Why do Cockapoos Growl? (How to Stop)

Cockapoos will growl. Just like every other breed of dog! It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong.

Growling is just the way dogs communicate.

The best way to deal with the growling is to work out why they are growling in the first place. Luckily for you, everything you need to know can be found on this page!

why do cockapoos growl
What are the reasons that a Cockapoo might growl? Can you stop Cockapoo growling?

Why Do Cockapoos Growl?

Cockapoos can growl for a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons are good, others not quite so much. One of the critical parts of Cockapoo ownership is knowing what type of growl is what. This will help you understand whether you should be worried or whether you can let that particular growl slide.

Playful Growls

If you are playing with your dog and the growl seems high-pitched and relatively short, they are just playing with you. This is one of those Cockapoo growls that you do not need to worry about. Your Cockapoo is just having fun and letting you know that they are having fun. Cockapoos have a lot of energy!

Warning Growls

This is when you will probably want to start to worry. Warning growls happen when you are doing something your dog doesn’t like, or something else is doing something that they are not a fan of. 

What many people fail to realize is that the Cockapoo is quite a territorial dog. Eventually, your dog will warm up to new animals entering its personal space. Even having strange people around becoming acceptable in time. However, most Cockapoos get worried about strange new people and animals in the early days. It just lets out a little warning growl to let the ‘invader’ know who the space belongs to.

The warning growl will be relatively low pitched and long. You will notice that their body will tense up a little bit, and the facial expression will look ‘angrier’ (well, as angry as this cute little pup can look!)

This will be the same sort of growl that the dog will let out if it is about to start a fight. It will be a warning growl at the start, though. It is telling the other dog to back off. If the other dog does not listen, then a fight will happen. You need to stop it.

Photo under license to Oodle Life from Deposit Photos

Fear or Anxiety Growl

This is a growl that will sound very similar to the warning growl. However, their body language will be completely different. If the dog is fearful or suffering from anxiety, their body language will be more ‘closed up.’ They may be bunched up into a ball, or they may hide under furniture.

Although the Cockapoo is a relatively small dog, it doesn’t suffer from fear or anxiety often. It pretty much has the same ‘issues’ as other dogs. This means that it may be scared of loud or sudden noises. It may be suffering from separation anxiety, or the dog is in a new and unfamiliar situation.

Thankfully, this is one of the growls that you can deal with rather quickly, and we will give you a few tips on that in a short while.

Medical Issue Growl

The Cockapoo, just like every other dog breed, will try and keep medical issues or pain to itself. This is a natural instinct. If a dog was in the wild, it couldn’t let other animals know that it is feeling weak. This can result in death. Obviously, this will not happen in the comfort of your home, but the dog’s instincts do not understand this.

It is infrequent that you will hear a dog growl due to medical issues. If you do, then it means something seriously wrong and will need to be dealt with quickly. The problem is that it is difficult to spot that medical issue growl.

Most medical and injury-related growls happen when the owner touches a particular part of the dog’s body. If this happens, the dog almost winces at the touch. They will then let out a low-pitched growl, similar to that of the warning growl, just with less aggression. (Check the body all over, and don’t forget to check the Cockapoo ears).

Suppose your dog is just lying down and letting out an almost constant low-pitched growl. There doesn’t really seem to be anything that is causing them anxiety. In that case, this could indicate that your dog is sick. In fact, it could show that they are seriously ill, and this means that you will have to take them to the vet.

why do cockapoos growl
Find out the reasons why a Cockapoo might growl in order to stop it from happening

How to Stop a Cockapoo Growling

So, now we know why a cockapoo is growling, how do we deal with it? Well, each type of growl will require a different technique. After all, you won’t be able to deal with a medically-induced growl in the same way you would deal with an aggressive one, right?

The first thing you need to understand is that your dog should never ever be punished for growling. Some people believe that by telling the dog not to growl, they have dealt with the problem.

They haven’t.

Sure, the dog will not be growling anymore, but the problem hasn’t been fixed. You now have a dog that is now going to be scared to growl. This means it is scared to tell you when something is wrong.

