What is a Toy Cockapoo?

  • By: Kirsty Lunn
  • Date: August 5, 2023
  • Time to read: 12 min.

A ‘toy cockapoo’ might sound like a plush toy you can find on the store shelves, but it’s much more than that! It’s a small, adorable, and lively dog breed that’s captured the hearts of many pet owners in the UK and beyond. A toy cockapoo is a mix of a toy poodle and a cocker spaniel – a combination that makes for an adorable, intelligent, and friendly companion.

Origin and Background of Cockapoos

The term ‘Cockapoo’ represents a breed that is a cross between an American or English Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. This crossbreed, affectionately known as a Cockapoo, has been a beloved pet for many families since the 1960s, marking its origin in the United States.

Interestingly, the Cockapoo was not a planned creation. Rather, it was a happy accident that led to the recognition of a breed that combines the intelligence of a Poodle with the lovable, affectionate personality of a Cocker Spaniel. The result? A companion dog that is friendly, intelligent, and less likely to trigger allergies, thanks to its Poodle-like coat.

While the Cockapoo is not a ‘purebred’ in the traditional sense, breeders have been working for years to establish consistent traits and gain recognition for the Cockapoo as a breed in its own right. To this end, organisations such as the Cockapoo Club of America and the American Cockapoo Club were formed. These clubs seek to set breeding standards and maintain the health and well-being of Cockapoos across the country.

The Cockapoo comes in four size varieties depending on the size of the poodle parent: Teacup Toy (less than 6 pounds full grown), Toy (less than 12 pounds), Miniature (12-20 pounds), and Standard or Maxi (over 20 pounds). The toy Cockapoo, the focus of this article, comes from a cross with a Toy Poodle.

Cockapoos have been gaining popularity in the UK since the 1980s. Their non-shedding coats make them popular among those who suffer from allergies, while their amiable personalities and versatility make them well-loved among families, elderly individuals, and in homes with other pets.

Given their origins from two breeds with rich histories, the Cockapoo has become a symbol of love, companionship, and joy in many households. It’s no wonder that this breed has quickly risen in popularity and continues to win hearts around the world!

Understanding the ‘Toy’ Variety

When it comes to dog breeds, the term ‘toy’ is often misunderstood. Contrary to popular belief, a ‘toy’ breed is not a different species of dog, nor is it a term merely indicating that the dog is small enough to be carried around like a toy. Rather, ‘toy’ is a term used within dog breeding circles to refer to a size classification for certain breeds of dogs. It’s an official designation used by kennel clubs worldwide to classify certain small breeds.

What is a “Toy” Dog?

A ‘toy’ dog is a term used to describe the smallest type of a particular dog breed. Toy breeds are not only small in size, but they also often have distinct traits and behaviours that set them apart. They’re typically under 12 inches in height and weigh up to 7 kilograms. Common examples include Toy Poodles, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas. Despite their small stature, toy breeds are known for their lively personalities and their ability to provide companionship. They’ve historically been popular among city dwellers living in smaller spaces and those who prefer dogs that require less physical exercise compared to larger breeds.

The Toy Cockapoo

A ‘toy’ Cockapoo is a Cockapoo that falls into the ‘toy’ size category. They’re the result of breeding a Cocker Spaniel with a Toy Poodle. Given the intelligence and friendly nature of both parent breeds, the Toy Cockapoo embodies these qualities in a smaller package.

Toy Cockapoos typically stand at 10 inches or less at the shoulder and can weigh between 5-6 kilograms, although there is some variation depending on the exact genes they inherit from their parents. They often possess the Poodle’s intelligence and low-shedding coat combined with the Cocker Spaniel’s affectionate and lively nature. This makes them ideal for families looking for a small, intelligent, and friendly dog that won’t cause too many issues for allergy sufferers.

Despite their small size, Toy Cockapoos are known for their energy and playfulness. They love engaging in games and activities and often form strong bonds with their families. Toy Cockapoos are also adaptable and can thrive in a variety of living conditions, making them an excellent choice for both city and country living.

Just like other Cockapoos, the Toy variety is often characterised by a friendly and outgoing personality, a love for people, and an eagerness to please. Despite being the smallest member of the Cockapoo family, the Toy Cockapoo carries all the fantastic traits that this breed is known for – in a more compact, apartment-friendly size.

Physical Characteristics of Toy Cockapoos

The Toy Cockapoo is a delightful little dog that captures your heart not just with its personality but also its adorable physical features. These traits come from the best of their parent breeds – the Cocker Spaniel and the Toy Poodle – creating a unique blend that’s both delightful and captivating.


