Cockapoo Barking a lot! (How to stop training)

Dogs bark for a lot of reasons ranging from excitement, boredom, to demand something, frustration, protection, and even aggression in extreme cases. This can become problematic for you and your neighbors if not addressed from the onset. Excessive barking also makes life more stressful and makes it hard for visitors to relax.

So, do Cockapoo bark a lot?

Cockapoos are not known to bark a lot but will bark under certain situations and because of various triggers. However, it is unreasonable to expect your Cockapoo to be completely silent as barking is a form of expression. Some Cockapoos will be more vocal than others mainly depending on how they are raised.

A few woofs are not excessive barking. A cockapoo with incessant barking can be a huge problem that will need to be managed to prevent it from spiraling out of control but cannot be stopped completely.

To deal with a Cockapoo’s barking problem, we need to look at it from the dog’s point of view, not ours. Read on to learn how.

Why Cockapoos bark

When we look at things from the dog’s perspective, he will mainly bark when something interrupts his flow state and emotional equilibrium. This can happen if the dog is at rest, is in motion, or is standing. Barking can be a response to an unfulfilled desire, blocked interaction or social connection, or even fear.

It’s crucial to determine why your Cockapoo is barking a lot for a management plan. In most instances, barking has stimuli. This could be the presence of an “intruder” ringing the door, a noise outside, a new sight through the window, a new scent, confinement in a crate/kennel, boredom, and in extreme cases fear, anxiety, or compulsive barking when you are away.

You first need to rule out pain or an illness that is causing your dog to bark incessantly. If there are signs of injury or any physical condition get the dog diagnosed and treated by a vet.

Additionally, some barks will sound different from others depending on the trigger. For instance, a playful bark is high-pitched while a low-pitched growl is used when the dog wants something to back off. A CockerPoodle in distress will also have a scary high-pitched but repeated bark at the sight of danger. A howl may be in response to other dogs. Fast rate barks are a sign of urgency, longer duration barks indicate the dog’s intent to hold ground while shorter duration barks may communicate fear, uncertainty, or a mild interest.

And since barking is self-reinforcing and excites the door, it could easily get out of hand. Worst still, you may be unknowingly encouraging your Cockapoo to bark more by rewarding him more barking which makes the habit hard to break.

You can only reduce the habit by encouraging your Cockapoo with praise, toys, and food rewards during his moments of silence.

For example, if the Cockapoo is barking at something in the garden, is stimulated, and wants to chase, distract him, and the moment he stops barking reward him. Draw his attention to your eyes and teach him to look at you when he sees something through the window. This will be harder for the dog than the sound since the Cockapoo is a high-energy hunting dog with a propensity to chase.

Dogs learn best through positive association (operant response) and rewarding them when he exhibits incredible impulse control and fights their natural tendency to want to chase. Correcting the dog when he is about to bark or when he is barking and rewarding him if he is quiet after the correction will give you faster results.

You might also find that exercising your Cockadoodle sufficiently in the morning and during the day may fix excessive barking in a Cockapoo that is bored out of his mind. If you are on a busy work schedule or don’t work from home, hire a walker or drop your pup off at a doggie daycare.

Here are different situations where the dog would bark.

Alert/territorial & alarm barking

This type of barking is used to alert their hooman mates of an intruder approaching their territory or even scare them off. Most dogs will alert to the presence of something out of the ordinary, so, this is natural. They let us know when something is approaching or a strange noise that they would like to defend us from. Some Cockerdoodles get especially stimulated when other dogs pass by.

This could be directed at the takeout delivery guy ringing the doorbell, strange noises in the yard, joggers, cyclists, and other animals including dogs. It is normal for dogs and they see it as their job. Typically, alert barking will occur within the territory which could be in the house, the yard, or a car.

Alarm barking is different from alert barking in that it seems to be directed at anything that startles, upsets, or excites them even on unfamiliar turf. This is not necessarily in the territory he considers and could occur during a walk. This can be due to fear/protectiveness or excitement.

