Cockapoo vs Cocker Spaniel: A Detailed Comparision

September 17, 2022

Choosing a new dog is an exciting time for both new and seasoned dog owners alike and one of the biggest decisions you will need to make is which breed of dog you will have.

Spaniel dog breeds are a solid choice for anyone looking for a new canine family member that will have a kind, affectionate nature, be full of energy, and always be ready for an adventure.

If this sounds like what you are looking for in a new dog then both Cocker Spaniels and Cockapoo's are solid picks that it would be hard to go wrong with.

But how to decide which one is right for you?

Well, in this article we will run over everything you need to know to pick a dog that is right for you. There are quite a few similarities between both breeds but also a few distinct differences that may influence your decision.

Ready to learn everything about these brilliant dog breeds?

Let's get started!


Let's start by looking at the history of Cocker Spaniels Cockapoo's and where these breeds came from.

Cocker Spaniel History

Cocker Spaniels are the older breed of the two dating back as far as the 14th century! They come from the UK and were originally bred to hunt as gun dogs, it's actually where they got their name from as Cockers were particularly good at hunting a bird called the Woodcock.

Over time the Cocker Spaniel made its way to the USA and was bred to become its own breed which led to the American Cocker Spaniel joining the English Cocker Spaniel.

Cockers these days are still widely seen as a brilliant working dog but are also now far more popular as a companion dog. Cockers are also great family dogs.

Cockapoo History

Cockapoo's have not been around for several hundred years like Cockers, in fact, this breed is actually a cross between the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel. Most commonly an American Cocker but English Cockers have been used before too.

The aim of this mix was to produce a healthy dog which didn't have the health defects which were commonly seen in the two actual breeds. There is no evidence this was the actual result though.

Cockapoo's were first bred in the 1960's in the United States and have only gained in popularity since to this point where they are the most popular of all Poodle crosses.

Physical Differences

The easiest way to recognise if you are looking at a Cocker Spaniel or Cockapoo is by their appearance. There are a few key differences you should know about.

Size and Weight

Both of these breeds are on the smaller size of the spectrum when it comes to dog sizes and are classed as medium breeds.

While both are medium dogs, Cocker Spaniels are the larger of the two breeds by a good amount. Even a small female Cocker Spaniel on the smaller side is likely to weigh more than the largest Cockapoo.

Cocker Spaniel Stats:

  • Height:
    • Male: 38-43 cm
    • Female: 36-41 cm
  • Weight:
    • Male: 13-16 kg
    • Female: 12-15 kg

Cockapoo Stats:

  • Height: 23-46 cm
  • Weight: 5.4-11 kg


Apart from their size difference, there are also a few physical features that give it away. Firstly, Cockapoos have smaller ears than Cockers do. They still hang over the side of their head, but not quite as long as Cocker Spaniel's ears do.

Cockapoo also has a shorter muzzle that can appear a bit broader too. Especially when compared to English Cocker Spaniels.

The style of their coat is another difference you will note between these dog breeds. Cocker Spaniels have a long and wavy coat that is generally a far smoother coat type. Being half Poodle, a Cockapoo will have more of a curlier/scruffy appearing coat that can look a bit all over the place. The Poodle coat is pretty distinctive!

It can be a bit flatter though depending on how much Poodle is in the mix.

Personality Traits

Both breeds are known for being loving, affectionate dogs who make excellent family members. There are not that many differences to highlight in this section.

Both Cockapoos and Cocker Spaniels are great with kids and adore their families. This makes both excellent choices for a new family dog. They thrive on social interaction and always want to be involved.

It would be worth noting that depending on how much Poodle you have in your Cockapoo you could end up with more of that breed's traits bleeding through in their personality. Some Poodles can be a little unsure of or even aggressive to strangers.


Again both dogs are highly intelligent breeds, though Cockapoo's are likely the smarter of the two.

