Do Cockapoos bark or rather do Cockapoo bark a lot?
Cockapoos are not known to bark a lot, however, you should not expect this Poodle mix to be completely quiet. Both the Poodle and Cocker Spaniels are not known to have barking problems a trait that is inherited by the Cockapoo. But the inclination of a Cockapoo to bark will depend on temperament, environment, and how he is brought up.
Barking is a form of expression, the same way humans talk and so, it would be unreasonable to expect this Cockapoo hybrid to be ever quiet.
With that said, you note that although the Cockapoo is not a known barker, some will bark more than others.
In some of these Poodle Cocker Spaniel mixes, the barking can spiral out of control and become problematic.
You may also be interested in learning why Corgis bark.
Stick with us to learn why this may happen and some tips on how you can deal with it.
- Why does a Cockapoo bark a lot?
- How to stop your Cockapoo from barking excessively
Why does a Cockapoo bark a lot?
There are several things that may make your Cockapoo an excessive barker.
The most common cause of anxiety in Cockapoos is loneliness or when they are feeling insecure.
This dog may bark a lot if you leave him alone for extended periods. He may also feel insecure if he is threatened by certain situations such as meeting larger dogs.
When left alone for long periods, a Cockapoo may cower at a corner in the house and bark all through.
This can morph into a serious barking problem over time with this Doodle barking as if he is alarmed.
Some owners may also confuse this barking to aggression which is wrong.
This is of a fear-based barking and making your Cockapoo feel protected and being there for the canine most of the time.
To know if your Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix is barking because he is anxious you should look for other signs such as;
- Excessive digging.
- Whining often.
- A tendency to chew on things a lot.
You may also be interested in- The Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix also commonly known as Cockapoo.
2. To express excitement
Cockapoos can also bark due to excitement and this commonly occurs before meals or when he sees something he loves. This can be an ice cream truck passing by, another dog, or anything that generally makes dogs happy.
When your Cocker Poodle barks due to excitement you will notice the following thing or at least one of them;
- Wagging his tail.
- Frantic behavior such as jumping.
- Adrenaline rush.
- A lot of movement.
With this kind of barking, you should ensure that you don’t reinforce the behavior by showing the dog that you are also excited.
Even shouting at him to stop barking reinforces the behavior and he interprets this as excitement.
Is my dog smiling? Can a dog even smile? Learn more about this in our “is your dog smiling or panting” guide.
3. Barking for attention
Cockapoos are human companions that thrive on human attention. If they don’t get enough of it they let you know, by barking.
He will bark at you when you are busy on your computer, when you are about to leave the house or anytime he feels that you are not giving home the attention he needs.
4. Barking because he wants something
When you Cockapoo wants something he communicated with a demanding bark.
This may be because he wants food, a walk, a belly rub or simply to play with you.
You can recognize this type of bark because the Cockapoo will often bark wait for some minutes then bark again and on and on. These pauses in between are him waiting for what he asked for.
You will also notice him using his puppy eyes to get you to do what he wants.
If you Poodle Cocker Spaniel mix is barking, for this reason, it is best that you ignore him until he stops barking before giving in to his demands.
5. Cockapoo territorial barking
This type of alarm is common when dogs perceive potential danger.
It could happen when the doorbell rings, when someone knocks at the door or anything else that startles him.
You should let your dog know when everything is well by diverting his attention by either taking him out, giving him a toy, or a tasty treat.
Socializing you Cockapoo with other people, dogs, and in different environments can also help you deal with territorial barking.
Boredom can be brought about by a lack of enough mental and physical stimulation.
If your Cockapoo does not get a way to vent his energy, he barks.
You will also notice other destructive behaviors such as excessive digging and chewing.
Barking due to discomfort can occur both during the day and at night.
This discomfort can be caused by;
- Pain or any form of illness and health related-issues.
- The Cockapoo may want to potty.
- Disturbances from outside noises and from fleas or ticks.
If your canine friend is barking and showing any signs of discomfort, you should contact the vet immediately.
How to stop your Cockapoo from barking excessively
Ignore the barking
Ignoring your Cockapoo until he stops barking is a great way to manage the barking.
