Red Cockapoo: Facts, Origin and History
As one of the original “designer dogs,” red Cockapoos are a hybrid breed created by crossing a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. Red cockapoos are famous for their allergy-friendly coats and sweet personalities. Anyone with eyes can see they’re adorable, but how much else do you know about the red Cockapoo?
How the Red Cockapoo Gained Popularity
While both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles were originally bred as hunting dogs, the Cockapoo was never meant to have any job other than a companion. With their mix of a Cocker Spaniel’s sweetness and the Poodle’s “class clown” personality, the Cockapoo’s temperament made them an instant hit among dog lovers.
Their popularity was further expanded when their low-shedding, low-odor coats became more well-known. Although there’s no guarantee of what you get when you cross two different breeds, enough Cockapoos inherited the Poodle coat to make them a good option for those with allergies. Today, Cockapoos can be found around the world.
The Earliest Records of the Red Cockapoo in History
The two breeds that make up the Cockapoo both hail from Europe initially: England for the Cocker Spaniel and France by way of Germany for the Poodle. It’s not known who first thought of crossing the two breeds into a red Cockapoo, but we know it happened in the United States.
The first Red Cockapoos were most likely the result of accidental breeding sometime in the mid-twentieth century. Once early breeders discovered the low-shedding nature and winning temperament, they began to produce the dogs deliberately. Although the number of Poodle hybrid breeds has since exploded, Cockapoos were one of the first.
Formal Recognition of the Red Cockapoo
Red cockapoos are mixed-breed dogs that are not formally recognized by the American Kennel Club or similar organizations in other countries. However, an American Cockapoo Club in the United States was founded in 2004. The club maintains a registry of breeders and asks them to follow a code of ethics.
It can be tough to evaluate designer dog breeders because there are no formal breed standards and health recommendations to hold them to. The Cockapoo Club at least tries to do so and may be a good place to start if you’re looking for a Cockapoo breeder.
Because Cockapoos are one of the oldest hybrid breeds, some formal efforts are underway to get them officially recognized. All purebred dogs, after all, started as mixed breeds, so why not the Cockapoo?
Top Unique Facts About the Red Cockapoo
Red Cockapoos Have a Genetic Predisposition for Being Feisty
Don’t let this heading dissuade you. Red-colored cockapoos might be feisty, but they are not aggressive. People’s conception of Red Cockapoos is an homage to the old tale that red-headed women are feisty. In the case of cockapoos, there is a fine line between feistiness and aggression.
Some studies indicate that red hair is a sign of heritability for the dominant-aggressive gene in English Cocker Spaniels. More work is being done in the area, and scientists every day are learning more about the genetics of our furry friends.
However, this is not a sign that Red Cockapoos are aggressive dogs. A nurturing environment and unconditional love will negate any minor influence this genetic marker may have in determining a dog’s temperament.
Red Coloring Is the Result of Careful Breeding Selection
Like most animals who breed sexually, the offspring of a Cockapoo pairing receive DNA from both their mother and father. Dogs have approximately 20,000 genes spread across 39 chromosomes. Coat color, like hair color in humans, is not a simple trait but a complex one, and thus, multiple factors will ultimately influence a pup’s fur shade.
The red color that has earned the Red Cockapoo its name is a product of two specific melanins present in all dogs’ genetic makeup: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is attributed to darker pigments, while pheomelanin is responsible for the creamier colors – including red!
Of course, keep in mind that from any one pairing, there are millions of genetic combinations that offspring can receive. This fact is why the wide spectrum of coloring exists. Some Red Cockapoos will be strawberry, while others look closer to brown. You have infinite variation in between.
The Red Cockapoo Was Bred for Temperament, not Appearance
Red Cockapoos have fluffy faces and small, toy-like bodies. They look almost like the dog equivalent of designer handbags. You might ask yourself, was this intentional?
While breeders did design the Red Cockapoo to be beautiful, they also worked hard to create a wholesome dog. Breeders started with Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, breeding them together to give birth to the Red Cockapoo.
Both Cocker Spaniels and Poodles have long been praised for their calm demeanors, their intelligence, and their people-loving personalities. When breeders first started cross-breeding Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, they intended to create the ideal companion.
This endeavor has been largely successful. Cockapoo owners across the board have given their dogs plenty of accolades; people consider them the perfect playmates. They are great with children and adults and are not flustered by droves of affection.
In general, breeders would generally say that a few caveats exist. Cockapoos as a breed, regardless of their coloring, tend to do best in homes with well-mannered, older children who are not prone to picking and prodding at them.
