusing.
Veterinary costs can get expensive quickly, particularly of your dog has a serious illness. At that time of stress and worry the last thing a person wants to be thinking about is finances. To a large extent a good more than pet insurance policy gives everyone peace of mind.
But what features should be drawing a line under when you’re going through them, after all, if your Cockapoo has an accident or major illness you don’t want a nasty surprise that you’re not covered because you didn’t read the small print.
Pet plans are always broken down into the same categories and you focus on the headings I have outlined below you can choose the right pet insurance.
Despite some fancy names, all pet cover plans will broadly fit into three categories.
More Than Pet Insurance: 3 Categories
Accident Only Cover
The cheapest option you will be presented with is accident only. We’re talking about broken bones and accidents.
Remember you are leaving yourself financial exposed because as the name suggests
This isn’t going to cover you for any congenital or hereditary illness your cockapoo might suffer from – a list of those illnesses can be found here.
TIME LIMITED Mid Level Cover
This type of insurance offers more protection and is popular for those who want to keep monthly premiums down. It will pay out up to a certain amount (often £3000) per condition or illness. After that you bear the veterinary costs.
Comprehensive Life Time Cover
Your monthly premium will be higher but the limit per condition will be higher (often £5000) and the limit will be renewed when the policy is reinstated every year. This will cover you if your dog has a long term degenerative condition because an illness is not excluded from the policy once our dog has suffered with it.
You have the peace of mind that your dog is covered his whole life, and as long as you keep renewing the policy each year you can’t be refused insurance cover.
Don’t let Your Cockapoo’s Well Being Dip During Lockdown?
Thankfully our pets have not been directly affected by coronavirus but this time of uncertainty is a challenge enough for humans and our furry friends and we are all getting through it with varying degrees of happiness and anxiety.
One Cockapoo had his birthday party cancelled while another Cockapoo became employee of the month to a hospital. These might be lighter headlines to read but no doubt some dog owners have adjusted to the lockdown quite easily, while others are struggling.
And if the dog owner is struggling that undoubtedly means that your dog is feeling anxious. As well as being a comfort, dogs, and especially Cockapoos, are very tuned to their owners feelings. So here are some things to consider:
Beat Cockapoo Coronavirus Blues
1. Now you have more time on your hands increase your grooming schedule for your Cockapoo. Dogs need to be groomed and their nails, hair and skin needs to be looked after. And they especially loved being brushed. A once a month treat can become a new daily treat.
2. Be especially vigilante if you have children and they are now housebound much of the time. Your Cockapoo can become the main focus of attention and children’s play can often become annoying. Make sure he has the down time he needs alone in his crate or on your bed.
3. Double up on walks. If you Cockapoo enjoyed one big play in the park before or after work, take him on a morning walk and evening walk to compensate for the lack of off-leash time.
4. Performing extra care. If you have a dog with a nervous disposition or expecting pups or with any gastrointestinal issues then you may have to carry out other support activities for them ranging from delivering pups to expressing anal glands to administrating unusual medications. These jobs are usually done by vets, so consult with your vet by phone if the owner has a health condition themselves and is at a greater risk of coronavirus.
5. Should you get sick, identify someone that can look after your Cockapoo? It could be quite difficult to place them during this lockdown period so start asking family and friends now.
Have you found extra things to give extra love and support to your Cockapoo during lockdown? – let me know.
As I discussed in the last post no Cockapoo is exactly the same. A professional groomer will tell you that the size and shape of each dog is unique as well as variations in coat curls. All are important considerations when deciding on what style is going to work best for your dog.
You have to think about what is suitable for your lifestyle- muddy walks, rainy weather etc., or ultra-clean apartment style- everyone is different.
Cockapoo Trim: 10 Easy Steps
You will probably settle into your own routine but this is generally the one I follow- many people enjoy taking a before and after photo.
While sculpting each part of your Cockapoo’s body you’ll get a sense of what looks good for that coat type. Grooming is one of those great things you can jump right into and learn as you go. But this is a good routine to follow.
Clean his eyes and ears and bathe him
Dry him and clip nails
Comb out the hair and fur
Trim and shape the body coat- his chest, back, sides and tummy
Trim and shape the coat on the forelegs
Trim and shape the coat on the hind legs
Trim and shape the coat on the tail and bottom-end parts to keep things hygienic
Trim and shape the coat on the neck, head and face
Finish with a final comb through with your hands as well.
job done. Give your Cockapoo his favourite treat to re-inforce this is a fun routine
The Most Important Part Of The Trim….
