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Frustrating Cavoodle Behaviour Problems

cavoodle behaviour problems
Cavoodle behaviour problems like separation anxiety, barking and chewing can make this dog breed high maintenance. Read our top training tips!

Cavoodle behaviour problems like separation anxiety, barking, peeing and pooping in the house and chewing can make this poodle mix breed high maintenance. Interestingly, the Cavalier King Charles and Poodle also have some common behaviour problems and given that behaviour is believed to be hereditary, it’s no surprise that Cavoodles can, too.

cavoodle personality

Cavoodles are cute, small dogs and research suggest that Cavoodle behaviour problems such as anxiety, barking and aggression are more prevalent in little dogs. There are currently a couple of possible explanations for this:

  1. Owners of small dogs, are less likely to exercise their dogs and address problem behaviours like aggression. In contrast owners of medium to large dogs, generally train their dogs and attempt to modify any bad behaviours as they arise. The bad behaviour of large, aggressive dogs has consequences, including the potential for significant injury to people, property and other dogs.
  2. The genetic makeup of small dogs means they have lower levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) compared to larger dogs. A study investigating the physiology of German Short Haired Pointer dogs that were bred for nervous and fearful behaviour, found that they had low levels of IGF1. Therefore, the amount of IGF1 in the body is likely to influence the temperament of the dog, with low levels making dogs more fearful, reactive and excitable. Cavoodles are small dogs and have low IGF1.

The science of dog behaviour has come a long way, from debunking dominance theory to now identifying the neurological genes responsible for behaviour traits like herding, guarding, predatory aggression and even trainability! Imagine being able to analyse the behaviour traits of a breeder’s dogs before committing to one of their Cavoodle puppies.

Being able to identify the genes associated with separation anxiety, barking and aggression could solve many of the Cavoodle behaviour problems. The best Cavoodle breeders already use DNA testing to understand diseases and coat traits in their breeding dogs. The identification of the coat traits associated with straight, fleece and curly coat Cavoodles, enables buyers and breeders to be informed about whether or not a Cavoodle puppy will shed or be hypoallergenic.

Cavoodle behaviour problems: Are Cavoodles Aggressive?

are cavoodles good with kids

Cavoodles are not known to be aggressive dogs, they are usually friendly, cuddly and easy to train. However, they can have aggression-like behaviour problems like barking and growling at strangers and other dogs. In an Australian behaviour study of 223 cases of severe aggression, poodles were among the breeds most represented for attacking humans (5.7%).

Similarly, the purebred dogs used in the foundation breeding of Cavoodles, are often ANKC show line dogs. Dogs bred for conformation shows are selected for breeding based on the way they look. Temperament is often not given top priority in the breeding selection process. Given that behaviour is hereditary, there is potential for Cavoodles to inherit behaviour problems from their Cavalier King Charles and Poodle parentage.

What is the personality of a Cavoodle?

are cavoodles aggressive

The personality of a Cavoodle will be similar to that of its parents. Cavoodles that are raised by responsible breeders are confident, optimistic and flexible. They are cuddly but not clingy and high maintenance. Puppy buyers should always meet the parents of any puppies for sale.

Cavoodle behaviour problems and personality traits can be inherited. Similarly, any stress that the mother and her puppies have been through since conception, can increase the likelihood that a Cavoodle puppy will go on to develop behaviour problems like aggression, fear and anxiety.

Do Cavoodles Like other dogs?

Cavoodles that have been socialised and sourced from ethical breeders – generally like other dogs. Many Cavoodle behaviour problems stem from a lack of confidence, impulse control and tolerance to frustration, making them highly reactive to other dogs. A Cavoodle that is barking, lunging and growling at other dogs, benefits from life skills training and possibly has a genetic predisposition towards being this way. Cavoodle puppies from puppy farms, backyard breeders and pet shops are likely to have more behaviour problems.

Are Cavoodles good with kids?

Cavoodles are good with kids that respect their personal space. Cavoodle puppies should be socialised with kids and always supervised. In a dog behaviour study, Poodles were found to be more aggressive toward household members compared to other breeds and Cavoodles might inherit this trait.

Is a Cavoodle a good first dog?

A Cavoodle is a good first dog for owners who do their due diligence and research ethical breeders. Similarly, having a basic understanding of dog behaviour and the best way to train a Cavoodle puppy is essential, before bringing one home.

