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How to Care for and Groom a Cockapoo or Any Dog including Best Shampoo and Conditioners

Updated on May 25, 2016
nancynurse profile image

I am a wife, mother, Nana and Christian first. I graduated from UNCC with a BSN in Nursing and a minor in Psychology.

Our cockapoo, June

June playing in the snow
June playing in the snow | Source
June sliding in ice!
June sliding in ice! | Source
June into my flowers!
June into my flowers!
My daughters' puppies cockapoo and schnauzer
My daughters' puppies cockapoo and schnauzer
At the Beach
At the Beach | Source
How far will she go!!!
How far will she go!!! | Source

June comes into our Lives , Our first Cockapoo

Just before Christmas my son-in-law walked in with a tiny little creature. I looked at her with trepidation, having just watched the movie "Marley AND ME". I knew my daughter wanted a child in the not too distant future and having been surprised by twins and a colicky first born i knew how much work just having a new infant in your home is not to mention a puppy. It did not take me long to fall in love with this puppy. My first day with her she missed her mother and was so fearful she followed me everywhere and I finally made a sling to carry her in so I could get some things done. June soon became another love in my life and continues to entertain us and bring us joy daily!!

Their characteristics and Personality

Getting a puppy is more than just picking out the cutest in the litter. Puppies do not make their own dinner, take themselves to dinner or shower on their own. When you take on this responsibility you need to really do your research and decide if you can rise to the occasion. Dogs are wonderful companions buy they need to be well cared for with daily walks with a leash. Playtime indoors and outdoors if it is pretty and regular grooming. They need to be taken out of their crate and given both mental and physical stimulation and as I will explain later you must let your puppy know who is the boss or you will end up with a fearful, barking, unfriendly puppy. the right care and training will bring you years of joy and companionship.


Cockapoos are a mix between an American Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. They are also called cockapoodle, cockapoo or cock-a-poo. They are a very healthy breed usually living between 15 to 18 years.They were first bread in the US in the 1950s, one of the first crossbreeds of dogs. Some are known for problems with there patella (kneecap) and should therefore be checked for problems.

They are known for their easy going personality and lack of allergen causing dander. People love cockapoos because of their friendly personality . They get along well with children and adults alike and generally don't bark often although they will let their owner's know of the presence strangers. They are very smart from their poodle heritage and are easily trainable. It is important not to be too stern when disciplining as they do have a very sensitive side to them.


A cockapoo will be your friend forever. They are great lap dogs and if you let them sleep with you, you may never get your bed back. My daughter's cockapoo, June follows us everywhere. She seems to favor women maybe because of her sex. and everyone falls in love with her within their first five minutes of meeting.

Cockapoos need exercise but will do fine with a small yard. They should be given daily exercise for at least 15 minutes . You should not leave your dog alone for long periods of time. They are very social and love to run and do tricks for you.

Cockapoos range from 10 to 15 in. long and 12 to 24 lbs. They can be found in a large range of colors from black to white , tan, brown, silver, sable, cream and even beige and buff.

They get there loving, easy going personality from their cocker spaniel heritage and their low dander, and intelligence from the poodle but without the tremendous grooming needs of the poodle.

It is important to groom your cockapoo daily because of their long curly hair. Start with a brush and try not to snag or pull. Next you can use a comb to get our all snarls. It is recommended to use a good professional shampoo and conditioner.


KONG Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red
KONG Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red

This funny-shaped rubber chew packs a huge play value into a compact package. I like to add peanut butter, banana and whole grain oat cereal, freeze and my puppy plays with this for hours to get food out!!!!


Sizes of the Dogs


The teacup toy under lbs.

Toy is less than 10 lb.s

Mini 10 to 20 lbs and 10" to 14"

Standard 20 to 30lbs and 14" to 17"

Giant 30lbs and over and over 17"

Small Dog Syndrome

Small dog syndrome is caused when humans allow their pet to rule the roost. The dog needs to know who is in charge. Cocker Spaniels are so sweet it is easy to let them lead and get away things you would not even let your children get away with. They can learn that they are in charge and become very difficult to train. Often you will see such activities as obsessive barking, overly aggressive, urinating in house. The puppy needs to know they are in charge and give the dog daily mental and physical exercise. If the dog is allowed to get away with annoying behavior the personality will turn out very different from what I stated above, the loyal, playful, happy dog.

The mental and physical stimulation gives your puppy a chance to release energy and any over-stimulation. Other negative behaviors you might see from ignoring your dog and not providing this stimulation is guarding objects, fear or dominance, hyperactivity, roaming and over aggressiveness. When a dog knows its place with humans it will be good with children, loyal, tail waving and just fun to be around.

Cocker Spaniel Characteristics

Cocker spaniels have been known to be trained as good hunting dogs. They can learn to track and retrieve. They can also be a very good watch dogs and learn competitive obedience.

The Right Haircut!!!

Grooming of cockapoo's can be difficult as there is no standard set. Town and Country has come out with some popular grooming methods.


The puppy is cut evenly all over except for around the muzzle and eyes. They are shaped to enhance the look of the dog. A small patch of hair is left on top of the dog called a Pom. The remainder of the body is even and scissor cut toward the legs and tail to leave a very finished look

When groomed correctly people stop in delight to look at these popular dogs.