Keeping his eyes clear
Trim overgrowing hair away from your Cockapoo’s eyes to help him see clearly.
You can use thinning scissors to take away excess fur or hair from the fringe and between the eyes. It also allows you to see how lovely their faces are.
Trimming Cockapoo Beards
Cockapoo beards can get very wet after a drink or in rain so some people prefer to remove the beard.
It may well take three or more bathing and grooming sessions before you manage to clear the whole undercoat.
At the end of each session the section you have been working on will be clear and the hair smooth and at that point you can rinse away any remaining conditioner and loose hair
Use an Easi Dri Towel or Dog Blaster (hair dryer) to get rid of excess water but remember to keep the gadget’s nozzle over 30 cms away or else you could end up knotting the hair. It’s most important not to brush the hair whilst it is drying. Once the excess water has been removed then on a sunny day your Cockapoo’s coat will dry off on an hour’s walk. Otherwise, try a normal hairdryer to scrunch dry his hair to restore its waves or ringlets.
To help your dog keep cool in the summer and to make cleaning easier in the winter clip the excess hair between its front legs to groin, being careful to only take excess hair.
American Cockapoo owners seem to prefer the teddy-bear shaped face. This amps up the cute factor considerably and has added the Cockapoo to the menagerie of so-called Teddy Bear dogs
How Do I give my Cockapoo a Teddy Bear cut?
The hair would be trimmed to about two to three inches and the face is left a little longer.
Trim back the fur around the eyes which will accentuate your poos’s muzzle.
I personally prefer this cut over all others. It makes use of the American Cockapoo’s shorter muzzle length (inherited from the American Cocker Spaniel) and large eyes and finer bone structure.
2. The English Bearded Cut
The popular style for English Cockapoos is the long-bearded cut. The longer hair gives the face a longer narrow oval look. The upside is its less maintenance and not everyone wants to max out the cute factor of an already cute dog.
On the downside they tend hold the smell of their last meal. If you like kissing your Cockapoo a lot it’s a bit like having a spouse with a long moustache. But hey, it’s all about personal preference.
Most Cockapoo face-shapes will fall somewhere in between these two styles. It will depend on the thickness of the coat and the texture of the hair and the intensity of the curl on the individual dog as to how round a face can be made.
The type of coat and hair texture often decides the right look. Cocker-style silkier hair just lays flat so aren’t as good to make the Teddy Bear cut and very close-knit Poodle- curls will never grow that long to make the bearded look.
Eventually you’ll wind up with the perfect cut for your tastes and your Cockapoo.
Cockapoos can keep the length au-naturel with a thorough brush 2 to 3 times a week and bathing every 2 – 3 months. However, it may still be necessary to trim back overgrowing hair from between the eyes and fringe area with thinning scissors, to provide your dog with clear vision- and so that you can see their pretty eyes!
Some people will also choose to trim off the beard from the bottom jaw as it does get water logged when drinking…that wet face often then gets offered up to its owner for a cuddle!
3. The Puppy Cut
For those owners that want the eternal puppy dog, this cut is simple. Just cut all over a fairly even length that is mostly short all over.
You can tell your groomer that you want a low-maintenance cut that will last at least three months before growing out.
Be warned though, the puppy cut is not going to look like a pure breed cut, so if you like the Classic Poodle or Cocker look, you may not want to go with this. Another name for this cut is the Summer Cut.
It’s good for hotter weather because it is short and will help your dog stay cool!
Did you ever wonder how this dog world of Poodle cross breeds ever got started?
In 1988 The Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia (now called Guide Dogs Victoria) commissioned a well known dog breeder called Wally Conron to breed a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. The effort was to try and produce an assistance dog better suited for people with allergies.
After the relative success of the first Labradoodle other breeders bred the poodle with virtually every other breed of dog – doodle mania broke out!
Wally Conron scoffed at what he started and recognised what began as a controlled breeding experiment for a legitimate reason turned turned into a designer dog craze.
By the 1990s most of poodle mixes we know today were in demand by dog loving countries in N.America, Western Europe and Scandinavia.
