Helping Cockapoo’s in their hour of need

‘EMRA’ a guide to a Cockapoo’s basic needs

EMRA (Emotional Mood Reinforcement Assessment)

We will be using EMRA as a basis for The Cockapoo Club of GB and its Inspectors to assess, advise and support breeders of Cockapoos, in the raising of puppies and subsequently offer lifelong support of their customers.

By using this ethos as a preventative method the intention is to maximize instances of CCGB registered Cockapoo puppies growing up to be happy, healthy fully functional family pets.

The focus for the CCGB is a cross breeding of the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel, both of which originated as retrieving dogs.

The poodle was originally bred to be a water dog — retrieving game fowl trapped or shot down by its owners. In fact the name “poodle” is a derivative of the old German extraction “pudeln” which translates roughly as “to splash in water.”

EMRA for Gun Dogs (an extract from the Wood Green Animal Shelter information sheet)

Gun dogs were originally used to assist with the hunting of game. They would have various roles within the hunt and could be used for hunting, pointing, locating, retrieving, tracking or flushing.

As a group gundogs are generally full of life, loving, playful and affectionate. They are intelligent and enjoy training and are energetic as a breed. They are social dogs and like to be in the company of other dogs or their family.

Typical gun dogs seen at Wood Green are the Labrador, Golden retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel and Pointer.

How this information can be useful

This section is based on information from Wood Green and will give you an idea of what type of activities you can offer your dog of gun dog heritage to keep them entertained and active. It looks at the activities they would be doing if they had been working and gives you ideas of how to create this in your home and when out and about. If gun dogs become bored or inactive they may become noisy, destructive and unhappy and the same goes for your cockapoo if they are not given ways to express their natural behaviour.

How to create this lifestyle at home

There are a number of ways to ensure that your dog gets the opportunity to express natural behaviour. Ideal activities for the gun dog would include:

Dog sports – Sports like agility gives your dog the chance to explore new things, use up some energy and challenges them.

Swimming – Gun dogs help both on land and water they generally like a good swim. It is a good way to keep them agile. If there’s not an opportunity for swimming they will more than likely like water so a walk near water where they have the opportunity to run and splash is often appreciated.

Hiding food/toys – This allows them to retrieve and track and also allows flushing behaviour. Trying putting a scent on a toy before hiding it so they can sniff it out.

Fetch – Let them chase and retrieve toys. Add in waits and sendaways to get them thinking and working under instruction.

Off lead exercise – Allow your dog, where possible, opportunity to explore off lead. It is what they love to do and allows natural exploring behaviour.

Canine play – Try to arrange group dog walks to allow your dog to interact with other dogs. Allow your dog to meet, greet and play with other dogs when out and about, preferably off lead, if possible, so they can respond to each naturally and freely.

Activity feeding – Rather than just putting your dogs meal in a bowl twice a day give your dog challenges and get them to find and work for their food as they would naturally. If you feed kibble throw it out across the garden so they have to sniff and search it out. Try giving your dog a raw, meaty bone so they really have to get stuck in and use those teeth to rip, pull and chew. If you feed wet food stuff it in a kong, hollowed out marrow bone. Put their kibble meal in a treat dispensing ball so they have to work out how to get the food then actively work for it.

Why these activities are good

Your gun dog loves to explore and track interesting scents. They also love to retrieve things for you. It is therefore ideal if you can try to recreate this type of opportunity in the home to help keep them agile, happy and fullfilled.

By hiding food or toys within the garden or house you will be giving your dog the chance to track, locate and retrieve. You can also achieve this by playing fetch and using activity toys such as Kong’s and activity balls.

Gun dogs are, generally speaking, happy with other dogs and would like to have regular playtimes with other dogs. This gives them time to interact with other dogs and have good play too.

Off lead exercise is very beneficial for gun dogs as they were bred originally to be free to act out their job within the hunt. They like to get their nose down and sniff out interesting things. By allowing them to have this exercise you will help to keep them agile, happy and fulfilled.

Agility or fly ball classes may also be ideal for your gun dog as they give the opportunity of exploration, fun and exercise, all of which your gun dog would like to do.