When we talk about Toy Cockapoos, their size is the first thing that sets them apart. Typically, a Toy Cockapoo stands about 10 inches or less at the shoulder. This size makes them perfect for small spaces, apartments, or homes without much outdoor space, as they don’t require as much room to move around compared to larger breeds.


Toy Cockapoos generally weigh between 5-6 kilograms, although this can vary slightly depending on their diet, exercise routine, and genetic factors. Their small size makes them quite portable and easy to manage, particularly for owners who enjoy taking their dogs along on trips or outings.

Fur and Coat

Perhaps one of the most appealing physical characteristics of Toy Cockapoos is their coat. A Toy Cockapoo’s coat is a mix between the Cocker Spaniel’s soft, slightly wavy fur and the Poodle’s dense, curly coat. The combination results in a coat that is often wavy or curly, dense, and comes in a variety of colours, including white, black, cream, brown, or a combination thereof.

Moreover, due to the Poodle’s influence, the Toy Cockapoo’s coat is often hypoallergenic, making this breed an excellent choice for individuals with allergies. However, it’s worth noting that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and individual responses to allergens can vary.

The Toy Cockapoo’s coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to keep it looking its best. This includes brushing several times a week and professional grooming every 6-8 weeks.

Toy Cockapoos, with their expressive eyes, endearing size, and stunning coats, are indeed a sight to behold. Their compact size and relatively easy grooming needs make them an ideal choice for many dog owners. It’s no surprise that these adorable dogs are growing in popularity and loved by many around the globe.

Temperament and Behaviour

Understanding the temperament and behaviour of Toy Cockapoos is crucial to know if this breed aligns well with your lifestyle and preferences. These dogs are often praised for their affable nature and adaptability, but they have a range of behavioural traits that make them unique.

General Behaviour

Toy Cockapoos are lively, intelligent, and loving creatures. They are naturally playful and have a zest for life that’s hard to match. As descendants of the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel, they’re known for their intelligence and love for playtime. These qualities, combined with their natural curiosity, make them fun companions who enjoy a variety of activities, including games, walks, and cuddle sessions.

Despite their high energy levels, Toy Cockapoos also have a calm side and enjoy moments of relaxation with their human companions. They can adapt to the pace of their household, making them perfect for both active owners and those who prefer a more laid-back lifestyle.

Interaction with Family

Toy Cockapoos are renowned for their affectionate and sociable nature. They usually form strong bonds with their family members and thrive on companionship. As such, they don’t like to be left alone for long periods and can suffer from separation anxiety. Therefore, they’re better suited to households where someone is usually home.

These dogs are typically good with children and other pets, thanks to their friendly and non-aggressive nature. However, like all dogs, early socialisation is crucial in fostering positive interactions and preventing any potential behavioural issues.


One of the reasons Toy Cockapoos are so popular is their adaptability. Whether you live in a city apartment or a house in the country, a Toy Cockapoo can fit right in. Their small size makes them perfect for apartment living, and their ability to adapt to different activity levels means they can keep up with an active family or settle down with more relaxed owners.

However, despite their adaptability, it’s essential to meet their basic needs for exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship. Remember, a happy Toy Cockapoo is one that feels loved, cared for, and stimulated both physically and mentally!

The Toy Cockapoo’s endearing temperament and adaptable nature make them a favourite among many dog owners. However, it’s crucial to ensure you can meet their needs for companionship and stimulation to ensure they lead a happy and healthy life.

Health and Lifespan of Toy Cockapoos

Toy Cockapoos are generally healthy dogs, but as with all breeds, they may be susceptible to certain health conditions. Understanding these potential health issues and their typical lifespan can help owners provide the best care possible for their furry companions.

Common Health Issues

Toy Cockapoos are considered a robust breed, but like any dog breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of these common conditions include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a hereditary condition where the hip joint does not develop correctly, leading to potential pain and mobility issues.
  • Eye Conditions: Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles can be prone to certain eye conditions, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which could be passed on to Cockapoos.
  • Allergies: These can manifest as skin conditions or respiratory symptoms and are usually managed by identifying and avoiding the allergens, if possible.
  • Luxating Patella: A common issue in small dogs where the kneecap can slip out of place.
  • Ear Infections: Due to their long, floppy ears, Cockapoos may be more prone to ear infections.

It’s important to remember that not all Toy Cockapoos will get any or all of these conditions, but it’s good to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.


On average, the Toy Cockapoo has a lifespan of around 14-16 years. This lifespan is relatively long for dogs, largely due to their small size and generally good health. However, each dog is an individual, and many factors, including genetics, diet, exercise, and regular veterinary care, can influence a dog’s lifespan.