This is the most popular look but also needs the most care. The dog is clipped evenly from head to legs leaving a very full round finish at the legs. The ears are clipped with scissors round and blended to the head. The dogs neck and chest are clipped into a V shape. The eyes and muzzle are cut to enhance the shape of the face.


With this style , the designers favorite, because of ease of care, the body and legs are cut short showing the beautiful waves of the dog. The front legs are clipped n a more round shape and the back legs are done similarly but more like the rest of the body . The tummy is shaved low. Ears are either taken down or left full and scissored round. Again a pom is left on the head and the eyes and muzzle are clipped to enhance the facial shape

Basic care

The ears are very important and should be wiped out often being careful not to get any water in them. The eye also should be cleaned or rather wiped with a special eye and ear cleaner specific for this. If a great deal of wax is found or a foul odor develops the puppy may have an ear infection and may need to be soon.

Grooming with a comb and brush should be done several times a month . Be sure to get all the deep mats our of her hair. You are also looking for any kind of ticks or problems that your puppy may have developed.

Picking Good Dog Food

Start with a grade of 100

1. For every listing of "by-product", subtract 10 points.
2. For every non-specific animal source (meat, poultry, meal, or fat) reference, subtract 10 points.
3. If the food contains BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin, subtract 10 points.
4. For every grain mill run or non-specific grain source, subtract 5 points.
5. If the same grain ingredient is used 2 or more times in the first five ingredients (i.e. ground brown rice, brewers rice, rice flour are all the same grain), subtract 5 points.
6. If the protein sources are not meat meal and there are less than 2 meats in the top 3 ingredients, subtract 3 points.
7. If it contains any artificial colorants, subtract 3 points.
8. If it contains ground corn or whole grain corn, subtract 3 points.
9. If corn is listed in the top 5 ingredients, subtract 2 more points.
10. If the food contains any animal fat other than fish oil, subtract 2 points.
11. If lamb is the only animal protein source (unless your dog is allergic to other protein sources) subtract 2 points.
12. If it contains soy or soybeans, subtract 2 points.
13. If it contains wheat (unless you know that your dog is not allergic to wheat), subtract 2 points.
14. If it contains beef (unless you know that you dog is not allergic to beef), subtract 1 point.
15. If it contains salt, subtract 1 point.

Extra Credit:

1. If any of the meat sources are organic, add 5 points.
2. If the food is endorsed by any major breed group or nutritionist, add 5 points.
3. If the food is baked not extruded, add 5 points.
4. If the food contains probiotics, add 3 points.
5. If the food contains fruit, add 3 points.
6. If the food contains vegetables (NOT corn or other grains), add 3 points.
7. If the animal sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free, add 2 points.
8. If the food contains barley, add 2 points.
9. If the food contains flax seed oil (not just the seeds), add 2 points.
10. If the food contains oats or oatmeal, add 1 point.
11. If the food contains sunflower oil, add 1 point.
12. For every different specific animal protein source (other than the first one; count chicken and chicken meal as only one protein source), add 1 point.
13. If it contains glucosamine and chondroitin, add 1 point.
14. If the vegetables have been tested for pesticides and are pesticide-free, add 1 point.

94-100+ =A
86-93 =B
78-85 =C
70-77 =D
0-69 =F

June 2 Years Old

June is full grown now. She is a joy to our family. She recently learned to swim by chasing her ball after it fell into the lake. This was something we thought we would never see. She HATES to get her hair trimmed but because of all her curls it gets matted easily. I have listed some good products to use.

June was actually banned from Petsmart because of a grooming session. She is so mild tempered we call her the "dog Whisperer" .She can get any dog to play with her by playing dead and then running ahead of the dog. Not sure what happened at Pet smart but I know my daughter would love to learn to self groom June. I have shared links to some grooming tips so you can learn to use a Wahl clipper on your own. Best of luck and love your pet!!!

If you want to share your stories just try this link!!!!




Town and County


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Debbie 2 years ago

    I have a 1 yr. 8 month cockapoo and I've never been attached to a dog like i am with my cockapoo. He is a mommy's baby and he cries when im not with him or he cant find me. I love how affectionate he is. I would definitely get another one, but he'll get jealous.

  • nancynurse profile image

    Nancy McClintock 3 years ago from Southeast USA

    Thanks so much for your comment. She is my daughters dog and I love her so much. She hides at my house when it is time to go home so she can extend her visit. Too Cute!!!

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

    I never had a CockAPoo, but her characteristics sound a lot like my Min. Schnauzer. Mine loves to swim and dig in the dirt!

    June is a real cutie pie, and I know she adds a lot to your life.

  • nancynurse profile image

    Nancy McClintock 3 years ago from Southeast USA

    June loves our granddaughters, She puts up with so much!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • nancynurse profile image

    Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

    Thanks .They are such sweet dogs.

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

    I love cockapoo's! lol! and I love your photos! and great information, voted up!

  • nancynurse profile image

    Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

    They are adorable . I can't walk past her without giving her a little pet or hug!!!

  • nancynurse profile image

    Nancy McClintock 5 years ago from Southeast USA

    Thank you for reading and writing we are so much in love with little June.

  • ThePracticalMommy profile image

    Marissa 6 years ago from United States

    Very informative hub. My mom has a Cockapoo named Bella, and she looks just like June! She's an awesome pet: cute, cuddly, friendly, great with kids and fun to play with.

    Voted up!