Deciding to get a dog

When deciding to get a dog the decision should be made carefully with detailed planning. The commitment to bring a dog into your family is a 15 year adventure with the first year being the most challenging. You goal should be in that year to get to know each other on deep emotional levels that go way beyond how cute your new puppy is. for more information.

Choosing your breed

Part of your detailed planning should include many considerations (not limited to):

  • Size of dog determines space requirement

  • Coat type will determine grooming time needed

  • Energy level determines space requirement and exercise needs

  • Original purpose indicates instinctive activity (i.e., barking, protecting, retrieving, etc.)

  • Temperament determines obedience needs, level of independence or attachment, aggressive or passive nature, etc.

  • Allergies: some breeds cause less suffering for allergy patients

Know hypoallergenic vs. low-shedding.

American Cocker Spaniel


When Cocker Spaniels were imported to North America in the 1880s, the breed gradually changed as breeders produced a smaller dog, higher on leg, shorter in back, with a sloping topline, shorter muzzle, more domed skull, heavier coat and profuse leg furnishings. By the 1930s, the differences between North American and English Cockers were so obvious, efforts were made to split the breed. In 1947, the original Cocker was renamed the English Cocker Spaniel and the new variety retained the name Cocker Spaniel in the U.S. Elsewhere, it is known as the American Cocker Spaniel.


Merry, outgoing, friendly and happy but not yappy are all apt descriptions of the American Cocker’s personality.

Activity Level

The American Cocker can exhibit considerable speed and endurance, and shows a keen inclination to work. Though Cockers started as gun dogs, most American Cockers enjoy life as loved and loving house pets. Exercise needs are moderate.


The ideal height for a male is 15 in (38 cm) at the withers, while females should be 14 in (36 cm).


The silky coat is flat or slightly wavy and of medium length on the body. The ears, chest, abdomen and legs are well feathered. The hair on the head is short and fine. Cocker Spaniels are considered to be low-shedding.


The American Cocker’s luxurious coat comes in three colour varieties – black, ASCOB (Any Solid Colour Other Than Black) and parti-colour (white with markings in another colour).


The silky coat needs frequent brushing. Some trimming is done on the head, throat and around the feet. Eyes and ears should be checked regularly and cleaned as


Miniature Poodle


The Miniature Poodle has its roots in Germany where it originated as a water retriever. The English name of Poodle undoubtedly comes from the German word “puddeln,” which means “to splash in water” and refers to the breed’s original occupation. The breed’s characteristic trim was done to facilitate swimming by removing extraneous coat and still leaving vital organs and joints covered for protection. The Miniature was granted separate breed status by The Kennel Club (England) in 1910.


A gay, intelligent and eager-to-please canine, the Miniature Poodle is a charming companion and an excellent prospect for obedience work.

Activity Level

Though possessing an air of distinction and dignity, the Miniature Poodle is an active dog that fits well into city living. A daily walk satisfies his exercise requirements.


Miniature Poodles must be over 10 in (25 cm) and under 15 in (38 cm) at the shoulder.


The coat is curly, naturally harsh and dense. The miniature poodle is hypoallergenic, non-shedding.


The breed may be any solid colour.


Not a job for the faint of heart, Poodle grooming is an acquired art. The breed may be shown in ‘puppy’ clip if under a year, the ‘English saddle’ clip or the ‘continental’ clip. All three require scissoring and clipping along with copious brushing and combing. Just for the record, Poodles may also be shown corded like the Puli but few are kept in that coat.



The Cockapoo, also called Cockerpoo, Cockapoodle or Cockerdoodle was the first of the "designer" dog's originating in the USA as a companion dog.. These adorable little snuggle mutts date back to the 1950's and began their popularity in the 1960's. The cockapoo is a cross between an American or English Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Generally, the American Cocker Spaniel is the preferred choice for the Cockapoo. The Poodle and English Cocker Spaniel's offspring are often called Spoodle's. Efforts have been made over the last decade to clearly separate Cockapoos and Spoodles into two different hybrids. The hypoallergenic Cockapoo perfectly represents two ideals: The Cocker Spaniel's sweet, stable temperament, easy going, loving nature and sturdy appearance. Combine that with the Poodle's intelligence, orientation to people and non-shedding coat and you simply cannot ask for a more perfect companion! 


  • The Cockapoo is bred in four different size categories:

  • The Teacup Toy is less than 6 pounds in weight and less than 10 inches in height.

  • The Toy Cockapoo can reach 10 inches in height but has a sturdier build, the bigger ones tipping the scales at just under 12 pounds.

  • The Miniature Cockapoo weighs 13 to 18 pounds and ranges between 11 and 14 inches high.

  • The Standard or Maxi Cockapoo should weigh more than 19 pounds and be at least 15 inches in height.


