10. BATHING AND GROOMING:
Always comb the pup thoroughly before bathing to assure there are no mats. Bathe your puppy only when necessary to keep from drying out the skin. Once every 2 weeks is probably sufficient. Use a puppy "no more tears" shampoo. Avoid getting shampoo in the eyes and ears, wash in tepid water, rinse well and towel dry all the while speaking softly and calmly to the pup. You can blow dry on medium but get him used to the noise first. Have the dryer on at some distance and give him a couple of treats, then gradually move it toward him. Start with the lowest setting at his rear (they hate it in their faces) and all the time talking to him soothingly and praising him for holding still (help from another person is nice).
Comb your pup daily, or at least twice a week, using a metal comb that has teeth long enough to reach down to the skin. Get him used to having ears inspected and cleaned and fingers in mouth in preparation for brushing teeth later. Praise him when he accepts the combing quietly. Make yourself and the pup comfortable when you do this. You seated in a chair and pup on table or lap. Use table at least occasionally to prepare for a groomer if you intend to use one. Be sure to clean ears with a Q-tip and pull hair out of ear canals. Ask a breeder or a groomer to show you how to do this and also how to trim the toenails). If you get an unpleasant odor or dark wax or the pup shakes its head, it is a good idea to have him checked by a vet. Good preventive cleaning of the ears is extremely important. Grooming is a good time to inspect ears, coat, skin, genitals and to trim nails. After the pup has gotten used to being groomed, introduce a "clipper" noise. If you do not have clippers try an electrical razor or toothbrush. Choose a groomer by recommendation only, and if you can, use one that keeps the dog only a few hours. It is a good idea to bring the pup to a groomer at least once for a bath so he gets used to someone else handling him. If you decide to have your Cockapoo clipped be very specific about what you want and write it down. Most groomers are not familiar with grooming Cockapoos so they do not look like a Cocker or a Poodle. Unless you tell a groomer to scissor the coat to a certain length, they will usually do it the fastest way and use the clippers with a half-inch guard and you have a shaved dog.
Following is a suggested way to groom a Cockapoo:
Leave all hair naturally long (preferred) or if scissoring coat leave it at least 2 inches long. Trim hair on top of nose and under eyes to make eyes visible and mustache prominent. Leave goatee full length. Scissor top knot hair just enough to keep out from in front of the eyes. Shaving around genitals, rectum and belly aids in cleanliness. Shave under the pads of the feet, but do not make Poodle feet. Leave tail full and natural.