If you have a Cockapoo (aka a Spoodle), biting should never typically be that much of an issue. This dog breed is so loved because of how friendly it is. However, every so often, you will get a Cockapoo that bites.
Thankfully, for the most part, this should be an easy problem to resolve. It becomes even easier if you are training your Cockapoo from a puppy to avoid doing it.
Why Do Cockapoos Bite?
Before you can work out how to deal with a Cockapoo biting, you need to know why it is biting in the first place. Dogs will never bite somebody for no reason. Luckily, 99% of the time, it should be easy to work out why the Cockapoo is biting in the first place.
Self Defense (Cockapoo is scared)
If a dog feels that it is under threat, then it is going to bite. If somebody ran towards your dog in a threatening manner or perhaps screamed at them, then there is a strong chance that the Cockapoo will believe it is under threat and bite. You can’t blame the dog in this situation.
You could almost guarantee that you would do the same if somebody ran towards you in a threatening manner.
To Protect You! (Cockapoos are loyal)
Your Cockapoo sees you as their pack leader. If they believe that you are under threat, then they will do absolutely everything in their power to try and protect you from this threat.
You may be surprised to know that this is one of the main reasons children end up being bitten by dogs. If the child is jumping all over you, the dog believes that the owner is being attacked.
They are overexcited (Zest for life)
If a Cockapoo is over-stimulated for any reason, then it may end up biting its owner. The dog is trying to have a bit of fun, then there being any aggressiveness in their biting.
However, it is still something that you may want to keep a lookout for if it seems to be happening regularly.
The Cockapoo does not understand boundaries.
This happens, mostly when the dog is a puppy. It can also happen if the dog is a little bit untrained. A dog is always trying to discover the boundaries that it has. It has to have that point of reference where it knows that biting will be a bad thing. Without that point of reference, it will bite.
Luckily, this is one of the most straightforward biting problems to deal with. Most dogs will work out pretty quickly that biting will cross a boundary.
The Cockapoo is startled
If you wake up the dog suddenly, or they hear a loud noise, then they may get startled. This can lead to some biting.
Your Cockapoo is sick or suffering from an injury
Some dogs will use biting to grab your attention if they are sick or suffer from an injury. If your dog has just randomly started to bite, and there appear to be other issues in their behavior, this could be why.
Your Cockapoo has had its natural instincts triggered
Cockapoos, like all dogs, originate from wild dogs. While the domestic version of the dog is a bit easier to deal with than wild dogs, some traits cannot be eliminated. This includes the desire to chase prey and the like.
So, for example, if your dog sees a child running or they see a toy move across the ground quite fast, it may tap into that natural instinct, and they may end up biting somebody.
Should Dogs Be Punished For Biting?
Under absolutely no circumstances should you be punishing your dog for biting. It doesn’t help, and there is a strong chance that it can make the problem worse. This is because, with the punishment, you are really encouraging that aggressive behavior.
The best bet is to clap loud and say “No” when your dog is caught biting. This should let them know that it is not acceptable to do that.
Your next job will be to try and encourage your dog to do something else. Distract them, e.g., let them play with a toy. Once they have been distracted, you can praise them.
Pretty much all of this needs to happen within a few seconds of each other. This way, your dog can associate the positive reinforcement with not biting.
How To Stop a Cockapoo From Biting as a Puppy
It is far easier to stop a Cockapoo puppy from biting than an adult dog. The following tips should help you out. In almost all cases, these will completely eliminate the biting.
However, suppose you still run into issues. In that case, you may want to talk to a dog behavioral specialist or even take a trip to the vet. It could indicate that there are some serious problems at play.
Socialization from a young age
As soon as your Cockapoo is ready to face the big world, then allow it to socialize with other dogs. It is around this time that your Cockapoo is going to start to learn about boundaries. It will also learn that other dogs are something that is not frightening.
If you can, you may also want your Cockapoo to associate with children at this age. However, do make sure that you watch the child at all times to guarantee that they are ‘protected.’
Train your dog
There is a reason why these three commands are taught first to a dog:
- Lay (we use drop for our dogs)
Sure, it is fantastic that we can teach our dogs tricks. However, we also need to use these tricks to control the dog. A significant reason why Cockapoos bite is because they lack impulse control.
These commands are teaching them to control themselves a little better. It may be all that is required to eliminate Cockapoo biting completely.
Distract the dog
Remember what we said before? You must distract dogs if they are biting. This means that they need to have a lot of toys to play with.
Toys may come in handy anyway. Some dogs bite out of boredom, so they are less likely to get bored if they have toys available. This, ultimately, means that they are less likely to bite too.
If you do play with your dog, then try to keep your hands away from their mouth. This will help to prevent biting. Tug of War will be a good game for this as your hand won’t ever go near its mouth.
Use crate training
If your dog is caught biting, then put them in their crate. Do this immediately, and do it every single time. Eventually, the dog will start to associate going into the crate with biting, and they will avoid doing it.
Water Spray Bottle
Dogs hate being sprayed with water. If your dog regularly bites, then give them a spray in the face with some water. We can guarantee that they will stop biting you rather quickly.
The Steps to Stop a Cockapoo Puppy Biting
Remember what we said earlier about how puppies will often bite because they try to work out boundaries? This is something that we can use to our advantage when we are trying to train our pets not to bite us.
If you have ever watched some puppies playing, then you will know that they bite one another. It will only be soft bites, but they will do it. They are just testing boundaries.
It is unlikely that your puppy will have another puppy to play with. This means that it is your job to play the role of another dog.
We encourage you to allow your puppy to nip at you a bit. Let them play with your hand or feet with their mouth. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt. If your dog bites you a little bit too hard, then make a short and abrupt noise. Not too loud. Just a quick noise. This will tell the dog that whatever they did to you is not OK.
This is not a training method that is going to work overnight. It can take many weeks for the dog to learn that some biting is bad. However, this remains one of the most effective training methods for Cockapoo puppies.
Make sure that the dog has easy access to a collection of toys too. They can chew on these to their heart’s content. It will probably prevent them from chewing on you.
Preventing an Adult Dog Biting You
Preventing an adult Cockapoo from biting can be a little bit more difficult. This is because the behavior would have been ingrained into them over a few years. It isn’t impossible. It is just tricky.
Your first step is to try and work out why the Cockapoo is biting in the first place. Suppose you can establish the cause of their biting. In that case, you can eliminate the cause of the biting, or at least help your dog deal with it in a bit more of a manageable way.
Your best bet when dealing with an adult dog, however, is to ignore their biting. If the dog bites you, then do nothing about it. Do not punish them. Do not reward them. Ignore it.
When your dog starts to realize that there will be no attention given to them when they bite, they will stop doing it. You should tell any guests that you have in your home to do the same.
We know that having a dog bite you can be challenging. However, 99% of the time, the dog wouldn’t be biting you that hard anyway. It will be a quick nip.
If your Cockapoo doesn’t know its basic training, e.g., sit, stay, etc., then work on those. The idea is to shape your dog’s behavior so that they are much less likely to act upon impulse.
You may also want to play with your dog a lot less. Not in terms of ‘fun’ play, e.g., throwing the toys towards them so they can retrieve them. We are talking about the rough play when your dog may be prone to biting you.
This is because that biting will often extend outside of playtime. After all, you are telling them it is OK.
Training your Cockapoo not to bite is a long-winded process. It can take weeks, sometimes months. However, with a strict training regime and perseverance, we are positive the biting will eventually be eliminated.