One of the first designer dogs in the world, the cockapoo, came about by accident when a breeder unintentionally crossed a poodle with a cocker spaniel. It turned out to be the best kind of accident. Many other breeders would go on to replicate it with great results. The cockapoo is a happy, friendly companion dog both intelligent and eager to please. Most people seek it out because they believe it’s a low-shedding, hypoallergenic dog. Is this a myth, or do cockapoos shed? And are they really hypoallergenic?
Do Cockapoos Shed?
Cockapoos are generally very low shedders. However, the amount they shed varies from dog to dog depending on which parent they take after more. Fortunately for allergy sufferers, most cockapoos are hypoallergenic.
What makes a cockapoo hypoallergenic? It’s important to realize that every dog has the potential to cause allergies. All dogs produce allergens in their dander (flakes of dead skin), saliva, and urine. The fewer allergens a dog produces, the less likely they are to trigger allergies. How much they shed has a lot to do with it as dander is the leading pet allergen. The more a dog sheds, the more dander it releases. So cockapoos that take after their poodle parent more than their cocker spaniel parent are closer to being hypoallergenic.
How Much Do Cockapoos Shed?
Most cockapoos shed minimally, though this depends on their genetic makeup. Even F1 cockapoos (first-generation crosses between a poodle and a cocker spaniel) will take after one parent more than the other. Poodles have a single coat and shed very little whereas cocker spaniels have a double coat and shed moderately. Some breeders intentionally design their cockapoos to have more poodle than spaniel to reduce the possibility of heavier shedding.
A cockapoo’s genes also have an impact on whether or not it “blows its coat” seasonally. Blowing the coat is a period of massive shedding in spring and fall to get rid of the old undercoat. A new undercoat then grows in, which is either heavy in preparation for winter or light in preparation for summer. Cockapoos with a single coat will experience very little seasonal shedding. Double-coated cockapoos, however, will usually blow their coats once or twice annually.
Do Cockapoos Have Hair or Fur?
Cockapoos have hair, not fur, regardless of which parent’s genes are dominant. This is because both poodles and cocker spaniels have hair. Despite this similarity, there are significant differences in how their respective coats behave. Below are the three main types of cockapoo coats and what you can expect from them. All three types have medium to long hair.
Single Curly Coat
Cockapoos whose poodle genes are predominant will usually have a single curly coat. This hair type feels coarse like that of a poodle. The curls are tight and pronounced. This is the lowest-shedding of the three coat types and the best choice for people with allergies. It’s also the easiest to care for.
Single to Double Coat, Wavy to Loosely Curled
The second cockapoo coat type ranges from wavy to loosely curled. It comes in either a single or double coat. A double coat has two layers: the soft undercoat (ground hair) and the coarse outer coat (guard hair). With cockapoos, the outer coat is softer than that of most other double-coated breeds.
Though there’s a little more year-round shedding with this type, there shouldn’t be any seasonal shedding or coat blowing. Cockapoos with undercoats may present more problems for allergy sufferers.
Double Coat, Straight to Wavy
This coat type is present in cockapoos that take after their cocker spaniel parent. The hair ranges from straight to wavy without any curling. This variety of cockapoo is much likelier to shed seasonally or blow its coat than the other two. Allergy sufferers should avoid this coat type if possible.
For more information on how to predict what your cockapoo will look like as an adult, check out this guide.
Grooming a Cockapoo
For optimal results, you should brush your cockapoo at least two to three times a week. Without regular brushing, this breed’s hair can easily tangle and mat. The best brush type for this breed is a slicker brush, which is a type of pin brush useful for getting rid of tangles. A steel comb will help you get right down to the skin and remove every knot. You may benefit from a de-shedding tool if you have a double-coated cockapoo, but be careful not to overdo it and damage the coat.
You should only need to bathe your cockapoo once every six to eight weeks unless it gets dirty before then. Too much bathing will strip its skin oils and lead to dry skin and hair. After a bath, blow-dry your cockapoo to reduce the chances of matting and tangling.
Groomers recommend getting your cockapoo professionally groomed every three to four months. This will keep them looking their best and address potential health issues with their skin and coat. Check out this guide for a list of the best cockapoo coat styles.
How to Reduce Shedding
Some cockapoos shed more than others. Owners of these dogs may benefit from the following tips to reduce shedding and cut down on cleanup. Also, take a look at the linked review articles of the best pet products for you and your dog.
- Brushing: Brushing is vital to keep your cockapoo healthy and looking great. Make sure to pay special attention to their ears and underarms as it’s easy to miss tangles in these areas.
- De-shedding brush: If you’re looking for a more efficient grooming tool, you might want to invest in one of the best de-shedding brushes for dogs on the market. These will effectively remove loose and dead hair before it can wind up on your furniture.
- De-shedding shampoo: Most cockapoos aren’t likely to need it, but for heavier shedders, a good de-shedding shampoo can make a difference.
- Blow-dryer: Did you know there are blow-dryers especially for dogs? These dryers are more efficient for tackling larger areas and will help prevent burns and overdried coats. Check out the best blow-dryers for dogs in this review article.
- A balanced diet: If you’re finding your dog’s shedding is out of control, you might want to consider switching to a special dog food for shedders.
If you’re looking for a low-shedding, hypoallergenic dog, the cockapoo is likely to be a good choice. Just make sure you take into account the individual dog’s coat type before bringing one home.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.