  • The Cockapoo Club of America was formed in 1999 and, in an effort to create breeding consistency, it created a breed standard. The club promotes breeding multigenerational Cockapoos to each other as opposed to creating new first generations, because this technique is supposed to help puppies maintain the desired qualities that aren't seen in all first-generation dogs.

  • The American Cockapoo Club was formed in 2004; these members don't mix generations and don't breed a Cockapoo back to a Poodle or a Cocker Spaniel. They too have a breed standard, and their goal is "to see genuine Cockapoos bred with lines that can be traced back to their originating roots of AKC/CKC Cocker Spaniels and AKC/CKC Poodles."

  • The North American Cockapoo Registry is also working to establish the Cockapoo as a viable breed. This group formed in 1999 and provides certification for Cockapoos who are the results of first-through sixth-generation breedings. The Registry stipulates that "a true Cockapoo is ONLY a purposeful, planned crossing of a purebred Cocker Spaniel with a purebred Poodle."

  • Breeding philosophies aside, the Cockapoo's popularity hasn't just held steady — it has increased over the decades. With the help of responsible breeders and national organizations and clubs, the Cockapoo, in one form or another, could be on his way to becoming much more than a "designer breed."


The Cockapoo's easy to please nature and intelligence makes positive reinforcement training a quick success. They are perfectly suited for agility games, swimming, retrieving or as a therapy dog but they are bred mainly as family pets. With a deep connection based on mutual respect he can achieve high levels of obedience. This is a choice breed for children as he is known to be outgoing, playful, energetic, and affectionate around them. Cockapoos have an infectious zest for life that spreads to everyone around them. Cockapoos were developed to be companion dogs and are friendly and extraordinarily happy. If the parents have a loving quality their offspring will too. Depending on his/her temperament, they can be active or can simply enjoy snuggling up on the couch with you. Cockapoo's prefers, always, to be with their family and can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long.

Requirements & Health

Grooming: The Cockapoo has a single, long coat that can range from straight to loose curls, but it shouldn't be kinky. Cockapoos can be found in all the colors and color combinations that are seen in both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles — a more rich variety of coat colors than is usual in many other breeds. Moderate maintenance is required. Regular brushing of the coat is essential training practice and is required to keep the coat in good shape. Trips to the professional groomer should ideally happen every 3 months. Training to prepare for the groomer should start from day one by gently massaging their ears, teeth/gums, nails, feet/pads, legs, belly, face.... 

Exercise: Cockapoos have a moderate energy level and require daily exercise. Expect to give him a minimum walk of 45min twice a day. A variety of activities, such as brain games and games of fetch, walks, training and good runs should be routinely offered. Regular exercise is required for good health, training, stimulation and as essential problem prevention. Like every dog, the Cockapoo needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Cockapoo puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Obedience training should start from day one with an educated owner to promote solid connections and consistency. Professional obedience training can be entered with they are current on vaccinations that protect against disease. Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Cockapoo doesn't have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn't. A crate should be considered his "safe spot", and a place where he can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will also help your Cockapoo feel safe in a "den" situation should he ever need to be boarded or hospitalized.

Vaccinations: Cockapoos should have vaccinations as puppies starting at 8 weeks of age, again at 12 and 16 weeks. These vaccinations should include distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Rabies should be included at the 16 week vaccination routine, 1 year after that and then again every third year. Puppies should be dewormed starting at 8 weeks and continue on a yearly basis or as recommended by your vet. Vaccinations should be revisited a year after the 16 week routine and again after either bi-yearly or every third year as recommended by your vet. The Bordetella vaccination is one that should be considered carefully and researched with your vet to make the best decision for your precious pup.

Ears: Ear Infections may plague the Cockapoo because of his floppy ears, which block air flow and can trap moisture, dirt, and debris. The Cockapoo's ears should be regularly checked and cleaned.

  • Gently wipe out the ear — only the part you can see! — with a cotton ball moistened with a cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian. (Don't stick cotton swabs or anything else into the ear canal, because that could damage it.) Your Cockapoo may have an ear infection if the inside of the ear smells bad, looks red or seems tender, or he frequently shakes his head or scratches at his ear.

Teeth: All dogs should have their teeth checked regularly. Prevention of gum disease and problem teeth should be an ongoing discussion with your vet. Brush your Cockapoo's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Start training from day one by getting your fingers in their mouth and massaging their gums.

Allergies: Allergies are a common ailment in dogs. There are three main types of allergies: food allergies, which are treated by eliminating certain foods from the dog's diet; contact allergies, which are caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals; and inhalant allergies, which are caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew. Treatment varies according to the cause and may include dietary restrictions, medications, and environmental changes.

Lifespan: With proper care and maintenance your healthy, loving Cockapoo has an average life span of 12-15 wonderful years ahead of him.