How To Groom A Cavapoo [Step By Step Guide]

Have you recently gotten a sweet little Cavapoo? Well, grooming is a practice that you will soon become very familiar with. But how do it, exactly? At least, properly? Well, this guide will be outlining all; from the process itself all the way through to recommended products and cuts for the Cavapoo face.

So, how do you groom a Cavapoo? There are several steps required for grooming a Cavapoo. You will need to spend time brushing, bathing, wiping down their ears and eyes, brushing their teeth, and keeping a close eye on their nails. 

Their coats are beautiful but do require regular grooming to stay healthy and eye-catching.

As such, brushing is the most important part of Cavapoo grooming and should be done daily.

But more on this shortly.

For now, if you are worried or feeling overwhelmed about taking on grooming your Cavapoo at home, don’t be. Relax and read ahead. 

I’ll be here to walk you through it. 

What Type Of Coat Do Cavapoos Have?

Across the breed, Cavapoos have double coats that include a soft underlayer of fur covered by a somewhat more coarse over layer of hair. They are appreciated by many people for their likelihood to only shed in very small amounts.

While they are not heavy shedders, Cavapoos do require regular grooming. The underlayer of their double coat can become matted if not brushed. 

When the underlayer becomes matted, it can form tight knots close to the Cavapoo’s skin which can lead to pain and even sores in extreme cases. 

If a Cavapoo develops a matted undercoat, it should be cared for by a professional groomer who can safely and gently clip out the matted hair.

The overcoat of a Cavapoo often takes after its poodle parent. This hair gives Cavapoos a unique and adorable look but can tangle easily. 

Regular combing of the Cavapoos coat can prevent tangles and remove any dirt or debris from the dog’s overcoat.

Because Cavapoos are a direct cross of one Poodle parent and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, there is a variety of coat colors, natural lengths, and textures possible for each individual dog. 

Cavapoos can have a very curly coat or a coat that is a bit sleeker with loose curls around the ends of their hair. They often have soft wavy hair on their ears.

Many Cavapoos are a golden tan to red color with small patches of white on their chest or stomach. 

Others are white, a mix of black and white, and some are even tri-colored with black, brown, and white included in their coat color.

How Often Should You Groom A Cavapoo?

To keep your Cavapoo looking and feeling its best, it is suggested that you schedule a visit with a professional groomer every six to eight weeks. Between professional grooms, you will want to perform daily brushing at home. 

Giving your Cavapoo a relaxing bath every three weeks, along with possible nail trims, will guarantee their appearance stays in peak condition.

Some owners also choose to brush their Cavapoo’s teeth daily to weekly and trim up the hair around their Cavapoo’s face and feet at home once between grooms.

Let’s take a closer look at how often you should perform grooming tasks for your Cavapoo at home and why.

Brushing

Cavapoo coats are beautiful and soft, but in order to stay that way, they do need daily brushing. 

Daily brushing prevents major tangles and mats before they happen. It also offers a wonderful bonding opportunity for you and your dog.

Brushing your Cavapoo daily helps build a routine that your dog can predict.

When your dog knows that brushing will happen each day, it can relax and learn the routine, which makes longer grooming and bathing sessions easier for your dog to enjoy.

Daily brushing means that you will likely need to spend less time each day brushing out tangles.

A short, pain-free experience builds a positive relationship with brushing for your dog. Waiting longer to brush can lead to bigger tangles and discomfort during brushing.

If you are busy or unable to brush your Cavapoo one day, don’t lose any sleep. If you have a good habit of regular brushing, just brush your Cavapoo again at the next convenient time.

Brushing that starts at a young age helps owners bond with their new puppies and prepares them for future trips to a professional groomer.

Need a brush? Best Brush For Cavapoo [Best Options And Buyers Guide]

Bathing

If you keep your Cavapoo on a 6-8 week professional grooming schedule, they should receive a full body deep clean at each appointment.

Between appointments, a gentle at-home bath around the 3-4 week mark is a good idea.

You may also need to bathe your Cavapoo if it has outdoor adventures that lead it to getting muddy or finding something wonderfully smelly to roll in. 

It can seem like a good idea to give your Cavapoo a weekly bath, but dog coats produce oils that help their coats stay healthy, and over-shampooing your pup’s hair could give it dry, itchy skin and a brittle coat.

