Why we chose the Cockapoo---and specifically, "The Original" 1st generation (F1) Cockapoo

       Our first area of breeding expertise is cattle. Working in animal husbandry and improving lines by breeding has been an involvement of our family for decades.....and much of what was learned came from generations of experience. Luckily, this translates easily over to dogs :) Through our own cattle, we have realized the amazing quality that a first generation cross makes. Our absolute calmest, fastest growing, healthiest, heartiest cattle come from a first generation cross of a quality, pure-bred Hereford bull, and a quality, pure-bred Angus cow. The phenomenon of the health and heartiness of a first generation (F1) cross is commonly known in the agriculture world as "Hybrid Vigor"-----and cattle are not the only species that exhibit this! So this brings us to our choice of the Cockapoo----and specifically the F1 (pure Cocker Spaniel to pure Poodle) Cockapoo.


       One of the obvious things that brings many families to the Cockapoo are the hypo-allergenic and low to non-shedding qualities. This allows many families who may not have been able to have a pet due to allergies or shedding issues to bring a puppy home. We love being a part of this! To be perfectly fair, no animal with hair can truly be considered completely hypo-allergenic, however this hybrid does have a remarkably low level of dander. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a certain coat type, but this unusually low dander level (which is what most people are allergic to) that makes the Cockapoo one of the very best choices for a home with allergy issues. As a bonus, that low to no-shedding also makes them a much easier houseguest!!


       In addition to their widely acclaimed attributes of being great in allergy homes and not leaving loads of hair on of your couch, there are many other reasons to bring a Cockapoo home! They are an extremely intelligent breed.....in fact, one of the smartest in the world. According to Stanley Corrin in his book The Intelligence of Dogs, the Poodle is the 2nd smartest breed in the world and the Cocker Spaniel ranks in the top 20. Now this is nothing to scoff at as the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale---or in English, World Canine Organization) recognizes 339 separate breeds as of May of 2013. With the Cockapoo taking the best traits from both of it's parent breeds, your new baby is a regular brainiac! They are quick to learn and very trainable....even for a beginning dog owner. In fact, vetstreet.com listed the Cockapoo as one of the top 5 best breeds for new dog owners! Cockapoos are well suited for one owner all the way up to a large family with small children, and from a home in an apartment all the way to life in the country. And the Cockapoo is an AMAZING dog with children and other pets! The hybrid cross of the two breeds also bring a dog with an exceptional average life expectancy----so the investment you make in a quality puppy is one that should come back to you for years to come! This amazing cross takes two breeds that each have 12 to 15 year life expectancies, and produces a puppy who is expected to live 14 to 18 years. So whether you are a seasoned dog owner living on your own in an apartment looking for a new family member, or a family that has moved to the country and is seeking out your first puppy companion, the Cockapoo is a great choice for a easily trainable family member who will be enjoyed for many years to come!