Cocker Spaniels are the 21st smartest breed out of all the dog breeds, however, Poodles ranked 2nd. As Cockapoo's are a mix of both breeds you can safely assume that a Cockapoo will sit somewhere in the middle taking a little from both. This places them higher on the list than Cockers.

Unfortunately, this study did not include mixes though so there is no data to back that part up.

This does mean training either of these dog breeds will be a breeze. If you were curious about which would be simpler to house train you can tick that off your list.

Coat Colours

Cockapoo and Cocker Spaniels both come in a broad selection of colours. However, Cocker Spaniels are available in a wider selection overall.

Cocker Spaniels come in 22 different coat colours, although only 15 of these are regarded as breed standard by the AKC. This spans a wide range of coat styles such as solid, parti-coloured, roan, and tri-colour coats. You can most easily find solid, roan, or parti-coloured Cockers.

Cockapoos come in 14 coat variations these coats cover the same wide range of styles seen above apart from roan, which isn't usually found in this crossbreed. Solid colours are the most common.

Grooming Needs

Cockapoos and Cocker Spaniels will both need to be groomed on a regular basis. Both at home and professionally. One benefit of the Cockapoo is that they shed far less than Cocker Spaniels. This is thanks to the Poddle in them.

There are different grooming styles you can opt for when you have a Cockapoo or Cocker Spaniel


A very important distinction for potential pup parents who have allergies is that the Cockapoo are hypoallergenic while the Cocker Spaniel is not.

This key detail can make a difference if someone is able to have a dog or not. You will need to make sure you get your Cockapoo from an ethical breeder with good standards to be sure though.


While the Cockapoo is not part of the AKC's breed popularity listings there are still ways we can work out which breed is the most popular. And after doing the research I can say it depends on where we are talking about.

UK Cocker Spaniel vs Cockapoo Popularity
Cocker Spaniel vs Cockapoo popularity in the UK

UK Popularity

In the UK Cockapoos and Cocker Spaniels are pretty much even in terms of popularity.

This is really impressive seeing that it is a crossbreed of Cocker and has not been around that long relatively speaking. And even though they are pretty much even with Cockers the Cockapoo is the most popular rescue dog breed in the UK.

USA Cocker Spaniel vs Cockapoo Popularity
Cocker Spaniel vs Cockapoo popularity in America

USA Popularity

The situation is a little different in America as Cocker Spaniels are far more popular the Cockapoos.

New York is the only part of America where the Cockapoo is more popular than the Cocker Spaniel.

Exercise Needs

Cockapoos and Cocker Spaniels both need around one hour of exercise per day to stay happy and healthy. This can be broken up into a couple of 30min sessions if that is easier for your schedule.

There are many ways you can give your dog a good workout beyond a typical dog walk such as running, swimming, or even playing games. Mixing it up is a great way to keep your dog thinking and add a little variety.


These dog breeds share quite a few health issues. A few examples include hip dysplasia, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Likely a result of sharing some of their genetics.

That said, there are a few conditions which are more commonly found in one of these dog breeds.

Cockapoos are prone to a condition called luxating patella. This impacts their mobility with kneecaps becoming dislocated. It's regarded as quite a common complaint.

A condition Cocker Spaniels are more likely to get is ear infections. This is due to the design of their long floppy ears hanging over the side of their heads. It creates a warm and humid environment that is ideal for the growth of bacteria.

Life Expectancy

Cocker Spaniel and Cockapoo life expectancy is the same being between 12 and 15 years. Though it is definitely possible for your dog to beat this range if you ensure they have a good diet, regular vet visits, and get plenty of exercise.


If you have made it this far you now know everything you need to about how this popular poodle mix differs from a Cocker Spaniel.

Both are very friendly dogs who make great family members for anyone considering becoming a pup parent. It really is hard to go wrong when choosing between these breeds.

Cockapoo owners have the added benefit of having a hypoallergenic dog, so if you do suffer from allergies you may want to take this into account.

No matter which of these loving, intelligent dogs you choose you are making one of the best decisions you could.

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! 
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