When you cross-breed a dog, you end up with countless possibilities of what it could look like. A mix between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, or Cockapoo, may resemble one of its parents more than the other.
Starting as puppies, you can learn how to tell what a Cockapoo will look like. Analyzing their coat and features will show if they will lean more towards a Cocker Spaniel or Poodle in appearance.
What Do Cockapoos Look Like?
Since a Cockapoo is a cross-bred dog, it does not have one standard appearance. Nevertheless, Cockapoos have many features in common because most of their differences stem from their coloring and size.
They come in three sizes, measured by their adult height to the top of their shoulders while standing.
- Toy – 10” or shorter and under 12 pounds
- Mini – between 11” and 14” and 12 to 20 pounds
- Standard – 15” or taller and over 20 pounds, usually no more than 24
Cockapoos can have multiple colors and patterns in their coats as well. The standard colors include apricot, black, buff, chocolate, cream, red, and white. Also, many of them have white markings on their colored coats.
Some patterns include:
- Merle – light base color swirled with a darker one
- Parti – one white and one other solid color
- Phantom – black body with brown eyebrows, legs, sideburns, and under-tail
- Roan – white patches and hairs interspersed with the base color
- Sable – black or dark brown as puppies, which lightens to a brown, gold, red, silver, or tan color with darker spots on the ears and face
Usually, the chocolate dogs have brown eye rims, noses, and lips with amber eyes and dark nails. Black, buff, cream, and white dogs usually have black eye rims, noses, lips, nails, and eyes. Apricot dogs usually have liver noses.
These dogs often have dense coats that can be flat, wavy, or tightly curled in texture. Also, they can have docked or undocked tails. The Cockapoo’s ears lie close to their head, beginning around the eyes and hanging below eye level.
Cockapoos have large, dark brown eyes and black noses. They do not shed much because Poodles are hypoallergenic. How much they shed depends on if their genes come more from the Poodle or Cocker Spaniel side or if one of their parents was not a pure breed. For the most part, you can consider a Cockapoo hypoallergenic.
When viewed from the front, most Cockapoos have sharp and square shoulders that let them move forward easily. Their front legs are straight, parallel, and close to the body. Their rear legs are parallel with angled stifles and defined thighs.
Cockapoo necks taper to join the head and arch slightly, and they have a level topline that slopes slightly near their rear end. Their body’s length from chest to butt is about the same as their height, though it can be a little longer. They have broad and deep chests as well.
How to Tell What a Cockapoo Will Look Like as an Adult
You can tell what a Cockapoo puppy will look like as an adult based on its coat.
Young puppies’ coats range from wavy to tight curls, and they can have different lengths. If your pup has a tightly curled coat, they will generally stay curly throughout their lives. These dogs inherit more from the Poodle side, and they will need more grooming than their straighter-coated companions.
However, a wavy-coated puppy may experience a change in its coat over time. As the puppy grows, its coats develop and change. As a result, some of the straightest hairs could end up curly after maturity. Some Cockapoos even experience coat changes at two years old!
Usually, the dog’s coat does not become straighter with time. Those with shaggy coats may develop more waves with time, and smooth puppies often end up shaggy.
As far as height goes, you can see if a part of them looks disproportionately large. For instance, my dog had longer legs for a while until her body grew to catch up with them. You can also perform this calculation for a rough estimate: multiply the shoulder height at six months by 100 and divide it by 75.
Also, average-sized dogs like Cockapoos reach their adult size at around 12 months. They weigh about twice their 4-month weight at this point.
In terms of coloring, Cockapoo coats usually do not change with time. The exception is solid dark brown or black dogs, as these often lighten with time and get a sable coat.
Here are some other ways you can guess what your Cockapoo will look like.
Investigate Their Pedigree
You may be able to get some information about their appearance by investigating your Cockapoo’s pedigree. Reach out to the breeder and ask about the parent dogs. Seeing a picture of your puppy’s mom and dad will show their potential coloring, coat, and features.
The breeder will also have information about caring for the parent dogs, which could apply to yours. If they have other dogs from the same couple, you could see an approximation of how your dog will look.
Those with toy or miniature Poodle parents usually end up small in size. Some breeders have standard Poodles, resulting in a taller dog.
Doggy DNA Test
Another way to determine your dog’s appearance is through a DNA test. DNA is in every animal, and it controls what makes each breed different from the others. It also signifies the differences in individual dogs.
All animals carry two copies of each gene, one from their father and the other from the mother. However, the prominent genes do not split 50/50, so your dog may resemble a Cocker Spaniel or Poodle more.
A DNA test will show you the percent breakdown of your dog’s genetic makeup. For example, it may say your Cockapoo is 63% Poodle and 27% Cocker Spaniel. Most DNA testing kits claim to be 90%-95% accurate, but you should research the particular one you use to see how valid the results are.
Learning their genetic makeup can give you an idea of what they will look like. A higher Cocker Spaniel percentage may indicate a shaggier coat, while more Poodle means more curls. Their DNA also determines their facial and body features.
Bing offers a visual search service to determine your dog’s breed. You paste an image into the search engine, and it will show you the breed it looks like. If the results show either Poodle or Cocker Spaniel and not the other, your dog will probably resemble the stated one more.
Nevertheless, their looks do change with time. A Cockapoo that looks like a Poodle as a puppy may develop more Cocker Spaniel traits as they age.
In a Nutshell
While Cockapoos do share some features in common, these dogs can look drastically different from one another. By analyzing their coat and features, you can guess what your puppy will look like as an adult.
However, their looks change for the first few years of their lives, so you cannot be confident about their adult appearance. A DNA test may provide more insight, but it does not separate their physical appearance genes from others.
All in all, you can try to tell what a Cockapoo will look like, but there are never any guarantees.