Common Cockapoo Problems: Overcoming Separation Anxiety

The Cockapoo Problem That Needs To Be Addressed

When Cockapoo owners talk about common Cockapoo problems, separation anxiety inevitably comes up.

cockapoo problems: overcoming separation anxiety
overcoming separation anxiety

 

Most dogs get very attached to their owner they can’t stand to be on their own.  This is not uniquely a Cockapoo problem, but the Cockapoo is known to suffer particularly from separation anxiety. This is because smaller breeds of dog have been bred as companion dogs. As well as this,  all dogs are pack animals that love company and family bonds.

Being apart is emotionally difficult for you the owner- and even worse for your dog.  In fact, it’s just total panic for a dog that has never been taught to cope on his own.

Your prevention of separation anxiety needs to start the moment you first bring him home as a puppy or adult dog. This lesson will actually teach your Cockapoo to look forward to the time he is by himself.

5 Steps To Overcome separation anxiety

  1. First of all get some baby gates installed around your house.
  2. Give your Cockapoo something really nice to chew (the kong for example stuffed with treats) and leave him to it.
  3. Leave via the baby gate and allow him to enjoy his reward.
  4. To start with go to the end of the garden or around the block.
  5. Keep doing this each day and increase the time you are away.

By gradually leaving him alone with something tasty for him you’re teaching him the coping strategies to stay on his own. He is learning ‘alone time’ is normal and part of his routine. Teaching this is going to save you both so much anxiety and stress- it’s essential training for the Cockapoo.

Cockapoo Problems and training programmes

Like all problem behaviours dogs can exhibit like nuisance barking, pulling on the lead, and not returning when called; a structured training program is needed. I’m always amazing why dog owners are reluctant to put the effort in at the beginning when the rewards are so great for life!

Resources

Get started in Dog Training

The 30 minute Guide To Training Your Cockapoo

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What Is A Cockador?

 Introducing The Cockador

A friend of mine recently bought a Cockador puppy and I was so impressed with how adorable it is I had to update my Cockapoo friends.

There is not much information about the origins of the Cockador. What I can determine by looking at Google search statistics is the term ‘Cockador’ first began to be searched on in 2005.

A Cockador is a hybrid dog similar to the Cockapoo.  You may have made an educated guess that if a Cocker Spaniel is bred with a Labrador  Cockador puppy is produced.

Retrievers and Labradors are known to be the most over-bred dogs, so instilling some hybrid vigor, by bringing in another blood line and strengthening the genetics with a Cocker parent is a good idea.

 

Cockador Temperament

You need to mindful that Labradors are gun dogs. This means they are going to have a strong retrieving instincts. Their friendly temperament has led The Labrador to be a popular choice as a disability assistance dog. We can deduce from this the Cockador will have the same friendly and trainable temperament that the Labrador is famous for.

Cocker Spaniels were also bred as hunting dogs so this retrieving characteristic is going to be enhanced further. You may want to check if the parents come from ‘Working’ or ‘Show’ stock as working dogs have a lot of energy and need a lot of exercise (think two-three outings a day).

Sizes and Colours

Cockadors will be smaller than the average Labrador which may be desirable for many people.

Brown, chocolate, blond and black are the most usual colours but again the Cocker influence will mean other colours will emerge such as bridle, roan and red tones. Depending on which parent they take after they will have a short lab coat or perhaps a slightly longer wavy coat.

 

Breeders

Since Cockadors are in their infancy as a breed, a first cross (F1) puppy will be most common. This means that both parent dogs would be registered with the Kennel Club so do check the available records to ensure both parents are healthy.

Follow all the normal advice when choosing a puppy.  If you need to read up try both of these guides.

RSPCA Advice

The Dogs Trust

Thank you to Rebecca Wright for the photos!

Dog Rescues or Dog Shelters – Where To Find A Cockapoo?

Are you looking to Re-home or Rescue a Cockapoo?

Many people looking for a Cockapoo would like to rescue a dog. But where should you start your search? Rescue Cockapoos are in demand but don’t expect to be offered a puppy.

