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Thread: grooming a cockapoo

  1. #1

    grooming a cockapoo

    I inherited a cockapoo from my sister a year ago and up until now I've been able to take him to the groomers.
    Well at the moment I am unable to do that and his hair is getting so long and he smells awful. I do bath him in
    warm water and a little baking soda and it does the trick. Of course I rinse him really well too. but my main
    concern now is his hair. I want to cut it my self but I'm afraid of doing it wrong...any advise! until I can afford
    to take him to the groomers.

    Sign new mommie!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Good sharp scissors, and take off a little at a time, as I am sure it is quite long now. Once you get it much shorter, it should probably be done by a groomer, but for now, you can scissor off the overgrowth, and that should help. It isn't like he's about to enter a beauty pageant, right?

    If you live somewhere with a vet school nearby, you might ask if they know any places that teach grooming that might be able to give you a steep discount for letting student do the job!

    How often do you bathe him? And do you use any shampoo, or just the baking soda?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    I have bichons, and have groomed them myself for about 4 years, now. I did take the time to invest in the professional equipment, and I watched a number of youtube videos for guidance.

    I can get as specific as you want, but I'll start with a broad outline:

    First, you need to address safety: for you, and for the dog.
    - you want the dog on a table, or the kitchen counter, at a height which is comfortable for you. If you have to stoop or bend, your back IS going to stop you long before you finish the dog.
    - if you have another person who can help, that is great. Some dogs will try to jump down, especially as you get going. With professional equipment, the dog is restrained with a groomer's loop around the neck, and a second around the middle of the dog. (There are horror stories of dogs restrained with only the neck loop, jumping and hanging themselves; I include this note in case you try to rig something up yourself). Since you won't have the professional stand, judge for yourself if you need someone to help keep the dog in place, or if you can manage this yourself, based on what you know of the dog's personality, age, and such.
    - having a baggie with lots of yummy small training treats helps plenty. I use cut up hot dogs. One hot dog makes about 88 treats (per my trainer) though I've only ever managed to get 62 or so. This give you an idea how small the treats are.
    - using electric clippers is the safest route. Using scissors is what most of us have available. Have the scissors sharpened before you start.

    Some breeds are clipped with the hair dry - this includes bichons and poodles. Some breeds are clipped with the hair wet. I do not know which way a cocker is trimmed, nor do I know if your cockerpoo has more of a cocker coat, or a poodle coat. I will tell you how we do bichons and poodles:

    Next: brush the dog out, give the bath, towel dry, and get ready to trim! You will need your brush as you need to brush out the wet hair as you dry it. When I had 1 dog, I used my own hair dryer. It was only when I got up to 5 that I bought a high velocity drier. The coat needs to be dry and straight. Then clip when the dog is dry. Most guides say to start at the head, do the ears and neck, and slowly move to the back of the dog. I've done it this way on 8 of my 9 bichons; Willy insists I do his head last.

    You likely will know if the dog has any mats. Mats should be cut out BEFORE they get wet, as the water will just tighten them up. Mats tend to develop around the ears, up and down the legs, and at the base of the tail - especially under the tail. You may want to work at trimming these areas first, so you know you have got the worst areas done. (you can work mats out, but if the dog is has an overgrown coat, or if you aren't sure what you are doing, I advise cutting them out for now.)

    Many dogs do not like to have their legs / feet trimmed. Some don't even like their feet TOUCHED. Again, you will know this dog's personality as you have had him for about a year. Remember to treat the dog periodically and especially after any area you touch / handle / trim which he does not really like.

    If the dog starts to get antsy, STOP. Give him some time to calm down, give some treats, and decide if you are going to continue, or if you are going to set the dog down and take a break. Do NOT put the dog down the moment he gets antsy, because then you are giving the dog control of when the job is complete.

    Remember: it is HAIR, it WILL grow. All of us home groomers have done 'oops' trims. Don't make a big deal of it, because dogs pick up on our emotions, and the dog will be worried, without even knowing why.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Freedom; 04-26-2014 at 05:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Oh, one more thing: do take photos before and after. If nothing else, you will have a laugh for years to come!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Happy Valley, Utah
    I've been grooming for going on 12 years now, I've never shaved a dog while it's wet. No offense freedom, but I would not recommend that. I've tried shaving dogs that are damp still and it doesn't cut well I only do that to shorten the hair so it dries faster then I go back and shave it again when it's dry. With poodles and bichons you are supposed to blow dry the coat so it is no longer curly then cut the hair. At least that is how I've been taught? You DO need to wash the dog first, dirty hair does not cut well. I would wash twice (with dog shampoo, not just baking soda) and make sure the dog is very clean and fully dry before attempting this. Washing will make matts tighten and get worse so if possible brush the matts out before you wash the dog, if you can't get them out the dog will just have to be shaved shorter. What we do honestly is we do a "rough" cut and shave off the matts/shorten the coat, wash and dry the dog, then do a final cut. So if you have the patience I would do that, but if you don't have good clippers you won't be able to shave that long coat without it being clean either so that might not work. I also would highly not recommend using scissors, at least for most of the haircut. With inexperience and wiggly dog scissors can do a lot more damage than clippers. Believe me, I've seen a lot of home haircuts and I've seen some serious cuts done by owners with scissors. Yes you can injure the dog with clippers too but usually its more of a nick/razor burn not a deep gash. If your dog has more of a poodle coat you might be able to use cheaper clippers, if it has a thicker coat like a cocker I'd really recommend investing in a nice pair of clippers (nothing crazy, just like a basic andis 2-speed with detachable blades -around $100).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Delaware, USA - The First State/Diamond State - home of The Blue Hens
    Oh my!!! At a quick glance, I thought it said " grooming a cockatoo" HUH - groom a cockatoo????? It's strange how your brain sometimes misreads things. I've only had the displeasure of meeting one miserable cockatoo in my lifetime, and I can't even say here how I would have liked to groom him. Seriously tho - I wouldn't have hurt him in spite of the fact that he tried to amputate one of my fingers, but I sure thought about it!!
    Wolfy ~ Fuzzbutt #3
    My little dog ~ a heartbeat at my feet

    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
    Myndi the Fuzzbutt - Mom's DOTD - Everyday
    RIP 1/24/1996~8/9/2013
    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
    Ecclesiastes 3:1
    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
    ~~~~true author unknown~~~~

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    "I thought it said " grooming a cockatoo" HUH - groom a cockatoo????"

    LOL I thought the same thing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Pet grooming table on amazon

    I have no pet grooming tips.I cant even get my cats to let me cut their nails
    but saw this on
    Go Pet Club Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Pet Dog Grooming Table with Arm, 36-Inch
    $98.86 & FREE Shipping
    GoPetClub 48" Heavy Duty Stainless steel Pet Dog Grooming Table with Arm
    $113.38 in Stock
    FREE Shipping

    You could check the craigslist in your area.


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