Adopting a Cavoodle with behaviour problems can be the result of failing to research the best Cavoodle breeders or simply searching for ‘Cavoodle puppies for sale’. Cavoodles are Australia’s most popular designer dogs and there are many scammers and bad breeders preying on puppy buyers.

Are Cavoodles high maintenance?

is a cavoodle a good first dog

Though this breed is usually cuddly; Cavoodle behaviour problems can make them needy and clingy. Crate training a Cavoodle puppy from the time you bring them home will help grow their independence and confidence. A Cavoodle should not be left alone for long periods of time without first training them in the skill of independence.

A lack of training and a genetic predisposition toward anxiety can lead to barking, whining, destructive chewing, house soiling and abnormal repetitive behaviours like foot licking etc.

Are Cavoodles OK to be left alone?

Cavoodle are OK to be left alone once they have been trained. Crate training a Cavoodle will help to prevent separation anxiety, one of the common Cavoodle behaviour problems. Positive things should happen when you leave, provide calming activities like long-lasting chews, snuffle mats, raw meaty bones, stuffed Kongs etc.

What do Cavoodles love the most?

Cavoodles love the companionship of other dogs or humans. They are social animals, that don’t like to be left alone but can be trained to increase their confidence and optimism. Many Cavoodles like to play fetch and excel in dog sports such as obedience and agility.

What makes a Cavoodle happy?

Companionship makes a Cavoodle happy but good training keeps them happy. Many owners, particularly of small dogs, will allow them to have access to them 24/7. This creates a problem when the dog needs to be left alone; separation anxiety. A happy Cavoodle has received life skills training in impulse control, calmness, tolerance to frustration, confidence and optimism.

Do Cavoodles sleep at night?

cavoodle problems

Cavoodles sleep at night unless they are distracted or have a need for something. It’s common for Cavoodles to bark at night when they sleep outside. Sleeping outside introduces lots of potential distractions that can be difficult for an alert breed of dog to ignore. Wildlife in trees, cats, neighbours’ voices, fireworks, car horns etc are things that Cavoodles will start barking at. Cavoodles are happiest when they can sleep inside the house, whether that be curled up on your bed or in their comfy crate. Barking at other animals or people in their home environment is not considered one of the common Cavoodle behaviour problems – barking is normal dog behaviour and Cavoodles are alert small dogs.

Young puppies will sleep for a few hours and wake up during the night. This is normal behaviour, they often need to go to the toilet or want reassurance after having been removed from the company of their littermates.

Do Cavoodles need to be walked everyday?

Cavoodles are small dogs that do not need to be walked everyday. Their need for physical exercise can be fulfilled through a game of fetch, a run in the backyard or mentally stimulating activities such as food puzzles, stuffed Kongs, training sessions and long-lasting chews.

Some Cavoodles are more energetic and others don’t enjoy going for walks. A common behaviour problem can be barking, lunging and growling at dogs on walks. Reactive dogs are best not walked until they have been trained in loose leash walking and owners should avoid busy areas and walk their dogs on ovals and wide open spaces where they can manage their Cavoodle behaviour problems.

Are Cavoodles clingy?

dog behaviourist

Cavoodle behaviour problems can make them a clingy and high-maintenance breed as they share the genetics of the poodle. Poodles have a higher risk of having general anxiety-related behaviour problems. Owners should train their Cavoodles using positive reinforcement and passive calming activities before they need to be left alone. Crate training is recommended to prevent and stop separation anxiety-related behaviours.

Cavoodle Behaviour Problems – Conclusion

Cavoodle behaviour problems generally stem from bad genetics, inadequate training or traumatic experiences. Generally speaking, they don’t like to be left alone however by training your Cavoodle to be able to exist independently of you, they are less likely to suffer from separation anxiety. Similarly, the Cavoodle personality is sweet and cuddly but they can be barkers and like all dogs, they benefit from positive socialisation experiences during puppyhood. Clingy Cavoodles are largely made that way by their owners, crate training is a positive way to grow the skill of independence. Although the misinformed view crate training as cruel, it’s crueller not to develop your dog’s independence through training.

Check out Foresight Dog Training Solutions‘ online course, the easiest and fastest way to a calm, confident canine companion.

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney
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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

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