A lot of people gave me a very odd look when I told them I was getting a cockapoo puppy.
But Emma… you’re the terrier lady! Why would you even want a breed like that?
But I can honestly say getting Max was one of the best things I’ve done both professionally and personally. He’s a cracking dog and a credit to his breeders. However, there were a few things I was not aware of that I am not used to from living with terriers for over 25 years.
So here are 10 things I wish I knew before I got a cockapoo!
Personal space? What personal space? I am followed by a furry shadow in every step I take and where I settle, Max somehow manages to insinuate himself into the smallest of spaces. Touching, always touching. At the moment its usually over my feet while I’m at my desk – a welcome in this winter weather!
If it’s on the floor, then it is fair game to be picked up and held onto. Socks in particular bring out the Gollum in Max and they are his most precious. But anything that is on the floor and unclaimed carries the potential to be carried off to a designated den so that they might be laid upon like a dragon reclining on its hoard of gold and jewels.
When thought exits the building. As smart and amazing as Max is and an absolute dream to train with… he has these moments where you can see all thought disappear from his mind. I call it ‘Poodle Brain.’ I will be attempting to teach Max something and he just stares back at me blankly, a tumbleweed rolling through the barren desert. Alas.
These dogs love hard and whole. I get vibes off Max when he looks at me like that meme of the obsessed girlfriend. It’s very intense to go to this when I am not a tactile or overly affectionate person by nature. Cockapoos are the type that would get a tattoo of ‘I luvs my mammy’ on their chest if given half a second.
I don’t think I actually have a dog, it’s a miniature woolly hippo! Oh boy I was not prepared for the utter lunacy these dogs display when there is a bog to go snorkelling in. Max was 9 weeks old when his ancestors led him down the path of filthy rascal. It’s clear they have some sort of bog dowsing system programmed into their DNA, because if there is mud to wallow in… they are already in it!
And talking about the outdoors. Why do these dogs take it upon themselves to BRING BACK half the woodland stuck to their coat. I honestly feel like I should be on an Attenborough documentary about chimpanzees because I have become the master at picking out burs and all manner of sundry from out of Max’s coat.
I’m used to fussy eaters as Lulu is a complete Princess with her food, but Max takes to another level sometimes. When I first transitioned him over to the food I feed the rest of the dogs, he gave me this look of utter derision as if to say ‘this? This trash?’ He has since learned his lesson that turning up food means Bertie eats it instead.
When I decided to get Max, I wanted a social and active family dog that I could take to my sessions to stooge for. I was not prepared for the Swiss army knife I ended up with. Crossbreeds in general are pretty versatile but cockapoos seem to thrive at everything. Max adapts and loves all sorts or training and sports and it kind of left my head spinning with all the options we can train to compete in or just have fun. I just have to go, ‘hey dude, wanna do something cool?’ and Max is there ‘yes, please!’
The utter simple joy cockapoos have for existing. Don’t get me wrong, all dogs love to be alive and take joy in it, but with cockapoos it just feels like care bears level of existential happiness. Max just has to look at me with his ‘care bare stare’ and my mood instantly lifts.
Back before I was a trainer, I used to be someone who mocked people with cockapoos. I thought they were designer dogs for people who wanted a living teddy bear. But here I am years later, in the cockapoo club. And what a lovely community the cockapoo club is. Everyone with a poo always stops to chat and ‘talk poo’. I’ve not has a single bad word said to me from other poo owners… but plenty of rolled eyes from people who don’t own one.
So now I am hooked, and I have a feeling this is a dog that I will continue to own up to my 60s.After that, I plan to have about 7 pugs and will be found sitting on a bench, drinking neat gin and heckling the youth.A girl must have a retirement plan, after all.