Caring for your Cockapoo

For the first 72 hours, get acquainted with your new puppy; you and your new puppy need time, so keep them at home with you. Avoid overwhelming the puppy by introducing them to only you immediate family, and gradually introduce them to any existing pets. Limit taking them around strange dogs until there vaccinations are complete.

•  Your puppy has been on a vaccination and worming program. You will be given a record of this and instructions on further health needs or checks such as follow up vaccines.

•  Remember that your puppy is a baby. They will go to the toilet when they wake up, after they eat, after they play and before they go to sleep. Toilet training should start straight away, whether you are using puppy pads/newspaper or are encouraging them to go straight outdoors. Take them out often to prevent accidents.

•  Make sure your puppy has lots of toys. A variety of textures, styles and sizes is recommended to keep your puppy interested. Don't make the mistake of allowing your puppy to chew on socks, because they don't know the difference between your socks and their own play socks.

•  It is very important that your puppy has access to plenty of fresh water, and food 2-3 times a day. It is crucial that if your puppy doesn't eat and drink enough that you consult your veterinarian.

•  Let your puppy explore the parts of the house they will be allowed in, and show them their crate or bed. We recommend that you use a puppy crate. Your house training will progress quickly if the puppy is confined to a small area whenever you are busy and not watching them carefully.  Try to persuade them to go into their crate or bed during the day, so it is not so strange at night.  If you are using a crate, you may wish to feed them in there at first so that they see it as a positive, safe place to be.

•  When using a crate, always make sure that your puppy is near you and the family. If they whine, tell them “Quiet" and they will catch on. Never remove the puppy while they are whimpering; wait until they have stopped, and then remove them.

•  When you take your puppy out, put them on a collar and lead. Use this as part of your toilet training and take them to an area where you want them to go toilet. Do not change this routine or you will confuse your puppy. Be sure to tell them to "go toilet," or whatever word or phrase you want to use to teach them to go to toilet on command. If they do not relieve themselves, bring them back in and place them in their crate and then take them back out again in 20 minutes. As soon as they go to toilet, give them lots of praise.

Training your Cockapoo

The combination of Poodle and Cocker Spaniel produces a wonderful intelligent dog, and Cockapoos are ideal for training at an early age. Early training should be geared towards building a bond and giving your dog confidence as they grow and develop.

Early socialisation is one of the most important factors in bringing up a balanced and well-behaved dog. Although you cannot allow your puppy to be out and about until after their second vaccination, puppy parties give your puppy a chance to meet other puppies in a controlled and safe environment. Ask your local vet practice if they run any puppy parties, which should give you an opportunity to socialise your puppy and get lots of advice on nutrition, parasites, neutering and further training.

Handling your puppy at an early age will get them used to being touched. You can do this when they are sat or lying on your lap or knee, while they are calm. Start by touching their feet, ears, and tail. Without pully, hold the tail and firmly run your hand from the back to the tip. Remember, small children are fascinated by wagging tails so it helps if the puppy is used to being touched on the tail. Do the same with their ears, and massage their feet between the toes. Check their teeth by gently holding open their jaw. Hopefully, this will help prepare your puppy for those trips to the vet when they will be handled like this as part of the routine check-up.

Get your puppy used to a collar and lead at an early age while you’re at home. Strictly under supervision, let your puppy trail the lead around the house for short periods of time, allowing them to get used to the feel of a collar and lead. Don’t allow your puppy to chew the lead or go unsupervised. You can use a lead as part of your toilet training when you take them outside. If you have a garden, take them frequent short walks around the garden while on the lead. Getting your puppy used to a lead will hopefully make your first proper walk a familiar and pleasant experience for you both.

Get your puppy used to going in the car, even if this is just sitting in the car while stationary. Remember, their first time they travelled in a car with you was the journey home, possibly the next trip was to the vets for their jab, both times may have been a stressful experience for the puppy.

