Hallslake Cockers & Cockapoos


Information about your new Puppy























Liz Bradborn & Graham Mugleston

Hallslake Farm, Lynton, Devon.

01598 741105










Your puppy pack includes the following:


·       Socialisation advice

·       Exercise advice

·       Training advice

·       Feeding advice & puppy’s diet information

·       Grooming advice

·       Worming advice & puppy’s worming record

·       Immunisation advice, including advice specific to your puppy

·       Breed-specific tendencies & traits information

·       Contract of sale



Socialisation is a term that is often used in dog training books, in dog magazines and by breeders and trainers. But what does it actually mean and how will it affect you as a new puppy owner?

Like human children, puppies are not born with the social skills that they require to live with their family, be that a canine family or a human one. The term "socialisation" in simple terms means the learning process that a puppy must undergo in order to learn key life skills to ensure that it is happy and confident in its environment, and can communicate effectively within its social group. We ask a huge amount from our dogs in their role as a companion animal, as not only do they need to understand humans and the human world, they also need to become fluent in the language of dog.

This involves having pleasant social interactions with adults, children, vets, adult dogs and other animals, as well as careful exposure to different situations in the environment like traffic, crowds, travelling in the car, vacuum cleaners and any sights and sounds it will have to cope with in life. It is so important that this is done thoroughly and correctly when your puppy is still young and he is young enough to happily accept new things.

Puppies that have been socialised effectively in these early weeks are far less likely to react negatively to new situations, noises, people, dogs and animals than their counterparts, who have not had these important early experiences. A well socialised puppy is far more likely to integrate easily into your life, therefore making your life together much more enjoyable and rewarding.

There are two parts to socialisation and both are equally important. The first is teaching the puppy to be social with people and other dogs, while the other (called habituation) is about teaching all the things we want the puppy to ignore and not be worried about (noises, traffic, household objects etc.).

Being a companion is the hardest job we ever ask a dog to do as our expectations are so high. We want dogs to get on with everybody and everything, and to go everywhere with us when we want, but be happy to be left alone without complaint when we don’t, to be accepting of loud noises, strangers, other dogs... The list is endless. It is a sad fact that one of the major causes of death in dogs under two years old is euthanasia, as a result of behaviour problems. Most of these behaviour problems arise from fear (fear of strange noises, fear of being left alone – and indeed aggression nearly always arises from fear – fear of strange dogs, fear of strange people or fear of strange situations). In addition, far too many dogs are ending up in rescue centres. Behaviourists and trainers up and down the country are seeing dogs with problems that could so easily have been prevented if the first 16 weeks of that dog’s life had been properly managed, and they had been prepared for the life they were going to lead.

Some breeds need far more socialisation and habituation than others – with more reactive breeds (such as those bred to guard, some terriers etc.) needing more – and earlier – socialisation than others. Therefore, it is important for breeders and new owners to know how reactive their chosen breed is so they can focus their socialisation accordingly.




On the breeders’ part, socialising their litter can start as early as when the puppies are a few days old. Gentle handling and checking the progress of the litter are all important steps in the first few days of a puppy’s life. Over the course of the following weeks the breeder can introduce noises, different surfaces, different play items as well as different play and feeding locations around the house – all of this habituation and novelty contributes to the puppies’ early development. The early ground work that the breeder puts into their litters’ social and emotional wellbeing has a direct impact on their puppies’ ability to be fit for function as a family dog.

It is imperative that the puppy’s new owner continues this when their new puppy comes home. From around 5 weeks and continuing at the time the puppy goes to his or her new home, an important transition takes place in the puppy’s ability to take in new situations as his natural fearfulness increases.


It is therefore so important that new owners don’t miss this valuable window of opportunity for their puppy to experience new things – which will close at around 14-16 weeks. This time also coincides with the puppy’s vaccinations, so a balance must be struck so not to miss out on this important learning opportunity. This can be achieved by taking your puppy out and about in your arms, while not allowing them to come into direct contact with other dogs until their vaccinations have taken place. Getting out and about with your puppy is key to them accepting everyday things, such as traffic and busy places, as part of normal life. It is important that you think about what life as part of your family will entail for a puppy – for instance, if you live in the inner city spending a significant amount of time socialising your puppy to farm animals may not be of great benefit, as it is unlikely they will encounter them in their day to day life:


The same also goes for all the different people your puppy is likely to meet such as: people with beards, people wearing hats, people wearing high visibility clothing, babies, children, people with pushchairs/prams, elderly people, people with walking sticks and people in wheelchairs to name but a few, or anyone else you are likely to meet.



