The Cockapoo is a cross between a Miniature Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel bred for companion purposes. This small-to-mid-sized dog with its sleek, often golden-brown coat wins over the hearts of many.
Do they shed much?
Cockapoos should shed moderately if their Cocker Spaniel side has more dominant genes, especially during seasonal shifts. However, for the Cockapoos that are more Poodle than Cocker Spaniel, you can expect minimal shedding.
That said, genetics play such a role in Cockapoo shedding, so every dog will be different. Let’s look at how much Cockapoos shed and what grooming them is like in more detail to give you a better idea of what to expect before adopting.
Guide to Cockapoo Shedding
Purebred dogs shed about the same from dog to dog within that breed. However, once you get into crossbreeds, it’s a mixed bag.
As I mentioned in the intro, the Cockapoo is half Miniature Poodle, half Cocker Spaniel.
You can see the Poodle side in the often dense, wiry coat the dog exhibits. Its Cocker Spaniel side comes out in the bright coloration of the Cockapoo and sometimes its coat texture as well (more on this in the next section).
Whether your Cockapoo will shed hardly at all or more frequently comes down to which parent has the more dominant genes.
Let’s start by discussing the Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniels are moderate shedders for most of the year. However, during seasonal changes ahead of the winter and summer, the dog’s shedding increases.
There’s a good reason for this, too.
Cocker Spaniels are double-coated, and so they shed their second, more insulating layer of fur to either grow back a lighter coat in the summer or a thicker layer of fuzz in the winter.
These molting periods tend to lead to rather egregious hair loss. You won’t be drowning in mountains of fur, but you’ll have to clean up the fur regularly to stay on top of the mess.
What does this mean for the Cockapoo’s shedding?
Well, if your Cockapoo is more Cocker Spaniel than Poodle, then you may notice that the shedding increases once or twice per year. However, most Cockapoos are single-coated, meaning they only have one coat instead of a topcoat and undercoat.
So if your Cockapoo only has one coat, it’s unlikely you will notice a heavy amount of seasonal shedding since it does not have an undercoat to shed.
The other parent of the Cockapoo is the Poodle.
Poodles are beloved not only for their status as luxury show dogs but because they shed so little. They’re in that elite club of low-shedding dogs with the Bichon Frise and the Havanese.
Like parts of a Cocker Spaniel’s coat, a Poodle has a wiry coat. The dense texture of the coat makes it easy for the dog’s hair to trap fur as it comes out. It would take some vigorous playing or shaking by your Poodle to knock this hair loose.
Another benefit of the Poodle’s coat is that its hair growth cycle is longer than in some breeds.
A dog grows hair in four stages, and in one of those stages, the hair rests. Then the loose hair comes out, and the cycle repeats. Therefore, breeds with a longer delay from one hair growth stage to the next tend to shed less than those with a faster hair growth cycle.
Some breeders cross Miniature Poodles with Cocker Spaniels to produce adorably sized Cockapoos. Is there any difference in shedding behavior from a full-sized Poodle to a Miniature Poodle?
Nope! Whether a regular Poodle or a Toy Poodle, they all shed at about the same rate, which is not much at all. A Cockapoo that has more Poodle genes will shed just as infrequently.
Grooming Your Cockapoo
It doesn’t matter which way you slice it; grooming your Cockapoo is going to be a challenge. Both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel are known for their intensive grooming routines.
What complicates matters even more for the Cockapoo is that the crossbreed can have a range of coat textures depending on genetics. So, let’s go over those different coat textures now since these will influence how you groom your Cockapoo.
A Cockapoo with a straight coat is technically called an F1. The breed’s parents are typically a Miniature Poodle and a Working Cocker Spaniel.
This coat has loose waves and a primarily straight texture.
Cockapoos with this coat do not have a traditional Cockapoo look. But, if you’re okay with that, the silken smoothness of the straight coat does make it easier to maintain the dog than most other Cockapoo coats.
Several times per week, you should brush your Cockapoo. The growth of the coat should be slow enough that you only have to trim your Cockapoo three or four times per year.
Loose Wavy Coat
A loose wavy coated Cockapoo likely has Miniature Poodle and English Show Cocker Spaniel parents. The dog’s coat resembles that of a Poodle, but with flat fur around the face and ears reminiscent of a Cocker Spaniel.
The curlier your Cockapoo’s coat, the likelier the dog’s fur is to get matted and tangled. Even though a loose wavy coat Cockapoo likely won’t shed that much, you should brush your dog every day to every other day to prevent tangles.
The loose wavy coat is relatively close-cropped, so you’ll probably have to trim your Cockapoo every month or several to maintain that length.
Tight Curly Coat
Cockapoos with a tight curly coat might be a mix of a Miniature Poodle and an American Cocker Spaniel. Their curls are even more tightly-wound than a Cockapoo with a loose wavy coat, which increases the density of the dog’s fur.
Dense, wiry coats shed among the least. You will have to put even more grooming and maintenance time into your Cockapoo’s coat, though, brushing your dog every day to prevent painful tangles and mats in their fur.
A flat-coated Cockapoo takes more after a Cocker Spaniel than a Poodle. The dog’s fur is mostly straight, with a bit of scruff around the neck and chest if you don’t trim your dog close.
