Cockapoo vs Goldendoodle: Popular Mixes Compared

October 18, 2022

Designer dogs are becoming more and more popular as time goes on and who can blame potential pet parents considering these stunning mixed breeds?

Usually bringing together the best traits of both parent breeds, hybrid dogs are an excellent choice for anyone doing research to find their next canine companion.

If this is you two of the most popular mixes you will have come across are the Golden Doodle and Cockapoo. But how can you choose which one is the best fit for you?

While both of these dogs are excellent pics for would-be pup parents, there are quirks and traits of each that makes one better than the other for specific situations.

In this article, we are going to be answering exactly that. By the time you reach the end, you will have a very firm understanding of what to expect from a Cockapoo and a Golden Doodle.

Parent Breeds

When comparing these two breeds, the best place to start is to look at which dogs were bred to make each of them. They are both Poodle hybrid breeds but are different due to the other half of their genetic mix.

Firstly, the Cockapoo was first bred by mating a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. There are quite a few variations of Cockapoo that can be bred depending on the sizes or types of Cocker Spaniel and Poodle which are mated.

The Goldendoodle is also part Poodle, but the other half is a Golden Retriever. I suppose the name gives that away a little.


Next, let's take a look at how each of these cross-bred dogs differs.

Cockapoo History

The Cockapoo story starts around sixty years ago in the early 1960s when it was first bred by mistake in the United States by designer dog breeders.

The goal here was to create a dog that took the kind and loving nature that Cocker Spaniels are known for and pair it with the low-shedding and hypoallergenic traits that Poodle genetics would offer.

Anyone familiar with this hybrid dog will tell you that they succeeded. The resulting breed has all the best traits from both. With its merry temperament and list of appealing traits, the Cockapoo has continued to grow in popularity since its creation, though it still is not a recognised dog breed by the American Kennel Club.

Goldendoodle History

The Goldendoodle is almost as old as the Cockapoo being first bred in 1969. However, this Poodle mix didn't gain much popularity until the 1990s. This mix also originated in America but also Australia.

Breeders of this crossbreed aimed to create an alternative to the Labradoodle, another desirable hybrid. The Goldendoodle is also not recognised by any major breeding clubs.

Physical Differences

The Goldendoodle and Cockapoo come in a wide range of sizes, depending on the type of Poodle used to breed them.

There are some very notable differences between both breeds that should play a role in which you choose. Cockapoos are classed as small or medium-sized dogs, while Goldendoodles are categorised as large.

Let's look at how much of a difference there really is.


On average, Goldendoodles are the larger of the two, which is not surprising when you consider the difference in the size difference between Cocker Spaniels and Golden Retrievers.

A standard adult Goldendoodle measures around 14 to 21 inches high, while a Maxi Cockapoo will be far shorter at only between 10 and 15 inches tall on average, depending on the type.


The large differences in height do continue when looking at the average weights of both hybrid dogs.

Goldendoodles are again the larger dogs weighing in at around 18-23kg fully grown. While an adult standard Cockapoo should only weigh around 5.4-11kg. A huge difference.

Coat Colours

Both the Cockapoo and Goldendoodle come in a wide range of colours. So far, this includes 13 for the Golden doodle and 16 for the Cockapoo.

All of the Goldendoodle's coat colours are solid colours with just one parti-colour, which is black and white. Cockapoos are quite similar when it comes to coat colours and are largely seen with solid colours. The difference is that you can get a Cockapoo in tri-colour or roan colours too.

As both of these mixes are part Poodle they have that Poodle gene that can lead to the colour of its coat becoming a bit lighter as they mature. If you want to learn more about this, we have an article on Cockapoo coats fading.


The Goldendoodle and Cockapoo are both well-known for having kind, affectionate natures and an at times insatiable curiosity.

There are a few traits that are more seen in specific dogs of each breed though. For example, Cockapoos are more known for their energy, not just their need for physical activity but their approach to life. You will find this dog is most likely looking to get into mischief.

On the other hand, Goldendoodles are known for their loyalty. While loyalty and connection with their owners is something you will see in both dogs it is seen on a far deeper level when you look at Goldendoodles.

The easygoing and amenable nature of both Goldendoodles and Cockapoos are well-suited to family life. Both get along well with children and will take any opportunity for a cuddle or scratch.


There have been many studies into dog intelligence, but none included designer dogs in their stats. How we will compare Goldendoodle and Cockapoo intelligence will be by looking at how bright the parent breeds of each are.

As both dog breeds are part Poodle, it's fair to say both dogs will be pretty bright, it is the second smartest dog breed around. The other part of their genetic makeup is where they differ.

