When getting a new dog, it’s important to pick a dog breed that integrates well into your home. From size and personality to grooming needs and energy levels, there’s no shortage of things you should think about before making your choice. One of the most essential factors to consider is allergens. The last thing you want is for your beloved pet to trigger allergic reactions and leave a family member sneezing and scratching all day.
If you’re looking for a friendly family dog that’s compatible with allergy-prone people, you can’t go wrong with the cockapoo. This mixed-breed dog is known for its amicable nature and is hypoallergenic (provided you go with a reputable breeder). Here’s a closer look at cockapoo puppies and at what a hypoallergenic dog entails.
What Is a Hypoallergenic Dog Breed?
Pet allergies are extremely common in the United States. It’s estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people are allergic to dogs and cats. Most allergens come from proteins that can be found in a dog’s saliva or the skin flakes in a dog’s fur (also known as dander). During shedding, dead skin cells and damaged fur are removed from the body to make room for new, healthy fur. The dander is spread across the floor and is released into the air, which can trigger allergic reactions such as sneezing, hives and itches.
Hypoallergenic dogs pose a solution for dog lovers who happen to have pet allergies. Due to their size and coats, these types of dogs are believed to be better for people with allergies. Many hypoallergenic dog breeds are small, which translates to less dander. They also tend to shed minimally, so the dander that causes allergies sticks to the fur as opposed to spreading through the air.
While no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, some breeds are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than others. One such dog is the cockapoo, a friendly, intelligent canine that can get along with just about anyone.
What Is a Cockapoo?
The cockapoo, one of the first designer dogs, is a cross-breed dog that’s the product of a cocker spaniel and a poodle. Cockapoos inherit their intelligence and curiosity from poodles (which are approved as hypoallergenic by the American Kennel Club) and their sociable natures from cocker spaniels.
Most cockapoos are a cross between the American cocker spaniel and a standard, mini or toy poodle. However, some have an English cocker spaniel parent (in this case, the result is typically dubbed a “spoodle”). While they tend to be on the small side in comparison to other dogs, cockapoos can vary greatly in size, which they inherit from their parents. There are four main sizes of cockapoo dogs: maxi, mini, toy and teacup. The largest cockapoo (maxi) is over 16 inches tall and can weigh up to 65 pounds, and the smallest cockapoo puppy (teacup toy) is less than 10 inches tall and weighs up to 6 pounds.
In addition to size, cockapoos vary greatly in physical appearance. They can come in an assortment of colors, from the classic golden look to unique black-and-white patterns. While they may differ physically, most cockapoos that are bred properly come with hypoallergenic coats.
What Makes Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?
It’s important to remember that every cockapoo is different and no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. However, in comparison to other dogs, cockapoos tend to be compatible with people who have allergies because they inherit the tight curls and fleece-like coat type of their poodle parent. Straight dog hair is heavy and pulls downward, which results in shedding. Curly hairs, on the other hand, tend to support each other and remain on the coat. Thus, most cockapoo dogs shed less than the average dog.
In addition to having low-shedding pet hair and a hypoallergenic coat, many cockapoos have odorless fur. Of course, to maintain this feature, it’s important to carry out regular grooming.
How Do I Take Care of a Cockapoo?
While cockapoos shed less than most other dogs, their coats should still be groomed regularly. Cockapoos may experience “coat blow,” in which the small amount of fur that sheds gets caught in the coat and forms knots and tangles. To prevent this, pet parents should brush a cockapoo’s coat at least twice a week. It’s helpful to tackle different sections of fur separately, dousing them in detangling spray before you work.
In addition to consistent brushing, it’s important to bathe your cockapoo to prevent odors from accumulating on the fur. Generally, cockapoos should be bathed about every two months — if you wash them more than that, their skin may dry out. During baths, always use a shampoo that’s free of soap and detergent that could irritate your dog’s skin.
Properly grooming your dog has more than just cosmetic benefits. It’s essential to your dog’s overall health and well-being. In addition to maintaining the coat, you should feed your cockapoo high-quality dog food (either wet, dry or a combination of both) and keep an eye out for any health issues. Problems that may arise in a cockapoo puppy or adult dog include:
- Ear infections (otitis externa)
- Eye disorders (cataracts, glaucoma)
- Hip and knee defects (hip dysplasia, patella luxation)
These are all health issues commonly found in poodles and cocker spaniels. Although cockapoos are at lower risk for these conditions than their parents, it’s still important to monitor your dog for symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy or a sudden change in behavior. If any concerns arise, pet parents should contact their veterinarian immediately.
Are Cockapoos Good Family Dogs?
As low-shedding dogs, there’s no question that cockapoos are great for allergy sufferers. But are they suitable for the average family? Most people want a dog that can assimilate into their household and get along with every resident — and cockapoos fit the bill. Here’s a closer look at the typical personality of this mixed breed dog.
The combination of cocker spaniel and poodle genes results in a dog that’s sweet, playful and easy to train. Not only are cockapoos eager to learn, but they enjoy pleasing their owners and are loyal to their families. They also get along with just about anyone, from young children and older adults to strangers and other animals. Finally, trained cockapoos are usually well-behaved and can be left home alone safely (although they should never be left alone for over eight hours).
To keep a dog happy, it’s important for pet parents to adapt to their dog’s unique behaviors and needs. Most cockapoos have moderate energy levels and require about 15 minutes of exercise a day. They’re happy to cuddle on the couch with you but will also hop up and go for a walk when you feel like stretching your legs. Due to the poodle gene, cockapoos are highly intelligent and should also be mentally stimulated through fun games and toys.
Where Can I Get a Cockapoo?
Thanks to their friendly natures and low-shedding coats, cockapoos make a wonderful companion dog and a great addition to any family. However, not every cockapoo is hypoallergenic. To ensure your dog has the right coat type, it’s important to work with a good cockapoo breeder.
At Pride & Prejudoodles, we offer a wide range of housebroken and obedience-trained doodles. Each of our dogs undergoes coat testing to ensure they’re non-shedding, and every cockapoo is trained to the standard of therapy dogs. Our canines understand basic commands, socialize well with other puppies and know how to walk safely on the road.
Along with training, we conduct extensive health and genetic testing to check for any health problems. We also perform worming, vaccinations and weekly grooming. To ease the transition process, we make sure our dogs get used to different environments and help new owners by sharing our unique training tips. The result is a happy, healthy and well-behaved dog that won’t trigger any major allergic reactions. Contact us today and meet your new four-legged family member!