C is for COCKAPOO | #AtoZChallenge

85 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge, C is for COCKAPOO
Day 3, April 4


The Cockapoo is the result of crossing an American or English Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle – usually a toy poodle; or two Cockapoos. The breed was first documented in the 1950s in the US and is not recognized by any Kennel Clubs as standards for hybrid breeds are so difficult to establish. – WIKIPEDIA

This is a popular crossbreed and I know several, but one holds a special place in my heart. She was a Cockapoo named “Sheila”, acquired in the spring of 1975 at only eight weeks old. Such a precious little bundle! My husband and I had been married for almost two years and she was our first dog together.

#AtoZChallenge Day 3: C is for Cockapoo

Sheila was a smart little girl and protective of us. Weighing a mere 20 lbs. at maturity, her feistiness could be intimidating to those she perceived as threatening.

#AtoZChallenge Day 3: C is for Cockapoo

When she was six months old, we added a terrier mix named Lisa to the family. (You can read about her in the “X” post.) They bonded immediately and Sheila became her little sister’s guardian, even chasing away a large dog who wanted to attack Lisa in the park. Small but formidable!

#AtoZChallenge Day 3: C is for Cockapoo

It broke our hearts when we lost Sheila to cancer around the time of her ninth birthday. Lisa took to hiding under the bed for about six months and only came out for food or walks. Who says dogs have no emotions?


Do you know any Cockapoos?

Sheila was just a “mutt”, not bred by design, but the Cockapoo is considered one of many “designer breeds”. Sadly, such dogs are often products of puppy mills, due to their popularity. Better to rescue a dog from a legitimate organization or at least go to an accredited breeder.

Are you familiar with the horror of puppy mills? Learn more HERE.
Were you aware that most puppies in pet shops come from those awful places?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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85 thoughts on “C is for COCKAPOO | #AtoZChallenge

  1. They sure do like breeding poodles with other breeds, don’t they? There seem to be so many different mixes with poodles. My sis in law has a labradoodle.

    Loved reading about your cockapoo Sheila and the close relationship she had with Lisa. So special.

    Puppy mills sound horrific. I burst into tears whenever I read about animal abuse of any kind. Can’t handle it. Then I quickly go hug my animals and tell them I love them.

    1. Yes, poodles are coveted for crossbreeding, probably due to their hypo-allergenic qualities. Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are the trendiest right now. Believe it or not, I’ve developed an allergy to dog dander as well. 😮 Thankfully it’s fairly mild, but if there are long-haired dogs in the house, I need antihistamines. Animal abuse affects me the same way; can’t handle it. Even those humane society commercials on TV make me cry.

  2. Never heard of Cockapoo. Heard of Cocker Spaniel and Poodles and I love both these breeds. I’m sure these will be cute too 🙂

  3. Debbie, I do not know of such horrors of puppy mills and I don’t want to read them. I know it’ll break my heart. It’s sad what people do to God’s creatures. Sheila looks like a sweet dog. How sad you lost her to cancer. I have heard of a cookapoo, but I’m not sure if I knew what they looked like until now. I have seen these dogs before, but I didn’t know what they are. Thanks for sharing Sheila’s story. By the way, we were in the mountains yesterday and at one of the popular overlooks there were lots of people with their dogs. I immediately thought of you and how much you could tell me about the different breeds there.

    ~Curious as a Cathy
    All Things Vintage -Dear Abby-

    1. It is heartbreaking how some people treat animals. 🙁 Cockapoos vary widely in appearance depending on which breed they favour most. There’s no standard for them. I recognize most types of dogs, but now there are so many mixed breeds, it can be hard to tell. Thanks for visiting.

  4. My Clancy is a cockapoo, with something else probably included, and to me he’s the greatest dog ever. Your little Sheila looks like a doll. Sorry you lost her so young.
    I’m enjoying reading through your theme, I can never get enough of dogs! I’m glad I discovered your site thanks to Twitter.

