The Cockapoo is the UK’s most popular hybrid dog type – and the fourth most popular dog type overall, and so it is fair to say that a there are a huge number of cockapoos in the UK and that they have a high level of appeal for people from all walks of life.
A Cockapoo is a dog that results from the crossing of a poodle and a cocker spaniel, and one of the core traits that Cockapoos were originally bred for was their distinctive coat – which, assuming it takes after their poodle ancestor, is particularly low shedding.
The influence of the poodle coat genes mean that Cockapoos that possess this coat don’t shed a lot of loose hair, because the hair that they do shed becomes caught in the rest of the coat rather than falling out. This in turn means that Cockapoos are less likely to trigger allergies in people who find that dog dander around the home is one of their main allergy factors.
However, the Cockapoo coat requires some special care and attention for this very reason – something that not all Cockapoo owners really understand when they first buy a dog of this type. To care for the Cockapoo coat correctly, dogs of this type have relatively high grooming needs, and in this article we will explain how to groom your Cockapoo and care for their coat in the right way. Read on to learn more.
The full, adult Cockapoo coat doesn’t develop overnight, and the coats of puppies change considerably between the ages of around six months and one year old. This also means that you won’t know for sure what type of coat and texture your Cockapoo will have until they are adults.
Up until the Cockapoo puppy reaches around six months old, their grooming needs are not particularly onerous. Their coat will tend to be softer, shorter and finer than it will be when they are fully grown, with less of a wave or curl to it.
However, your Cockapoo puppy still needs to be groomed during this time, in order to keep the coat in good condition and the skin healthy, and vitally, so that they are introduced to brushing and grooming while they are young and so, learn to enjoy it and accept it as adults.
Ideally, you should brush your Cockapoo puppy for around 10 minutes at a time a few times a week, using a comb, soft-headed pin brush and a slicker brush.
Use the comb to work out any knots or tangles (particularly on the chest, armpits and belly) and the pin brush to gently work down to the skin itself. Finish with the slicker brush to smooth the top of the coat, but always use this last and after brushing and combing right down to the skin so that you don’t simply cover or worsen mats and knots.
When the Cockapoo starts to develop their adult coat between the ages of around six months and one year old, you will probably begin to find that your dog becomes more prone to knotting and tangling, and if you haven’t kept on top of this with puppy grooming, problems like this often seem to develop virtually overnight.
This means that regular brushing and grooming is a must for adult Cockapoos, and this process might take rather longer than it will for pups.
Adult Cockapoos that have a more cocker spaniel-like coat will tend to be easier to groom, because their coats won’t be tightly curled but rather gently waved, and smoother and sleeker. However, this fur is still thick and copious, and prone to trapping burs, seeds and other debris that can soon lead to knots and tangling. When your Cockapoo gets wet, the waves or curls of their coat will also tighten up, which again can lead to knotting.
Brushing your Cockapoo a few times a week will usually ensure that problems don’t develop.
Adult Cockapoos with a more poodle-like coat – which is what most Cockapoos are bred for – can be more challenging again.
This type of coat will be more tightly curled and have a rather coarser texture, which efficiently traps shed hair and can cause mats and knots. Working out your dog’s curls with your fingers and a comb is more appropriate for a coat of this type than brushing it, as a brush won’t pass through the coat very easily and will pull and be uncomfortable for your dog.
Cockapoos with a poodle-style coat should be bathed more frequently than others, because sometimes using shampoo and conditioner is the only way to really work through the coat and remove knots and tangles effectively without pulling.
You will probably need to invest in some tools like a detangler and mat splitter to help with your regular brushing, and it is really important to pay attention to the hidden and harder to reach areas, like the armpits and between the legs, as these are prime candidates for knots and mats.
Most Cockapoo owners find it easier to take their dogs to a professional groomer for regular baths and full coat grooming, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t still have to brush your dog at home regularly too.
You might also want to consider having your Cockapoo’s coat clipped down to a shorter, more manageable length to remove some of the tight curls and make daily maintenance easier.