Puppy parties

Vet surgeries often hold ‘puppy parties’ for their new clients, but these should be treated with some caution. Well managed puppy parties can be great social interaction for puppies of all ages and sizes. Well managed parties should:

·         Match puppies up according to their size so that the bolder puppies don’t intimidate the more nervous or smaller ones, and thereby create negative experiences for the smaller puppies, and make the bolder ones ‘social bullies’.

·         Manage any off-lead play carefully and if necessary, separate puppies that get a bit too boisterous so that they can calm down and re-join the party once they are calmer.

·         Discourage any kind of anti-social behaviour, such as biting that gets out of hand, very rough play and also show the owners how to discourage this. 

·         Show owners how to handle and groom their puppies – and have others do this too.

·         Be fun positive experiences for puppies and owners.


The Puppy Socialisation Plan

Until now there was no definitive plan for effectively socialising your puppy, which was resulting in rescue centres seeing increasing numbers of dogs coming to them with behavioural issues that could have been avoided with proper socialisation. In order to counteract this, the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust have jointly devised a socialisation plan for both breeders and new owners to follow as a step by step guide - it is called the Puppy Socialisation Plan. Both the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust recommend the Puppy Socialisation Plan as an effective plan for breeders and new owners to prepare their puppies as best they can for life as family pets. It is simple to complete, and can be tailored to suit you and your lifestyle, so it is highly recommended that novice breeders and new owners follow the Plan.

It is critical that this is done from birth up to 16 weeks of age, otherwise important learning and development phases have passed. The Plan covers everything from getting used to household noises, to getting out and about and meeting new people and other dogs. Therefore, you need to plan and incorporate some extremely important life lessons during the early stages of your puppy's development, so that you end up with a well-balanced and sociable dog. 


You can find The Puppy Socialisation Plan located at - http://www.thepuppyplan.com/






An important part of a dog’s life is exercise, not only for fitness, but also for mental stimulation. Indeed exercise times and feeding times are often the most exciting parts of a dog’s day, and your puppy will grow to keenly anticipate them.


Small beginnings

Puppies need much less exercise than fully-grown dogs. If you over-exercise a growing puppy, you can quickly overtire it, and more importantly damage its developing joints, which may cause early arthritis. A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day), until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Below you will find breed-specific exercise information relating to your puppy:


Exercise Requirements

·                     0-12 weeks. Until a puppy has completed its course of vaccinations, there is a risk of infection. Therefore, it is usually better that exercise is restricted to within the confines of your garden.  Exercise in the garden also provides an excellent opportunity to start early training, and to get your puppy used to wearing a collar. Make sure your puppy has a number of safe toys, and always accompany them in the garden. This way, you can engage your puppy in suitable levels of activity, and start to reward good toileting behaviour, which can usually provide all the puppy’s exercise needs during this time. If the opportunity arises, take your puppy to other safe environments where there is no risk, and it is able to mix with other animals and people, such as private gardens where only vaccinated dogs have access. Socialising at an early age is a vital part of your dog’s development.


Exercise Requirements


Puppies need only to play in the garden at first. Once their inoculations are complete they can have a little gentle exercise and meet the outside world. When they are about 6 months old and their bone structure is more or less developed then they can go for longer walks. They should not be allowed to become exhausted but build up their exercise routine little by little.

Most adult Cockapoos will be very happy having a brisk walk for about 30 mins morning and evening. They will also have to go out into the garden about every four hours during the day.



It is important that puppies and dogs go out for exercise every day in a safe and secure area, or they may become frustrated. Time spent in the garden (however large) is no substitute for exploring new environments, and socialising with other dogs. When you go out, make sure your puppy is trained to recall, so that you are confident the puppy will return to you when called (see the accompanying sheet on ‘Training your Puppy’).

You should never exercise your puppy on a full stomach as this may contribute to bloat or stomach dilation which can sometimes prove fatal.

