We’ve had our cockapoo, Bailey, for several years. They have made a wonderful addition to our home and our family. Before deciding on this breed, we spent quite a bit of time learning all about them – including their barking behaviors and traits. Now with a bit of experience behind us, it seems right to document what we have found regarding cockapoos and their tendency to bark.
So, do cockapoos bark a lot? Cockapoos do generally bark a lot, at least in comparison to other breeds. They are most likely to do so out of boredom, hunger, when left alone, during play, when a stranger walks by, and in response to a person entering the home. A lack of socialization from an early age often results in excessive barking in this breed.
Nonetheless, cockapoos are an adorable designer dog breed. Being a mix of Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, they naturally have many excellent personality traits.
Affectionate, loving and friendly are just a few to note.
This hybrid dog breed is small in stature, and like many small dogs, they like to be heard.
This negative behavioral trait can be problematic, especially if you live in an apartment block or a house with neighbors close-by.
That being said, cockapoos make excellent companions even if vocal. While it is something you must prepare for, they are a very intelligent breed and are known to be easy to train.
This is great news to all prospective owners who may be put off by their natural tendencies to make a noise.
Let us now take a closer look at how you can do so and some practical tips and suggestions to keep barking at bay in this breed.
Are Cockapoos Barkers?
Cockapoos are barkers; and the truth is that this is just one of the disadvantages of owning such a dog breed.
There are many reasons why a cockapoo may bark, which we will cover in the following section.
It is therefore imperative that we look at the causes to understand why they may be doing so and if there is anything that we can do to support them, and minimize the noise.
As previously mentioned, cockapoos make excellent pets, they have lovely personalities and are very people-focused.
But it’s only right to consider the pros and cons of owning this breed. Barking is definitely a downside.
Thankfully however, these dogs are very intelligent as well as being people-pleasers, making them easy to train.
With some practice, patience and persistence, it is possible to reduce barking in this breed.
Puppies will often settle down too, and as they become more familiar with their owners and environment – you can expect less noise to be made.
Cockapoos learn early on that barking gets the attention of their owners. Not only this grunting, whining, and whimpering is done for similar purposes.
Training can prove fruitful as long as all training is positive. It is best started while a cockapoo is at a young age; this will ensure that they do not become stubborn, learn bad ways or know what they can get away with. Y
You must bear in mind that each dog is different, and they all learn at their own pace.
It is overly ambitious to expect any dog not to bark at all; it is their primary way of communicating and expressing themselves to you.
Therefore a certain amount of barking should be expected.
Reasons Why Cockapoos May Bark
All dogs bark for different reasons, and cockapoos are no different.
Like any intelligent dog breed, cockapoos bark to communicate thoughts and feelings; it is how they provide feedback and respond to changes in their environment.
Barking is not the only vocal tool; growling and whining are commonly used and are something to watch out for.
One of the most common reasons and times when a cockapoo is likely to bark is when they are alone. Cockapoos are especially sensitive and do not do well when left at home for any stretch of time.
This is known as separation anxiety and this breed is known to suffer with it quite badly. Cockapoos simply adore their owners and love being in their company.
Separation anxiety can be very distressing to witness, and is usually accompanied by other destructive behaviors. This could be the chewing of furniture, their paws etc.
Aside from separation anxiety, other reasons why cockapoo may bark include:
- Poorly Socialized – Is one of the most common causes of barking. Getting your young cockapoo around other people or dogs is important, and the earlier the better. This is why group puppy training classes are ideal.
- Boredom – being intelligent, cockapoos require a lot of mental stimulation. Not getting enough can lead to barking as a way of getting your attention to give them something more enjoyable to do!
- Attention Seeking – All dogs love attention. But the cockapoo loves it! Barking can occur when they want to go outside, go for a walk or even to play with you.
- Feeling Uncomfortable – this can happen when a dog is feeling confused, distressed, or in pain. It could be due to an injury, or in an uncertain situation that is new. Unexplored territory often results in anxiety and fear and barking is a response to those feelings.
- Territorial Barking – is a way that your dog can alert you to what they perceive as potential danger. The territory could be your or your property. This often occurs when when people ring the doorbell, come close to your house or even walk/cycle outside.
- Other Dogs Barking – dogs are known for setting one another off. Its like dogs are communicating to the wider community.
Many of the reasons mentioned above are legitimate reasons for your dog to bark and are quite understandable. We must also consider that it is unrealistic to expect your dog not to bark at all.
In fact, if they do not bark at all it is likely something is wrong (assuming they are at an age where they are able to)
Nonetheless, it is possible to lessen the amount your cockapoo barks.
In the following sections, we will look at some practical solutions to control and limit barking where possible.
How Do I Stop My Cockapoo From Barking?
Before taking steps to control your cockapoos barking, you must first identify the reasons they are doing so to begin with.
This will enable you to use the most effective approach, and to ensure that your dog is not actually trying to tell you that something more serious is going on!
