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How to Groom a Cockapoo: 8 Great Tips

Kerry-Ann Kerr Profile Picture

By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Asian woman owner grooming hair dryer to dry Cockapoo dog hair in house

Cockapoos are tidy family members in terms of their lack of shedding. The downside to a breed that doesn’t shed is that you must keep on top of grooming to avoid tangles and matting. It’s essential to keep your Cockapoo’s face tidy since it prevents them from picking up a variety of nasty infections.

Many pet parents choose to get their dogs groomed professionally, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to do at home between grooming appointments. There is a lot to think about when caring for your dog’s coat, and we’ve listed some handy tips below to make it a little bit easier!

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Getting Started

You might not need everything on this list, but you can pick and choose what works best for you.

What you will need ...
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Make sure these are specifically for dogs.
  • Shampoo and conditioner: Use pet-friendly brands to remove mats, knots, and tangles.
  • Pet leash or grooming table: A grooming table will cost you more and is a better choice if you’re thinking of grooming your dog’s entire body, but a leash will also work, especially if you live alone and your dog is hyper. The aim is to keep your Cockapoo from moving.
  • Slicker brush: This is a great everyday brush and is also perfect after a bath. It’s a must-have for a Cockapoo owner because of its design; it can work through right to the dog’s roots.
  • Grooming comb: Steel combs are cheap, and they’re another must-have; they will work out the mats and tangles.
  • Dog hair clippers: These are one of the priciest items on the list, but they are a good investment if you’re thinking of cutting your dog’s fur long-term.
  • Grooming scissors: Ensure they aren’t sharp for your pet’s safety.
  • Nail clipper or grinder: A quieter nail grinder will not only keep your dog calmer but also ensure you don’t cut off too much of your dog’s nails and make them bleed.
  • Cotton ball/microfiber cloth and ear cleaner: Cockapoos have soft skin in their ears, and you should only use ear cleaners designed specifically for your pet.
Cute Cockapoo dog sit on table
Image Credit: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

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How to Groom a Cockapoo

1. Bathing Your Dog

Grooming your Cockapoo is always easier if it starts with a bath because shampoo and conditioner will make it much easier to comb through any tangles. Once they’re all clean, dry them off with a towel if you aim to cut their fur next. If not, you can always dry them with a hairdryer if you need to dry them quickly. Be sure to check the heat settings, so you don’t burn your Cockapoo!


2. Brushing Your Dog’s Fur

When it comes to brushing, ensure you’re getting right down to the skin and not just brushing the top of the coat. Start with your slicker brush (a pin brush would also work) and brush the whole coat. Use a comb next to pick up any knots the brush might have missed. Pay close attention to your Cockapoo’s beard, ears, legs, and armpits since that is where mats and knots like to collect.

3. Maintenance Haircut

While you might not be comfortable cutting your Cockapoo’s entire body, there are areas you can keep maintained. The face is an important area. Support your dog’s head with your free hand under its chin, aim your scissors up for safety, and follow the comb down toward the nose. It’s essential to keep this fur short to avoid infections.

Puppies also require a hygiene trim to keep the fur around their anus tidy. This stops poop from clinging to the hair.

Asian woman grooming puppy cockapoo dog
Image Credit: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

4. Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

Nail trimming is something you can get done by a professional when your dog is getting a haircut, but it is possible to do it at home. It can be an anxious time for your dog, so we suggest handling your dog’s paws and trimming its nails when they’re a puppy. The younger they are, the faster they will become accustomed to the process. Some dogs might need to be restrained, while others will sit in your lap while you do this.

Hold your dog’s paw gently and place your thumb on the pad of a toe and your forefinger on the top, above the nail. Push your thumb up and back on the pad while your forefinger pushes forward to extend the nail.

You’ll clip the tip of the nail straight across and avoid going past the curve or you’ll hit the “quick,” which is the pink area of the nail.

If your dog has dark nails, watch for a chalky, white ring. Remember to include the dewclaw, which is located on the inside of the paw.

5. Grinding Your Dog’s Nails

Some people prefer this over cutting the nails because there’s less chance you can make a mistake and hurt your dog. Gently support your dog’s toe, grind along the nail’s bottom, and smooth out any rough edges. You’re only going to grind a small part of the nail at a time. Make sure your dog’s fur isn’t in the way because it could get caught.

6. Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Use a toothbrush made for dogs because the bristles are softer and angled. Finger brushes also work, but only for dogs under 30 pounds. A brush with a handle for a larger dog will give you a better reach. Always use doggy toothpaste because human toothpaste contains ingredients that will hurt a dog’s tummy.

Brush your Cockapoo’s teeth in circular motions. As you move along the gum line, you might notice bleeding. Slight bleeding is normal, but heavy or ongoing bleeding could signify that you’re brushing too aggressively.

Plaque tends to collect on the outsides of the canine and back teeth. If you can reach the insides of the teeth, that is a bonus since some dogs will resist it. But don’t worry too much if you can’t, as their course tongue keeps the area clean.

brushing dog teeth
Image Credit: DWhiteeye, Shutterstock

7. Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Cockapoos have floppy ears that can get pretty stinky, thanks to a build-up of ear wax and debris, leading to bacteria and infection. To clean your Cockapoo’s ears, gently pull the ear back and check for any signs of debris. Ticks, grass, seeds, stones, and insects can make their way into the ear.

Wet your cotton ball with an ear-cleaning solution, and use a solution that is for dogs and not humans. Your cotton ball should be wet but not dripping, as you don’t want any fluid going into the ear canal. Wipe about half an inch into the ear canal and work outward.

Repeat until your cotton ball comes away clean. Also, don’t use cotton swabs because your dog might move suddenly, and the swabs could cause damage to the ear. If you notice the ears have a foul smell, discharge, significant debris, or anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.

8. Cleaning Your Dog’s Eyes

Apart from keeping your Cockapoo’s eyes trimmed, you’ll also need to ensure they’re clean. The best way to do this is to wipe around the outer corner where their eyes meet their nose. This will remove any debris or sleep. You can use a cotton ball and some water for this.

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People Also Ask …

What Type of Coat Does My Cockapoo Have?

Cockapoos are low-shedding dogs with single-coated fur that can be straight or curly. This means that how often you groom your Cockapoo depends on its coat type.

Flat Coat

This is similar to the coat of a Cocker Spaniel, and it is a relatively low-maintenance coat that is low shedding and doesn’t need to be clipped at home. Generally, a Cockapoo with this coat would require brushing at home two to three times a week.

Straight Coat

Your Cockapoo requires regular at-home grooming and frequent brushing and clipping around three to four times a year.

Ringlets/Curly Coat

Cockapoos with these coats are usually much more high-maintenance. While they don’t shed fur, they will molt twice a year, so you will have to keep up with grooming routines to stop their coat from matting.

Asian owner grooming hair dryer to dry Cockapoo dog hair
Image By: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

Should You Trim a Cockapoo’s Eyelashes?

Like a Cocker Spaniel, you’ll find a Cockapoo’s eyelashes can grow really long. It’s adorable looking, but you might also consider occasionally trimming them as part of your Cockapoo’s grooming routine. Just like trimming the fur around the eyes, take care with your scissors when doing this.

How Often Should You Groom a Cockapoo Puppy?

For the first 6 months, the grooming routine is simple. Brushing them for 10-minute periods four to five times a week should be enough to keep their fur healthy. When the adult coat grows in at the 6 to 8-month mark, your Cockapoo might need trimming.

What’s the Best Cut for a Cockapoo?

While it is possible to take on the challenge of cutting your Cockapoo’s fur at home yourself, it does take some skill, and the trickier cuts will require a professional. There are, of course, different cuts, and we would suggest deciding which one you prefer.

The most popular are:
  • The summer cut: It’s perfect for warm weather and low maintenance as it involves trimming the fur to the same short length.
  • Cockapoo Cocker cut: This cut will need to be touched up every 6 to 8 weeks and involves keeping the head longer while the hair around the eyes is shorter, like a Cocker Spaniel style.
  • The lamb cut: This cut keeps the fur on the legs longer and fluffier, which makes your Cockapoo look very much like a lamb!
  • Teddy bear Cockapoo: This is the most famous trim and probably the look you think of when someone mentions a Cockapoo. The hair is long around the head, while the body is kept 2 to 3 inches long, so it looks more disheveled.

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It’s logical to assume that a dog that doesn’t shed or sheds less than other breeds requires less grooming care at home. While true, your Cockapoo will still need some care and attention. The time you will spend grooming your Cockapoo also depends on how curly its fur is and what style of cut you’ve gone for. Whether you’re brushing out those pesky tangles or cleaning their eyes, grooming maintains your Cockapoo’s health and overall happiness.

Featured Image Credit: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

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