Health Tips

To ensure your Toy Cockapoo lives a long, healthy life, regular vet check-ups are crucial. These visits allow for early detection and treatment of potential health issues. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, feeding a balanced diet, ensuring regular exercise, and keeping up to date with vaccinations and parasite control can all contribute to the overall health and well-being of your Toy Cockapoo.

Toy Cockapoos are generally robust and long-lived dogs. However, being aware of their potential health issues and providing them with the right care can help ensure they live their lives to the fullest. Remember, your vet is your best source of information when it comes to the health of your Toy Cockapoo, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek advice when needed.

Caring for Your Toy Cockapoo

Proper care is crucial to ensure the health, happiness, and longevity of your Toy Cockapoo. This includes fulfilling their exercise needs, maintaining their grooming needs, and providing a balanced diet.

Exercise Needs

Despite their small size, Toy Cockapoos are energetic and require a good amount of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Ideally, they should get at least 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity each day. This can include walks, playtime, or even agility training.

Aside from physical exercise, mental stimulation is also vital for this intelligent breed. Puzzle toys, training sessions, and interactive games can help keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.


Toy Cockapoos have a dense, wavy to curly coat that requires regular grooming. Brushing their fur a few times a week can help prevent tangles and matting. Depending on the length of their coat, they may also require professional grooming every 6-8 weeks.

Their ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection due to their tendency to trap moisture, and their teeth should be brushed regularly to maintain good oral health.


A balanced diet is essential for the health of your Toy Cockapoo. Generally, high-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for their size, age, and activity level is recommended. Some Toy Cockapoos may do well on a diet that includes high-quality proteins, grains, fruits, and vegetables, but it’s always best to consult with your vet to determine the optimal diet for your specific dog.

Remember that treats should only make up 10% of their daily calorie intake, and human food should be limited as many foods that are safe for us can be harmful to dogs.

Caring for a Toy Cockapoo can be a rewarding experience as these dogs are known for their loving nature and zest for life. Providing them with adequate exercise, proper grooming, and a balanced diet will ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and happy throughout their life. As always, your vet is your best resource for any concerns or questions you may have about your Toy Cockapoo’s care and health.

Finding a Responsible Toy Cockapoo Breeder

When looking to welcome a Toy Cockapoo into your family, it’s important to find a responsible and reputable breeder to ensure the health and well-being of your new furry friend. Here’s what you need to know:

Breeder Reputation

A reputable breeder will prioritise the health and temperament of their dogs over profit. You can typically assess a breeder’s reputation through various channels, including online reviews, professional associations, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Reputable breeders will be transparent about their breeding practices and the health of their dogs. They’ll also often be recognised by official bodies like The Cockapoo Club of GB or the American Cockapoo Club.

Questions to Ask

When meeting with a potential breeder, you should ask a series of questions to ensure you’re making a responsible choice. Some important questions include:

  • Can I see the parents of the puppies? This will give you an idea of the potential size, temperament, and appearance of your puppy.
  • Have the puppies and their parents been health tested? The breeder should provide evidence of health tests, such as screenings for hip dysplasia and eye conditions.
  • How are the puppies socialised? Early socialisation helps puppies grow into well-adjusted adults.
  • Can I return the puppy if there are any issues? A responsible breeder will always prioritise the welfare of their dogs.

What to Expect

A reputable breeder will want to ensure their puppies are going to good homes. As such, they may ask you several questions about your lifestyle, work schedule, and how you plan to care for the dog. They may also ask for a veterinary reference or conduct a home visit.

Furthermore, a responsible breeder will provide you with a contract and health guarantee. They’ll also typically microchip their puppies and provide the first set of vaccinations.

Finding a reputable Toy Cockapoo breeder may require some effort and patience, but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind knowing you’re supporting ethical breeding practices and receiving a healthy, well-adjusted puppy.

Remember, adoption is also a wonderful option, and many lovely Cockapoos are waiting for their forever homes in rescue centres around the country. Whether you choose to adopt or go through a breeder, make sure you’re ready for the responsibility and commitment of owning a dog. After all, they’re a lifelong commitment and deserve a loving, stable home.


A toy cockapoo, with its compact size and sociable nature, can be an ideal pet for many households. Remember, though, that owning any pet is a lifelong commitment that requires time, resources, and a whole lot of love.


How big do toy cockapoos get?

Toy cockapoos generally grow up to 10 inches tall at the shoulder.

Are toy cockapoos good with children?

Yes, they’re known for being good with children of all ages.

What are common health issues in toy cockapoos?

Common issues can include eye conditions, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas.

How much exercise does a toy cockapoo need?

Even though they’re small, toy cockapoos need regular exercise to stay healthy.

How long do toy cockapoos live?

Generally, a well-cared-for toy cockapoo can live anywhere from 13 to 15 years.

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