Poodles with their tendency to be low shedding, emotional intelligent and trainable made a good family pet. Plus Poodles have been recognised as having three established sizes: Standard, Miniature and Toy so the Poodle mix could be adapted to the time and space a dog owner has.
Parent Breeds: Labrador Retriever + Standard Poodle
The reason for the wave of Poodle cross breeds dating back to the ’90’s is because they make a friendly, intelligent pet, easily trainable with a great temperament with a propensity to shed less.
The experiment worked!
The different cross breeds appeal to people’s different desires in terms of attractiveness, and how much time a person has for exercise and grooming a dog.
Every Poodle mix is very friendly because of the capacity for emotional intelligence that comes from the Poodle stock that allows a great bond to be formed. So whichever Poodle cross breed you choose, you’re going to have wonderful dog in your life.
It’s one of the immediate questions that comes up when considering which dog breed? And rightfully so because there is a large variance in life expectancy depending on the dog you choose.
Average Lifespan Of A Cockapoo
Although, The American Cockapoo Club estimates the Cockapoo’s life expectancy at 12 to 20 years, I believe the top end of that range is rare. In my experience of knowing many Cockapoo owners I would say 13 to 15 years is a good innings.
Cockapoo Maximum Age
In researching this article, I also noted one reference stating Cockapoo’s have been known to live for up to 22 years. Although there wasn’t any further evidence to back that up. Looking to other breeds though, it’s interesting to look at the top 10 life expectancy of comparing all dog breeds.
Compared to the Cockapoo breeding parents which are of course The American / English Cocker Spaniel breeds + Poodle (often a Miniature Poodle), Cockapoos’ life expectancy falls unsurprisingly in between the two. Cocker spaniels average 12 1/2 years while Miniature poodles average 14 1/2 years.
Average Age of Smaller Dogs
If you compare the life expectancy of the Cockapoo to dogs of the same size. The average for a smaller breed in the western hemisphere is 12.8 years.
Cockapoo Lifespan Compared to Larger Dogs
Large dogs life’s unwind at a faster speed. Although studies have failed to pinpoint exactly why, smaller dogs like the Cockapoo tend to live longer than bigger dogs. For example, the great Irish Wolf Hound averages only 5-7 years.
Research suggests that if you have a miniature or Toy Cockapoo it may outlive a Maxi or Standard size Cockapoo. For more information on Cockapoo sizes click here.
I’d love to know how old you Cockapoo is – please let me know!
Don’t think because you are crate training your puppy you’re caging him. A dog crate serves several important functions for a puppy if introduced properly into his routine. It will become a place of comfort and safety and help your puppy get used to confined spaces. Very useful in the early days when he needs transporting for trips out the house or to the vets.
What Size Crate?
Even the ‘standard’ or ‘maxi’ size Cockapoo doesn’t grow to be a large dog, but your crate will have to be large enough for him to stand, sit, turn, stretch, lie down and spread out. It’s important that the crate is well ventilated. Most are designed that way and there is a huge variety to choose from.
Place the crate in an area away from the family hubbub but not too far away so he still feels the comfort of having you close by. Here a few things that will transform the crate from being a sterile environment to a place your little Cockapoo enjoys returning to:
Put bedding in there like a soft blanket and some chew toys
Covering part of the crate can help make the dog feel secure and less exposed
Always ensure he has access to clean, fresh drinking water
The Dog Crating Process
There are three important points to remember about crate training:
Be sure to make it a positive experience
Be patient as learning to trust the crate as his new den happens slowly
Gradually introduce him to his new safe place
Step One: Introduction To The Crate
To begin, place the crate in an area that your puppy is used to but slightly out the way, like your living room or kitchen and leave the door open so he can come and go.
Tempt your puppy into the crate by putting some treats or chews in there. Your puppy should soon associate the crate as being a happy place where he enjoys snacks and plays with toys. If he is apprehensive be encouraging with you voice and gradually move him closer by serving up treats and petting him right next to the entrance. Soon he will find his way in there and settle. This step may take several days so be patient and don’t force the issue.
Step Two: Making it home
Once your puppy has accepted the crate you can begin to serve meals in there. And once he is safely in and enjoying his meal close the door.
