The Perfect Dog

I have worked with many different dog breeds over the years but ultimately I chose this medium sized hybrid dog. Why did I select this dog for a breeding program and all my fascination?


I just picked the dog that is, in my opinion anyway, the perfect companion dog. The Cockapoo makes an amazing family pet for a house with children or for singles or couples with social, active lives. Just as they are suitable for the working person who wants a great friend to come home to at the end of the day. They are extremely versatile and are just as perfect for a senior citizen in a quiet home as they are for the active and loud household with several rambunctious children. The cockapoo, in my opinion, is just an all-around great family addition. They aren’t a particularly destructive breed and they are relatively low-maintenance.

Of course all companion animals require care, training and maintenance and the Cockapoo is no exception, but in compared to many other breeds this is a carefree, easy, happy-go-lucky kind of dog. And it sure doesn’t hurt that the Cockapoo is an all-around beautiful dog with a sound build.

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The cockapoo is not so small and light-boned that they cannot be safely in homes with children. Rambunctious or little children can (and do) seriously injure small dogs when accidentally stepping on, falling on, smashing or crushing the dog. Children are children, they can’t help themselves. Very small dogs (less than 15 pounds) are not advisable for homes with children. They can become nervous or afraid of children and therefore aggressive toward them. They get injured frequently which causes pain and lots of medical bills.

Larger dogs like the Labrador and the Golden Retriever are, well, large. Big dogs can be fun, but big means more; more food, more poop, more exercise, more space required, more everything! A cockapoo won’t clear your coffee table with an excited wag of his tail!

When a big dog decides to chew up something in the house he can cause some serious damage with those steel-trap jaws! A cockapoo might decide to chew something up in those naughty puppy stages, but it is a lot less likely to be serious damage! (But things easily chewed can still be precious and/or expensive, of course).

Larger dogs have accidents in the house, too. And when they do it isn’t cute. Cockapoos have accidents, or get sick, but it isn’t going to ruin your floors if taken care of relatively quickly.

A cockapoo can be trained to go potty inside on a newspaper area or a puppy pad, or outside, or both. This, combined with their ability to get all the exercise they need in a relatively tiny indoor space, makes the cockapoo an excellent dog for apartment living.

Cockapoos are not very heavy, either. They are much less likely to get excited and knock down your small child or toddler. They are less likely to tear thin child-skin with a playful smack of the paw or attempt at “shake”. They are also less likely to destroy wooden floors and carpets with their nails.

Being smaller, the cockapoo is also easier to travel with and is more likely to go with you on family vacations (when able) and will love every second of them!

And, of course, the low-shedding aspect means less clean-up and less brushing. The cockapoo does not require daily or weekly combing unless you want a long hair style. With regular clippings (every 2.5-3 months) you will not have to brush or comb out your dog at all except the ears and the hindquarters/back legs where your dog sits down to prevent tangles. And bathing a little cockapoo is a relatively easy task. So is transporting one in your vehicle.

If your dog gets sick or falls down you can lift him/her into the car and to the vet’s! I do not enjoy lifting the dead-weight of a bulky Labrador retriever. Those guys can be solid muscle and long and very awkward to carry!


The cockapoo is an athletic dog, but will also enjoy being a couch potato. This dog is small enough to be exercised completely indoors, so forget frigid blizzard walks or having a hyper, destructive dog cooped up in the Autumn snow play 4winter! They do have energy, especially for the first year of their puppy life, so they will require play time and mental stimulation. Cockapoos are excellent fetch players! A good game of fetch can easily wear out a cockapoo indoors on a blustery winter’s day.

The cockapoo can be your running buddy and will happily jog alongside you for a few miles, just remember that puppies under a year old are not ready for extremely strenuous training and adults do require consistent athletic training the same as a human does. Don’t expect an adult cockapoo to be able to trot more than a mile or two at a jaunt without some athletic training first! Just the same as you, they can hurt themselves working too hard too fast, but with proper training your Cockapoo can be your workout buddy! Cockapoos are eager to please and do have a moderate energy level and are happy to accompany you on your athletic endeavors! If you’re training for a marathon and want a doggie running buddy I do recommend a shepherding (or other very high energy breed for you, though.