All dogs require regular exercise to remain fit and prevent them from becoming overweight, which may also lead to health problems. You should remember however, that exercise needs to be introduced gradually, and that a young puppy will not have the same exercise requirement as an adult dog.


The duration and frequency of exercise should remain consistent and any increases should be gradual. For the majority of dogs, exercise is an important part of their life and so they will take as much as you can give. A dog will also enjoy play, whether with you or on its own, and so toys play an important part in a dog's life.


Dependant on breed and temperament and mobility, a dog will normally be capable of walking to the same capability as its owner, however as a dog becomes older, exercise should be reduced and your dog should be allowed to walk at its own pace.






Bringing your puppy home for the first time is naturally a happy and exciting occasion, but it can be a little daunting too – there is so much for both you and your puppy to learn! The information below should help you on your way to raising a happy and well trained dog right from the start.


Important training tips:

Start as you mean to go on. If you are always consistent you will avoid confusing your puppy. Puppies have a very short attention span so train for short spells on a regular basis

Keep it short and keep it simple, but most of all keep it fun. Puppies respond better to cheerful voice tones rather than to threatening orders. Gentle play builds trust and a strong bond between you and your puppy as well as making training fun. Patience is the KEY ingredient in dog training. If you try to rush things you will only get frustrated and confuse your puppy. Keep it interesting: cultivate a range of different rewards incorporating play, fuss, praise, treats and toys. This will stop both of you from getting bored.


Toilet training puppies the easy way

Toilet training is obviously a crucial part of your puppy’s early learning. Getting it right is relatively simple, and will make those first weeks so much more enjoyable for you both. However, like all things, bad habits learnt early on can lead to problems that may take weeks or even months to resolve.


Initially, you will have to build your daily routine around your puppy’s needs. Fortunately, these are quite predictable when they are very young, and with careful supervision you should quickly establish when it is the right time to go outside and minimise any accidents. 


Like babies, puppies have poor bladder control, and need to go to the toilet several times an hour when they are awake. They will also usually need to be taken outside first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after each meal, waking from a nap, and after any exercise, play or excitement. You may find it useful to keep a record of when your puppy sleeps, eats and goes to the toilet so that you can identify any patterns that emerge. One tip is to remember that once you wake up in the morning your puppy will hear you and wake up too, there is no time for you to have a cup of coffee or clean your teeth before your puppy has a wee, so go straight outside with your puppy.


Always go with your puppy into the garden and establish a regular spot. Puppies are creatures of habit, so as long as you introduce the garden to the puppy as its toilet area early on, you should be able to avoid most accidents. Decide on a cue word or phrase to use when the puppy is actually going to the toilet, so that the puppy will start to associate the word with the action and should learn to go on command. By accompanying your puppy into the garden each time, you will be there to attach cue words and praise to any successful actions.




If toilet training is not going quite as well as planned, some common reasons for why your puppy is struggling are as follows:




·         You are feeding the puppy too much.

·         The puppy food you are giving is unsuitable or you are giving too much variety for a puppy of their age.

·         You are not feeding at regular times.

·         You are feeding at the wrong times (which could mean your puppy needs to go to the toilet during the night).

·         You are giving foods which are too salty, causing your puppy to drink more.



Punishing your puppy for accidents indoors may make it scared of going to the toilet in front of you – even outside. Expecting your puppy to tell you when it needs to go to the toilet is unrealistic. It is far better to go outside at regular intervals. Leaving the back door or outside access open for your puppy to come and go as it pleases can cause confusion – particularly when that access is closed. Do not leave your puppy too long on its own so that it is forced to go indoors. Leaving your puppy alone in the garden means that you are not there to praise and reward, or to reinforce the idea that the garden is the correct place to go. Try to avoid using the words “good boy/girl” when your puppy is going to the toilet - you don’t want your puppy going to the toilet every time it is praised. Puppies can exhibit submissive or excitable urination when greeting you on your return home. Toning down greetings can help prevent your puppy from becoming overexcited. Young puppies will not be able to go through the night without needing to go to the toilet. If they do wake you up, it really is worth getting up to let them out.



