Poodles and Cocker Spaniels have excellent qualities, which could get you wondering about making a Poodle or Cockapoo your next pet.
These breeds are friendly, great with kids, and will surely bring lots of laughter into your home. However, there are many ways they vary.
So, I’ll compare the Poodle vs Cockapoo to help you determine the best-fit dog for your situation.
Background on the Poodle
Poodles are purebred dogs that originated in Germany, contrary to popular belief, given that they’re France’s national dog. In the past, hunters used the Standard Poodle for retrieving prey in water.
As a result, the Poodle’s classic haircut became popular, which leaves hair in key parts to keep the dog warm while leaving the rest of the fur in a close shave to help them move through the water.
Although people still use Poodles for hunting today, their friendly and loving demeanor has caused them to become popular house pets. As a result, breeders began shrinking the size of traditional Poodles.
Nowadays, these sizes are as follows (in order of largest to smallest):
- Standard Poodle
- Miniature Poodle
- Toy Poodle
These size differences play a crucial role when comparing Poodles to the Cockapoo.
Background on the Cockapoo
The Cockapoo has a more recent history than the Poodle, as it didn’t get its start until 1955. However, the Cockapoo is half Poodle, as one parent is either the Standard, Miniature, or Toy variety.
A Cocker Spaniel makes up the other 50% of a Cockapoo. The reason breeders developed this dog was to help people enjoy the family-friendly nature of Cocker Spaniels without having to worry about as many shedding and allergy problems as the purebred variety.
That said, there are two other varieties of the Cockapoo aside from the 50% Poodle and 50% Cocker Spaniel, which constitutes the F1 type. The F1B dog contains 75% Poodle and 25% Cocker Spaniel, meaning that one parent is an F1 Cockapoo breed.
There’s also the F2 Cockapoo, with a whopping 87% Poodle. These dogs are ideal for people with allergies.
Unlike Poodles, the Amerian Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize Cockapoos. As a result, the breed’s parents—the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel—can have registration with the AKC, but their offspring can’t.
It takes a long time for any dog to make it through the AKC’s rigorous process to become a recognized breed. The Cockapoo may someday achieve this title. But for now, most Cockapoo owners don’t mind.
Characteristics of Poodles and Cockapoos
With this history under your belt, let’s compare the characteristics of the Poodle vs Cockapoo.
It’s impossible to tell a Cockapoo from a Poodle based on size alone. That’s because Poodles come in three sizes, while maintaining the genes that keep all of them within the same breed.
In contrast, Cocker Spaniels have a more consistent height, standing between 21.5 – 24.5 inches tall. That said, when breeders mix them with Poodles, their ultimate size depends on the type of Poodle.
A Poodle’s size ranges include:
- Standard: Over 15 inches tall
- Miniature: 10 – 15 inches tall
- Toy: Under 10 inches tall
Therefore, mixing a Standard Poodle with a Cocker Spaniel will result in a tall Cockapoo. In contrast, a Minature Poodle and Lab mix will produce a smaller variety of this hybrid breed.
It’s relatively uncommon to encounter a Toy Poodle and Cocker Spaniel mix.
That said, there’s even another size layer to consider—that of F1B and F2 Cockapoos. You can expect a range of heights, some of which could be relatively difficult to predict, once you get into these multi-generation varieties.
Poodles and Cockapoos both have wavy to curly coats. An F1 Cockapoo will be on the wavy end of that spectrum, whereas a Poodle will have tight, dense curls.
Cockapoos have softer hair than Poodles. However, there will be less difference in softness in F1B and F2 Cockapoo varieties, as these dogs take on more of the Poodle’s coarse-like hair.
A Poodle also comes in a greater variety of coat colors than Cockapoos. Blue, gray, silver, and white are some of the colors that you can find in this breed. In contrast, both Cockapoos and Poodles can come in black, chocolate, blonde, apricot, and charcoal colors.