    1. Welcome to The Den, Julie. Sheila likely had something else in her as well, but who knows? 🙂 She was a sweetie and we were devastated to lose her so young. I’m glad you’re enjoying the theme. Thanks for coming by! 🙂

  5. I dont know much about dogs but they are definitely emotional. My friend has a dog which refuses to eat in her absence. It’s so sad to see his tragic downcast expression whenever she goes out, which is of course very rare and only for a day. All because of her pet. Thank you for sharing about the puppy mills – how horrifying.

    1. Hi, Dahlia. Dogs are smart creatures. 🙂 My thinking is, they won’t eat or drink when they’re home alone because there’s nobody there to let them out to do business. Yes, these puppy mills are deplorable, but as long as people keep buying their wares, they will continue.

  6. Sheila looks adorable. So sad about losing her to cancer. I’m glad you touched on the subject of puppy mills. My earlier comment had a typo in the twitter name.

  7. Sheila looks adorable. So sad to hear about your losing her to cancer. I’m glad you touched on the subject of puppy mills.

    1. Sheila was a darling little girl and we were devastated when she died prematurely. Her sister lived to a ripe old age, at least – almost 17. Yes, puppy mills are a serious problem and need to be eradicated. Hard to do, when people keep buying dogs from those sources.

  8. Don’t know a Cockapoo but my parents had poodles and now they have cocker spaniels. Both have such beautiful natures that they must be lovely dogs. Poodles can be a bit crafty from memory. A bit too smart sometimes!

  9. Oh, that’s sad. My parents lost their dog to cancer too. And yes, they do feel and understand everything.
    So sweet of Sheila to be protective of little Lisa. Dogs are real sweethearts!

    1. Yes, Sheila left us much too soon and her sister missed her as much as we did. It’s shocking how high the cancer rate in dogs has become; similar to humans.

  10. Cockapoos are sweet dogs. I had a poodle boy who I loved and I am sure that a cockapoos is just as sincere and smart as the poo boy. I’m not keen in dogs being bred for profit. People who are greedy can make a mess of things.

    We purchased a dachshund at a yardsale. The people seemed so sincere and when we ran into the woman at the hospital where she worked, she seemed to never care what happened to the little puppy. Later, we put it together that they were just selling dogs from a mill. Our little Suzy was a great dog. But, some strong health problems. She died protecting me from a rattlesnake. God rest her sweet soul.

    1. I’ve never heard of a dog being sold at a yard sale before. What a shock that must have been to find out where she came from! I hope you had many good years with Suzy before you encountered the snake.

  11. Two cuties! It’s so sad to lose a dog to cancer. We had to put my baby down after her cancer came back a few years ago. Very sad. I have a pic of her as a puppy in my sidebar. And, yes, Lisa missed her pal, her friend. Dogs are very emotional!

    1. Yes, always sad to lose anyone before their time. Your baby was a real cutie as well. Lisa mourned for a long time, but when she came out of it, her personality had changed. Always the meek one, she had become more assertive, as if channelling Sheila.

    1. Hi, John; Cockapoos vary widely in appearance, depending on how much Poodle or Spaniel or something else they have in them. There’s no breed standard. Sheila’s coat wasn’t curly, but she had a poodle face. 🙂

  12. Aw, Sheila loved you with all her little heart! It’s true the little ones are feisty, but I think it’s because they just can’t contain the passion; love or protection, in those tiny bodies. I don’t dare look one in the eye for fear I’ll want to bring it home;-)

    1. Sheila was a darling girl and we were indeed devastated that her life was cut short. The good news is, Lisa lived to be almost 17.

  13. Aw, Sheila… What a lovely personality. Yes, small dogs can be feisty—and usually are. Good for them, I say… Otherwise, being so small, they’d get bullied by the big ones all the time. I actually owned a few Cockapoos, completely by accident… An aunt moved to the US and left her Poodle with us for a few months while they settled in and found a house with a yard for him… and our “baby” Spaniel went into heat a few weeks later. Yep. A litter of accidental Cockapoos 🙂 Only three, fortunately; we found an excellent home for the male, a big ranch to the north of Mexico City where he’d be not just loved to bits but also own the place, and kept the two females. One of them was my first dog-love (you know, those dogs that sometimes come into your life with whom you feel a bond that feels deeper than anything): I named her MacKenzie. She lived a long and good life, full of fun.

