Are you thinking about getting a Cockapoo? Perhaps you have heard that some Cockapoos have blue eyes and want to adopt a dog with the same feature. Though blue eyes in Cockapoos are gorgeous, blue is a rare eye color only found in certain dogs.
Cockapoos can have blue eyes, but only if merle or still puppies. The merle gene causes random color patterns in coat and skin pigmentation, increasing the likelihood of blue eyes in dogs. Although cockapoos come in many colors, patterns, and sizes, almost all cockapoos have dark brown eyes as adults.
This article will discuss the history and personality of the cockapoo and the typical coat and eye colors found in this breed. You will also learn why cockapoo puppies and merle adults have blue eyes, as well as more information about merle in cockapoos in general.
What Causes Some Cockapoos to Have Blue Eyes?
There are two situations in which you will see a cockapoo with blue eyes:
- When your cockapoo is a puppy
- If your cockapoo is a blue merle.
The merle gene lightens part of a cockapoo’s coat, resulting in dark colors over a lighter base. Merle cockapoos come in different colors and patterns and this gene can affect all coat colors. In some dogs, merle genes result in a coat full of swirling colors.
Blue merles have swirls and patches of black and white. Depending on the dog, these mixes and swirls can create a bluish tint which is how the blue merle gets its name.
Blue Cockapoo Puppy Eyes
All cockapoo puppies are born with blue eyes. Cockapoo puppies lack melanin but produce this pigment as they age, gradually changing to brown by three to four weeks of age. While your puppy’s eyes may look blue, this color results from light reflection and refraction in the eyes, not as a result of pigment in the iris.
Melanin is a pigment produced by a cockapoo’s eyes and gradually changes your dog’s eye color from blue to brown. Because of this, most dogs have dark brown or hazel eyes by the time they reach adulthood. It is rare for a dog to have blue eyes in adulthood.
Merle Cockapoos With Blue Eyes
The exception to the above statement is when a dog has a merle coat. Merle coats result from specific genetics and create a coat filled with dark patches on a white background. These dark patches come in two colors: liver (which creates the red merle pattern) and black (which creates the blue merle pattern).
Merle genes show up in many dog breeds, including:
- Border Collies
- Australian Shepherds
- Cardigan Welsh Corgis
- Great Danes
Cockapoos can only ever inherit the blue merle pattern.
The genes that create merle coats also affect eye color. Merle cockapoos can have normal dark brown eyes, or they can have one or two blue eyes. The genes that make the merle coat pattern are also the only known cause of blue eyes in most breeds.
Merle Cockapoo Health Problems
Merle cockapoos usually have more health problems than non-merle dogs and are known to have many issues related to their eyes and ears. The blue eyes that merles are known for can make it harder to diagnose certain eye problems.
A double merle cockapoo is created when two merle dogs are bred together and should be avoided. Homozygous merles (or double merles) are often deaf, blind, or both and can manifest even more serious health issues, greatly decreasing longevity and quality of life.
Though merles are beautiful dogs, they are often plagued with health problems. Because of this, it is advised that breeders not purposely breed for merles. If you want to adopt a merle dog, whether a cockapoo or other breed, do your research and be aware of these dogs’ common health problems.
What To Expect From a Typical Cockapoo
A cockapoo is a mix between a cocker spaniel and poodle parents and was initially bred in the mid-20th century in America. Cockapoos have since become one of the most popular poodle mixed breeds in the world. The cockapoo is popular due to its loving temperament, low odor, and hypoallergenic coat.
If you’re looking into getting a cockapoo, it is essential to do your research so that you know what to expect. The vast majority of this breed will have dark brown eyes, and finding a blue-eyed cockapoo may be difficult.
Let’s take a quick look at some common traits of the cockapoo to help you decide if it is the right breed for you.
The Poodle parent can either be a toy, miniature, or standard size Poodle. The size of the poodle parent will determine how large their cockapoo offspring become.
There are four Cockapoo sizes:
- Teacup Cockapoos are less than 10 inches (25.4 cm) tall and weigh less than 6 pounds (2.72 kg).
- Toy Cockapoos are around 10 inches (25.4 cm) tall and weigh 12 pounds (5.44 kg).
- Miniature Cockapoos are 11 to 14 inches (27.94 to 35.56 cm) in height and weigh 13 to 18 pounds (5.9 to 8.16 kg).
- Standard Cockapoos are at least 15 inches (38.1 cm) tall and weigh more than 19 pounds.
Cockapoos are known for their sweet and social nature. They are incredibly affectionate and aim to make their owners happy. They are also eager to please their owners and show quite a bit of intelligence, making them an easy breed to train.
The only negative trait of cockapoos is that they can be very nervous. But every dog is unique, and many cockapoos don’t show a nervous nature.
Cockapoos can be identified by their rounded heads, floppy ears, and curly coats. They don’t shed often, making them a great hypoallergenic crossbreed. However, their coats need to be trimmed regularly so that they don’t get too long.
Cockapoos typically have dark eyes under bushy eyebrows. However, their eye color is dependent on their coat color. Most will have dark brown eyes, however as mentioned above, blue merle cockapoos may have blue eyes.
A cockapoo’s coat color depends on whether they resemble their cocker spaniel parent or their Poodle parent more.
Cockapoo Coat Colors, Patterns, and Eye Color
Cockapoos are unique in that their coats come in many colors and combinations. These coats can also affect their eye color. Below are the typical colors and coat patterns you can find in cockapoos.
Cockapoo Coat Colors
Cockapoos come in five main colors: black, chocolate brown, apricot, white, and red. Each color comes in many shades creating many unique colors.
Many cockapoos’ coats fade as they age due to a fading gene they inherit from their poodle parent. This gene mainly affects poodles that are black, brown, or red. Therefore, it is important to note that a cockapoo puppy born with a gorgeous dark coat, may have a much lighter coat later in life.
Cockapoo Coat Patterns
Unlike some dog breeds, cockapoos come in a variety of patterns. Each is unique because of its coat pattern and color combination. Some common coat patterns found in cockapoos include:
- Tuxedo Cockapoos have a coat with a solid dark color with a noticeable white chest and belly. This is a common pattern for black and chocolate Cockapoos.
- Phantom Cockapoos have black or tan coats with light coloring in their eyebrows, muzzle, legs, and feet.
- Parti Cockapoos have a coat that is 50% white and 50% another color.
- Roan Cockapoos have a solid base color such as black or brown with many white hairs mixed in. Roans with a black base are named Blue Roans, and roans with a brown base are Brown Roans.
- The fur of a Sable Cockapoo has a solid dark base with lighter tips. The fur of sables commonly fades with age, making the color difference between the base and tips less pronounced over time.
Blue Eyes in Blue Merle Cockapoos
Every cockapoo with a coat color or pattern mentioned so far will have dark brown or hazel eyes. Blue merle cockapoos are unique.
The Blue merle cockapoo is the only coat pattern that will result in blue eyes.
If your cockapoo is not a blue merle, then they will never have blue eyes.
However, you should know that the only way to get a blue merle is for the breeder to have introduced another dog breed somewhere in the line. This means that the cockapoo is not coming from a pure poodle. Reputable breeders typically will not offer blue merle puppies because they are often the result of herd breeding, and they usually come with a number of health issues.
Cockapoos are adorable, friendly, and intelligent dogs that make excellent pets. They come in many coat colors, patterns, and sizes. However, if you desire a Cockapoo with blue eyes, you are limited to a blue merle cockapoo. Merle cockapoos are beautiful dogs but are equal in personality to other cockapoos. If you want a friendly dog who will be a great companion, any cockapoo will fit the bill regardless of eye color.