Unlike a hound dog, the cockapoo won’t run away the second he catches an interesting scent. They aren’t solitary dogs like many breeds, either. This makes them very people and family oriented. If you have extremely little time to spend with your dog (being physically around the dog as well as interacting with the dog) and you can’t get another dog to keep him/her company, you may want to think about getting a more solitary breed of dog. Cockapoos are extremely social guys and may become anxious, yappy or destructive if left alone for very long stretches of time too often. This is the case with all social family-type dogs. You don’t want your friend to be unhappy or to develop serious behavioral problems as a result of improper socialization. Cockapoos do well alone during normal working hours and are happy and thrive as long as they are given affection and attention and mental stimulation every day. They are not a breed to throw in the backyard on a chain for days on end, however. This would mean anguish and torment for this very social breed.

Cockapoos do make good watch dogs. They are very likely to bark when someone strange is on your property. They aren’t likely to yap at anything that moves when they are not isolated or overly bored. They should not bark incessantly. They are not silent dogs, though. They will warn you of trespassers (and you’ll never need a doorbell again) but they are not good guard dogs. (Meaning they aren’t aggressive, so they aren’t likely to put their money where their mouth is… their bark is worse than their bite.) They may let you know a burglar is in the house, but if the burglar pets the dog they just might follow the intruder home for a visit! This trait is good for most families, since a non-aggressive non-fighting breed is a much safer breed to have around children.

A dog that is not bred to guard, attack, fight or do anything inherently aggressive is MUCH less likely to snap, bite or full-on attack any person. An aggressive breed of dog may be raised to be loving and calm and gentle, but generation upon generation of purposeful selective breeding instills powerful instincts in dogs and, well, instincts are instincts. The dog can react to sudden and surprising events with those instincts… which could be very bad for the person that is nearest the dog. All dogs can bite, but the cockapoo is not likely to bite. They are like a smaller Labrador with less energy and less desire to chew everything to pieces, or a smaller golden retriever that doesn’t shed mountains of golden hair on your floor. Cockapoos make excellent companions for children and the elderly as well as young and active adults.

Cockapoos are trainable and mild mannered. For this reason they are favored as therapy dogs. Many of our cockapoo puppies have gone to homes to be trained as therapy dogs. This is wonderful and we love that! If you’re looking for a therapy dog, look no further. This is the breed for you!

Best Friends

A well-bred Cockapoo should not be suspicious or wary of strangers. Visitors to the household are more likely to have trouble keeping the friendly and affectionate dog from sitting in their lap or lying across their feet. Cockapoos should be extremely tolerant, patient and forgiving. This applies especially to children. Babies and toddlers can be rough with dogs and should always be closely supervised around any animal, even trusted family pets. That said a Cockapoo will not only tolerate the ear and hair yanking, toy stealing and noise-making antics of the human baby but will actually follow the baby around and seek out that excitable toddler to play with. Many dogs (often wisely) avoid small children but a Cockapoo can be found following them around, despite the discomfort that is sure to ensue! Is it the love that the small child heaps upon the Cockapoo that drives this dog to form that fast bond with his pint sized master? Is it the endless abundance of cheerios and fruit bits and crumbs that follow around this strange small human? Or maybe it is the knowledge that this little person will be there to throw plenty of balls, run in the sprinklers and heap piles of doggie kibble out for him in the many years to come. Either way the bond between a child and a dog is very precious. Few childhood memories are as dear as those involving the beloved family dog. Cockapoos make incredible companions for children.

The Cockapoo is bred from gun dogs on both sides of the family, so he should not startle easily and should take readily to water. There are few things I enjoy more than watching my silly dogs leap in puddles in my driveway with my children after a steamy summer downpour. Our dogs are happy to sleep through a thunderstorm (perhaps at the foot of a frightened child’s bed) and relaxed on the end of a leash as we walk down the pier watching fireworks on the fourth of July.

Since this breed is often bred in early generations their coat can vary greatly in texture and appearance. This is nice in that there is surely a coat type for everyone. There are tighter, denser curls and loose, soft and shaggy waves. There is a soft, shorter and silky coat that is shiny and lovely and still very low-shedding! Cockapoos can have facial furnishings (the mustache and eyebrows and bushy round face) or a smooth short-haired muzzle and an “open” face. Both are lovely and if I had to pick a favorite I don’t think I’d be able to! The vast majority of Cockapoos have the fluffy teddy-bear face and that, in general, is what people expect when they think of a Cockapoo, but the open faced dog has a lovely head and muzzle as well. Cockapoos come in just about every color of the rainbow so there is one for every taste. And generally I find the cockapoo breed to be the all-around perfect family dog (as if you couldn’t tell)!