First off, lets look at the differences between a dog rescue and a  dog shelter.
Rescue dogs are often located in foster homes.  Mostly you will be dealing with individuals, normally fans of the breed.  For the Cockapoo the CCGB has a waiting list which can be found here .

What is Respite Care

Sometimes people’s circumstances change and they just need some time away from their dog. That’s when a home is needed to give the owner respite from dog ownership. People move locations to a home where dogs aren’t allowed; have a relationship break up – there are many reasons people have to re-home their dog for a temporary period.
rescue cockapoo
Many older dogs need re-homing and are adorable

Dog Shelters

This is a physical building you can visit because the shelter has accepted the dog permanently.
Animal shelters have varying degrees of standards. Some are good some are not so good. It’s easy to fall into the mind set that since a dog shelter is a place of help you need to just accept its procedures.
That would be a mistake.  You should use your judgement about and be mindful of what you may be taking on. These are all important questions you should be prepared to ask.

Rescue Cockapoo Questions

  • Do they have a clean premises
  • Are all dogs have up to date vaccinations and deworming
  • Do they micro chip all dogs
  • Do they spay and neuter all dogs
  • Have they assessed using a true temperament test
  • Will they take the dog back if things don’t work out
  • Do they have a adoption application
  • Do they charge reasonable adoption fees
  • Do they charge reasonable transportation fees

Resources:

http://www.nokillnetwork.org/uk/
http://www.peta.org/blog/won-t-work-kill-shelter/
http://cockapoo.me/cockapoo-rescue-pages/
 Cockapoo rescue

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How To Handle A Cockapoo Puppy For The First time

Cockapoo puppy training 101

One of the things we often forget is that not all dogs naturally enjoy being groomed, handled or cuddled. We have to teach them that these things are a normal and natural part of family life. This is a foundation to training a Cockapoo puppy as it creates a lovely bond between owner and dog.

Sometimes if some one is bitten it’s because a dog reacts fearfully to being handled. That’s because he’s never been taught what a joy it is!

Doggy body language

Body language is very different for dogs. Have you noticed how a dog barks when he sees two people  hugging? Dogs just don’t understand it because hugging is not how a dog shows affection.

You have to teach your Cockapoo how to enjoy being hugged and cuddled.

For owners who have children or people that just love the physical interaction and pleasure of cuddling their dog, this is one of the best things you’re ever going to teach him to do.

 

To begin

You will need a good supply of yummy treats. While giving him his treat, slowly start to stroke him.

Start by stroking him where you know he will be comfortable being stroked. Down the sides of his body, up his ears, down his paws. Eventually turn him over and rub his tummy.

You are giving the treats so he links in his mind your stroking him with feeling good.

If you find an area where you dog shows concern about being stroked, just stop and go back to an area he is comfortable with and gently introduce him to being stroked in that area.

Always take it very slowly and very gradually and build it up over the time your working with your dog.

Early grooming

Sometimes you can use a brush or a fluffy glove. And while he’s chewing his treat he’s learning that brushing and stroking is really enjoyable.

Get everyone in the family to do this. Everyone must know the dog needs to be handled nicely and with respect, so that your dog knows hands are always something to be enjoyed rather than something to be worried about.

You can find more positive reward-based training techniques with the ‘Training Your Cockapoo’ hand book

how to train a cockapoo puppy


Cockapoo Training: What You Need to Know

Cockapoo Puppy Training

 

cockapoo trainingA well trained dog is a joy to live with. You don’t have to worry when someone visits or if there are children around. You can just relax and enjoy your time together. That’s why Cockapoo training is so important.

Your Cockapoo will be excited about almost any outing you can imagine. So having a well trained Cockapoo will allow him all the freedom he craves. You can take him everywhere with you, to visit friends, to the park, to the pub even to work, because you know he will be well behaved.

It’s not just about freedom though- it’s also about safety. You owe it to your dog to keep him safe, well behaved and appropriate in what he does. And also to ensure anyone that comes into contact with your Cockapoo is safe.

