Before we answer the question, “can Cockapoos Make Good Gun Dogs,” we should delve into the background of the dogs that make up this fantastic hybrid dog.
You are probably aware that the Cockapoo is a crossbreed of the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. There are three possible Cockapoo sizes because breeders can use the Toy, Miniature, Standard Poodle, and American or English Cocker Spaniel. The typical cross is the Mini Cockapoo; however, crossing a Cocker with the Standard Poodle is less common.
They were both originally bred to be hunting dogs. Poodles were employed to retrieve from the water, and Cockers were used for flushing and collecting game from the undergrowth. Because of their background, both dogs are incredibly intelligent and highly trainable.
Are Cockapoos Good Hunting Dogs?
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The Show Cocker Spaniel is probably quieter than the bustling and active Working Cocker Spaniel. Still, regardless of breed type, they all like working, utilizing their intelligence to discover prey and bring it back to their master. Their intelligence, as well as their love of exercise, make them ideal for this job.
When poodles were first bred, they were primarily used for hunting and retrieving. Even though they didn’t chase and hunt wild game, they were experts at retrieving shot birds from the swamps and lakes where they lived. Poodles are top retrieving dogs and not what most people imagine.
Unquestionably if you have the skills, time, and patience, you can train most dogs to be a gun dogs. With the genetics and history of the two parent dogs, the Cockapoo would be ideal for training as a gun dog. However, if you’re serious about training a Cockapoo to be a gun dog, you would do better choosing a working Cocker mix.
That’s not to say that a Cockapoo with a show Cocker heritage doesn’t have the same energy levels or enjoy haring around in the undergrowth.
Cockapoo Working Dog
The Cockapoo undoubtedly inherits the parent’s characteristics. Those who own a Cockapoo know that they are a fun-loving, curious breed that thrives in social situations. When left alone, they have a problem with separation anxiety if left for too long.
Because of their active minds, they require mental and physical exercise. To keep these dogs healthy, they must continue to learn and grow.
Often when a Cockapoo is acting up, for example, barking problems, dominance at home, and even aggression towards other dogs can be a sign that the Cockapoo is not getting enough mental and physical stimulation.
Gun dog training can be an excellent way to provide the activity levels a Cockapoo needs. In addition, owners often find they build an incredible bond with the dog, and the dog is so much better for the training, even down to the dog becoming calmer, better behaved, and far easier to control.
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.
Is The Cockapoo A Working Dog?
If you are the proud owner of a Cockapoo, you might wonder why your dog heads for water whenever the chance arises. The Poodle half of your Cockapoo are renowned retrievers from water. So it makes perfect sense your Cockapoo loves the stuff. Poodles are intelligent and easy to train, making them excellent working dogs. It follows that most Cockapoos will inherit these characteristics, also making them ideal working dogs.
Hunting Snobbery – Cockapoo Gun Dog
Should you decide to train your Cockapoo as a gun dog, I’m sure you’re going to be met with some frowns, head-scratching, and possibly one or two scathing comments. But I wouldn’t let that put you off. As mentioned, you can train any dog to be a gun dog, and the Cockapoo’s heritage definitely implies they have the ability in them. As one person suggested on a hunting forum, refer to your dog as a Cocker X if the teasing irritates you.
“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.