Do Labradors & Cockapoo Get Along Well? (9 Factors Explained)

By Benjamin Tash

Given their sweet disposition, labradors and cockapoos can be considered one of the most affectionate breeds in the world.

However, there are some subtle differences between the two breeds that may affect their compatibility if you’re looking to settle both.

Here’s whether or not Labradors get along well with a Cockapoo: 

Labrador and Cockapoos are social dogs that have very similar characteristics which make them compatible with each other. Though not much effort is required to get them acquainted well, their compatibility also depends on other factors such as temperament, gender, age as well as size. 

In order to properly gauge their compatibility, a better grasp on the detailed factors and reasons behind their compatibility is crucial.

Amongst the factors that we’ll dive into are as follows:

  • Breed history
  • Friendliness
  • Level of devotion to owners/Possessiveness
  • Prey drive
  • Intellect and trainability

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Breed History

The Labradors gained popularity due to their exceptional skills with water, including their diving abilities. Because of their extraordinary aptitude for water, they are well-versed in waterfowl hunting. With proper training, labradors can also be excellent bird hunting dogs as seen throughout its history. To this day, Labradors have been exceptional companions, and they have proven themselves to be excellent hunting dogs from the beginning.

On the other hand, cockapoos were first cross-bred between poodles and Cocker Spaniels back in the 1960s to come up with a companion dog that lacks the negative aspects of its parent breed. As a result, they have carried on the intelligent tendencies from its poodle ancestry as well as its sweet and outgoing personality from its Cocker Spaniel forebearers. These cockapoos are an all rounder sociable dog that gets along with people from all walks of ages to this day.

Considering how both of these breeds have been bred to bond well with their human companions, they possess great social skills and will get along well with each other under the right circumstances and with proper training. 

Friendliness

Labradors and Cockapoos are notorious for being friendly with just about everybody, including strangers. It’s part of their DNA to be loving and be affectionate. Because they are laid-back and easy-going, they are a popular choice for first-time owners.

These dog breeds are very sociable and adaptable. They are also highly obedient and have a huge propensity to please their owners. Therefore, these two breeds are compatible as they share the same genetic disposition for socialization and bonding with humans and dogs alike. 

Because they are so friendly and social, labs and cockapoos will eventually see each other as members of their own pack. And this will in turn lead to a life-long camaraderie with their household counterparts. 

With that said, both Labs and Cockapoos will get along really well from this aspect alone as they are like two peas in a pod. 

Read Also: Do Labs and Yorkies Get Along Well? (A Complete & Comprehensive Guide)

Loyalty

Labradors as well as Cockapoos can be very loyal to their parents and to one another because they are people pleasers and are naturally sweet and affectionate. They are easy to bond with as they have ingrained bubbly, lively tendencies that make them easily devoted to their owners. And that alone facilitates the compatibility of these two breeds together. 

On the other hand, both breeds almost always have a favorite person, even though they may seem to be devoted to all family members. And their loyalty knows no bounds despite them not being too expressive about it. 

Labradors are social butterflies, but their casual interactions with strangers and their friendliness with strangers shouldn’t be taken as a sign of dissatisfaction. You can trust them to follow your orders and be loyal to you. 

With that said, both of these breeds will usually perceive each each other as a part of the pack when settled together and will in turn be loyal to one another and to the family as a whole. Thus, these two breeds will get along exceptionally well. 

Check Also: Do Labs & Pugs Get Along Well? (A Complete & Comprehensive Guide)

Prey Drive 

Labradors have an overall higher prey drive than a cockapoo does. However, labradors have a relatively dormant high prey drive because they require an extensive training to be efficient in hunting.

These polarizing characteristics are generally a perfect match for both Labs and Cockapoos as they won’t be fighting each other for dominance.

Read Also: Do Labs & Goldendoodles Get Along Well? (A Complete Guide)

Intellect & Trainability

Labs are generally smarter and sharper than Cockapoos because of their innate instinctual intelligence which is contingent upon their obedience, as well as their brilliant adaptability skills.

Cockapoos on the other hand have a slightly lower intelligence than a lab does due to their ease of distraction away from their parent owners. Training these lap dogs require patience, and a lot of positive reinforcements to reduce their distractions and curiosity of things around them.

But overall, cockapoos are relatively easy to train given their intelligence, coupled with their great adaptable skills.

Hence, both of these breeds are ideal for any homes because they would get along really well thanks to their excellent adaptability and training skills. That also makes them low maintenance as parent owners don't have to spend too much time familiarizing both breeds together at first.

Check also: Do Labradors & Rabbits Get Along Well? (4 Factors Explained)

Upon affirming each of the breed’s general characteristics compatibility, further scrutiny on their individual temparament and personalities are of paramount importance.

This is due to the fact that are outliers within a breed, and a dog may or may not bond well with other suitable breeds based on their:

  • Individual temperament
  • Gender of the breeds
  • Size
  • Age

I’ll also incorporate tips and useful guidelines alongside the factors mentioned above to equip you with the best knowledge possible before settling both Cockapoos and Labradors together. 

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Temperament & Energy Levels

Both Cockapoos & Labradors on the other hand are laid back and sociable with just about any breed thanks to their exceptional adaptability skill, and hence it wouldn’t be a hassle in training labs for a faster bonding. They are hands-down the most neutral compatible breed for the most part.