Many times, if your Cavapoo is only slightly dirty in areas such as the paws, shoulders, or belly, a wipe down with a warm wet cloth will work wonderfully as an alternative to a full shampoo.

Always brush your Cavapoo before bathing and again when dry after bathing.

Nail Trimming

Comfort with at-home nail trimming depends on the owner.

If your Cavapoo is regularly groomed every six weeks, you may not need to trim its nails at home. If they go longer between professional appointments, you will likely want to do some nail care in between full sessions.

Nail trims help prevent young dogs’ nails from becoming sharp enough to do accidental damage to people, floors, and furniture.

Nail trimming also prevents nails from getting so long they curl under and interfere with the way a dog is able to walk.

Nail trimming can be done at home with a pair of dog-specific nail trimmers or a nail grinder.

Most professional groomers will also be willing to book “nail trim only” appointments for regular full-groom customers. 

At a minimum, inspect your dog’s nails every three weeks for length, shape, and sharpness. If the nails are curling under or excessively sharp, make plans for a trim.

Tooth Brushing

Tooth brushing is an often overlooked part of dog grooming. Many smaller breeds struggle with dental disease as they age.

Brushing your Cavapoo’s teeth twice a week with a soft brush and dog-safe toothpaste can help prevent plaque and dental disease.

Face and Paw Hair Trims

Face and paw trims are done every six to eight weeks at professional grooms and can also be done every 3 to 4 at home – usually one time between full groom appointments.

Trimming the face and paws between professional grooms is not usually necessary but is something many owners choose to do. 

Trimming paw hair keeps mud and also snow from clumping on the bottom of their Cavapoo’s feet.

When To Begin Grooming Your Cavapoo

Grooming your Cavapoo from a young age sets them up for a life of positive grooming experiences. Early grooming builds a routine your Cavapoo can rely on and keeps their coat healthy from their first days home.

Daily brushing can begin the same day you bring your Cavapoo home. Keep grooming sessions short and sweet to start.

A few treats also make the experience enjoyable.

A visit to a professional groomer should happen as soon as your pup has had a chance to settle into its new home, and a visit with the vet usually around 12-14 weeks of age.

First grooming appointments are short, introductory visits to help your puppy get to know your groomer and the steps of the grooming process.

How To Groom A Cavapoo

Giving your Cavapoo a groom at home involves several steps.

Start with brushing, then a warm cleansing bath, a check of your Cavapoo’s ears and nails, tooth brushing, and another post-bath brushing.

These steps can sound overwhelming, but my guide below will help you get through them with ease. 

Brush Your Cavapoo From Head To Tail

If you brush your Cavapoo each day, this step should be one that your dog begins to look forward to. 

The best brush to use for a Cavapoo is a slicker brush. My favorite one is below:

PetEd Slicker Brush For Dogs - The Ultimate Dog Brush for Shedding Hair & Fur & Best Slicker Brush for Doodles
  • Comfortable and effective grooming - reduces shedding, detangles, removes dirt & debris, keeps coat looking shiny and healthy
  • Easy and versatile use – great size, shape and weight.
  • Automatic cleaning - Simply retract bristles with the push of a button, then wipe away collected hair
  • Smart Efficient Design - Fine, angled bristles, ergonomic comfort grip, and push-button retraction make it easy to keep your dog looking happy & healthy
  • Ideal for poodle and hybrid dog coats and doodles; Cockapoos, Cavoodles, Maltipoos, Bernedoodles, Goldendoodles, Shih Poos etc.

Start by working out any tangles or debris from your Cavapoo’s coat. Be extra gentle around your dog’s sensitive areas, such as ears and along their tail.

After tangles are removed, switch to the smooth the hair across the body, working in the same direction the hair lays. 

If during brushing, you find mattes in your Cavapoo’s undercoat or tangles that do not brush out after a few swipes with the brush, stop and consult a professional groomer. 

Trying to force out thick mattes with a brush can cause your dog pain. A groomer will have additional tools and options for gently removing the matte. 

Brushing your Cavapoo before they take a bath is necessary to remove tight tangles that may only become worse once your pup is wet.

As a reminder, we want brushing to be a positive experience for your Cavapoo. Choose a relaxing place and a time when you will not feel a need to hurry through the process. 