Poodles are higher maintenance in the grooming department than Cockapoos. They have ever-growing hair that traps dislodged strands, making it easy for them to get matted without a groomer’s intervention.
I recommend taking your Poodle to the groomer every six weeks. Furthermore, you should aim to brush your Poodle every day.
In contrast, Cockapoos only need a professional hair clip every three to six months. You should also brush them, but doing so once or twice a week is plenty to keep their coat healthy.
Hypoallergenic is a misleading term in the dog space, given that no dog has pure anti-allergy properties. However, since approximately 10 – 20% of people worldwide have dog allergies, it’s understandable that this term took on so much popularity.
The reality is that hypoallergenic dogs shed less, which can reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. But these dogs still shed. Some people are even allergic to both the dander in fallen dog hair and a dog’s saliva.
Of Cockapoos and Poodles, Poodles are more hypoallergenic. That’s because their tight curls trap fallen hair, preventing it from landing on your floor.
However, the more Poodle genes your Cockapoo has, the better its hypoallergenic properties. For this reason, some people prefer purchasing second or third-generation Cockapoos.
Both Poodles and Cockapoos require daily exercise, but the amount depends on their size and age. Exercise is a way for your dog to stay in shape, increase their happiness, and bond with you.
If you own a Miniature or Toy Poodle, they’ll need less time to exercise and less intensity than if you have a larger pet like a Standard Poodle or a Cockapoo.
In the case of both of these bigger breeds, you should aim to give them at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. Ideally, it’s best to split this exercise up into at least two sessions to break up your dog’s day from being indoors.
Toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles will be thrilled with a small walk around the neighborhood and the occasional ball throwing in the backyard.
However, Standard Poodles and Cockapoos need more rigorous activities, such as playing with other dogs at a dog park, playing fetch, and having open space to run.
Poodles and Cockapoos both have charming personalities. They’re similar in that they’re excellent family dogs, loyal, and loving.
Of the two, you can expect more hyperactivity from a Poodle, especially if you own a Miniature or Toy variety. Nevertheless, Cockapoos require lots of space for running and exercising, especially since they’re bigger than most Miniature and Toy Poodles.
Poodles are notorious for their intelligence and being quick learners. Therefore, you should play engaging games with them and keep things fun and interesting when you train them.
Cockapoos also inherit the Poodle’s intelligence and the Cocker Spaniel’s more moderate energy level. These dogs tend to be shyer around people they don’t know, and like Poodles, they’ll feel lonely if you leave them alone for too long.
While personality characteristics are genetic to a certain degree, your Poodle or Cockapoo’s environment also determines how they’ll behave. So, ensure they have enough space to roam, a peaceful home, and regular exercise.
Cockapoos and Poodles are eager learners, making them a joy to train. They’re also social animals, so they make an excellent fit for group dog training classes.
Regardless of the breed of dog you choose, it’s crucial to start training them at a young age.
Poodles may require more cleverness with your training style compared to Cockapoos. That’s because they tend to catch onto cues quickly, thus growing bored faster.
Of course, if you have a second or third-generation Cockapoo, the amount of Poodle in them may also cause them to take on these qualities.
I encourage you to use positive reinforcement techniques when training your dog, as this will promote an environment for your pet to learn without stress or fear.
When comparing Cockapoos and Poodles, Cocker Spaniels are the clear winner for being a healthier breed. That’s because their crossbreeding reduces the incest-like qualities that can spark health issues.
Some of the most common health-related problems you should watch for in Poodles include:
- Addison’s Disease
- Cushing’s Disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Sebaceous Adenitis
That said, Cockapoos aren’t immune to health problems. Some of their most common ailments include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
Taking your Poodle or Cockapoo to an annual vet appointment is one of the best ways to prevent and catch such conditions.
Are You Ready To Choose?
I hope this Poodle vs Cockapoo comparison has helped you decide which dog is the best option for you. If you still can’t choose between the two, may I suggest bringing home one of each?
Since Poodles and Cockapoos get along well with other dogs, they make excellent companions for each other.