    Great post, Debbie!

    1. Yes, it’s good to be assertive when you’re small. 🙂 Love your story about the accidental Cockapoos! I’m glad to know your little MacKenzie had a long and happy life. Thanks for sharing your memories, Guilie.

  14. Sheila is adorable! And that is one hot car in your photo! What kind is that? I love cars from the 60s and 70s. Such great body styling…
    Cockapoos are precious breeds. I hate that so many of them come from puppy mills. And yes, pet shops should be abandoned as a way to sell dogs. Whenever I see people going into a pet shop I just want to grab them by the arm and plead with them to please adopt from the shelter. Many people just aren’t aware of puppy mills and the horrendous conditions that these poor dogs are subjected to. The mama dogs are so overproduced. It just makes me cry.

    I’m so sorry that Sheila left you way too soon. Nine is young. But you had 9 wonderful years with her and you have all those memories to keep her alive. Thanks for sharing your story of Sheila!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Sheila was a cutie, wasn’t she? 🙂 That was our “muscle car”, a 1971 Torino 500. It looked great but was a bit of a lemon – chronic starter problems. We sold it a few years later and got a 1978 Camaro Z28 instead. Now that was a great car – lasted almost 20 years!

      I have noticed just from comments on this post that many people are unaware of puppy mills. Glad I mentioned them!

      1. I had a 71 Monte Carlo, which I loved, but it had perpetual carburetor problems so I know what that’s like. Great car, the Camaro. Another hot one!
        Loved that Torino though… Wow! I love me some muscle cars!! 🙂

  15. For some reason, I was thinking this was a breed of dog cross bred with a bird. LOL
    I love finding out the names of all these dogs. Sad about the puppy mill. I had no idea. I would have naturally gone to a pet store if/when I ever decided to have my own pet.

  16. I’ve never heard anyone suggest that dogs don’t have emotions! How silly would it be to do that? More like the emotions of a two year old human – right out there, unconcealed, good and bad together! 🙂

  17. So lovely to learn about the Cockapoo, I’d no idea they were designer dogs. Sorry you lost her, she looked adorable and Lisa too. Best friends. Love the picture with you standing in front of that ‘old’ car. Memories.

    PA has a bad reputation for puppy mills but they are trying to clean it up.

    Happy April 4th!

    1. Yes, anything crossed with a poodle is the most popular these days, Sheila and Lisa were great together. That photo is vintage, for sure. The car is is a 1971 Torino 500. Looked great, but it was a bit of a lemon – chronic starter issues.

  18. What a story and what an experience! Yes animals have emotions and they can also empathize with humans. This is why many dogs are trained to help and heal humans. I love your blog, keep it up with the great work!


    1. You’re so right, Zaria. Dogs can always sense what mood you’re in and offer comfort. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and for your lovely compliment. Cheers!

  19. This is the first black cockapoo I’ve seen and definitely the hairiest. There is a debate in the UK that dogs like this are just mongrels (mutts). If I could I’d get all puppy mills shut down.

    1. Sheila may well have had something else mixed in and was definitely a “mutt”. 🙂 Her main ancestry was poodle and cocker spaniel, though. If only people would stop buying these puppy mill dogs from pet shops and other sources, that would be a good start.

  20. It’s interesting how you can mix different breeds together and get similar looking dogs. We have a Borderlier…Border Collie x Cavalier and on a first impressions Sheila looks very much like Lady. Interesting! xx Rowena

    1. Yours sounds like a cute mix, as well. 🙂 Sheila may well have had some additional bloodline, but her main ancestry was poodle and cocker spaniel.

  21. These dogs are so cute and I’m all for mixing breeds because of the issues dogs have with all the inbreeding. Your doggie was so cute and it is a shame when they leave before their time. Dogs do have emotions and feel deeply. When Katie died, our Wallace would not eat and would not take any treats. He was so depressed.

    1. I agree about the mixing of breeds, Birgit. Those dogs are generally healthier than purebreds and not so high string. I’m sorry for your loss of Katie. Is Wallace doing better now?

