In this new post I wanted to share a blog which I wrote a while ago:
In this new blog I am writing about a topic that is a little different that is very close to my heart. When we first got Mollie our very cute little female Cockapoo dog. I wrote a fun light hearted piece introducing to our new pup at the time Mollie to you all (read HERE if you missed it). If you are a regular follower of my social media site’s, Facebook, Instagram stories and snap-chat you will have seen our gorgeous little dog Mollie featured quite a bit! It is safe to say that we absolutely adore her and she has stolen our hearts! Getting Mollie was one of the best decisions to date and I can’t imagine our lives without her now. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who message me regularly or who have stopped us when we are out walking her to ask what type of dog she is and about the breed. I also get regular emails and social media messages asking about the cockapoo breed from people seeking advise who might be planning of getting a little furry friend of their own.
So I thought I would cover some pointers here in the one place, on my website. If you are interested in getting a dog of your own or want to find out more about the Cockapoo breed then this will hopefully be a helpful read.
Making the decision to get a dog:
When we first spoke about getting a dog, we were a little hesitant as we both have busy lifestyle’s. We were also living in an apartment at the time with no garden. We took introducing a dog into our lives seriously and we didn’t want to make a decision to get a dog only to realize afterwards some time after that we didn’t have time for it or that it was being neglected or not given the exercise and attention it would need from both of us. It is a big commitment at the end of the day.
One evening, Rory got in contact with a man who was selling two gorgeous Cockapoo pups on the Dublin road. He already had three dogs and just didn’t have room for both pups. So off we went to visit him to see the pups one evening after work. We had no intention at this stage in actually buying a dog, we only wanted to have a ‘look’!! As I mentioned there were two pups, being Mollie and her little brother. We hated separating them and I found it very upsetting but we could only take one dog. Looking back now, I wish we took both pups so that Mollie had some company. Mollie waddled over to us full of energy and enthusiasm and I instantly fell in love with her cute little personality. A few minutes later, we she was ours, we sorted out certificates/chip details etc and drove back to the house!
I will never forget Rory looking at me nervously laughing and saying ‘Uh Zara, what have we done?!’ joking that we had possibly rushed the decision. But once we saw her, we just couldn’t leave her and we both loved her little cute character from the get go so there really was no turning back at that stage – she was ours! The fun and games started from that moment on. Puppy toilet training, trying to keep her entertained, her hyper-activeness, the howling at night time and the constant chewing of shoes, bras and slippers!!!
Three years on, she is fully trained thankfully (bar the jumping up on the couch – but that’s our fault as we allow it!!) and has outgrown the chewing stage, Phew! As I said, if you are thinking of adopting or buying a dog of your own PLEASE make sure you are all in 100% and that you ready for this commitment and that you have time to look after them and train them properly. They too only have one little life and deserve the very best from their owner/family.
This breed is half cocker spaniel and half minature poodle. As you may know, poodles despite their fluffy goofy appearance are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. Mollie is extremely clever, picks up instructions and has learnt very quickly. Expect this clever nature from your cockapoo dog. They really are the most lovable, affectionate, good natured dogs. I love how they do not shed, so you don’t have to worry about dog hairs around the house or on your clothes. They are also thankfully odorless so the house doesn’t smell like dog! As pups they are little balls of energy and need a lot of attention. You will NEED to walk them every day for at least 30-45mins.. We walk mollie every day for a 30min walk and when the weather is better and on weekends we will bring her on longer walks on the beach, forests and hikes. I find that Mollie, like most dogs, just loves the beach where she can run as fast and as far as she wants. She loves the freedom. With their cocker spaniel blood, they are natural retrievers. Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs in the United Kingdom, with the term cocker deriving from their use to hunt the Eurasian woodcock. When the breed was brought to the United States, it was bred to a different standard, which enabled it to specialize in hunting the American woodcock. So on that note, always bring a ball or stick with you to the beach or open spaces and throw it as far as you can to stretch your little cockapoo’s legs!
Cockapoo’s love people and on walks they will want to stop and say hello to every person and dog that they meet!! They have a great temperament and very rarely will Mollie growl or show signs of aggressive behavior. She is a bit of a chicken to be honest and if a big dog approaches us on a walk she will hide behind our legs for reassurance. Cockapoo’s are excellent around children and love playing with them. Mollie has interacted and being around children as young as a three month year old baby and she wags her tail with excitement and is always very very soft and gentle in the baby’s company. As much as cockapoo’s have a good temperament, we are still aware that they are dogs at the end of the day so you should always keep a close watch on your dogs when playing with children. The child may accidentally aggravate the dog, pull its tail or annoy it and a dog will react if hurt, so it is hugely important that the owner never leaves their dog unattended in the company of children.
