Bringing Your Cockapoo Puppy Home

It’s a big time to bring home your new Cockapoo Puppy and I am very pleased you’ve chosen Acura Cockapoo Puppies, LLC to provide your family with a new family companion.

When house training a puppy the #1 rule is:  If you cannot watch the puppy, even to run to the bathroom, cook dinner, shower, answer the door, get the mail, etc. the puppy should be in his crate.  If your puppy can potty on the floor somewhere w/o consequence then he’s got one up on you and you don’t want that to happen.

A dog is only what you make him; he mirrors you. Remember, too, it is useless expecting every dog of the same breed to turn out exactly the same. I don't expect the owner to remain the same throughout life, but one thing I am absolutely certain of - the average owner can have a truly wonderful friend and companion in a dog.

Love is of paramount importance and you should constantly hug, kiss and play joyfully with your dog or puppy even if you have had to be extremely firm with him to achieve initial obedience. The result is that there enters the dog's mind a memory of affection and fun rather than fear of correction. For make no mistake, dogs don't object to fair correction.

The mind of a dog is really very simple to understand. All he wants is to have someone to love and respect, to be given a reasonable amount of fun, to be useful to his owner and to have a comfortable well-fed tummy. On the whole, the life of the dog and the owner has to be in tune to get perfection out of the partnership. Both must respect each other’s likes and dislikes and a deep understanding must exist between them.

Bringing Home Baby

  • Before you bring home your puppy you should schedule a veterinarian appointment.   Please take a fecal sample with you unless the receptionist tells you they can collect a sample when you are there.  If you need to take a sample, simply take a sandwich bag over your hand, pick up the sample then turn the bag over and enclose the sample. Making this veterinarian appointment also lets your veterinarian and you set up appointments for the next series of vaccines your puppy is required to have, rabies vaccine at 4 months of age, spay/neuter no later than 7 months of age.  Please take a list of questions with you to your veterinarian appointment.

  • FOOD: Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice puppy food.  Puppies do eat their food moistened with a bit of warm water. They are eating 2x/day; 7:30 am and 5:30 pm.   They may not eat the first day or day and a half.  Don’t worry they will not starve. There is a lot of changes going on and food may not be the top priority.

  • I will send home three packet of a Probiotic (Purina Florta Flora) for you to add to their food for the three days. Sprinkle 1/2 the packet over the food at each of the feedings. This will help with upset tummies due to stress, change of environment, water, etc.

When you get home, let the puppy eliminate outside first in the area you have designated as the potty spot and then let him explore his new home, room by room. Don't overwhelm the puppy with friends and relatives the first few days. Begin some light play activities such as fetching and toy-play. Movement activities are as important now as holding the puppy. Be sure, too, that the puppy has some time alone to eliminate and just explore outside. The puppy will need at least a few days to explore his new surroundings and gradually adjust to them. Until he understands that you mean him no harm and will provide food, water, shelter, love and companionship, he is bound to feel a fair amount of uncertainty.

Picking Up Your Puppy

Imagine what it would be like to have a giant swoop down over you and swing you off your feet and high up into the air! Imagine what it would feel like if that giant swung you off your feet every time you went to him or every time he came over to you. It would be pretty darn scary.

I have found that you can build a puppy's confidence if you refrain from picking him up all the time. If a puppy wants out of a baby gate; open it and wait for the puppy to walk out himself. When a puppy comes up to you, bend down, stroke him, and speak cheerfully to him. Get down on the floor to seem less intimidating until the puppy gets to know you - this is especially important for children as their high voices and quick movements are naturally scary to puppies. Let him know that he doesn't have to expect to be whisked up into the air all the time. As the puppy becomes more comfortable around you, and you are careful when you pick him up - he will let you know when he wants you to pick him up. He will become more loving, more trusting and will want to cuddle with you much more. Teach children to lower their voices and play gently with these little puppies. When not grabbed and forced to play all the time, the puppies will become more confident and be more willing to approach children to play.

Touch is so important. The lighter the touch, the more relaxed your puppy will become. One excellent way of communicating love (and a great relaxation technique) is running your fingertips very slowly and lightly down the puppy's (or dog's) back and up again. Oftentimes you will see an adult dog slowly walking beneath houseplants or curtains, the leaves or material just barely brushing his back; and he'll do it over and over with obvious enjoyment. It's almost a hypnotic technique to them.

Feeding & Training

Puppies eat two times a day. About 7:00 am and 5:30 pm. You can adjust these times to fit your schedule.  Puppies eat about 1/3 - 1/2 cup at each feeding. 

You should put your puppy in his/her crate for feeding.  Give the puppy 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to focus on the task at hand. Tell him/her what he’s in there for….”eat your dinner”.  Walk away and let them eat. If they don’t eat in 15 minutes, pick up the food and outside to potty.  Do not give treats in between if the puppy is not eating all of its puppy food.  You want the puppy to eat their food not live off cookies/treats that don’t have enough nutrients.

Your puppy should not have any water after 7:00 at night unless he’s played really hard and needs a drink.   But don’t let him drink a lot.  This way when you take him outside for the last time before you go to bed, he should be able to poop & pee and be empty for the night time.

It is important to keep your puppy on a feeding schedule as this will help you know when your puppy has to go to the bathroom outside. 

