It is important to ask cockapoo breeders what kind of health testing they do on the parent dogs. Potential buyers should also ask what breeds the parents are and, if both are cockapoos, what generation the puppies are.
The cockapoo is a mix between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, but there can be some variation in the types of dogs used. Breeders use both English and American cocker spaniels, as well as working and show lines. Both toy and miniature poodles can also be parents. Puppies have different attributes depending on the cross.
Health testing is important because parents can pass on genetic diseases to their puppies, even if the parents are different breeds. Progressive retinal atrophy is an important test, but good breeders may also test for other conditions, such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
Buyers should also talk to the breeder about what kind of care and socialization the puppies receive. They should have appropriate veterinary checks and vaccinations, and humans should handle and socialize with the dogs even while the dogs are living with their mothers. Breeders should house the dogs in a clean, safe environment.
Since the cockapoo is a popular designer breed and the dogs sometimes come from puppy mills, buyers may need to do a little additional diligence. The buyer should make sure the person he is working with is the actual breeder, not a representative. They should also ask how many litters per year the breeder produces and stay away from breeders with large numbers of puppies.