Learn How Your Cockapoo Learns

A well trained Cockapoo is a happy Cockapoo and having him well trained will make you a happy and proud owner.

When you bring a new dog into your home, particularly a puppy, nearly all his activities will be controlled. Most people get into trouble with puppies because they give them way too much freedom. Mayhem ensues and the ‘fun puppy’ experience soon turns sour.

That’s why it’s important to establish an early bond with your dog during training. As the Cockapoo training programme develops over weeks and months your Cockapoo will gain your trust and you can entrust him with more and more freedom.

The Cockapoo is the perfect example of a dog that has become skilled at learning from and anticipating human behavior. The Poodle is known to be one of the cleverest dogs on the planet. Also the toy and miniature Cockapoo varieties have been bred as companion dogs. So you have a dog that wants to learn and wants to please- the job is half done!

A Cockapoo Training Programme

As well as learning from his owner what is and isn’t acceptable, your Cockapoo is also interacting and learning from the world around him. This is sometimes referred to by dog trainers as ‘accidental learning’.

Dogs do what works for them. If they are rewarded by doing something they will do it again.

If your Cockapoo has a bad experience from doing something he will quickly learn to stop doing that thing.

If he doesn’t get anything beneficial or bad from doing something he will gradually lose interest and stop.

With that in mind, canine psychology can be summed up in three ways:

  1. Experience something good = will do more of
  2. Experience something bad = will stop doing it
  3. Experience something neither good nor bad = Gradually stop

Once you have learned that dogs will do repeatedly whatever they experience is good for them, you can use that to great advantage with your training programme.

…An extract from the ebook Training Your Cockapoo. A fun, rewards based system that works.

how to train a cockapoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other resources: CCGB Forum

Can my Cockapoo be a therapy dog?

Share your Cockapoo to benefit others

A therapy dog is a dog that is used to benefit a person in a therapeutic way. Obviously some breeds lend themselves to this more than others.

Cockapoos provide much happiness to their owners sometimes people want to share their love and good nature with others. You may have heard of the pat and stroke schemes.

Essentially though many dog breeds that have a suitable disposition can be a therapy dog. The deciding factor is whether they are suitable for the purpose that is required. Factors to consider are your Cockapoo’s age, temperament, health, and level of basic obedience training.

Benefits of a Therapy dog

  • Physical –occupational therapists sometimes include a dog in a patient’s treatment plan. A common exercise might be bending down, holding a brush and brushing the dog’s coat– a simple but enjoyable exercise.
  • Psychological – lap dogs can: increase self-esteem; ease stress after trauma and help with self-confidence and provide much needed companionship after a bereavement. Dogs are also sometimes used to improve the mood of children in paediatric hospitals.
  • Social – animals can act as a social enhancer and help people adjust to a new environments and make meeting new people less daunting.  The SCAS conducts research into these benefits.

Can my Cockapoo become a therapy dog?

Cockapoo therapy dogs for good health

It really depends on what you want him to do. In the UK there are two main organisations that manage visiting programmes along with some other therapeutic activities.  The charity Pets as therapy  will do an assessment with your Cockapoo to determine his suitability to take part in any specific activity.  I recommend contacting them if you would like to explore this further.

Is a therapy dog an assistance dog?

No. Therapy dogs are not classified as assistance dogs. This is because an assistance dog is trained to carry out special tasks to aid a disabled person. They’re generally qualified by organisations registered as members of Assistance Dogs UK.

Where can I get my Cockapoo trained as a therapy dog?

The SCAS runs fun interactive courses. You can register you interest here.

Summary

Getting your Cockapoo trained as a therapy dog is lovely thing to do for those in need and also helps spread the knowledge about the benefits of our wonderful Cockapoo breed. It may be worth a try!

Do Cockapoos Shed?

Cockapoos have a reputation for not shedding hair – but is it true?

The beauty of a hybrid dog is that undesirable traits can be ‘breed out’ or at least minimised by selecting a parent breed whose desirable qualities the breeder wants to genetically carry through to the offspring.