Being surrounded by lots of absorbent or grass-like surfaces, such as rugs and carpets, may confuse your puppy. Ammonia based cleaning products used around the house can smell like urine to your puppy, and lead to unwanted accidents. If your puppy does have an accident inside, the scent will still be apparent to the puppy for a long time afterwards, even if you have thoroughly disinfected the area. Specialist cleaning products specifically designed to mask the odour are available.


Beyond the garden, many owners can be disappointed that their young puppy does not initially toilet when first venturing out on walks. Often, your puppy will only relieve itself the second you get home. This is because the puppy has not yet associated going out for a walk as an opportunity to go to the toilet, so will wait until they return home to their garden, which they know is a good place to go. To break this habit, get up a little earlier in the morning (when you have plenty of time) and take your puppy out on a walk before it has had a chance to visit its usual spot. Stay out with your puppy for a reasonable length of time until it has been to the toilet, and then give plenty of praise. If you are not successful, make sure the puppy is whisked into the garden to relieve itself or you will run the risk of a large puddle indoors!


Remember, patience and consistency is key. All puppies take different amounts of time to learn, so don’t worry if your puppy seems to be taking longer to get the hang of things. Your patience will pay off and you will both get there in the end.


A trained dog is a happy dog

Housetraining aside, every puppy also needs to be taught good manners and have constructive lessons in basic control and social interaction. This includes:


·         Responding to its name.

·         Learning how to greet and behave politely around other people and dogs.

·         To come back when called.

·         To walk nicely on the lead.

·         To sit down and stay on command.

·         To allow itself to be groomed and examined by you and your vet.


Dog training classes

Most owners can benefit from attending good training classes, and training in the company of other dogs is very useful, because of the realistic distractions it involves. Ideally, you should start your classes as soon as your puppy’s vaccinations are complete, but classes can be invaluable for older dogs too, and continue throughout the dog’s life.


There are lots of schools of thought on dog training and it is naturally important that you find a class and training instructors with the right approach for you and your puppy. Dog training can be lots of fun and very rewarding. After all, a trained dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog makes for a happy owner too.


Finding the best dog training club

Before enrolling with a dog training club it can be beneficial to go and visit several classes first (without your puppy) to make sure you have made the right choice. Things you may wish to consider include:


·         Do you like what you see – are the trainers friendly, are people happy and enjoying training their dogs?

·         Are the dogs happily focused on their human family?

·         Are the instructors giving lots of encouragement and information to all attendees?

·         Are the instructors maintaining a controlled, safe environment for all?

·         Are instructors treating everyone fairly and meeting the needs of the whole group?


You can find training classes by using the Kennel Club’s Find a Club service – visit www.findaclub.org.uk to find a club near you running training classes, or call the Kennel Club on 01269 318540. . You can also ask your vet and other dog owners for recommendations.


The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the UK’s largest dog training programme, and has been introduced to assist owners in training their dogs to be obedient in every day situations. Its simple but effective dog training techniques encompass all the skills necessary for a happy and rewarding partnership with your dog. There are four levels of the Scheme, namely Puppy Foundation, Silver, Bronze and Gold. Each level is designed to further develop an owner’s understanding of training, while building a dog’s confidence and levels of obedience. All dogs are eligible to take part, whether they are young or old, pedigree or crossbreed. Over 2000 dog training schools throughout the UK offer Scheme training courses.


The Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour

The Kennel Club Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour (KCAI) is the UK’s first and only national and verified qualification in dog training and canine behaviour, recognised by City & Guilds. Representing the ‘gold standard’ in teaching, advice and service, members of the Scheme abide by a strict Code of Practice designed to ensure that dog owners are provided with the best advice and service. Look for the badge of quality when you are choosing a trainer. You can see which clubs have KCAI Accredited instructors on the Kennel Club’s Find a Club service.






Feeding your puppy sensibly and correctly is vital to its health, development and general wellbeing. Below you will find details of your puppy’s current diet:


Your Puppy’s Current Diet


Number of Meals (per day)

Current Meal Times

Type of Food



(per meal)


Can be fed dry or soaked in warm water.





Red Mills


(Suitable up to 6 months of age).

Approximately 1 mug per day divided between 3 feeds.



