Are Cockapoos Smart?

October 8, 2022

If you are considering a new canine companion and still deciding on a breed, you may be looking at bright a breed is. Your dog's intelligence can make a significant difference in how long it takes to train your dog and what other activities are possible to do with your dog.

Well, if you are considering a Cockapoo, then the good news is that this breed is regarded as a clever dog breed that is intuitive and highly trainable.

Really this shouldn't come as much of a surprise, though, seeing that Cockapoos are half Poodle and half Cocker Spaniel. Two dog breeds that are known for being smart dogs.

In this article, we will look at how smart Cockapoos are and a few of the most common questions about the subject.

Are Cockapoos Smarter than the Average Dog?

Yes, Cockapoos are smarter than the average dog.

Let me explain how I know this. While there have not been any studies on dog intelligence that included Cockapoos, we can look at how smart the Cockapoo's parent breeds are known to be.

Let's start by looking at how smart Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are.

First off, both of these dog breeds are known for being smart dogs. In a study by Stanley Coren Poodles came second out of all breeds in intelligence while Cocker Spaniels came in 20th. Coming in 20th still makes the Cocker Spaniel a very smart dog. Particularly when you consider this was ranked out of 138 dog breeds!

Unfortunately, there has not been a study done on the

So, breeding these two intelligent dog breeds will result in a very clever canine! There is no doubt that your Cockapoo is going to be far smarter than the average dog.

How is Cockapoo Intelligence Measured?

There are a few ways that we can measure canine intelligence.

First, if we look at the study referenced above there are three areas of dog intelligence to consider.

These are:

  • Instinctive: Traits related to jobs such as hunting or herding
  • Adaptive: Problem-solving abilities and social awareness
  • Working and Obedience: Trainability and obedience

Both parent breeds scored incredibly well in all of these categories. The Cocker Spaniel was bred as a hunting dog and even owes its name to it. Can't get much better than that! Altogether this genetic mix will result in a bright dog.

Testing your Cockapoo's Intelligence

So, we have established that the breeds used to create a Cockapoo are clever, but how can you test your Cockapoo's intelligence?

Thankfully, there are a few methods you can use as a little Cockapoo IQ test at home. Let's take a look at the tests involved for each activity your Cockapoo will be scored based on its performance.

Test One: The Towel Test

For the first test, you only need to place a large towel over your Cockapoo's head. The aim is to see how long it takes your dog to take it off.


  • Three points: Under 10 seconds
  • Two points: 11-25 seconds
  • One point: Over 25 seconds

If your Cockapoo has not removed the towel from its head by 30 seconds you should take the towel away. We don't want to make your dog uncomfortable if they are not getting it.

Test Two: Time for a Walk!

In the next test, we are assessing how perceptive your dog is. Start getting your shoes on and grabbing your dog's lead and harness as if you are going for a walk. While you are doing this keep an eye on how your Cockapoo responds.

Make sure your dog is close by when you start doing this.


  • Three points: Instantly becomes excited and goes towards the door
  • Two points: If you get fully prepared before they catch on
  • One point: No response

Test Three: Where is my Toy?

Grab an empty bucket or basin and start playing with your Cockapoo's favourite toy. Start to build up interest in chasing the toy and then place it under the bucket. Here we are assessing your Cockapoo's problem-solving skills and ability to retrieve the toy.


  • Three points: Your dog instantly pushes the basin over
  • Two points: It takes a few attempts
  • One point: Your dog just cries and looks for help

Test Four: Where is the Snack?

For this test, you need three cups, one treat, and a Cockapoo!

Have your Cockapoo sitting in front of you and place the three cups on the ground then while your dog is watching show the treat and place it under one cup. Mix the cups around a few times and tell your dog to go get the treat.

Here we are measuring how perceptive your Cockapoo can be.


  • Three points: Your dog finds the treat straight away
  • Two points: It takes two or three tries
  • One point: Your dog doesn't understand how to get the treat

Test Five: The Barrier Test

Create a barrier that your Cockapoo can't just walk past but leave a space at the side that they could push through partially open. You can use an old cardboard box to create this, most people will have one lying around.

Once you've made this show your dog a high-value treat or one of their favourite toys being thrown to the other side and see if they work out how to reach it.


  • Three points: Instantly works out how to get through
  • Two points: Takes up to one minute to get past
  • One point: Can't manage/cries for help

Test Six: I'm Getting that Treat!

The last test is incredibly straightforward. You just need to take a treat and place it under the sofa or in a hard-to-reach spot. Not somewhere that is impossible, but somewhere that will require a little effort to get to.

This could be a few inches under a sofa for example.


  • Three points: Your dog grabs it straight away
  • Two points: It takes a few shots or paws are involved
  • One point: Can't manage/cries for help

Can you Make your Cockapoo Smarter?

Yes, it is definitely possible to make a dog more intelligent.

While it won't exactly be possible to turn a Beagle (77th smartest dog breed) into a Poodle (2nd smartest breed) you can make your dog more preceptive and train many skills into your dog.

The key to making your Cockapoo smarter is to focus on mental stimulation. There are many ways to mentally stimulate your dog. It can be done with creative games like hiding and having your dog find you, this work with hidden toys or treats too.

There is also the option for puzzle toys or snuffle mats to keep your dog's mind occupied.

Over time you will find your Cockapoo becomes sharper if you do this on a regular basis. Just like anything the more you do it the better results you are likely to get.

Remember to Keep Practicing

It is important to stay consistent when training your dog. If you teach a Cockapoo puppy basic obedience training and how to behave properly and don't use these commands for years don't be surprised if they don't remember them.

Try to use commands on a regular basis to make sure your dog remembers them when it matters the most.

Also, teaching your Cockapoo new and interesting tricks is a great way to ensure your dog is mentally satisfied and becomes smarter! These hybrid dogs are pretty sharp so you can get quite advanced with what you are teaching.

Dogs can understand up to 200 commands, far more than the average Cockapoo will need to learn. This does mean your Cockapoo will be able to learn as much as you want to train it to.

How Smart is a Cockapoo Compared to a Human?

Cockapoos are clever as far as dogs are concerned but not when measured against a human.

Essentially, Cockapoo's intelligence is equal to a two and a half year old human child. It is still pretty impressive though that a dog is smart that a human child a few years old!


So, are Cockapoos smart?

Yes, Cockapoos are well known for being bright dogs. Designer dogs will be influenced heavily by the parent breeds they are bred from. Luckily Cockapoos hit the genetic lottery here being half English Cocker Spaniel and half Poodle. Two very clever dogs!

While it will be very clear to anyone who has a Cockapoo that this designer dog is quick on the uptake, it is also good to know that Cockapoos compared well against other dogs.

These dogs are easy to train and very quick to pick up new skills. All thanks to the puppy's parents being two very smart dogs. You will struggle to find a Cocker Spaniel mix that is smarter than the Cockapoo!

But do keep in mind that as your Cockapoo dog is bright it will need extra attention when it comes to being stimulated mentally.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
Spaniel Advisor aims to be the top online resource for sharing information about all Spaniel breeds. 
Copyright 2022 - All Rights Reserved.