Contributed by: Kristina Jordan of Jordan Family Kennels

In the article below we will be discussing the different generations of Cockapoos and what the difference is between a F1 Puppy, F2 Puppy, and so on. We will also discuss what it means when it has a letter b after the number, such as a F1b Cockapoo.

The (F) stands for the generation of the dog. All (F) variations are still referred to as a Cockapoo, but range widely in size, shape, appearance, intelligence and temperament. Most people prefer Cockapoos for the low to non-shedding coat that is hypo-allergenic and can be suitable for those people with allergies. In my experience even strait coated Cockapoos have this low shedding and low dander quality to their coat.
Breeders can get to a Cockapoo in many different ways, and each way has its own positive and negative effects on the puppys final disposition, health, and looks. All puppies are cute, and it is possible to be too hasty in your search for a new pet. Some breeders will breed any Poodle with any Cocker, or mix these two breeds and tell you they are sure it will be exactly what you want. Please be aware a Cockapoo can end up with the exact look you want or can have traits that favor one parent over the other when full grown. This is seen more in the Cockapoo to Cockapoo breeding or a breeding in which one or both parents have more of one of the parent breeds in them.

To know which mix is going to give you what you want you will need to do your homework and make sure your breeder has a reputation for nice looking Cockapoos. Please keep in mind even though a breeder can give you some insight on the final look, personality, and health of your puppy, none of us breeders are god and since we are dealing with a hybrid / mix dog there is some, even if very small, chance that even a nice looking fluffy puppy can end up with a Cocker coat, or a pup that looks like it has a short Cocker nose growing up with a longer nose than it was at 8 weeks of age when you received it. This is called genetic throw back and it is not common, but does happen on occasion with any dog breed, even full blooded breeds.

Most puppies seem to get about 60% of their looks from their mother, so make sure both the parents have qualities you like. The information in this article is from my experience as a breeder and dog lover of this breed for over 15 years now. It is best to consult the breeder you choose to go with on his/her lines and what past puppies have turned out to be.

First we will discuss the F1 Cockapoo. The F1 Cockapoo comes from a full blooded Cocker Spaniel and a full blooded Poodle parent. F1 is considered to have the optimum hybrid vigor.

There are 4 different sizes of Cockapoo: Teacup, Toy, Mini, and Standard. A Teacup or Toy Cockapoo has a Toy Poodle parent. A Miniature Cockapoo has a Miniature Poodle parent. In our experience Toys are not only smaller, but can have a shorter nose if a Teacup Poodle or small Toy with the shorter baby doll face is a parent. The Miniature Poodle can come in the Old Fashioned: long muzzle and slender legs, pom-pom cut, quite a petite dog or with a shorter muzzle, more stocky build and a calm temperament. Again, the breeder should be using the shortest nosed Poodle and Cocker they can find if a shorter nose is wanted. Also a large factor is which type of the three cocker spaniels make up the other half of the F1 Cockapoo. The American Show Cocker, the English Show cocker and the English Working Cocker are very different in appearance and personality.

The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the three, has a domed head, deep stop, dropped and long ears and a dense/heavy coat that can grow to the floor, as seen in show Cockers. As pets these dogs are usually clipped on a regular basis, and these tend to contribute a squarer frame to the mix, and can also help with shortening the nose. They can create smaller Cockapoos if bred to a small Poodle

The English Cocker Spaniel is the largest, again has a domed head, deep stop, dropped and long ears and a dense coat that is not as thick as the American. The coat can make a less dense curl or add fluffiness to the mix if this is desired. They also have a taller, more lean appearance, and this can also carry over to the Cockapoo offspring, especially if a Poodle that is also lean and longer legged is used.

Finally there is the English Working Cocker Spaniel.  This is an athletic small sporting dog that has a light coat that doesn’t have to be clipped. They have high set ears and square faces. The English working Cocker is bred for working in mind, so they can vary in look and size more than the show dogs. They are known for their intelligent, easily trainable, and willing to please attitudes.  This breed can be used if a more square face and high set ear is wanted in the offspring.

Now we will discuss the F2, F3, and so on.

F2 Cockapoos come from the breeding of two F1 Cockapoos. If one parent is an F1 and one is an F2 pups will still be classed as F2.

If you see pups advertised as F1b, its normally when one parent is an F1 cockapoo and one is a poodle (the b standing for backcross to the poodle.) F2 can have potential throw backs that can result in a puppy that favors one breed over the other in looks. Some breeders will breed a Cockapoo back to a full bred Cocker or a poodle, to give an (F1b). They will do this so the puppies have more characteristics of one breed over the other. For example, a smaller size can be accomplished by breeding back to a small toy Poodle. Breeding back to a Cocker can change the coat, so make sure the breeder knows from past siblings what the coat SHOULD be as an adult.

With second-generation Cockapoos, two hybrid parents are bred (both with 50% Poodle- and 50% Cocker Spaniel-trait genes). Some second-generation Cockapoos can, and do, look more like Cocker Spaniels or like Poodles. F3 is both parents being F2s and so on. An F3b would be the result of breeding a third generation (cockapoo to cockapoo) dog back to a full blooded Poodle or Cocker. Usually they are bred back to Poodles and not Cockers.

With so many variations Im sure you will find a Cockapoo that suits your needs and wants in a wonderful future pet.

In conclusion: The “F” stands for the generation of the dog. A first generation Cockapoo (F1) is the result of breeding a Cocker Spaniel to a Poodle. A second generation Cockapoo (F2) comes from breeding an F1 Cockapoo to another generation of Cockapoo (if an F3 Cockapoo is bred to an F1 Cockapoo, then their offspring are still F2). To get an F3 Cockapoo, parents must both be F2 or higher. A (b) after the number means a puppy resulting from a Cockapoo of the (generation numbered before the b) bred back to a full bred Poodle or Cocker.

Remember to discuss what you want with different breeders, and always ask for references, testimonials, and pictures of past puppies, as well as those puppies as adults, so you can be positive you are going to end up with a Cockapoo with the characteristics you like the best. Also, ask the breeder what characteristics and qualities he/she sees in the parent dogs and is trying to bring into their offspring.  Dont be embarrassed to ask questions, as a reputable breeder is happy to answer any and all you may have. You are sure to find exactly what you want with a little research. Keep in mind a Cockapoo has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years, so this decision should not be taken lightly. Hope you the best of luck in finding the type of Cockapoo that best suits your family and lifestyle.