Cockapoo owners will tell you that if you want a lazy, laid-back companion that is happy to lie on the sofa all day then a Cockapoo puppy is probably not the pet you are looking for. The good news is that Cockapoos, as a breed, are intelligent dogs, always looking for the next challenge, which makes them rewarding companions.
So are Cockapoos hyper? Just as we might describe some people as “couch potatoes” or “gym bunnies” – Cockapoos are the “gym bunnies” of the canine world. Cockapoos aren’t “hyper” as such – they are just looking for some mental and physical stimulation to stop them becoming bored.
One of the reason why we chose a Cavapoo over a Cockapoo, was because of the reputation that these dogs have for being hyperactive. But is a Cockpoos ‘hyper’ reputation justified? Let’s find out!
Why are Cockapoos so crazy?
Your Cockapoo puppy will have had one parent who was an American or English Cocker Spaniel and one who was a Poodle. Both of these breeds are intelligent and bred to be working dogs so, naturally, their puppies inherit their parents intelligence and desire to be active.
Like many intelligent dogs, Cockapoos hate being bored. But if you had no mental or physical stimulation you’d go a little crazy too right? By keeping your dog active and by giving him or her plenty of exercise you will find your Cockapoo is as sane as you (?)
Young Cockapoos are also blessed with a lot of energy which they need to burn off. Your Cockapoo almost certainly isn’t “crazy” – he (or she) is just an intelligent, high energy little dog who needs plenty of mental stimulation.
Are Cockapoos difficult dogs?
No dog with the happy temperament, sense of fun and eagerness to please of the average Cockapoo could be described as “difficult”. However, there will be times when you wish your energetic young pet could be a little calmer.
The good news is that the traits that make your Cockapoo the dog they are, makes them a great breed if you want a family pet that can be trained to a high level. Remember your puppy’s parents come from breeds that are used for everything, from finding people lost in the wilderness to sniffing out illegal drugs.
Did you know – Poodles were originally bred as gun dogs and were particularly good at retrieving birds from water?. No wonder your puppy has high energy levels – his ancestors spent their lives doing exciting things such as Search and Rescue and leaping into lakes! A life of sitting on the couch has nothing on that.
Give your Cockapoo plenty of mental and physical stimulation and he or she will reward you with a lifetime of love. Nothing “difficult” about that!
Are Cockapoos high energy dogs?
The answer to this question is “yes – the average Cockapoo is definitely a high energy dog!”
This should be seen as a blessing and not a problem because that energy can be channeled into training – and remember that a regular walk not only keeps a Cockapoo happy and healthy, but keeps his or her owner on the other end of the lead, fit too.
But it is true to say that if you are looking for a quiet life with a “couch potato” dog then maybe look elsewhere?
Your Cockapoo puppy has a natural intelligence inherited from each of his or her parents. Cockapoo puppies love anything that challenges and stimulates them – whether that is obedience training, puzzle toys or just the healthy exercise of a walk in the park.
Plenty of walks, lots of play – most Cockapoos love playing “fetch” – will soon burn off that energy and keep your Cockapoo happy and healthy. Try not to think of it as high energy but as “useful energy”.
When do Cockapoos calm down?
Cockapoos are famed for the joy they get from life. “Enthusiastic” is the most often used description and owners sometimes wonder when their Cockapoo will start to become a little more laid back.
We asked a friend with a 6 year old Miniature Cockapoo this question and this is what he told us
“We were told by lots of people that our excitable Miniature Cockapoo, Lulu, would calm down a lot once she’d been spayed (she didn’t). Then we were told, by our Vet, that most Cockapoos calm down once they get to around 2 years old. Lulu had her second birthday – if she had calmed down at all we certainly didn’t notice. I think the mad passion for life that Cockapoos have comes from the Poodle side of their inheritance.
