Cockapoo Temperament- What You Need To Know

cockapoo rescue puppies

Understanding The Cockapoo Temperament

Cockapoos love people. This particular hybrid dog has an outgoing happy disposition that makes them the perfect family pet; its no wonder the cockapoo temperament is so desirable.

Their playful personality has made them one of the most popular mixed breed dogs, and they engage old and young alike with their intelligent and playful nature. Coupled with a forgiving disposition they make the perfect child-friendly household-pet. Their compact size has made them an ideal apartment dog but they are just as happy exploring the great outdoors or having fun at the beach.

Their parentage (cocker spaniel and poodle cross) ensures they are easy to train but because they are people orientated they should not be left on their own for long periods.

The companion dog

cockapoo aggression

Understand from the beginning that Cockapoos have a reputation for being needy. Crate training is recommended to deal with their bouts of separation anxiety. If not addressed, this anxiety can manifest in very destructive chewing and digging. This trait does not reflect the current reputation in the majority of English-bred Cockapoos however, especially those that have been professionally bred and have had a normal early socialization period with their mother and litter mates.

To properly understand the Cockapoo temperament you need to understand the nature of parent breeds. Poodles and Cocker spaniels are regarded as among the most intelligent of all dog breeds so it should come as no surprise that Cockapoos are very clever.

Beyond buying from a responsible breeder, all Cockapoo owners agree that their dogs have a unique temperament and personalities that can be a little eccentric, even comical.

If you want to make sure your Cockapoo is born healthy, only buy from a registered breeder.  The Cockapoo Club GB maintains a list on its website and we also have list here. The America Cockapoo Club maintains a list as well.  These breeders will have had their premises inspected and subscribe to a code of ethics which will include rigorous health checks before breeding.

Whether a breeder is registered or not they should all aspire to standards that address the concerns of prospective dog owners. A Breeding Standard for all dogs has been published by the Dog Advisory Council (DAC).

If a Cockapoo is not kept happily engaged intellectually and is allowed to become bored, they will soon find mischief. While aggression is not at all common with Cockapoos, they will come up with highly inventive and occasionally destructive ways to keep themselves entertained. These can range from barking and jumping, to chewing furniture and at worst self-destructive scratching.

Agility

cockapoo temperament health

It is imperative that a Cockapoo not be asked to just hang around all day doing nothing. Being a couch potato does not come naturally to them. These dogs excel at negotiating obstacle courses and are prime candidates for agility training. They love puzzle toys and are surprisingly powerful chewers, requiring the strongest synthetic bones available. There is a positive to this fact, however, since constructive chewing relieves stress and is excellent for the animal’s teeth and jaws.

You will often find the Cockapoo copying your behaviour – if you are on the sofa, they want to be there with you; if you are at the computer, they are underneath your desk; but if you pick up a leash – well, all of a sudden they are jumping up and down saying, “great, it’s my time for exercise!”

Friendly & Intelligent

So long as a Cockapoo has adequate physical and mental stimulation, you will be hard pressed to find any dog that is more consistently friendly. They are ready to play at the drop of a hat and get along brilliantly with other dogs at the park or at meet ups. Often a buoyant Cockapoo takes the lead in getting quieter dogs in the middle of a game, rather like a four-legged activity co-ordinator.

Loving

cockapoo temperament problems

Cockapoos also have a charming reputation for their intuitive natures. They don’t just pick up on your daily routines, but also on your current emotional state. This sensitivity makes them excellent therapy dogs. If you are crying, expect to have a very concerned dog at your side licking away your tears and trying to address and help with the problem.

While this is a sweet and endearing trait, in some instances it works to the detriment of the dog’s well-being. In the presence of long-term anxiety on the part of their owner, Cockapoos can dissolve into a state of nervous collapse themselves.

Certainly you can’t always control what life throws at you, but realize that your dog will pick up on your state of mind and react accordingly. If you are calm, your dog will be calm. If your excited your dog will be excited and it is always best to steer clear for pro-longed periods of over exuberance as this can test any dogs good behaviour.

Sociable

A lot of Cockapoo owners enjoy the social aspect of being a part of a community of dog owners that appreciate the breed. Below is a video that shows Cockapoos enjoying themselves at the beach. There is a strong community of Cockapoo owners enabled by the internet age that has  meet ups all over the UK. This is also the case in other countries where the Cockapoo is popular such as USA, Australia and Sweden.

Cockapoo Puppies Temperament

black cockapoo puppies It’s not uncommon for all new dog owners to think from time to time their puppy is a devil dog. Getting a Cockapoo puppy is no different. Don’t judge your Cockapoo’s temperament by it’s puppy behaviour. This is just a phase that they grow out of. Raising a puppy is a challenging, time intensive part of your life and the best way to combat this is a basic training programme. The three essential programs I recommend starting immediately are house training, crate training and bite inhibition or “soft mouth behaviour”. A Cockapoo’s temperament is not discernibly different from any other dogs temperament that has had a normal socialization period with its mother and litter mates. Ideally all puppies should not be re-homed until about 7-8 weeks. Taking away these early socialization experiences is harmful to the development of a healthy puppy.

