TRAINING YOUR COCKAPOO
Cockapoos as a breed are relatively easy to train. They are eager to please and want the people in their lives to be as happy as they are. There are, of course, some things that they learn easier than others. They will quickly learn that
the bed is the best place to take a nap, that
a plant can be turned into a comfortable bed and
that snow is cold but great fun too.
They will quickly learn that they like being petted and may even prefer a ride in the wagon to running on their own.
I think I've covered all that is easy in training the rest requires patience, perseverance and more patience. Once you get a puppy it is up to you to turn him into a good canine citizen. Left to their own devices "dogs will be dogs", it's up to us to turn them into people we can live with. Classes are great, extra socialization for your puppy, and the experts can help you handle problems as they come up. If possible involve the whole family so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to training. Consistency is important. It's not ok for one member of the family to allow behavior that another member doesn't. Every family has different expectations for their pet and how he should fit into the family. The object is to get your new family member to understand what he should or shouldn't be doing. While it is important to start training early keep your expectations for a very young puppy low. Training will take repeated sessions until your puppy is older. Remember the key words patience, perseverance, consistency and lots more of the patience thing. Just when you are about to throw your hands up in frustration the light bulb in his head will click on and he'll "get it", I promise.
Crate training is a fantastic tool when it comes to housebreaking. I firmly believe that it has made training so much easier. No it isn't cruel. Dogs by nature are den animals and after the initial adjustment period they consider the crate their safe haven. But again expectations for young puppies have to be kept low. Early housebreaking is simply a matter of constantly observing your puppy and getting him outside before he can soil your house. THERE WILL BE ACCIDENTS AND SET BACKS. I've learned to live with a carpet cleaner as part of my decor, this isn't a look that will work for everyone. Remember patience, patience and more patience, this to will pass.
ALL TRAINING is now reward based, with lots of positive reinforcement. The new rule is "if your puppy has an accident roll up the newspaper and hit yourself because you weren't watching him".
The best book and one I highly recommend is "How To Raise A Puppy You Can Live With". It is available at Amazon.com and most larger book stores. A great book, a short read and full of good practical advice.
We are always available to help if we can. The work involved with a young puppy can't be denied. That's one of the reasons it's important that everyone in the family be involved and ready to help. I think it's a great experience watching a young puppy grow and develop but the first couple of weeks to a month can have its frustrations too.