Exercise & nutrition:
Obviously dog’s cant be expected to be confined to a garden or kept indoors for too long. That would drive anyone crazy and pent up energy can result in behavior. We walk Mollie every day for 30-45mins. We take turns to fit in with work and our schedules. Beach, forest, open spaces, bring a ball, run. Dogs encourage you to get out , fresh air, active and exercise. As for food, we started Mollie off with puppy food, dry food and she moved to adult food after a year. Seek advise from your local vet if you are unsure of how many times a day you need to feed your dog. Large dogs like our great dane Holly in Donegal will obviously need a lot more food than a smaller dog. If you are getting a new pup I would advise that you wait until the evenings are brighter in the Spring/Summer months and the weather is a little dryer so you can bring them to lot’s of new places for walks. I would also stay away from wet branded food such as pedigree chum which are known to lack the nutrition your dog needs. If in doubt ask you vet when you are bringing your new pup in for her vaccinations. That’s another thing, your dogs should be micro chipped and also vaccinated when pups and regular check ups and vet visits are a must throughout their adult life. We bring Mollie to InnisFree veterinary in Sligo which are amazing with her and they have a text system set up which reminds us when we need to get Mollie’s tick and worming tablets as well as any vaccinations she may need. Stick to one vet and build up a relationship with them.
Potty training your cockapoo pup (the not so fun part!!) :
Testing, patience, consistency (same time, regularly, let them out every half hour, they will get used to this routine and learn that they will let you out when they need to go. Mollie stands at the back door and barks if she needs to go out. Encourage them with praise when and a treat. Lots of praise. People get angry and frustrated with their puppy when they make a mess but just don’t forget they are still very young and still learning and if you do not consistency teach them what they do need to go or where they do need to go then they will not understand. They want to please you and keep you happy so they are keen and eager to learn what you want them to do. I do not agree with rubbing a puppy’s nose in their soil or hitting them if they make a mistake. I strongly feel that this is almost like bully scare tactics. Dogs are generally very smart and pick things up easy if you are consistent with your training. Puppies react better and learn quicker with praise. Your tone of voice should change if they get it wrong, they say it should be low, deep and strong and when they get it right heighten the pitch of your voice so it is more cheerful and they will soon catch on. Remember they do not speak English, haha, so shouting a lot of words at them will NOT work. Use the same words over and over and be consistent with them. For example, if we bring Mollie out to go to the toilet we use the word ‘toilet’ and point at the grass. If she does something wrong we use ‘NO’ and deepen the tone of our voices so she knows we are not pleased. Simple and easy for her to get used to. If praising her we only use ‘Good girl’. Keep it simple and stick to the same words that you use over and over again and your dog will get used to recognizing them. Try to see things from their perspective and have a little patience. They may have came from an owner who did not train them so everything you are teaching them now is new to them.
Dog’s with longer curly hair do need to be well maintained and groomed. If you have a cockapoo their hair is quite fluffy and curly so you will need to make an appointment with a professional groomer every few months. Groomers take your dog for 2-3 hours max and usually charge anything from €30-€45. Make sure they also clip their nails and clean out your cockapoos ears. With a cockapoo’s long droopy ears which they iterated from the cocker spaniel they are prone to ear infections. To avoid this happening ask your groomer to clean their ears also and just keep an eye on them yourself too. Some hot water and a cloth will lift any dirt off that might cause infections.
Dog – sitting duties:
Owning a dog is ways is similar to owning a child!!! No joke! You need to make plans if going away for a weekend, where will we leave her, will they walk her, will she be treated well etc. The dog has to factor into all of your plans and also into the lives of the people who will be looking after the dog while you are away. Luckily we have friends and family members who have been so helpful with looking after Mollie for us when we go away. Not everyone is an animal lover and as Mollie is an indoor door, some people do not like the idea of the dog staying in their house, and that is totally understandable, but thankfully everyone has been a great help to us so far. This is also where you need to make the person who will be minding your dog aware of the key words you use when instructing your dog (as silly as you will feel telling them!!). They will thank you in the long run when they are trying to instruct or communicate with your dog. You will also need to make your dog sitter aware of food and water intake and how much your dog needs, discuss how many times your dog needs let out to go to the toilet ie: maybe first thing in the morning and a few times throughout the day (if an indoor dog). Try to leave your dog with someone who is an active person and who enjoys walking.
Reasons you should get a dog:
- Great company
- If you have lots of free time you can give to your dog
- If you are an active person
Reasons you should not get a dog:
- Novelty toy idea
- Lazy, don’t exercise
- Away at weekend, travel a lot
- Long working hours
So I hope that anyone who is toying with the idea of getting a cockapoo dog has found this blog helpful with helping you to make up your mind. Cockapoo’s are a lovable, energetic and good natured breed and I would definitely get another cockapoo dog again.
THANK’S FOR READING,