The name ‘Cockapoo’ is given to a cross between a Poodle and Cocker Spaniel (so is not a breed in the accepted sense). This may be an English or American Cocker Spaniel, or working Cocker Spaniel, with a Miniature Poodle. The appearance and size of a Cockapoo will depend on which two breeds are used. The offspring of such a mating is known as an F1 cross and may have the added benefit of heterosis (or ‘hybrid vigor’. If two Cockapoos are mated together, this is known as F2. An F2 bred to an F2 will result in an F3, and so on. If an F1 is bred back to either parent breed it is an F1B. More details may be found here: www.cockapooclubgb.co.uk Temperament will vary but typically, if well socialised as puppies, the Cockapoo will be a lively, good natured family pet. There is the potential for owners to less likely to be allergic to these dogs, but zero or low allergy is not guaranteed even within the same litter.
Inbreeding coefficient – COI
(should be as low as possible and not higher than 6%)
An F1 Cockapoo’s COI will be 0%
F1B (an F1 bred back to either breed) should be no higher that 6.25% (ensuring no common ancestry within great grandparents, or third generation)
F2, F3, F4 should be no higher that 6.25% (using CCGB Club registration papers showing no common ancestry on 3 generation lineage record)
Health and welfare problems due to conformation
(body shape and physical characteristics)
- The Cockapoo’s coat can become tangled and matted if left ungroomed, so should be tended to on a regular basis
BVA/KC Health Schemes www.bva.co.uk
- Hip dysplasia (Cocker Spaniel) breed mean score 13 (both parents should be lower)
- Eye disease: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (gradual loss of vision); Goniodysgenesis (predisposes the dog to painful and sight threatening disease) (English and American Cocker); Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy
DNA tests available
Parents should be tested for:
- Progressive retinal atrophy (prcd) (Miniature and Toy Poodle)
- vonWillebrands disease 1 (blood clotting disorder) (Miniature and Toy Poodle)
- Phosphofrucktokinase (PKF) deficiency (prevents metabolism of glucose into energy, causes exercise intolerance and muscle disease – also destroys red blood cells, causing anaemia) (American Cocker)
- Familial nephropathy (FN) (defective filtering mechanism of the kidneys) (English Cocker)
- Merle gene
Unofficial (breed club) schemes
http://www.cockapooclubgb.co.uk/health-testing.html lists breeding requirements for club members
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents (or check the KC’s health test results finder). If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
(for which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap causes osteoarthritis and chronic pain)
- Cancer: basal cell tumors
- Check Other diseases in the relevant parent breeds.
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Advisory Council’s Standard for Breeders: http://www.dogbreedhealth.com/dac-breeding-standard/