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How to Groom a Cockapoo: 9 Expert Tips

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Asian woman dog owner are bathing furry dogs

How to Groom a Cockapoo: 9 Expert Tips

Born from two different breeds of dogs, the Cockapoo is a delightful mix of the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle. Often considered one of the best family dogs out there, the Cockapoo is outgoing, intelligent, and loving. They make great playmates for children and get along well with other pets in the household.

Their low-shedding coat is another big selling point for the Cockapoo, especially for those whose Poodle genes dominate. Still, cockapoos need regular grooming to keep them looking and feeling their best. Use these tips to make the process fun and easy for both you and your pup!

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How Often Should I Groom My Cockapoo?

Thanks to their genetics, Cockapoos can have flat, straight, or tightly curled coats. How often you groom your Cockapoo will depend on the type of coat they have.

brown cockapoo puppy in the garden
Photo Credit: Lee Ph, Shutterstock

Flat Coat

Cockapoos with flat coats take after their spaniel parent and don’t require much grooming. You can get away with brushing them two to three times per week.

Straight Coat

The difference between a flat and a straight coat is that a straight coat is denser. Cockapoos with this coat type require almost daily brushing plus regular clipping a few times a year.

Tight Curls

Cockapoos look adorable with those Poodle ringlets, but those tight curls require a lot of work to maintain. Otherwise, they’ll eventually into dreadlocks and create painful mats that can be hard to get out. Daily brushing, regular bathing, and professional grooming every 6–8 weeks are a must for these pups.

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How to Groom a Cockapoo

No matter what type of coat your Cockapoo has, there are some general grooming tips that all owners should follow:

1. Use the Right Grooming Tools

There are a few essential tools you’ll need to groom your Cockapoo, including the following:
  • Slicker Brush: This is a basic, everyday brush that’s a must for every cockapoo owner.
  • Mat Rake: This tool helps to remove mats and tangles from your dog’s coat by breaking them up into smaller pieces.
  • Pin Brush: This is a great option for finishing off after using a slicker brush or mat rake. It helps to add shine and polish to the coat.
  • Detangling Shampoo and Conditioner: Regardless of your Cockapoo’s coat type, use shampoo and conditioner that is specially formulated to help loosen tangles and mats. These products also contain ingredients that help to moisturize and protect the coat.
  • Blow Dryer: Choose a quiet, low-heat blow dryer to help speed up the drying process after bathing.
  • Nail Clippers: You’ll need these to trim your Cockapoo’s nails on a regular basis.
  • Cotton Balls: Keep a few on hand in case you need to use them to clean your dog’s ears.

Finally, get their favorite treats ready! Positive reinforcement is key when grooming your cockapoo, so have some treats on hand to give them when they behave well.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

 


2. Get Them Comfortable Around Your Grooming Tools

If this is your first time grooming your Cockapoo, take some time to let them get familiar with the tools you’ll be using. Let them sniff and explore each tool on its own, and try to make it fun for them.

For instance, you can use the slicker brush to give them a nice back massage. Praise and treat them generously whenever they show positive associations with the grooming process.


3. Start With a Basic Brushing

Asian woman owner grooming hair dryer to dry Cockapoo dog hair in house
Photo Credit: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

Once your cockapoo is comfortable with the tools, it’s time to start the actual grooming process. Begin by using a slicker brush to work through their entire coat, paying special attention to any mats or tangles. Don’t force the brush through any knots. Instead, gently work them out with your fingers.

If you come across extra stubborn mats, use the mat rake to break through the tangles. Then, use the slicker brush to work through those smaller knots until they’re gone.

After you’ve brushed their entire coat, go over it with a pin brush to get rid of any loose hair and double-check that you’ve gotten all the tangles out.


4. Give Them a Bath

We recommend bathing your cockapoo only after you’ve brushed them out. Otherwise, getting those mats and knots wet will only make them tighter.

When you are ready to bathe them, use warm water to wet their coat thoroughly. Apply shampoo using your fingers, making sure to work it in well and avoid their eyes. Give their paws, genitals, and bottom a good wash, too.

Once you’re satisfied that their coat is clean, rinse them off completely and apply conditioner. Work it through their coat as well as you can. Since most conditioners require you to leave it on for a few minutes, this is the perfect time to give your Cockapoo a relaxing massage.

After the conditioner has had time to sink in, rinse your cockapoo off one last time. Gently squeeze their coat to remove as much water as possible, then wrap them in a towel and pat them dry.


5. Finish With a Blow Dry

Asian woman owner grooming hair dryer to dry Cockapoo dog hair
Photo Credit: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

Use a low-heat blow dryer to help speed up the drying process. Start from the back and work your way forward, using your fingers to help detangle your coat as you go.

Be sure to hold the blow dryer about 12 inches away from their coat at all times, and keep it moving so that you don’t accidentally burn them. Once their coat is mostly dry, give them a good brush-out and they’re all set.


6. Trim Their Nails

Use a pair of nail clippers to trim your cockapoo’s nails regularly. You can do this while they’re drying off after their bath or at any other time that’s convenient for you.

Start with just a small trim, taking care not to cut too close to the quick (the pink part of their nail). If you’re not sure how much to trim off, err on the side of caution—you can always trim more later if needed. Cockapoos typically need their nails trimmed every 4–6 weeks.


7. Clean Their Ears

Part of pet body Interior of dog’s ear being held open for cleaning
Photo Credit: 9gifts, Shutterstock

Use a cotton ball with a few drops of pet-friendly ear cleaner to wipe the inside of your Cockapoo’s ears. Be gentle, and avoid going too deep into their ear canal.

If you see any dirt, wax, or other buildups in their ears, use a cotton ball to remove it gently. Never insert anything sharp or pointy into your dog’s ears—this could damage their ear canal.


8. Brush Their Teeth

Use a canine toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your Cockapoo’s teeth at least once a week. This will help prevent gum disease and keep their breath fresh.

If you’re not used to brushing your dog’s teeth, start slowly and increase the frequency and duration of your brushing sessions gradually. Always use canine-specific toothpaste because human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs.


9. Trim Their Coat

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

If you’re confident in your grooming skills, you can trim your Cockapoo’s coat at home. If not, we recommend leaving this to the professionals. Trim the fur around their eyes, ears, and hindquarters as needed to keep their coat looking neat.

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Final Thoughts

Cockapoos may not shed as much as other breeds, but their coats still need regular TLC. This goes beyond looks—brushing and grooming your cockapoo regularly will prevent painful knots, mats, and tangles from forming, and it is also a good way to spot any potential health issues early on.

The best approach to grooming your Cockapoo is to treat it as a bonding session. This is a great time to give them some extra attention and affection while strengthening your bond at the same time. So get out your brushes, combs, and shampoo, and enjoy some quality time with your furry friend!


Featured Image Credit: MT.PHOTOSTOCK, Shutterstock

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