OK, you’ve picked up your designer breed – that cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the French Poodle you’ve always wanted.
Now you need to know what it will take to keep your cute, cuddly, new Cavapoo looking spiffy. How much work are you in for?
You’re in luck. Cavapoo grooming is not that difficult. It only requires a few minutes of brushing each day, and a little more extensive care like a bath and trim occasionally, to keep your poodle-spaniel mix looking as fresh as the day you brought them home.
Start Early & Often
Don’t wait to begin the grooming process. Start the very first day in your house. Your Cavapoo will acclimate to their grooming schedule quickly if you do so while they are still a puppy. Try to set a schedule so your puppy will learn what time to be ready.
This is a significant step because the longer you wait to begin grooming – or the longer you wait between grooming – the more likely your dog will be fearful or hesitant as it grows older.
Plus, grooming time is bonding time.
So, even if your Cavapoo puppy’s coat doesn’t need daily brushing, do so anyway for five to 10 minutes. This will get them used to the process, just like crate training, going potty outside, or using a dog bed.
And don’t forget to provide treats and praise for good behavior along the way. You will both enjoy it more. You can treat them with kibble throughout the process or wait until the end and give them a big treat.
How Much Time Involved?
The amount of time it will take to properly groom your Cavapoo will depend on a few factors. First, his age. Second, the style of haircut you choose for him. And finally, his alter status.
The younger your Cavapoo is when you begin to groom him, the less time it will take. Puppies require a daily brush down and regular maintenance. As they grow older, he’ll need a bit more attention to detail.
In addition, the longer you let his hair grow, the more time-consuming it will be to get tangles out. So, you might decide on a shorter cut, at least to start with.
Also, neutered males often display a duller coat than unaltered males. Meanwhile, spayed females can develop a matted coat that is more difficult to untangle than their intact friends.
But if he’s used to the grooming process, they won’t fight you when they see you get the brush. And it won’t take long.
The best way to keep your Cavapoo looking fabulous is to do a little each day. Incorporating some daily grooming care into your Cavapoo’s routine will be the best for your dog’s care and make things easier for yourself.
Daily brushing your Cavapoo is the most essential part of any grooming routine.
Cavapoo Fur Characteristics
Because Cavapoos are a mixed breed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, they adopt a soft, teddy bear coat. This single-layer coat is often short and dense, but depending on which genes they take on the most, it can either be long and straight like the Cavalier or shorter and curlier like the Poodle.
Thanks to its Poodle genetics, Cavapoos rarely, if ever, shed. They are highly popular because of their hypoallergenic qualities.
This allows dog lovers that have the unfortunate disadvantage of being allergic to these loving companions the ability to have an adorably loving friend that doesn’t interfere with their allergies.
However, due to the fact that they don’t often shed, their hair just continues to grow which can easily become unmanageable without the proper care. It tends to tangle a lot. So, be prepared to brush almost every day to keep the fur smooth and silky.
Cavapoo Fur Coloration
Cavapoos can come in a variety of colors. They are often two tones, but can sometimes be one solid color, or even tri-colored. You’ll often find them in a combination of these colors:
Black Cavapoos tend to be the least expensive, red Cavapoos the most expensive, and golden Cavapoos laying somewhere in the middle. It is important to note, though, that whatever color you choose, the coat of a Cavapoo will change color over time.
Due to the “fading gene” adopted by the Poodle line, a Cavapoos coat will fade as they mature. Because red is less likely to fade to a much lighter shade over time, this contributes to the higher price tag of red Cavapoos.
How to Brush your Cavapoo
Try a variety of brushes on this dog to see what works best for you. A slick brush will gently smooth out the coat. Or, try a pin and bristle brush. The metal side will de-gnarl the tangles, while the plastic side will even out the fur.
Remember that many dogs appreciate their backs and necks being groomed, but they tend to shy away from their belly and legs. To alleviate this, try brushing out your Cavapoo right after playtime. They will be too tired to fuss.
Veterinarians say that, like humans, dog’s teeth should be brushed twice per day. If that sounds overly optimistic, they say at least three times per week is needed to get rid of plaque and tartar.
Brushing a Cavapoo’s teeth is another grooming technique that you need to start when the dog is young, so they will grow accustomed to it.
After loading up the toothbrush, gently force their mouth open by pressing on the back molars. Then, brush in a circular motion until you have cleaned all their teeth.
Try not to scrub, for it may cause bleeding. And there’s no need to rinse since doggie toothpaste is edible.
This is just another gentle grooming practice that you can perform almost any time. When you see anything around their eyes that looks out of place, like tears or goop, simply clean it off with a damp cloth.
Bi-weekly to monthly bathing is another important aspect of your overall grooming regimen.
