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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Cockapoos Mixed-Breed-FAQ

This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:23:15 GMT

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/mixed-breeds/cockapoos Posting-frequency: 30 days URL: http://www.zmall.com/pet_talk/dog-faqs/mixed-breeds/cockapoos.html Last-modified: 29 Jan 1998
======= There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or via email by sending your message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with send usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list in the body of the message. This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed. It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s). This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty. ========== "Cockapoos" Author Cindy Tittle Moore, April 1997 Table of Contents * What is a "cockapoo"? * But don't people breed "cockapoos"? * What are their characteristics and temperament like? * What are their physical traits? * Are they healthy? _________________________________________________________________ What is a "cockapoo"? A "cockapoo" is the name given to a mix between a Toy or Miniature Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. It is not a breed of dog. Presumably the first couple of "cockapoos" were bred accidentally and someone came up with the name in trying to be clever and catchy. However, because there is no central registry body for "cockapoos," (and no, the "Continental Kennel Club" does not count) there is nothing to stop anyone from claiming that any particular dog is a "cockapoo". The name has been applied to Cocker/Poodle crosses, to the offspring of Cocker/Poodle crosses, and sometimes to any smallish, long-haired dog whose parentage is unknown. Not a few people have had the experience of acquiring a "cockapoo" puppy that grew up to be very large, betraying the fact that its parents were not what they were said to have been. Unfortunately, many people do believe the "cockapoo" is actually a breed and is actually registered by the AKC or some other reputable kennel club. This is not the case. A _breed_ of dog is defined by the ability of two animals of the same breed to produce others just like it. An established breed, moreover, has a well defined "standard" that clearly lists how it should look or how it should perform. If you breed two "cockapoos" together, you will get results ranging from very much poodle like to very cocker like, with no uniformity or predictability. Other mixed breeds that are marketed under cute names include peekapoos, maltipoos, and the like. All the caveats I list here apply to these mixes as well. _________________________________________________________________ But don't people breed "cockapoos"? Yes, unfortunately. There are many unethical breeders who have cashed in on the cute name of the "breed" and who continually breed poodles and cockers together to get the "cockapoos" for their clientele. If "cockapoo" breeders were actually interested in establishing this as a real breed, you would see them forming a breed club and hammering out a descriptive standard. You would find them selectively breeding "cockapoos" to "cockapoos", making an effort to keep the dogs they thought would best contribute to the quality of their dogs, keeping detailed breeding records that can later form records acceptable to the AKC, and selling their extra puppies on non breeding agreements. I have not yet found any such breeders. But I can find plenty of other clubs that are in the process of stabilizing and documenting their new breed, for example the National Cesky Terrier Club. _________________________________________________________________ What are their characteristics and temperament like? Because they are a mixed breed there is no predicting this. They are only as good OR as bad as their parents. Please don't believe I'm down on these dogs just because they are not purebred. I have worked with many mixes and rescued and placed a few. What I am saying is that you cannot reliably predict anything about an individual "cockapoo" because there is no well defined standard, or body of responsible, dedicated breeders intent on improving the breed. There are many sweet "cockapoos" that make excellent pets. This is also true of many mixed breed dogs. However, there are others that do not make good pets, because their "breeders" bred the first Cocker Spaniel they got their hands on with the first Toy or Miniature Poodle they got with no regard to health or temperament. In this case, it is just the luck of the draw if your "cockapoo" will be sweet tempered or not. You can improve the odds by adopting an older "cockapoo" from the shelter, so you are not surprised by its size, coat type, color, or temperament. _________________________________________________________________ What are their physical traits? They are usually small dogs, generally under 30lbs, often under 20lbs but sometimes they are (much) bigger. They have a loose, curly coat but it can be tightly curled or straight, too. Their color will depend on the cocker and the poodle's colors (both of which can come in a variety of colors), but are usually light colored. You probably will not be able to avoid surprises of this sort if you get a "cockapoo" puppy. If you want to be very sure of what you are getting, then look for adult "cockapoos" to adopt. _________________________________________________________________ Are they healthy? Again, this is nearly impossible to predict. Some are, some are not. They are at potential risk of health problems common to either Toy Poodles or Cocker Spaniels. This can include: * hip dysplasia * progressive retinal atrophy * epilepsy * poor temperaments * allergies * skin and ear problems * Legg-Calve-Perthes * luxating patellas * hypothyroidism * cryptorchidism * gastric torsion among others. With any dog, your chance of avoiding health problems is greatly increased if the dog's ancestors and relatives (the more the better) were screened for genetic disease themselves. However, the kind of careful, knowledgable breeder who performs this kind of screening will NOT knowingly sell to someone who intends to mix breeds, so your odds of finding a "cockapoo" from generations of health-screened ancestors are so slim as to be nonexistent. And since the breeders of these mixes aren't terribly concerned with breeding to any standard, they aren't terribly concerned with screening out any of the health problems either. _________________________________________________________________ "Cockapoo" FAQ Cindy Tittle Moore, rpd-info@zmall.com