Build up his exercise slowly
A Cockapoo puppy, like all puppies are a bundle of energy and most new owners want to get them out the house as a release. However, it’s a common mistake to exercise your new puppy too much too soon.
The following recommendations are based on a Standard or Maxi size Cockapoo and the larger of the miniature size that often grow to be 15 inches high.
Cockapoos like many breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and over exercise before their skeleton is fully formed can have long term health consequences. But the correct amount of exercise is also needed to start a long healthy life.
My other assumption in giving the advice below is that you have selected a puppy who has been breed responsibly from parents have been screened and have excellent hip and elbow scores.
8 to 16 Weeks
If the puppy is still with mum, the maternal instinct will be for the mother to stop the little Cockapoo going too far. Playing in the house and garden is recommended as it provides a safe environment and provides plenty of opportunity to explore and get used to their balance.
Start practising on the lead at about 16 weeks, by picking him up and letting him walk a short distance back to your house. Walking on the lead is one of the best training exercising you can do with your dog. It will keep him safe while on the road and also allow you to enjoy your walks together.
Only when he is fully vaccinated can he go on short walks to teach him how to walk be-side-you on the lead. If you haven’t already practised some positive rewards base training, walking on the lead is the time to start.
Remember, it’s important you do not let him off the lead until he learns the recall.
4 to 9 Months Old
This is when it gets more fun. You can start bringing a ball with you on your walks for a few short retrieves. I would recommend you use the longer training leash when you start this because you Cockapoo is likely to be distracted and run off.
At this age, keep walks and park-play short. Sleeps are equally as important at this young age. After some mad activity, it’s important you allow your puppy to crash out and sleep as soon as he gets home.
The 4-9 months period is also the time when you build up his play/exercise time. Why not keep a diary so you can know with certainty that you’re scaling up his exercise time correctly from short walks to medium walks. Look for sign of tiredness and if your puppy exhibits those signs pick him up and pop him back in the car or carry him home.
9 to 18 Months Old
By one year, you can start to build to proper long walks, and full retrieve-style play-time in the park. But still be careful not to over exercise. Although his adult skeleton may nearly be grown, his joints still need to develop without strain.
The Standard Cockapoo, particularly of the working variety really craves exercise so putting the brakes on them is essential.
As the owner, if you’re conscious of your exercise plan, you will have an intuition about when to rein him in. By 15 months even the largest Standard size Cockapoo should be fully developed. At that point you have protected his skeletal growth and you can run him to his heart’s content.
Being conscious of the need to have a puppy exercise regime is essential, even if you don’t mark out the three periods above and have a written plan.
If you don’t implement any strategy to protect his development growth, sky-high veterinary bills and pain and suffering for your Cockapoo puppy will certainly follow.
The most high risk scenario is an overweight over exercised puppy.
The bad news at 18 months is you’ve lost your puppy. But the good news is if you’ve followed sensible exercise regime and you have a lovely, healthy adult Cockapoo.