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How to Train a Cockapoo: 6 Vet Approved Tips

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

a black happy cockapoo out in the field

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cockapoos are excitable designer dogs that love to spend time with their human family members, as well as any other animals that they share their homes with. These dogs are usually easy-going, sociable, and interactive. They also have an independent and stubborn side, so they can occasionally get into trouble by destroying things or misbehaving.

Fortunately, the typical Cockapoo takes well to obedience and agility training. Let’s take a look at six effective tips for training this dog when they come home to be part of the family.

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Our Top 6 Helpful Tips for Training Cockapoos

1. Be a Social Butterfly

Socialization is a crucial part of any dog-training program, no matter the breed. Cockapoos are social creatures and tend to enjoy meeting new people. However, if they are not socialized from a young age, before 16 weeks old, they can become fearful of new situations and people.

Taking your dog to puppy classes, the park where they can meet other dogs and people, adventuring to the lake or beach for a swim around others, and scheduling playdates with other pet parents are all great ways to socialize your Cockapoo, whether they are a puppy or an adult. While socialization early is important, it’s never too late to start the process. If you have an older dog in need of socialization we recommend contacting a registered behaviorist to help make sure the interactions are positive.

two black and white cockapoo dogs sitting in a little red wagon in a garden
Image Credit: Georgi Baird, Shutterstock

2. Watch Out for Bad Habits Early

Your Cockapoo puppy should start obedience training as soon as possible after coming home for the first time. Keep a watch for behaviors that seem cute at first but will be seen as bad behavior when they are bigger. For example, puppies tend to jump on their human companions. Nipping this in the bud will help ensure that they don’t jump on visitors when they become fully grown. Rewarding with attention should only occur once all 4 feet are on the floor.

Redirect your dog’s attention from jumping to the activity that you prefer, such as sitting, and praise the behavior when they’re doing what you want. Eventually, they should stop jumping on you and utilize your preferred method of greeting you. Using treats and/or a clicker can help make the training process proceed more quickly and efficiently.

golden cockapoo puppy playing with tug toy in garden
Image Credit: SB_photos, Shutterstock

3. Good Potty Behavior Should Always Be Practiced

Cockapoos quickly develop good potty behaviors at home when well-trained, but they can be distracted when it comes to social situations. Therefore, it is important to teach your Cockapoo pup where it is acceptable to go to the bathroom in any given social situation. Teach them how to let you know when they need to potty if you’re spending time inside a friend or family member’s home.

Show them where to potty outside by trees instead of in the middle of the beach or park party. Correct them when they try to go to the bathroom in places that they shouldn’t by directing them to the appropriate places. By the time that they are adults, they should be able to relieve themselves without embarrassing you or making anyone you’re spending time with feel uncomfortable.

Just remember that no matter where your pet goes potty, even in the forest, it is your responsibility to make sure it is cleaned up. Bag it and bin it!

Apricot Cockapoo
Image Credit: mountaintreks, Shutterstock

4. Avoid Negative Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the preferred training method for dogs with better results and it is kinder than punishment or reprimands. Positive reinforcement, in which you reward your dog for doing what you expect, can help ensure a well-behaved Cockapoo. The timing of reward is important for success and should be given within 2 seconds of the desired behavior. A long wait between behavior and reward will mean that your dog doesn’t link the two together.

These dogs thrive on pleasing their human companions. Food treats, fussing, favorite toys and overall praise can make all the difference.

Black cockapoo puppy staring at a treat in a womans hands
Image Credit: Oliver Colthart, Shutterstock

5. Stick to a Training Schedule

Cockapoos, like most dogs, love schedules. If they are used to getting a walk every morning at 7:00 a.m., that is what they expect every single day, rain or shine — no matter how you happen to feel. Sticking to a training schedule will help ensure that your dog knows what to expect and how to behave.

You can keep things calm and productive by simply engaging in training sessions in a similar manner no matter what the rest of your schedule looks like. You could start the sessions by saying “let’s work” and finish with “all done”.

cockapoo dog sitting in door porch waiting to be taken for walk
Image By: gemphoto, Shutterstock

6. Always Include Basic Obedience

Focusing on basic obedience commands is important for your Cockapoo, whether you’re looking to raise a well-behaved dog or an agility show dog. Even if your dog knows “come,” “sit,” and “stay” well, it is important to start every training session with the practice of these basic commands.

Doing so engages them to start listening for guidance on how to behave but also ensures that your smart Cockapoo doesn’t “forget” these skills as time goes on. Even the most advanced Cockapoos must be reminded of basic obedience commands, lest they end up becoming unruly during a social visit, show, or agility competition.

cockapoo dog doing tricks with its owner
Image Credit: Robyn May, Shutterstock

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Cockapoos can be a joy to spend time with. They are outgoing, social, intelligent, loving, and even protective. However, they are not without fault. Like all dogs, they must be trained to live peacefully with us and our friends and family members. They should be able to get along well in outdoor social situations and accept other dogs in their social landscape. Hopefully, these training tips will help make the process easier and more rewarding.

Featured Image Credit: Kimberley Rennie, Shutterstock

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