Red Cockapoos are gentle souls but it can be difficult for them to tolerate ear-yanks and tail pulling. This fact is true for almost any animal. In the end, disciplined children make for the best companions.
Red Cockapoos Are an “Allergy-Friendly” Pet
As a breed, Cockapoos shed little to no hair in their lifetime. Because they shed so little, Red Cockapoos won’t get hair all over your clothing or furniture. This lack of shedding also means that Red Cockapoos are more compatible with their human friends who happen to have allergies to pet dander.
After all, pet dander is the number one reason a majority of people have an allergic reaction to fuzzy friends.
With the Red Cockapoo, you can rest assured knowing your dog is relatively shed-free. You’ll have a fantastic forever friend and save money on lint rollers with these precious pups.
A Typical Litter Consists of 4-6 Puppies
If you are a breeder, this fact is probably a little more relevant to you! In general, the average litter size for all dog breeds is about six puppies per birth. Cockapoo litters tend to be smaller in number, although not always. Thus, the price for a Red Cockapoo puppy can be higher than the average.
Factor in the demand for these lovable babies, and it is no surprise that people charge so much.
(Red) Cockapoos Are a Pet for the Stars
“Red” here is in parentheses because there are some celebrities known for having Cockapoos as pets, ranging from white to red. From Lady Gaga and her pal, Fozzi, to Supernatural star Jensen Ackles, there is no shortage of famous people that have adopted Red Cockapoos into their families.
What is not to love? There appears to be something of a “Cockapoo Craze,” as stars left and right continue to purchase these poofy-coated pets. Other famous people who have been seen with Cockapoos are Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Ashley Judd, Jersey Shore’s Sammi Sweetheart Giancola, and even Jennifer Anniston!
As far as Red Cockapoos specifically? Recently, Victoria Beckham has become the owner of an adorable red, named Fig, that she has loaded numerous pictures of onto her social media platforms. They include her wearing Cockapoo socks! They certainly make a lovely duo!
Red Cockapoos Are Small Dogs with Long Lifespans
When you bring a Red Cockapoo puppy into your home, you can look forward to spending many years with your furry friend. The statistical average lifespan of the Cockapoo breed is roughly 10-13 years, while other sources have ballparked it up to 15!
Of course, when you take only the best care of your dog, they may very well exceed the estimated average and live up to two decades.
What is certain is that these little dogs tend to live longer than their larger counterparts, barring external factors, so you have years of cuddling and adventure in store for you and your family when you adopt a Red Cockapoo.
Red Cockapoos Are Usually More Expensive than Dark-colored Cockapoos
A lot of work goes into breeding selectively for specific fur colors, and genetics are always a bit of a gamble, as was previously mentioned under the heading about genetics. This fact gets trickier when a dog breed is known to have smaller litter because that spells more attention to detail from breeders.
They must be incredibly careful when choosing which dogs they are mating to ensure the desired outcome of red-haired pups.
Because of the popularity of Red Cockapoos, the markup can be hundreds of dollars for these beautiful dogs. Of course, given their spotless reputation as excellent companions, the price is always well worth the purchase. What is a couple of thousand dollars for a one-time purchase guaranteed to bring over a decade of happiness to you and your family?
There Is an American Cockapoo Club and you can join!
The American Cockapoo Club (ACC) was founded in 2004 and is a comprehensive registry for Cockapoo pups and accredited breeders across the United States. If you have a Cockapoo, breed Cockapoos, or are thinking of getting a Cockapoo, their webpage is a fantastic resource to start you on your road to becoming the ideal Cockapoo owner.
There is a one-time membership fee of $50 USD that, once paid, will bring you innumerable benefits, especially if you are a breeder. Some of these include:
- Ability to add/update your kennel information entirely online.
- ACC registration of your breeding stock – photos included.
- Advertisement on the ACC website.
- Low-cost litter registration through the ACC.
- Breeder login area that is accessible only to verified members.
- Kennel information and photos are displayed on the ACC website.
- Provides buyers with registerable puppies.
If you’re intrigued by what you’ve learned about red Cockapoos, remember that these facts are a general description of the breed. Breeding hybrid dogs is less predictable than purebreds. A red Cockapoo may be more similar to either parent or a more even mixture of the two.
Mixed-breed dogs have a reputation for being healthier, but they can also inherit genetic diseases from either parent. The little dogs can live to 15 years old, and a lifetime commitment to a red Cockapoo can be longer than most breeds!