  22. Aww…Sheila seemed to be a darling! I feel dogs are more emotional than any other species. Thanks for the info on Cockapoo.

  23. gorgeous little dog – funny how black dogs (and cats) are harder to photograph – they blend into the background more! So sorry that you lost her at quite a young age x

    1. It’s true about the photos; black dogs are a challenge. I know that last pic didn’t turn out too well, even with editing. Yes, we were devastated to lose Sheila so young. On the upside, her sister lived to be almost 17.

  24. Hello from a fellow Canadian who’s been trained by her American publishers to write their way. lol Great post. I knew a friend with a cocapoo. Very cute and affectionate dog. Great post.

    1. I REFUSE to do that! LOL We were taught to write American-style in journalism school, but I balked even then. Gotta be me! 😀 Cockapoos are cuties, for sure. There’s a lot of variation in how they look since there’s no official breed standard.

  25. Sheila certainly looks like a lovely dog.
    Any one who says dogs have no emotions is competely off their heads! I think they’re better at showing their emotions than some humans are.

    1. Sheila was adorable. Thanks, Corinne. 🙂 I agree wholeheartedly! People who make comments like “it’s just a dog” have no clue.

  26. That is so sad about Shiela, she sounds like a lovely little dog. I’m not sure if I have met any cockapoos – the name sounds familiar, but a lot of the time my brain registers ‘cute dog’ and not much else 🙂
    Tasha’s Thinkings (72) | Wittegen Press (74) | FB3X (AC) (75)

    1. Yes, we were devastated to lose Sheila so young. On the upside, Lisa lived to be almost 17! Cockapoos vary greatly in appearance, so you probably have seen a few. They’re popular.

  27. Learned something new today, thanks to you Debbie. My first dog was a miniature wired haired Dachshound. She had so much personality; I could write a book about her. Haha… maybe I will someday – a children’s book.

    1. You mean about the puppy mills? They are deplorable and yet, people still keep buying those puppies. 🙁
      I knew a few wire-haired Dachshunds; they’re very cute. Great subject for a book, Angelika.

  28. Cockapoo is such a cute name! I have not seen this one too. Lots of mutts around here in India. Nice picture, you are looking so smart with the red ponchoo and dogs are so beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Indy. 🙂 Believe it or not, I still have that poncho, but haven’t worn it in a long time. They’re back in style now
      Sheila was basically a mutt, but they do breed this type of dog purposely now. It seems, crossing most anything with a poodle is the “in” thing.

    1. The alternative could be “Spoodles”. 🙂 I was lucky to have found that early photo in my parents’ home after my father passed away. Sheila was a tiny bundle of joy!

  29. I never knew about puppy mills. That’s downright cruel. But I loved your little cockapoo……and I am not surprised at Lisa’s reaction. Dogs have emotions too…

    1. Yes, puppy mills are a serious problem. Until people stop buying dogs from those sources, they probably always will be.
      Lisa was more upset than we expected, but we should have known. Sheila was like a mother to her.

    1. Yes, poor little Lisa was devastated, but she eventually came to realize she was “top dog” now and became more assertive. Before then, she was the meek one. Thankfully, she lived to be almost 17.

  30. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    You never forget your first dog. I didn’t own one until I was married more than three years. It was a Yorkie. As you know, I later owned a Cocker Spaniel, Toto, but I never owned or had friends or family that owned a Cockapoo. You are fortunate to have that picture showing you holding Sheila when she was a puppy. Your stories about Sheila protecting you and her dog companion Lisa do not surprise me at all. Dogs have courage that most humans only dream of possessing. It broke your heart and Lisa’s when Sheila passed away. A dog’s life span is short, but it fills the time it has here on earth with fun, excitement, adventure, exploration and discovery. We should follow their example.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Debbie!

    1. Hi, Shady; Sheila was my first dog in married life, but I come from a long line of dog people and had others, before her. 🙂 This was my husband’s first ever dog, though and he was completely smitten. Yes, she was a great little guard dog and gone much too soon. 🙁 I like that philosophy. Life is short and we should make the most of it. Thanks for coming by. Apologies for the tardy response but there have been so many comments, it’s hard to keep up!

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