Give Your Cavapoo A Warm Bath

When you first give your Cavapoo a bath, be ready to be just as wet as they are.

Over time and with experience, baths can become both calm and enjoyable for you and your dog.

To help your dog feel comfortable during bath time, use a deep-sided tub that will encourage your pup to stay inside the wash area. 

Make sure you can easily reach into the tub with your hands and arms to both wash your dog and help encourage them to stay in place.

Warm water is another important piece of a good bath. Warm water is more comfortable than cold and does a better job of lifting dirt and stains from your Cavapoo’s hair.

Check the water temperature with your hand to make sure it is not hot enough to burn your pup’s paws or body.

While you will want your dog’s body and tail to get wet during the bath, you want to avoid getting excessive water in their ears or eyes.

A soaking tub should be only filled to the bottom of your dog’s chest. 

A spray nozzle is also helpful for controlling water direction when rinsing your dog. Spray from along the neck and shoulders, across the dog’s back towards their feet, tail, and hind legs.

Do not spray your dog’s face with water. This is both scary and uncomfortable for your dog. 

If you need to wash your dog’s face, use a soft wet cloth to gently wipe around their muzzle, eyes, and ears.

Once your Cavapoo is wet and has had an initial rinse to loosen dirt and grime, it is time to use some soap.

At your local pet store, you should be able to find soap created specifically for dogs.

These soaps are less likely to irritate your dog’s skin than soaps that are made for humans and may contain stronger ingredients.

Squirt soap into your hands and rub them together to create a lather.

Work your fingers in small circles along your Cavapoo’s body to give both a gentle massage and help work the soap into the hair.

To wrap up bath time, give your dog a rinse off from its neck to its tail. Rinse until the water coming off your dog runs clear. 

Rinsing in one direction pushes the soap back and off your dog to make sure none is left behind in the coat.

Soap that is left behind can build up and make your dog’s coat greasy and itchy.

Dry Your Cavapoo With A Towel

When you have removed all the soap from your Cavapoo’s coat, they are ready to be dried with a soft towel. 

Drying your dog immediately after a bath helps them to stay warm and lowers the amount of shaking they feel the need to do.

However, you should still expect them to playfully shake out a time or two.

We recommend using a towel instead of a hair dryer or other heat source for drying your dog.

At-home hair dryers can direct high heat at your dog and could accidentally burn your Cavapoo. A towel will do a great job without the risk of injury.

Consider Brushing Your Cavapoo’s Teeth

While your Cavapoo dries, there are a few things you can do to help make sure they have received the best groom possible. Brushing your dog’s teeth is one of them!

Use a small soft toothbrush, often labeled for children at the store, soaked in warm water, or topped with some dog toothpaste to brush your Cavapoo’s teeth much like you would your own.

Do not use your own toothpaste on your dog. Many of the ingredients in human toothpaste are not safe options for dogs.

Look at your local pet store or veterinarian for dog-safe toothpaste.

At first, your dog may want to lick or chew the toothbrush. Be patient and playful as you work on your dog’s teeth.

Any brushing you get done is better than no brushing at all. Over time your dog will get used to brushing and may even look forward to it.

Wipe Your Dog’s Ears and Eyes

Even though it is not recommended to spray water in your Cavapoo’s ears or eyes, you will want to wipe down these areas with a warm wet cloth.

Be sure to lift your Cavapoo’s ears and look inside them for any dirt build-up, tangled hair, or redness.

Never reach into the inner ear or use q-tips to reach into your dog’s ear canal. If you are concerned about dirt deep within the ear, talk with a groomer or veterinarian.

If your dog’s ears seem very red or have hair matted inside them, you will want to touch base with your veterinarian.

These can be signs of an ear infection that may need an antibiotic or other treatment to clear up.

Wiping with a wet cloth around the eyes clears away any built-up eye discharge or dust particles from the dog’s vision.

Inspect Your Cavapoo’s Nails

Your Cavapoo should get a nail trim at each professional grooming. After a bath, it is a good idea to look at each paw for nails that are overly sharp or long.

If your Cavapoo’s nails (especially quick-growing puppy nails) are very sharp or long and curling under, you may use a dog nail trimmer or file to shorten the tips.

When trimming at home, a small trim will often do the trick until your dog’s next salon visit.

