About Cockapoo Puppies

The fact is, well-socialised Cockapoo’s are more likely to have well-socialised puppies. Pups often mirror their mothers' calm or fearful attitude toward people; this is a normal part of their socialisation. But you can play a vital role, too, by petting, talking, and playing with puppy to help him develop good "people skills."  

Puppies are usually weaned at six to seven weeks, but are still learning important skills as their mother gradually leaves them for longer periods of time. Ideally, puppies should stay with their littermates (or other "role-model" dogs) for eight weeks. Puppies separated from their littermates too early often fail to develop appropriate "social skills," such as learning how to send and receive signals, what an "inhibited bite" (acceptable mouthing pressure) means, how far to go in play-wrestling, and so forth. Play is important for puppies because it increases their physical coordination, social skills, and learning limits. By interacting with their mother and littermates, puppies explore the ranking process ("who's in charge") and also learn "how to be a dog."

Skills not acquired during the first eight weeks may be lost forever. While these stages are important and fairly consistent, a dog's mind remains receptive to new experiences and lessons well beyond puppyhood. Most dogs are still puppies, in mind and body, through the first two years of life.

General guidelines for puppies' stages of development:

Birth to Two Weeks: Neonatal Period. Puppy is most influenced by his mother. Senses of touch and taste are present at birth.

Two to Four Weeks: Transitional Period. Puppy is most influenced by his mother and littermates. Eyes open, teeth begin to come in, and senses of hearing and smell develop. Puppy begins to stand, walk a little, wag tail, and bark. By the fourth or fifth week, eyesight is well-developed.

Three to Six Months: Ranking Period. Puppy is most influenced by "playmates," which may now include those of other species. Puppy begins to see and use ranking (dominance and submission) within the household (the puppy's "pack"), including humans. Puppy begins teething (and associated chewing). At four months of age, puppy experiences another fear stage.

Six to Eighteen Months: Adolescence. Puppy is most influenced by human and dog "pack" members. Puppy goes through a second chewing phase when he is about 8 months old - part of exploring territory. During the 7-9 months stage, puppy increases exploration of dominance, including challenging humans. If not spayed or neutered, puppy experiences beginnings of sexual behaviour.