What to Do When Your Cockapoo Keeps Shaking His Head

  • By: Kirsty Lunn
  • Date: September 14, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Cockapoos are a hybrid dog with the characteristics of both their parent breeds—Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Cockapoos are sociable, intelligent dogs that enjoy interactive games and activities. However, owners of this breed must monitor their behavior for any strange habits or telltale signs of illness.

If your Cockapoo shakes his head frequently, there is likely a reason why he does it. It’s not just a quirky gesture; it could be a sign of discomfort or a health issue. In this article we’ll explore what causes cockapoo shaking their head, what the implications are, and what you can do to help ease the symptoms.

What’s Behind This Behaviour?

We often find our Cockapoos shaking their heads, perhaps in an adorable way. But sometimes, it might be a signal of something more serious.

Understanding the difference between natural behaviours and concerning signs is vital. Dogs have a language of their own, and shaking heads might be their way of communicating an issue with us.

It’s quite common for dogs to shake their heads occasionally. However, continuous and aggressive head shaking is a red flag. It might indicate discomfort or a possible health concern that requires immediate attention.

Common Causes of Head Shaking in Cockapoos

Your beloved Cockapoo constantly shaking their head can be a sign of a niggling issue that requires your attention. Understanding the possible causes can be the first step towards ensuring the comfort and health of your furry friend. Let’s explore some common culprits behind this behaviour:

Ear Infections

An ear infection could be likened to that uncomfortable feeling when you can’t shake off water trapped in your ear, but only worse. Imagine the discomfort, the itchiness, and the irritation your Cockapoo might be experiencing. These infections could be bacterial or yeast-based, causing inflammation and discomfort. If you notice redness, swelling, or an unusual smell from their ears, don’t wait to seek veterinary advice.


Have you ever experienced an incessant itch or sneezing that just wouldn’t go away? Well, our furry friends are no strangers to allergies as well. Your Cockapoo might be reacting to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, or even certain foods. The allergies can cause itching and inflammation in the ears, causing them to shake their heads frequently in an attempt to get some relief. It’s like their little way of saying, “Something’s not right here!”

Foreign Bodies

Imagine having a tiny pebble in your shoe. Quite annoying, isn’t it? Now, picture your Cockapoo having a tiny seed or a piece of grass stuck in their ear. It would be very bothersome indeed! These foreign bodies can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to continuous head shaking. Keeping an eye out for any foreign objects and seeking veterinary assistance can often nip this issue in the bud.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are small parasites that take up residence in your Cockapoo’s ears, causing itching and irritation. It’s like a never-ending party in your dog’s ears that causes them to shake their heads in frustration. Regular check-ups can help in identifying and treating ear mite infestations before they turn into a bigger problem.

Earwax Buildup

Much like humans, dogs too can experience a buildup of wax in their ears. This buildup can cause discomfort and itching, prompting them to shake their heads often. Regular cleaning can help prevent wax buildup and ensure the comfort of your furry mate.


Skin conditions like dermatitis can also be a common cause of head shaking in Cockapoos. Dermatitis in the ears can be an irritating ordeal, making them shake their heads to try and alleviate the discomfort. It’s akin to having a pesky itch that just won’t leave them alone. Keeping an eye on your Cockapoo’s skin and ear health can help in identifying and treating dermatitis at an early stage.

Inspecting Your Cockapoo’s Ears

One of the critical aspects of ensuring the wellbeing of your Cockapoo is a regular ear inspection. It’s somewhat akin to us keeping a regular check on our health vitals. Let’s walk through the steps to conducting a comprehensive ear inspection for your Cockapoo, ensuring you catch any potential issues before they escalate.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Setting the Right Environment

  • Choosing a Quiet Place: Choose a quiet place where your Cockapoo can remain calm and undistracted. Think of it as creating a little sanctuary for your furry friend where they can feel safe and secure.
  • Gathering Necessary Supplies: Ensure that you have all necessary supplies like a gentle ear cleaner approved by the vet, and some cotton balls at hand.

