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!


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18 Replies to “Common Cockapoo Problems: Overcoming Separation Anxiety”

  1. I have a cockapoo who is six years old. Getting her groomed is a nightmare! I’ve even had a groomer come to our home, but she screams (no barking or crying but screaming) when the groomer tries to take her. This is gradually getting worse to the point that we do not know how to get her groomed. Can you give me any ideas?

    1. Hi Susan- you need the help of a professional dog trainer. Correcting bad behaviours is difficult.
      My thoughts are to let the dog groomer come and just sit with her. When she is calm, give her a treat. Let their relationship gain some trust. The thing is, you always want to be rewarding the behaviour you want, so getting the dog to feel comfortable with the groomer is the first step.
      Hope that helps.

    1. Hi Ariana – in brief you need to ignore / not engage at all when he jumps up and when he’s seated give a treat. I’ll write a longer article on this and send you the link.
      Good luck

  2. My cockapoo will be 3 in September, he’s absolutely fine with other dogs until I speak to them then he turns into a snarling monster any ideas would be so grateful.

    1. Hi Dorothy – It sounds like your Cockapoo is very possessive of you. A simple analysis would suggest he sees these other dogs who suddenly have your attention as replacing him in your affections. I would speak to a dog trainer about how to remedy this. But he needs to be socialised with positive rewards at times he is calm round other dogs when you are giving your attention to them. It’s either this or don’t let him see you petting other dogs.
      Good luck!

  3. My cockapoo has EXTREME separation anxiety- if leaving him alone for even 20 minutes, I will return to a very soiled kennel (pee and poop). I have also tried leaving him out of the kennel, but he eats my walls and furniture. He will be destructive whether or not I leave him with his favorite toys and treats. He also screams like he’s being stabbed everytime he is kenneled. Any advice?

    1. Hi – that really is extreme behaviour. I would suspect early socialisation or early life had som issues. Have you spoken to breeder or taken him to a vet who could refer to a dog psychologist.

  4. My Cockapoo Sunny who is 9 weeks is dealing with true separation anxiety, when left in his expen/crate by himself, he will cry within seconds after I leave the room, and within 5mins of alone time, he would have pushed and jumped on the gates of the expen, urinates, & creates a mess as he cries.
    I’ve tried other remedies, like leaving him with interactive toys and food before I walk into another room, but he’ll ignore the food and turn into a complete mess within seconds once he realises i am gone.
    When i place him in a crate, he ignores whatever toy/food I’ve given him, and just watched my movement.. i reward him for sitting quietly, but in less than 5minutes he will start to panic. The only alone time he is comfortable with, is when he is sleepy.

    1. Hi – Sunny is only 9 weeks, when did he separate from his mum? It will take sometime and patience, maybe for a few months.

      Leave him with a tasty treat but make the intervals of your departure short. then reappear within a minute or so in a low key way to avoid excitement.

      Put food in a Kong type type so it takes a while for him to get the treat.

      Just give it sometime.

      Good luck!

  5. I have a 1 year old male cockapoo who is houstrained but will pee and poo at night or when he’s left on his own. He is destructive even when left with stuffed kongs and other chew toys. He is walked twice per day – 30 mins before I leave him in a morning and 60 mins later in the day. He also gets a very short walk before bed. He doesn’t wee or poo to command and will not go out in the garden last thing at night. He is fed at 6.30am and 4.30pm.

    He doesn’t bark or whine when he wants to go out.

    We have had him since 9 weeks old He was 100% housetrained until he had a stay in kennels at 5 months old. This is when the destruction started.

  6. Yes, Emily has to be told to go potty. I can’t even cross a room and she follows me. When she sees me pick up my purse she jumps up and down on me to go in the car. However, when I leave her alone she does just fine. And, I’m the one that ends up worrying She will not bark to go outside but she stands there by the door. And yes, she pee pee poo poo on the potty pads at night. I put my Cockapoo in school after I had her 2 months. It really really helped with basic commands. She been in cage in the car since birth never loose in the car. Have a wonderful seat for her. She loves it. Aside from the terrible allergy and licking paws which I have now spent over $2,000, she’s a wonderful wonderful breed and loves everybody even babies.

