My family and I have owned a cockapoo for a little over eight years now (that’s my dog above you, by the way). In that time, I’ve come to learn what the cockapoo temperament is like – both from our own dog and others that we have come into contact with. But what about aggression? Is this common to the breed and likely to be seen at any time? Here is what you need to know.
So, are Cockapoos aggressive? By nature, most Cockapoos are not aggressive dogs. They tend to be friendly dogs packed with energy and playfulness. While aggression is not a common trait in Cockapoos, there may be individual dogs who display aggressive behavior at times. For instance, a Cockapoo who has not been socialized well or has been treated poorly prior to entering your home may be more likely to show aggression.
A small fluffy dog with plenty of energy, Cockapoos are typically a 50/50 blend of Cocker Spaniel and Poodle.
The result is a breed not only popular for its adorable features and exuberant energy but the fact that many are low-shedding and hypoallergenic too.
So far, so good.
But an imperative thing to consider when choosing any dog breed is the level of aggression normal to that breed.
And if you are searching for a family dog everyone can enjoy, perhaps even having young kids, it goes without saying that aggression isn’t ideal.
Thankfully, with the right approach and with the right upbringing and care, you should be more than okay with this breed.
As we shall soon see throughout the rest of this article here today.
Besides, this comes from personal experience – so be sure to keep reading.
It’s invaluable stuff, even if I do say so myself.
Plus, you might even get a picture or two of my Cockapoo.
That’s worth sticking around for, at least.
Typical Cockapoo Temperament
The typical Cockapoo temperament is friendly, playful, and energetic. While Cockapoos naturally have a lot of energy (especially as puppies), they adapt well to the lifestyle of their owners and are considered a good dog for families of varying activity levels.
Cockapoos crave attention from their owners and other dogs. They can sometimes be prone to loneliness. Cockapoos are not a breed that would enjoy sitting at home alone for long stretches of time.
When well-bred, they are a very social dog that gets along with creatures of all shapes and sizes.
When you are home with your Cockapoo, you should expect it to want to be as near to you as possible, often claiming your lap as the best place for a quick nap.
A Cockapoo puppy is small in size and may be timid until it has been socialized with other dogs and people.
Once the Cockapoo realizes that people and animals are as happy to see it as it is to be with them, the games begin!
Socialization from a young age is the key to a happy, non-aggressive Cockapoo.
Due to their naturally non-aggressive nature, your Cockapoo may need you as the owner to be its protector at times.
A typical Cockapoo sees every living thing as a potential friend and may approach animals that are clearly not feeling friendly for attempted play.
Cockapoos are not entirely helpless, but as an owner, you want to be aware of your Cockapoos environment and guide them away from animals that don’t seem as eager to play as they are.
Can Cockapoos Get Aggressive?
While aggression in well-bred and socialized Cockapoos is rare, they can become aggressive under certain circumstances.
Aggression in Cockapoos may look like growling when someone approaches, snapping at fingers or ankles, and protectiveness of food, favorite people, or toys.
Aggression can be directed at one person or seem to be random in nature.
An aggressive Cockapoo requires love, patience, and careful training.
As aggression is not common to Cockapoos personality, solving the aggression may be as simple as tweaking the Cockapoos environment or providing more socialization.
A reputable trainer and veterinarian are an invaluable team if you come across aggression in any pet, especially a Cockapoo.
When Can Cockapoos Get Aggressive?
Cockapoos, like any dog, can become aggressive in a variety of situations. Cockapoos may be aggressive when they feel insecure or attacked first by a larger dog or human. If a Cockapoo is tired and trying to rest and is pestered or startled by a human or pet, it may become momentarily aggressive.
A Cockapoo who has not been well socialized may become overly aggressive when playing.
This is not typical ‘anger’ aggression but instead is more like a child who has never been taught how to use proper manners when playing on a playground.
This means that your Cockapoo might miss social cues from other dogs that their play style is not being appreciated, which leads to an argument between the dogs.
Some Cockapoos can growl or nip when eating their food, chewing a favorite toy, or demanding attention from a specific person.
Cockapoos can also become aggressive if startled out of sleep or if they have their tails and ears repeatedly pulled by a youngster or fellow dog.
And other small animals; Cockapoos do like to chase them.
I’m not sure what they would do if they were to ever catch up with them – likely play with them at first!
And one other thing to mention here is that Cockapoos do like to bark.
Especially at people walking by the house.
That’s what we’ve seen in our Cockapoo at least.
I don’t really see it as aggression, but there is that association.
It’s more of a ‘there’s someone outside’ kind of alert.
And when they come in, our Cockapoo always greets them fondly. Whoever it is.
Why Do Cockapoos Get Aggressive?
One main reason a Cockapoo may be aggressive is a lack of socialization as a puppy. The number one thing a Cockapoo owner can do is to socialize their dog in positive environments from their first week home.
Lack Of Socialization
Just like children need many experiences in public and with people to turn out to be well-functioning adults, puppies need learning experiences too.
A Cockapoo puppy that does not spend time in positive play with other dogs or people may be more likely to be aggressive.
A Cockapoo that has been mistreated or physically teased (tail pulling, ear tugging, rough unnecessary handling) is more likely to be aggressive.