Little and often

Like all infants, puppies grow very rapidly (up to twenty times faster than an adult dog), and so require a specially formulated diet to aid their physical development. A high energy growth food is recommended and needs to be fed at evenly spaced intervals to avoid over stretching your puppy’s small stomach.


Meals should be split during the course of the day and ideally a young puppy should go approximately 4 hours between meals.


It is better not to leave food down (so throw away any uneaten food after 20 minutes) and not to change your puppy’s food regularly as this could cause havoc with its digestion and toilet training regime. Make sure that water is always available to your puppy, so never take its water bowl away.




The quantity of food should be approximately the same for each meal. Young puppies, particularly those of a large or fast growing breed, can sometimes need more food as puppies than they require as adults. Increases of food should always be gradual and a good idea is to increase the amount on a weekly basis from 8 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old. Typically, by the time a puppy reaches 16 weeks, it will need roughly the same amount as when it is an adult.


Puppies can be greedy or picky with their food so it can sometimes be difficult to gauge how much to give them. Care should be taken not to over or underfeed your puppy. Puppies can often appear ‘chubby’, particularly after they have eaten, but under normal circumstances they should have a defined ‘waist’. If in any doubt about your puppy’s weight or diet, consult your vet when you next visit for a puppy check-up.


Below is some information about feeding your puppy in the future, however you should aways follow the feed manufacturers weight guide as to amounts to feed your puppy


Future Feeding Recommendations


Age of Puppy

Number of Meals (per day)

Type of Food


(per meal)

2-4 Months


Red Mills XCEL

1/3 Mug (approx)

4-6 Months


Red Mills XCEL

1/2 Mug (approx)

6+ Months


Red Mills Tracker

2/3 Mug (approx)




There are many varied feeding regimes to choose from: dry complete diets, semi-moist or pouch, tinned food (with or without biscuit mixer), raw food, and home-made food. Each food category has different qualities, and finding the right balance for your puppy is extremely important.


The most suitable diet should be easily digested and produce dark brown, firm, formed stools. If your puppy produces soft or light stools or has wind or diarrhoea, then the diet may not suit your puppy or it might have some kind of digestive problem or infection. If the condition persists for more than 2 days, consult your vet for advice.


Please remember that stability in the diet will help maintain good digestion. Any change in diet should be made very gradually over at least a week to avoid upset and you should try a new diet for at least 10 days before making any further changes.


Dry complete foods

There is a wide range of dry complete foods on the market and the quality varies widely. To get the best out of your puppy’s development choose a food specially designed for puppies. Some puppies are not accustomed to complete dry foods immediately after weaning but will normally grow to like them with time. If your puppy does not seem to like eating dry complete and this is what you wish to feed, you can try soaking the food in a little warm water to soften it, or mix in a little tinned puppy food, gradually reducing the quantity until your puppy is fully weaned and accepts dry complete.


Semi-moist, pouch, tinned and frozen foods

As with complete dry foods, semi-moist, pouch, tinned and frozen foods can vary in quality. Again, choose a good quality diet which is easily digestible, nutritionally complete and does not require additional foods to be added to it. As before it is best to avoid changes in your puppy’s diet - so if you find a product that works for your puppy, stick to it.


Home-made food (raw fresh or frozen meat)

Before the advent of commercial dog foods, it was quite common to feed dogs raw or cooked fresh meat. Many people still consider that there is no substitute for feeding raw meat; these diets are sometimes referred to as BARF (Bones and raw food diet). Meat on its own however, is not enough, and dogs need other ingredients, for example biscuit, and supplements to maintain a completely balanced diet. Puppies in particular, need a balanced and nutritious diet whilst they are growing up, as even a slight imbalance may harm their development and growth. Additionally, home-made foods obviously necessitate a fair degree of pre-planning and preparation. However, there are a number of manufacturers now providing pre-packaged complete BARF diets, which make the feeding regime easier to administer. 



Giving treats is a good way to reward your dog during training and encourage the behaviour you want. There are a wide variety of prepared and natural treats on the market which vary hugely in quality. Some commercial treats have lots of sugar, colourings, milk products and fat in them, so always check the ingredients label. Good quality prepared treats have been developed with dogs dietary needs in mind.


