How to Groom a Cockapoo?

If you’re thinking about adopting a cockapoo, understand that this breed requires a great deal of grooming. You’ll have to be ready to groom your dog regularly and possibly bring him to a professional groomer for trickier tasks.

how to groom a cockapoo
How to groom a Cockapoo steps

Cockapoo coats may vary a bit from dog to dog. Some dogs of this breed have coats extremely similar to a poodle. That is, they have densely curly coats. Other cockapoos, however, have just wavy coats. More unusual but possible is that your cockapoo will have straight coats. Whatever kind of cockapoo you have, it will need plenty of grooming. 

Why Do Cockapoos Need to be Groomed? 

Of course, every breed of dog needs to be groomed. However, certain breeds, including cockapoos, need more regular and fastidious grooming than you might find with a more low-maintenance breed. You’ll need to know how to groom your cockapoo correctly. 

tongue out Cockapoo enjoyed bath
A tongue-out Cockapoo enjoyed taking the bath. (Image: Instagram/@ellie_the_cockapoo)

If you don’t groom your cockapoo the right way and frequently enough, your dog’s coat will end up getting knotted and matted. If this happens, this will potentially result in skin conditions and even infections. Matted hair is also uncomfortable for your dog. 

Also, your cockapoo needs grooming so that his coat stays in good condition. When you groom your dog, you remove not only matting and knotting, but also debris such as flakes of dead skin. You don’t want these kinds of things staying near your dog’s skin for too long. 

Brushing Your Cockapoo 

When you’re brushing a cockapoo, you need to make sure to get the brush bristles down to the dog’s skin. This will get rid of any knots that may be hiding. I use a pin brush first and then a comb. Be gentle. Remember, your cockapoo cannot tell you if you hurt him. 

Cockapoo hair is blowing
The Cockapoo dog may need some hair brushing. (Image: Instagram/@otisthegoldencockapoo)

Cockapoos need brushing four or five times a week. Brushing is important for several reasons. It helps to remove debris and dry skin, improves skin health, and boosts coat health by properly distributing your pet’s natural oils. Brushing helps to prevent knots and matting from becoming a problem. 

Start brushing your cockapoo early on while he’s still a young puppy. This will help him get used to the feeling of being brushed and to the idea of grooming in general. If you wait until he’s an adult, he will probably resist it more. Start with short periods of brushing and work up to more. 

cockapoo puppy
A Cockapoo dog sits proudly

Like with anything new, your dog needs time to get used to the brush. He might feel a little confused about what you’re holding, so give him time to sniff and see it. After that, slowly go back to brushing. Remember to give your cockapoo lots of praise. You can even use treats to get him more comfortable with brushing. 

Brushing will help freshen up your dog’s coat between washes. Many dog owners also enjoy using special dog fragrance sprays. Whatever you use, check the label and ensure it’s made especially for dogs. 

Bathing Your Cockapoo

Experts recommend washing your cockapoo once every couple of months. While cockapoo grooming is extremely important, don’t wash your dog too frequently. Choose a shampoo made especially for dogs. Look for one that is free of harsh ingredients, such as detergents. 

bathing a brown-nosed Cockapoo
A Cockapoo with a brown nose wants to get out of the bathtub. (Image: Instagram/@kaia_papaya_cockapoo)

You can wash your cockapoo in your bathtub. If you have a large enough shower cubicle, you could use that instead. If you’re lucky enough to have a big enough kitchen sink, that is another alternative. It’s best if you have a hand shower attachment. Test the temperature of the water and make sure it’s not too hot before you expose your dog to it. The water should be lukewarm, no warmer than that. 

Once you’ve finally washed your cockapoo, there’s still thorough drying to be done. First, towel- dry your dog. Rub the dog’s coat vigorously with the towel, absorbing as much moisture as you possibly can before blow-drying. If you don’t do this, blow-drying will take even longer than it would otherwise. 

After this, use a blow dryer. Don’t get the blow dryer too close to your dog, as doing so could risk skin burns. Professional groomers use special kinds of dryers for blow-drying dogs. If you wash your dog at home, only use your blow dryer’s cool setting. For faster drying, brush your dog as you dry him. 

You must completely dry your dog’s coat. If you leave any damp spots, this may lead to skin irritation and other problems. Never try air drying your dog. If you do, he could end up with new knots and even matting. Some areas of your cockapoo’s thick coat may never fully dry, leading to significant skin problems. 

What about Hair Trims and Cuts for Your Cockapoo? 

Your cockapoo will sometimes need haircuts. Experts recommend trimming your cockapoo’s coat once every three months. Many cockapoo owners don’t feel comfortable doing this on their own. If this is you, bring your cockapoo to a professional groomer. 

How to Groom a Cockapoo? 1

A groomer will have all the correct clippers and scissors for correctly and safely trimming your dog’s hair, especially on and around the face. 

Cockapoo owners wanting to trim their dogs at home should start with a simple cut with clippers. When you’re a beginner, just keep your dog’s hair all one length. Don’t forget to use clippers to trim the hair growing between on the bottom of your dog’s feet, in between the toe pads.  

How often you trim your cockapoos hair depends on the length at which you want to maintain it. Many cockapoo owners like to keep their dogs’ coats short and tidy. This makes your cockapoo easier to wash and brush. If you want your cockapoo to be a show dog, you’ll have to be fastidious about sticking to breed standard cuts. 

How to Care for Your Cockapoo’s Nails?

Don’t forget about taking care of your dog’s nails, too. Dog nails have nerve endings, and if you clip off too much, you will hurt your dog. You will also injure a vein, and there could be a lot of bleeding. This is a frightening scenario that you want to avoid. Always have styptic powder nearby if you clip your dog’s nails yourself. Applying this to the nail can stop the bleeding. 

happy cockapoo puppy running
Photo by Ray Larabie /CC BY

Does your dog have white or even clear nails? If so, examine the nails to find the pink area. This is the “quick” that will cause bleeding if you accidentally cut it. If you feel unsure about how much to take off, bring your dog to a professional groomer. Limit trimming to the hooks at the end of the nails. 

Use a dog nail clipper to trim your dog’s nails. You will usually need to do this every three months, or perhaps more often. Examine your dog’s nails to see if they need clipping. If your dog isn’t getting enough walking, you may have to clip his nails more frequently.       

Grooming is an Essential Part of Cockapoo Care

When you get a cockapoo, you’re making a commitment to providing the right kind of grooming. Without it, your dog’s coat will get knotted and matted. This will quickly lead to skin irritation and possibly even infection. Grooming also keeps your cockapoo looking and smelling fresh.