Start to teach the basic commands for sit, stand, and down, but only do this for short sessions using lots of praise and treats. You may wish to use a clicker and gradually introduce more commands if the puppy responds well.

Once your puppy is fully vaccinated and ready to go outside, you may wish to enrol your puppy into puppy classes, that should help in further training and development as your puppy grows.

House-training your Cockapoo

Toilet training your Cockapoo

The key to successful toilet training is plenty of patience, commitment, consistency and repetition. You may get disheartened at times as it can sometimes feel like one step forward and two steps back, but persevere and with consistent training you will get there. Do not expect a puppy to learn overnight and they will all learn at different rates, so expect "accidents" to happen, whilst they are learning and developing.

Puppies need frequent toilet breaks as they are not able to hold themselves for long periods of time until their sphincter muscles mature at around approximately 6-7 months old. Be prepared for a night time toilet break, as while puppies can hold themselves longer when asleep, young puppies often need a break, and you may hear them whimpering in the night, letting you know they need to go to toilet. As puppies grow and develop, they will begin to be able to hold to hold themselves longer.

Puppies generally, if healthy, will avoid going to toilet in areas where they sleep, eat or drink, and crate training can be useful whilst toilet training. Puppies can be put in their crate when they have been to toilet and you are unable to supervise them, or if puppy needs a rest, and with training they will learn to hold themselves for a few hours in the crate. Make sure you take them out for a toilet break as soon as you let them out of crate.

Some people use puppy pads, which are a personal preference, but this can make training longer as when you start removing the pads, you may have to re-train your puppy to go to toilet outside. You may wish to place newspaper down when your puppy goes to toilet, and then re-using this outside in an area where you want to teach your puppy to go to toilet. The smell on the paper will help the puppy recognise and remember where they have been to toilet before, and can easily be disposed of (unlike plastic puppy pads).

The Routine:
Ideally start your routine by taking them out ever half hour to hourly, into the garden or area you wish them to go toilet in. Toilet breaks should be factored in after waking up in the morning, eating or drinking, after a play session, and before going to bed. Regular intervals throughout the day are also key to successful training. Don't play with them during this time, or interrupt them, as this is not playtime but toilet time.

Try and avoid letting the puppy into the garden to go to the toilet without you, and never leave the door open for him to come and go as they please until toilet training has been established.

Use a special word to indicate you want them to go, something like "Go toilet", and when your puppy does go to toilet, give them lots of praise and even a small treat. Gradually decrease giving out treats but continue to praise them after they have been to toilet. The puppy will soon learn their cue to go to toilet. After your puppy has been to the toilet you can have some playtime, so that way they can distinguish between the two. Your puppy will soon learn what they need to do as the routine is repeated, and they will understand going toilet means a reward.

During times when you may not be able to closely supervise your puppy, make sure they are in an area where you don't mind "accidents" happening. If you use a crate then you could use a pen to allow for some additional space for the puppy move around in. Some people also use ‘training bells’, these are bells on a length of material that are placed next to door, or on a pen gate, and you can train your puppy to ring them when they need to go to toilet.

If your puppy does have an accident, it is important that your do not punish them, but instead clear up the "accident" quickly. You can use a pet disinfectant cleaning product to clean and neutralise the area, that should help deter your puppy from reusing the same spot. Telling a puppy off after it has already had an accident will only create anxiety and this is to be avoided, so clear up the accident without any fuss and continue on with your supervision and training.

What are the signs to look out for that puppy needs to go to toilet?

Common signs that suggest the puppy needs to go toilet are the puppy starts circling or sniffing the ground, getting agitated, whimpering and for those who are further into their training routines, may go to the door. Some puppies may not show signs and just squat and go, so watch closely for any indication as it can happen quickly, and you will soon get to know your puppy and when it might need to go to toilet. If you see these signs ensure you get puppy swiftly out to their toilet area, ensuring praise and reward when they have been to toilet.

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