It’s not known for what purpose a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle were originally cross bred (all though the benefits are clear), but one plus is the poodle’s tight curled hair has always appealed to those who don’t want to be hovering up too much hair in their home.

Puppy fur to Adult Cockapoo Coat

There is an age when all Cockapoos will definitely shed hair – when they loose their puppy fur and their adult coat comes in. This natural process of moulting is unavoidable but regular daily or twice daily grooming will mean less hair on your sofa! The adult coat generally ‘comes in’ at around 8 months of age.

Fyi, remember, if the moult is not groomed out, your Cockapoo’s lovely coat will start to matt and even grow into dreadlocks.

Wavy or curly coat

Moulting aside, Cockapoos still have a reputation for non shedding because of the poodle lineage.  But what if the puppy inherits its coat from the Cocker? Results will vary.

Some First Cross ‘F1’ Cockapoos take after the Cocker Spaniel so offspring will have wavy hair that can grow up to 15cm long.

So if you are intent on having a low shedding Cockapoo you need to choose a puppy whose coat follows the poodle heritage.

Will the breeder know?

Breeders know a lot of things but they won’t be able to tell before 6 weeks what kind of coat an F1 Cockapoo puppy will have. And if the puppy does take after the Cocker, dog owners will tell you some Cocker Spaniels shed like crazy while some shed hardly at all. Some Cockers can get up from their bed and hardly leave any hairs while another Cocker when you stroke their back you come away with a palm full of hair.

Summary

To be honest it is a bit of myth that Cockapoos don’t shed – all dogs shed to some degree. The poodle factor has garnered the Cockapoo with the reputation as a non to light shedder but the truth is they will be light shedders at best.

When choosing a puppy, wait until 8 weeks (as you always should) before taking a puppy home from its mother. By that time it should become clear what sort of coat (wavy or curls) the dog has inherited. If the puppy’s coat is inherited from the Cocker side of the family just keep her coat short and groom often to lessen the shedding.

Finally, remember also that Poodle parents come in sizes: Teacup, Toy, Miniature and Standard. The smaller the dog the fewer the hairs shed.

What are your experiences of your Cockapoo shedding – answers below.

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Cockapoo Health Problems: 7 Genetic Diseases Cockapoos Inherit

Cockapoo Health Problems

Like all dogs, Cockapoos  are susceptible to some genetic diseases. The parent breeds used to produce a F1 (or first cross) Cockapoo puppy will pass on hereditary diseases if not tested for breeding suitability.

This is the same for all dogs but the list below is particular for Cockapoo Parent dogs (the male and female are known as dams and sires or stud dogs ). If health tests are not carried out before breeding, the breeder and the eventual owner of the Cockapoo puppy might unknowingly be accepting a Cockapoo with health issues in later life.

As a buyer, it’s far better to understand what testing you should insist on seeing original written documentation for, rather than risk having Cockapoo health concerns as your puppy matures.

Below is a list of the most prevalent diseases to scrutinize to ensure you buy a healthy Cockapoo!

cockapoo health concerns
Four month old cockapoo puppy

Prcd-PRA – (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)

What is it: A genetic disorder that causes blindness. Cells at the back of the retina gradually decay and die leaving the dog suffering from night blindness and most likely full blindness by end of life.

Onset age: Early adolescence / adulthood

Symptoms: Night blindness, gradual short slightness

Cure: No

Prevention: Test parents before breeding

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel / English Shower Cocker / English Working Cocker / Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle

Health testing: Always. For all registered cockapoos one parent must be clear.

FN – Familial Nephropathy

What is it: A recessive inherited disease that destroys nephrons (cell structure that makes up the kidney)

Onset age: six to 24 months of age

Symptoms: drinks more, urinates more, weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea

Cure: No

Prevention: Test parents before breeding

Parent dogs affected: English Shower Cocker / English Working

Heath Testing: Always –  Always for all registered Cockapoos. (F1 and poodle back crosses are exempt) carrying English Show & Working Cocker Spaniel genes, must have one parent clear/normal.

