The puppy coat of the Cockapoo is relatively easy to look after so 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 in good order. A simple grooming kit consisting of a comb, a brush, nail clippers and a slicker brush will be all the tools you will need for these first months. Intermingle treats and praise with the grooming to make this a pleasant experience. Even though your puppy may not really need this recommended amount of grooming, it will later on when the adult coat 'comes in' so it's a valuable time to familiarise your puppy with being groomed. All dogs nails will need trimming every 2-3 months with nail clippers. If you do this yourself be conservative with the amount you cut off, just the very end hooks is sufficient. Alternatively any dog groomer should be able do it for you at very little cost. At this time accustom your puppy to having you touch the membranes around the entrance to the ear canal, as later in life the ears may need to be plucked of excess hairs to prevent a build up of wax.
At any age soon after 8 months old the Cockapoo coat changes and the adult coat 'comes in'. Suddenly a comparatively easy care coat will start to matt. What is happening is that your dog is starting to moult its puppy coat to allow the adult coat to grow through. In actual fact all dogs moult, including Poodles, but not all dogs shed. Most Cockapoos are those dogs that don't shed, or if they do, it is a minimal amount. Great as this trait is for allergy sufferers it does mean that if this moult is not groomed out then the coat will matt and/or form dreadlocks. An adult Cockapoo can grow a coat up to about 15cms long so it does take some knowledge of grooming and confidence to keep it full length. Wavy/Ringlet coated dogs can look glamorous with a full coat but that look comes at a price. The price is extra grooming and extra grooming tools. For those who wish to keep the coat long they will discover that twice a year the coat will moult over about a two week period. You can feel the moult happening before you can see it. When you stroke the dog you will feel the matting and not easily be able to feel the skin through the long hairs. Special attention must be paid to carefully removing the moulted 'undercoat' at that time. It is a slow process and could involve maybe three grooming sessions lasting several hours each. If you brush this full coat when dry it reacts rather like frizzy human hair as the brushing damages the hair shaft and breaks it to some degree and it then fluffs up into an 'afro' style. So to prevent this the coat can be 'line' groomed whilst wet and soaked in coat conditioner. Starting at the paws and working upwards, the entire coat needs to be systematically groomed through from root to tip by using a combination of a rake to grab the undercoat and slightly dislodge it (an 8 or a 10 blade tool should be ideal) and then by using a flexible Slicker Brush to grab the loosened undercoat and tease it down the long wet hair shaft and away. Once you are satisfied that the whole coat, or the section of the coat you had planned to work on in that particular sitting, is smooth and clear of matts then it is time to do a final rinse of the coat. Remove the excess water with a Dog Blaster, keeping the nozzle at a distance of more than 30 cms from the hair as any closer will create whirlwinds amongst the hair shafts and knot the hair, or by blotting with an Easi Dri Towel. Importantly - don't brush the coat whilst it is drying. Taking your dog for a walk on a fine day will air dry it within an hour. Alternatively you can use a human hairdryer and your fingers to 'scrunch dry' your dog. If dried in this way you avoid the 'hair bear' look and the hair quickly forms back into luscious waves/ringlets. Clipping or cutting a 'runway' off the tummy of a full coated dog from its groin to between its front legs will both keep it cool in summer and easier to keep clean in winter.
For those who don't have the time or inclination to groom their dog in this way, this coat can be trimmed into a Teddy Bear trim which is neat and is practical to keep your dog in good shape and is the clip we use on our poodle!