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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I’m new to this breed and have always had bull terrier breeds in the past , I sadly lost my dog last year and didn’t plan on having another one yet but my relative has asked me to take her 2 year old male cockapoo, she has 2 dogs and one seems calm and level yet the younger one who she wants us to take has issues .
I’ve been told he was a confident happy dog until her marriage break up and then lockdown shortly followed , she is the first to admit she treats both her dogs like babies and boundaries are few and far between, she has spent the last 15 months pretty much 24/7 with the dog until her business was allowed to reopen .
We are strongly considering taking him and giving him a good home but some of the issues I have not had with my other dogs , he barks at anyone who I stop and talk to and usually growels at anyone who approaches him , small children cause him anxiety and he again growels at them .
We have had him for a couple of days and he has stayed over with us so I can access what he is like , he’s fine with me apart from following me everywhere I go and misbehaves if I leave him , he also barks at all family members even if he’s seen them all day he will bark and sometimes growel if they walk into the room ! I firmly believe most dogs show aggression through fear and anxiety but certain things raise red flags with me , my youngest spent the whole day walking him with us in the Peak District and the dog was fine yet the day after the dog barked every time my son walked into the room this then progressed to growling if he went near the dog .His behaviour towards other dogs is very aggressive but I also believe this is down to anxiety and fear again , I’m always calm and positive when walking him and don’t show or feel any signs of anxiety myself that he could be picking up on . We really want to give this dog a home and turn him into a confident we’ll balanced dog so any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

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Hi I’m new to this breed and have always had bull terrier breeds in the past , I sadly lost my dog last year and didn’t plan on having another one yet but my relative has asked me to take her 2 year old male cockapoo, she has 2 dogs and one seems calm and level yet the younger one who she wants us to take has issues .
I’ve been told he was a confident happy dog until her marriage break up and then lockdown shortly followed , she is the first to admit she treats both her dogs like babies and boundaries are few and far between, she has spent the last 15 months pretty much 24/7 with the dog until her business was allowed to reopen .
We are strongly considering taking him and giving him a good home but some of the issues I have not had with my other dogs , he barks at anyone who I stop and talk to and usually growels at anyone who approaches him , small children cause him anxiety and he again growels at them .
We have had him for a couple of days and he has stayed over with us so I can access what he is like , he’s fine with me apart from following me everywhere I go and misbehaves if I leave him , he also barks at all family members even if he’s seen them all day he will bark and sometimes growel if they walk into the room ! I firmly believe most dogs show aggression through fear and anxiety but certain things raise red flags with me , my youngest spent the whole day walking him with us in the Peak District and the dog was fine yet the day after the dog barked every time my son walked into the room this then progressed to growling if he went near the dog .His behaviour towards other dogs is very aggressive but I also believe this is down to anxiety and fear again , I’m always calm and positive when walking him and don’t show or feel any signs of anxiety myself that he could be picking up on . We really want to give this dog a home and turn him into a confident we’ll balanced dog so any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
Hi,
I can really understand you wanting to give this poor lad a good home and you’re right that much of this behaviour could come from a place of fear and anxiety, but it’s likely that it’s going to need a lot of training and structure to help the dog deal with these situations differently. It will be no mean feat and it sounds like your best option is getting a rewards based behaviourist/trainer involved sooner rather than later. We have a rescued, reactive, resource guarding dog and with lots of work he is learning new, more positive ways to react, but it’s taken a lot of training and hard work. He’s totally worth it as he is such a lovely dog otherwise, but it is a life commitment to doing things slightly differently. I’d just think carefully about whether you and your family are willing and able to commit to the type of dog ‘parenting’ that this pup will need. A one off with a trainer might give you a fuller picture of what they think he needs. If you or his owner decide that he needs rehomed then there are good rescues that could help- doodle trust or pupcakes.
In my experience they do tend to be Velcro dogs that like to be right by your side. I would thing that the barking could be quite easy to redirect into a leave with some high value treats (a trainer could show this), but it sounds like the growling incidents need to be managed to prevent them from escalating. You being calm and positive may be just what he needs, but if other family members are anxious he is likely to pick up on that.
good luck whatever you decide and if you keep him it would be lovely to update us again.
 

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I am another who took on a cockapoo with issues. As you say many of the issues stem from fear and insecurity and take lots of time and good management to resolve. The bigger issues Molly had were separation anxiety and resource guarding. To resolve separation anxiety you need to be in a position to not leave the dog at all whilst you are dealing with it - that is hard and you need to assess if it is possible for you. The dog growling at people approaching could be a bit of resource guarding which is pretty common in cockapoo and can be resolved but as Dig says you would be best to engage a good reward based trainer to assist you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’m lucky enough to be able to commit 24/7 into his training , my lads are all adults although 2 are still at home but they are never anxious around him if he starts growling and are assertive in commands to the dog , Im doing as much research into the breed as possible and what traits they have .exercise isn’t a problem as I walk 8-15 miles a day . If anyone could recommend decent trainers in the midlands that would be appreciated if I need to go down that route .
I’ve dealt with rescue bullies in the past with aggression problems and managed to turn them round although some I’ve failed in the dog to dog aggression problems , I think I need to research as much as possible regarding this breed to ascertain the best way forward .
 

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I’m lucky enough to be able to commit 24/7 into his training , my lads are all adults although 2 are still at home but they are never anxious around him if he starts growling and are assertive in commands to the dog , Im doing as much research into the breed as possible and what traits they have .exercise isn’t a problem as I walk 8-15 miles a day . If anyone could recommend decent trainers in the midlands that would be appreciated if I need to go down that route .
I’ve dealt with rescue bullies in the past with aggression problems and managed to turn them round although some I’ve failed in the dog to dog aggression problems , I think I need to research as much as possible regarding this breed to ascertain the best way forward .
It would be worth having a look at some of the bios on pupcakes rescue site- they get lots of cockapoos and other dogs with resource guarding issues and the write up they do for each dog has info about the management that they recommend and links to training resources.
 

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For trainers look at APDT or IMDT to find a local one.

If you are dealing with resource guarding (and I suspect you probably are as well as the other issues) you do not need assertive handling and commands. It is a form of insecurity and you need to teach the dog carefully not to worry about losing access to things. Being assertive can and will make things much worse.
 
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