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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.