Cockapoos have recently become a very popular breed of dog. In fact, many breeds that have been crossed with a Poodle have become very popular.
The reasons for this are numerous, and could be down to the high-intelligence a Poodle is known to have, how cute these breeds are, and also, the fact that Poodles are known to be non-shedding dogs.
Many advertisements from breeders who are selling Cockapoos often state that they are ‘hypoallergenic dogs’. The reason behind this could lie in the fact that, because they are half (or part) Poodle, then their coat does not shed or sheds less than most dogs. But is that actually true? Are Cockapoos truly hypoallergenic?
In this article, we will be discussing the concept of hypoallergenic dogs and investigating claims that Cockapoos are hypoallergenic.
If you are looking for a dog, but are worried because you or a family member has allergies, then this will definitely be of interest to you.
What is meant by hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic literally means that something is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. For example, you can have hypoallergenic clothing, cosmetics, bedsheets, and more. This does not mean that a user will not have a reaction, just that they will be less likely to have one.
The same can be said for dogs, some dogs may be allied ‘hypoallergenic’, but this does not mean that there is a guarantee that no one will have an allergic reaction to them, as allergies are dependent on many different factors, not just the amount of fur that an animal sheds.
Do Cockapoos shed?
One of the factors of a Cockapoo that leads breeders to label them as ‘hypoallergenic’ is the fact that they are bred from a Poodle crossed with a Cocker Spaniel. Poodles have a notoriety for being non-shedding. This means that their fur or coat is less likely to shed than the fur or coat of other dogs.
What this means for a Cockapoo is that they will, in theory, have half the DNA of a Poodle, and so they are likely to also have the same feature in that their fur will be less likely to shed. Now, the problem arises when you consider the fact that it can be very difficult to tell what the fur of an animal is going to be like.
They may, for example, have fur that is more like a Cocker Spaniel than a Poodle. Likewise, there is no guarantee that a Cockapoo will be exactly half of a Poodle and half of a Cocker Spaniel. By this, we mean that there are different levels of a Cockapoo.
F1 Cockapoos are those that have been bred from one Poodle and one Cocker Spaniel. However, there are also F2 and F2b levels. These are where a Cockapoo is bred from one Poodle and one Cockapoo, or one Spaniel and one Cockapoo, or even, from two Cockapoos.
This will then, in turn, reduce the likelihood that they will be exactly half a Poodle, thus decreasing the chances of having non-shedding fur.
With us so far? We know, it does all sound very mathematical! However, all you need to take away from this is the fact that breeders can often not guarantee that your Cockapoo will be 100% ‘non-shedding’.
Are Cockapoos good for allergy sufferers?
Now, with the knowledge you have learned from the previous section in mind, you also need to know about the compatibility of a Cockapoo with an allergy sufferer.
Generally, because of the lower risk of shedding from a Cockapoo, they may be more suitable as a pet for an allergy sufferer in comparison to a dog that sheds heavily like a Golden Retriever. However, as we made clear in the previous section, this is not a guarantee.
Another factor that you must also take into account is the fact that it is not just the fur or coat that allergy sufferers can get a reaction from. Something that often causes an allergic reaction is animal dander.
Animal dander happens to all dogs, and it is a build-up of dead skin cells from your pet. This can get into the air, on clothes, on furniture, in your bed – it can get everywhere!
Animal dander can cause allergic reactions to many allergy-prone people, and whilst they may think it is the fur of an animal, they may still find themselves sneezing and sniffling around animals who never shed. For this reason, many people may still find that they have a reaction to Cockapoos.
Luckily, there are ways that you can reduce this animal dander, meaning you can still adopt your new Cockapoo, safe in the knowledge that with some upkeep, you will not have an allergic reaction.
Are Cockapoos high maintenance?
Now, you might be thinking ‘this all sounds very high maintenance’, and honestly, we don’t blame you for being worried. However, we are here to tell you exactly what you need to do for your Cockapoo to ensure that you stay allergic-reaction-free.
Ways to prevent dander are to regularly primp and preen your pooch. By this, we mean that you should bathe them often, brush them (or get someone else to do this if you are worried about a reaction), and keep them hygienic.
You also need to ensure you are using a vacuum cleaner daily, especially in areas that your pet frequents. This will ensure that any dander that has fallen is quickly vacuumed up and out of the way. Make a habit of dusting and cleaning daily, too, with a pet-safe cleaning polish if needed.
You can also consider getting a good quality air filter for your HVAC or any other home-air system. This will catch pet dander and ensure it does not get continually cycled through the ducts into your rooms.
Doing all of these things will reduce the pet dander from your cockapoo, making them as hypoallergenic as possible.
To summarize, whilst many breeders may advertise Cockapoos as ‘hypoallergenic’, this is not technically true.
Sure, they have some desirable features such as less shedding than some dogs, but this does not mean that they cannot shed. Also, all animals produce dander, which is also an allergen.
That being said, a cockapoo is still one of the safest options if you do have allergies, and you are less likely to get an allergic reaction from a cockapoo than another shedding dog. This is especially true if you also take the time to reduce pet dander around your home.