How to Groom a Cockapoo

how to groom a cockapoo
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    Although a Cockapoo has low shedding fur – with some even referring to this breed as being hypoallergenic – it is really important that you groom your Cockapoo on a regular basis. As Cockapoos have varying coat types, it is important that you understand how to groom it correctly and the tools required to keep their fur in tip top shape.

    When it comes to how to groom a Cockapoo, you need to consider the age of your dog, time of year and coat type. As Cockapoos have relatively high grooming needs, you’ll need to use a comb and slicker brush and ensure that they receive a regular clip or trim either at home or by a professional.

    Below we detail when, why and how to groom a Cockapoo as well as providing recommendations on the best grooming tools to keep your dog’s coat shiny and mat free. And, if you are feeling confident enough to get the clippers out, then we have provided some top tips on how to clip a Cockapoo at home.

    Can I groom my Cockapoo myself?

    There are several good reasons to groom a Cockapoo at home. The number one reason is to bond with your dog.

    Gently removing the tangles and mats will get your Cockapoo used to your touch and, in the process, the two of you will be able to bond more and grow even more fond of each other and this builds trust.

    You will also be saving money that you would have otherwise spent on paying for the services of a specialist dog-groomer. Always a good thing!

    Lastly, grooming and bathing your Cockapoo at home will allow you to choose the products that you want. By so doing, you can avoid harsh products that could be harmful to your Cockapoo. For advice on antibacterial to anti-itch and even hypoallergenic shampoos, check out our reviews on dog friendly grooming products.

    “Grooming” is one of those words that means different things to different people. For our purposes:

    “Cockapoo grooming” means brushing, combing and trimming your Cockapoo’s fur. “Cockapoo cutting or clipping” means giving your dog a shampoo and haircut- a slightly more challenging exercise.

    Cockapoo home grooming kit

    All you need is a fairly simple grooming kit consisting of the following tools:-

    detangling comb for cockapoo grooming

    A comb

    Useful for longer fur. Use the comb to work out any knots or tangles (particularly on the chest, armpits and belly) before using the slicker brush. Your dog comb does not have to be fancy, something simple such as this detangling pet combwhich can purchased on Amazon.

    slicker brush for cockapoo grooming

    A slicker brush

    A slicker brush is a pet grooming tool which is designed to help remove mats while also pulling out dead hair and gently stimulating the skin, removing layers of dead skin cells and promoting healthy circulation.

    Many people like to use this type of brush at the end of a grooming session because it adds a nice shine to the animal’s coat, and most animals enjoy the gentle scratching sensation.

    The tines of a slicker brush are typically made from very thin metal wire and are mounted on a soft foam or rubber mat, causing the brush to resemble a wire hairbrush. They usually come in square or rectangular shapes but it is also possible to find circular and oval brushes.

    The soft mat of the brush ensures that the individual tines have some give, so that they will not hurt the animal as the brush is used.

    If you would like some advice on the best brushes for doodles, check out these useful blogs:

    blunt end scissors for cockapoo grooming

    Blunt-ended scissors

    Even if you intend to entrust most of your Cockapoo grooming to a professional, a pair of blunt-ended (NEVER pointed) scissors is useful for snipping away matted fur, trimming paws, keeping fur from your Cockapoo’s eyes etc.

    nail clippers for cockapoo grooming

    Nail clippers

    All dogs’ nails will need trimming every 2-3 months with nail clippers. If you do this yourself be very conservative with the amount you cut off, just trimming the very end hooks is sufficient.

    If you are hesitant about clipping your dog’s nails any dog groomer should be able do it for you at very little cost and if you watch how it is done you will be able to do it yourself next time.

    This really is all you need for the first 6-8 months unless you are intending to start giving your furry friend a regular home haircut.

    Rather than buy everything individually, check out this dog grooming scissor and nail clipper set.

    How do you groom a Cockapoo face?

    Particularly with curlier Cockapoos, it’s important to keep on top of the grooming around their face to keep them tidy and prevent them from picking up nasty infections. The three main areas to consider are the top of the head, around the eyes and the muzzle.

    How to trim the top of your Cockapoo’s head (the crown)

    This the area at the top of the head, between the dog’s ears. It should be kept at medium length as, if it is cut too short, it can alter the appearance of the proportions of your dog’s face.

    Pull the hair up between your fingers and snip away with scissors at an angle of about 45 degrees.

    How to trim your Cockapoo eyes and eyebrows

    Whatever type of coat your Cockapoo has, it’s important to frequently brush and trim the hair around their eyes to enable them to see where they are going.

