Being a crossbreed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a toy or miniature Poodle – A Cavoodle is a small-sized dog with a thick, soft coat. It does, however, require a bit of maintenance. But how do you groom this particular breed? Well, here is what you need to know.
So, how do you groom a Cavoodle? There are seven main steps to grooming a Cavoodle. Nail trimming, ear, eye, and tooth cleaning, bathing, and most importantly, brushing. All of which should be done every two weeks at a minimum. Hair trimming/shaving is a further step that will need to be done less frequently, every six weeks on average, either at home or by a professional groomer.
If you have landed here today, chances are you want to learn how to do this yourself.
So, read on for the process steps, tips, and advice on grooming your Cavoodle.
But it all starts with the coat, so let us better understand it first!
What Type Of Coat Does A Cavoodle Have?
Cavoodles generally have a long coat which can be straight or wavy depending on whether they have inherited a Poodle coat or a Cavalier coat. Most Cavoodles inherit Poodle-like coats, which don’t shed very much but get tangled quite easily. As a result, these types of coats require brushing at least 4 or 5 times a week. A Cavalier-like coat needs less brushing but tends to shed more.
Either way, a Cavoodle will have a double coat.
This means that it has an undercoat of soft fur with a “normal” coat on top.
This is part of the reason why their coats need so much maintenance.
Matted fur is very uncomfortable for a Cavoodle, as well as being unattractive.
If you see their fur getting knotted and tangled, you need to brush your dog as soon as possible.
Brushing gets rid of the fur that has been shed and debris that has been trapped in their coat.
To keep their fur smooth and prevent any unmanageable skin issues, you must brush your Cavoodle every few days. This keeps their coat soft, silky, and shiny.
The best brush for your Cavoodle is a slicker brush. This is the one to get. 👇
They’re great for gently taking the knots out of the undercoat while removing the loose hair on the outer coat.
And looks aside, there is another reason why it is so important to brush your Cavoodle regularly.
As with humans, a dog’s skin is its largest organ.
Changes to the skin and coat are usually the first sign that something is wrong.
If you habitually brush your dog as recommended, then you will be in the perfect position to notice even the smallest change and get them to a vet.
Equally, brushing helps to distribute skin oils across the coat. Which, as you can imagine, kees it healthier too!
How Often Do Cavoodles Need To Be Groomed
The rule of thumb says that you should get a full groom and trim done by a professional groomer every six weeks. However, a shorter groom that involves nail trimming, ear cleaning, and bathing should happen at least every two weeks.
It is recommended to start grooming early, ideally when your dog is 16 to 18 weeks old. The first time will be more focused on bonding than on the grooming itself.
The first groom should be short and sweet, making it fun so that they get used to the process, which will make it easier to groom them as they mature.
Let us now look at the frequency for each grooming element below:
You should brush your Cavoodle a minimum of once every two days.
Daily brushing is ideal, as not only will you prevent any particularly big knots from forming, but you will also build and maintain a strong bond with your dog.
Dogs love and need routine, so establish a time and place for your daily grooming and get into good habits early.
Routine also helps build a dog’s confidence, so daily brushing is not only good for them physically but also mentally and emotionally.
And start this early.
Brushing them when they are puppies gives them time to get used to the sensation of being brushed before they get their adult coat at 7 – 9 months.
Your Cavoodle should be given a bath every 2 – 3 weeks in summer and/or when it gets dirty.
It will most likely not be necessary to bathe your dog so often in wintertime.
The type of shampoo you use is important as their skin is very sensitive.
Good quality dog shampoo will maintain their ph balance and avoid any skin disorders or eye problems.
When your Cavoodle is still a puppy, its nails will grow quickly. It is thus recommended that you trim their nails every two weeks.
As puppies, their nails are thin, so you can use a set of nail clippers that you would use on yourself.
When they are adults, their nails get thicker and grow more slowly.
You should start using a pair of nail clippers specifically designed for dogs.
Better yet would be to use a highly rated pair of nail grinders, which are generally safer to use and more comfortable for your dog.
Be careful not to take too much off and cut the quick of the nail where the blood vessels are.
If your Cavoodle has black nails, you need to be extra careful when cutting as it is more difficult to see where the nail ends and the quick begins.
How Do You Groom A Cavoodle At Home
Grooming a Cavoodle at home requires you to brush, bathe, inspect and clean important areas of the body, such as the ears and teeth.
The following steps involve the process in a little more detail:
Begin grooming with a short, calming, and gentle bath.
This should occur in a suitable tub, and the water should be lukewarm, neither too hot nor too cold.
Remember to use a good quality dog shampoo here, and be careful not to get it in their eyes.
Once you have stroked your dog a little with your hands, remove your dog and give them a quick towel dry.
Next, you can move on to brushing.
Although, this will not always follow a bath.
As already mentioned, brushing should be a daily grooming activity, whereas bathing only needs to occur once every 2-3 weeks.
Nevertheless, the best time to brush them is when they are relaxed and calm.
Brush small sections of the coat at a time, separating the topcoat from the undercoat.
Begin at the head and work your way back down the body.
Don’t brush too hard, as this may hurt your dog.
If you are finding brushing difficult, it may be a result of not grooming your Cavoodle regularly enough.
If worst comes to worst and you cannot get the fur unknotted with brushing alone, then you might want to buy a detangling spray and comb, which will help get the worst knots out.
