Activities For Cockapoos

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Introduction

A small dog with a big personality, the Cockapoo is one of the first “designer dogs” (mixed breeds) to ever be developed, having been around in the United States since the 1950s. The hybrid of the Cocker Spaniel (either the American or the English one) and Poodle (typically the toy or miniature one), this breed is an intelligent and people-oriented dog. Cockapoos are highly affectionate and are generally accepting of everyone. Their adorable look and infectious passion for life are sure to capture the hearts of everyone they meet. In addition, Cockapoos are easily trainable, low-maintenance and eager to try new things with their owners. 

Treasure Hunt

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Toys
Treats
Activity description

By nature, dogs have a strong sense of smell. In fact, out of all the senses they have, scent is the one that they rely on the most. This is why dogs have an affinity for sniffing on humans or other canines before they start to get comfortable with them. Cockapoos are no different; the breed has a keen sense of smell, thanks in large part to the Cocker Spaniel’s background as a gun dog. An effective activity to utilize the Cockapoo’s impressive scent is through a game of treasure hunt. In this game, you hide an item and have your dog search for it purely through scent. This is a good way to hone your dog’s tracking skills, promote mental stimulation and allow their natural flushing instincts. 

Step
1
Choose an item to hide
When starting a game of treasure hunt, start slow and focus on one item. Choose one whose scent is familiar to your dog, such as their favorite treat or toy. Once you’ve picked out which item to hide, command your dog to stay still while you go on and hide the item.
Step
2
Start the search
Without your dog looking, choose a fairly easy hiding place for the item. Make sure that it can be easily tracked down by your pooch. Then, on your command, give the release cue for your dog to search. When your dog finds the item, use positive reinforcement by giving a treat or a rub on the back. As the game progresses, you can start to hide more items or make the hiding places more difficult.
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Playdate

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Any Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

Even though it seems like your dog is more than happy to hang out with just you, there are some experiences that only other four-legged buddies can provide. There are many benefits that come in exposing your furbaby to other canines. Being around other dogs is a form of socialization and can help keep any aggressive behavior at bay. Moreover, it gives your dog a chance to act freely and naturally among fellow dogs. This can all be made possible by setting up a playdate. Cockapoos are friendly and outgoing by nature, so they should warm up to others easily.

Step
1
Choose prospective "dates"
One of the most difficult parts of organizing a playdate is finding the participants themselves. It is challenging to find a dog owner or two that will have the same schedule or desire for a playdate as you. If you have any friends who own dogs, you can approach them first and see if they are up for the playdate. Other prospects include neighbors, co-workers, dog spa customers or other people in a dog park.
Step
2
Set the date on neutral ground
For the “first date”, it will be best to pick a neutral setting. A good choice would be a dog park, where the dogs are safe to go off-leash and allow for a variety of playing styles. More importantly, a neutral setting will prevent any territorial behavior and aggression from both parties.
Step
3
Let the dogs interact
When the date has been set up and the dogs meet each other for the first time, allow them to get a feel for each other. Don’t take them off their leashes just yet; having them leashed will make it easy for you to keep them apart in case of bad blood. Once they get more relaxed and playful around each other, that’s the time that you can let them run free and play on their own.
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Retrieval Training

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Any Day
Free
Normal
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Toy
Treats
Activity description

If you are brainstorming for an activity for your dog that is both physically and mentally stimulating, you should consider retrieval training. As the name suggests, this form of training focuses on your dog’s instinct to chase after, retrieve and return a certain item. Retrieving skills is not only entertaining for your pooch, it also instills some practical skills, such as obedience. Furthermore, it also serves an enjoyable form of exercise for your mutt. But, most importantly, it has a positive impact on the relationship between you and your dog. By training your dog to retrieve, you are essentially developing better communication with each other. 

Step
1
Pick an item that is interesting
This is probably the simplest but most crucial rule of all: pick an item that your dog is actually interested in. Otherwise, your pooch will exert zero effort in chasing after and retrieving this item. You can experiment with various objects, such as sticks, toys, balls or even Frisbees, until you find one that piques your dog’s interest.
Step
2
Motivate your dog
Cockapoos are naturally curious and would want to get in on some action. However, they are not the most athletic breed and might get bored after a short while. A good way to keep your dog playing is to motivate them, either by using affection or giving of treats. Regardless of what motivator you end up using, the process remains the same – you get your dog to run after and fetch the item. When your dog is in possession of the item, take it away and give the reward that they want. Do this over and over again for practice.
Step
3
Teach your dog to retrieve
Chasing is one thing; retrieving is a different story. The objective of this training is to have your dog run after the object and bring it back to you. Some dogs have the natural instinct to retrieve toys and return them to their owners. In case your dog does not do this, using a second toy might help. When your dog catches the first object, introduce the second one and throw it in a different direction. This will train your pooch to run back to you after catching the item. You can also try to call out your dog’s attention and commanding them to drop the toy. Over time, your pooch will understand that when the object has been returned, you will throw it again to restart the game.
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More Fun Ideas...

Go Shopping

Another outdoor activity that you can do with your Cockapoo is shopping. Most pet stores allow customers to bring their dogs with them. When doing some pet shopping, let your pooch choose a new toy or treat from the vast selection of items found in the shop. 

Visit a Brewery

Cockapoos are, above all else, meant for companionship. They are cheerful, outgoing and can be quite clingy with their owners. Instead of leaving your pooch at home, why not go out for some drinks instead? More and more breweries are now opening their doors to dog owners and their four-legged friends. Simply look for a dog-friendly brewery near you and have a few rounds while your pooch keeps you company.

Conclusion

The Cockapoo is everything you can possibly expect from a mix of two adorable dogs; this breed highlights the best qualities of both the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. Friendly, loving and humorous, Cockapoos can surely bring lots of light and happiness into your life. With the right types of activities and enough love and affection, your furbaby will stay pleased and content.