When this is taken into account, the Goldendoodle takes the top spot as the Golden Retriever is ranked as the 4th smartest dog, while the English Cocker Spaniel comes in 21st place for intelligence. Still an impressive placement out of all dog breeds, but not as high as the Golden Retriever.

Given how smart both dogs are, you will need to make sure you properly mentally stimulate your new furry friend, or it may lead to boredom and destructive behaviour.


Both the Goldendoodle and Cockapoo are really bright dogs. You will have no trouble getting basic house training sorted out very quickly. Moving on to more advanced training for specific dog sports or jobs wouldn't be a problem for either breed.

Did you know the Goldendoodle was originally used as a service dog? Also, while Cockapoos were bred as companion dogs, they have also been known to be working dogs. Just look at its parent breeds: the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel were bred to hunt.


The Goldendoodle and Cockapoo are both very popular dog breeds. Which is most popular actually depends on where you are. It is a very different story if you are in the United States or the UK.

Cockapoos popularity compared to Goldendoodles in the UK

UK Popularity Cockapoo vs Goldendoodle

In the UK Cockapoos are far more popular than Goldendoodle by a very large margin.

This is likely due to the English Cocker Spaniel being from the UK and one of the most popular breeds in the UK. The Pet Journey listed the Cockapoo as the most popular designer dog breed in the United Kingdom.

Cockapoos popularity compared to Goldendoodles in the USA

USA Popularity Cockapoo vs Goldendoodle

America is a very different story from the UK, with Goldendoodles being far more popular than Cockapoos. Again, it is not just a marginal difference.

The data from Google Trends is also backed up by a study by Rover, which showed the Goldendoodle to be the 5th most popular breed in America for 2021.


Another area where Cockapoos and Goldendoodles differ is in their exercise needs.

As the Goldendoodles are large dogs, they need between an hour and a half to two hours of exercise per day, far more than Cockapoos exercise needs, which is between 40 minutes and an hour, depending on the type you get.

Since both of these dogs come from breeds with a history of being hunting dogs having adventures outside is a fundamental part of both.

The amount of exercise your dog needs daily is an important aspect to consider before getting a new dog. If you are choosing between these two breeds, then this could be a decision-maker.


Both the Goldendoodle and Cocker Spaniel are predisposed to quite a few health conditions. This is a result of blending the genetics of both parent breeds, while you do get the lovely personality traits, you also have to take the health conditions with it.

That said, there is no hard and fast rule that this will happen. There is every possibility that your dog will sidestep the negative aspects. It is very possible, I've had a Cocker Spaniel for seven years and am yet to see any of the problems occur.

A few of the conditions you will want to keep an eye out for include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Thyroid problems
  • Ear infections

Don't let this put you off though, regular vet checkups are the key to finding out early enough to do something most of the time.

Life Expectancy

When it comes to lifespan the Cockapoo wins with an average range of 13 to 15 years, while the Goldendoodle has a slightly lower range of between 10 and 15 years.

Interestingly there have been studies into the average dog age and size which found that smaller dogs live longer. This may help explain why Cockapoos typically live longer.

Litter Size

The litter size of a pregnant Cockapoo or Goldendoodle is also a bit different, but not quite as much as you may think given the size difference.

Cockapoos are capable of having between three and seven puppies while Goldendoodles can have between three and eight. You will find that most breeds hover around these figures.


Both Cockapoos and Goldendoodles are fairly low-effort dogs to keep well-groomed. Though the dogs which have more curly coats will require a bit extra effort over those that don't to avoid tangles and knots.

Neither are known for being big shedders, something to thank Poodle genes for again. Particularly seeing that Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels both shed a fair amount.

Of course, you will still need to take care of general grooming tasks such as brushing, cutting their nails, and the odd bath. But this will be the case regardless of the dog breed you choose.


Both of these hybrid breeds are classed as hypoallergenic dogs. This trait is one they can thank the Poodle genetics for.

That said, no dog is 100% guaranteed not to cause allergic reactions. If you are looking to have the best chance of no allergy problems, your best bet is to get a pup that is more Poodle than the other part. For example, an F1B Cockapoo will be 75% Poodle.


If you have made it this far you likely have a favourite between the Cockapoo and Goldendoodle. While these two breeds are quite similar in many regards there are some fairly big differences that will influence their appeal to potential pup parents.

Really take your time to evaluate your options and understand which dog will be the best fit for your family. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the main differences between these breeds and got you closer to making a decision.

The good news is that no match which of these dogs you choose you are surely on to a winner since both are incredibly loving, smart, and playful dogs.

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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