- Not AKC Recognized
- Lifespan: 13-15 years
- Size: small
- Energy: medium to high
- Recommended Crate Size: 24” dog crate*
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Table of Contents
When breeders set out to design a breed that’s the perfect pup, inside and out, the union of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle came to mind.
With the striking beauty, affectionate nature, and athletic ability of the Cavalier and the intelligence and social attributes of the Poodle, this crossbreed was destined to be a match made in dog heaven.
The little dynamite of personality in a gorgeous package was an instant sensation. Also referred to as a Cavadoodle, Cavoodle, Cavipoo, Cavapoodle, and a Cavadoo, the small, affectionate, fun dog is excellent with families and sports many attributes that are desirable in a dog.
The fact that he sheds very little is a huge plus too. The Cavapoo is one of the most popular designer-breeds ever, especially in Australia.
The exact history of the designer breed is still up in the air but it is thought that the first Cavapoo was the result of an Austrpallia crossbreeding program that took place in the 1990s which crossed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Miniature Poodle. Some believe, however, that the ACA Breeders Kennel was responsible for the creation.
Regardless of the exact details of his origin, the Cavapoo is a mix of Cavalier and Miniature of Toy Poodle. As with most designer dogs, the offspring may take after one parent more than the other, in appearance and/or temperament.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ranks as number 18 in American popularity and is wildly loved in the United Kingdom as well. The aristocratic dog is breathtaking to behold, with long silky hair and expressive eyes.
He is surprisingly athletic and loves to chase small critters. They are great family members and are small dogs that even come in Toy versions.
The Poodle was originally bred as a water dog and now is a mainstay family pet. He is elegant and proud yet very social and fun.
Ranging in sizes of Standard, Miniature, and Toy, the Poodle has coarse curly hair that doesn’t shed and is known and loved for his intelligence and trainability.
No matter what parent a Cavapoo mix favors, the Cavalier or the Poodle, he is sure to be a smart, spirited, friendly family dog.
Crossbred dogs are not eligible for membership in the American Kennel Club or any of the purebred clubs so this fine dog is not AKC registered. Often times, one or both of his parents are registered, however.
Just as in personality, Cavapoos can lean more to their Poodle parent or to their Cavalier roots in appearance. Since the hybrid breed is a mix of Cavalier and Toy or Miniature Poodle, the size will vary depending upon if the Poodle parent was Mini or Toy.
In general, this constitutes two sizes, small and quite small. Most Cavas weigh in at 20 pounds or under and stand about 12-14 inches high and though small, they are compact rather than fragile looking. Males tend to run larger than females.
The coat of a Cavapoos is usually fleece. Their coats are generally soft with loose curls but may be wiry and may also be wavy rather than curly. They may have a wool-like or hair-like coat instead of fleece.
White, gold, black, blonde, brown, and tawny are the most popular colors. They can also have a tri-color coat of white, black, and tan combinations and are available in Blenheim (white and brown) as well. Their coat doesn’t shed much, if any, and is hypoallergenic.
The Cavapoo has somewhat round face and he has long, adorable, floppy ears. Especially if they take after the Cavalier side, their eyes are kind, dark, and expressive.
Often described as “fuzzy-faced Teddy bears”, this breed has a highly sought after look that will simply melt your heart. The price tag of a Cavapoo is a reflection of just how beloved this breed is. Cavapoos tend to retain their puppy-like looks throughout much of their lives.
It is recommended to provide specific food that is formulated for your Cavapoo’s needs. Puggles can vary is exact size but are usually small or extra small. Tailoring his diet to his age and his size is a must. Your veterinarian can help you do so.
Keep snacking to a minimum and let him fill up on nutritional food. Always keep plenty of fresh water readily available to him.
Most Cavapoos have fleece coats that are set in soft, loose curls or waves. They require little maintenance, just regular clipping when they begin to look a bit shaggy which is usually every 6-8 weeks.
The most popular style of grooming cut is the Teddy bear cut, leaving their face full but their legs and body short. If you let their coat grow out at all, brushing will be required so their fur doesn’t tangle, mat, and knot, especially on the in their armpits and around their collar area.
Keep your Cavapoos eyes cleaned out with a warm, damp cloth lest they get the infamous poodle tear stains. Frequent teeth cleaning is recommended. You will also want to take good care of his ears, making sure they stay clean and dry because, with long ones, they can be prone to ear issues and infections.
The Cavapoo is energetic. They love to run but can also be content with long walks. Two thirty minute walk or an hour walk suits them just fine.
Without proper exercise on a regular basis, this designer breed will not be happy and may get into mischief. They will not reach their optimal health either.
