The Cockapoo and Mini Goldendoodle are two hybrid dog breeds that combine a Poodle parent with another breed. The Cockapoo has a Cocker Spaniel parent while the Mini Goldendoodle combines a miniature Poodle with a Golden Retriever. Because the two mixes do share a Poodle parent, there are some similarities. They are both said to be more hypoallergenic than typical dog breeds and are both considered intelligent breeds, for example. However, there are some differences: despite crossing the Miniature Poodle, the Mini Goldendoodle will tend to be bigger than the Cockapoo and while the Goldendoodle will be energetic and playful, the Cockapoo can be very lively and full of energy.
Below, we look at these two popular hybrid breeds, including their similarities and differences, to help determine which is the ideal breed for you and your circumstances.
At a Glance
The Cockapoo is arguably the first of the designer dog breeds and was first intentionally bred in the 1960s, although it is likely that accidental breeding did occur before that. Although still considered a hybrid breed, and therefore not considered a true purebred, there are some breeders and groups attempting to establish standards, which is the first step in achieving purebred status. While they are not officially recognized by kennel clubs, however, the breed has become very popular with pet owners and there are Cockapoo clubs around the world.
Like the Goldendoodle, the Cockapoo comes in several sizes, depending on which size of Poodle was used in the creation of the line. The teacup is the smallest and weighs less than 6 pounds while the toy weighs around 10 pounds. Miniatures can weigh up to 18 pounds and standards weigh 20 pounds or more. Generally, the character of the Cockapoo will be similar regardless of its size, although exercise and care requirements do vary.
The reason the Cockapoo has become such a popular breed is, at least in part, because of its character. It is intelligent like the Poodle and has the sweet and loving nature of the Cocker Spaniel. It is an energetic breed but also enjoys cuddling up on the sofa or even in your bed.
Cockers can be a little shy around strangers, while Poodles can be aloof, so early socialization is especially important. Socialization introduces the dog to different groups and types of people, as well as to new situations, so it will be less nervous when faced with something new. The intelligence of the Poodle means that you should find training quite easy, and you will be able to teach your puppy plenty of commands and ensure it behaves well.
Because this is a hybrid breed, it is not predisposed to all of the same genetic conditions as some purebred dogs, but there are still some illnesses and conditions that you should keep an eye out for. The breed is known to be susceptible to allergies and cataracts, as well as hip dysplasia, which can be a painful condition that may also lead to arthritis. The floppy Cocker Spaniel ears are also prone to ear infections and other ear conditions, so check these when you groom your pup.
Another reason for the popularity and continued interest, in the Cockapoo, is its hypoallergenic coat. This doesn’t mean that it won’t cause any allergic reactions, but the low shedding nature of the coat means that allergy sufferers should endure fewer allergic reactions than with heavy shedding dogs. The coat needs brushing every day, but while you can have the coat trimmed to 3 inches or so, this isn’t strictly necessary.
Check inside the ears when brushing the coat, and look for inflammation, reddening, or other signs of possible infection. Brush teeth three times a week and trim nails when they get long enough that you can hear them on a hard floor.
The Cockapoo gets along with people of all ages and most animals, making it a suitable pet for most owners. It is considered a good breed for beginners, but you will need to brush its coat daily and ensure it gets enough exercise to stay trim and healthy.
Mini Goldendoodle Overview
The Mini Goldendoodle is one of several sizes of Goldendoodle and was created by crossing the Miniature Poodle with the Golden Retriever. The Goldendoodle was intentionally bred in the 1990s as a service dog that produced less dander and shed less than the Golden Retriever, hence the introduction of the hypoallergenic Poodle to the bloodline. This is still a new hybrid breed and most Goldendoodles are bred directly from the Poodle and Golden Retriever parents, rather than breeding two Goldendoodles, although as the cross matures, second and subsequent generations will be introduced and bred.
The Mini Goldendoodle is one of several sizes of Goldendoodle, determined by the size of the Poodle parent. Miniatures weigh up to 35 pounds, small Goldendoodles weigh up to 50 pounds, and standards can weigh as much as 90 pounds. The coat is typically golden to match that of the Golden Retriever parent, but it can be white, cream, apricot, or any other of several other colors.
The Mini Goldendoodle is another cheerful character, combining the intelligence of the Poodle with the eagerness and loyalty of the Golden Retriever. This is a breed that can perform well as a service dog while also making a loving and loyal family dog. The Golden will get along with all family members, as well as visitors and strangers, and it will usually befriend other dogs as well as cats. The breed can suffer separation anxiety if it is left alone for too long and without being given adequate mental stimulation.
