Whether you decide to brave it yourself and get the scissors out for a home groom, or want to take your pooch to a professional, one of the most commonly asked questions is – “when should a Cockapoo have its first haircut?”
Around 7 months plus is the time to start thinking about giving your Cockapoo its first haircut. Your Cockapoo puppy won’t get his or her adult coat until the age of 6-8 months, so for those first 6-8 months of your Cockapoo’s life, you don’t need to give them a haircut.
However, it is a good idea to get your puppy used to being brushed from an early age and, because of their curly coats, Cockapoo puppies need gentle brushing every two or three days to avoid matting and tangles developing. You can also use blunt-ended scissors to trim the hair around your puppy´s mouth if the fur gets matted there.
Some groomers will also recommend that you start the grooming process at a young age so that they get used to the experience of getting a haircut and the smells and noises that are part of the grooming process.
Our Cavapoo Rosie had her first groom at 14 weeks of age, and ever since then we have had no problems taking her to the groomers on a regular basis. Infact she positively looks forward to going.
If your Cockapoo gets used to being brushed and combed several times a week as a puppy they will be relaxed being groomed when they are older. This makes life a lot easier in the future for your groomer. If you decide to give your Cockapoo haircuts yourself you will reap the rewards of those early sessions with brush and comb.
Do Cockapoos lose their puppy coat?
“Do Cockapoos lose their puppy coat?” you ask and the answer is “Yes – and you will definitely know when they do!”
A Cockapoo is a breed of dog that transitions from a puppy coat to an adult one. This process starts around 6 months and is usually completed at 8 months of age.
For many owners one of the major attractions of owning a Cockapoo is that they hardly moult. In fact Cockapoos are considered by many to be hypoallergenic.
It is true that your Cockapoo, with its curly coat, will not leave a mass of hairs everywhere like a breed with a straight coat (Terriers and Labradors are prime examples). However, they still shed hair and the transition from puppy coat to adult coat is when they shed the most.
It is, therefore, important to brush your Cockapoo even more regularly during this time – ideally, you will do this maybe once or twice a day to keep him looking good and stop the loose hair from building up too much.
If you do this regularly, then their adult coat will come in beautifully – and you won´t be forever finding his or her old hair all over the place.
On the other hand, if you neglect to do this then you may find that they end up with a lot of matts and tangles that will take a lot of brushing and combing to remove.
If you would like some recommendations on brushes to use for your Cockapoo, then check out our reviews for the best dog brushes to use on other doodle dogs.
What are the different types of Cockapoo coats?
The coat type of your Cockapoo will vary as characteristics are inherited from both parents – the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel – and there may even be some variety within a litter. The three possible coat types are:-
- A tight, curly coat – This usually* results from having American Cocker Spaniel and Miniature or Toy Poodle parents
- A loose, wavy/ringlet coat – This usually* results from having English Cocker Spaniel and Miniature or Toy Poodle parents
- A straight coat – This is a much less common and usually* results from having Working Cocker Spaniel and Miniature or Toy Poodle parents
* Note that even within the same litter, puppies may have different types of coat or varying degrees of curliness etc. Hence the word “usually”.
The best guide to what sort of coat your puppy will have is to look at his or her parents and ask about previous litters (if any). The good news is that when puppies are just a few weeks old it is possible to see the coat type starting to develop.
How often should I groom my Cockapoo puppy?
The answer to the question “How often should I groom my Cockapoo puppy?” depends on what you mean by “grooming”. Puppies will just need brushing and combing (to remove tangles and prevent matting).
The puppy coat of the Cockapoo is relatively easy to look after. For the first six months a very simple grooming regime of regular brushing sessions of 10 minutes or so, four to five times a week should keep your puppy free from matts and tangles.
All you need is a fairly simple grooming kit consisting of the following tools:-
- a comb,
- a brush,
- nail clippers
- a slicker brush
For further information on what you might need to keep your Cockapoo tangle-free, check out our blog on the best dematting tools for doodles.