All dogs have their pros and cons, of course. The cockapoo is not as smart and easy to train as an Australian shepherd or a Border collie, for example, but they don’t become as easily bored and destructive as these dogs do, either. And unlike a working or herding breed dog, they do not require hours of physical exercise every day.

While the hybrid Cockapoo is supposed to benefit from added health and vigor due to the crossing of established breeds they can still be prone to genetic defects and can suffer from as many problems as the parent breeds. With any dog, responsible breeding practices are required for this animal to display the outstanding temperament and sweet, clownish personality that make this dog a wonderful companion for families with children.

I love these dogs! If you’re looking for an extremely affectionate, eager to love and gentle family pet, the cockapoo is very likely the dog for you!

9 thoughts on “The Perfect Dog

  1. My cockapoo is 1 1/2 yrs old he is very hyper when people come over and still pulls on his walking lead , when he pulls I stop he bows his head and comes stand beside me he knows its wrong. I would love any ideas off how to stop both these traits I have tried ignoring his jumping on people and treating him with treats when he is good but hes just overly excited/ hyper.

    • Aw your baby is still a baby 🙂 Don’t worry-your ‘poo will likely calm down quite a bit as he ages. He would probably do well with a little more exercise prior to visits with people that will excite him just to wear him out a tiny bit.

      The jumping is one of the “biggie” issues with cockapoos. They are so low to the ground and want so badly to give everyone kisses on the face!!

      In order to get the jumping to stop I would use Dr. Sophia Yin’s training tactic in “sit for please”. You don’t give your dog anything. Not a pet. Not a word. Nothing. Unless he sits like he is saying “please” with his sitting. The problem is that even when you ignore the jumping he is still being rewarded. His reward is being closer to the people he so wants to greet.

      The only way to stop this is to fully turn your body away and entirely ignore him when he jumps and refuse to pet him at all unless he is sitting on his little doggy bottom.

      The problem is that it is pretty tough to get guests and visitors to comply with this when they come to your house and frankly who wants to teach everyone to train their dog for them? Right? So my fix for this situation is two-fold.
      If people come over that I know will love my dogs then I ensure my dogs are entirely clean. That is, they aren’t going to dirty anyone with their rude little paws. Then I simply say openly “my dogs are really rude. They will jump on you and sit in your lap. Will that bother you? It is ok if it does. I’ll just leash them and help them remember their manners”

      And it gives my guests a chance to decide.

      If my guests include small children or the elderly or anyone known to be fearful of dogs I will leash the dogs and put them into a “sit” or a “down” and a “stay” when people walk in the door. Pull the leash tight to the floor and then step on the leash. They are unable to jump if you’re stepping on the leash. Or get up from a “down” at all. Keep a handful of treats or food and steadily feed the behaving dog. If your dog tugs or fights then just ignore and don’t treat until he relaxes. Then walk him on leash to greet everyone just as if you were greeting people at a park or on a walk. He may not get pet by anyone unless he sits.

      I don’t know why but people are way less likely to pet a dog on a leash unless they’re given permission AND the dog is sitting or seems to be “under control”. This is great news for you because it means you won’t be begging your guests not to reinforce bad habits as your dog climbs all over them and they laugh and say “oh its ok”…

      When guests are not around then you turn your body from your jumping dog and give NO attention, not even eye contact, nothing until they sit fully and patiently on their tushies.

      If you like the jumping and craziness you can give a “release word” or phrase like “OK GO CRAZY!” or I say here “I’M SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU!” and that means they are completely free to jump all over you and act like the world’s most excited and unmannerly dog. And then when I say “Ok, all done. Sit” they know their wild time is over and they have to go back to acting like civilized doggies.

      As for the leash pulling you are already doing the best you can. Now don’t wait until he is all the way on the end of the leash and pulling to stop walking. His motivator is that he wants to walk. Be patient. Super patient. Don’t want forward unless he is really close to you, sitting AND looking right at your face. Then say “ok” and walk. If he begins gaining speed and going too far then stop. Wait. Make him come back and start over. Don’t even give him the chance to pull on the leash. He should be mostly walking alongside you.

      Also you can change directions quickly and make things exciting for him. Being random and constantly changing direction (even sprinting the other way) makes the walk a lot of fun for the dog. It is exciting and interesting and you’re encouraging the dog to pay attention to you and therefore not pull and try to lead the walk.