Maintaining this dog’s coat is quite simple. You won’t have to trim your Cockapoo often, and it’s usually okay if you don’t brush your pup every other day either. Also, the longer, flatter coat won’t tangle easily.
On top of all that, flat coats release minimal fur!
Poodle Type Coat
A Poodle-type coat is the closest you’ll get to a Poodle without your dog being part of that breed. Your Cockapoo will have thick, curly, wiry, dense curls throughout.
The coat of a Poodle can grow long and fluffy without human intervention. How often you’ll have to trim your Cockapoo depends on its style, which I’ll talk more about in just a moment.
Of course, if the responsibility of shaping and trimming your Cockapoo’s coat to perfection is outside of your comfort zone, you can always bring your dog to a groomer.
Daily brushing is a requirement for a Cockapoo with a Poodle type coat, as is bathing the dog about once a month.
Wavy Ringlet Coat
The last type of coat a Cockapoo can have is a wavy ringlet coat.
In puppyhood, a Cockapoo with this coat is so cute you might want to pick him up and hug him all the time. The dog will almost look like a teddy bear.
Once your Cockapoo matures some and grows into his coat, you’ll realize what a mess maintaining a wavy ringlet coat can be. This is among the heaviest shedding of Cockapoo coats.
Regular brushing and trimming are required, as wavy ringlet coats can get matted very easily.
Different Trimming Styles
Aside from the different coat types, there are also different ways you can trim your Cockapoo, so let’s discuss some popular trimming styles you might try for your Cockapoo:
- Teddy bear trim: Harken back to those adorable days of your Cockapoo’s youth when they looked like a cuddly stuffed toy by giving them a teddy bear trim. This video shows you how it’s done!
- Lamb cut: The lamb cut keeps the legs fluffier than the rest of the body, which is closer-cropped. The key is blending in the legs with the rest of the body, which does take time and practice to get right. The head of your Cockapoo should be left long and fuzzy around the face and the ears.
- Cockapoo Cocker cut: A Cocker cut requires you to trim the hair around your dog’s eyes. Leave the fur around his chin and the rest of his head untouched, as the longer hair here makes the shorter hair around the eyes more obvious.
- Puppy cut: You can’t go wrong with a puppy cut! Trim your Cockapoo’s fur short at a consistent length throughout. That’s really about all there is to it. It’s a simple but cute look and one that’s very effective in staying cool for the summer.
Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?
You might have heard that the Cockapoo is hypoallergenic, which could have piqued your interest in this dog. Is it true? Not exactly. To be clear, no dog is hypoallergenic.
If you get sneezy and itchy around a dog, it’s typically not their fur that aggravates your symptoms; it’s their dead skin or dander. Thus, it’s not the amount of hair a dog has that makes them hypoallergenic, but how much they shed because the more a dog sheds, the more dander they are likely to spread around your home.
That said, Cockapoos can be considered “hypoallergenic” if they are more Poodle than Cocker Spaniel. Even the American Kennel Club calls the Poodle one of the most hypoallergenic dogs you could own. That’s true of all Poodle sizes, by the way.
However, you will not see the Cocker Spaniel on that list because this breed is not hypoallergenic. The Cocker Spaniel sheds too much for that.
Cockapoos aren’t always small dogs either, measuring about 9.1 to 18 inches. And unfortunately, this doesn’t do much for the dog’s ranking as a hypoallergenic canine because the more surface area on the dog, the more dander it can produce.
Of course, Cockapoos come in more than one size. Like their Poodle parents, Cockapoos are categorized by toy, miniature, and standard sizes.
Either way, if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic Cockapoo, the best thing would be to check with your breeder to ensure it is more Poodle than Cocker Spaniel, and the smaller, the better.
Is a Cockapoo Right for You?
If you’re still wondering if a Cockapoo should be your next dog, this section is for you.
Cockapoos originated in the United States as a designer crossbreed around the 1960s. The purpose of the Cockapoo is nothing more than to be a companion dog, which is a role the canine still expertly fulfills to this day.
The Cockapoo is a sweet, intelligent dog that doesn’t have a lot of wanderlust and lacks a strong prey drive.
The crossbreed prefers staying active, so if you live in an apartment and want a Cockapoo, you’ll need access to a fenced-in place to play.
What about your other pets?
Cockapoos, as companion dogs, are not just friends of people but animals as well. With time and socialization, your Cockapoo can befriend dogs in the house as well as other pets.
Cockapoos are child-friendly too, but only to a degree. They get along best with older kids who are considerate.
If you’re looking for a quiet dog, you’ve found it in the Cockapoo, as this dog doesn’t bark a lot.
Cockapoos are a mix of Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. Their coat ranges from straight and sleek to dense and wiry. Depending on the coat, Cockapoos will either shed very little (like Poodles) or frequently (like Cocker Spaniels). And whether or not they’re hypoallergenic will depend on the individual breed, so it’s best to check with the breeder before adopting.
With all that said, even if you do end up with a higher shedding Cockapoo than you’d like, there’s a lot you can do to reduce the shedding. And we’ve put together a complete shedding guide to walk you through everything you need to know about getting it under control.