The Ultimate Guide To Cockapoo Grooming

Cockapoo Grooming

Like all dogs, Cockapoos need to be groomed and if done with care they all enjoy it!

Cockapoo grooming should begin early, ideally as soon as you bring your puppy home.  It gives them a great deal of physical attention and gets them used to being handled. Like training it also serves as fun early bonding that dog and owner can both get pleasure from to gain trust for one another.

Whether you groom your Cockapoo yourself or pay someone else to do it it’s important to be aware of all the attributes to a good grooming regime, and ensure it’s designed specifically for your Cockapoo.  After all you want your pride and joy to look his best and feel great!

This guide explains the most important information you need to know about grooming your Cockapoo no matter what style coat he has.

You will learn a lot about his fur, ears and nails and how to keep him at his best so you are proud when out and about.

Grooming A Cockapoo Puppy

The Cockapoo has two main coat types: the Poodle type ‘woolly’ or the Cocker type ‘satin’.

Both Cockapoo puppy coats are relatively easy to look after.

A puppy only needs light grooming but it’s good to be consistent so he gets used to it.  Keep sessions short (5-10 minutes) and give him a few treats so he knows this is a special experience for him to enjoy.

 

The Puppy Grooming Kit

A simple grooming kit consisting of a comb,  several brushes and nail clippers (special  designed doggy nail clippers). That’s all you need to groom your pup until the adult coat comes in. Then depending on what coat type comes in, ‘woolly’ or ‘satin’, you may then want to either learn to groom an adult coat yourself or pay a groomer.

Losing Puppy Fur

After about eight months your puppy will lose or ‘moult’ it’s lovely puppy fur. This is when the adult coat ‘comes in’.  From now on you will need to devote more time to grooming.

The moulting phase only lasts a month to six weeks but will vary according to coat type.

If you don’t take care to groom out the puppy fur that is making way for the adult coat you will start to see a matting or a dread-locking effect.

Obviously this is undesirable as it’s difficult to comb out and really it means you’re not grooming him regularly enough.

Nails

Puppies need proper nail care from the early months of their life. Starting early will get them used to the idea.

Your Cockapoo’s nails will need trimming every 2-3 months with a specially designed dog nail clipper.

If you do this yourself be conservative with the amount you cut off as his nerve ending are very close. Just trim the very end hooks. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this any dog groomer will do it quite cheaply.

Technique

Hold your puppies foot and gently press down at the base of the nail. Cut back a little at a time until you get close to the pink part. Snip off the nail tips at a 45-degree angle being careful not to cut too far down.

If you trim to far you’ll catch the vascular quick, which will hurt the dog and bleed profusely. Keep some styptic powder handy which will help stop the bleeding if needed.

Bathing

Frequency of bath will vary according to how mucky your Cockapoo gets. If he’s mostly home-bound once a month will suffice.

Also use warm water and a puppy friendly shampoo. Be careful to avoid getting the soap in his eyes and ears. Just use a damp cloth for those sensitive areas.

After the bath towel dry him thoroughly and leave him in a warm room with the towel until he is fully dry.

Avoid letting him get cold.

For more tips read how to bathe your cockapoo for the first time.

 

Grooming Adult Cockapoos

If you have a preference between the two main types of Cockapoo coats and if you have not yet chosen your puppy you may want to think about this before your choose your dog and dog breeder.

Improper Coat

All dogs lose hair at the end of each growth cycle but a Cockapoo with an ‘improper’ coat is one with a thick undercoat that sheds seasonally.  This type of coat is more common in F1 Cockapoos (1stgeneration cross).

Proper Coat

A ‘proper’ coat will have a thinner undercoat and will not shed seasonally.

Wooly Coats

The ‘woolly’ coat has tight curls and the ‘satin’ coat has little curls or a wave and is smooth to touch. You might prefer a wire woolly coat rather than a silky ‘satin’ one as these are the light shedding variety that has earned the Cockapoo the reputation as a hypoallergenic dog.

Woolly coats are completely curly with a wiry texture which softens with good grooming.

Woolly pups have less dander and you will know their coat style from the moment they’re born. It means if you love the ‘curly’ look you can easily choose your puppy.

This coat type requires grooming more regularly and also a trip to the professional groomer for a clipper cut when needed.