    To do this:-

    • Support your dog’s head with your free hand placed under its chin.
    • Groom the eyebrow and eye hair downwards towards the nose with a comb and cut using the middle of the scissors, with blades pointing upwards to avoid accidents. It’s important to keep eye hair short to prevent infections.
    • Even up the eyebrows once the eye hair is trimmed.
    • It is perfectly safe to cut your Cockapoos eyelashes, but try not to cut them too short as they do protect the eyes from dirt and debris.

    How to trim your Cockapoo´s muzzle

    Top Tip – “When grooming the muzzle of your Cockapoo, don’t worry about taking too much hair away. The hair should fall over the muzzle in a curved-moustache style. Comb hair downwards on each side of your dog’s snout, then cut a straight line that sits level with the jawline.” (This is the easy bit!)

    Always pull this hair sideways away from the nose and you’ll be able to see any stray hairs that you might have missed. These can be tidied up.

    In order to create the Cockapoo moustache look you will need to cut away a small amount of hair to make a curve, cutting the hair getting shorter as you move towards the nose! (This is the less easy bit!)

    It’s not a bad idea to take your Cockapoo to a professional groomer for his or her first haircut so you can watch how it’s done.

    Please be very careful with your dog’s whiskers. They’re safe to trim but are very sensitive and your your pup might flinch when you cut them – not a recipe for a calm and happy dog!

    What do I need to trim my Cockapoo at home?

    Once you decide to trim your Cockapoo at home you might decide that you need some extra grooming equipment. Having the right tools and equipment definitely makes home haircutting a lot easier.

    So whether you are going for a Teddy Bear Cut, a Spaniel Cut or just the basic Puppy Cut (see below) here are a few things to add to your armoury.

    • A grooming table. Having your Cockapoo at the right height while you groom him or her will save you from backache and make the job so much easier. We recommend the Breeze Touch Dog Grooming Table, as it already comes with a a connectable arm.
    • A grooming arm. Not the arm you are holding the scissors with! The grooming arm holds the leash or harness that keeps your dog still while being clipped. Most grooming tables (like the one recommended above) come with one attached but you can buy “stand alone” ones that enable you to turn your kitchen table into a grooming table.
    • Dog clippers. Don’t be tempted to use the clippers you use to give your family haircuts. Purchase good quality pair of dedicated Dog Clippers. Don’t forget to use plenty of Blade Coolant and Lubricant too.
    • Thinning shears. These make the job of evening out short and long hairs a lot simpler. Not essential but they do make life easier. If you are looking for a premium pair, then check out the Pet Magasin Thinning Shears which are available to buy on Amazon.

    How do you clip a Cockapoo for beginners?

    Clipping is slightly more advanced than trimming your Cockapoo and can be quite an art. If you do not feel confident enough to give your Cockapoo a clip, then we recommend visiting a professional groomer.

    If, however, you would like to clip your Cockapoo at home yourself, then before explaining how to clip your Cockapoo here are our TOP 10 TIPS before you start:

    1. Always brush your Cockapoo to remove all tangles and mats before you go anywhere near the clippers.
    2. Start with the blade guard that takes off the least hair. You can always change to a shorter guard, but you can’t put back hair once you’ve cut it off!
    3. Clip in the direction in which the hair grows, not against it. Clippers can pinch, grab, or cut skin folds that get in the way. Your dog will not thank you.
    4. Don’t apply pressure on the clipper while clipping. Just lightly move the blade across your dog. Pressure can cause “clipper burn”, which will appear as a red, inflamed area within a few hours. This happens most in sensitive areas like the groin and stomach.
    5. The metal parts can get very hot and they have the potential to burn. Always use a plastic guard when clipping. If you must use the clippers with just the metal blade for certain areas, do those areas first. You should check how warm the metal is by touching it against the back of your hand. If it is hot, stop using the clippers and let them cool down.
    6. Be very careful using the clippers on or around sensitive areas. The stomach and groin are the two places you need to be the especially careful. Take extreme care around the nipples on the belly and remember that dog nipples are found on both boys and girls.
    7. Be aware of where your dog has loose skin. While clipping with one hand, hold your dog’s skin taut with the other. This way, the clippers will run evenly over the skin/coat.
    8. Don’t forget the feet! Cockapoos have hair on the bottom of their feet that continues to grow. It is a magnet for grass seeds, mud – you name it! Use a smaller clipper or scissors to cut this hair off.
    9. NEVER, EVER clipper through a tangle or mat. Your clippers will become stuck in the mat and pull against the skin. That hurts!
    10. Invest in a grooming table. An essential if you are intending to trim your Cockapoo on a regular basis or if money is tight, buy a dog grooming arm that clips onto a normal table. It makes life so much easier and means less stress for you and your Cockapoo.

