We know one of the ways dogs communicate with us is through their barking, so expecting them to never ‘talk’ at all is totally unreasonable. And how talkative they are will vary from one dog to another, pretty much the same way one person will be far more verbose than the next.
Cockapoos, because of their intelligence and animated personalities, can be especially chatty and vocal, which isn’t a problem in itself. But what happens when he is barking more than usual, or more frequently?
Why is Your Cockapoo Barking
You could start by keeping a simple journal to write down what triggers a barking session, and how long it goes on for. You might be surprised to find it isn’t as long or as often as you initially thought. Also, as you and your pooch get to know each other, you’ll get to understand what he’s telling you and know what to do.
But what happens when he’s barking at everything, including his own shadow?
If your Cockapoo is starting to become somewhat of a menace with his barking, there are a few things you can do to reduce it. Remember, you’re never going to stop it completely, so be realistic with your expectations and the outcome.
Types of Barking and What to Do
Territorial or Fear barking
Your Cockapoo is your protector and defender and will do whatever it takes to keep you safe. When he sees someone or something on his turf, he’ll start to bark, and as the perceived threat gets closer, his barking will get louder. The same applies when something startles your pup or catches him unaware.
What to do
If you notice your Cockapoo is barking at people and other dogs walking past your house, or when he spots something in the garden, you can try and limit what he sees. For example, you could replace a chain fence with a solid wood one, or you could cover the windows with a transparent film.
This is a short-term solution, and you might need to get a dog behaviourist in to deal with the problem if it his barking persists.
Bored or Lonely barking
Dogs, especially Cockapoos, are social animals and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods at a time. If they’re lonely or bored, they’ll bark to let anyone, and everyone know they’re unhappy.
What to do
There are several ways to deal with this type of barking. Bringing him inside will lessen the noise for your neighbours, but it won’t stop it.
You could have someone pop in for an hour and play with him while you’re at work, or they can take him for a walk. You could also leave something for him to do, like a food-dispensing toy, for example.
Another option is doggy daycare, which you could do two or three times a week. Otherwise, consider getting a companion for your pup.
If your Cockapoo is barking at night, bring him indoors. He’ll be happier, and your family will feel a lot safer.
Greeting or Play barking
Cockapoos love saying hello, whether it’s to people at the door, or other dogs and their owners while out on a walk.
While this isn’t in itself a problem, sometimes the barking is accompanied by jumping, which can be.
What to do
If you want to stop your Cockapoo from going barking mad every time there’s a knock at the door, you’ll need to spend some time training him.
The key, however, is to never reward your pooch for barking when you get home. This means no eye contact, no petting or saying hello until he stops barking and is sitting quietly. Only then should you acknowledge him and give praise.
Attention barking is what happens when your Cockapoo wants something from you. It could be that it’s dinner time, treat time, that he wants to go outside or he wants to play with you.
What to do
Just like you shouldn’t reward your pup for barking when you arrive home, you shouldn’t give in to his attention seeking barks. If for example, he barks because he wants water, and you immediately fill the bowl, you’ve taught him that barking gets him what he wants.
Your Cockapoo is smart so you can teach him other ways to communicate. You could hang a bell on the door handle and show him to ring it when he wants to go outside. Or, move the water dish around before you fill it, so he’ll start pushing it with his nose when he’s thirsty.
It’s important to not shout at your pooch. There’s a good chance he sees it as you barking back, which will only get him more excited. And for your dog, any attention, even negative, is attention.
Separation anxiety barking
Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety will bark when they’re left alone. But they’ll also show other symptoms, which could include depression, pacing or destructive behaviour. This is difficult to treat on your own, and you will probably need to get an animal behaviourist in to assist.
Tips to Controlling Your Cockapoo’s Barking
First of all, don’t shout at your Cockapoo to stop barking. For him, it’s you barking back, and he’s going to join in on the conversation. Speak calmly instead.
Always remember, a tired dog is more often than not a quiet dog. If you know you’re going out for a little while, take him for a walk or play a game of tug of war before you leave.
In some instances, constant barking could be as a result of a medical problem. And for older dogs, it could be a symptom of senility. If you’re unsure as to why your Cockapoo’s barking it’s worth a visit to the vet.
The thing with barking is, it gives your pooch an adrenaline rush, which means it feels good, and if left to carry on, he will. It’s much better to deal with as soon as possible so that it doesn’t become a much bigger problem.