Tight Curly Coats

The tight curly coat absorbs dirt and mud so clipping the coat back to about 3-4 cms long makes it easy to rinse off and dry after fun times on muddy walks. This clip can be brushed when dry.

Special attention must be paid to carefully removing the moulted ‘undercoat’. It’s a slow daily process.

Taking your Cockapoo to a professional groomer every three months or so for a full wash and clip is a really good idea to compliment your own grooming routine.  This will keep him smart and comfortable.

Wavy/ringlet coats

These Cockapoos can look glamorous with a full coat (up to 15 cms long). For those who wish to keep the coat long they will discover that twice a year the coat will moult over about a two week period.

TIP:

If you brush this full coat when dry it reacts rather like frizzy human hair as the brushing damages the hair shaft and breaks it so it then fluffs up into an ‘afro’ style.

To prevent this the coat can be ‘line’ groomed whilst wet and soaked in coat conditioner.

Satin coats

Satin coats are rarer and require far less grooming- just weekly combing and he won’t ever need professional grooming.

Fleecy or satin dogs can have soft rather wiry spirals or slick curls but it’s impossible to tell which puppies will have what curls for several months.  The satin coats are low shedding.

Smooth Cockapoos

Described as ‘smooth’ if their facial hair is smooth and the dog does not have long eyebrows, a beard or moustache. The ‘smooth’ pups’ coats shine and the facial bone structure is clearer.

Facial Furnishings

These refer to facial features and include long haired moustaches, pronounced eyebrows and beards. With these features your dog will be a ‘furnished-faced’ Cockapoo. Without them he or she will be described as an open-faced or ‘smooth’ Cockapoo.

Coat length

Even though owners often refer to their Cockapoos as having shorter and longer length coats in fact they all have long coats. It’s just that those with facial furnishings will be very long, whilst those with open faces will have a shorter overall coat but with feathery style hairs on their legs, ears, body and tail.

Curl and texture

In terms of curl your Cockapoo will either have a ‘woolly’, ‘satin’ or ‘fleecy’ curled coat. The ‘fleecy’ is most common with a soft curled coat.

Traits

Cockapoos also vary in look according to their ‘traits’. In terms of coat traits you need to consider the coat length, curl, texture and furnishings.

 

 

Tips From Professional Groomers

The following quotes come from groomers across the UK-

  • “I’ve used many expensive new combs when they are first advertised but for me a simple metal toothed comb is still best for the job”
  • “If getting your cockapoo professionally groomed check what they plan to do with its nails, fur, eyes (especially eyelashes) and ears”
  • “Tell your groomer exactly what you do and don’t like for your Cockapoo, they will not be offended, but they will otherwise follow the lines from the last cut whether you like it or not”
  • “You can do the grooming yourself- save yourself a good deal of money, especially if you have more than one dog. Remember you will get better as you practice as well.”
  • “Your dog will be safer and happier at home with you, but is more likely to be naughty at home than with a stranger so expect to do some training.”
  • “It’s worth getting a professional cut once in while, because if your next cut is DIY at home you can follow the style lines”
  • “Your first session might take you a long time but, as with all things, you will get much faster as you get better.”
  • “People tend to dissect and pick fault in their own grooming jobs, just remember not to beat yourself up and enjoy doing it”
  • “Although some brave owners may clip their dogs at home, I recommend using the services of a professional. The risk of injuring your dog with a cutting implement is too great in my opinion, and most groomers are quite reasonable, charging in a range of £15-£30 per session.”

 

How To Choose A Groomer

The Pet Industry Federation has launched its new Quality Assurance Standard for Groomers, offering a benchmark of quality for professional groomers and members of the British Dog Groomers’ Association, which will show pet owners that their dogs and cats are in competent and capable hands.

Groomers who have achieved the City & Guilds Level 3 dog grooming qualification can undertake the quality assurance scheme. The standard consists of an independent audit of the grooming business, covering areas such as animal welfare, staff training, equipment, health & safety and customer care. Groomers also take an online assessment to measure their technical competence.

If you would like to know more, a brochure with details of professional grooming  standards and what it means can be downloaded here.

Tell your groomer exactly what you want! Bring in photos of haircuts you like and show your groomer what you like prior to the cut. After the cut you have to be honest and tell the groomer exactly what you like and don’t like.