Phosphofructokinase (PFK)

What is it: Phosphofructokinase (PFK) is an essential enzyme needed to produce energy. The disease occurs when the gene mutates and stops producing energy from sugar sources within the dog.

Onset age: adolescence / adulthood

Cure: none

Symptoms: jaundice, sudden weakness, cramping, and anemia

Prevention: health testing

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel

Health testing: Always for all registered Cockapoos. (F1 and poodle back crosses are exempt) carrying American Cocker Spaniel genes must have one parent clear/normal.

Glaucoma

What is it: Primary Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure build up within the eye. It is classified as either primary or secondary. The eye’s drainage becomes blocked, but the eye keeps making fluid. As a result, pressure on the eye increases.

Secondary glaucoma

What is it: Occurs when other eye diseases cause fluid drainage problems. With secondary glaucoma be watchful for eye inflammation, cataracts, retinal detachment and movement of the lens.

Onset age: Adolescence / adulthood

Cure: It is crucial to determine if the dog is affected by primary or secondary glaucoma. The treatment needed and the prognosis for vision is different for each type.

Symptoms: Can start in just one eye

Prevention: Annual vet check-up can prevent secondary glaucoma. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) also have a scheme for specialist Canine Opthalomogist. A manual examination of the eye needs to be done.

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel / English Shower Cocker / English Working Cocker / Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle

Health testing: Preferable

Von Willebrand disease TYPE 1 (vWD1)

What is it: A bleeding disorder. vWD1 is a protein that  enables blood clotting.

Onset age: Early adolescence / adulthood. Often discovered after nail trimming, teething, spaying, sterilizing, tail docking, cropping

Cure: Type 1 is only results in mild bleeding. Type 2&3 are more severe and bleeding can occur in intestines, stomach, urinary tracts, genitals and joints

Symptoms: Spontaneous bleeding from the nose, gum and other mucous membranes. Excessive bleeding occurs after an injury, trauma or a surgery.

Prevention: Testing before breeding

Parent dogs affected: Miniature Poodle

Health testing: Advisable

Hip dysplasia

What is it: Hip dysplasia is an abnormal development within the hip joint, which leads to deformity in the joint.

Onset age: 14 to 26 weeks of age. The developmental ‘primary’ changes appear first. The secondary changes may be referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease or Osteo Arthrosis or Osteo-Arthritis.

Cure: Hereditary hip dysplasia is not curable. Secondary hip dysplasia can be treated as its primary cause is wear and tear

Symptoms: As Hip dysplasia can include joint looseness (laxity), inflammation, pain, new bone formation and bone erosion, changes in gait to pronounced lameness, stiffness after exercise.

Prevention: Not over exercising, particularly developing puppies in their first year.

Hip Score

BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme scores radio graphs. The lower the ‘hip score’ the less the better. The minimum (best) score for each hip is zero and the maximum (or least desirable) is 53, giving a range for the total score of 0 to 106.

Sires (fathers) to be bred from should ideally be ones whose offspring have consistently low scores. The same selection procedure should be used for breeding bitches, since the use of animals with higher scores will increase the risk of producing offspring with higher scores.

For fees and further information  contact: CHS, 7 Mansfield Street, London, W1G 9NQ.   Tel 020 7908 6380   Email chs@bva.co.uk     /  www.bva.co.uk/chs

The breed mean score: The suggested mean score for Cockapoos is 12/13.

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel / English Shower Cocker / English Working Cocker / Miniature Poodle / Toy Poodle

Health testing: Advised

[see diet and Hip Dysplasia]

Retinal Dysplasia

What is it: Retinal dysplasia appears as streaks and dots in the central retina affecting a dog’s eye site. Most cases are hereditary.

Onset age: Adult dogs

Symptoms: Mild retinal dysplasia may not show symptoms. In dogs with more severe cases, the symptoms may include being afraid of the dark (even inside the house), bumping into things and noticeable visual impairment.

