Cockapoo Coat Texture Part II

Josie

Josie is pretty in pink

It is very difficult to tell what kind of coat a particular puppy will have until that puppy is about 7-12 weeks old (and by then, well, that puppy is already reserved or in his/her forever home).

{Pictures: far right is a sweet, smooth and silky infant-puppy Josie. She was a favorite in the litter for her super sweet disposition. Second from right is Josie all grown up & pretty in pink. Despite looking smooth as a baby you can see she has a lovely bearded face and fleecy coat}

In fact it is impossible. A flat, slick, shiny and silky-textured puppy at 7 weeks can be tightly curled by 6 months. Want proof? Take a gander at the pictures. These are of the same dog. In one photo you see her as a puppy. This was one of my first litters and so I was trying hard to learn to distinguish the smooth-coats from the fleecy and woolly coats. I have since learned that it is not always possible.

And look at the second set of photos. Here is a litter I had a few years later. By now I had learned that I am often surprised. I would have guessed this little girl puppy would be a sweet little smoothie (smooth coated Cockapoo). When I received the updated picture of her as an adult I was not surprised; I have learned that I am often wrong when it comes to guessing a puppy’s coat texture. A smooth puppy can curl right up. However woolly and fleecy puppies don’t go flat. It is very possible for the woolly puppy to still have an “open face” (not have a bearded face), so tightness of curl/wave is not a good way to determine the whole type of coat for a particular Cockapoo.

When a family has a strong preference for one type of coat over the other (there are various reasons for that) a simple DNA test on the puppy will accurately and easily tell which pup is which. These tests are relatively inexpensive (especially when compared with the total price of a puppy and the overall cost of owning a dog). For about $110 you can know for certain if the little puppy you’re picking will have the right coat type for you. I collect samples and send them off to the lab regularly for our new puppy-parents.

{Picture caption: Far left photo; sweet, smooth and silky coated puppy Eden’s Calamity Jane (Lucy) was whelped by my Rosie. Second from the left; Here is Lucy all grown up with a lovely bearded fleecy coat (and a pretty haircut I might add)}black puppy

Lucy

Back to those dogs with “improper” coats! Often these smoother coated pups (I call this variety “satin-coated”) are said to favor the cocker-spaniel, but this is not really the case most of the time and it isn’t the case at all with our puppies. This tends to be said by people that don’t know dogs well. And there are definitely the occasional pup that truly does favor the Cocker. This isn’t the case when it comes to certain important features such as head and face shape. Cockers have blockier heads and thicker muzzles. The bone structure of these smoother coated Cockapoos still should look true to the Cockapoo and include a narrower muzzle and rounder head, resultant from the blending of the finer boned poodle. The nice thing about this crossbreed is that the cocker spaniel gives the mix “great bone”. These sturdier bone structures make the dog heartier and better suited to life with children.

Waffles as a puppy

{Picture Caption: far right; here is a lovely puppy dubbed “Waffles” by her family. She is a lovely minimally marked blue merle with tan phantom markings. Second from the right is Waffles all grown up. You can see that she is a lovely “smoothie” Cockapoo. The smoothie happens to showcase her unique and amazing coat color very nicely and I am frequently asked to produce another one of her! I told Rosie to make us another Waffles so we’ll see how it goes.}