We had a Cocker Spaniel some years ago that was so laid back she was horizontal – a friend has a Poodle that is positively manic. Despite the fact that our Cockapoo greets everything with unbounded joy we wouldn’t have her any other way. Like most Cockapoo owners we love our Cockapoo just the way she is. Joy is infectious!”Andy Harding
Maybe the best answer to the questions, “When do Cockapoos calm down?” is eventually (probably/ maybe/ sometimes).
How to deal with a hyperactive Cockapoo
Always remember that one person’s “hyperactive” is another person’s “lovable enthusiasm”. There is, however, no denying that Cockapoos, as a breed, are blessed with a lot of lovable enthusiasm.
The best way to deal with this energy is to channel it into activity and that means giving your pet lots of mental as well as physical stimulation.
“Physical stimulation” means plenty of walks, and if that trip to the park with the family can also include an element of training – all dogs should be trained to return to their owner on command – so much the better.
Age is no barrier. You can start to train your Cockapoo pup almost as soon as you welcome him or her into the family. Treats are an important part of the process too. Everyone likes being rewarded for their efforts whether they are a human or a Cockapoo.
Because your Cockapoo has a natural intelligence inherited from his or her Cocker Spaniel and Poodle parents they will soon learn – especially if that training is fun. “Sit”, Stay” and “Come” should be known and obeyed by every dog – not just your Cockapoo.
Using that lovable enthusiasm to turn a bouncy puppy into an obedient, happy adult is rewarding – both for you and your pet.
How can I mentally stimulate my Cockapoo?
Plenty of toys can help to give your pet the mental stimulation they need. Toys also give an opportunity for your puppy to use the traits they have inherited.
So, for example, games of “fetch”, train your Cockapoo puppy to do basically what both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle parts of their bloodline were bred for – retrieving game that had fallen into bushes, lakes and rivers. Except the game might be a teddy bear and the bushes might be the area under the sofa.
Your dog may think he or she is playing by fetching a teddy bear or a ball, but in this sort of play he or she is carrying on the working relationship between dog and human that has existed for years and that will tend to have a calming effect on all dogs (and their owners!).
Both Poodles and Springer Spaniels were also prized for their scenting abilities. Being able to search for and find game in dense undergrowth was invaluable when hunting.
A game of hide and seek with a favorite toy will keep your Cockapoo happy for ages – all the while burning off some of that energy. An exercise for both mind and body.
Puzzle toys, which often involve your dog having to work out how to retrieve a treat, will also develop your Cockapoo’s problem solving skills. Your furry friend will be a lot calmer if they are using their inherited abilities.
The most valuable way to get your dog’s mental processes working is through training and the best way to train your dog is to make it into a game – like the “fetch” example above.
If you are unsure of which dog games are best for your Cockapoo, then check out our recommendations and reviews of the best toys for dogs.
How can I help my Cockapoo calm down?
Calmness is contagious. If you are calm this will transmit itself to your dog. Likewise, if you are getting stressed and upset by your energetic puppy, you risk forming a circle of behaviour.
You get hyper – your pet gets hyper, which makes you more stressed which makes…. you get the idea. One of you calming down will encourage the other to calm down too.
Always remember that the behavior of you, the owner, will often be mirrored in the behavior of your puppy. The calmer the owner – the calmer the Cockapoo!
The mental and physical stimulation explained above and the cues your Cockapoo takes from you will make for a calmer life for everyone. Of course, exercise will help to burn off a lot of that energy too.
Are Cockapoos as hyper as Cocker Spaniels?
The answer to this is “Which Cocker Spaniel and which Cockapoo?”
All dogs inherit traits from both parents so a reasonable predictor of your new puppy’s behavior would be to ask about the temperament of his or her parents.
All Cockapoos are crossbreeds which makes which characteristics they will inherit from which parent almost impossible to predict. There are plenty of extremely calm Cocker Spaniels just as there are lots of very energetic ones.
Can Cockapoos be left alone?
Because we all lead busy lives and are no longer home all day, people often ask whether Cockapoo puppies (or adults) can be left alone in the house?
