If you’re interested in adding a Cockapoo to your family, it is important to understand how a Cockapoo’s generation will affect all aspects of your potential puppy.
There are so many things to consider when you are searching for the right puppy to add to your family. Size, gender, temperament, and activity level can all play a role! However, the most confusing factor for many perspective owners is what generation of Cockapoo is best.
In this article, we’ll explain what Cockapoo generations are, how they affect your dog, and which one may be best for you!
Why Do Cockapoo Generations Matter?
The genes passed down to your Cockapoo puppy affect their looks, personality and even potential health risks. So knowing their generation can give you an idea of how much Cocker Spaniel and Poodle DNA they contain.
Good breeding practices can greatly reduce the odds of puppies inheriting potential health issues, but it will never eliminate the risk entirely. To minimize the financial impact of potential surprise veterinary bills, we encourage all owners to invest in pet insurance as early in their Cockapoo’s life as possible.
Labeling Cockapoo Generations
While the jumble of numbers and letters that are used to describe Cockapoo generations seem confusing, they’re not all that hard to understand. Let’s break them down one by one!
What does the “F” mean?
The letter “F” appears at the beginning of all Cockapoo generations and stands for “filial hybrid.” This term is used in genetics and it means that the hybrid dog came from two purebred dogs.
What does the number mean?
The number that follows the “F” simply refers to the generation of the dog. If you see a one, that means the dog is a first generation. A two means second generation, a three means third generation, etc.
What does the “B” mean?
In some cases you will see a “B” at the end of the generation label. This identifies that the dog was a backcross. Backcross means an existing Cockapoo was bred back to a Poodle.
“Backcross” technically can also mean that the Cockapoo was bred back to a Cocker Spaniel, however that is not very common. In this article, we will refer to backcross as a breeding to a Poodle.
Sometimes you might see “BB” at the end of the label. Nope, you aren’t having double vision! It means that the generation of Cockapoos were backcrossed with a Poodle twice.
Cockapoo Generations Chart
This table was created to help you as a reference. As you visualize the percentage of each breed that goes into the Cockapoo, know that DNA percentages are simply theoretical estimates.
While reading this article, it may be helpful to reference back to this table to help you understand and visualize each of the generations.
What is an F1 Cockapoo?
An F1 Cockapoo is a first generation cross between a purebred Cocker Spaniel and a purebred Poodle. The DNA is roughly split 50/50.
The F1 Cockapoo generation offers a great amount of genetic diversity and their appearance can be just as diverse. They can have the straighter hair and double coat of the Cocker Spaniel or the curlier hair of the Poodle. Most likely, it’ll fall somewhere in between.
While F1 Cockapoos will probably shed less than a Cocker Spaniel, they will likely still shed some and trigger allergies. If you are looking for an allergy-friendly Cockapoo, this is not the best generation to choose.
However, genetic diversity has some big benefits. Mixed breeds have a lower risk for many genetic conditions than purebred dogs do.
An F1 Cockapoo is the has the most diverse DNA of any generation. So if the thought of health concerns worry you, the F1 Cockapoo could be an option to consider.
What is an F1B Cockapoo?
An F1B Cockapoo is the generation that is produced when an F1 Cockapoo is bred back to a purebred Poodle.
As we mention above, it can technically mean an F1 was bred back to a Cocker Spaniel. Seeing as this type of breeding rarely happens, it is safe to assume an F1B Cockapoo is a backcross with a Poodle.
The reason they are more often bred back to a Poodle is to achieve a more predictable and allergy-friendly coat. Adding more Poodle DNA will up the likelihood that the puppies will be lower-shedding and hyper-allergenic than an F1 Cockapoo.
For that reason, this generation is a decent choice for mild allergy sufferers.
What is an F1BB Cockapoo?
An F1BB Cockapoo has been back bred twice to a Poodle. Therefore, they are the result of breeding an F1B Cockapoo with a Poodle.
The F1BB Cockapoo is the best choice for allergy sufferers, as their DNA is closest to that of a Poodle. While there is never a guarantee that a puppy will be non-shedding or hypoallergenic, the odds are increased with an F1BB. You’ll also want to consider an F2BB Cockapoo if you’re looking for a low-shedding and allergy-friendly dog.
Since this generation is very close, genetically, to a Poodle, you will have less genetic diversity. This results in a puppy with many Poodle traits in both appearance and temperament.
This increases the odds of having a dog with a hypoallergenic coat, but it also means the dog will likely have the higher-maintenance, curly Poodle coat that requires regular brushing to stay maintained.
Regular brushing is required of all Cockapoo owners, but especially those with F1BB Cockapoos. The Chris Christensen Baby G Slicker Brush is a great tool to help you keep your dog’s coat healthy and maintained. This brush is the best option available for preventing the matting and tangles that often come with Cockapoo coats.
What is an F2 Cockapoo?