Let’s begin by identifying some of the barking triggers and what you should do in each case:
For Separation Anxiety
Prepare a comfortable and quiet zone in your home that your dog can retreat to when you are out. Ensure it has a soft blanket and somewhere for them to lie down.
Before you leave the house, spend plenty of time with them. If you can, tire them physically with an appropriately strenuous walk and mentally with games such as a brain challenges or puzzles.
Toys are also good to leave for your cockapoo to play with while you are away.
Equally, try to limit or reduce the amount of time you need to leave them alone. If it does not to be a long period of time, consider getting a trust friend, family member or neighbor to come over during the day and see your dog.
Letting them outside to go to the toilet is also a benefit of this arrangement.
For Territorial Issues
Despite their small size, cockapoos can be very protective of their territory. Again, giving your dog access to a quiet zone in your house is ideal. As is, taking them there when they begin to bark at sounds or strangers outside.
You should also look to encourage your dog to calm down and reward them once they do.
Be sure to keep curtains and blinds closed to prevent your dog from seeing what’s going on outside.
For our cockapoo Bailey; he was particularly bad with barking at other people and dogs to begin with. He often sat by the window barking at the postman and other neighbors as they stopped or walked by.
For us, removing him from the situation soon led to him quieting down and being distracted with other things.
For Health Reasons
There is the possibility that your dog is trying to get your attention because they are unwell, in distress or are in pain.
Look out for any other signs and symptoms that this may be the case. Limping, lethargy, and isolating themselves are commonly observed during these times.
Inspect your dog closely and do not hesitate to take them to the vet. You may find that with detection and treatment, your cockapoo stops barking so much once they are back to their healthy best.
How To Train Your Cockapoo Not To Bark
If your dog continues barking excessively, and you have met all of their immediate needs e.g. hunger and the bathroom, you may need to turn to more structured training.
The best way to do so, is to control barking on cue.
Positive reinforcement is the key to training excessive barking out of your dog. Thankfully, most cockapoos are fast learners and eager to please their owners.
A safe and humane clicker, like this effective one from Amazon, will be the only prop required for this training.
Let’s look at what you do:
- When your dog is calm and silent, click and offer him a treat.
- Repeat the above a couple of times, clicking and providing treats to your dog when he’s not barking.
- Introduce the cue “good” when your dog is silent to increase the silence time. Always click and treat after a few seconds.
- Continue increasing the silence time between every bark by saying “good” when silent.
- Once your dog can stay silent for a long time, you can use a verbal cue you want to be associated with silence before asking for the behavior. You can say “quiet” just before you say “good.”
- Keep practicing; your dog will eventually respond to the “quiet” verbal cue.
Never punish your dog, especially by hitting and shouting at them, if they are to bark unnecessarily. You’ll also want refrain from rewarding your dog when they bark. Sounds obvious, but this can be done easily, inadvertently and accidentally.
For example, if your dog is barking as you return home you should not run over to them right away and cuddle them. While it is hard not to do, it only promotes this behavior during this time.
While most cockapoos bark, usually it is for a good reason and a simple means of communicating with you.
Excessive barking, on the other hand, can quickly become a problem and hard to train out of your dog. Its important that you take proactive steps to prevent this from happening.
Cockapoos are ideal dogs for small space living or any family home. However, loud, excessive barking will soon make you unpopular with your neighbors.
Thankfully, this dog breed is smart, keen and very able to learn. If you start training your cockapoo as a puppy, you are likely to have a better chance of success and it shouldn’t take your dog as long to pick it up.
Either way, these dogs can learn to be more civilized at any age, because first and foremost, they love to please their owners.
While your cockapoos vocalizations may take some getting used to in the beginning, on the plus side, cockapoos do have their purposes for alerting you to any new visitor.
Just remember, when teaching your dog to control their barking, use lot of positive reinforcement. Treats and praise are mandatory.
Never harshly correct your dog as this is counterproductive. By the same token, never reward your dog for barking when you would normally want them to be quiet.
Ultimately, the cockapoo is a fantastic, hypoallergenic dog breed to own. They make a great family pet and are caring and loyal. If you are yet to get one, and are thinking that barking may be a problem, do not let this put you off. You’ll be missing out and it can be effectively managed and controlled.
At what age do cockapoos calm down? Cockapoos are generally lively and active puppies, up until around 8 months of age when they begin to calm down. Around the 1-2 year mark, you should expect to see a change in their behavior to a more mature and composed one. Training, along with natural techniques including walking, exercising, and playing are effective strategies at getting them to calm down during any stage of their lives.
Are cockapoos yappy dogs? Cockapoos do bark a lot, but are not considered to be ‘yappy’. They do not bark without a reason to do so and their barking pitch is not overly high or deemed a nuisance to most owners. Persistent barking or over a long period of time usually occurs when something is wrong and usually requires further investigation.