Cockapoo Home Alone
Cockapoos like many other dogs are fun-loving family pets and when we, the fun providers, are not around our dogs are likely to be a little upset. And some Cockapoos may be more upset than others.
Miniature, Toy and Teacup Cockapoos are bred to be companion dogs so they will feel acute distress when left alone for too long. Cockapoo’s being a very intelligent dog also need a lot of mental stimulation which adds to the problem.
As a rule, no dog should be left alone regularly for long periods. Dogs are pack animals and are naturally sociable. Enjoying solitude is not in their DNA.
But with modern lifestyles most dogs need to accept some periods alone. Smart Cockapoo owners tend to adopt some simple strategies to reduce the stress levels when alone time is necessary.
First let’s identify what separation anxiety actually is. There are different types and levels of separation feelings a dog experiences when left alone.
1. Separation Distress. A symptom you may notice is your dog following you from room to room and always monitoring you for what your next move is. When they sense you are leaving they will show signs of distress and be very over excited on your return. Other signs are:
- Destruction (tip, don’t give them the chance)
- Escape attempts and clawing to doors
- salivation or drooling
- Inappropriate and/or excessive elimination while alone
2. Separation Anxiety. This is a heightened version of separation distress and is quite a serious condition. A dog can become quite ill and injury themselves if no intervention is made. Their feelings of emotional loss at not being with their owner are too overwhelming. This will often lead to further behavioural and health problems.
3. Separation Excitement. Some dogs enjoy some alone time as they can engage in behaviours (usually destructive) that they know they will not be able to get away with when their owners are present. Although at the other end of the spectrum, it still needs addressing. This is prevalent with Cockapoos because when they are not mental engaged they will find ways to amuse themselves.
Can Cockapoo Puppies Be Left Alone?
Yes they can, and in fact training will be much easier for a puppy.
Step one: If you’re fortunate to be training a Cockapoo puppy, crating is a great way to begin and should be started from Day 1. Place your puppy in his crate by your bed. Make it snuggly with a blanket and an old unwashed T-Shirt. Move the crate further away from your bed each night and eventually into the kitchen or the permanent room your Cockapoo will be housed in.
Make sure there is plenty of toys to engage him in there. The crate should be his favourite place to retreat to and be a snug, happy den. Make sure it’s housed in a puppy/dog proof area where he can’t do any damage.
If you’re starting with an older dog the same strategy is sound, although be patient as the fruits of your labour will take longer.
Step two: Start leaving your Cockapoo in his crate while you’re at home. If he is already suffering from separation distress, give him a treat in his crate to enjoy. Come back 20 minutes later. If he is calm when you come back, give another treat. If there’s wild doggy behaviour just ignore him.
Build up the time alone. Trying stuffing the popular kong toy with treats so he has something to occupy him or a marrow bone that takes a while to get through.
Top Tips for dealing with Separation Anxiety
A good exercise session is the best thing you can do for your Cockapoo before a period of alone time. This is naturally going to lead to relaxation and sleep so the time will fly-by. Here’s some more things to try-
- To understand the severity of the disorder, try making a video recording of your Cockapoo while they are left alone. It’s really fun to see what they get up to but it may also allay your fears, especially as the training progresses you can see how they gradually learn to cope alone.
- Give your Cockapoo some meals / snacks inside his crate, so he actually looks forward to you leaving because he knows something good is coming.
- Leave the radio on, or if you want to take it a step further, make a recording of normal family time and play it on a loop. The familiar noises bring comfort that ‘all is well’. This is a technique used for puppy socialisation and it’s very effective.
- De-sensitise your Cockapoo to your ‘leaving the house routine’ by doing all the things you normally do… but then go nowhere. The feelings of anxiety will dissipate after a while and he will lose that trigger that starts the distress.
- When you do return home make it as low key as possible. Fight the urge to make a big fuss of him and just sit down. When your Cockapoo is calm, greet him. Don’t fuss the mad-dog welcome-home behaviour.
- Always leave plenty of fresh water.
So How Long Can I leave My Cockapoo alone for?
- 3 or 4 hours should be fine for you to run some errands and come home. Any longer than that and toileting becomes an issue.
- If you’re going out for a days work or a whole shift, I would advise getting a dog walker / pet sitter. 8 Hours is a long time to leave your Cockapoo a lone.
- When you do leave, make sure their crate door is left open so they can roam in their play area and maybe hide a few treats around the place.
- Don’t leave your Cockapoo locked in his crate for longer than an hour. Ideally they should be free to explore a bigger area.
A Final Thought
A common reason for giving up on a dog is separation related behaviours, so it’s important to address this issue. Make the effort so your Cockapoo can be left alone, and happily so.