Cockapoo Barking – How to deal with it and stop it

No owner should expect a Cockapoo never to bark, that’s unreasonable, it would be the same as telling a  human never to speak. But some Cockapoos are always barking excessively and for what appears to be no reason.

In reality, there’s always a reason for a dog to bark, it’s not always about attention; but we don’t see it or understand.

So the first step to helping dog owners control their dog’s unnecessary barking is to find out why it’s happening. Only then can we help the dog to curb his barking.

What Does A Dog’s Bark Mean?

As dog owners, we put a lot of effort into training our a dog to understand our commands and take pride in the results when the dog behaves how we want. But very few of us take the same amount of time trying to figure out what a dog is telling us.

A Dog will communicate in numerous ways. These signals can be their body language, whining, growling, snarling, specific head movements, tail wagging or dropping and of course, barking.

A dog is an emotional creature and can be sad, lonely, unhappy, miserable, frightened, shocked, excited, attention seeking and continuously exhibit a whole range of these emotions. So it’s fair to say they don’t just have one type of bark. It’s not just about getting their owner’s attention, even though it might seem like that at times. If you listen, their barking can sound different, depending on what message the dog is trying to convey.

According to Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC writing in Psychology Today, his article What Are Dogs Trying to Say When They Bark, asserts that a dog can vary the sound of his barking in three ways, the duration, pitch and frequency.

What Does The Pitch Of A Dog’s Bark Tell Us?

Different emotions in humans create different tones of voice, and it’s the same with dogs. When we’re cross or angry, our voice deepens in tone; this is precisely what occurs with dogs. The lower their vocal tone, the more unhappy, scared or aggressive they feel. They communicate their feelings by low throaty growls which transform to teeth-baring, snarls and eye contact. 

Conversely, if the dog is happy, their tone rises in pitch, to show happiness or is welcoming. Positive signs everything is good with life.

What Does The Duration Tell Us?

The longer the duration of barking sounds the dog is making could mean this is a calculated attempt to warn off some perceived danger. Have you seen how your Cockapoo behaves when there is a threat? The growl he makes is long, deep and continuous, he’s serious and isn’t thinking about backing down.

A dog not confident with the situation or is just looking for attention is uncertain and nervous, and the sounds reflect that position. Short bursts of growling a warning but not overtly aggressive, a sign.

Combining duration and pitch can indicate what message your dog is attempting to send you. High-pitched yet short duration growls may mean your dog is uncomfortable or fearful of his situation.

Bark Frequency

The bark frequency of a dog also conveys a message to us. Suppose a neighbourhood dog starts to bark at various times of the day; this often sets off other dogs living in the area. Your dog may look up and growl and maybe one or two short barks and settles back down. Job done and made his feelings known, but to be fair, not particularly interested.

Contrast that reaction to what happens if the postman walks near the house or someone rings the doorbell. Your dog is up like a flash, barking at a much faster and shorter duration—intruder alert.

The more frequent and shorter the duration, the more excited or pressing the situation appears to the dog. The problem has become severe when the dog communicates the sound quickly and continuously. 

Different Dog Barks And Their Meanings

Before discussing the different Cockapoo barks and their meanings, it’s appropriate to point out that not all aspects of doggy language or behaviour are fully understood. There has been some research, but animal communication is a complicated subject. But by combining what we know about dog body language, behaviour and the approximate meaning of the sounds they make can help us gain some awareness of what’s on their mind.

Two to four Quick Barks Medium Pitch

The most common is the alert bark. Someone or something is in the dog’s territory and is alerting the family.

Higher Pitch One To Three Short Barks

Typically a friendly ‘Hi’ greeting. Meeting a person or another dog he has met before and there is no threat.

A Hesitant Bark – Medium Pitch

The sound a dog makes when he wants to play. If you instigate a game and your dog barks this way, he wants you to get on with whatever you’re playing. If it’s a game of fetch, he wants the ball thrown. Typically it’s a statement that says ‘get on with it.’ The dog’s body language will reinforce this by bending their front legs low and their rear in the air, tail wagging, and mouth open.

Low Pitch Growl And Bark

This sound is a low throaty growl interspersed with low pitched short barks. The dog is feeling annoyance at something or someone. It might also signal to a pack the dog seeks some help. Whatever or whoever is causing the situation should stop before things escalate.

Short Low Growl And High-Pitch Bark

The sound an unhappy or scared dog will make when they are unsure of themself. A Low short growl and a higher pitch bark, signify annoyance but lack the confidence to deal with the issue. Dogs will try to back away, but if this persists, will inevitably turn aggressive.

A Short High Pitch Yelp

Suppose you accidentally trod on your Cockapoo’s paw, this is a sound you would immediately hear. A high pitched single yelp means a sharp pain, but not a continuous one.

A String Of Short But High Pitched Yelping

A similar sound to the single yelp, but in this case the yelping is continuous. Any Cockapoo yelping in this manner is in severe pain and requires help immediately.

A Whimper

A dog whimpering is a sure sign of pain, deep fear or suffering. Body language behaviour accompanying whimpering is hiding, curling as tightly as possible, and expressing fear and sadness.

Whining

Whining is always louder and higher pitched than whimpering. A Dog will whine when he needs or wants something. It can be many things, comfort, affection, food, go outside, an attempt to tell their owner they need something. It’s not so much about being in pain, but the more the dog feels pressure, the louder and more high pitched, the whining will become. 