In this situation, the Cockapoo has been taught that humans and other dogs cannot be trusted.
They may associate people with pain or insecurity.
As a result, the Cockapoo becomes aggressive to protect itself from further painful interactions.
Out of Self-Defense
Aggression in many dog breeds is a form of self-defense.
If a Cockapoo is asleep and startled awake, it may become temporarily aggressive.
This has less to do with the dog’s personality and more to do with a dog’s normal reaction to being frightened or in danger.
Just the way a person experiences fight or flight in unexpectedly scary situations, so will a Cockapoo.
A Cockapoo that is normally friendly but suddenly struggles with aggression may be feeling unwell or have an underlying injury. A dog in pain is much more likely to be aggressive.
Genetics – Breeding
One other thing that can lead a Cockapoo to be aggressive and that is harder to remedy is poor breeding.
A responsible breeder doesn’t breed together every Cocker Spaniel or Poodle it comes across.
A responsible breeder looks at a potential parent dog’s physical health as well as temperament.
Human children each have their own unique personalities, but they often get certain bits of their temperament from their parents. The same is true for dogs!
If a responsible breeder sees that one of their potential parent dogs has a history of aggression, they will choose not to breed that dog.
Many times in an attempt to produce puppies and make money, a breeder may turn a blind eye to a parent’s temperament, which can lead to puppies who are more aggressive than the breed standard.
This is why it is so essential to get a cockapoo from a reputable breeder.
This will require thorough research and due diligence if you are yet to pick up your pup.
How To Prevent Aggression In Cockapoos
Preventing aggression in Cockapoos includes buying from a reputable breeder, early socialization, respectful treatment of your Cockapoo, training your Cockapoo with the help of a dog trainer, and vet checks to make sure your Cockapoo is healthy and pain-free.
Let us now take a closer look at each one in more detail:
Purchase From A Reputable Breeder
To guarantee that you are purchasing a Cockadoodle with the least likelihood for aggression, review your breeder carefully.
Speak to other people who have purchased Cockapoos from the breeder. Ask to see or meet the parents of your potential puppy.
A breeder who is hesitant to give references regarding their past litters or to show you the parents and environment the puppies are raised in is a red flag for potential puppy temperament.
As stated earlier, puppies like children need to learn proper play manners. A puppy that is socialized early becomes used to interacting with a wide variety of people and animals.
This means that they are likely to feel confident and happy when around others and be less aggressive.
Great places to socialize your puppy are well run dog parks, walks in your neighborhood, visits from respectful family and friends, puppy training classes, and trips to a groomer experienced in working with puppies.
Respectful Treatment Of Your Cockapoo
While Cockapoos are generally friendly and forgiving dogs, one that is constantly having its tail or ears pulled and tugged by children is more likely to become aggressive.
Over time tail and ear pulling can bring pain and soreness to your puppy. The next time someone reaches to pet your puppy, they may anticipate pulling and snap aggressively in response.
The same can be said for teasing your dog about food and treats. We want our dogs to allow us to pet them and interact with them when eating.
However, if we are continuously teasing our dogs with food and treats, they may become protective over their meals.
Make sure your dog has positive interactions when eating and knows that its food will be provided to it regularly to prevent aggression over food.
Training Your Cockapoo With Help From A Trainer
Not only is training your Cockapoo a great way to bond with your dog and a lot of fun, but it also helps your Cockapoo to feel secure in your leadership.
A dog that knows who its leader is and has clear boundaries tends to be happier and more well-adjusted.
Proper training also limits the amount of inappropriate or aggressive behaviors owners feel they need to take to stop undesirable behaviors such as chewing or barking.
This lowers the dog’s need to display aggression to people.
Training can also help if you find that your Cockapoo does have aggressive moments. A great trainer can help you, and your dog make adjustments that return your Cockapoo to happy and friendly.
Vet Checks To Maintain Health and Prevent Pain
As some Cockapoos age, they may experience health problems that come along with getting old.
This is true for any dog or pet. If a Cockapoo feels unwell or is experiencing pain, it may be more aggressive than normal.
Even a friendly Cockapoo may become aggressive if it feels its boundaries and needs for rest aren’t being respected.
If your Cockapoo is showing sudden, uncharacteristic signs of aggression, a trip to the vet is a great idea.
Cockapoos are generally not aggressive by nature.
These dogs are bred for friendliness and energy as great family companions.
They can become aggressive at certain moments or as the result of poor socialization and breeding.
But thankfully, there are ways to prevent and treat aggression in Cockapoos if it were to arise.
Trust me, from a cockapoo owner, I can confidently state that I have never been worried about my dog’s aggression nor have ever had to really intervene.
We’ve had moments, but these have been relatively far and few between.
Ask yourself this – does this dog look aggressive to you:
For the most part, Cockapoos are cuddly attention-loving pets that you can rely on for fun and companionship.
Want to learn more about the Cockapoo breed? Then check out my following guides:
- When Do Cockapoos Calm Down? [And How To Help Them Do So]
- Do Cockapoos Bark A Lot? [Our Experiences With This Breed]
- Do Cockapoos Shed? [What To Expect & Tips When Grooming]
- Can Cockapoos Swim? [Would They Event Want To Try?!]
- Best Brush For Cockapoo [I Sourced This Brush For My Dog]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.