Make sure you give plenty of treats and praise with the grooming to make this a pleasant experience. The time you spend grooming your puppy helps the bond between you to grow.
Your puppy may not really need this recommended amount of grooming at this age but it will later on when the adult coat ‘comes in’ so it’s a valuable time to get your puppy used to being groomed.
Your adult Cockapoo will also need brushing and combing etc and this should by now be something they look forward to – every dog likes treats and praise!
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.
Once your puppy gets their adult coat they will be approaching the time for their first “haircut”
When should puppies get their first haircut?
As a Cockapoo puppy reaches 7-8 months, they will start to grow adult fur and it will be time to start thinking about booking them in for their first full-on grooming session. At this age, they will require their first haircut.
However, if this milestone occurs in the middle of Winter, you might want to wait a little while to make sure your puppy has enough fur to keep comfortable. Or you could treat your puppy to a haircut and a stylish coat to keep him or her warm and get the best of both worlds!
Dogs do feel the cold, so if you want to invest in a coat that will keep them warm and dry through the inclement weather, then check out on recommendations for the best winter coats for dogs.
On the other hand, if it is the height of Summer and your puppy is struggling with the heat or his fur is getting matted despite your best efforts, then a light trim a month or so earlier is fine.
What is a puppy cut for a Cockapoo?
The Cockapoo Puppy Haircut is one of the most popular haircut styles because it’s a simple and easy to cut style. It also has the added advantage that it makes your dog look very cute.
The “puppy cut,” is not just for puppies – it works for any age of Cockapoo and doesn’t leave the hair too short. Some professional groomers specifically recommend that this is the only Cockapoo haircut you use for at least the first year of your dog´s life as it helps to maintain the hair quality, softness, and still leaves your dog with enough hair to look ….well……cute.
Another advantage of the puppy cut is that it is relatively low maintenance. It involves cutting your Cockapoo’s hair roughly 1.5 to 2 inches evenly across their body.
Once the Cockapoo puppy haircut is done, all you need to do is to occasionally trim your Cockapoo’s face to keep it looking perfect.
This cut is fairly short compared to most other styles and the key is to have a consistent length from top to bottom. The best description is “pure and simple”. There is no fancy design or special cut around any areas of the dog’s body.
Cockapoo Puppy Cut Features:
- 1.5 to 2 inches of evenly cut hair across the body
- Sometimes the paws, legs, and underbelly can be cut slightly shorter
- Maybe a small trim around their tail, but keeping it looking fluffy
Best types of Cockapoo haircuts
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. However there are other popular styles used in grooming Cockapoos.
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.
You’ll also need to brush the longer hair on a regular basis. That could be good news if you like to groom your dog a lot.
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.
This cut also requires regular maintenance if your dog is to continue looking cute so your Cockapoo will need trims about every eight weeks to keep that “teddy bear” look.
You will also need your grooming tools, as you will need to brush and comb your dog’s coat often to keep it free of dirt and tangles.
What length should a Cockapoo fur be cut?
Just like your hair the fur of your dog´s coat is continually growing and that means Cockapoo grooming is a continual process.
The length of your Cockapoos coat will depend on which haircut you have chosen for your dog. So to summarize:
- Puppy Cut – 1.5 to 2 inches
- Classic Cocker Spaniel Cut – 2 – 3 inches. This cut is short around the head and eyes but the body is left longer than the Puppy Cut – especially on the bottom of the body and the legs.
- Teddy Bear Cut – 2-3 inches on the body with the face (except around the eyes) left a little longer. This is the type of cut we originally favored for our dog Rosie.
Which haircut style should I choose for my Cockapoo?
While you may like your dog to look a particular way, your dog’s comfort is the most important thing. The longer Teddy Bear Cut may be too hot in Summer while the Puppy Cut may leave your Cockapoo a little chilly in the depths of Winter.
Likewise, if your dog likes to run through the mud or through bushes, then the long hair on his or her legs will soon be a mess if you have chosen the Classic Cocker Cut.