Protective/defensive barking will be low-pitched and will certainly sound threatening and have a stiffer body. Fearful Cockapoos are likely to see other people and dogs as a threat and attempt to keep a safe distance. Fear-based barking can be managed by creating a positive association with the trigger through controlled and positive exposure to desensitize the dog. In severe cases, consult a behaviorist.

Conversely, a low-pitched bark coupled with a wagging tail is a sign of friendliness, and curiosity and the dog just wants to say hi. A happy bark can still be annoying and should be kept under control by correcting and redirecting his focus to you. An excited dog will be hard to walk and will pull on a leash. Teach your dog to sit calmly in the presence of visitors and should only be allowed to say if the other person consents and if he is calm.

The posture and body language the dog exhibits while barking will say a lo

What to do

If your Cockapoo is alert barking at the doorbell ring or something he has seen through the window, door, or fence, you will need to acknowledge the intrusion by looking at it to put him at ease by letting him know all is well. If that fails to stop the barking use a correction using noise to redirect the dog’s focus to you for guidance and direction.

More socialization is also needed for a Cockapoo that is prone to barking at strangers and other dogs. Take him out more, introduce him, and get him used to a wide variety of stimuli such as people, other animals, and environments with various smells, sights, and sounds.

For persistent barking, you will need to block the Cockapoo’s exposure to the stimulus or put him in his kennel as a temporary solution. Then modify the behavior by rewarding him if he is calm and quiet. Teaching the dog a verbal cue such as quiet after a correction followed by silence will teach the dog to pair and associate the cue with being calm.

A visitor should only be allowed to pet the dog if he is calm. You can also ask for your friend’s assistance to desensitize the dog from barking at the door knocking or doorbell.

Keep him engaged in an interactive feeder such as a stuffed kong to redirect his energy and concentration to chewing.

Demand barking

This type of barking is one that might be common with Cockapoos considering how cute they are. Most owners may fall for their looks and unknowingly reinforce demand barking and making it worse by fulfilling demands as they bark. Barking could be a demand for attention as you work, be fed, be let out, a belly rub, be released from the crate, play, and so on

Some common mistakes are yelling at the dog to be quiet, eye contact, giving him attention, petting him, feeding him, taking him out, the list is endless. Instead, remain calm, ignore him completely or even walk out of the room and only pay attention to his demands when he stops barking. Let him know that barking does not get him what he wants but only gets him ignored. Dogs are very good at learning by association and if they learn that barking gets them a reward, they will not easily be stopped

Even negative attention is good attention for a Spoodle and may reinforce the barking habit. This is because he learns that barking gets him what he wants and builds an association with barking as a positive thing for the dog. Only reward the dog the instant he stops barking even if it is momentarily to catch his breath.

If your dog wants to go potty, hang a bell close to the door and train him to ring it instead of barking. Also, take your dog out at regular intervals. If he is barking to be fed, only feed him if he is quiet and only let him out of the crate if he stops barking. Teach your dog that sitting and waiting is what gives him access to fun activities through obedience training.

Keep in mind that demand barking can be persistent and ignoring it is much easier said than done as the dog may result in barking even more as he first assumes that he is not barking loud enough to be heard.

Play & excitement

Cockapoos are high-energy and playful dogs that will bark during social interaction with other dogs and people as they are pack animals. It is natural for them to bark or howl in response to other dogs, this is known as socially facilitated barking.

They will also have a friendly, high-pitched bark when chasing and playing with other dogs. His posture will be relaxed, will be confident, and will have a wagging tail. Some may end up jumping, moving frantically, spinning, and quivering when overexcited. They might as well whine due to excitement.

Excitement barking can also be due to the sight of the ice cream truck, mealtimes, or something else they really like.

You do not want to discourage your dogs from playing but instead build a routine and have a designated play spot where it is okay for them to bark. This could be in the garden, a puppy-proofed room, or the park. Provide them with toys to make play fun.