  7. I have a male cockapoo who is 13-1/2 years old and I have had him since about 12 weeks old. When I brought him into the family, I had two other dogs and he was socialized well as a puppy. Both the other dogs have since passed and he is the only one but seemed to do well with it. I work from home, so my dogs have always been with me a lot, but have been fine when I left them at home alone. I worried after my last dog died that my cockapoo, Scooter, would have issues with that, but he didn’t. Then due to my elderly mother’s declining health, I have had to split my time between her house and mine, staying several weeks at her house and then home, etc., of course bringing Scooter with me. He had been at her house previously and at first did fine. However, when I tried to leave him alone at my mother’s, he reacted very badly, barking and baying, whining, and pooping and throwing up, even with other people there who he is familiar with. At first, he was still fine in my own home when I left him there alone. It’s been about eight months and he’s only slightly better at my mother’s house, I can leave for short periods, but now when I go back to my home, he is doing the anxiety behavior there, which he didn’t do before. I have tried the usual suggestions I have read about separation anxiety, and the only thing that has worked is distraction by other people when I leave him at my mother’s, but when I go home, I live alone, so that’s not an option. He’s only been crated a few times ever or when he goes to the groomer. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.

    1. Hi Beth

      Thanks for explaining your situation. A couple of thoughts come to mind. Firstly, take your Cockapoo to the vet and make sure she is not suffering from a condition you don’t know about that is causing these symptoms of separation anxiety.

      If all is well there, when you leave her alone give her some treats to enjoy and leave a few hidden in her crate for her to find. Leave a well used nighty or whatever you sleep as your scent will be a great comfort to her while you’re away.

      Focus again on regular toilet times and reward her doing well with treats. Basically reinforce any good behaviour with her favourite treats, but don’t punish any bad behaviour as it will make things worse.

      Try a program like this of leaving for only 15 minutes at a time and come back and give her treats if nothing bad has happened. And gradually lengthen the time span you are away.

      It will take patience, particularly because of her age but Canine psychology is basically they do more of anything they are rewarded for so make the separation short to begin with so it’s a success and keep rewarding and keep going. Don’t reward bad behaviour just ignore it.

      Best of luck!

  8. P!ease I really really need help- I have a two year old cockapoo who is a darling and we love dearly. He is excellent off the lead coming to command goes to his bed when asked and is so soft and loving. ? What is the problem… We are both retired and we have such an issue when we are going out to the extent that he refuses to leave his bed or come in from the garden because he has picked up on the fact that we are going out,to the extent that even if you touch him to move him he bears his teeth and snarls. This has happened three or four times and we have tried everything but now very very concerned. As this is the hand that loves him dearly. How do we help him as we dread to think of the worst outcome.

    1. Hi Larraine

      The issue is your two year old has associated you leaving with something he dislikes. Your aim must be to train him to associate you leaving with something he does like. How is this possible? Much like my last answer you need to start a training programme.

      1. Don’t give big clues you’re leaving
      2. buy a kong and fill it with his favourite treats. While he’s enjoying it, quietly leave
      3. Try crating him so he has a cozy den he feels secure in with clothes containing your smell
      4. Once he’s settled in his crate with treats now leave for a short period (5-15 mins)
      5. Come back (and if he looks peaceful) make a fuss of him and give another treat to reinforce the good behaviour.
      6. Build up the time you are away so he’s alone for longer and longer.
      7. He will eventually associate you leaving with something he

      TIP: Make sure he’s well exercised before you do go out.

      If it doesn’t improve look for a canine psychologist or good dog trainer. Perhaps ask you vet for a referral.

      Good luck!

  9. Hi I just adopted a 6 month old Cockapoo on Jan 17 and he’s very timid. He shakes when I take him outside. He shakes when he see new people. Loud noises. He’s very scary. He’s calming down with my daughter and I. He waged his tail on day 3. That was a great sign. I would love any advice on how to get him more relaxed and comfortable. I assume that the breeder kept him inside a cage his whole life and now this is different and he has anxiety because of it.

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