Always make sure you let your groomer know EXACTLY what you want – maybe even bring some pictures with you. That way both you and your dog will be happy. As one owner told us:-
“We took Lulu, our Cockapoo, to several different groomers for her first few haircuts until we found one that gave her the cut we all loved. She even took a photo of the result and now we take our dog to her every time and, because she has a record of exactly how we want her cut, we always get a great result”
Should I shave my Cockapoo in Summer?
It’s Summer and it’s hot. You are hot, your dog is hot. So should you shave your dog?
This question has a very simple answer:-
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU SHAVE YOUR DOG IN SUMMER! EVER!
- Shaving down the Cockapoo’s coat to help him stay cooler during summer is a REALLY, REALLY BAD IDEA because it leaves the dog’s skin exposed to sunburn and UV rays.
- Your dog’s coat is designed to keep him warm in winter and cooler during summer and this is the reason why he or she sheds some hair as the weather gets warmer.
- Cockapoos are well equipped to cope with the weather. Just let Mother Nature take care of it. Put that razor away.
What happens if you don’t give your Cockapoo puppy a haircut?
Cockapoo owners sometimes ask, “What happens if I DON’T give my Cockapoo puppy a haircut?” and the simple answer is, “You’ll have a slightly hairier dog!”
As we explained above, grooming – at least as far as an actual haircut is concerned, either by a professional or by yourself – isn’t really necessary until your dog has its adult coat – which generally happens at around 6-8 months.
Of course, you want to brush your pet regularly to make sure the fur on his or her ears isn’t tangled, knotted or matted as well as the rest of the body and legs.
Make sure you have a set of grooming tools – a comb, a brush, a slicker brush and a set of nail trimmers.
A pair of blunt-ended scissors is also useful to trim the fur around the eyes (carefully!) if your dog needs to be able to see better.
Top 10 tips for grooming your Cockapoo
Grooming your Cockapoo can be a great bonding experience – soothing and calming for you and (hopefully) for your pet.
However, there are ways to ensure the experience is good for both of you so here are our top 10 tips:-
- Groom your puppy often – The more your dog is groomed, the more they will get used to it and it becomes part of the routine. The first time might be a little challenging but by the twentieth it should just be relaxing and fun.
- Tire him or her out – The time when your dog is tired out from a walk and ready for a rest is the best time to sit quietly and groom him or her.
- Be calm and confident – Cockapoos are intelligent dogs and will pick up on your mood. If you are stressed your dog will be stressed.
- Play some soothing music – We’e not going to give musical advice but a little Bach or Isaac Hayes played at low volume is likely to be more soothing than, say, Metallica cranked up to 11 while your pet is being groomed.
- Reward good behaviour -There will be some things that some dogs are uneasy about. Many dislike having their paws held when having their nails clipped. Make sure you give lots of praise and rewards when your Cockapoo lets you clip them without making a fuss.
- Reward with praise or treats -We all like praise and treats and dogs are no different. A favourite toy or a doggie treat makes grooming time something to look forward to.
- Take a break – You need to keep your dog calm and happy, so if he or she is getting anxious or stressed STOP. Grooming is meant to be a calm, pleasant experience for both of you. There is always tomorrow and if your dog knows that you will move on if he gets anxious he will be a lot happier to start again tomorrow.
- Have all the tools you need to hand – Once you have started grooming your Cockapoo you really don’t want to have to leave the room to get the comb you left in the drawer etc. It will break the mood and your dog may see it as a signal that the grooming session is over.
- Talk to your Cockapoo – It’s all about communication. Telling your pet how clever she or he is in a soothing voice will get that tail wagging.
- Enjoy it! – This is a fun time for both of you. And one of you comes out of it looking prettier than they went in!
Cockapoos have become popular dogs for their easy-going nature, their good looks and their intelligence but possibly their major advantage to many people, is the fact that their coat is hypoallergenic and they hardly moult.
However, this does mean that that you, as their owner, are responsible for the maintenance of that beautiful curly or wavy coat. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to be a professional – you just have to be willing to invest a little time in grooming your canine companion.
The good news is that this is not difficult and should be a fun, bonding experience for both of you.