Any more questions about Cockapoo temperament?

For a thorough understanding of the Cockapoo breed My First Cockapoo will answer many questions, or just ask me in the comment box below.

31 comments on “Cockapoo Temperament- What You Need To Know

    • They can do. You will need to socialise them to each other in a planned way. All dogs can get possessive of their owners. So reward good behaviour when both dogs are calm together with treats so they associate their new friend with a positive reward

  1. Are Cockapoos good for people with anxiety? I’ve heard that the can be but it can be harmful to the dog. is this true or can they help? Is it a good idea to get a puppy or a adult one?

  2. When I was younger, I had anxiety, and my dog was also a very anxious dog. It was almost like she had been beaten or something, even though we knew for a fact that she grew up in a friendly environment. Looking back on it, I think that she was so anxious because I was so anxious. I was especially anxious about her health, though I do not really know why. I loved her so much and she really did help me, because, at the time, I felt that I was helping her with her fears while she was helping me with mine. Now I know how important it is to send calm assertive energy at the dog so that they can feel safe and secure. I would say, if you train yourself to be a confident pack leader, around your dog, your cockapoo will be there for you when you are feeling down. In my case, looking back on my bad dog caring habits, I was not the best pack leader, but I was still in charge. So when my dog looked up to me for direction and I was being anxious, this energy reflected in her.

  3. After my cockapoo received his 2nd jags he has been very sleepy. Just wants to cuddle in and sleep all day, I’m worried he is sick as he was full of energy before his jags. Just wondering if this behaviour is normal?
    He had his jags 5 days ago but still very sleepy

  4. Hi simon! Thanks for all your tips! My little cockerpoo is amazing but when we eat she keeps jumping up at us and won’t let us eat. She is 14 weeks old and we feed her a total of 100g of dried food a day over 3 meals. Is this enough? Also, any tips on how to stop her from trying to eat our food as we always end up having to put her in her crate. Thanks so much, karen

    • Hi Karen – thanks for your message. You need to practice the Sit position when your not at the table. I have training book for more detail, but you need to give her a reward as her bum hits the floor. Timing is critical 😉

      Half a cup 3 times a day is correct.

  5. Good morning my Cockapoo is 15 weeks old . She will not sit or perform any other commands if she does not see nor smell a treat in my hand . Even then I may have to tell her five times the same command before she performs it. she’s very stubborn

  6. Hi we have a rescue cockapoo..absolutely adorable and mad, the only negative thing is he is urinates when he thinks he’s being threatened e.g. just asking him to move..we walk on egg shells with him ..please help if anyone have any clue what we can do.

    • Hi Colleen

      Thanks for your message, and sorry to hear about this problem. This is a difficult one. The key thing about positive rewards based training is giving a reward (usually a favourite treat) at the exact moment your dog does what you want. It sounds like you need to do some potty training with him to reinforce holding his bladder until he gets the reward for weeing at the right time. Dogs will do what you want them to when they connect the reward with the desired action. Hang in there! and check this post for more https://wp.me/p51ojC-BI

  7. My cockapoo is 5 months old. He has been showing aggressive tendencies over chews etc. He found a lump of mud in the garden today and brought it inside the house, he growled when I tried to take it off of him and looked like he may bite me. It was very upsetting! I have two young children and I cannot have this type of behaviour from a dog. He has been doing this from an early age. apart from this issue he is a very soft loving dog.

    • hi Angela – Food and toy aggression is common behaviour. it arises from the desire to protect their food, or chew toys in this case
      Training a puppy is easy. Re-training an older dog is more difficult, but not impossible.
      I would recommend trying to correct this through the game of fetch. When he brings you the toy – you give him the treat. This will reinforce the idea that giving you a toy is fun and rewarding.
      Make sure he is in the sit position and happily dropping the toy at your feet before the treat is given.
      Hope that helps!
      Simon

  8. My cockatoo is 3 years old and has started to attack our other dog.They will be playing one minute then he just goes for the other dog,how can I correct this as he is a very loving dog normally

    • Hi Mark- it could be a number of things, unless I observed the behaviour it would be hard to guess.

      I would suggest some training classes as instructors will give more insight having met the dog.

      Regards
      Simon

  9. Morning, I have a 14 week old cockapoo puppy, her name is Coco. We got her at 7 weeks old, she has been taken away from her mother and was in an area with her brothers and sisters. Her behaviour is generally good, I am at home all day with her except for a short trip to the shop or dropping kids off. My problem is in the evening if the kids go to play with her or even just pet her she can be snappy, she likes to be left alone in the evening time but I don’t like her tendency to snap at the kids, when she does do it we smack her on the nose and put her outside. I want to be able to trust her with my kids, two weeks 4 year old went to pet her in the evening time and came away with a scratch on her finger from the puppies teeth and she snapped at my 8 year old last night cause she was petting her. How do it stop this behavior please?

