The Cockapoo is a hybrid dog breed that is bred from the crossing of a cocker spaniel and a poodle, and this type of dog is in great demand within the UK, resulting in their being our fourth most popular dog type overall. Dogs of this type often have low or non-shedding coats, which is one of the main reasons for their popularity – but their temperaments and personalities too go a long way towards making the Cockapoo such a firm favourites among dog lovers.
Cockapoos tend to be friendly, reliable, good natured, outgoing, playful and very lively – all of which makes them a pleasure to have around. However, they are also very excitable dogs that are inquisitive and interested in everything going on around them, with a relatively low boredom threshold and a strong desire to have a job to do or something to entertain themselves with.
This can make training a Cockapoo successfully a challenge – and if your Cockapoo is one of the more hyperactive variety as many are, you might despair of ever managing to get your dog to learn and exhibit the commands that you want them to.
Training a hyperactive Cockapoo isn’t always easy, but by understanding how your dog thinks and reacts, what holds their attention and what they value, you can navigate the training process successfully and raise a well behaved, responsive and obedient Cockapoo to be proud of.
In this article we will look at how to train a lively, excitable or hyperactive Cockapoo successfully – and how to get your training off on the right foot to give yourself the best possible chances of success. Read on to learn more.
One of the most common ways in which Cockapoo owners inadvertently sabotage training is by planning the training sessions themselves carefully, but failing to take a holistic view of the dog’s wider needs and how they can help or hinder training.
To train a dog successfully, the dog has to be willing to learn, pay attention and work to please you, and what happens in the rest of your dog’s life has a huge impact on all of these factors and more.
Getting and keeping the attention of a hyperactive dog can be challenging at the best of times – but if your dog is so full of beans that they won’t keep still or listen to you, you’ll get nowhere.
Ensuring that your Cockapoo is walked and exercised enough is vital to succeeding when training, so plan your training sessions for times when your dog has been walked and is relaxed and a little calmer, taking the edge off their high spirits.
Additionally, food rewards make for faster, more effective training for any dog, and your hyperactive Cockapoo is no exception. Dogs rarely say no to food or a treat – but if your dog has recently eaten a large meal, they won’t want to work as hard to earn treats as well.
It is wise to have a plan or at least a loose structure for your Cockapoo’s training sessions, and accept that these plans need to adapt and evolve on the go. Being able to adapt and alter your training approach to suit your dog’s needs and temperament is the best way to ensure that your dog is trained effectively, and following a rigid timetable is unlikely to work.
Try to have a goal for the skills you want your dog to learn, and break them down into individual stages to work on, progressing to the next stage once you have successfully managed the prior one.
Training progress for dogs isn’t always linear – you are apt to run into difficulties at some stage, needing to go back a step or try a different approach, so remaining enthusiastic and not becoming disheartened when things don’t go to plan is important.
Marathon training sessions aren’t effective for many dogs, and particularly when it comes to lively breeds, keeping sessions short, fun and fresh will garner the best results. It is much better to hold a couple of short training sessions a day or several five-minute refresher bouts per day than to develop a grand plan for an hour of intensive training, only to find that your dog loses interest after 10 minutes.
Remember that training sessions don’t all have to be carefully structured and planned, although having a broad plan to achieving your goals is helpful – surprise your dog with an impromptu training game and the chance to earn a treat now and then as well.
If your Cockapoo’s training sessions aren’t fun and enjoyable, your dog will soon become bored – or frustrated and anxious, which can ruin not just one training session but future ones too. Keep your mood and tone upbeat, and take the ethos of channelling your dog’s high energy levels in a positive direction, rather than supressing or curbing them.
Turn games and play into training exercises and show enthusiasm to engage your dog, keeping them thinking, anticipating and working. Integrate treats, toys, and praise to ensure that they’re having a good time along the way too.
When your dog begins to lose interest, finish with a couple of commands that your dog reliably follows to end training on the right note, and curtail the session to take it up again later on or on a different day.