It’s advisable to pair up Labs with cockapoos that have similar energy levels as they are more likely to get along well with dogs who are also on the same wavelength as them. To keep them occupied, they need constant stimulation both mentally and physically.

Nevertheless, these breeds will bond quickly if they are properly socialized and well trained together with patience, rather than having mismatched energy levels where they wouldn’t enjoy each other’s presence.

If a Labrador’s exuberance knows no limit despite socialization and training early on, it’s best not to pair it with a reserved Cockapoo.

Read Also: Do Labs and Pitbulls Get Along? (Complete Guide)

Gender

As far as the genders are concerned, Labradors and Cockapoos of the opposite sexes are your best bet for a harmonious home.

According to the experts and from my anecdotal experiences, neutered breeds of the opposite sexes tend to get along much better compared to breeds of the same gender. A combination of two female would incite more violence compared to two males.

The presence of two males would inevitably lead to the need of forming a stable pack order — an establishment of dominance and submissiveness between the two.

Fights will always erupt if neither one decides to cave in, and it may permanently change their personalities. This is because your pooch may become more overtly dominant than it could have otherwise been, and the same applies vice versa in terms of submission. This may lead to distress over time.

On the other hand, two females would lead to a much more brutal fight that would sometimes lead to death. This is due to the fact that neither female dogs would usually compromise to form a stable pack order as female dogs are slightly independent in nature.

Also dog scuffles among females always spill blood and you’d almost always end up with a high vet bill, compared to male dog fights where it’s usually posturing/scrappy fights to lead.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and some female dogs have formed amicable life-long bonds with one another but exceptions aren’t the norm.

You might also be interested in Do Labs & Poodles Get Along Well? (A Comprehensive Guide)

Size

Although most labs are comfortable with their own breed, they may form close relationships with other breeds regardless of one’s sizes.

Cockapoos need constant supervision early on so they don’t feel intimidated or afraid of larger dogs. With proper introduction, cockapoos will get along just fine with larger Labradors as long as the Labs are friendly and properly trained themselves. 

It is important to keep an eye and supervise their playtime together to minimize any unwanted accidental hits or bites that may spell trouble. 

It’s of paramount importance to not overfeed them or otherwise, they would become more susceptible to hip dysplasia, which is a common genetic condition in both breeds.

You might also want to check out this article: Why Are Labradors So Clumsy? (What To Do About It?)

Age

It's advisable for you to get a second Lab/Cockapoo puppy or a young dog of either breed once your current dog is fully grown at minimum 2~3 years of age. This is because this is the age when your existing pooch is physically mature and coincides well with the development of dog selectivity, reactivity and aggression.

That way you’ll know your current dog’s temparament like the back of your hand and you’d be wise enough to pick a second companion that matches your dog’s breed and personality. Or you could easily train a second puppy to get along well with your current dog which always works out great.

Hence, you shouldn’t get both Labs and Cockapoos as puppies as they might grow up to be total opposites and not get along despite being close as puppies. They may also suffer from littermate syndrome if raised as puppies together.

Furthermore, it will be best for you to fully train and socialize your current dog in order for it to be well mannered and friendly for a second dog later.

Fully trained dogs are more likely to bond well with other dogs of different breeds, and plus they have many more good habits to teach young dogs. Besides, they can be a little less high maintenance if you ever decide to get a second puppy.

However, you should never introduce a second young dog/puppy to a current old dog that has past their prime years. Senior dogs and young puppies don’t get along well in the slightest. Those rambunctious pups will be too much for an old dog with health issues to handle.

How to introduce both Labradors and Cockapoos for the first time.

The first introduction is key to making sure both dogs are set up for success together. If you’re introducing two young dogs at the same time, you’ll want to make sure either one of your lab or a dachshund is properly leashed trained on your command.

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  • Set the first meeting outdoors out on an open neutral space with each dog on a leash (Amazon). 
  • Then walk your Lab/Cockapoo towards the other dog on your command by making sure they are fixated on your attention and the other dog. You’ll have to let your dog know that you’re the boss and the meeting has to take place under your terms.
  • If your dog seems a little more feisty than it usual would without even taking heed of your commands, pull back on the leash and walk in the opposite direction to let it know you’re not allowing your pooch to run the show.
  • After walking your pooch in the other direction for awhile, gradually walk your Lab/Cockapoo again to the second dog and make sure its attention is fixated on you, as if its seeking your approval to meet up with the second dog.
  • Once both dogs are close to each other, let them sniff each other vigorously and pull back on the leash a little every 10 seconds and repeat the same procedure. 
  • Let them eventually sniff each other’s bottom to get them familiarized with their specific scents, and in turn learning more about one another. Also, keep an eye on their wagging tails.

If both of them are comfortable in each other’s presence with their tails wagging, then gradually take them for a walk together for 10 minutes and nip any aggression in the bud by pulling on the leash and walk away to reinforce a negative association to it.

Walk them long enough till you could gradually let them loose together without a leash on. And be sure to give them positive reinforcements for every good behavior during the introduction.

As for introducing them indoors, let the newer dog get familiarized with the house while keeping the residential dog separated outside. And let the latter walk into the house under close supervision. Chances are they’ll get along really well indoors if they’ve already acquainted well during the first meeting outdoors. 

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Sources

British Cockapoo Society: Introducing a second dog

Daily Paws: Cockapoo Breed Info

Dog Forums: Cockapoo