As I’ve written before, one of the main unexpected challenges of owning a cockapoo is their enormous energy levels. Just when do cockapoos calm down? If you’re experiencing the full onslaught of this don’t worry: IT DOES GET BETTER.
The second thing to know is that it takes time for cockapoos to calm down.
When we got our cockapoo Ziggy, we were absolutely exhausted. As a puppy, he would turn literally everything into a game. He would drag cushions off the sofa, play chase with the TV remote and generally just be a whirlwind of activity – he just wouldn’t calm down.
What made this worse was the fact that he would time his hyperactive outbursts just when we were sitting down for dinner, or settling in for the evening.
As a result, we found that we could never unwind or chill out. We were constantly watching him, worried either about him crapping behind the sofa, or running around and destroying something he shouldn’t!
If that sounds like a situation you’re in at the moment, I’ll repeat: don’t worry, it get’s better.
So when do cockapoos calm down then?
As this handy illustration (and highly unscientific graph) points out, cockapoos tend to calm down after a year or two.
In my experience, our cockapoo was a real handful in the first year. At times, it felt like he would never calm down, no matter what we did.
That said, slowly and surely we started to see signs of him calming down. If I’m being honest, this started to happen at around 18 months (sorry if that’s a long way away for you!)
The first real time we both noticed a big improvement was when we took him to visit some family friends. Usually, he would bound around the house for a good twenty minutes wagging his tail and “talking”. But this time it was closer to only 5 minutes before he curled up with a ball.
Once we noticed this, we started to notice lots of little improvements happening: he was greeting guests in a nicer manner, he was happy to “chill” for longer.
On top of that, his separation anxiety was getting better.
Of course, this isn’t all down to his age – patient and consistent training was being done at the same time (particularly with the separation anxiety).
But, age was definitely a factor.
So, where are we now? When do cockapoos calm down? Has our cockapoo completely calmed down?
Well… no, because he’s a cockapoo! But then I think back to when he was at his most hyper, and I can definitely hand on heart say he is a lot calmer now than before.
What we did to help our cockapoo calm down
Walking and Exercise
As a puppy
A large reason for cockapoos being perceived as hyperactive in their puppy months is down to the fact that you just can’t exercise them enough to completely tire them out and calm them down.
This is because, as the common advice has it, you are only meant to walk a puppy for around 5 minutes per month of age. As a result, a five month old should only be walked for around 25 minutes a time.
And, to make it worse, that means walk, not off-lead running. This is really important because it helps to prevent things like joint damage while they’re growing, but my god it is frustrating!
That being said, if you’re faced with a hyper cockapoo puppy, do exercise as much and as often as is possible and healthy for your pup.
One thing I found that worked well was to do lots of little walks when Ziggy was a puppy. I think this helped because it gave him loads of stimulation in little bursts.
And, a little off-lead training (even if for just a minute or two) goes a long way to helping them get their zoomies out of their system!
As an adult
As your cockapoo gets older, it’s a lot more possible to do much longer walks. Of course, you need to build up the distances over time, just as you would a human.
But now, we find that building in a couple of long walks a week alongside his usual schedule of twice daily walks helps really helps to keep our cockapoo calm. For what it’s worth, in my head a long walk means around an hour and a half of off lead time.
Another thing you can do that really helps to calm your cockapoo down is to include your pooch in any sports or activities you do. We currently jog, cycle and (sometimes) swim, and we have trained out cockapoo to run (or swim) alongside us whenever we go out.
Not only does this help to keep him calm, but it is an amazing time saver if we have a busy weekend and can’t find the time to go on a big long walk! We also have written about some extra things you can do to make your dog walks more enjoyable.
I can’t stress or recommend puzzle toys enough for help cockapoos to calm down!
Not only do these help to combat separation anxiety, but they are brilliant for giving your cockapoo something to focus on when they are acting like a mini tornado.
The number one puzzle toy that I would recommend for keeping your cockapoo calm is this tornado toy from Amazon:
We recently purchased it because the reviews for it are excellent, and it has proved an absolute hit with Ziggy.
I find (like all of his other puzzle toys) his motivation to solve the puzzle increases when his favourite food is hidden in it. But, this puzzle toy is great because it has an extra challenge built in to make it harder for him!
Find dog friends to help calm your cockapoo down
Finally, another top tip is to find your cockapoo another dog of a similar age to go on play-dates with.
We’re incredibly lucky with this because a lot of our friends all got puppies at similar times, so there is always someone for Ziggy to play with.
I really can say that the energy he uses up in chasing and getting chased by his friends is x10 the amount of energy he burns on a walk.
So, an hour or two of playing in the afternoon normally results in a very peaceful evening!
Experiment with dog food that keeps your cockapoo calm
As we’ve pointed out in our article about the top four dog foods for cockapoos you can get dog food that is specially formulated to calm your pooch down and help reach the answer of when do cockapoos calm down. If this is of interest to you, click on the picture below to read our experiences.