Cockapoos have quite a unique canine temperament, as any owner will tell you!
This hybrid mix of poodle and spaniel has a quirky personality and manner of thinking that is important to understand if you are going to get on well with your pet. Individual dogs, like people, have their own quirks. Yet there are some things about the Cockapoo temperament and disposition which we can safely ascertain from our years of research, anecdotal evidence, and experiences with these dogs.
Cockapoos are remarkably intelligent. Combining two of the smartest dog breeds, the poodle and cocker spaniel, seems to have produced a good number of doggy geniuses. As such, they train easily, and can be taught to do almost anything.
This intelligence has a dark side, which is boredom. If you own, or plan to own, a Cockapoo, be prepared to keep him busy. These are energetic dogs, and they need stimulation, both physical and intellectual, in order to avoid behavioral and psychological issues.
Although aggression or other destructive behaviors are not overly common in these animals, they are a possibility if the dog is left alone all the time, mistreated, ill, or not exercised and socialized. In all of the cases we have seen or heard of regarding aggression or destructive tendencies in a Cockapoo, one of these factors has been the culprit.
Generally, Cockapoos are highly affectionate, outgoing, and become playful at the drop of a hat. But they have one trait that stands out above the rest. In June, we conducted a poll of our members, asking them to choose one word that best describes their Cockapoo’s personality. 108 members responded, and 70% of them chose the word FRIENDLY.
These are happy, friendly dogs by nature. They crave the company of their owners. They are always ready to play, and when trained properly, are very good with children and other pets. Cockapoos are the stars of the dog park, interacting amicably and provoking quieter dogs into play. They run like the wind, and act like puppies well into old age.
They are also incredibly intuitive, and will pick up on your routines, attitude, and emotions. All of which leads us to another key point about the Cockapoo temperament.
Cockapoos are extremely sensitive animals, which is why they are good therapy dogs. They react to your emotional state. If you are angry, upset, unstable, or otherwise insecure, your Cockapoo is bound to try to address those issues. For instance, a crying owner will attract the kisses and love of a concerned Cockapoo. Once in a while everyone has issues, but long-term issues can lead to problems for your dog. For instance, a constantly anxious owner will create a nervous wreck of an animal. So try to remain calm around your Cockapoo, especially during training and other formative moments.
A calm minded owner creates a calming effect on her dog’s mind.
Obstacle courses, agility training, swimming, and chasing balls are all good outlets for Cockapoos. Puzzles, like toys with a treat that needs to be carefully extricated, will help keep your Cockapoo’s mind busy. Strong, safe synthetic bones (Cockapoos are surprisingly powerful chewers) can also relieve stress and tension, while exercising the dog’s jaws and cleaning his teeth.
Do not expect this canine genius to sit around the house all day, staring at the walls or the inside of a crate! You couldn’t deal with it, and neither can your dog. A Cockapoo subjected to this situation is bound to develop bad habits, like barking incessantly, scratching himself raw, destroying things around the house, jumping on people, inappropriate elimination, or even nervous peeing! I cannot overstate it: your dog needs outlets to unleash his energy, intellect, and emotions, such as walks, play, socializing, and training.
We have actually written a free book detailing our method for Cockapoo Obedience Training, which will walk you step-by-step through the vital process of giving your Cockapoo basic training. Follow those steps, and our tips above and you will bring out only the best parts of the Cockapoo personality and traits: undying affection, a sweet and gentle disposition, a remarkable doggy IQ, plenty of energy when you want to get up and move, and a puppy-like playfulness and personality!
To learn even more about Cockapoos, check out The Cockapoo Owner’s Handbook, which contains nearly 150 pages of pure cockapoo information. It is a densely packed, picture-free book, and has everything you need to know to become an expert on your pooch!