However, all treats should be given sparingly, and never comprise more than 15% of your puppy’s total calorie intake. If you use treats regularly, reduce the amount of main meal food your dog is receiving in order to avoid obesity. Some chew treats have proven ability to help prevent dental diseases, but again check the label to ensure you are getting a genuine product.


Human chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can cause liver damage and even be fatal, so never give your dog any chocolate, or leave any lying around where it might be found and eaten. Be especially careful at Christmas and Easter time.


Avoid giving your puppy any sweet biscuits or sugary treats which are bad for its teeth as well as its waistline, and can cause sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. Stick to prepared which tend to be much more popular.


Always remember that table scraps contain calories so they should be taken into account as part of the daily diet. Better still; don’t be tempted to feed table scraps at all.

Food sensitivities and intolerances

Like humans, some dogs are sensitive or intolerant to certain foods, and this can cause a variety of problems. In extreme cases, they may develop colitis (slime and blood in their stools). Always consult your vet if you notice you dog displaying any of the following symptoms:


·                     Lethargy.

·                     Aggressive or hyperactive behaviour.

·                     Chronic skin and ear problems.

·                     Light to mid-brown loose bulky stools or diarrhoea.

·                     Slime or jelly being passed with stools and flatulence.

·                     Bloating and weight gain or loss.


Feeding tips

·                     Clean fresh water should always be available. Dogs eating wet food (i.e. canned) will receive moisture through their food and therefore require less water than dogs eating dry food. However, whatever the diet, water should always be made available.

·                     Do not refill half empty bowls, but ensure that fresh food is always provided at each meal time. This is particularly true in the hot weather when food left in bowls can attract flies and other insects.

·                     Half full cans of dog food should be kept covered in the fridge, but allowed to stand until the food is up to room temperature before feeding.

·                     There are two different types of dog food manufactured "complete" and "complementary", clearly marked on the label. A complete food can be fed as a sole source of nutrition and is available as both canned and dry food. A complementary food is designed to accompany the complete food and should not be used as the only source of daily nutrition.

·                     It is better to stick to one variety of complete puppy food, so you don’t need to add anything to the diet. Always remember that over-supplementing can be harmful to your puppy.

·                     If your puppy does not eat all of its meal in one go, you may be offering it too much. Not all puppies eat the amount recommended by the pet food manufacturers. Puppies’ appetites can vary enormously, with some eating much less than the recommended amounts, whilst others scoff their meal down as if it was their last!

·                     As long as your puppy is not showing any growth or digestive problems, resist the temptation to change its diet or offer it a range of foods, as you may turn your puppy into a fussy eater.

·                     Never change your puppy’s diet abruptly (unless under the direction of your vet). If you want to change its diet, do it gradually over a period of a few days to a week or longer if necessary.

·                     Avoid feeding your puppy before travelling in the car, as this can encourage car sickness.

·                     Do not feed your puppy an hour before or after exercise or play, as this could lead to stomach dilation and torsion (also known as bloat), which is a life threatening condition requiring immediate veterinary intervention. For owners of breeds which are thought to be susceptible to this condition, you should seek advice from your breeder, vet and/or breed club on further precautionary measures.

·                     Leave your puppy in peace while it is eating from its bowl. Taking the bowl away while it is eating causes anxiety and this can lead to food aggression. If you want to be sure that your puppy is comfortable with you approaching it during mealtimes, add a little food to the bowl while it is eating, so it sees you as an asset, rather than a threat.

·                     Never feed your dog from the table or your plate, as this encourages drooling and attention seeking behaviours, such as begging and barking.


Potential Toxins/Poisons (this list is by no means complete and always consult your vet if you puppy ingests anything it shouldn’t)

·                     Alcohol.

·                     Chocolate.

·                     Coffee/Caffeine.

·                     Grapes/Raisins/Currants/Sultanas.

·                     Artificial sweeteners containing xylitol.

·                     Some human vitamins and supplements.

·                     Mouldy food.

·                     Onions, chives and garlic.

·                     Slug pellets and other pesticides.

·                     Yeast/Dough.

·                     Some garden/household plants.

·                     Macadamia nuts.

·                     Brassica plants (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, swede, turnip)


Information reviewed by PFMA Veterinary and Nutrition Committee.  For more information on poisons please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/pet-health-information/common-canine-poisons/





All dogs will benefit from regular grooming, whether they are a short haired breed or one with a long or fluffy coat.


