Since the cockapoo is a mixed-breed dog, a cross between a cocker spaniel and a poodle or the result of two cockapoos breeding, it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. This lack of conformation requirements makes it hard to tell what these dogs will look like, especially if both parents are cockapoos, so there is no single right way to groom these dogs. The grooming style you choose for your cockapoo depends on your personal preferences and the type of hair your dog has.
This style is a very common choice for cockapoos that have a coat with tightly curled hair that resembles a poodle’s coat. To give these dogs the unmistakable cockapoo look, cut the coat moderately short, about an inch or two long, and fluff it out with a blow dryer so that the hair stands out from the body. Round the topknot and shape the hair on the ears so that they are well covered but the hair follows the natural curve of the ear flap. This style is sometimes referred to as the teddy bear clip, because the dog ends up looking like a soft, cuddly plush toy.
Cockapoos with either tightly curled coats or wavy coats can look very elegant if you let their coats grow out and hang naturally. Stray hairs that stick out around the face and ears are often trimmed, but for the most part this style is strictly hands-off as far as clipping goes. Such coats require a great deal of care, and you will need to spend a lot of time with a rake or wide-toothed comb if you choose this look for your dog.
Straight-coated cockapoos take after the cocker spaniel side of the family as far as their coats go, and these dogs typically don’t need fancy clips to make them look good. Most of the time this style calls for a trim above the eyes to keep their hair from hanging down too far, and some trimming around the mouth, especially underneath, so that they don’t always have dirty or wet faces. They need to be brushed several times a week, and if their hair grows too long it should be trimmed, but this is usually not a problem. You will need to pay attention to the feathers on the back of their legs, since this is a common place for mats, and trimming the feathers will minimize this problem and gives the dogs a neat appearance.
Some cockapoo owners like to have their dogs groomed to look like poodles, something that is easily done with dogs that have a tightly curled coat. For this look, trim the dog’s body fairly short and shave the hair on the face so that the muzzle is smooth. Leave the hair on the ears full, but round them at the bottom. To complete the poodle look, clip the hair short on the base of the dog’s tail and scissor the hair on the end of the tail into a pompom. While some people like this look, others claim that it makes their cockapoos look like something they are not, and so these owners prefer one of the other grooming styles.