We here at Cockapoo Crazy know that the holiday season is a big time for families, especially those who have decided to get a new puppy or adopt a young cockapoo. In fact, we have heard from friends, new and old, that they or a friend have recently brought home a cockapoo. And we think thats great!
So here are a few tips and things you may want to know as a new owner, especially if your cockapoo is a puppy.
Cockapoos are a cross-breed of the cocker spaniel and poodle breeds. They are fun-loving, friendly (in most cases), smart, and loyal. They have a nearly hypoallergenic coat and are low to no shedding. They normally weigh no more than 30 lbs (2.14 stones for you Brits) maximum, though smaller sizes are common and there are some even larger than that. Cockapoos are adaptable, and they take cues from their owners very quickly. They can live in large homes or small homes, and be happy in either one. They can live quite a long time for a dog, 10-20 years, and maybe more in rare cases.
Good question. Any dog owner should know the expectations of owning a dog or puppy. It is a choice you are making to care for a living being, and a long term commitment, and if you feel that you or your family member cannot afford to take care of their dog, you should forgo getting one until a later date.
If you have your puppy now, here’s the forward progression for their health and safety. Dogs should generally not leave their mothers until eight weeks old or later. Most breeders adopt them out at 8 weeks, some wait a bit longer. Any younger than eight weeks, and the puppy will most likely still be in the process of weaning off mother’s milk and need a mix of a specialized milk replacement and puppy chow.
Puppies need to eat a high quality puppy food (one popular option is Blue Buffalo’s puppy food line) for a full year before switching over to a high-quality adult dog food. You can feed them two to three times daily, but be sure to follow the serving sizes for the food, so as not to make your puppy overweight! At a young age, you may want to wet the food so it is easier for your cockapoo to eat – this is optional. After a year, when switching food, be sure to slowly mix the new food with the old for at least two weeks to help your dog get used to it.
The first year of your puppy’s life is when if goes to the veterinarian the most.
A puppy should get its first shots before coming home with you, typically at five or six weeks. At nine weeks, the puppy goes for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and adenovirus cough boosters. Then at twelve weeks it gets its first rabies shot. These typically will last for a year, and depending on your vet you can get a yearly or a three year booster the next year. When you go for your puppy’s twelve week shots and checkup, you can talk to your vet about getting your puppy spayed or neutered, and any potentially optional shots like Lyme Disease, coronavirus, and bordetella. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you which of these, if any, you need for your area. For instance, if you live in a part of the world that does not have ticks, Lyme Disease vaccinations may not be necessary.
Housebreaking is an important part of your cockapoos development. We have several articles with suggestions for training on cockapoocrazy.com, like this crate-training article, but here are a few tips.
Be consistent! Take your puppy out every two to three hours, and make sure you give lots of praise when they go where you want them to.
Do not feed your pup late at night! You will have to wake yourself up at least once a night while housebreaking, to make sure your pup makes it through the night without an accident. Puppies will poop at least three times a day, so don’t worry. There is nothing wrong with them, unless they don’t go for more then a day.
Make sure you give a name to the type of elimination they are doing, so they will know what is expected of them when outside. Use a cheerful voice when they do something right, and a stern voice when they do something wrong. They want to please you, so there is no reason to hit your dog or rub your puppy’s nose in toileting accidents. This does not usually help them learn, is traumatic, and they often don’t understand why you’re doing it.
A little more about cockapoos and your new lifestyle.
Cockapoos are very active and can get bored easily, but they are also easily entertained. Be sure to give your puppy lots of exercise and play. Take them to parks or other public areas to socialize early on in life, so they will be well rounded. Start obedience training early, and you will avoid all kinds of trouble. Try to introduce them to other dogs and people of all ages, races, and disabilities whenever possible. Cockapoos love to be with others, but if not properly socialized, they can become fearful of things or people they aren’t used to.
These are sweet and sensitive animals, and will react to your moods. Treat them well and they will love you more than you could ever think possible. Keep up with training and learning. Read books on the breed and learn more about dogs in general. Join our Facebook Fan Page and interact with thousands of experienced owners from around the world. Your pup wants to please you, and is very capable of learning quickly.
Dogs that have good training tend to feel more comfortable with their place in the household. Be sure that everyone in the family knows the training plan and follows it.
Above all, enjoy your new best friend!