2. Getting Your Cockapoo Comfortable

  • Comfort and Assurance: Before you begin, ensure that your Cockapoo is comfortable. You might want to reward them with a treat to make the process pleasant. Imagine it as a little pampering session for them!
  • Gentle Handling: Approach your Cockapoo gently, using soothing tones to keep them calm.

3. Inspecting the Ears

  • Visual Inspection: Start with a visual inspection. Gently lift the ears and look for any signs of redness, swelling, or discharge.
  • Check for smells: Next, use your sense of smell to detect any unusual odours which might indicate an infection.

4. Cleaning the Ears

  • Gentle Cleaning: If necessary, proceed to clean the ears gently using the cotton balls soaked in the ear cleaner. Imagine giving a gentle massage that soothes and cleanses at the same time.
  • Rewarding Your Pet: After the inspection and cleaning, reward your Cockapoo with a treat or a loving cuddle. It’s like giving them a little pat on the back for being so brave and cooperative.

5. Seeking Veterinary Assistance

  • Consulting the Vet: If you notice any abnormalities or are unsure about something, don’t hesitate to consult with a vet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?
  • Routine Check-ups: Make ear inspections a regular part of your Cockapoo’s health routine, scheduling veterinary check-ups if necessary. Consider it as regular health check-ups that we humans undertake.

Health Implications of Shaking Your Head

Cockapoo shaking their heads can also be a sign of a neurological problem. This can be caused by anything affecting a dog’s brain, including a tumour, bacterial or viral infection, or poisoning. Neurological shaking is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as stumbling, trouble standing, or seizures.

If your dog is shaking his head and showing these other signs, you should visit the vet immediately. The Cockapoo breed is also prone to ear inflammation because of their long ears. It’s important to inspect your dog’s ears regularly and carefully clean out any build-up with a cotton swab.

Home Remedies and Preventative Measures

Taking care of your Cockapoo requires a blend of vigilance and nurturing. Here are some home remedies and preventative measures to consider:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Imagine having a magic potion at your disposal that can tackle various issues. Apple cider vinegar, diluted with water, can act as a natural cleaner for your Cockapoo’s ears, helping to maintain a healthy pH balance in the ear canal.

2. Herbal Ear Wash

Herbal ear washes with ingredients such as witch hazel and calendula can be an excellent option for cleaning your pet’s ears naturally, providing soothing relief from irritations.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that can help in preventing infections and soothing irritations.

Cleaning the Ears

Keeping your Cockapoo’s ears clean is akin to us maintaining our personal hygiene – an essential, non-negotiable practice. Here’s how you can effectively clean your Cockapoo’s ears:

1. Choose the Right Cleaning Solution

Choosing the right cleaning solution is vital. Ensure that you use a vet-approved ear cleaning solution that is gentle yet effective.

2. Gentle Cleaning Technique

Using a soft cloth or a cotton ball soaked in the cleaning solution, clean the ear’s inner flap gently without probing too deep into the ear canal.

3. Regular Cleaning Routine

Think of this as a regular spa session for your Cockapoo. Establish a routine for cleaning your pet’s ears, perhaps aligning it with their grooming schedule to ensure consistency.

Dietary Adjustments

Making dietary adjustments is somewhat similar to tweaking a recipe for the better health and enjoyment of those consuming it. Here are some strategies you can consider:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids in your Cockapoo’s diet can help in reducing inflammation and promoting overall health, including ear health.

2. Probiotics

Adding probiotics to their diet can help maintain a healthy gut flora, which is intricately linked to their overall wellbeing, including ear health.

3. Hypoallergenic Diet

In cases where your Cockapoo is susceptible to allergies, considering a hypoallergenic diet can be a significant step in preventing ear issues related to food allergies.


Understanding the potential causes behind your Cockapoo’s incessant head shaking is vital to keeping them happy and healthy. With a bit of patience and keen observation, you can get to the root of the issue and help bring comfort and joy back to your furry friend’s life. Remember, when in doubt, always consult with a vet to get professional advice and treatment.

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