This isn’t a question I’ve seen asked a lot, but I think as long as you get them used to the sound of a gun at an early age then I think it’s possible. A lot of people use Cocker Spaniels as gun dogs as they are naturally a hunting dog. Also, poodles were bred to retrieve game from water, so they are a water dog which is probably why your cockapoo loves water so much.
Lets Debate Whether They Can
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Helps Keep Them Stimulated
If your dog lacks focus and has some issues then training them to be a gun dog could be great for them. It can really help them focus and correct and mental and physical stimulation that they might need.
Some Examples I Found
I did some searching on the internet and came across these example videos and articles that you might find helpful. They all talk about cockapoos being good gun dogs.
- Here’s a good video of a Cockapoo doing some retrieving.
- This very obedient guy being trained to the whistle.
- Pepsi the Cockapoo wins praise in this article.
Working Cocker Spaniel vs Show Cocker Spaniel
A lot of what I found all mentioned that it will be better if your cockapoo is bred from a working cocker spaniel as these are more active and more likely to have hunting instincts. Luna is bred from a show cocker but at times she has so much energy, so I hate to think how much energy a cockapoo bred from a working cocker spaniel would have.
There will no doubt be some weird comments from fellow shooting enthusiasts that a hybrid designer dog won’t be suitable to take on a shoot. Check out the comment below as one example I found on a shooting forum,
“I’m sure you’ll be able to train and use it as a gun dog but would you really want to turn up to a shoot with a cockerpoo? unless you’re wearing pink tweeds”
Another example I found was about a guy that owns a Labradoodle which is similar enough to a cockapoo, just a bit bigger. He said the following and seemed to agree that a cockapoo will make a good gun dog and just to ignore what was said by others.
“Tell all the doubters to f**k off mate. I have an 8-year-old labradoodle who is a pleasure to work and he has annoyed a few gundog men as he is a very good dog. starts in august on the moor and finishes 1st of Feb on our rough shoot, he isn’t perfect as I’m not a brilliant trainer but he works hard and is an honest dog.”
As we have seen, with some training and introduction to the sound of the gun at an early age a cockapoo bred from a working cocker spaniel can become a good gun dog. Ignore the doubters and snide comments and prove them wrong. Hopefully, your dog will end up becoming better than theirs!