Playful Growling

This may not be something that you need to correct. A playful growl is just playful. It is likely not going to lead to any aggressive behavior. Other dog breeds like the Cavapoo or Maltipoo are also known for a playful growl.

If the playful growling does get a bit too much, though, we suggest you do the following:

  • Stop playing with the dog
  • Avoid looking them in the eyes
  • Take a step back once the dog appears to have relaxed.

This is only if you feel like the growling is taking a bit too much of a leap towards aggressive behavior. This is something that is going to be quite rare with cockapoos.

Medical Growling

The solution to this one is pretty obvious, we hope. If you can’t work out why they are growling (i.e., if you do not see a visible injury), then take them to the vet. They can get to the bottom of it.

happy cockapoo puppy running
Photo by Ray Larabie /CC BY

Territorial Growling

This is one that can be a little trickier to deal with. In many cases, we recommend that you work with a dog training professional to ensure that the problem is correctly dealt with. However, we have a few tips that could make the process a little bit easier for you.

If you are ‘out and about’ and your dog starts growling at another dog, then simply block their vision. No. We do not mean that you should be putting your hands over their eyes (or use a dog friendly eye patch). Instead, position your body, so your dog no longer has a clear view of the other dog. You can then ignore their growls and continue to walk.

If you have multiple dogs in the house, try to avoid leaving them alone together. Dogs should only be left alone with one another if you can trust them to not act violently.

If a dog is growling at another dog, they should not be left in the same room.

If you do have dogs growling at one another in the same room, then use distraction techniques. Let them have their own toys and treats.

Let them know that everything is fine and there isn’t really anything to worry about.

Dogs are instinctively territorial because, in the wild, they would be competing for resources. Let the dogs know there are equal resources.

If the dog is growling at other people, this isn’t really something you can ignore. If the growling is relatively minor, let the dog eat treats from the hand of the person they are growling at (if it seems safe to do so). The other person can pet them at the same time.

Most of the time, this tells the dog that the person is safe. They will stop growling pretty quickly. However, this is not a technique we would use if the dog seems really aggressive. You will want to remove the dog from the situation pretty quickly and contact a professional.

As we said, if your dog is overly aggressive, then talk to a professional. A cockapoo that is growling today out of aggression could be biting tomorrow.

Anxiety and Fearful Growling

Since dealing with an anxiety growl is a bit different from other growls, we will share a few tips for that in the next section.

puppy at the vet

Tips to Reduce Cockapoo Anxiety

If your Cockapoo is growling due to anxiety, then the quickest way to deal with the problem is to work out what is causing their concern in the first place. If you can remove the anxiety cause, then the growling will stop. Although, we know that this is not always going to be possible.

If you can, you may want to try and soothe your Cockapoo when they are growling. Pet gently. Talk in a calm voice. You may even want to slip them a treat or two. Let them know that everything is going to be alright.

If you have a new cockapoo, then they may suffer from separation anxiety. This can cause your dog to growl a little bit when you leave the room. You can always bring them with you, but if you are heading out for a few hours, this may not be possible. Some people have found that leaving classical music or even turning on the TV can soothe the dog’s nerves. We often turn on a streaming radio station when we have to be away from our dog for a longer time. He knows all the classic rock hits!

You can also provide them with puzzle toys to use. A simple puzzle feeder is a great slow distraction – and so is stuffing and freezing a Kong. The best recipes are natural and simple when you do stuff Kongs. Use peanut butter or similar to seal the ends!

If your dog is suffering from severe anxiety, you may want to look into ‘calming coats.’ These are essentially coats that your dog can wear. 

Think of them as a warm weighted blanket on a cold night when you are tired. Sounds nice, right?

They provide a small amount of pressure to the dog’s body. This can help to soothe them. These calming coats are fantastic if your pet gets anxiety when traveling or suffer from separation anxiety. 

Conclusion

A Cockapoo growling is entirely natural. In some cases, it may not even be a problem that you need to deal with. However, with anxiety growls, or even aggressive growls, it is a problem that you will need to deal with sooner as opposed to later. If you don’t, the problem could very quickly get out of hand.

Add Comment