Open the door again when he is finished but begin to leave the door closed a little longer each time. This will lead him to naturally rest after eating and have his first crate sleep time. If your puppy starts whining or barking or exhibiting any signs of distress you may have over-done it with the amount of time spent with the door closed.
Once step two is complete your puppy’s crate has become his den. A safe comfortable place to eat, rest and relax.
Step Three: Going Out Of Sight
Once your puppy has started to trust his new environment you can start to leave him for short periods. Just make sure when you do leave, your Cockapoo is happy with a chew stick or favourite toy and has water to drink.
TIP – Buy an activity feeder, like the popular Kong and stuff it with food mix (cheese mixed with peanut butter and crumbled dog biscuits are a popular choice) so he is happy and has plenty to chew on.
If he is struggling with being in the crate alone just sit next to him quietly for a few minutes until he is engaged with his activity feeder and then slip out the room. Return in a few minutes and just sit quietly. Repeat this routine until your puppy is comfortable being alone.
Practicing this step in the day and evening is also a good idea.
Making sure your puppy is occupied in the crate is key when he is getting used to the new environment because you don’t want him to get bored or anxious and start barking. It’s easy to fall into the trap of giving into this behaviour by letting him out. But then you are just reinforcing him barking.
Wait until there is even a momentary break in his behaviour then let him out. Like all training timing is everything!
Step Four: Moving On
You will have successfully completed step three when your puppy can be left alone inside the crate for about 30 minutes to enjoy treats. Make your re-appearance is as low key as possible so as not to create excitement. You don’t want him to be anxious waiting for your return. The way to achieve this is not reward the behaviour but rather ignore it.
When used correctly, crating helps you Cockapoo on many levels. It offers a safe place, to get away from a sometimes noisy family, have down while the family is eating their meal, and also accept some alone time without feeling separation anxiety. I recommend crating from a puppy so its accepted straight away and will maximise the full benefit for you and your Cockapoo.
Cockapoos like many other dogs are fun-loving family pets and when we, the fun providers, are not around our dogs are likely to be a little upset. And some Cockapoos may be more upset than others.
Miniature, Toy and Teacup Cockapoos are bred to be companion dogs so they will feel acute distress when left alone for too long. Cockapoo’s being a very intelligent dog also need a lot of mental stimulation which adds to the problem.
As a rule, no dog should be left alone regularly for long periods. Dogs are pack animals and are naturally sociable. Enjoying solitude is not in their DNA.
But with modern lifestyles most dogs need to accept some periods alone. Smart Cockapoo owners tend to adopt some simple strategies to reduce the stress levels when alone time is necessary.
First let’s identify what separation anxiety actually is. There are different types and levels of separation feelings a dog experiences when left alone.
1. Separation Distress. A symptom you may notice is your dog following you from room to room and always monitoring you for what your next move is. When they sense you are leaving they will show signs of distress and be very over excited on your return. Other signs are:
Destruction (tip, don’t give them the chance)
Escape attempts and clawing to doors
salivation or drooling
Inappropriate and/or excessive elimination while alone
2. Separation Anxiety. This is a heightened version of separation distress and is quite a serious condition. A dog can become quite ill and injury themselves if no intervention is made. Their feelings of emotional loss at not being with their owner are too overwhelming. This will often lead to further behavioural and health problems.
3. Separation Excitement. Some dogs enjoy some alone time as they can engage in behaviours (usually destructive) that they know they will not be able to get away with when their owners are present. Although at the other end of the spectrum, it still needs addressing. This is prevalent with Cockapoos because when they are not mental engaged they will find ways to amuse themselves.
Can Cockapoo Puppies Be Left Alone?
Yes they can, and in fact training will be much easier for a puppy.
Step one: If you’re fortunate to be training a Cockapoo puppy, crating is a great way to begin and should be started from Day 1. Place your puppy in his crate by your bed. Make it snuggly with a blanket and an old unwashed T-Shirt. Move the crate further away from your bed each night and eventually into the kitchen or the permanent room your Cockapoo will be housed in.
Make sure there is plenty of toys to engage him in there. The crate should be his favourite place to retreat to and be a snug, happy den. Make sure it’s housed in a puppy/dog proof area where he can’t do any damage.
If you’re starting with an older dog the same strategy is sound, although be patient as the fruits of your labour will take longer.
