If you have other pets and you’re thinking about getting a cockapoo it’s sensible to investigate if they are likely to get a long.
After all, you don’t want a social experiment that goes horribly wrong!
Guinea pigs and rabbits are very popular pets and often encounter cockapoos in the home. Some people even have house rabbits that will roam the house unsupervised.
The answer is thankfully cockapoos have friendly, well-adjusted temperaments perfect for domestic life. They get along well with all common household pets including guinea pigs and rabbits.
But here are some quick guidelines to make sure your cockapoo and guinea pig hit it off right from the start.
Cockapoos should be socialised to all new things they encounter and especially other animals in the home.
Take time to introduce your cockapoo puppy to their new house mates. I recommend having two people available for this activity with the dog owner holding the cockapoo and the helper holding the guinea pig.
It’s a good idea to have some favorite treats around to reward your cockapoo for displaying gentle behavior with the guinea pig. Also speak in reassuring soothing tones as this will help your cockapoo overcome any nervousness.
Choose a familiar environment
It’s best to make the introduction in a place where they are going to see a lot of each other. That may be outside in the garden near the run or cage or in your living room.
While you are seated, hold your cockapoo gently with both hands in your lap and let your puppy sniff your guinea pig. Be ready to restrain him if he tries to bite your guinea pig. For more information about encouraging soft mouth behaviour look at this article.
Initial introductions could take a good five or ten minutes.
Once your cockapoo has got used to your guinea pig put them both down and let them continue to experience what it’s like to be in each others company. After a while there should be periods of non-interest but this is desirable as your guinea won’t want to play with your cockapoo.
The next step is to leave them on their own for a while. Once your puppy has got over the novelty of having a new furry friend sneak out the room.
But don’t go far.
Peak into the room and just observe their behaviour together. It’s worthwhile mentioning that if your cockapoo is bred from a working-cocker parent he will have much more energy as he is used to retrieving. A working-cocker cockapoo’s socialization may take longer before you can leave him alone with your guinea pig. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean he will have a pre-disposition to be aggressive.
Once you are satisfied your cockapoo and guinea pig have got used to one another you can relax and leave them unsupervised.
Remember, when your cockapoo shows disinterest toward the guinea pig it means he has accepted him into his domestic life and rthis is signal successful socialisation.
It’s important to take the time to socialize them properly. Cockapoo’s have a playful temperament so they are naturally curious about other pets. If you know your cockapoo to have an unsound temperament then take precautions but this is rare for a cockapoo.
Be patient and keep a close eye on them before leaving them alone together while you are out. Cockapoos do suffer from separation anxiety so I would recommend caging your guinea pig or rabbit if you are leaving them alone in the house for a length of time.