This will mean not looking at him, not touching him, don’t talk or give him any attention. Giving him your attention while he barks will only reinforce the behavior and make him noisier.
When he finally calms down take a deep breath, look at him, and give him a tasty treat and a belly rub.
No matter how long he takes to stop barking ignore him by all means.
He will learn that barking takes away the attention that he craves so much but silence gets him rewarded.
Remove the barking motivation
Let us take an example of your Cockapoo barking at objects, animals, and people passing by the house.
If the dog is in the yard and barks at a vehicle passing by, take him into the house.
On the other hand, if he is in the house looking out and barks at people, vehicles, or animals passing by, close all the curtains.
Desensitization to the barking stimulus
This is where you get your Cockapoo gets used to what is making him bark.
However, it is important that you ensure that the thing that makes him bark the most is at a distance away from him.
Then slowly move the stimulus closer slowly as you give the dog some treats. If you move the stimulus away from the line of sight do not reward him.
The Cockapoo will learn to accustom that barking stimulus to rewards, in this case, treats.
So, let us take an example at a Cockapoo that barks at other dogs.
- Get a friend to stand with a strange dog out of sight or far away.
- As he/she starts moving closer with the dog give your Cockapoo some tasty while giving him a rub as a form of reassurance.
- When your friend gets out of the line of sight with the dog stop giving your Doodle those treats.
- Repeat this several times.
Your canine friend will take some time before he is accustomed to that particular barking stimulus.
Mental and Physical Stimulation
Lack of enough mental and physical stimulation can cause you Cockapoo to bark excessively.
About 60 minutes of daily exercise can help your dog burn out most of his energy which in turn, reduces barking.
This can be done through daily walks, playing in the yard, interactive games such as puzzles, agility, and obedience training.
If you eliminate boredom, he is less likely to bark.
Training your Cockapoo
Barking on command
This may sound insane but before you begin to train your Cockapoo to stop barking excessively, you will need to train barking on command.
This enables you to take control of the barking and reduces the urge to bark when not commanded to do so.
First, find a way to make this mixed dog barkThis may mean knocking or ringing the doorbell.
If he barks, proceed to reward or praise him for barking. Repeat.
Introduce the “bark” command before you use tha barking trigger and praise and reward him every time he barks on the command. Repeat this several times.
After you are done with the above stage, you can then proceed to say the “bark” command but this time do not use a barking trigger. Praise and reward the Cockapoo if he responds.
Do this in different environments, scenarios, triggers until he barks on command each time.
Train the “Quiet” command
Now that your Cockapoo can bark on command, you need to train him to stop barking on command.
You will first need to get the dog to bark on command, give him treat and as he munches on the treat say the “quiet” command. Do this in a clear and firm voice but do not shout.
After he is done with the treat, hold his muzzle say the “quiet” command to reinforce being quiet. Reward him if he stays quiet and repeat this several times.
You can then proceed to alternate between the “bark” and “quiet” command. Make him bark on command, hold his muzzle, and then ask him to be quiet without introducing a treat in between.
If he stops barking reward him. Increase the period you hold his muzzle and if he stays quiet during this period praise and reward him. Let the Doodle know that this is a big deal.
You can then proceed to do repetitions interrupting him every time he barks and rewarding him every time he stops barking in command.
Visit the vet
If your Cockapoo was mostly silent and begins to bark excessively all over a sudden, you will need to visit the veterinarian.
This can be due to a medical condition or a mental issue and you will need to get the dog checked.
My final take
Cockapoos are not known barkers but this does not mean that all Cockapoos are mostly silent dogs.
Excessive barking can occur in any dog and can sometimes spiral out of control. Learning why it happens and how to deal with it can be very helpful.
However, you will need to avoid the following things;
- Leaving the dog unattended after he stops barking.
- Shouting at the Cockapoo.
- Punishing the dog.
- Indirectly reinforcing the behavior.
You should also keep in mind that this is a very smart dog that will learn things quickly.
With that, you should be able to manage excessive barking in your Cockapoo.
There you go, WOOF!