    • Hi Regina – I would recommend crating Coco in the evening. All dogs need their down time when they are not available to play with the kids. The crate acts as their personal space where they can go and be free from petting and playing. Choose a room away from the living room so Coco is close but has some distance. You also need to show your children how to play appropriately with Coco. Children often don’t understand a dogs boundaries and can wind them up until the get snappy and growly. I know this because I have a 6 year old who does the same thing. My dog growls at him, especially in the evening when she has had enough of playing. You may also want to check there is not underlying health issue with Coco. I recently discovered my dog Gemma had a food sensitivity to red meat which caused boils in her gut. The growling at night to my child was a cause of real concern but little did we know Gemma was in increasing pain and just wanted to be left alone.
      Hope that helps!
      Simon

  10. Hi simon.
    I have a 3 year old cockapoo who is, on the whole well behaved. She has always slept in a basket in the kitchen but over the last 2 weeks she has taken to whining and chewing the kitchen door. Any advice or reason for this please?

    • Hi Lea – If this a change in behaviour it maybe that she is unwell. I would take her to the vet ASAP and get her examined.
      Regards
      Simon

  11. Why does our 7 year cockerpoo pinch everything he can! Specs, remote controls, shoes, mobile phones etc. He s getting worse . Not good at giving his contraband back either.

    • Hi Linda

      There’s two possible reasons. Firstly, for softer items like shoes, your dog will be attracted to you sent and feel the need to chew. Secondly for other items, it is most likely attention seeking behaviour. consider how much exercise and personal interaction you have with your Cockapoo? The Poodle brain really needs to be engaged as its very intelligent and stealing things is his way of trying to get you to have more one on one time. Hoe that helps – good luck!

  12. Hi Simon,
    Our 11 month old cockapoo has been showing severe aggression towards my 2 children (ages 8 and 11), especially toward the 11 year old. This behavior started when he was about 3 months to 4 months old and occurs between once to twice a month. The attacks are totally unexpected and unprovoked, and usually occur when everyone is relaxed and calm! The attacks have progressed from simply growling as a warning and then attacking to immediate lunging for the head along with crazy sounding attack noises. My children do not tease him ever and are kind, gentle and loving with him. The dog has always been high strung, highly demanding, extremely stubborn, and wanting to be in charge. We’ve been through 3 different professional behavioral trainers with no good results. He also shows food aggression over bully sticks or special foods he steals from the counter. This dog is relentless. However, he has a loving side, where he licks us and wants to be with us wherever we go (I understand this is what cockapoos are known for!). Can you offer us any advice, particulary about the extreme aggression he shows toward our children? Do you think this can be trained out of him or is this probably just who he is? This is NOT why we chose to spend alot of money to get a cockapoo! By the way, we got him when he was 10 weeks old from a very respectable breeder, who is also a vet.
    Thank you!
    Poppy

    • Hi Poppy – 3 different professional behavioural trainers with no good results – wow! The only thoughts I have is 1) Get the Vet to check her out. Maybe he is experiencing some pain related to diet. This happened with my dog and it led to aggression to my 7 year old. 2) Could the aggression to your children be because of jealousy of you sitting with your children and him feeling left out?

      If you’re not crating him I would, so he has a safe quiet place to go if he wants some down time. I’d also try and exercise him to tire him out as much as possible as this is a great outlet for highly strung dogs. As a family you may want to make a real commitment to lots of outdoor play times. A well exercised dog is much more mellow around the house.
      Good luck!

      • Thank you so much for your response, Simon. Yes, I think that much of the attacks are the result of him being jealous of my attention towards the children. Any advice about how to address that? Thank you again!
        Poppy

        • I’m a big advocate of positive rewards training. Applied to this situation I would wait until your Cockapoo is relaxed in a family situation where you’re giving your children attention (after a long walk would be great). When he’s calm get your children to give him a treat. Keep doing this daily and soon he will associate something good happening with being relaxed when he’s not part of the family activity. If your children are the treat giver that should reinforce good behaviour. Like all training consistency and patience are key to seeing results.
          Good luck!

  13. Hi I have a very important to ask.i have a cockapoo n she’s very old ..and she lays on her back a lot n kicks up her legs and makes weird scary noises . Can you please let me know why she is doing that.

  14. Hi . Got a 3 yr old cavachon and a 15 month cockapoo . Until his 1st birthday the cockapoo was the most loving friendly dog to other animals , people etc in the last few months he’s changed . He lunged and barks at dogs and people when out the especially whilst on a lead and will attack the cavachon for no reason ( no toys food etc involved ) . Sometimes if we are not around he will tolerate other dogs the other side of the gateway or fence but as soon as myself or my husband step outside he will start barking and jumping and then attack his “brother’ . We’ve noticed this change in behaviour only started after he was frightened by some motorbikes starting up nearby and he has always been nervous of noise . Apart from this he is such a loving boy . Any advice would be gratefully received . Thanks

    • Hi Caz- it sounds like it could be a jealousy issue with your other dog. If the aggressive behaviour is triggered by you giving your attention to the cavachon and your cockapoo feeling he’s lost your affections in that moment.

      When leave him alone give him a treat and he will associate you leaving with something good happening for him.

      Also find a good dog trainer, they will have some ideas.

      Best of luck
      Simon

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