Reasons for grooming – Remember ‘CHAIR’


Cleanliness – keeping your dog’s coat clean by removing dirt and dead hair helps encourage new hair growth, and reduces the amount of hair deposited on household furniture

Health – grooming helps to stimulate new coat growth, and prevents the formation of knots or matting which may lead to skin irritation

Appearance – most owners take a pride in their dogs looking smart, and regular grooming will certainly help your puppy to look its best

Inspection – regular grooming is also a great way to check for parasites, or any suspicious lumps and bumps

Relationship – grooming is part of dog’s socialisation activities. Regular grooming helps create a bond between you and your puppy, and accustoms your puppy to being handled. Do remember that grooming should include checking ears, nails, teeth, and eyes etc. on a regular basis.


Getting started

It is important to groom your puppy at a height which is comfortable for both you and your dog. For many dogs it may be advisable to groom them on a table and custom made grooming tables are available. But any sturdy table or work bench with a non-slip surface will suffice. Remember: never leave your puppy unattended on the table for even a short moment. Start the grooming experience at an early age as part of your puppy’s socialisation programme and routines. Keep the sessions short to start off with – just a couple of minutes, gradually increasing the time spent on the table. Always make the experience positive, rewarding with praise and suitable treats. Any struggling should be dealt with firmly but kindly, as your puppy may be frustrated, mischievous or even afraid.


Build up the experience and your puppy will come to accept the grooming routine and also being handled on the table. This will help with other activities such as veterinary visits.


Finish the grooming if your puppy shows signs of getting bored or tired, so that each session ends on a positive note.


Dog coat types

It’s worth bearing in mind that factors like neutering, age, poor diet and poor health can dramatically influence your dog’s coat.


Coat type

How often

Breed examples

Suggested equipment

Double coats – a dense coat with soft undercoat concealed by a long topcoat


Approximately 30-40 minutes once a week to prevent heavy shedding


·         Lhasa Apso

·         Old English Sheepdog

·         Shih Tzu

·         Tibetan Terrier

·         Bearded Collie


·         Slicker brush

·         Pin brush

·         Wide toothed comb


Silky Coats – as its title describes, a silky texture not necessarily with coat length

Approximately 20-40 minutes once a week to prevent heavy shedding


·         Afghan Hound

·         Maltese

·         Yorkshire Terrier

·         Bristle brush

·         Pin brush

·         Wide toothed comb

·         De-shedder tool

·         Rubber palm brush

Smooth Coats – short and tight to the body. Very low maintenance. Grooming achieved by removing the dead coat to leave a glossy finish

Approximately 10 minutes once a week to prevent heavy shedding


·         Boxer

·         Weimaraner

·         Staffordshire Bull Terrier

·         Dobermann

·         Labrador Retriever

·         Massage mitt

·         Bristle brush

·         Cloth

Wire coat – these coats have a coarse, harsh topcoat with a soft undercoat


Approximately 30 minutes once a week to prevent heavy shedding and matts and tangles forming


·         West Highland White Terrier

·         Wire Fox

·         Border Terrier

·         Scottish Terrier

·         Schnauzer

·         Slicker brush

·         Terrier pad

·         Wide/narrow toothed comb


Wool coat – dense, bouncy coat requiring great care. A coat of high maintenance which requires specific drying techniques and trimming styles

Approximately 40 minutes twice a week to prevent matts and tangles forming


·         Poodles

·         Bichon Frise


·         Slicker brush

·         Wide/narrow toothed comb






Your Puppy’s Grooming Requirements


Coat Type

(e.g. wire, double)

Amount of Grooming Required

Suggested Grooming Equipment

Wool coat – dense, bouncy coat requiring great care. A coat of high maintenance which may require specific drying techniques and trimming styles

Approximately 40 minutes twice a week to prevent matts and tangles forming


·         Slicker brush

·         Wide/narrow toothed comb


Additional Information:

The level of grooming your cockapoo requires will depend largely on the coat type of your individual dog, and the look you wish to achieve. Not all Cockapoos have the same coat type and while long loose waves are the normal F1 coat you would expect, some coc