The answer is “yes” but it is important to know how to acclimatise your pet to this situation.
All dogs, of all breeds, are individuals and will respond differently to different situations. Cockapoos, as we have said, are intelligent dogs and can get bored if left alone so they need something to keep their brains active. Here are some top tips if you have to leave your dog alone in the house for a while:-
- Give your dog a chance to answer the call of nature before you leave. A dog that needs the toilet is a dog under stress so make sure your pet is happy.
- Make sure their water bowl is full. You wouldn’t want to be left alone and thirsty would you? Neither does your dog.
- Leave them with their favorite toy. Most Cockapoos have a favorite toy – even if it is a piece of tatty material. They may cuddle it, shake it or lie on it, but they will tend to feel a lot happier if they have it with them.
- Hide a few of their favorite treats around the house (or room). Cockapoos have searching and finding built into their genes. Hide a few of their favorite treats around their crate or room (or around the house if they have “access all areas”) and they will be so involved in finding them they may not even notice you aren’t there. Just make sure the treats are not left in areas where your Cockapoo has to use claws or teeth to retrieve them.
- Fill a puzzle toy with their favorite treats. There are many toys available that can be filled with treats where your dog has to figure out how to get at the hidden goodies. An adult Cockapoo can spend a happy hour or two using his or her intelligence to solve the puzzle. We particularly like like the Nina Ottosson ones which can be purchased online.
- Have a routine. Dogs are creatures of habit and are happier with a regular routine. So once your Cockapoo has realised that a trip to the garden to answer a call of nature followed by a treat just before you leave them, means that you are going out for a while, they will be less apprehensive.
Do Cockapoos suffer from separation anxiety?
Separation Anxiety is a phrase that comes up often when discussing Cockapoos. Any breed of dog can suffer from this condition as dogs are sociable pack animals that like companionship. Our Cavapoo Rosie was a lockdown puppy and now that life is returning to some sort of normality(?!), she is struggling with the kids not being there all day long for company.
Cockapoos are bred as “companion dogs” and quickly form a close bond with their family so being apart from you can be emotionally difficult – especially when they are a puppy.
Separation anxiety is distressing for both dog and owner but it can be overcome.
How can I overcome Separation Anxiety?
It is never too early to teach your pup and the best time to start is as soon as you bring you new family member home.
- Install at least one baby gate around the house so your pup can be one side of it but still be reassured by being able to see you.
- Give your Cockapoo something really nice to chew (a toy, for example, stuffed with biscuits) and leave him or her to it.
- Leave quietly via the baby gate and allow him to enjoy his reward.
- After a while, go out of sight – maybe to the end of the garden or around the block.
- Keep doing this each day and increase the time you are away.
Eventually your Cockapoo pup will be confident that you will be returning and any anxiety will be under control.
By gradually leaving him or her alone with something tasty you’re teaching your puppy the coping strategies to stay on his or her own.
They are learning that ‘alone time’ is normal and part of their routine. Teaching this is going to save you both so much anxiety and stress- it’s essential training for any breed but especially a Cockapoo.
For more advice on how to over come seperation anxiety, check out our blog on how to train your Cavapoo to be left alone.
How long can I leave my Cockapoo alone for?
No dog wants to be left on their own for a long time, and the general consensus is that 4-5 hours is the maximum “alone time” for adult Cockapoos.
Puppies, of course, have smaller bladders and cannot be left for long periods with needing a “comfort break. So, as a rough guide to how long you can leave your puppy:-
- 8 to 10 weeks, it would be one hour or less
- 10 to 12 weeks, 2 hours at the most.
- 3 to 6 months, no more than3 hours
Cockapoos are a sociable, lively, intelligent and active breed of dog who thrive if given plenty of mental stimulation and exercise. “Hyper” is just another way of saying “enthusiastic” and “energetic” and who wouldn’t want a dog like that?