Things to avoid

  1. If you use a professional groomer be clear that person knows exactly how to groom a Cockapoo. They need to understand your dog’s coat and many groomers can charge a good deal of money so it’s important you know what you are getting.
  2. Unless it’s your preference make sure a groomer knows you don’t want a schnauzer, poodle or any other standard cut.
  3. Do not allow yourself to get caught in the “my Cockapoo doesn’t like it” trap, which is an excuse many owners will use to avoid regular grooming sessions. Some early reward-based training will ensure he looks forward to his grooming sessions.

Remember you take the lead not the dog. Show you are in control and its safe for your Cockapoo to trust the groomer. The job will get easier every time.

Get Started As A Groomer

You will have to pay money upfront on equipment.

But they aren’t that expensive thanks to suppliers like Amazon, so you will soon recoup the cost.

You’ll learn about yourCockapoo and your individual tastes will develop as you go, so be patient.

It takes half a dozen times styling your dog before you feel comfortable doing it so don’t give up after the first session. And I guarantee there will be a big difference in the cut between the first and sixth cut!

The bonus? By the time you’ve fulfilled your commitment you’ll have more than made up the money you invested in your grooming tools/supplies. And if you do give up you can still sell your grooming tools on ebay to someone else looking to give it a try at home.

And if you go back to hiring someone else to do the job you’ll appreciate how hard they work for their pay, too.

So… win/win! Give grooming a go!

 

Web References and Credits

Cockapoo dogs, particularly Poodle style coats do need time invested to groom them well.

A popular groomer’s reference book ‘Notes from the Grooming Table’.

Many thanks to Annette from Eden Dog for permission to re-produce her original article.

Other Grooming Guides

Cockapoo Hair Cuts
Grooming Health Checks
Cockapoo Grooming Styles

 

Grooming and health

Cockapoo Grooming and health

It’s important to have a grooming regime to keep any dog healthy, particularly those with thicker or longer fur.

Grooming is not just about trimming the fur, it’s also about ensuring the eyes are not obscured, the nails are not too long and the ears are looked after.

Grooming/brushing sessions are also an excellent opportunity to examine your dog’s skin for any growths, lumps, bumps or wounds and to have a good look at his ears, eyes and mouth.

Build into your dog’s grooming regime a pattern of small treats and praise so he or she feels content. This should be the case whether you or a paid groomer carries out the work

Ears

Attention will also have to be paid to inside the ear canal as, like Poodles, some Cockapoos grow excess hair inside the ear that will trap ear wax. “Pluck-it” or “Thornit” canker powder can be used to help grip these hairs which need to be plucked out of the ears either with yours or your groomer’s fingers.

Vigilant prevention is the hallmark of good healthcare for all companion animals. Watch for any discharge from the eyes or ears, as well as evidence of accumulated debris in the ear canal accompanied by a foul or yeasty odor. (This is a sign of parasitical mite activity.)

Thoroughly rinse your dog’s coat with clean fresh water to remove all residues. Towel your pet dry and make sure he doesn’t get cold.

Anal Glands

All dogs can suffer from blocked anal glands, typically indicated by the dog rubbing its bottom on the ground or carpet. (You may also notice an odour.)   If this occurs, the glands will need to be expressed to prevent an abscess from forming. This is a sensitive task and one that a veterinarian or a highly experienced groomer should perform.

Fleas

I’m including fleas and ticks under grooming because both are typically discovered by and addressed through grooming sessions. Don’t think that if your Cockapoo suddenly has “passengers” you’re doing something wrong, or that the dog is at fault. This is simply part of dog ownership for you to deal with. Sooner or later, it will happen.

Of course the problem needs to be dealt with immediately, but it’s not a reason to freak out.

Do NOT use a commercial flea product on a puppy of less than 12 weeks of age and be extremely careful with adult dogs.

Most of the major products contain pyrethrum. This chemical has been responsible for adverse reactions, including long-term neurological damage and even fatalities in small dogs.

To get rid of fleas, bathe your dog in warm water with a standard canine shampoo. Comb the animal’s fur with a fine-toothed flea comb, which will trap the live parasites. Repeatedly submerge the comb in hot soapy water to kill the fleas.

Wash all of the dog’s bedding and any soft materials with which he has come in contact. Look for any accumulations of “flea dirt,” which is excreted blood from adult fleas. Wash the bedding and other surfaces daily for at least a week to kill any remaining eggs before they hatch.

