A Cockapoo is a cross breed dog. It is the cross of an American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel and a poodle (in most cases a miniature poodle or toy poodle), or of two cockapoos. Cockapoo can be the result of mating either the American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. They have been known in the United States since the 1950s. The earliest known dictionary reference was a 1960 OED citation. Purebred breed associations such as The Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, or the Canadian Kennel Club, do not recognize the Cockapoo, or any other crossbreed. A healthy 12-week-old cockapoo. Overall Cockapoos are usually healthy and happy dogs. As with a lot of smaller dogs they tend to be quite long-lived, and it's not unusual for cockapoos to live to 15 years or more.
However, both purebred poodles and cocker spaniels can suffer from luxating patellas (loose knees), and this can be passed on to their offspring. For this reason, an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) exam is recommended to check for this problem before dogs are bred. Purebred poodles and cocker spaniels can also suffer from a number of eye disorders, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). A CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) exam and DNA test for PRA should therefore be performed before breeding. Like many floppy-eared breeds, Cockapoos can be subject to ear infections, and it's important to keep their ears clean and dry.