A Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel, either English or American, and a Poodle. The Cocker spaniel was originally bred to work with a hunter and is quite a utility dog. Their duties include everything from hiking for long distances, water retrieval, and flushing game. They are a hard worker and have lots of stamina. The Poodle is also a very active dog and is very intelligent.
As a result of being a mix of these two breeds, the Cockapoo has a lot of energy and needs daily walks and exercise. They are extremely playful and adore this type of stimulation to keep them entertained.
They can be small to medium in size and being a mix will not necessarily have the energy levels of a Cocker Spaniel or a Poodle, but in most cases, they are generally fairly active. Also, with the intelligence they have received from the Poodle, they do require a fair bit of mental stimulation. Boredom is one of the main causes of behavior issues, so it pays to keep them entertained.
There are three main types of exercise that you should provide for your Cockapoo
1. Daily walks
2. Free play
3. Mental stimulation
Cockapoo walking distance
A Cockapoo requires a daily walk of between 20 – 30 minutes at a comfortable pace for them. As many Cockapoos have the stamina of the Cocker Spaniel they can go for much longer distances if you wish.
By observing your Cockapoo you can assess how long of a walk they need. If they are panting excessively, are falling behind, or stop and lay down they have probably had enough. It is probably a good idea to end the walk. If they are happily trotting along you can choose to walk a bit further.
This can be a walk on a leash around the block or can be off leash exploring at the local park. The daily walk is not only a good way to release some pent up energy, but is also a good opportunity for training and is great for building your bond with each other. It also provides mental stimulation by way of the sights, sounds and smells they come across and social interaction with other dogs you meet along the way.
A short daily walk is more beneficial that nothing all week with a long walk at the weekend. If you prefer you can take your Cockapoo for two shorter walks instead.
Obviously, every dog is an individual even if they are the same breed.
Free play and toys
The Cockapoo is a playful little dog. They enjoy a good game with people, other dogs and often by themselves. Provide the opportunity for them to play whenever possible. This will help burn energy, stimulate their mind and strengthen their bond with you. Some suggestions for free play include;
The Cockapoo in most cases is what we term a light or moderate chewer. This means they tend not to be overly destructive with their toys. Dogs like this quite often favor Plush Toys. To learn more about the benefits and uses of your dog’s toys read “Not all dog toys are created equal”
Dog toys that move on their own
There are many dog toys that rattle, roll and move about by themselves. These are ideal for your Cockapoo to get them having fun and active play. Read “Dogs toys that move on their own” to learn more.
Self Playing Dog Toys
There are a variety of dog toys that your dog can use to play by themselves. These are great for times when your dog is home alone, you don’t have the time or you are otherwise occupied. This way your dog can still get some physical activity and mental stimulation without your direct involvement. See “Self Playing Dog Toys” for some ideas.
Play with other dogs
Provide the opportunity for your Cockapoo to play with other dogs. This is not only great to burn energy and stimulate their mind, but teaches them important social skills.
There are countless fun games that you can play with your dog. Check out “47 Boredom Busters and games for dogs” for ideas.
Cockapoos generally love to chase a ball. In fact, you could throw the ball a hundred times and they would still want more. If you Cockapoo falls into this group you may want to consider getting them an automatic ball launcher. Due to their intelligence, they can learn to use one of these fairly quickly. Read “Automatic Ball Launchers” for more information.
Your Cockapoo will get some mental stimulation and enrichment from their daily walk and time spent with free play. However, it is a good idea to provide other activities that stimulate the mind. Mental exercise can burn as much energy as physical exercise.
Many dog behavior problems are the direct result of boredom. Read “Mental enrichment and mind stimulation for dogs” to learn about the six categories of enrichment for dogs.
Some ideas to provide mental stimulation include;
Puzzle toys are a great way to test your dog’s intelligence and improve their problem-solving skills. Check out “Top 7 puzzle toys for dogs” for my top picks.
Kong toys which you stuff with food and treats work in much the same way. Read “How to use a Kong for dogs“.
Puzzle toys are great for times when your dog is home alone. If your dog is home alone while you are at work or out you may find some helpful information at “Leaving a dog alone while at work”
Teaching new commands and tricks is also excellent to provide mental enrichment. A popular game that involves learning is to teach them the names of their toys. Dogs can learn hundreds of words and names.
Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs and has many benefits including keeping them busy and occupying and stimulating their minds. To learn more about the benefits of and the best chew toys see here.
How much should you exercise a Cockapoo puppy
The exercise suggestions above relate to a healthy adult Cockapoo. The exercise needs of a puppy are quite different. With puppies, their bones, muscle, and joints are still growing and developing.
Overly strenuous walks are not necessary and in fact, could possibly cause harm. An activity that is high impact on the joints should also be avoided.
The best exercise for a young puppy is free play with age-appropriate toys. Socializing with other puppies or friendly adult dogs is a great way to burn some of that puppy energy along with teaching them the social skills they need.
As your Cockapoo puppy gets older you can take them for short informal walks allowing them to sniff and explore and get used to being on a leash. Puppies under three months probably haven’t had all their vaccinations so shouldn’t be walked in public. Check with your vet when it is alright to venture out to the park or street.
The general rule of thumb for walking a puppy is around 5 minutes for every month of age. So, for example for a 4-month-old puppy, a walk of 15 minutes to 20 minutes is enough. Monitor you Cockapoo puppy on the walk for signs such as lagging behind, lying down or panting. End the walk if they seem too tired.
For more on exercise for your Cockapoo puppy read “How to exercise a puppy”
How much exercise does an older Cockapoo need
As a dog gets older they become less active and have lower energy levels. However, it is still important that they remain reasonably active to keep their joints and muscles mobile and to manage their weight. Read ” Dog exercise for a senior dog” to learn more.
Many dogs develop arthritis as they age. Exercise for them becomes a balancing act. It is important to keep their joints mobile and manage weight, but too much can make them sore. Read “How to exercise an arthritic dog” to learn more.
So, how much exercise does a Cockapoo need? Being a mix of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle they are relatively active, have fairly high energy levels and love to play.
Daily exercise should be at least one walk either on a leash or off leash at the park for 30 minutes or more. In addition to the daily walk, plenty of free play and games and mental stimulation is required.