What Goes Into The Making Of A Toy Cockapoo?
Purchasing a toy cockapoo as a puppy is not always as easy as one might think. If you observe a newborn litter of first generation cockapoos, all the pups will be the same size. You cannot tell from looking at an individual pup which size it will grow to be. It doesn't matter if the mother was a toy poodle, a mini poodle or a standard-sized poodle, puppies from the same little can grow to different sizes.
A first generation cockapoo, including the toy cockapoo, is by definition one-half American cocker spaniel and one-half poodle. As the first generation cockapoo matures it will look neither like a spaniel nor like a poodle, but will have some of the characteristics of both. The cockapoo, and the toy cockapoo also, is not a recognized breed as far as the American Kennel Club is concerned. That has not stopped it from being a favorite breed, and people are willing to pay good money for a genuine toy cockapoo.
With one of it's parents, the poodle, being one of the most intelligent of the dog breeds, it's little wonder that a toy cockapoo is also a very intelligent little dog, that takes to training very well. In addition to being one of the brighter crayons in the box, the toy cockapoo usually makes a great companion, enjoys human companionship, and in general has an excellent disposition. On occasion, a cockapoo will have some of the more aggressive tendencies often characteristic of the cocker spaniel. If caught at an early age, this characteristic can generally be trained out of it.
The question remains, if you want to purchase a toy cockapoo, how do you know what you're getting if it's a first generation cockapoo. The short answer is, you don't. A first generation cockapoo, as previously noted, is half spaniel and half poodle. To get a litter that is almost (not 100%) guaranteed to consist only of toy-sized cockapoos, there usually has to be several generations of breeding involved. Take a true (1st generation) toy cockapoo, and breed it to another true toy cockapoo, and the resulting litter should have some toy cockapoos in it. Repeat the process for a couple of generations and you should be starting to get almost all toy cockapoos in each litter.
What is happening is that each successive generation is becoming a little less 50-50 cocker spaniel and poodle, and a little more "pure" cockapoo. The use of the word "pure" should be distinguished for the word "true". Toy cockapoo breeders establish a lineage of pure cockapoos and breed for size. In this way they're able to count on a litter that will consist primarily if not entirely of toy cockapoos.
Breeders have at times bred a cockapoo with a toy poodle. The result is not a cockapoo, but a dog which will either look something more like a poodle, or simply look like something other than a cockapoo. Such dogs are called by some, a cockapoo-poo, by others, a mutt. It still may be an adorable little dog though.
If you're in the market for a genuine toy cockapoo, question the breeder about the bloodlines of the dog. A reputable breeder should be able to go back several generations, with a family tree documenting the fact that the first generation cockapoo had pure bred poodle and cocker spaniel parents, and the succeeding generations were bred from either true cockapoos or pure toy cockapoos. A reputable dealer will usually refund your money or work a swap if the dog you purchase happens to have inherited a gene that causes it to grow larger than toy size. There's a good chance that if this happens, and it probably won't happen often, by the time you find your toy cockapoo isn't toy-sized at all, you've already grown very fond of it.