Cockapoos have long coats, but are nearly hypoallergenic and rarely shed. Still, it is important to brush your dog regularly to keep her free of tangles, matting, knots, and debris. This process can not only help you find any potential skin issues before they arise, but can also build a stronger bond between you and your pet.
First, you’ll need to choose at least one brush. There are a lot of different types of brushes and combs for dogs, so rather than cover them all we’ll get straight to the ones that are important.
Since cockapoos hair can get long, the easiest brushes to use are the bristle brush (the classic) or the wire brush (looks like a bunch of pins with plastic heads sticking out of a brush.) The FURminator Dual Brush for dogs has both bristles AND pins (AKA wires). These are both good for a variety of coats, including the coat normally found on cockapoos. A slicker brush, like this FURminator Firm Slicker Brush, which has a bunch of thin metal pins, curved and uncapped, will help finish up de-tangling and smoothing. In some cases, especially if your dog has very long hair, a lot of debris stuck in his fur, or has fleas that need immediate attention, a dog comb like this dual-sided dog comb can also be useful.
When you brush your dog, do it somewhere that is comfortable for you both. Use a quality leash until your pup is used to the grooming. You can more easily keep them from running off this way, and if you have to you, can kneel on it to keep them from squirming too much!
Talk soothingly, offer praise and even the occasional treat as they tolerate the brushing. Begin brushing with a wire or bristle brush, from the head and working your way back. Do this in small sections, gently up and against the natural direction of hair growth. Get down deep and untangle the coat, keeping an eye out for skin issues, fleas, or debris.
Once you have reached the rear end, start again, now moving in the natural direction of hair growth. Brush until the fur is comfortably laying back in a natural position and looks clean and smooth. You can do this phase with your original brush, or better yet, use your slicker brush.
If your dog is too tangled or matted, and you are unable to get the knots out, please consult your groomer. While there, ask for advice or even a demonstration of how you can detangle your dog more easily at home.
It is good to brush your dog often, especially when they are young, to build trust and acceptance of the process. Depending on the length of the coat this may be anywhere from a thorough once a day brushing, to just once a week. With some luck, this will become a peaceful and cherished part of your routine with your cockapoo pal!