Playful barking can also turn into frustrating barking if play is cut off or when he is unable to say hello to something he really likes or his buddy. Frustration barking will also occur if the Cockadoodle is bored or movement is restricted by a kennel or pet barrier.

What to do

However, over-excitement can be especially problematic during walks. This is why it will be important to teach your Cockapoodle proper leash walking techniques. Let the dog trust he can look up to you for guidance by being a firm and fair leader. Teach him to walk on heel and to look up before play. Reward him for properly walking and leash correct him before he steps out of line. Be consistent and use high-value treats such as chicken for rewards.

Obedience training and having a proper recall will also come in handy when walking an easily stimulated Cockapoo. Teach your dog to come even when he is off-leash. Only allow him to say hello to other dogs and people when allowed and ask him to sit/stay as they pass through to reduce his excitement level. You will also need to teach him that other people can walk past without meeting unless you release him.

You will need to calmly correct undesired habits but do not shout at your dog to stop barking.

At home, you should remove any stimulus that may be causing the undue excitement barking in the short term but desensitizing him to the stimulus and impulse control training will work best long term.

Desensitization or counter conditioning is getting the dog used to the barking stimuli in a controlled manner. This will be especially difficult where scents are involved as the Cockapoo has a hunting ancestry and will be easily stimulated by new scents.

For example, if he gets excited by the ringing of the door, have a friend over and set up a training scenario. Have the dog on a slip leash for correction and have your friend go outside and ring the door. If the dog barks, apply a bit of lead pressure as correction, and if he is quiet and looks at you, praise and rewards him. Do this several times until the dog is able to associate silence with a reward.

If he is following a scent during a walk, apply a leash correction and put him into a sit position. It could also be easier to have taught the sit command beforehand. if he sits and looks at you quietly make a big fuss of it and reward him. Use a reward that best motivates the dog. Let him know that it is better for him to walk beside you are you are more interesting and that he can trust to look up to you for leadership.

Make training sessions short and fun. Introduce new variables, triggers, and distractions to get used to a variety of stimuli. A shh noise or banging a bowl can also be used for correction followed by a hand gesture such as putting your finger in the mouth. Remember dogs learn best by positive association and reinforcement.

This is much easier said than done and will take time. Be patient and consistent with your training without confusing the dog.


Most people make the mistake of the Cockapoo for a mellow dog that does not need a lot of exercise. Cockapoos, regardless of size need about 45 minutes of daily physical and mental stimulation.

If his exercise needs are not met, he will get bored out of his mind, frustrated, and is more likely to bark as he vents his energy. He might also exhibit destructive behavior due to pent-up energy.

He barks to amuse himself and since barking is rewarding and self-reinforcing it could easily get out of hand and become compulsive barking. What’s more compulsive barking is more difficult to deal with.

A tired Cockapoo is more relaxed and is more likely to be quiet. So, make an attempt to increase the length of morning walks if you have to go to work and get someone, a friend, or a walker to exercise the dog during the day. You could also leave him at a licensed doggie daycare for training and socialization if you can afford to do it without stretching your budget.

Also, provide your dog with interactive and chew toys to keep himself entertained in the house and to prevent him from chewing on furniture. An automatic ball thrower or treat toys are some great ideas.

Loneliness & separation anxiety

Lonely barks are usually high-pitched with pauses in between and will clearly communicate that the dog is in distress. This is because the dog feels insecure and you leave him home alone in severe cases, the Cockapoo may show signs of separation anxiety such as chewing, whining, scratching, and excessive drooling. In severe cases, you should speak to a vet or behaviorist for medication and tips on how best to manage the barking.

You will need to train your dog to be okay with being left alone. Comforting and emotionally reassuring him before you leave will not cut it the barking is due to anxiety. This will set him off immediately after you leave. The idea is to make leaving normal without making a big fuss of it. Make it okay for the pooch to be alone while feeling safe.

