Can Cockapoos be Left Outside? Will it Harm them?

The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, both of which are originally (and sometimes still today) bred as working dogs. This could suggest that outside is a safe space for both breeds and their crossbred offspring. However, that’s not necessarily the case. We take a look at how long a reasonable time is to leave your Cockapoo outside and what the risks can be.

Cockapoos were bred as a companion dog. They are sociable and enjoy the company of their families. Whilst they will enjoy walks and games with you in the open air and even playtime in their own backyard, outside and alone is not their happy place.

There are lots of factors to consider when considering leaving your dog outside including their breed purpose, their coat, and how they will deal with exposure to any inclement weather. You will also need to look at having shelter available and consider if your dog will be at risk of escape or theft. Let us take a specific look at the Cockapoo and see how the answers to all these questions are relevant to them.

Why Was the Cockapoo Bred?

The Cockapoo was first bred in the US in the 1960s. The main aim, as with most purposely cross-bred dogs, was to combine the best traits of both the parent breeds. In the case of the Cockapoo, this was to achieve a low-shedding companion breed.

The Cocker Spaniel was bred as a hunter and will continue to encompass this as an inherent trait. This will make them a good fit as an outside dog, especially as their coat is designed to keep them cool in the summer months and warm in the winter. However, the Poodle is much more highly strung. Whilst they may be physically able to cope in milder weather for long periods of time mentally there is a risk of anxieties developing.

Both breeds were originally workers and whilst this meant working outside it also meant being with their owner and relishing in pleasing them with their work. This makes for the Cockapoo having a need to be around their families.

What Should be Available to a Dog if it’s Outside?

Some dogs do prefer to be outside and those that do need adequate equipment to keep them safe and happy. Shelter from any inclement weather is a must. A kennel in the shade where your dog can retreat is one way of providing this.

Access to water is also a must. Just as your pooch would have constant availability to a drink within the home the same must be provided when they are outside. If your dog is a grazer as opposed to having routine mealtimes, then food should also be obtainable whilst in the yard or garden.

Ensure that your garden is enclosed and there are no hidden escape routes. You need to also provide your dog with a stimulus. If they get bored, then this can lead to many problems. Not only may they go looking for adventure but there are more dangers outside than in. Toys and hidden food games are a good source of mental entertainment.

All that said there are few dogs for whom being predominantly outside will work well. They are essentially sociable animals who enjoy being around their families. It is highly unlikely that a Cockapoo will fall into this category.

What are the Risks of Leaving My Cockapoo Outside?

There are many risks to leaving your Cockapoo outside. We don’t mean that they can’t play in the backyard whilst you potter within the home. Obviously, if this is the case you still need to ensure that your Cockapoo won’t be able to escape and there are no other hidden dangers in the yard such as poisonous plants or accessible trash cans.

However, leaving them for prolonged periods or whilst you leave to run errands is far from advisable, especially tethered. Should your Cockapoo be chained or leashed alone outside then run a serious risk of becoming tangled or choking.

Other physical hazards include exposure to the elements, even if shelter is provided. Your Cockapoo could overheat should the weather become too hot, especially if they have no or little access to drinking water or shade. This in turn can lead to heatstroke or heat exhaustion. In the cold winter months should your Cockapoo be exposed to the lower temperatures for a prolonged period they will become at risk of hypothermia. In severe cases, both overheating, and hypothermia can lead to premature death.

There are other dangers besides the physical ones that you need to be mindful of. Cockapoos are a breed that crave attention and enjoys company. Being left alone and to their own devices outside can lead to depression and separation anxiety. Both conditions can manifest as destructive and / or noisy behavior.


So, whilst we have learned that your Cockapoo will enjoy spending time outside this will be in the form or playing and walking. A companion dog is not designed to be left alone for prolonged periods and should not be the dog of choice for you if you cannot provide them with the attention and companionship that they require.

Leaving them outside would be an added stress that can cause many physical and emotional problems for them if not managed correctly. The upshot is that it would not be recommended to leave your Cockapoo outside unless you can ensure that it would only be for a very short period of time and you have carried out a full risk assessment to ensure that they are safeguarded to an optimum level.