While in training never leave food & water in their crate.  This way you should come home to no accidents.  They will do fine for a few hours w/o water unless it is really hot in the room where the pup is.


Don’t let your puppy sleep from about 6:00 pm onwards (right after his dinner meal).  Play with him in a quiet setting, pet him and love him but this way, like a baby, he’ll be tired and ready to go to bed when you tell him “go to sleep”. Turn out the lights.  Puppies are used to noise here while sleeping…a radio, ceiling fan, the heat or a/c kicking on/off.    Most puppies sleep 4 to 6 hours. Of course, if after a couple of hours they whine then take them outside to potty, back inside, no playing, off go the lights and tell the puppy “go to sleep”.

Put the crate in the area you plan to always have the crate. This is less confusing to the puppy.  Don’t be too doting or coddle your puppy. This will only reinforce the behavior and he’ll cry even more. If he continues to whine, a gruff “Quiet” might work. If all else fails, ignore him. Tough love may be difficult, but eventually your puppy will learn that crying at night gets him nowhere. The more persistent you are in your approach, the quicker the situation will be resolved. If you’re stern one minute and sympathetic the next, your puppy will only be confused and his behavior will continue. If your puppy cries about 1 or 2 in the morning, then yes, take him out to potty.  Give them a couple of minutes (no playing!) and tell them what to do.  Put them back in the crate, lights off, “go to sleep”.

Puppies should NEVER sleep with you during training. This allows them to feel they hold a higher place in the pecking order than they really do.  Once your puppy has reached maturity, fully trained (house, obedience) then allow the dog to sleep with you.

In the Morning

Get up right away and take your puppy outside to his soiling area. Carry him. Don’t let him walk there or he may be tempted to go before he gets outside. Let him empty everything out, and praise him when he’s finished. 

As with any new baby, you may not get much sleep the first night with puppy. If you’re patient and understanding, your puppy will learn what you expect of him when it’s time to sleep. You both should wake up rested and ready for the day after a few nights together.

NOTE:  Some puppies need to relieve themselves more than one time. Let your puppy explore, sniff and have a chance to potty 2 or 3 times if needed.  If you find your puppy is playing too much, wandering all over and not focusing on the job (potty), put the puppy on a leash and stand in one spot. Once you are certain the puppy has peed and pooped, lots of praise! Then he can go off the leash to play.

Obedience Training

Puppies should begin basic training as soon as you bring them home.  You should teach them to “sit” for everything they want.  Puppies should know SIT within 48 hours of going home.  Sit to go into the crate to eat, Sit to come into your lap, etc.  You can teach them also to shake hands, lay down, come and more.  Teaching them basic obedience teaches them that you are the alpha and boss and they are lower in the family hierarchy.

REMEMBER :  Praise, praise, praise your puppy when they do the things you want them to do….eliminate outside, learn sit, or come.  This reinforces good behavior and lets him know what’s expected of him and he’ll do more to make you happy.  Consistency, praise and timing are the critical components to successful house-training.

Travel Home

You should have a crate for the puppy to travel home in.  If your vehicle is large enough to bring the wire crate, that’s fine.  Otherwise a hard sided carrier will be best for everyone.   Puppies usually do begin their journey in the lap of their new owners however, they do get antsy and for safety, it’s then that you should pull over and get him in the carrier.

House Training Note

Puppies need to relieve themselves immediately upon waking and within 5 to 15 minutes of eating. Puppies display a "dedicated attitude" directly prior to relieving themselves. They appear very busy, with a "nose to the ground, fast walking, sniffing and pacing with great concentration" attitude. This behavior means the puppy is about to go. Immediately pick the puppy up, go outside and speaking in a monotone, repeat the word you have chosen as your command for relief. The puppy must be enthusiastically praised once successful. Putting the puppy out directly after having awakened, immediately after eating, and by careful observation between times, allows for successful house breaking within a week. How long house breaking takes, ultimately depends entirely on the owner's diligence.

Teach Dog Etiquette

After supervision, the most important step in dog bite prevention is to teach your kids how to behave around a puppy or dog. Have your children follow the rules below to keep a dog from biting unexpectedly:

Never grab an object away from a dog

Dogs can be protective of their toys and may bite if you try to take them. If you want the toy, use an obedience command or treat to distract the dog. It’s better to outsmart him than to provoke an unnecessary dog bite.

Never bother a dog when he’s sleeping or eating

Give a dog plenty of space when he’s napping and leave the food dish alone while the dog eats.

Never sneak up on a dog

Always let your puppy or dog know that you’re nearby before you pet him. Let the dog smell your open hand and then slowly reach out to him.

Never bark or growl at a dog or stare into his eyes

These are aggressive behaviors to a dog and could cause him to bite.

Special Puppy Concerns

Don't treat a puppy as young as 6 to 12-weeks old like an adult dog. Treat him the same way you would your own infant: with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. Use these tips:

  • Don't bring home a puppy while you're on vacation so you can spend a lot of time with him. Instead, acclimate him to your normal, daily routine.
  • Supervise your puppy at all times and interact with him regularly.
  • Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that he has to go to the bathroom, and then take him outside immediately.
  • A young puppy has no bladder control and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing. At night, he will need to relieve himself at least every three hours.   If he doesn’t wake up and cry, don’t wake him up to go outside.
  • Don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won't understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight or learn to eat his own feces.
  • Praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside.
  • Feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies. Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food.