Do Cockapoos Have A High Prey Drive?

The short answer is, yes. My cockapoo Luna wants to chase anything that’s small and moves. At times it drives me crazy but I have to remember that its her instinct to do this and can’t be helped. Cockapoos are active and inquisitive dogs.

Your cockapoo is a mixed breed of a cockapoo (hunting dog) and a poodle (another hunting dog). Combine these two dogs and you get a dog with a high prey drive.


Where we live there’s a lot of squirrels on our walks. Luna is quite well trained but I am yet to stop her going crazy whenever she sees a squirrel. The other week on our walk, 4 just appeared out of nowhere all around us and popped there heads up from the grass like meerkats. It’s as if they were teasing her. Luna was going crazy, riding up on her back legs making all kinds of noises. All she wanted to do was chase them. Luckily, she was on a lead as there are main roads nearby and I’d hate to think what might happen if she got the chance to chase them in that area. After seeing those squirrels I can confirm that she walked like an absolute idiot for the next 10 minutes or so as her senses were in overdrive and she was really giddy.

Luckily, it’s not just my cockapoo that does this. Almost all the ones in that area seem to do the same as its a squirrel hot spot. I sometimes try and avoid that area so that it helps keep her calm.

There have been times when we are in an open park that shes seen one and bolted off after it. Luckily there are no roads nearby and the squirrel is up a tree in seconds. I am yet to know of a cockapoo owner whose dog has caught a squirrel. I am not even sure what Luna would do if she did catch one. She’s scared of most stuff and one little swipe from the squirrel and I think Luna would run a mile!


We have only encountered rabbits a few times on our walk. It was pretty much the same reaction as when she sees a squirrel. A guy who I see on my walk sometimes told me that his cockapoo recently caught a rabbit. He said it didn’t know what to do with it once it caught it. It just carried in its mouth for a bit and then let it go. Hopefully, Luna never gets to catch one.


We have a whole other article all about can cockapoos get on with cats

Luna has not been brought up with cats, but we have one that visits our garden, sits on the fence and almost taunts her. It’s not that scared of her but Luna goes crazy. It is one of the few times she barks in the garden. I really don’t think she knows what she’s messing with as shes only small and a swipe from a cats claw across her face would make her back down.

If your neighbours have cats then it could become a bit of a nightmare as your dog will likely be on constant watch for them.

Can it be trained out of them?

I am sure with a lot of training and strong treats it can be worked on. I just don’t see enough in my local area for me to work on it. Sometimes we can go weeks without seeing a squirrel.

Good Luck!