    10 steps to follow every time you give your Cockapoo a haircut

    It’s always good to have a routine. It helps you to stay organised and if you are organised you are relaxed. Your Cockapoo likes routine too and if you are calm……then so is your dog!

    So, no matter which hairstyle you intend to give your Cockapoo, here is a good routine to follow every time.

    1. Start by cleaning his eyes and ears and bathe him.
    2. Dry him (or her!) and clip nails (the first time just trim the “hooks”).
    3. Comb out the hair to remove mats and tangles (it is VERY important to remove all these).
    4. Trim and shape the body – chest, back, sides and tummy.
    5. Trim and shape the forelegs.
    6. Trim and shape the hind legs.
    7. Trim and shape the tail and rear-end (to keep everything back there neat and hygienic).
    8. Trim and shape the neck, head and face.
    9. Finish with a final comb through and brush.
    10. Give your Cockapoo his or her favourite treat. (This bit is VERY IMPORTANT!)

    Traditional Cockapoo haircuts

    So we have everything set up. Now we need to decide which haircut will suit your Cockapoo best.

    The Puppy Cut

    The “Puppy Cut” is also known as the “Summer Cut” as, with a consistent length over the whole body of 1.5 to 2 inches, it is ideal for the heat of Summer. It also has the advantage that it lasts at least three months between haircuts.

    This is the easiest cut for a novice and probably the best to start with.

    Classic Cocker Spaniel Cut

    If you want to show your dog or you just like the look of classic Cocker Spaniel haircuts, this style is what you are looking for.

    It involves trimming the body fur short – but not as short as the Puppy Cut – and leaving the hair on the head and lower portion of the legs long.

    The result is a style that makes your Cockapoo look more like a Cocker Spaniel. However, this cut must be trimmed more frequently, at least every six to eight weeks.

    Teddy Bear Cut

    This cut leaves quite a bit more fur on your canine friend’s coat and may be best for wintertime. It is a firm favourite for Cockapoo grooming.

    The hair is trimmed to approximately two to three inches long and, like the Cocker Spaniel cut, the hair around the face and the bottom of the legs is left longer.


    How often should you groom a Cockapoo?

    One of the most common questions new owners ask about Cockapoo grooming is how often they should groom their pet. This is one of those “how long is a piece of string” questions to which the answer is, “it depends!”

    How often you brush and groom your Cockapoo will depend upon each individual dog. The coat type and length and recent activities will be the things that affect the frequency of Cockapoo grooming.

    Any Cockapoo that loves running through grass and mud will DEFINITELY need more regular grooming and this could easily be as often as once a day.

    A dog with a short coat usually requires much less brushing and grooming compared to one with a medium to long haired curly coat as these longer coats often get tangles and mats and get debris trapped in them more easily. In this case grooming every two to three days is a good schedule.

    However, there is no reason why all Cockapoos shouldn’t be brushed every day – as long as both you and your pet enjoy it.

    Grooming can take anything from a couple of minutes to a number of hours a week depending on your type of dog.

    Grooming during the “shedding season”

    All dogs “shed” – it is how they renew their coat – but one of the chief benefits of owning a Cockapoo is that they shed a lot less than most breeds.

    How much your particular Cockapoo sheds, depends on whether he or she is single coated or double coated. Double coated dogs have a softer “underlayer” coat.

    Of course, your Cockapoo has one parent who is a Poodle (single coated) and another who is a Springer Spaniel (double coated) so which type of coat your Cockapoo inherits is a matter of luck.

    However, because the Poodle parent tends to be the “dominant gene” the majority of Cockapoos are single coated and so will shed less hair than their double coated friends.

    There is one time when your puppy will definitely shed – when they lose their puppy coat at between 6 and 8 months. That’s when your pet will need plenty of brushing and combing as their adult coat comes through.

    Final Thought

    Regular grooming is a great time to spend with your Cockapoo. Running a comb or brush through your Cockapoo’s curly coat builds trust and creates a bond between you.

    It is also essential for the wellbeing of your pet as it eliminates tangles and matting that can, if left, cause your pet discomfort and could lead to infection.

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