The other key to resolving a Cockapoo that bark, when left alone, is to establish the motivation for barking. You could set up a camera to monitor the dog’s behavior when you are alone. You may need to restrict the dog’s access to the trigger and increase your dog’s social interactions to get him used to things that may trigger him.

Establish a properly structured routine with consistent feeding, sleeping exercise, and playtime. But before leaving ensure his exercise, potty, and feeding needs are met. You will also need there are sufficient toys for the dog and water for hydration. However, it is not recommended to leave the Cockapoo alone for more than 4 hours

Crate training will also go a low way in establishing the feeling of safety. A great idea would be having a playpen around the cage where the dog can freely roam or use a designated puppy-proofed room where he can damage if bored by limiting his area of motion.

How to stop your Cockapoo from barking

How to train a Cockapoo to stop barking

When your dog is about to bark or is barking, you may need to apply a correction to distract and disengage him from the stimulus. This could be with noise from a bottle filled with pebbles that you can shake to draw his attention to you. A slip lead can also be used to apply a correction by applying a pop/gentle pull to snap him out of engagement without hurting him while drawing eye contact.

You could also use a treat concealed in your hand by letting him sniff it and directing it towards your eyes which will allow the Cockapoo to naturally get into a sit position. If he sits and is quiet, reward him, and don’t be stingy with the treat if he exhibits exemplary impulse control.

After applying the correction, teach the dog an alternative behavior such as sitting or being quiet on command. This will be much easier if your dog trusts you as a well-balanced leader of the pack that he can look up to for guidance and assistance in case of uncertainty. The Quiet command can also be followed with a hand gesture so that the cockapoo can build the association by pairing the action with the verbal cue.

Do not be afraid to set up a training scenario to start with before taking your dog out to a more distracting environment. The key is to correct, redirect, command, and reward for desired behavior. Give the command is a calm, clear but firm and assertive tone

Start training from an area with fewer distractions and progress from there. Remember that training will be more difficult in a more distracting environment such as a park or your backyard where there are more variables, sights, scents, others dogs, strangers, new noises, and so on. A more distracting environment will allow you to train for things you could not have accounted for.

Be confident in demeanor and posture and let the dog know that you are in control of the situation when out. Dogs can tell when you are tense or fearful and think that they need to take charge of the situation which can lead to barking to scare off danger.

Training will take time and you should celebrate every little win. Be patient, calm, firm, and consistent with your training while being fair to the dog. The training session should be about 10 minutes to keep the dog interested.

After several repetitions, you can use the treat randomly before removing it from the equation and using praise. From there treats can be used for reinforcement and as a reminder.

Using bark collars

There are several devices that can be used to temporarily curtail a barking Cockapoo including a bark collar. These collars deliver an unpleasant stimulus such as ultrasonic noise, foul-smelling citronella spray, or an electric shock in extreme cases.

The problem with these solutions is that they do not address the underlying reason for barking and most dogs learn not to bark when the collar is on and revert to barking when it is taken off. In the long run, they are ineffective in stopping belligerent barking in Spoodles.

You are better off using behavior modification and bark management techniques to reduce incessant barking. In all cases, you should avoid anything that may cause physical harm to the dog such as hitting him or using electric shock which can result in a more anxious or fearful dog. Avoid punishment or anything that may inflict pain. Focus more on what triggers the bark instead of the bark itself.

My final take

Barking is natural and nothing can stop it completely nor should it.

If you previously had a near-quiet Cockapoo, that begins to bark excessively in what seems to be out of nowhere, get him checked out for a possible medical condition, injury, or even a flea infestation.

You should also ensure that your dog gets adequate daily exercise to prevent him from barking out of boredom or being destructive.

Avoid punishing the dog or indirectly and unwittingly reinforcing excessive barking.

If the barking gets out of control, consult the help of a professional behaviorist or vet. Sometimes our best efforts as Cockapoo owners may not be enough.

There you go, WOOF!