Cockapoo Temperament Guide: Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix

If you are considering a Cockapoo, or a Poodle and Cocker Spaniel mix, then you’ve probably heard a lot of breeders mention their temperament, rather than appearance. This is because many people will combine these dogs with the purpose of getting specific personality traits in the puppies.

Cockapoo Standing in a Park
Cockapoo Standing in a Park

Cockapoos are a very friendly and energetic dog breed. They are very clever and easily trained because of it. They thrive with a lot of attention and exercise, and they make a wonderful family dog.

Let’s delve deeper into the temperament of the Cockapoo, which is sometimes known as a Spoodle or a Cockadoodle. We’ll also look at what happens when breeders are not careful when selecting a breeding pair. And how cockapoos interact with children and other animals. So read on to find out all about the Cockapoo temperament so you can decide if this dog breed is right for you.

As we look at the Cockapoo temperament it’s a good idea to keep in mind the origins of the parent dogs. Cocker Spaniels and Poodles have both been used for hunting historically. It’s also worth noting that whether the parents are show line or working line dogs will also influence temperament.

Basic Cockapoo Temperament

Many things can influence the temperament of the Cockapoo. Breeding and how the dog has been treated as it grows are the two things with the largest effect. Let’s look at the generic temperament of the Cockapoo that the breeders try to achieve.

Cockapoos Are Very Outgoing

Historically, the parent breeds of the Cockapoo were always surrounded by people. This has played a role in how social the Cockapoo is now.

They love being around people and get along with strangers of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, this can be a little overwhelming for those who do not like dogs. But, most guests will find the friendly nature of the Cockapoo very endearing.

Cockapoos Are Very Energetic

Happy golden cockapoo jumping over a log in the woods.
Happy cockapoo jumping over a log

Cockapoos have a lot of energy. This is especially true for those who come from working lines of Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. But, even if you get a dog with a show line history it will still be far more energetic than many other dogs that you may have had in the past.

How you deal with your Cockapoo puppy will determine just how your dog lets out this energy in the future.

They can be fun-loving, chasing balls and playing outside. These Cockapoos are great for outdoor families. They run alongside active joggers or cyclists, and thrive on long hikes.

However, they can also be very overwhelming if you try to contain this energy indoors all the time. They will still try to exert it with excessive jumping and attention-seeking behavior.

Cockapoos Are Intelligent and Easily Trained

Cockapoos are very intelligent dogs. Both parent breeds are very clever. This is great if you want a dog that can not only participate in extensive training and even agility.

Additionally, this means that the Cockapoo can participate in activities that other dogs may not be able to. They can join in on social situations where they have to behave and manage their excitement.

This intelligence, although it makes them very trainable, can make them a little bit challenging for first-time dog owners. This is not what you would necessarily expect. But they often find ways around commands based on technicalities, much like other very intelligent breeds.

Cockapoos Love Affection

The Cockapoo loves attention and affection. They may be very friendly with strangers, but when it comes to their families, they have a particularly close bond.

Smaller varieties of the Cockapoo may enjoy lounging on couches next to you. Or even on your lap. Larger varieties may try the same but settle for a scratch behind the ears or lots of petting.

Cockapoo Lying on the Couch
Cockapoo Lying on the Couch

If you are considering a Cockapoo, be prepared for it to follow you around the house all the time, they love to be near you!

Common Issues with Cockapoo Temperament

There are many great things that attract people to the temperament of the Cockapoo. However, there are also some things that put a lot of people off.

As you will notice below, the common issues that people experience are related to what would otherwise be considered a positive characteristic, but that have been amplified because owners do not know how to deal with the Cockapoo correctly. Sometimes, these characteristics are also amplified due to poor breeding.

Cockapoos Are Clingy and Anxious

The affectionate and friendly temperament of the Cockapoo can become overwhelming. If you leave your Cockapoo for long periods of time, they will develop separation anxiety.

This is often paired with your Cockapoo barking excessively, and sometimes even urinating in the home for seemingly no reason.

Cockapoos Get Bored and Destructive

Likewise, the intelligence of the Cockapoo means that it gets bored. Although they are trainable, if they are not constantly stimulated and exercised, their intelligence and high levels of energy can compound and result in destructive behavior.

This can include chewing or scratching at furniture.

Puzzles like this one that the dog can use while you’re gone may help, but they only entertain for a short period of time. It’s better to tire out your Cockapoo before leaving the home for more than an hour.

Can Training Improve Cockapoo Temperament?

Curly Coat Cockapoo
Curly coat Cockapoo puppy licking his own nose

In my experience, training active dogs like the Cockapoo, especially with the help of a professional, can greatly help you manage your Cockapoo’s temperament.

It’s important to start young, in order to prevent any issues from popping up. But, with a little bit of patience and a willingness to continue training for several months, it is possible for training to improve the temperament of an older dog also.

Do Cockapoos Make Good Family Pets?

There are several things to consider regarding the Cockapoo’s temperament to determine if they are good family pets. Let’s look at how they interact with children and other animals so you can make a decision for your unique family.

Cockapoos vs Children

Boy playing with his cockapoo dog in the backyard.
Boy playing with his cockapoo dog in the backyard

The friendly nature of the Cockapoo means that it’s very good with children. Cockapoos love getting attention and doing everything with your little ones.

It’s important to make sure that you watch any interactions between your Cockapoo and your children though. No matter how friendly they are, they are still instinctual dogs, and will bite if hurt.

The very energetic nature of the Cockapoo does mean that it may not be the best for very small children though. They may be knocked over when the Cockapoo gets too excited. However, this same energetic nature may make the Cockapoo ideal for slightly older children.

Cockapoos vs Cats

Cockapoos get along well with cats provided that they are socialized with them early. However, this may not be the case if you adopt a slightly older dog.

The problem is that the hunting nature of the Cocker Spaniel specifically, but also the Poodle to a degree, means that the Cockapoo may be prone to chasing smaller animals, especially if they run away.

Cockapoos vs Dogs

Cockapoos in different colors sitting on the couch
Cockapoos in different colors

Cockapoos generally get along very well with other dogs. They love people, but this friendliness is also extended to friends their own size.

It is important to take the personality of the other dog into account too though. The Cockapoo can be a little bit much for more reserved or skittish dogs and may take some time to pick up on social cues. They work great with other young dogs or very active dogs, willing to play.

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