Cockapoo Grooming

The Cockapoo is a moderate to high maintenance dog when it comes to grooming. The extent of the maintenance varies by the coat type he/she inherited. Your Cockapoo may have the flatter coat like that of the Cocker, a curly Poodle-like coat, or (most likely) somewhere in between. Also note that puppy grooming will be much easier and less involved, but still necessary to get your pet used to the grooming experience. Regardless of coat type brushing at least every other day, trimming the hair in front of the eyes, and bathing every 2-3 months will be necessary. In addition, the ears should be checked regularly for excess hairs, wax and debris. Brush your Cockapoo's teeth on a schedule and check the nails every week or so, keeping them trimmed will help keep him comfortable.

This routine is quite a bit of work for the average owner with daily responsibilities, so many choose to get their Cockapoo professionally groomed. If you decide to try grooming yours on your own, make sure to keep your tone calm and patient; offering praise and treats will make this new experience less stressful.

Cockapoo Coat Care

Cockapoo grooming requires diligence, patience and treats! Members of this breed are typically free of doggy smell and are considered hypoallergenic because they don't produce as much shed or dander. The hair continuously grows and whatever is shed from the under layer remains intertwined with the rest of the coat, causing tangles and mats. This is bad for the dogs skin and may cause them pain or irritation from allergens trapped in the tangles. To avoid this, brush your Cockapoo at least every other day and bathe every 2-3 months.

Twice per year, the coat will molt heavily and, during this time, they must be diligently brushed (this may take several hours). This process is not exactly "easy" to do at home, so many owners chose to only do the routine maintenance at home, such as brushing along with ear, teeth and nail check ups, and leave the bathing and trimming to the professionals. Teeth cleaning is very important, as they tend to have dental issues in later life, so brush them about once per week. The most important aspects of how to groom a Cockapoo are detailed below.

Brushing

Brushing your Cockapoo is the most important aspect of grooming and helps strengthen the bond between your and your pet. The best brush for the Cockapoo varies by the type of coat they have or the length at which you typically keep it. If your Cockapoo's hair is on the shorter side, opt for a bristle brush and if it is long or curly a wire-pin brush works better. Slicker brushes are often good to have on hand if you plan on keeping the coat long, as they are very useful in removing tangles and even mats. You can often find slicker brushes that are dual-sided, with the other side having bristles.

If you plan on trimming your pet's hair at home, it is suggested you brush (then bathe) them beforehand. Tangles and mats will typically get much worse if you bathe them without doing so. It is recommended you start at the head and brush in the opposite direction of hair growth and, once you reach the tail, start another pass moving up towards the head but brushing in the hairs' natural direction this time. When you come across a tangle you can add a bit of detangler and try brushing it out, this usually works; however, if it is already a mat, you may need to trim it out with scissors or (if it is tight against the skin) shave it off with the clippers. If you are unsure how your pet will react to the brushing experience, you may leash them to keep them from wriggling away.

Brushing your pet also aids in detecting skin irritations, as well as sensitive areas on the body. Removing tangles, dirt and allergens will help your pet from suffering from his/her own allergies.

Bathing

Cockapoos are usually free from that "doggy" smell that plagues other breeds. Many groomers recommend to brush them thoroughly before bathing to remove any tangles or mats, however, some also say that doing so on curly-coated individuals can result in damage to the hair shaft and an "afro-like" effect. Using a detangler/conditioner after shampooing and brushing them while wet is also effective. A gentle and preferably natural shampoo should be used, as those with harsh detergents may dry out their skin. During the final rinse, spraying them from at least 10 inches away will aid in not creating new tangles. Drying the coat can be done by either letting them dry naturally (usually outdoors) or, if the hair is more curly, using a blow dry and running your hands through or scrunching it.

Cockapoo Styling & Haircuts

You will need a few tools if you're planning to trim your Cockapoo at home. A pair of clippers along with some curved shears are recommended; thinning shears are also good for blending the coat, especially around the face. These are not necessary if they are not in your budget, however, and you will miss them less if your pet has a curly coat.

Some owners of straight-wavy Cockapoos choose the leave the coat in its natural state but, in these cases, the shears are still necessary to trim the hair in front of the eyes, around the ears, and on the muzzle. The hair on the belly and under the tail can also be trimmed to keep them more hygienic. Note that if you choose to let the coat grow for long periods of time, the molted hair (especially prominent twice per year) will much more easily cause tangles and mats. The coat should be diligently brushed at least every other day.

All coat types, especially the Poodle-like ones, can benefit from clipping; usually this is done to around 2-3 inches. Choose your blade based upon the length you would like to leave the hair. Some common Cockapoo haircuts and grooming styles include:

  • Puppy Cut- Long lasting, somewhat short and uniform cut performed with the clippers. The head will be scissored but the clippers can be used on the muzzle if desired.
  • Cockapoo Cut- Around half the time of a puppy cut, this style is shorter on the body but longer of the legs and head.
  • Teddy Bear- Similar to the Cocker-style Cockapoo cut above but the head is shaped rounder, the legs and body a bit longer and fluffier.
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