Step two: Start leaving your Cockapoo in his crate while you’re at home. If he is already suffering from separation distress, give him a treat in his crate to enjoy. Come back 20 minutes later. If he is calm when you come back, give another treat. If there’s wild doggy behaviour just ignore him.
Build up the time alone. Trying stuffing the popular kong toy with treats so he has something to occupy him or a marrow bone that takes a while to get through.
Top Tips for dealing with Separation Anxiety
A good exercise session is the best thing you can do for your Cockapoo before a period of alone time. This is naturally going to lead to relaxation and sleep so the time will fly-by. Here’s some more things to try-
To understand the severity of the disorder, try making a video recording of your Cockapoo while they are left alone. It’s really fun to see what they get up to but it may also allay your fears, especially as the training progresses you can see how they gradually learn to cope alone.
Give your Cockapoo some meals / snacks inside his crate, so he actually looks forward to you leaving because he knows something good is coming.
Leave the radio on, or if you want to take it a step further, make a recording of normal family time and play it on a loop. The familiar noises bring comfort that ‘all is well’. This is a technique used for puppy socialisation and it’s very effective.
De-sensitise your Cockapoo to your ‘leaving the house routine’ by doing all the things you normally do… but then go nowhere. The feelings of anxiety will dissipate after a while and he will lose that trigger that starts the distress.
When you do return home make it as low key as possible. Fight the urge to make a big fuss of him and just sit down. When your Cockapoo is calm, greet him. Don’t fuss the mad-dog welcome-home behaviour.
Always leave plenty of fresh water.
So How Long Can I leave My Cockapoo alone for?
3 or 4 hours should be fine for you to run some errands and come home. Any longer than that and toileting becomes an issue.
If you’re going out for a days work or a whole shift, I would advise getting a dog walker / pet sitter. 8 Hours is a long time to leave your Cockapoo a lone.
When you do leave, make sure their crate door is left open so they can roam in their play area and maybe hide a few treats around the place.
Don’t leave your Cockapoo locked in his crate for longer than an hour. Ideally they should be free to explore a bigger area.
A Final Thought
A common reason for giving up on a dog is separation related behaviours, so it’s important to address this issue. Make the effort so your Cockapoo can be left alone, and happily so.
F1 Cockapoo (F denotes the word Filial) this is the term used for the first crossing of a Standard Poodle with a Cocker Spaniel.
The generations are worked out by always adding one number up from the lowest number parent.
The second generation (F2), is the offspring of two F1 parents.
The third & fourth generation (F3) & (F4) are the offspring in succeeding descendants of continued inbreeding of the original F1 parent dogs.
What is a F1b Cockapoo?
F1B, F2B, etc…
This denotes when a litter has been backcrossed to one of the parent breeds. Backcrossing to the Poodle is done to improve aspects of the First Cross breed. Usually to change the curl of the coat type. It is unusual therefore, for breeders to backcross to the Cocker Spaniel parent.
It’s worthwhile discussing what class of cross breed you would like to get with a breeder. If they are a responsible breeder they should be knowledgeable and keep written records of the pedigree of the sire (male) and dam (female).
Do F1 Cockapoos’ Cost More Money?
They shouldn’t cost any more money. Raffles Cockapoo has a price list which is typical of a reputable breeder.
There may be higher stud fees for a KC registered Cocker Spaniel but stud fees are often variable depending on how far the mum and dad live from each other, considering fuel costs.
Cockapoo F1 Puppies for sale
Beware of prices that are too low like £500. This can be enticing but think about what corners were cut in the breeding practice and how you might up with a genetically sick dog. I wrote a in-depth article about this to help people avoid puppy scams.
F1 Cockapoo vs F2 Cockapoo
F1 are 1/2 and 1/2 mix of the respective pure breed parents. They take on specific traits in terms of coat and colour, but you will have a Cockapoo with roughly 50% Poodle and Cocker Spaniel characteristics.
F2 is a mix of either:
F1 + F1
F1 + F1b
F1b x F1b
This means the possibilities of different characteristics multiply so the puppy will have a mix of traits. As mentioned above.
F1b parentage will tip the breed one way or the other and as I said, is used to hone a particular quality that the breeder desires.
In terms of temperament, health and making a great family pet, F1 vs F2 doesn’t matter. A well bred puppy is the critical factor purchased from a reputable breeder that loves dogs more than profit.