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Red Cockapoo: Facts, Origin and History (With Pictures)

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

cockapoo in the forest

As one of the original “designer dogs,” red Cockapoos are a hybrid breed created by crossing a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Red cockapoos are famous for their allergy-friendly coats and sweet personalities. Anyone with eyes can see they’re adorable, but how much else do you know about the red Cockapoo?

In this article, we’ll give you all the essential facts and history of the red Cockapoo. We’ll also let you know what it’s like to care for a red Cockapoo.

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The Earliest Records of the Red Cockapoo in History

The two breeds that make up the Cockapoo both hail from Europe initially: England for the Cocker Spaniel and France by way of Germany for the Poodle. It’s not known who first thought of crossing the two breeds into a red Cockapoo, but we know it happened in the United States.

The first Red Cockapoos were most likely the result of accidental breeding sometime in the mid-twentieth century. Once early breeders discovered the low-shedding nature and winning temperament, they began to produce the dogs deliberately. Although the number of Poodle hybrid breeds has since exploded, Cockapoos were one of the first.

How the Red Cockapoo Gained Popularity

cockapoo sitting on grass
Image Credit: shaymen99, Pixabay

While both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs, the Cockapoo was never meant to have any job other than a companion. With their mix of a Cocker Spaniel’s sweetness and the Poodle’s “class clown” personality, the Cockapoo’s temperament made them an instant hit among dog lovers.

Their popularity was further expanded when their low-shedding, low-odor coats became more well-known. Although there’s no guarantee of what you get when you cross two different breeds, enough Cockapoos inherited the Poodle coat to make them a good option for those with allergies. Today, Cockapoos can be found around the world.

Formal Recognition of the Red Cockapoo

Red cockapoos are mixed-breed dogs that are not formally recognized by the American Kennel Club or similar organizations in other countries. However, an American Cockapoo Club in the United States was founded in 2004. The club maintains a registry of breeders and asks them to follow a code of ethics.

It can be tough to evaluate designer dog breeders because there are no formal breed standards and health recommendations to hold them to. The Cockapoo Club at least tries to do so and may be a good place to start if you’re looking for a Cockapoo breeder.

Because Cockapoos are one of the oldest hybrid breeds, some formal efforts are underway to get them officially recognized. All purebred dogs, after all, started as mixed breeds, so why not the Cockapoo?

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Top 3 Unique Facts About the Red Cockapoo

Sweet cockapoo puppy close up shot
Image Credit: Pxhere

1. They Can be Different Sizes

Because Poodles come in three sizes, Cockapoos do too, depending on whether that parent is a Toy, Miniature, or Standard. The most common mix is with a Miniature Poodle, which tends to be about 15 pounds. Maxi Cockapoos, with Standard Poodle parents, can be as big as 65 pounds, while Toy Cockapoos can be as tiny as 5 pounds.

2. Their Coats Can be Different Shades of Red

In Poodles, the red coat color technically falls under the label of “apricot,” with shades anywhere from dark red to cream. Cocker Spaniels also come in more of a traditional red coat, so Cockapoos have a lot of different hues available. Some Cockapoos start darker red as puppies and fade lighter as they age.

3. Their Coat Color May Impact Their Personality

In humans, redheads have a reputation as quick-tempered. Red Cockapoos also carry a reputation for being feistier (but not aggressive) than other Cockapoo colors. Scientists have studied whether coat color and temperament are related in Cocker Spaniels.

They suggest there is a link between red coats and dominant-aggressive genes. However, genetics does not determine temperament, and you cannot assume red Cockapoos won’t be good pets.

Does the Red Cockapoo Make a Good Pet?

Red Cockapoos can make excellent pets for many people. No dog is truly hypoallergenic, but those with dog allergies may have an easier time living with a red Cockapoo. Small red Cockapoos can live in almost any setting, including crowded urban locations or senior homes.

Bigger red Cockapoos would probably benefit from a yard since they are quite playful and energetic. They are friendly, social dogs that enjoy being the center of attention. Busy individuals and families who are home infrequently probably aren’t the best fit for red Cockapoos; they thrive on human interaction.

Smaller red Cockapoos usually aren’t a good choice for families with small children. Toy red Cockapoos, especially, can easily be injured by rambunctious toddlers who don’t know any better. They usually get along with other pets, but socialization is critical.

Red Cockapoos are generally a joy to train, bright, and eager to please. Daily physical and mental stimulation is key to keeping a red Cockapoo happy and healthy.

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If you’re intrigued by what you’ve learned about red Cockapoos, remember that these facts are a general description of the breed. Breeding hybrid dogs is less predictable than purebreds. A red Cockapoo may be more similar to either parent or a more even mixture of the two.

Mixed-breed dogs have a reputation for being healthier, but they can also inherit genetic diseases from either parent. The little dogs can live to 15 years old, and a lifetime commitment to a red Cockapoo can be longer than most breeds!

See also: How Big Does a Cockapoo Get? (With Size & Weight Chart)


Featured Image Credit: mountaintreks, Shutterstock

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