If you find a tick, coat it with a thick layer of petroleum jelly for 5 minutes to suffocate the parasite which causes its jaws to release.

Pluck the tick off with a pair of tweezers using a straight motion.   Never just jerk a tick off a dog. The parasite’s head will be left behind and will continue to burrow into the skin, making a painful sore.

TIP: If you bath your dog at home in between clippings, do not get your pet’s head and ears wet. Clean the dog’s head and face with a warm, wet washcloth only.

 

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Cockapoo Grooming Tools

Grooming tools

If you are having difficulty deciding which Cockapoo grooming tools to use the following may be helpful, although every owner has their favourites.

Each of the following tools is quite popular in my experience (please note there is no affiliate recommendations here). I’ve just noted what the tool actually is and why it’s good. Bear in mind two things:

  1. Your Cockapoo’s type of coat- is it hair or fur?
  2. Your dog’s age, as it affects the coat’s level of difficulty

Essential items to use when  grooming a Cockapoo at home are-

Brushes

It’s important to choose a brush wisely for your Cockapoo’s grooming regime. It needs to be one that gets through dog hair. There are many to choose from and you will need to choose between a wire-pin brush a bristle brush and a slicker brush.

  • The bristle brush is great for dogs with short to medium hair. It helps with coat shine by distributing the hair’s natural oils, whilst removing dirt.
  • Wire-pin brushes are for medium to long, curly or woolly coats and look like a series of pins stuck in a raised base.
  • Slicker brushes are excellent for smoothing and detangling, and are especially effective for long hair.  (Note that you can often find combination, two-headed brushes, which will save you a little money and make your grooming sessions more efficient.)

Dual brushes combine two of those mentioned above on the same brush if you want to save money, even though it may need replacing more often.

Each of these types of brush is easily acquired for less than $15 or £9 and can be found for less than $10 or £6.

Also http://www.lespoochs.com/brushes is a good website to visit which offers a range of brushes. These can really help with different types of knots and matting as they vary in sizes and firmness. Do contact them if you are unsure which to choose as it’s important to get the right brush for your Cockapoo’s needs.

TheBrushBuddy.com is a good source to find your brushes.

 

Oster Premium Flexible Slicker Brush

 

Cockapoo Grooming Tools: Hair dryers

The stainless steel models are most popular and the speed variations and hot and cold options are really useful. Be careful when it is at its hottest and fastest as it is powerful. It’s also great for quickly removing debris and dirt stuck to the Cockapoo’s coat at the end of a decent walk. The Aerolus’ size is the real bonus as it travels well and can have a stand as well.

Aeolus Blaster Dryer

This nifty single motor blaster for dogs generally comes in at around £125 but for many, this is money well spent and the TD901T model in particular is gaining ground as it claims to be the most powerful in the world- The Tropiclean D-Mat Tangle Remover– recommended for tight curly coated Cockapoos.

This is a 16 ounce after bath or dry coat leave-in wonder spray designed to cut your brushing time in half give your dog’s fur shine and elasticity, especially if damaged. It’s latest pleasant smelling formula claims to remove and prevents tangles, mats, undercoat and loose hair and is available for around £29. Naturally, you will still need to brush and comb your Cockapoo’s hair.

Tropiclean’s shampoo and conditioner

To support the benefits of your Tropiclean remover you may also want to consider the shampoo and conditioner available for around £7 and £8 respectively. Best to use a shampoo that is free from soap and detergents so skin stays soft.

To do that, you work from the paws up and from root to tip of hair throughout. The tools you will need for this include a rake and a slicker brush.

Nobby Starline Soft Grip Disentangler

On medium to longhaired Cockapoos use a good rigid rake with 8 or 10 blades such as the Nobby Starline Grip Disentangler from paws upwards and across each hair from root to tip.

Specialised sprays can help you remove tangles, knots and matting but make sure you do spray on your dog when he or she is on a cleaning matt so as not to make your floor unsafe.

You might also want to consider a rolled leather collar which is known to help reduce mats and knots around the collar and ears.

Nobby Starline Soft Grip Disentangler

Experiment with Cockapoo grooming tools, maybe buy some second from ebay or just ask other owners at Cockapoo meet ups. Learning some grooming skills is a great way to save money in between trips to the professional groomer and also a fun way to bond with your poo from an early age. Everyone likes to look their best including your poo!