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The cockapoo is a hybrid dog type or crossbreed rather than a recognised dog breed in its own right, but nonetheless it is one of the most common and popular dog types in the UK overall, being fourth in terms of popularity among the great British public.
This means that every year, thousands of people consider choosing a cockapoo as their next pet, and they can make for great companions for both experienced dog owners and those buying a puppy for the first time alike, as long as you do plenty of research and know what you’re getting into!
Finding out the care requirements of a cockapoo, how much exercise they need, what they like and dislike, and how to keep them safe are all important to providing the right type of lifestyle for a cockapoo, and you will find that your research takes you down many different paths if you’re conscientious about this!
However, it is not as easy finding out reliable information on hybrid dog types like the cockapoo as it is on recognised dog breeds that have a formal breed standard in place, as you might be in the process of finding out.
One important safety and lifestyle question you might be asking before you pick a puppy is “can cockapoos swim?” Yes, they’re actually generally good and very keen swimmers, but this is not necessarily a good thing all of the time!
This article will look in more detail at cockapoos and their affinity with the water, whether or not cockapoos need to be taught to swim, if swimming is safe for cockapoos, and if there are any cockapoos that cannot or should not swim. Read on to learn more.
Yes, cockapoos can swim. You might think this is a silly question if, like many dog lovers, you assume that all dogs can swim – because this is not the case. Some dogs cannot swim well, and some cannot swim at all, as a result of their conformation, like many brachycephalic dog breeds that cannot keep their nose out of the water and achieve propulsion.
However, the cockapoo has a balanced and healthy conformation that is fit for life; they’re not subject to extreme exaggerations of any one feature, have normal-length noses, and are all in proportion, which makes them a naturally robust and versatile breed that can swim very well.
Coupled with this, both of the cockapoo’s two parent breeds are also breeds with a long documented history of being good and keen swimmers, and so the conformation of the cockapoo makes them more than capable of swimming, and their ancestry usually makes them keen to do so when they know what swimming is too!
This is a bit of a yes and no question. If you put any dog in water they could not stand up in (or if they fell in) they would automatically make the right leg movements (which you might know as “the doggy paddle”) to propel themselves along in the water.
However as mentioned earlier, some breeds would sink anyway despite this, and even for the cockapoo, which is a good natural swimmer, this isn’t really a good first-time introduction to swimming.
You don’t need to teach a cockapoo to swim, as the motions they need to make to swim come to them instinctively, but if your dog has never swum before or you’re not sure if your cockapoo has swum before, it is important to introduce them to swimming appropriately.
A bad first experience swimming because the dog is scared, too cold, uncomfortable or otherwise doesn’t enjoy it will put them off swimming in future. It is also important to manage swimming when it comes to dogs, and start off by teaching them to enter the water at a point you choose and not just to dive in wherever they wish to, which may be somewhere they can’t get back out from.
In terms of the dog type itself, all cockapoo variants can physically swim. However, factors like old age, accidents, illness and health conditions might make some dogs of this type the exception.
For instance, a dog that has had a limb amputated would probably not be able to swim, and a dog that has poor mobility in general due to age or a joint condition would really struggle – although managed and supported hydrotherapy swimming can actually help with such issues!
It is where and when a dog swims that dictates whether or not this is safe when it comes to dog types that are natural swimmers, which means there are a number of factors you need to take into account before you let your cockapoo hit the water.
Is the water clean, unpolluted, and unaffected by potential seasonal hazards like blue-green algae? Is it warm enough, even below the surface? Can your dog get in and out safely? What about underwater hazards, predatory wildlife or dangers like defensive swans or in the sea, jellyfish?
These are just a few of the factors to consider when it comes to taking a cockapoo swimming safely.
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