Cure: None

Prevention: Other than an inherited condition, retinal dysplasia may be bought on by prenatal infections like the the Herpes-virus. Herpes-virus causes inflammation of the eye and retinal dysplasia may develop later on in life. Also Parvo-virus and exposure to toxins can cause retinal dysplasia in dogs.

Parent dogs affected: American Cocker Spaniel

Health testing: Advisable

Summary

Most Cockapoo health problems can be avoided by selecting good breeder. Why roll the dice and buy a puppy off the internet – it will probably end in heart break 🙁

5 Impossibly Cute Cockapoos

Hopefully you’re not just wanting to own a Cockapoo for its good looks. But it is undeniable Cockapoos are some of the cutest dogs around.

Here are 5 cute cockapoos displaying a variety of cross breeding stock. The permutations include:

  • American Show Cocker Spaniel
  • American Working Cocker Spaniel
  • English Show Cocker Spaniel
  • English Working Cocker Spaniel

CROSSED WITH EITHER A

  • Toy Poodle
  • Miniture Poodle
  • Standard Poodle

The coat variation depends on how dominant genes are from either the cocker or the poodle.  I have compiled some photos of impossibly cute cockapoos but also with popular coat variations.

F2 Show Cocker spaniel cross toy poodle
F2 Show Cocker Spaniel Cross with Toy Poodle

 

The two tone Wavy  Coat, this looks like a teddy bear from 6-7 weeks old but becomes a high maintenance coat that will need regular attention and clipping/trimming to prevent matting. It will probably be light shedding.

cute cockapoos
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Is Sleeping With Your Cockapoo Bad For Your Health?

Do you sleep with your cockapoo?

sleeping with your cockapoo

The subject of how many people sleep with their dogs was discussed at last year’s annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. A survey they had commissioned reported half of patients who had sought help with their tiredness slept with their pets.

Cockapoos in particular are a breed that lends itself to being a popular nocturnal partner.

Why Is this the case?

1. As a companion dog a large proportion of cockapoo owners are single. With no partner to share a bed it’s easy for a dog to take the place of another warm body. At bed time it’s understandable that people want a bit of animal comfort and your adorable cockapoo is eager to oblige.

Dogs are looking for humans to re-create the warmth and security of the litter where they learned to be happy co-sleepers who want to snuggle up. Psychologist Stanley Coren refers to speculation among anthropologists that human-canine co-sleeping may even be encoded in our respective DNA.

2. Cockapoos are compact. It’s not like you’re making room for Saint Bernard. The largest cockapoo would be a Standard or Maxi weighing no more than 19 lbs. / 8.61 kg. The UK standard is slightly bigger than the American version of 15 inches with the longest being 24 inches long. So no need to go and buy a bigger bed.

3. They are very cuddly. Cockapoo owners would agree these are the cutest dogs on the planet. Their looks have propelled them to being one of the most popular dog breeds. On a cold night what could be more irresistible than hugging something this cute.  Also a dog’s body temperature is approximately three to six degrees warmer than our own.

4. They won’t leave too much fur behind. Cockapoos are often referred to as non-shedding. This isn’t quite true. But they are minimal shedders so you won’t have to be shaking out the duvet in the morning.

Here are some tips for a better nights sleep with your cockapoo:

  • Brush his teeth regularly. Bad breath is never welcome so make sure you brush regularly with a branded doggy toothpaste.
  • Avoid dog food that makes him flatulent. Experiment with giving your cockapoo the right blend of kibble and wet food. Too much canned wet food will often cause flatulency in a dog.
  • Don’t take him under the covers. Dogs don’t get a solid eight hours like humans. They mostly doze and like to move around a lot. Keeping them under the duvet will constrict their nocturnal movements causing them to wake you up.
  • Make sure your cockapoo is not over weight. As well as being a precursor to many health issues, an overweight dog is likely to snore.

In Summary

The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School reported that “chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.”

Remember sleep deprivation is a torture technique so if your cockapoo doesn’t make a good bed fellow for whatever reason, be firm and deny him your bed.

However, if you follow the guidance above, sleeping with your cockapoo can be a great comfort for dog and owner.