There is no governing authority on the American Cockapoo and are therefore no solid widely-agreed upon set of standards. Various organizations, businesses and breeders will have their own set of standards. The same is true for the widely popular European variety, the English Cockapoo. So as a Cockapoo expert with a discerning eye I have devised my own standards as well.
Without further ado:
Standards for Appearance
“The American Cockapoo is a medium sized dog with a sturdy build. He should stand between 13-16 inches at the withers. He should possess a strong bone structure, appearing physically hardy but without giving the appearance of being thick, dense or blocky.
With a weight between 15-25 pounds the American Cockapoo should never appear fine-boned, frail or delicate. He can be built squarely or be slightly longer than he is tall, however the Cockapoo should not appear long and low.”
[Just as with any dog, a particular dog might be a bit smaller or larger than these standards, and certainly the weight of the dog is dependent upon the health of the particular dog as well.]
“The American Cockapoo can have a coat that ranges from short and feathered to long and a texture that ranges from slightly wavy to dense and curly, with most dogs falling somewhere in the middle. The American Cockapoo can have either a furnished, bearded face or an unfurnished (open) face with short hair lying close to the muzzle and skull.”
[Read more about the coat a Cockapoo can have HERE.]
“The Cockapoo’s coat can contain any variety of many colors to include white, cream, caramel, blonde, gold, apricot, copper, red/liver, chocolate, silver, blue, grey and black.
The Cockapoo may have a solid color with or without a small amount of white or he might possess any number of patterns and combinations of patterns to include agouti, brindle, dilution, greying, parti, merle, roan, sable, tan-points, ticking, tri-color and white spotting”
Standards for Temperament and Handling
“The Cockapoo should possess a keen intelligence and high level of trainability. He has a moderate energy level combined with a desire to work for his handler. He is highly people-oriented and should not be aloof, independent or fearful. The Cockapoo should not be prone to aggression. He is merry, affable and very patient; especially with children.”
My personal standards are higher
I expect a lot out of my dogs. I have an intensely critical eye and temperament is my number one priority. In my personal experience Cockapoos have a sweet and forgiving nature, which makes them excellent pets for families with children. They should possess alert and enthusiastic minds without being nervous or “excitable” or having neurotic behaviors (when properly exercised).
The Cockapoo may be cautious around strange dogs, but more often is everyone’s best friend. Proper socialization is required or the Cockapoo can become fearful or overly nervous around new dogs (all but the most poorly socialized dogs should warm up with training).
Cockapoos make good watch dogs. This means that they will bark when a stranger approaches. A Cockapoo should not be inclined to bark incessantly. While they can be vocal (with a wide array of vocalizations to express joy, pleasure, excitement and pain) a barking dog that persists for longer than the initial alert is a situation to pay close attention to.
Sometimes there is a medical emergency or some other serious issue (like the dog is injured). If a dog is barking incessantly on a regular basis he is expressing some serious frustration because his needs (food, water, exercise, mental stimulation, or socialization) are not being met.
Cockapoos are really tolerant, forgiving and easy-going. There are always situations in which dogs with even the sweetest dispositions can become aggressive with humans or other dogs. Often the situation warrants a bit of self-defense. Dogs are animals and can defend themselves when threatened (and that isn’t always a bad thing). Cockapoos, in general, avoid reacting with aggression and when they do they have a tendency toward having a soft mouth (or an inhibited bite). Read more HERE.
The Standards of Others
These standards to not apply to Cockapoos from other breeders. Each breeder is likely to follow their own variation of standards and you should ask your breeder specifically what standards they adhere to (if any). Our dogs will vary based on the temperament and physical qualities that each breeder personally deems important and attractive. This is a good area in which to know your breeder.