There are several combinations of parents that can result in the F2 Cockapoo generation. A litter of F2 Cockapoos can be produced by crossing an F1 with an F1B, an F1 with an F2, or (most commonly) two F1 Cockapoos.
This generation is very difficult to predict with accuracy. Often an F2 Cockapoo will end up with many traits similar to the Cocker Spaniel, like having a flat coat.
This is not a good generation for allergy sufferers, or those concerned with shedding, because of the Cocker Spaniel traits the puppies are likely to carry. However, if you prefer your puppy to have more of a Cocker Spaniel personality and appearance, the F2 could be a good choice for you.
What is an F2B Cockapoo?
An F2B Cockapoo is a second generation Cockapoo back bred once to a Poodle. This increases the odds of a puppy having more Poodle traits, and makes their coat more predictable than the F2 Cockapoo generation.
An F2B Cockapoo has a much better chance of being non-shedding and hypoallergenic than an F2. But remember, along with these perks comes the extra maintenance of the curlier coat. So while this generation is a good choice for allergy sufferers, you should be prepared to do regular brushing.
F2B Cockapoos are also referred to as Multigen Cockapoos. The multigenerational label may be applied to any Cockapoo beyond an F2.
What is an F2BB Cockapoo?
An F2BB Cockapoo is an F2 Cockapoo backcrossed to a Poodle twice. The parents would be an F2B Cockapoo and a purebred Poodle. This generation can also be referred to as a Multigen Cockapoo.
This generation holds a lot of Poodle DNA, making this a great choice for allergy sufferers. While nothing is guaranteed, having more Poodle DNA increases your odds of a consistently allergy-friendly coat.
What is an F3 Cockapoo?
An F3 Cockapoo is a third generation Cockapoo. F3 Cockapoos are also referred to as Multigen Cockapoos.
These are not bred often, as the outcome is very unpredictable. Very much like the F2 generation, the pups produced will not be consistent.
What is a Multigen Cockapoo?
The term “Multigenerational Cockapoo”, or “Multigen” for short, can refer to any generation beyond an F2. So an F2B, F2BB, F3, etc can be classified as Multigen.
Always ask a breeder which generation of Cockapoo a puppy is if they simply refer to them as Multigen.
F1 vs F1B Cockapoo: Which Should You Get?
When you compare the F1 vs F1B Cockapoo you have to consider what your priorities are. If you like the classic Cockapoo look, an F1 Cockapoo will be more likely to have the coat that fits that picture. In addition, the genetic diversity will lower your pet’s risk for genetic health issues.
If anyone in your household has allergies, the F1B Cockapoo will be less likely to be shed and are usually easier to allergy-sufferers to tolerate. The F1B Cockapoo will have more Poodle DNA which will increase the chance of their coat being hypoallergenic.
However, if allergies are a major concern, we recommend looking for an F1BB or F2BB generation, which contain even more Poodle DNA.
F1 vs F2 Cockapoo: Which Should You Get?
Generally an F1 Cockapoo has more predictable traits than an F2 Cockapoo. A lot of reputable breeders will shy away from breeding F2 Cockapoos for this reason.
However, F2 Cockapoos often have more Cocker Spaniel traits. If this appeals to you, and allergies aren’t a concern, an F2 Cockapoo might be a great choice.
F1B vs F2B Cockapoo: Which Should You Get?
These two generations are very similar, so it is tough to compare them. As they are both backcrossed to Poodles, they are good choices for those with mild allergies.
More important than deciding between the generations specifically, you should choose the breeder with the best reputation for responsible breeding practices. Ask them about the genetic testing they do, meet the parents, and see the conditions of their facilities.
Speak with other people that have adopted puppies from the breeders you are looking at. Compare pricing, colors, and Cockapoo sizes too. If you still can’t decide, keep in mind that F1B puppies will have slightly more genetic diversity, giving them a slight advantage in this comparison.
What Generation Cockapoo is Best?
Ask any owner what generation Cockapoo is best and you may hear all different opinions!
Poodle mixes in general are popular with allergy sufferers. If that is an important consideration when looking for a Cockapoo, we recommend the F1BB generation followed by the F2BB, F1B, and F2B generations in that order.
If shedding doesn’t concern you, the field is wide open! It’s hard to go wrong with the classic F1 Cockapoo. They usually have the widest availability with the lowest prices. You may even be able to rescue one from a shelter!
Unsure Which Generation Your Cockapoo Is?
If you are reading this and looking at your Cockapoo wondering what generation they are, you should be able to contact your breeder to find out.
However, if you have lost touch with the breeder, or if your Cockapoo is a rescue, there are tools that can help you determine their generation.
Many dog owners have had luck with Embark’s mail-in dog DNA testing kits. An easy swab of your dog’s cheek can help determine their ancestry and even locate their canine relatives. Even more importantly, it can alert you to potential health issues your dog could be at risk for in the future.
Embark Breed + Health Kit