When it comes to crossbreeds, the Spoodle breed may not be a familiar name. However, this dog, which is sometimes also known as a cockapoo, has excellent qualities from both of its parent breeds and often makes a fantastic, loving pet.
What is a Spoodle?
Spoodles are a cross between a poodle and a cocker spaniel. Usually, the poodle parent is either a toy or miniature poodle. Sources differ on where the spoodle cross-breed first originated. Some suggest the dogs came from Germany, while others claim the spoodle breed was first created in the United States in the 1960s.
Either way, it’s a good guess that spoodles were bred to be friendly, healthy pets, taking on some of the best qualities of both of their parent breeds.
As the national dog of France, the Poodle is sometimes thought of as a sissy dog, especially with their iconic pom pom haircuts. Truth is, they are highly intelligent, active, and athletic with a strong muscled body. They come in three sizes: standard (over 15 ins or 38 cm), miniature (15 ins) or less, and toy ( 10 ins or 25 cm) and under. All three have the same build and physical characteristics.
Their dense, curly coats come in a variety of colors like white, silver, chocolate, and apricot. Poodles are protective and will bark at what they think is an intruder. Poodles adapt quickly to new homes and are easy to potty train. Health concerns include Addison’s disease, thyroid problems, and hip dysplasia.
The Cocker Spaniel
The English Cocker Spaniel was originally bred for hunting but quickly became popular as a companion dog. They have a sturdy and well-balanced body. The fast-growing coat is high-maintenance and best done by a professional dog groomer. They need daily brushing to be free of snags and tangles. Common coat colors include black, tan, and black, black and white, and blue roan.
Cocker Spaniels have an average height of 15-16 ins ( 38-41 cm) and weigh between 25-30 lbs (11-14 kg). They have a friendly temperament and are easily trained. Sometimes a Cocker Spaniel will become defiant and lash out and bite. Called “Cocker rage,” the trait has not been duly noted in Spoodles. Health concerns include enlarged heart, ear infections, and autoimmune diseases.
Spoodles can have any of the coat colors of their parent breeds, including cream, gold, brown, and black. Some spoodles are solid colored while others have white markings. Their coats are usually medium to long in length and can be straight, wavy, wiry, or curled. The dogs usually have the long, drooping ears of cocker spaniels.
Thanks to the hypoallergenic qualities of poodles, Spoodles are also hypoallergenic and don’t shed. They will need to have their coat brushed frequently, however, and their ears should be checked and, if necessary, cleaned daily. Most spoodles will need to be clipped every two months or so.
Spoodle Temperament and Personality
Spoodles are considered to be exceptionally friendly, outgoing dogs. They’re usually calm and, thanks to the intelligence of their parent breeds, are smart and quick to learn.
The spoodle cross-breed is also known as a gentle dog, which makes them a fantastic choice for families with children or other pets, including cats. They love to please and are known for their extreme loyalty. These social butterflies will love to be taken to a dog park to play with the other dogs.
Spoodles are quite energetic and will appreciate plenty of daily exercises. In addition, because they’re so clever, it’s a good idea to offer a good amount of mental stimulation in order to avoid boredom, which can lead to bad behaviors. Spoodles respond well to training, including learning various tricks.
Take them at an early age for best results. Watch out for negative attention-seeking behavior they may inherit from the Poodle and Cocker rage from the Cocker Spaniel.
Fun fact: Lady Gaga has a Spoodle named Fozzi. She once dyed her hair to match the dog’s coat.
Spoodles can grow to different sizes depending on what type of poodle was used for crossbreeding. Generally, the spoodle breed weighs between 12 and 19 pounds and stands between 10 and 15 inches tall. This small size means that the spoodle cross-breed is a good choice for smaller living spaces.
As long as the dog is provided with enough mental and physical exercise in the form of fun training sessions, walks, or runs in the park, spoodles can even do well in apartments.
How Long Do Spoodles Live?
Spoodles can live for up to 16 years when properly cared for. A healthy diet and regular checkups at the vet can help to ensure that spoodles live long, healthy lives.
Spoodles have low or no-shed coats which is why allergy sufferers often prefer them. However, these breeds may need even more brushing and grooming. Spoodles with straighter coats should be brushed twice a week. Wavy and curly coats need daily brushing to avoid tangles and mats.
Pet stores sell brushes, detangler sprays, and other tools to help. Look for a stainless steel comb or pin-side brush. Be sure to keep their ears clean, trim their nails and coats as often as needed, and bathe them when they get dirty.
Mixed breed dogs are the hardiest and healthiest; the more the mix, the healthier. The problem is, a mixed breed dog’s behavior and personality traits are the hardest to predict. They may be hard-headed, sweet-natured, energetic, or laid-back. That said, purebreds are prone to more health issues because of inner breeding. But the purebred’s personality is easier to predict since they’re bred for certain tasks like hunting or herding.
The best thing about a hybrid or crossbred dog like the Spoodle is they fall somewhere in between. They’re hardier than purebreds and less unpredictable than purebreds.
It’s important to be aware of the health issues common in the Poodle and Cocker Spaniel parent dogs such as hip dysplasia and heart problems. Eye problems are a real concern since they are common in both parent dogs.
Spoodle ears are floppy and restrict some ventilation. The result can be ear mites, fungal problems, and infections. The veterinarian or pet section of department stores sells ear washes and drops that can be helpful.
It’s recommended that all indoor dogs, no matter the breed, be walked twice a day for at least 30 minutes. As the saying goes, ” a tired dog is a good dog.” Most Spoodles are quite energetic and may require even more daily exercise. It’s best for a Spoodle to be adopted by an owner or family with an active lifestyle. Many communities have off-leash dog parks, and some beaches allow dogs to run free.
Take a ball, play frisbee, and other fetch games with a Spoodle. Like the Labrador, most Poodles and English Cocker Spaniels love to swim and play fetch in the water. There’s a good chance that the Spoodle will also love the water. Dog parks and private communities often have lakes that allow dogs.