Waffles

Depending on what you want to do with maintenance can help you determine which coat you prefer. But does it really matter what you prefer if no breeder (even an extremely experienced one) can offer anything more than a hopeful guess as to what kind of coat a Cockapoo puppy will end up having?? Actually, yes. There is NO reason to play puppy-coat roulette. If you specifically want a certain type of coat you should be able to get that guaranteed from a good breeder. DNA tests for proper/improper coat as well as the traits for length, curl and furnishings are all available. For $100 you can have a quality laboratory give you proof of what coat your puppy hopeful will have at adulthood. A really good professional breeder will already do these tests without you needing to pay for them. A breeder like that will have prices to reflect the amazing dogs he/she produces, naturally, so expect a higher priced puppy. Me, personally, I do not DNA test every pup in the litter. The simple reason is that it is expensive and I prefer to keep the prices low so that the puppies go to the best possible homes (which are not always the same as the wealthiest). Furthermore many people simply do not care what kind of coat they end up having. Many people (myself included) find a very special certain kind of charm in the smooth coated Cockapoo. They are very pretty. Some people deliberately seek a smooth/satin/flat coated Cockapoo! I do offer DNA tests for anyone that has a strong preference and encourage them, in fact. For someone that has a family member who suffers from allergies or very severe asthma I will require the DNA test to be done to ensure the safest possible coat for the family member. If a family member has mild allergies or asthma I do strongly encourage and recommend testing, but ultimately I leave that up to the potential puppy family. Either way there is absolutely no reason why you cannot find out exactly what kind of coat a puppy will have before you bring him home or place a non-refundable deposit on the pup. You might end up out $100 if the test comes back showing an improper coat, but I personally believe that it is better to be out $100 then $800-1500! And really, what is $100 when you’re talking about something that is going to be a fixture in your home and lives for the next 12-16 years? How much money do you think you will be spending at the pet store going crazy buying puppy toys? Really, $100 is not all that much money when you think about it in the perspective of the dog’s long life and place in your family.

Which coat is right for you? A softer wave and a coarser curl do tend to have different grooming requirements. A fleecy coat is better if you prefer to leave their hair long and shaggy and not cut it more than three to four times per year. It won’t mat if you brush it about three times per week especially on the back haunches, the front legs and the longer parts, like behind the ears. This is the most convenient coat type within the bearded variety, which works out since it is also the most common coat type of all Cockapoos. The easiest coat to maintain over all is a smooth coated Cockapoo of any degree of wave (either satin or fleecy)

Max

Zoey

{ Picture Caption: Far left; this regal looking black bearded Cockapoo is Max. The lovely black and tan phantom female to the right of Max is his sister Zoey. They are out of Eden’s Rose in Bloom (Rosie) and sired by Eden’s Rusty Blackshaw (Rusty). They are lovely examples of bearded fleecy Cockapoos. Their owner reports that Zoey has the tougher coat to groom and requires professional grooming once every couple of months, while she gives minor grooming touch-ups in between appointments. Again, that is not something I would have guessed, since it seems like Zoey had the looser curl of the two. You just can’t predict who will wind up being the curliest of the fleecy poos.}

MinnieMinnie{Picture Caption: both pictures are of Eden’s Flowering Cassia (Minnie). She is out of my Fern and is a gorgeous little cutie pie. She has a woolly coat and although she will require daily grooming she will be a very beautiful adult dog and I’m excited for update pictures when she is all grown!}

A shorter clip is better for a woolly coat, as it can get matted if it is left really long and not brushed every single day. I don’t brush my dogs’ coats very often at all, but I do bathe them (at home) once a month and I cut their hair (also at home) about once every three months. I find that the curl is much easier to cut at home and have a great look and it is much more forgiving of “professional” groomers (who tend to do a below average job of grooming unless you go to a really great place). Each dog has their own unique wave and cutting their hair is not as difficult as you might think, it just takes knowledge of the dog’s head, your preference, practice and patience!

We know a lovely lady who took home two of our puppies. Both are fleecy bearded Cockapoos out of my Rosie. She sent updated pictures to me after the pups had their first haircut and I remarked about what a gorgeous clip and grooming job they both had. I have to admit, I thought she spent a fortune taking them to a quality groomer because they looked great. I was surprised when she thanked me and told me she had done it herself! She had not done it before, ever! So don’t be afraid to groom your own dog. You might even turn out a professional result the very first time! If you’re like me it’ll take a few cautious clips before you’ve found your groove, but even still it isn’t something to be intimidated by!

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