       Although "designer dogs" and "poodle hybrids" are buzzwords in the dog world, the Cockapoo is not. The Cockapoo is the first and original---and for many years the only---poodle cross breed. They have been known and loved in the United States since the 1950's. There is nothing new or unknown about them. When you research the breed, you will find some who talk about what the cross can bring forth as being "unpredictable", or talk about the vast difference there can be between puppies in the same litter.....however generally this comes with crosses that are not first generation. We find a first generation (F1) cross of a pure Cocker Spaniel to a pure Poodle to be very predictable in outcome. In fact, as cited by the Cockapoo Club of Great Britain, the F1 cross is the "most stable mating giving the most consistent results, with the added benefit of "Hybrid-Vigor"". It is when you begin to cross back to the parent breeds (F1b, F2b, etc---which are no longer 1/2 Poodle and 1/2 Cocker, but 75% of one and 25% of the other) or a Cockapoo to a Cockapoo (F2, F3, multigen---still originating from 50% Poodle and 50% Cocker, but generally accepted as much less predictable) that you are more likely to see the "Grandad Effect" come into play. The reason being, is that even if someone is breeding high quality, AKC lineage TRUE F1 Cockapoo's to each other (which is very rare, as true, quality F1's are hard to find), each Cockapoo has a wide variety of genes to contribute. It is genetically and mathematically nearly impossible that both 50/50 parents contribute precisely 50% of their Cocker genes and 50% of their Poodle genes to each and every pup. Instead, this is where we can begin to see puppies in the same litter that look completely Cocker, while a littermate looks completely poodle, and 3 others are varying amounts of Cockapoo. Although there are breeders who say the opposite (notice they will also be breeding multigen Cockapoos), the general consensus is that the first generation is the most predictable and the heartiest. To explain why, you can jump back to your high school Biology days and remember the Punnent square. Remember those? Check it out-----we will represent a pure bred AKC Cocker Spaniel as CC (because all of her genes and traits are purely Cocker---being pure-bred, all Mom could contribute was Cocker, and all Dad could contribute was Cocker) and a pure bred AKC Poodle as PP (because all of his genes and traits are purely Poodle---being pure-bred, all Mom could contribute was Poodle, and all Dad could contribute was Poodle). So, we place Cocker Mom and Poodle Dad on the Punnent square showing the genes that each of them have to contribute to their offspring, and then show all of the possibilities that can come from their cross:

CCXPP Punnent.jpg

f1 - First generation cross

With each of the parents in a F1 cross having only their pure genetics to contribute, 100% of outcomes will be genetically a 50% Cocker, and 50% Poodle puppy. This is the original and first generation Cockapoo. Yes, there can be variations of specific looks---for example, purebred Poodles can vary some in the tightness of the curl in the coat, the length of the nose, or their color---however, when both parents are show quality and meet the breed standard of their respective pure breeds, the first generation outcome is 100% Cockapoo!

 

       Now look at what happens when we cross two of these first generation crosses. The grandparents of the puppies are full Poodle and full Cocker, but the parents of this generation are the offspring of the generation shown above. This cross is referred to as an F2.

F2 Punnent.jpg

f2 - second generation cross

When each F1 generation parent has either Cocker or Poodle genetics to contribute, you can see how things can get confusing! 25% of the time, the puppies will essentially look like a Cocker, this will result in a dog who loses the "Poo" portions of the "Cockapoo" traits---probably picking up again things like the shedding coat of the Cocker. 25% of the time, the puppies in the F2 generation will essentially be Poodles, resulting in the loss of the Cocker traits of the Cockapoo---losing the shorter Cockapoo face and the stocky body and laid back nature of the Cocker. Each of these scenarios show us what is known as the "Grandad Effect"----the puppies of a later generation cross reverting back to the genetics and looks of one of the original parent breeds. In our example, the other 50% of the time, the puppies will continue for another generation to look like the Cockapoo. This is why many criticize the Cockapoo for having unpredictable outcomes.

       Continuing from here would be the F3, and then "multigen" (short for multigenerational) crosses. Assuming the VERY best----the breeder is choosing from only the 50% that come out looking like the Cockapoo, and assuming that breeder is choosing only AKC traceable Cockapoos that truly go back to only the Cocker and Poodle (And that is tougher than you would think! Even in high dollar puppies advertised as Cockapoos, a third breed is commonly crossed in.....but more about that on another page.) there is still going to be uncertainty in the outcome as each parent can contribute such a wide variety of genetics! In fact, those who study this sort of thing predict that it takes at least 15 generations of quality, unrelated crosses to get to a point where the outcome is, in theory, as predictable as a quality F1 cross.

     Again, you will find multigen breeders who say the opposite, but the science---as well as general consensus---tells us that the first generation is the most predictable and the heartiest. In Europe where the Cockapoo is a recognized and registerable breed, only the F1 generation of a pure registered Poodle and a pure registered Cocker Spaniel can be registered with the Kennel Club. This predictability and vigor are part of the reason we have chosen to breed (and recommend) only the F1, or first generation, original Cockapoo.

 

so why should you make sure your f1 cockapoo comes from us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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