Brush your dog both before and after you bathe them. Brushing before bathing prevents the fur from frizzing when it dries and makes it easier to brush after the bath.
Brushing when they are still wet helps to prevent tangles and gets rid of the old skin cells and excess fur.
After a thorough brush, you can move on to a second bath.
Bathing gets rid of old oil and dirt that is stuck in the fur, which can’t be removed with mere brushing.
It will have been released by the brushing, though, and should this time be easier to remove.
Again, be sure to use only dogs-safe shampoo or cleaning products.
Be gentle with your dog and ensure you dry your Cavoodle off properly this time around.
You should not let your dog remain too wet. They can catch a chill and suffer from illness here.
Equally, towel drying is best.
Be very careful with hair dryers.
The loud noises and the heat can burn and harm your dog; a low setting is a must, although dryers are not really ideal.
Inspect The Ears
An important part of grooming is checking the ears, which should be pink and not red.
Cavoodles have hair inside and outside their ears, so you need to check for knots and ingrown hairs.
At the same time, be aware of any strange smells which can indicate a problem.
As their ears are floppy, they don’t get a lot of air, so they are susceptible to ear infections.
Be careful not to get water in their ears when cleaning them.
Use a bit of cotton wool or a damp cloth and gently wipe the inside of the ear.
Wipe The Eyes
Wiping the eyes should come next. Again, you need to be careful here as not to harm your dog.
Cavoodles can develop tear stains, so wipe under their eyes every day with cottonwool and lukewarm water.
Regular nail trimming is essential to keep your Cavoodle comfortable.
When trimming their nails, be sure to trim only the ends and do not cut too low to catch the quick.
Equally, use the right kind of clippers that have a safety guard to help you cut appropriately.
Unless you are providing your dog with regular teeth cleaning chews, or dentastix, and specific toys, you will need to brush your dog’s teeth frequently too.
This will help remove plaque and tartar that can result in dental issues, pain, and oral diseases.
You can buy toothbrushes designed for dogs.
Or, as previously mentioned, even get dental chews or toys to help clean your dog’s teeth more effortlessly.
How Do You Give A Cavoodle A Haircut?
Make sure that your Cavoodle is placed somewhere like a sink where their movement is restricted.
You will only be able to give your Cavoodle a haircut if your dog is willing to stay still and is not nervous or fidgety.
A good pair of grooming scissors is essential.
Begin with the head and start with the hair on the bridge of their nose.
Cut upwards, trimming the hair all the way around their eyes.
Cover their eyes with one hand while you do this to prevent injury.
Keeping the hair away from their eyes is important.
If the hair over the eyes gets too long, it can impede vision and, in some cases, can cause injury or irritation.
Brushing the hair every so often as you cut allows you to gauge your progress and determine whether you have taken enough hair off.
It also prevents knotting, making it easier to trim. Trim around the cheeks but try to leave the whiskers alone.
Cavoodles have whiskers on their chin, nose, upper lip, and above the eyebrows.
It won’t harm your dog if they are cut, as they grow back quickly, but whiskers are important, so try to leave them if you can.
Lastly, trim around the ears, being careful not to nip the skin. Here is a great video on how to trim your Cavoodles eyes and fringe.
When cutting the hair on the body, you can use electric clippers, but it’s a good idea to see how your Cavoodle reacts to them first.
If they get nervous from the sound and/or vibration, then rather use your scissors.
Start at the neck, dividing the coat into sections.
Move straight down towards the tail, trimming all the hair on the body to the same length.
From there, cut the hair on their legs and sides.
Go very slowly on the stomach and groin as these are sensitive areas, and you only need to cut a few hairs there.
Finally, trim the end of the tail and do a few touch-ups. Be sure to give your Cavoodle a treat after grooming them for being such a good dog.
The three most common Cavoodle haircuts are a Teddy Bear cut, a Puppy cut, and a Summer cut.
Of these, the Teddy Bear cut is the most popular.
The hair on the legs and body is cut short, and the face is trimmed with scissors into a round shape.
A Puppy Cut is simple and straightforward. The hair all over the body is trimmed to the same length, which depends on your preference and the weather.
Giving your Cavoodle a Summer cut makes it much easier to brush them and keeps their coat tangle-free.
It’s the same as a Puppy cut but with a much shorter length. It also keeps your dog cool in hot weather.
It’s easy to brush and bath your dog at home but giving them a haircut requires some skill and experience. If this sounds too complicated, or if your Cavoodle is nervous by nature, it may be better to take them to a professional groomer.
As you can see, there is quite a lot that goes into grooming a Cavoodle!
They are pretty high maintenance in this respect.
But whether you do it yourself or use a professional parlor, regular grooming is essential.
Not only will it make sure your Cavoodle looks and feels at its best, but it ensures they remain hygienic, happy, and healthy all at the same time.
Plus, it gives you a chance to bond with your dog and inspect them over too.
And here’s a quick reminder on the frequencies:
- Brush daily.
- Bath bi-weekly
- Trim every six weeks.
That’s the gist of it.
Other grooming guides you may want to check out:
- How Long Does A Dog Grooming Take?
- Do You Tip Dog Groomers? [Is It Typical & Expected?]
- Dog Groomer Tip Calculator [How Much You Should Offer]
- 13 Gifts For Dog Groomers To Show Your Appreciation
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.