Cockapoos are a hybrid dog breed, a mix of Cocker Spaniel and poodle. They are friendly, hypoallergenic, and intelligent. While they can make great family pets, your Cockapoo could exhibit aggressive behavior or seem high-strung at times.
If you have a Cockapoo that is growling, snapping, biting, or lunging at people and demonstrating aggressive behavior, you may believe it to be a “bad dog.” However, as your dog’s owner, you must understand that this is not the case, and there is some other influence attributed to your pet’s behavior.
When you can identify your pet’s behavior and monitor your dog to react as soon as you see signs, treatment can help your Cockapoo understand its behavior and correct it. You can promote normal dog behavior with positive reinforcement.
There are plenty of signs and symptoms that indicate your dog will be aggressive. However, it is also essential to be cautious of what might be triggering your pet to feel threatened and act out as a result. Here are some of the signs of aggression in Cockapoos and what you can do as a pet owner to stop it.
Types of aggression
When your Cockapoo feels threatened and becomes scared, this is one of the most common and primary indicators that result in aggressiveness. Sometimes it can be as simple as the dog being in an unfamiliar location or around other animals, clumsy children, crying babies, or receiving too much attention, which causes it to feel scared.
Another type of aggression is when the Cockapoo feels more territorial, such as food or your home. It is an instinct for dogs to feel they have to protect and guard things, leading to aggression when they believe someone infringes on their space. Again, other animals or dogs within the home can create this behavior and lead to animal fights.
Sometimes the behavior may stem from your Cockapoo’s view of value regarding a specific item. For example, maybe it has a favorite chew toy, ball, or blanket. Understanding the dog’s attachment to the thing will help you recognize the signs of their need to guard it and act out when someone tries to take it away.
Cockapoos can also become aggressive while playing because they do not understand limits. As a result, it is not uncommon for the dog to get excited with playtime and become aggressive by biting and growling, lunging, and more.
What causes aggression?
There is no evidence that any specific dog breed is more likely to be aggressive than another. Dogs that engage in this type of behavior could be due to having experienced a traumatic event in the past, or just excessive amounts of fear and the feeling of needing to protect themselves from harm.
There could be an attribution with a predisposition to aggressiveness due to genetics. But the likelihood of an ill-tempered dog is unrelated to breed. Instead, specific triggers or feelings of being scared and territorial are more common reasons for unwanted aggression in dogs.
Watch for signs of aggressive behavior in Cockapoos
Keeping a close eye on your Cockapoo is vital to understanding when it might become aggressive. Remember that dogs often act out as a way to express their discomfort. There are many things to look out for, but some of the most common signs or symptoms of aggression include:
- Stiffening of the body
- Low growling
- Showing teeth
- Ears pinned back
- Tail tucked under (this is also a telltale sign of fear)
- Yelps or barks
You may also sometimes be able to see the hair on your dog’s hindquarters stand up when they are exhibiting signs of preparing to bite. There may be other more minor indicators, including yawning and lip-licking, which are less easy to identify.
How to stop your Cockapoo’s aggressive behavior
While there is no natural “cure” for dog aggression, there are many steps you can take to help minimize the behavior. The most significant focus for you as a pet owner is to understand what is triggering the behavior and work to change your pet’s reaction.
Positive reinforcement for good behavior is vital. For example, give your dog treats or special, enticing foods when they can confront their situation but not react or show aggression. You can also create a positive association with the trigger when something happens.
For example, if your Cockapoo is apt to misbehave around other dogs, you might want to keep the animal at a distance while training your dog to move closer without reacting. Gradually continue this exercise until you feel your dog has acclimated to the other dog. Then, convey to your dog that it is excellent when it does not overreact or attempt to be aggressive towards the other dog, and immediately remove it at any point if you sense that it is going to act out.
Training is an essential tool to help your dog understand and obey you. If you haven’t done so already, consider enrolling your Cockapoo in some obedience courses to strengthen your bond and ensure that it will follow your training. In addition, you have the option to train your dog at home in a virtual setting.
When you know that your dog might misbehave, you can utilize commands and training to ensure that your dog will cease its actions. For example, using a leash often and training your dog to stay close to your side will help stop aggressive behavior.
Help your Cockapoo adapt
You can make other efforts to enforce boundaries and limits to minimize your Cockapoo’s aggressive behavior. However, if all else fails and your efforts are not working, consult with a veterinarian or animal behavior specialist for more assistance. Sometimes training and changing routines is not enough.
It can be challenging to live with an aggressive Cockapoo, but you can ensure the safety of your household by taking measured steps to understand and eliminate the behavior. It will take time, effort, and a lot of patience, but eventually, you will have a well-adjusted and happy Cockapoo in your home!
Nicole McCray is a die-hard animal lover who has worked in pet care for years. She is a former vet technician, a dog mom to her two rescue pups, and she grew up living and working at her family’s pet boarding facility. She loves using her writing talents to share the insight she’s learned throughout her career to help other pet parents!