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Phantom Cockapoo: Facts, Pictures, Origin & History

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

a phantom cockapoo puppy lying on grass

Phantom Cockapoo: Facts, Pictures, Origin & History

Cockapoos are known worldwide for their friendly, even-tempered natures. They are always willing to play and are intelligent enough to be easily trained.

Breed Overview


16 – 22 inches


25 – 40 pounds


12 – 15 years


Red, apricot, cream, white, chocolate, black, merle, tri-colored, tuxedo

Suitable for:

Active families, children, apartment dwellers, those looking for a social dog


Loving, friendly, intelligent, laid-back, easy to train

The Cockapoo is bred from a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel and is one of the most popular breeds in America. These cheerful dogs come in many coat colors and patterns; however, one of the most sought-after is the phantom Cockapoo. Read on to discover why phantoms are coveted in the Cockapoo world.

Cockapoo Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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The Earliest Records of Phantom Cockapoos in History

Looking back in history, the Cockapoo was first bred in America sometime between the 1950s and 1960s. Some state that the Cockapoo was produced purposefully to merge two friendly, even-tempered dogs. However, other sources say this was a happy accident.

Once the litter was born, the designer dog’s popularity grew, and so did the coat color variations and patterns, including the expressive phantom design.

Cockapoos then moved across America and made their way to Australia (where they’re known as Spoodles) and the UK, where they were bred with English Cocker Spaniels. As a result, phantom coloring has been coveted, particularly within the last 10 to 15 years.

How Phantom Cockapoos Gained Popularity

Word soon got around about the dogs’ friendly natures and low shedding. They were one of the first of their kind and attracted much attention from families, farmers, and the famous.

Once people learned about the breed’s shining personality and excellent coat variation, the phantom pattern was discovered. Phantom and merle patterned coats are rarely seen and catch the eye.

Cockapoos soon became a firm favorite and were New York and Chicago’s number one dogs to own in 2021. They are now the most popular breed in the UK. This sparked a slew of copycat crosses such as the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle, which are breeds that also excel as service dogs due to their beautiful temperaments.

Formal Recognition of Phantom Cockapoos

While the American Kennel Club doesn’t formally recognize the Cockapoo as a breed, clubs dedicated to Cockapoos have been popping up across the globe. The US has the American Cockapoo Club, which strives to establish the dogs as a breed in their own right, working on a breed standard and building a network of responsible breeders.

Part of the breed standard made by the American Cockapoo Club states that phantom markings are one of six possible patterns seen on a Cockapoo, apart from the typical solid colors. They say that phantoms usually have a solid-colored body with black or brown on the legs, eyebrows, and side of the face.

Where Does the Phantom Coat Pattern Come From?

The phantom coloring in a Cockapoo is inherited from the Poodle side. Phantom coloring is closely related to Brindle coloring. While many Poodle owners strive to breed these gorgeous variations, they are generally not accepted in the Poodle AKC breed standard.

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Top 6 Unique Facts About Phantom Cockapoos

1. Phantom Is a Very Specific Color Pattern

The phantom coloring in Cockapoos is received from their Poodle parent. This is similar to partial coloring, but specific colors are on a solid background for the phantom.

Colors that can make up phantom Cockapoos include:
  • Chocolate brown and apricot
  • Black with red cream or apricot
  • Red and apricot
  • Silver and cream

2. Cockapoos Are Not the Only Breed That Shows the Phantom Coloring

Apart from Cockapoos and Poodles, a few other breeds have the recognizable phantom coloring pattern. For example, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Dachshunds all have the specific colors and shapes that make up the phantom coloring (usually black and tan), and it’s instantly recognizable.

3. Phantom Marking Is Specific to Certain Body Parts

A phantom Cockapoo’s markings are specifically shown on certain parts of their body, which are also displayed in breeds such as the Doberman.

These spots are located:
  • On the cheeks above the eyes, resembling eyebrows
  • In a blaze on the chest
  • Down each leg
  • Under the tail

4. Brindle Cockapoos Can Give Birth to Phantom Cockapoos

Poodles have a close link between the brindle color pattern and the phantom pattern. If a Poodle dam or sire is brindle, they can give birth to puppies that express phantom coloring. Likewise, a phantom mother or father can produce brindle Cockapoo puppies.

5. Phantom Cockapoos Are Born With Their Markings

Like Poodles, Cockapoos are born with their markings as puppies. However, they may be much darker than they will be as an adult. This changes because Cockapoo colors lighten and fade as they age, a trait also derived from their Poodle lineage.

The extent of this fading depends on the color of the Cockapoo when they are born and genetics.

6. Phantom Cockapoos Don’t Shed as Much as Other Dogs

While it is true that phantom Cockapoos may not shed as much as other dogs, it also applies to any Cockapoo. This is due to their coat type; curly coats will shed much less than silkier, wavier coats.

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Do Phantom Cockapoos Make Good Pets?

Phantom Cockapoos, just like all Cockapoos, make lovely pets. They usually don’t grow any larger than 60 pounds, and they come in sizes that will suit any size home, coming in a mini, toy, and standard variety.

The dogs usually have curly coats that shed very little, and they suit families with lots of love to give. Be prepared to get lots of adoring looks and attention since the phantom Cockapoo is exceptionally special. Their coat markings aren’t commonly seen, garnering lots of admiration.

They will need grooming, though not to the same level as Poodles. However, regular grooming to keep them matt-free and looking fabulous is recommended twice a week.

Cockapoos need around an hour of exercise a day.

Even though the high energy from their Cocker Spaniel parent is tempered with the Poodle’s easygoing nature, they need adequate exercise and mental stimulation to avoid instances of destructive behavior.

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In Conclusion

The phantom Cockapoo makes an exceptional pet that will draw looks from every part of the crowd. They aren’t commonly seen and can express this beautiful pattern in a rainbow of different colors, ranging from the darkest of blacks and browns to pale whites and creams.

All in all, Cockapoos make fantastic pets that suit so many households, and all they need is love, care, attention, and a bit of grooming to be perfectly happy with you and your family.

Featured Image Credit: Alena Veasey, Shutterstock

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