Many people agree with the adage that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. This is not necessarily true. Older cockapoos are perfectly capable of learning new “tricks” or lessons. It may take them a little longer to learn, and they will likely require more patience and attention from you in the process. But they can certainly get there in the end.
Before training, or re-training your aging cockapoo, you need to determine whether or not he has any physical limitations or health issues which may hinder his progress. Cocker spaniels and poodles can suffer from luxating patellas. They may show signs of progressive retinal atrophy, which is an eye disorder. Conditions such as these may affect what your dogs is physically capable of accomplishing. If you find that your dog has a health issue, do not expect too much of him, but work within his limitations. If you find that your dog does have a health condition or an illness, obtaining an accurate diagnosis and early treatment if possible will give your dog the best chance of health and happiness throughout his remaining years.
When training your cockapoo, be sure to start his lessons in a quiet location. You want your dog to focus his attention on you, rather than on other dogs, on cars or on any other distractions. Choose an area such as a garden or park where you are unlikely to be disturbed, and can make the most of your early lessons.
If your cockapoo is an older dog, perhaps from a rescue agency, he may likely already have been potty trained. Older dogs generally tend to have better control of their bodily functions, and are not prone to going potty as frequently or as accidentally as puppies do. In this case, your potty training with your new cockapoo will be about location more than anything else. Be prepared for accidents, since your home will be a new place and a new experience for your dog.
Watch for indications that your dog needs to go potty, such as circling or sniffing at the floor. Take him outside to his designated potty area, and give him a reassuring verbal command to “potty”. Reward based training is often most effective, so remember to praise and perhaps treat your dog when he has gone potty in the right place outside. On the occasions when a potty mishap occurs, do not scold your dog or take an angry tone with him, he has not deliberately been disobedient. He is still learning the potty lesson, but now in a new location. If accidents are frequent, it may be that you need to react more quickly to get your dog outside to the potty area.
It is true to say that your older cockapoo is not a puppy and will probably not have as much energy as most younger dogs. However, giving him the dignity which his age deserves, as well as the love and attention which all dogs thrive upon, and he is sure to become your loyal companion and best friend.
Article Source: Training Older Cockapoos
For more information on training your cockapoo, regardless of age, download our free Cockapoo Obedience Training Guide.