Cockapoos are the lovable cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. These dogs have excellent temperaments on top of being absolutely adorable, but are Cockapoos easy to train? Thankfully, for cockapoo owners everywhere, the answer is, yes!
This breed is highly intelligent and picks up on training quite easily. Like all other dogs though, you must start training as soon as possible and remain consistent. There are many areas of training that need to be mastered, so we have provided some essential tips and tricks on the most important aspects of training your cockapoo.
The 4 Tips To Training A Cockapoo
1. Crate Training is Highly Recommended
Crate training is highly recommended for all dogs. Though some owners prefer to avoid crating their pups, it is highly recommended by veterinarians and professional dog trainers. Not only does crate training aid in a dog’s natural instinct to seek out a quiet, safe place but it is beneficial in a lot of areas of dog ownership including travel, potty training, avoiding destructive behavior, and much more. The following steps can help you properly crate train your cockapoo in no time.
Find the Right Crate
Having the right size crate is important, the crate should be big enough for your cockapoo to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably. A crate too large can hinder housebreaking because it gives them plenty of room to go to the bathroom.
Look for a Quiet Location
Try and find a quiet, comfortable location within the house so that the crate can serve as your Cockapoo’s safe place. This can depend on whether your dog is highly anxious or highly social, so use your best judgment when finding the right spot. If your dog feels secluded in a low-traffic area, try moving the crate to a higher-traffic area to make them more comfortable.
Bedding may not be necessary, but it is certainly a way to add to the comfort of the crate. It may be more difficult to use bedding when you are still in the potty-training process but once that part is over, feel free to add a comfortable crate pad, blankets, or other bedding to keep your pup comfy and happy in their crate.
Introduce Your Cockapoo to the Crate
Once you have your crate all set up, introduce your Cockapoo to the crate in the most positive way possible. You do not want them to feel trapped or insecure with their crate, so don’t close the door and walk away but provide encouragement and praise when you introduce the crate.
Offer Treats and Toys
Make sure your crate training process is reward based. This ensures a positive association with the crate and will make your cockapoo much more comfortable with the process rather than apprehensive. If they associate some of their favorite things with their crate, the quicker they will come around and be willing to enter with ease.
Close the Crate Door
Once your Cockapoo is showing comfort within the crate, it’s time to start closing the door. Keep close at first to ensure the comfortability of the situation but lead into stepping away from the crate and once you have established your pup is comfortable, walk away for longer periods.
Offer Meals Inside the Crate
One way to convince your cockapoo that a crate is a happy place is by providing their meals inside of the crate. The way to most dogs’ hearts is through their stomach, so utilizing this in your training only makes sense. The more positive associations your dog has with a crate, the better.
Never Use the Crate for Punishment
Because crate training has so many benefits for both you and your dog, you do not want them to view it as a negative. Never send your dog to its crate as punishment. You need it to be their safe space and a comfortable environment to relax in.
Don’t Crate Your Dog for too Long
It’s important to never crate your cockapoo for long periods. You should also make sure they get regular bathroom breaks to avoid any accidents. Not only will long periods in the crate cause a negative association but it’s also not meant as a place for your dog to live full time.
2. Teach Basic Obedience
All dogs and puppies should be taught basic obedience. It’s the best way to ensure they are a well-rounded and well-behaved member of your family. Basic obedience can also help keep your dog safe in certain situations since they will be responsive to certain commands. Here are some tips on getting your cockapoo started with basic obedience at home:
It’s a good idea to have a plan set up before you start your training process and have all the necessary supplies ready. This will depend on what kind of training technique you plan to use but could include things like treats, toys, clickers, and more. Make sure to have a leash and collar handy, which are two important necessities in the process.
Decide on Your Commands
There are plenty of basic commands that you will need to teach. This includes things like sit, stay, come, heel, leave it, drop it, and much more. All these commands have their own benefits. It’s best to start with the sit command and go from there. You need to know which specific words you plan to use for your dog’s training and keep them consistent.
Find an Area Without Distractions
Since you need to keep your Cockapoo’s focus during the training process, you should find a quiet area that is free from distractions that could hinder the process. Training sessions do not take very long, just make sure there are no other pets or people that could draw their attention away from training.
Use Treats or Toys for Reward
Reward-based training is one of the many keys to successful training. You want to implement a way to reward your dog for its good behavior. Some dogs are more treat-motivated, while others are more motivated by play. Once you know your cockapoo well enough, you will have an idea of what will work best for your unique pup.
Keep Sessions Short and Fun
Training sessions for any dog should be short, fun, and full of positivity. Make sure to set aside about 15 minutes per day for training. There is no need for longer sessions, as your cockapoo could become bored and lose interest if it were to go on for a long period.
