There is a lot to love about a Cavapoo. From their “pawsome” personality to their adorable good “locks”, it is hard to believe that this cute ball of fluff has any bad habits at all. But like all dogs, a lack of training or poor reinforcement of positive actions can often lead to behavioral problems later down the line.
Some breeds of dog are predisposed to bad traits whilst others are learned, often without their owners even realizing. A dog’s personality is influenced by their parentage, but there are certain bad habits, such as jumping, associated with a Cavapoo.
We all know that bad habits are hard to break, so it is important that they get nipped in the bud early on. Whilst Cavapoos are renowned for their intelligence and loving temperament they can also be known for their barking, digging, jumping up, hyperactivity and separation anxiety.
Many of these behavioral issues can be eliminated with proper training – here we explain more.
The cons to owning a Cavapoo
Some behaviors may seem cute when your Cavapoo is a puppy, such as being licked or constantly demanding cuddles, but once your dog is fully grown these behaviors can seem extreme.
Whilst we all like to hear about the wonderful ways in which a Cavapoo can enhance our lives, it is also important to remember that dogs come with their own personalities and often bad traits.
Why do Cavapoos jump at people?
Cavapoos are particularly agile and can leap through the air with gusto. They are also people dogs who adore being praised by their owners and others who accidentally catch their eye.
Whilst a Cavapoo puppy can get away with cute behavior such as jumping, a wet and muddy adult dog bounding up at an unsuspecting walker or a small child is a problem that needs to be stopped.
Jumping up is still a massive work in progress for us and our Cavapoo Rosie, who loves to introduce herself to strangers (normally the ones who do not like dogs) by placing her paws up and down their legs.
When excessive jumping occurs, however, it can be your dog’s way of welcoming you face to face or it may be seen as a dominance display or an amplification of separation anxiety. Most Cavapoos jump in greeting or because they are scared that they will be left alone. Alternatively, some will leap in order to show that they are being top dog.
The good news is that you can train your Cavapoo to stop jumping on people and get them to start greeting everyone is a more polite manner.
- The first thing to do is to withhold any attention that correlates with your Cavapoo jumping at you. Either turn your back on them or leave the room. Repeat this until your dog has calmed down.
- Rewarding the good behavior whilst ignoring the bad reinforces that fact that having four paws on the ground is best for your dog.
- By adding a command whist your dog is jumping such as “sit” distracts them from the bad behavior and encourages them to focus on the good.
- Use a code word such as “paws down” to let your Cavapoo know what they should be doing instead.
Why do Cavapoos bark?
I have done a whole blog post on “Do Cavapoos bark” and (spoiler alert) the answer is most definitely yes!
The amount a Cavapoo barks, however, is influenced by their parents although how much so is still up for debate. Whilst some Cavapoos will only bark occasionally, others will start being vocal the moment they hear the slightest of noise. Either way, barking should not be encouraged.
Whereas with most forms of training, plenty of positive praise and reward for our dogs is required, when it comes to barking, we almost want to do the opposite by ignoring this behavior altogether.
If the barking persists then you should distract them using toys or games or try moving them to another area of the house. This should help them forget why they were barking in the first place.
Another method is to purchase a bark deterrent. There are a number of excellent options such as the MODUS Ultrasonic which fastens to your wrist and can be used to intervene by emitting a high pitch sound that grabs your dog’s attention.
Why do Cavapoos dig?
Digging is an expression of fear, anxiety or boredom. For our curly-haired Cavapoos, scooped out holes also provide cooling places for our furry friends to rest their hot bodies and are great for insulation during the cold winter months.
Whatever the reason may be for your dog kicking up dirt, tearing down plants and creating hollows in your soil, it needs to be stopped.
If you Cavapoo is acting like a mole, rather than a dog, then it might be worth increasing the amount of exercise they are getting or start playing more games in the garden. Afterall, a tired out dog is more likely to flop than dig.
You should also make sure that there is plenty of shade in the garden and when left outside to play in colder weather, make sure that your Cavapoo is wrapped up warm. There are plenty of dog coats available, but if you want the lowdown on which winter dog coats are the best then why not check out our review?
Are Cavapoos hyperactive?
Hyperactivity is another behavior that is often reinforced as a puppy – especially if like us you have kids in the house.
Every puppy has excited moments (see our post on how to deal with Cavapoo dog zoomies), but Cavapoos are naturally energetic and excitable dogs. Most Cavapoos should start to calm down once they have passed adolescence, although this can take up to 2 years.
If your Cavapoo gets constant attention for being hyperactive then they are unlikely to wind down as they love to show off for their favorite people. Therefore this behavior can continue into adulthood.
If your dog seems more daft than normal, we would highly recommend that you encourage plenty of chill-out time – afterall, what Cavapoo doesn’t love a cuddle?
Can Cavapoos be left alone?
Both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles are both companion dogs, so it is not surprising that Cavapoos adore being with their family and often pine when they are left alone.
A Cavapoo that suffers from separation anxiety will often display other negative behaviors such as barking, toileting and being destructive.
Whilst most Cavapoos can handle short periods of time being left to their own devices, lockdown and working from home has massively exacerbated separation anxiety in our dogs.
The best thing you can do to ensure that your dog does not suffer when they are not with you is to give them a safe place to go (such as a crate) where they feel cossetted and calm.
We have plenty of advice on how to train your Cavapoo to be alone with tips and tricks on how to teach your dog to be self-entertained when you’re not there.
When it comes to adding a Cavapoo to your family you will find that the pros massively outweigh the cons, which are easy to eliminate through proper training.
Like everything, when it comes to owning a dog, you have to take the rough with the smooth. And, if you can forgive the odd paw print on your trouser leg, occasional pot plant strewn across your garden and the chance of a bark when the doorbell goes, then you will be well rewarded with a cuddly Cavapoo that is full of personality.