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Cockapoo F Types: What Do They Mean? What Is an F1 Cockapoo?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cockapoo in the forest

If you’re thinking about getting a Cockapoo, you may have come across the various “F” designations used to describe them. But what do they mean? What’s the difference between an F1 and F2 Cockapoo, and are they better than F1b or F2b Cockapoos?

F designations for Cockapoos simply refer to their generation. The “F” is common terminology used in breeding, and it stands for “filial.” In the case of Cockapoos, it means that the dog is a certain generation removed from its purebred ancestors.

For instance, an F1 Cockapoo is 50% Cocker Spaniel and 50% Poodle. Think of it as the first cross between the two pure breeds. The designations continue from there to include various combinations of Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, and even other Cockapoo generations. Keep reading to learn more about the various F types of Cockapoos.

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What Is a Cockapoo?

First, let’s talk a bit about this super popular breed. A Cockapoo is a crossbreed or designer breed that’s created by breeding a Poodle with a Cocker Spaniel. They inherit the best traits from both parent breeds, making them intelligent, gentle, playful, and low shedding. Thanks to their outgoing personalities and easy-going nature, Cockapoos make great family pets.

But unlike purebred dogs, which have predictable traits and can be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), Cockapoos don’t belong to any official breed organizations. And since they’re a crossbreed, they can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some look more like Cocker Spaniels, while others take after Poodles. And of course, there are those that are a perfect mix of both parent breeds.

Cockapoos can also come in a wide range of coat colors and patterns. The most common are black, brown, white, cream, silver, and apricot. But you’ll also find Cockapoos with multi-colored coats, such as black and white, or brown and cream.

Since there’s no official standard for Cockapoos, the F designations are used to help breeders and potential buyers know exactly what they’re getting.

What Do Cockapoo F Types Mean?

black cockapoo lying on the ground
Image Credit: Chris JG White, Shutterstock

The F designation for Cockapoos tells you about their parentage.

Here's a quick rundown of the most common F types:
  • F1 Cockapoo: This is a first-generation cross between a pedigree Cocker Spaniel and a pedigreed Poodle.
  • F2 Cockapoo: Breeding two F1 dogs will result in F2 Cockapoos, aka puppies whose parents are both Cockapoos.
  • F3 Cockapoo: The offspring of two F2 Cockapoos are designated as F3 Cockapoos.

You’ll also see the letter “b” used after some of the F designations. This means that the Cockapoo is a backcross, which is a result of breeding a Cockapoo back to a purebred Poodle. Technically, it can also mean backcrossing it back to a Cocker Spaniel, but this is much less common.

So why do breeders backcross their Cockapoos? To avoid something called the “grandfather effect.”

The grandfather effect is when a puppy takes on more physical traits of one of its grandparents, rather than its parents. This can be due to genetics, or simply because the puppy more closely resembles one grandparent over the other.

This is more typical when breeding F2 Cockapoos. Instead of looking like a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle, they may look like one parent breed or the other. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re breeding or buying a designer dog, you probably want it to look like a perfect mix of both parent breeds.

Breeding an F2 Cockapoo back to a Poodle can help offset the grandfather effect and create puppies that more closely resemble the desired 50/50 mix. This also allows breeders to fine-tune certain physical traits, like coat type and color. For example, backcrossing an F2 Cockapoo to a Poodle can result in puppies with stronger genes from the Poodle’s curly, low-shedding coat.

  • F1b Cockapoos: These are the result of breeding an F1 Cockapoo, or first-generation cross, back to a Poodle.
  • F2b Cockapoos: This is when an F2 Cockapoo is bred back to a Poodle.

Are F1 Cockapoos Better Than Other Cockapoos?

No, F1 Cockapoos aren’t automatically better than F2, F1b, F2b, or any other type of Cockapoo. It all comes down to the quality of the breeder, and whether they’re focused on creating healthy, happy puppies.

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How to Choose a Cockapoo Puppy

Cockapoo Puppy
Image Credit: Pxhere

Regardless of the generational label, you want a well-bred Cockapoo puppy from a reputable breeder. This will give you the best chance of getting a healthy dog with a balanced temperament who closely resembles the Cockapoo breed standard.

Use these tips to find a good breeder:

Do Your Research

Before you even start talking to breeders, spend some time doing research on the Cockapoo breed. Learn about their temperament, exercise needs, health concerns, and what to expect in terms of grooming and upkeep.

The more you know about the breed, the less chance of you falling for marketing gimmicks and ending up with an unsuitable dog.

Get Referrals

Once you’ve done your homework on the Cockapoo breed, ask around for referrals to good breeders. Talk to your veterinarian, friends, and Cockapoo owners in your area. Try joining forums or online groups dedicated to Cockapoos or other dog breeds.

Check Out the Breeder’s Website

A good breeder will have a professional-looking website with clear information about their dogs. They should also have a detailed “about us” page that tells you more about their breeding program and their experience with Cockapoos.

Look for Red Flags

Be wary of any breeder who doesn’t want to answer your questions or let you meet the puppies and their parents. Also, steer clear of anyone who seems more interested in making a quick sale than in finding good homes.

Another red flag is a breeder who tries to sell puppies as young as 4 weeks old. The minimum age should be 12 weeks. This is especially important for crossbreeds like Cockapoos since their coat texture and other traits only start to come in around this age.

Ask Questions

Once you’ve found a few promising breeders, it’s time to start asking questions.

Here are some examples:
  • How long have you been breeding Cockapoos?
  • Do you breed any other dogs?
  • What do you look for in a good breeding dog?
  • How do you socialize the puppies?
  • What health tests do the parents undergo?
  • Have the puppies had their first set of shots?
  • Can I meet the parents?
  • At what age do you usually release your puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract or guarantee?
  • Can you provide references from other Cockapoo owners you’ve worked with?

If the breeder is hesitant to answer any of these questions, or if they give you evasive answers, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Go on a Kennel Visit

vet examining puppy cockapoo dog
Image By: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, pay a visit to each of the breeders on your list. This will give you a chance to see the Cockapoo puppies and their parents in person, and to get a feel for the breeder’s operation.

When you're there, pay attention to the following:
  • Are the dogs well-cared for?
  • Do they seem healthy?
  • Is the breeder knowledgeable and helpful?
  • Do the puppies seem well-socialized and comfortable around people?
  • How clean is the facility?

Remember, a kennel visit isn’t a commitment to buying a puppy. It’s simply an opportunity to get to know the breeder and their dogs better and to see if they’re a good match for you.

Get a Health Certificate

If you decide to purchase a Cockapoo puppy from a breeder, make sure you get a health certificate from a veterinarian. This should state that the puppy has been examined and is free of any obvious health problems.

Finally, be patient. Your new Cockapoo puppy will be with you for years, so you want to be sure you’re making the best decision for both of you.

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Wrapping It Up

Cockapoo F types are a great way to understand a Cockapoo’s lineage. However, an F designation doesn’t guarantee that your Cockapoo will have any specific traits or behave in a certain way. The best way to get the best dog for you is to do your research, screen potential breeders carefully, and visit them in person before making a decision.

See also: Cockapoo vs. Goldendoodle: How Are They Different?


Featured Image Credit: mountaintreks, Shutterstock

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