They are quite intelligent too so they will need to have mental stimulation as well. Brain games are ideal for this and can be employed with active or passive games or a mix.
The proper exercise of the mixed breed will render an adjusted and healthy, well-behaved delightful dog.
Pet Crates Direct recommends a 24” dog crate* for most adult Cavapoos but due to the range in sizes, a smaller (or even larger) size may be needed.
Although they are active dogs and love a good run in the wooded land, Cavapoos are also very mellow and gentle. As long as they are socially trained early in their lives, they are one of the most ideal family dogs in existence.
They have a friendly temperament that makes them perfect to be around children and the elderly. Cavapoos have little to no prey drive and usually click with other pets in the household. If you are a first-time dog owner, this breed is a good choice for you because they are a breeze to handle and are very adaptable.
Cavapoos are highly intelligent. You will often be amazed at how much your Cavapoo understands. The goal of breeding a good family dog with a lot of intelligence was a big focus in the origination of the Cavapoo and the breed definitely measures up.
They get that trait from both sides, mostly their Poodle parent though. They get very attached to people and can suffer from anxiety issues when separated though so if you are gone a lot and no one else will be at home, this breed may not be the best one for you.
But, you can work with them early on to assure them that your leaving doesn’t mean you don’t love them or that you will be gone forever and that you will never abandon them.
As long as tend to the needs of you Cavapoo, such as his exercise requirements and desire for human attention, his personality will blossom into the fine dog he was meant to be.
Although the life expectancy of a Cavapoo is Designer dogs do have a drawback. They may have health issues from both sides.
The health problems that are common in the breeds of both the Poodle and the Cavalier are risks your dog will have. You should always be on the lookout for symptoms of the predominant illnesses they may be prone to.
A luxating patella condition is one possible ailment your Cavapoo may encounter. This is when the patella comes out of place. It is a congenital problem but can be surgically treated. They also can have progressive retinal atrophy.
Mitral Valve Disease is not uncommon in Cavapoos. It runs rampant in the Cavalier side. The condition involves a backflow of blood. Coughing, increased rate of breathing, and inability to exercise are signs of the condition.
Eye problems, hip dysplasia, and dental distress are other things to keep a vigilant eye on.
To help assure you get a pup that has the highest chance at a good and healthy life, be certain the breeder has a good, verifiable reputation.
Whether you are a novice trainer or are a pro at it, the Cavapoo is a delightful student as long as you can capture his attention.
The breed tends to have a little difficulty focusing because they are so interested and curious about everything. For this reason, housetraining may be a bit of a challenge but with patience and consistency, he’ll catch on.
Keep lessons on the short side so he can fully engage the entire class time. Once you fulfill housebreaking, then it is time for bigger and better training lessons.
Because of their high level of affection and their ability to learn, Cavapoos make excellent therapy dogs and usually excel in the class. They long to please and to be near their beloved human, making them excellent companion dogs.
They are intelligent enough to catch on to all the things that are involved in being a great therapy dog and can be trusted to be calm and loving provided they get their energy out.
One behavior you will want to nip in the bud is his instinct to bark when the mailman arrives or a friend knocks at the door. He likes to bark to alert you but you can train him to stop when you ask him to.
Assuring him that you are aware of the visitor is a good place to start. Your neighbors will appreciate you doing so.
Praise goes a long way with the Cavapoo puppy. Rewarding with treats should be kept in moderation to avoid obesity issues. This breed is very sensitive so be sure never to raise your voice while training or any other time for that matter.
When you earn their trust and reach a mutual respect, there are no limits as to where training can go.
Is a Cavapoo a Good Fit for You?
If you are thinking a Cavapoo may be a good match for you and your family, you’ll join the company of hundreds who feel the same way. There are good reasons the cross-breed is so wildly popular.
Excellent with all ages and with other pets in the family as well, the Cavapoo is a wonderful addition to most households. You will want to be sure you are up for socializing and at least some training sessions early in puppyhood though.
One note of caution is that if you have small children or large or active dogs, you will need to take good care of your Cavapoo, especially as a small puppy. Because they are tiny, they can get hurt even though they are solid and somewhat stout, they are still small in stature.
Watch out for their own antics too and make sure they don’t leap from a place that is too high or engages in an activity they are not big enough to do. They sometimes think they are capable of more than they really are.
The Cavapoo does require some exercising, but their activity level is important, based on their age and condition. If you are handicapped, elderly, or extremely busy, the option of a hired dog walker is always a possibility. He will definitely need to release energy on a daily basis but once he does, you won’t find a better lap dog or snuggle buddy.
This friendly and adaptable dog is near perfect for many. If you think he may be the right fit for you, open your heart and your doors and he won’t let you down.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.