Give Lots of Praise
Make sure to provide your cockapoo with lots of praise and excitement when they pick up on commands and perform the correct behaviors. Positive reinforcement is very important in the training process and helps promote a strong bond with your dog. These pups are very intelligent and eager to please and it will be very beneficial to their confidence to be reassured they are doing a great job.
3. Start Potty Training Immediately
Potting training is something you will want to get started on as soon as you bring your new cockapoo home. Here’s how to get started in the house-training process to ensure the best success:
Utilize Crate Training
Make sure to use crate training to your advantage when it comes to the potty-training process. Dogs do not like eliminating waste in the place they sleep, so an appropriate-sized crate will help them along the way.
Get on a Schedule
Make sure to keep your Cockapoo on a regular schedule when you start the house-training process. Make sure to feed on a consistent schedule each day and take them out to the potty anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes after they eat and/or drink. Make sure to let them outside first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. Puppies have less bladder control, so remember this is a process. Be patient and consistent with your schedule and your cockapoo will be potty trained before you know it.
Limit Range Within the House
Never let a brand-new puppy or full-grown dog have full reign over the house until the potty-training process is complete. If they have access to the entire house, it is more likely they can sneak away and eliminate it in another area. Keep them confined to an area that is easy to supervise them in and stick to your schedule. Slowly introduce them to new areas as the home as time goes on and don’t let them roam freely without full supervision.
Use Puppy Pads or Paper to Help
Puppy pads or paper can be a huge help in the training process. Make sure to place these in front of the door your Cockapoo will be used to going outside. If your pup is having trouble making it outside, it can act as a barrier to save your floors from the mess, it also provides an association to going outdoors.
Find Your Training Word
Make sure you have a specific word to refer to when you are potty training. Many people use words like “out,” “outside,” or “potty.” It’s just important that your dog can pick up on the word or short phrase of your choice that way they understand what you mean when they are going out to the bathroom.
Be Patient and Consistent
Try not to get frustrated during the potty-training process. Of course, no one wants to clean up accidents, but it is part of being a dog owner. It takes time for dogs to learn what is expected of them and each dog learns at a different pace.
Make sure you keep that schedule and keep up with consistency. If you ever have any concerns, you can always reach out to your veterinarian or a professional trainer.
Give Praise and Reward
Make sure to provide your cockapoo with lots of praise and a reward when they go outside. This will only encourage them to keep repeating this behavior and will help speed up the process significantly.
4. Work on Socialization
Proper socialization is something that every dog owner should put at the top of their list of things to do. Regardless of which breed you have; they must learn to be well-mannered around other pets and people.
Not only does this help eliminate fear-based behaviors and anxiety, but it can also prevent territorial behavior and aggression. Cockapoos are a friendly and social breed that tends to get along well with everyone, which can be very helpful in this process.
Go For Frequent Walks
Your Cockapoo is going to have exercise requirements just like any other dog. Daily walks are a great way to get that needed physical activity but also are great for socialization.
When on a walk they will be subjected to the environment around them which will typically include other dogs, a variety of animals, people, and lots of noises and various activities. The more exposure they get to environments outside the home, the better.
Make Introductions to Other Dogs and Pets
Make sure that you take time to introduce your cockapoo to a variety of other dogs and pets. Whether you are in a single-dog household or not, your dog must know how to socialize and behave around others.
This should be done as frequently and consistently as possible to ensure they get regular exposure to other animals. Make sure to take safety precautions, avoid aggressive animals, and always introduce them slowly. Make sure your Cockapoo has had all its necessary vaccinations before outside introductions begin.
Introduce Your Dog to People
Not only do you want your Cockapoo to behave well around other animals, but you also want them to be people-friendly to avoid any issues associated with fear, anxiety, or territorial behavior. The more they are exposed to a variety of people, the better socialized they will be. Thankfully, Cockapoos are typically great with people, children, and other animals.
Be Consistent with Regular Socialization
To ensure proper socialization, you will need to keep it up regularly. If you only socialize your Cockapoo occasionally, it can cause regression in your socialization training. Some individuals may have no trouble with socialization, but others may struggle, which is why consistency is so important.
Cockapoos are fantastic family dogs that are not only loving and devoted but are also easy to train and typically great with other people and pets. What more can you ask for, right? Regardless of how great they are, all dogs need to be trained properly so that they can be as healthy and well-rounded as possible. Following the tips and tricks above can be very handy during the training process.
Featured Image Credit: Robyn-May, Shutterstock