Socialization is important for all breeds, although the Goldendoodle does come from friendly and confident stock in the shape of the Golden Retriever. And, with the intelligence of the Poodle and the Golden Retriever’s willingness to please, you will have a dog that can be very easily trained. The Goldendoodle is used as a service dog and a therapy dog, a testament to its intelligence and sympathetic nature.
Although generally healthy and hardy dogs, Goldendoodles are still prone to some illnesses and health conditions. As a small breed, the Mini Goldendoodle is prone to patellar luxation as well as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Like the Cockapoo, the Goldendoodle is also prone to allergies. Keep an eye out for symptoms of bloat and hypothyroidism.
The Goldendoodle crosses one of the heaviest shedding breeds, the Golden Retriever, with one of the lowest shedding breeds, the Poodle. You could potentially end up with one end of the shedding scale or the other, but your Doodle is likely to land somewhere in the middle. The coat requires daily brushing, and you can have the coat trimmed to a couple of inches but no shorter, and cutting isn’t strictly necessary at all. Brush teeth three times a week and trim nails every 2 or 3 months or when you can hear the nails clipping on wooden floors.
The mini Goldendoodle is a cheerful and friendly mix of Poodle and Golden Retriever that can be trained as a therapy or support dog and also makes a great pet for owners of all ages and experience levels.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Dog allergies are caused by certain proteins found in dog saliva, urine, sweat, fur, and dander. When allergy sufferers inhale or come into contact with this protein, it causes an allergic reaction as the body attempts to fight off what it views as a threat. This leads to symptoms like cold and cough symptoms, breathing problems, and more.
Although all dogs produce these proteins, those that shed less produce less dander, which is the element that most often causes allergic reactions because it lingers in the air and gets on furniture and clothing.
Poodles are considered “hypoallergenic” because they are very low-shedding dogs. At the other end of the scale are breeds like the Golden Retriever, which are known for being heavy shedders and can cause severe reactions in allergy sufferers. Both the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cockapoo have Poodle parentage, and they benefit from a low-shedding coat, most of the time. This means that both hybrids are considered hypoallergenic. They can be a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Why Poodle Mixes Are So Popular
When it comes to designer or hybrid dog breeds, there are seemingly many that include some Poodle parentage. The Goldendoodle and Cockapoo are just two of a long list. The Poodle has become a popular breed in this respect because it is intelligent and easy to train while also being a generally healthy breed. It is also a friendly dog that will usually get along with people, other dogs, and even cats. And, if you give a Poodle a job, it will usually undertake its role with vigor. This means that Poodle hybrids tend to be friendly, easy to train, and generally obedient dogs.
All dogs require some level of exercise, and the energetic Poodle is no exception. When you combine this with the high-octane lively nature of the Cocker Spaniel, you get a dog that needs at least an hour of exercise a day and that will benefit from being given work to do that exercises the body and mind. The Goldendoodle is an energetic dog and does still require 45 to 60 minutes of exercise a day, but it isn’t quite as high-octane as the Cockapoo. Both breeds also enjoy spending plenty of time chilling with the family, though.
The Cockapoo and Goldendoodle do need daily care. As well as regular feeding and exercise, you will both benefit from giving the dog a regular brushing. It helps remove dead hairs so your dog is comfortable and cool, and it also helps minimize shedding, therefore preventing some hair from getting on the furniture and up your nose. You will also need to regularly brush the teeth and trim the nails. The long ears of the Cocker Spaniel parent mean that the Cockapoo can suffer from ear problems, so you will need to lift the floppy ears and check inside regularly.
Although not purebred, the Cockapoo has been intentionally bred for 60 years or so. As such, many modern examples of the breed were actually created by breeding earlier generations of Cockapoo with one another or by back-breeding a Cockapoo with a Poodle or Cocker Spaniel. This leads to a more predictable character and physical characteristics but, over time, it may increase the likelihood of genetic conditions being passed down.
The Goldendoodle is still a relatively new breed and because it hasn’t been around as long, it is likely that a Goldendoodle is first generation and was, therefore, directly bred from Poodle and Golden Retriever parents.
Which Breed Is Right for You?
The Mini Goldendoodle and Cockapoo are two very popular hybrid dog breeds, both of which include Poodle parentage. The Poodle is an intelligent and friendly breed that is fairly level-headed and not afraid of hard work or training.
The Goldendoodle combines this with the eager and very friendly Golden Retriever while the Cockapoo, which is a hybrid breed that has existed now for 60 years, combines the Poodle with the energetic, lively, and bouncy Cocker Spaniel. All of these breeds love water, so you should expect either of the two hybrids to enjoy spending time in puddles, rivers, lakes, and pretty much any other bodies of water.
You can also expect a breed that will get along with everybody, that enjoys company, and that can usually be integrated into a family with other dogs and even cats.
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Featured Image Credit: Top – Lee Ph, Shutterstock | Bottom – SoySendra, Shutterstock