Because your Cavapoo will likely inherit his coat from the poodle side, bathing every two to four weeks is key to maintaining a tangle-free coat.
If you keep your dog’s coat on the longer side, bathe them more frequently. Longer hair tangles more quickly and easily. If you trim your dog on the shorter side, a monthly bath will do just fine.
Of course, if your Cavapoo is prone to roll around in the dirt and mud from time to time, then bathe them as often as necessary.
Remember to give extra attention to the neck area. Your Cavapoo’s collar is likely to get dirty. That grime can transfer to the underneath fur.
Each time you bathe them, keep an eye out for any cuts, ticks, or skin irritation.
And don’t forget to brush them out after a bath. Serious tangles will appear if their fur dries before you brush.
After bathing your Cavapoo, you should towel dry first and then blow-dry their coat from top to bottom.
This is especially true if you plan to give them a haircut immediately afterward. Wet fur tends to dull clipper blades. Dull blades can tear the fur, which you want to avoid.
This is another monthly chore. It’s needed to remove built-up ear wax and any of those little pests that find their way inside.
Have a stack of cotton swabs and cotton balls handy. Squirt some ear flushing liquid into their ear and rub to loosen any debris. Swab inside the ear. Try to touch all nooks and crannies. Repeat a couple of times.
Use a cotton ball to wipe around the ear’s inside flaps. Then, go to the other side.
You’ll want to trim your Cavapoo three or four times per year to keep his coat healthy. There are four popular haircuts for this breed.
Teddy Bear Cut. This is the favorite cut for a Cavapoo by far. The result is what the name implies – your dog will have the look of a cuddly teddy bear. This look occurs by cutting the body and legs short while trimming the face into a circle. Many owners still prefer to keep the ears long and straight to show off the spaniel heritage of this breed.
Puppy Cut. This is another popular cut because of its straightforward simplicity. Just trim all hair to the same length throughout their body. Personal style comes into play based on how long or short you desire his hair to be. Owners of many poodle offshoots use this standard cut.
Summer Cut. This is a spinoff of the Puppy Cut. Simply trim your dog the same length all over, but very short. It’s a proven way to keep Cavapoos tangle-free and cool when the weather turns hot. You’ll have to trim them more often to keep them short, but you also won’t encounter the problems that come with longer hair.
Lion Cut. This is a specialized cut that emphasizes certain parts of the dog’s fur. You cut a “mane” around their neck, tail, and feet. You tend to see this cut in more metropolitan locations where dogs mainly walk on concrete and asphalt.
Another monthly chore is to clip your dog’s paw nails. Since most of our dogs are housebound, they are unlikely to wear their nails down far enough naturally. So, they need our help.
Let the nails grow too long, and they can splinter or break. They can also get caught in the carpet or tear on the driveway.
To clip their nails effectively, lay them down on their side. If they tend to wiggle, have someone help you with this. Apply a little pressure on their head area with your forearm.
Angle the clippers at 45 degrees and cut just below the natural curve of the nail. This will keep you from cutting the quick and causing the paw to bleed. If you cut the quick, immediately douse the area with styptic powder to quickly control any bleeding.
Plucking Ear Hair
This is one grooming technique few people may know about. Hair grows in Cavapoos’ ears. And they need to be plucked every so often to inhibit possible infections.
You can try this at home, but we recommend asking your groomer to pluck their ear hair the next time you take them in for a bath and trim.
Outside vs. Inside
Grooming your Cavapoo can take place inside your home or out on the patio. Outside may be more convenient because you don’t have to vacuum after you finish. Simply sweep the excess fur and nail clippings into your yard. They’ll decompose all by themselves.
If you decide to groom them indoors, then you’ll need to properly dispose of the hair and nails in the trash.
Either way, remember to thoroughly clean each implement in the grooming regimen. Towels, toothbrushes, and nail clippers should be washed and dried, so they’ll be ready for the next time. Make sure to clean hairbrushes so that the excess hair won’t get messy.
Comfort Is Key
Whatever routine you come up with to groom your Cavapoo, remember they will look and feel great afterward. And you’ll be a happy pet owner once you find the right combinations that fit in with your lifestyle.
Try to notice any signals your Cavapoo is giving you during grooming time. If something is amiss, then it may be time to switch things up a bit. That could mean a new hairstyle, a new set of clippers, or a new groomer. Your dog will let you know.
The Bottom Line
Grooming is an important aspect of dog ownership. Stay on top of it, and your dog will look good and feel good. Put grooming off, or be sporadic about it, and your Cavapoo will suffer.
Plus, like daily walks and cuddle time, grooming is one of the best ways to develop a strong relationship with your Cavapoo. Get into a routine, and grooming time will become groovy time for you and your dog.