      And final comment on that is you really have an energy issue overall. Your boy should be neutered. That will help give him less energy. And if that is already done or you’re worried about health risks or live in a country where neutering/castrating isn’t often done then just consider it more and read on it. I’m not a huge fan of castration to be honest but if done after one year of age the health risks are way lower.

      If you can get your dog on a treadmill that would be fabulous. Once a day, even just a 10-15 min light jog would do him a load of good. If you are physically able to jog him I really encourage it. Even 20 mins of walking and jogging alternating every five minutes would help him a lot.

      Can you hire a kid or someone to take him for a run? There are often ways to get your pooch much needed exercise when you’re unable to do it. I am a fan of long sessions of fetch indoors. 20 solid minutes of fetch and then take your walk. He’ll relax and enjoy the walk more when he isn’t dying to get some exercise in.

      Excited and hyper dogs the key is training and teaching them to FOCUS. He is sort of a little ADHD doggy when he is excited. They have a hard time calming down, slowing down, and paying attention to what is actually being asked of them. Even if they’re willing to do as asked they can’t exactly do it when they’re so excited and hyped up that they don’t pay attention to Mom and what is being asked of them. You know what I mean?

      Training sessions that focus on longer commands like stay, wait, etc. slow things down and get him to focus.

      I also ALWAYS train my dogs “eyes on me”. You treat the dog for looking right in your eyes. Get close to them and just feed them for looking at your face and eyes. Stretch the time longer and longer. Begin adding in “look at me” or some other similar command phrase. I actually say “hey… eyes on me please” like a kindergarten teacher. And I use the hand command where you point at your eyes and then their eyes then back at yours. You know the gesture people make when they say “I’m watching you” (typically in a comedic threat kind of way). I do that and get their attention. Then train them to hold that attention on you for several minutes if possible.

      “Eyes on me” is a great way to calm and focus an overly excited dog.

      I’d love to hear an update on how things are going!

  2. I have a cockapoo and you stated they will not run away. My dog runs out when you open the door towards cars and almost was run over.

    • Cockapoos *in general* are very bonded to their families are not prone to “running away” as many breeds of dog are prone. Many dogs are prone to “running away” meaning leaving without the intent to come back or without even looking to gain approval from the owners.
      Cockapoos are very people-oriented and bonded to their owners. That does NOT mean they won’t run out doors if not trained properly or that they won’t run toward a busy road.
      “Running away” and “running into traffic” are two very, very different things.
      I’m so very glad your dog was not hit and I sincerely hope you’ve trained him/her not to bolt out open doors.

      When a dog bolts out an open door and makes a run for it like that it is typically an indication of a severe lack of exercise on the part of the dog. If a bonded cockapoo (rescues typically are not as attached or even have doggy attachment disorders, so they don’t count. We’re talking about ideal, well bred and raised cockapoos here) -so if a bonded cockapoo makes a run for it like that then I’d suggest training to prevent the dog from ever even considering bolting out that door as well as a superior increase in guided exercise and trips outside for your dog.

      If they are so desperate for exercise that they bolt out the door to steal some free-run moments (and my guess is that your ‘poo would have come back if she is bonded to your family) then you are absolutely not walking, jogging, exercising or playing with your dog nearly enough.

      Work on never allowing the dog to go outside without a sit and release first. Keep your dog on a leash inside the house. Let her/him drag the leash around. That way if he/she bolts out the door you have a better chance of stepping on the leash and stopping him from getting outside or into the way of traffic.

      I would even go so far as to not allow anyone to open whatever door it is that is close to traffic until you’ve trained this very bad habit out of your dog. It is extremely dangerous.

      I certainly hope you’re able to resolve your problem!

  3. Are you still reading comments from your site?

    i am looking for a pup, I had a Cocker that was amazing, he had thyroid problems and constant ear infections though and developed cushings, is that something that a Cocapoo is likely to have as well from your experience?

    If there was a female Malshi in the house, would it be best to get a male Cocapoo?

    • Any disease in a parent breed can absolutely be a concern in a mixed-version of the breed.
      Cushings is definitely a concern for cockapoos. Finding a responsible breeder would be the best way to limit your chances for hereditary defects like cushings disease (which is a nasty disease for sure!)

      I think that a male cockapoo would be the way to go with your Malshi but mostly that will depend on your Malshi girl and how she is with other dogs. Females can bicker.

  4. Thank you so.much for this great description and comparison to other dogs. We are so unsure and cannot decide between a cockapoo and a labrador

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