Cockapoos have trumped the Labrador as the most popular dog breed in the UK – but do people know exactly what they’re signing up for?
Dog trainer and behaviour expert Suzi Walsh told Moncrieff the mix of Cocker Spaniel and Poodle can cause a lot of chaos.
“They're very bright and they're a lot of fun, but unfortunately, they're not a great mix,” she said.
“As a rule of generalisation, the Cocker Spaniel would be quite high on the bite rate when it comes to dogs.
“They’re very popular pets... but they’re much more quick to bite.”
Poodles are also a highly intelligence dog, meaning breeding them together can create a lot of work for owners.
“Mixing them together sometimes makes a little bit of a perfect storm and they can be quite a tough dog to have from a behaviour point of view,” she said.
“Also, from a coat maintenance point of view, a Cocker coat mixed with a curly coat makes for a very high maintenance dog in terms of exercise levels, intelligence levels.”
Ms Walsh said the idea of Cockapoos being ‘hypoallergenic’ is a myth – because all dogs shed their coats at least a little bit.
“Dogs that produce less fur obviously produce less dandruff, but there's no such thing as a hypoallergenic [dog],” she said.
“It’s kind of a catchphrase that breeders have used over the years mainly to have a way to sell dog.”
It’s also a myth that dogs of mixed breeds are going to be healthier than purebred dogs, according to Ms Walsh.
“There's no research that suggests that that would be the case actually,” she said.
“In fact, if you breed two dogs that both have health issues, the chances are that you're going to get more health issues.”
Although there is nothing inherently better about purebred dogs, thorough breeding requires more health checks to ensure both dogs can produce healthy offspring.
“People who generally breed Cockapoos don't do that because they don't have to do,” Ms Walsh explained.
“You can get a dog that has an incredibly long lifespan with no difficulties, but equally you could get two parents that both have problems and therefore your puppies are going to have a huge amount of problem.”
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