Continuous Single Barks 

A lonely and sad dog. Left by themself for hours on end, perhaps even all day every day. In a way, this bark is asking someone for attention, anyone.

Howling That Is Unbroken

Everyone knows the sound of a dog howling. Suppose a dog chooses to howl he is communicating over longer distances to inform other dogs to his presence. Cockapoos, as a rule, don’t usually howl, unlike the Siberian Husky. It might sound sad, but it’s not.

One Short Bark, Medium To High Pitch

If you startle your Cockapoo by mistake, he might let out a single short bark. Similar in length to a yelp but not because of any pain, just surprise. You may also hear this bark when your dog finds something, and he wants you to come and take a look. We’ve all been on walks and witnessed this behaviour, and we instinctively know and recognise this bark.

Five Techniques To Stop Your Cockapoo From Barking

If you’re willing to try and train your dog to stop barking, you might like to try these six techniques. We don’t guarantee they will work, and you need to understand and appreciate why your dog is barking before you begin.

1. Keep these following points in mind during your training episodes:

  • There’s no point in raising your voice to combat barking – your dog won’t understand, and quite frankly you make yourself look a little ridiculous.
  • Any training should be positive, full of praise and favourite treats.
  • Always be consistent with dogs, including the whole family. It’s unreasonable to expect him to comply when only one family member respects the training. You only confuse dogs when they are getting away with it sometimes and not others.21. Eliminate The Motivation 

There has to be some enjoyment dogs get from barking or why do it? If you can work out what motivates barking, you can eliminate this motivation to curtail the barking.

For example: Barking at People walking past your house

  • If your dog sees a person near your house and starts maniacally barking, you can manage the situation by either taking your dog into another room or closing the curtains so he cannot see them.
  • If he’s in the garden and barks at people walking by then immediately bring him inside.

2. Disregard All Barking

Remember we said you must evaluate why Cockapoos bark first. Don’t assume you know because you’ll do more harm than good. But if you have established the barking is to get your attention, then ignore them when the barking begins. Do not give in, if you do, you will reinforce that barking is working for him. When they quieten down, even if it’s temporary, give him a treat. Now you’re supporting good behaviour.

This method requires a lot of patience and maybe some earplugs. Don’t give up, even if the frustration gets you to boiling point. Wait it out. Dogs are smart, they can’t tell the time, but they learn very quickly that if they are barking for some time, you give in, that’s all they need to know.

Example: Puppy barking, attention seeking when confined

  • If your Cockapoo puppy begins barking when you put him in his crate, close the crate door and turn your back, walk away.
  • When he stops barking, go to him and give him a treat.
  • It will quickly dawn on him that when he’s quiet, he gets a treat. Now you need to extend the time after he stops barking before he gets his reward.
  • You need to begin slowly with this technique. Start with only a few seconds before you hand out a reward and then gradually build up the time.
  • Keep your dog on his toes, mix up the length of time between treats.

3. Desensitising Cockapoos

Something incites the barking (the stimulus), and your dog won’t stop until he becomes immune to the stimulus. Introduce the trigger but not so he can see it. Give him a treat. Move the trigger closer to your dog and give treats. If it moves away from your dog’s sightline, stop the giving treats. The idea behind this is for your dog to learn the stimulus means something good for him because he’s going to get a treat.

Example: Barking at Other Dogs

If every time you walk your dog and he starts barking at every dog he sees on the walk; you need to do something about that. So use these ideas.

  • If you have a friend with a dog enlist their help. Ask them to stand with their pooch far enough, so your dog doesn’t bark.
  • Encourage your friend to come close, now feed some treats to your dog.
  • Make sure you brief your friend correctly, he should now move out of sight. Stop giving treats.
  • Continue this process as many times as it takes.
  • Don’t get overconfident and rush this. It will take time and patience.

4. Contradicting Behaviour

If your Cockapoo starts to bark and it’s not the behaviour you want, encourage him to do something else that contradicts barking. Teach your dog to behave appropriately when the barking trigger occurs.

Example: When a visitor knocks on your door

  • Place a treat on his bed and tell him to lie down or whatever command you use for him to go to his bed.
  • When the dog gets that part correct and goes to bed, open the door if they start to get up close the door again.
  • Repeat this until they stay on their bed even after the door is open.
  • Ask the same long-suffering friend from the previous technique to knock on the door with your dog in his bed. If they don’t move, ignoring the trigger, give them a treat.

5. Tire Your Dog Out

Tiring out your dog is an excellent way to help him become a good dog. If he gets plenty of physical exertion and mental exercise training, he will not be so bored, listless and attention seeking. If he’s tired out, you’ll notice he doesn’t react the same way to the triggers as he did before.

Conclusion

Many dog owners believe, their dog is only barking for attention and while we know a dog is smart enough to seek attention that’s obviously not the only reason they love to bark. As we have discussed in this article there are numerous reasons for a dog to bark and you could say that he wants attention when he’s in pain, lonely, sad a myriad of reasons, but a dog cannot express himself any other way.

Even a month old Cockapoo will whine and cry for his mother’s attention or yelp when his brother nips him.

1 thought on “Cockapoo Barking – How to deal with it and stop it”

  1. My Bella is more frequently barking at people and the odd dog acting quite upset and aggressive e which is not like her! But it’s not all people and the off dog! Why is this aNd can I help her be reassured it’s ok and they are not a threat x

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