You do not want to try and trim too far back, or your dog may bleed from their nail. 

If your dog starts to bleed after a nail trim, you can use baking powder or cornstarch on the bleeding nail, along with gentle pressure with a paper towel to attempt to stop the bleeding.

If bleeding continues beyond 5 minutes, give your vet a call.

End With Brushing

Once you have taken care of your Cavapoo’s ears, eyes, and nails, it is time for a final brushing.

This second brushing is important to remove any tangles that developed as your Cavapoo dried.

Again start with the pin side of a dual-sided brush. Work out any tangles with the pins before switching to the soft, bristled alternate side.

The soft bristle side of the brush smooths and shines the hair for a sleek and finished appearance. 

How Do You Groom A Cavapoo Face?

Grooming a Cavapoo’s face takes a gentle touch, a fine tooth comb, a good pair of hair trimmers, and a little patience.

A fine tooth comb can help detangle the hair on the Cavapoo’s cheeks and muzzle. Be very gentle and give your Cavapoo plenty of breaks as you comb this sensitive area.

Some Cavapoos may just need a detangling session with a comb to keep their facial hair nice between salon visits.

Others may have facial hair that grows quickly and benefits from a trim.

To trim your Cavapoo’s face, make sure you have a dog that is used to holding still for brushing and bathing, a pair of easy-to-use scissors designed for cutting hair, and a calm environment.

To start, you will want to trim the hair above the nose by lifting it between your fingers and trimming across the hair to your desired length.

Many people prefer the hair on the nose to be around ¼” in length.

After the nose, you will want to trim back any hair that is growing over your Cavapoo’s eyes. Some owners will only trim this area so that their Cavapoo can see well.

So that your Cavapoo doesn’t flinch or get loose hair in its eyes, you will need to use one hand to cover its eyes and the other to trim the area just around your hand back out of the way.

The rest of the trimming around the face is to be done to your liking; play around with lengths and know that if you cut shorter than you prefer, it will grow back. 

Try to leave your dog’s whiskers in place as they allow your dog to easily feel and navigate their surroundings but don’t panic if one or two get trimmed. They, too, will return!

If your Cavapoo’s ears are getting long and tangled, you can trim around the edges but go slow and be careful not to trim the skin of the ears.

If your Cavapoo struggles as you attempt to groom its face, it’s okay to wait until a professional can take care of the task.

You may even ask your groomer to show you methods for calming your dog during this process so you can later do some at home.

What Is The Best Cut For A Cavapoo?

If you take your Cavapoo to a groomer and want to request the cut most commonly seen on Cavapoos, you will want to ask for the “teddy bear” cut. 

The teddy bear cut keeps a Cavapoo’s fur fairly short (but still soft and cuddly) across its body and legs while the head is cut into a round fluffy shape that resembles, you guessed it, a teddy bear.

We like the teddy bear cut because it is easy to maintain at home with simple brushing, cleans quickly and easily if your dog finds a mud puddle, and is just plain adorable on most Cavapoos.

If your Cavapoo has very curly, more Poodle-like hair, you might ask for a lamb cut. A lamb cut is usually fairly short across the body and allows Cavapoo curls to really take the main stage.

The ears, tail, and legs of a Cavapoo with a lamb cut are usually left a bit longer than with a teddy bear cut.

This really plays up the Poodle parentage of a Cavapoo and is adorable for curly dogs of any breed.

Puppy cuts are the third most popular type of cut for Cavapoos. These cuts leave the hair a bit longer than the teddy bear and lamb cut and work well with Cavapoos, whose coat is a bit wavy and silky. 

They do not have as carefully shaped of a head as teddy bear cuts and usually feature soft flowing faces and ears. You will notice the feet around trimmed into a close-rounded shape.

One of the most fun things about having a dog that is regularly groomed is that you can try out many different cuts until you find one that suits your taste and your dog’s hair perfectly.

Finally

Grooming a Cavapoo may seem like a daunting task, but with a steady routine and a good relationship with your local groomer, it can be a great experience for you and your dog.

Grooming will keep your Cavapoo healthy, give you an opportunity to bond closely with your pet, and get you tons of compliments on every walk.

Take on each grooming session with love and patience, and it will become a time both you and your dog look forward to sharing together.

Other grooming guides you may want to check out: