The following is an excerpt from "The Complete Guide to Cockapoo Dogs" by David Anderson. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.
Author Credit: David Anderson
The preparation is not over yet! You may be in the process of figuring out when you’re going to bring your new Cockapoo home, but there’s still some more work to do to ensure the transition into your home is as smooth as possible. It might seem excessive to go through all of these measures just for a dog, but you’ll find that the preparation is absolutely worth it.
This chapter will walk you through a few important things to consider in the early days of having your new Cockapoo at home. It will discuss things you need to arrange early on, plus a few items you should have on hand. Finally, we’ll break down the average costs of owning a Cockapoo in the first year of its life so that there are no surprises for you down the road.
Dogs are perceptive creatures, and the Cockapoo is even more so than other breeds. They have a way of noticing how you feel by paying attention to your non-verbal cues. They can tell when you’re happy and they know when you’re upset. Sometimes, dogs look to their people to tell them how they should feel. If you’re happy and excited, then your dog will mirror that and respond similarly. If you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, your dog may take that as a cue to panic because something is obviously wrong. They may not understand that their arrival is the cause of the stress, but they’re still likely to feel some of that anxiety. So, the less stress you feel about your new arrival, the smoother things will go for everyone in the household.
The First Night Home
The first night at home will likely be pretty rough. Your dog will be in a completely new setting without their mother or siblings. They will cry a lot and want you to soothe them. Also, if your Cockapoo is a puppy, they will also need to go to the bathroom frequently. If you’re not used to getting up multiple times in the middle of the night, this will be a big change for you.
If you’re crate training (which you should seriously consider), you may want to put the crate in a place close to where you sleep. That way, your dog will know that you are near and haven’t abandoned them, and you can hear when they cry because they need to go to the bathroom or need to be comforted. Especially in the early days, prepare for your sleep to be interrupted by your dog. As your dog becomes more comfortable in your home, you can move their crate or bed further away. Some owners like to sleep with their dog in their bed. While this is completely up to personal preference, just remember that there will be times where you don’t want your Cockapoo hogging your bed. You can push them off, but they might not understand why zthey can sleep there sometimes but not at other times.
If you want to prevent accidents during the night, prepare to get up every few hours to walk your dog outside. A puppy cannot hold their potty for more than an hour or two, so unless you want to clean up a mess in the morning, you’ll have to get out of bed and go outside when they cry.
Nighttime is a good opportunity to close all the other doors in your house and set up gates. If you leave your home open to your dog, you may change your mind about that decision when you wake up the next morning. If you’re not awake to supervise your dog’s movements, you may discover that they like to explore and soothe themselves by chewing on your furniture. An unsupervised dog can get into a lot of trouble very quickly, so minimize risk by keeping the majority of your home off-limits at bedtime.
Your first night might be very stressful for your new dog, and this stress may not fully dissipate for a week or two. Your dog is learning how to live life with a new human in a new place without their family members surrounding them. Their cries at nighttime the first few days are no indication of their overall happiness with you—they’re just getting used to their new home. Before long, they’ll be sleeping through the night.
How to Find a Vet
During the first week or two, it’s important to decide where you are going to take your Cockapoo for their veterinary care. If you live in a city where there are plenty of choices, it can be hard to decide. Friends, breeders, rescue volunteers, and trainers are all good sources for referrals. Also, prices and services will vary from office to office, so you may need to do some “shopping” to find one that fits your needs. For example, the small clinic closest to your home may be a fine place for checkups and general care, but they may not have a laboratory or surgical facilities. This means that if your dog needs advanced care, they would have to go to a different clinic. Either option is valid, but it’s a good idea to know the full range of services before you settle on a vet.
If your regular vet does not have emergency services, it’s recommended to find your closest emergency vet clinic and write down their contact information. You never know when something bad might happen to your Cockapoo, and you don’t want to wait for an emergency to start your research. Keep the phone number and address stored in your cell phone so you can quickly contact and locate them if an accident happens.
Also, within the first month or two of dog ownership, you’ll want to find a puppy training class for your new Cockapoo. All dogs should go through some training course, but this is especially important for smart breeds like the Cockapoo. There are many benefits to continuous training, which will be covered in detail in later chapters.
A puppy training course is a good way to learn how to train a new dog, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with training. Every dog is different, and if you’ve trained a dog in the past, you might find that your Cockapoo has a different personality with a different learning style. A trainer-led session is great for picking up tips and tricks for turning your Cockapoo puppy into an obedient adult.
These classes will focus on the very basics of obedience. You’ll likely practice walking your dog on a leash without pulling and simple commands like “sit” and “down”. Your puppy is still learning on how to live with a human, so it takes a lot of practice for them to realize that they need to listen to you and follow your lead. A puppy class won’t necessarily prepare them for the show ring, but it will give them a good foundation on which to build their training. Also, it gives the owner the opportunity to seek advice from an expert trainer. It’s possible to train your dog without formal classes, but they’re incredibly useful when working with a new dog.
There are tons of different trainers with different methods. If you do a quick search, you’ll find trainers who conduct lessons at their home, trainers who work out of pet stores, and some that train dogs at a dog club. Any of these options are fine. When choosing a trainer, look for one that uses training methods that coincide with your values for your pup. For example, if you want to focus on using positive-only techniques, and you find a trainer that is stern and uses punishments, it’s probably not a good pick. Choose a trainer that is knowledgeable and has a good reputation within the community or the club they work for.
Before you bring your dog home, you should already have the necessary supplies on hand so you don’t have to leave your dog at home alone to go shopping. It may seem like you’re buying a ton of things all at once, but remember, some of these supplies will last you the entirety of your dog’s life.
First, you’ll need a sturdy collar and leash. A flat, buckled collar is good for daily use. You’ll want something that fits snugly but is comfortable for your dog to wear every day. On this collar, you’ll want to put a personalized tag on the front loop in case your dog gets lost and needs to be identified. When it comes to leashes, a four- or six-foot leash is all you’ll need. Retractable leashes are popular, but they make it hard to control your dog. A strong, nylon leash that can withstand your dog’s strength is perfect.
Next, you’ll need dishes, food, and treats. Because Cockapoos have floppy ears, they get infected easily when they get wet. An elevated water dish allows them to drink water without it getting into their ears. Pet stores sell food and water dish platforms that lift the dishes far enough off the ground to prevent this problem. Or you might even decide to make one yourself! A good puppy formula is important for giving your Cockapoo the nutrients they need to grow into healthy adults. Later chapters will cover food and nutrition. Treats are vital to keep on hand at all times. A good treat can transform your Cockapoo from a wild animal into a perfect canine citizen. If you want to train your dog to do anything, you’ll need to have some tasty treats.
Toys and chews are also important for your dog’s upbringing. Cockapoos are extremely playful and love to have a good time. A variety of sturdy toys can keep their interest for hours, preventing them from acting out from boredom. You don’t have to spoil your dog rotten, but a good selection of toys will make your best friend very happy. Choose a toy that’s fun to chase around the yard, like a ball or a Frisbee, something that is interactive, like a tug rope, something that works their mind, like a food puzzle, and something that gives into their animal instinct, like a squeaky toy. These basics will keep your dog from getting tired of the same old games every day.
It’s also necessary for your dog to have something to chew on. Otherwise, they will gnaw on everything you own. It’s only natural for dogs, especially puppies, to chew. It calms them down and keeps their mind busy. Teething puppies need to chew because it helps them work their new teeth through their gums. Choose a size-appropriate chew toy that won’t break or splinter into small pieces that can be choked on. Pet stores sell different types of real and synthetic bones and animal materials to keep your dog busy.
Next, you’ll need grooming supplies. A Cockapoo’s fur needs to be brushed regularly to keep from getting matted. Because they don’t shed a lot of fur and have a single coat, a basic pin brush should be enough to keep your dog’s fur tangle-free and shiny. It might also be a good idea to keep a bottle of dog shampoo on hand in case your pup gets into something dirty or stinky. If you plan on cutting your dog’s toenails, a good set of clippers will come in handy. Find a pair that cut the nail instead of crushing it. Some clippers even come with a guard that prevents you from cutting too much of the nail off if your dog gets squirmy. A toothbrush and toothpaste are also necessary for your dog’s oral health. Pet stores sell brushes that are specially designed to fit a dog’s mouth and come with toothpaste with dog-friendly flavors, like poultry or peanut butter.
Finally, you’ll need a crate, a bed, or both for your dog’s relaxation and security. A soft dog bed is a good place for your dog to chill out while she’s hanging out with the family. Find one that’s the right size for your Cockapoo and make sure it has plenty of padding. Crates also make excellent sleeping spots. When it comes to picking the right size, choose one large enough for your dog to be able to turn around in circles, but not so big that they can roam around. It should be like a cozy den, not a small room.
How Much Will This Cost?
All of these pet supplies can add up very quickly. When you start to factor how much your dog is going to cost you, it’s enough to make your head spin. For this reason, it’s important to budget for your new pet. Barring any medical complications, the first year of their life will probably be the most expensive for you. You’ll have to buy all new supplies and take frequent visits to the vet for checkups and shots. Once you learn your Cockapoo’s preferences, you’ll be able to buy foods and treats in bulk, and you won’t waste your time buying toys and chews your dog doesn’t play with.
Prices for supplies and services vary from place to place. Also, it makes a huge difference in the budget if you buy a super expensive dog food compared to a bargain brand one. This estimation of how much your Cockapoo will cost in the first year of his life should be used as a general guide to give you an idea of how much you may need to spend. Of course, location and choices make a big difference in cost, but hopefully, you’ll start to figure out how to budget for your pup.
First of all, to buy a Cockapoo from a good breeder, you will likely spend anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500. If you choose to adopt, you’re looking at somewhere around $100 to$200, which often includes spay/neuter surgery, shots, and micro-chipping. If you buy your dog, a spay/neuter surgery is, on average, around $75.
Yearly veterinary costs will be around $200 to $500 a year for basic services. Not all vaccines are required on a yearly basis, so some visits will cost more than others. You’ll also need to budget at least $100 on heartworm medication and flea and tick preventative.
Next, you’ll have to buy many bags of dog food during the course of a year. The average dog eats about $400 worth of dog food per year. Depending on which size of Cockapoo you get, you may get away with spending less than average. You’ll also need lots of treats for training purposes, which will cost you about $100 a year.
Then, we have all the supplies you’ll buy right away. Leashes, grooming equipment, and dishes will add up. You’ll also need some fun toys and chews for your dog. In total, you’re looking at spending approximately $200 around the time you bring your dog home.
It’s hard to estimate how much your dog will cost you, but you could spend around $1,000 the first year, not including the dog. Over a dog’s lifetime, it’s said that the average person spends around $10,000 on their pup. This seems like a lot of money now, but once you get your dog adjusted into their new home, you’d spend all of your money to make your dog happy.
All of this preparation probably seems overwhelming, but you’ll feel much better compared to if you didn’t plan at all. It may seem like dogs require a lot of things, but they mostly just need the basics and lots of love and attention from you. In no time, you’ll find yourself spoiling your little Cockapoo rotten with the best toys and the tastiest treats. After all, your Cockapoo is a member of your family now, and you’d do anything to treat them like your own.
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