- Dog Breed:
- Breed Group:
- Mixed Breed
- Playful, Intelligent, Affectionate!
- 9-14 inches
- 7-25 pounds
- Life Span:
- 10-15 years
- Coat Colors:
- White, cream, fawn, gold, chestnut, chocolate. Can either be a solid color or a mix of 2-3 colors.
- Area of Origin:
- Best For:
- A family with older children, singles or seniors
About The Cavapoo
A mixed-breed dog crossed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle
Usually a small dog, less prone to shedding than most other dog breeds
Friendly and playful temperament
The Cavapoo is a mixed breed of dog, sometimes referred to as a ‘designer dog breed’. They come from purebred parents, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle (either miniature or toy). They are one of the most popular designer dog breeds and with good reason, their playful and loving nature make them a wonderful companion and their small size and fluffy coats make them hard to resist.
Cavapoos are well suited to families with older children who can be taught to appreciate their small size. They also make a great companion for someone living alone be they young or old. They become strongly bonded to their human family members and this can make them more prone to separation anxiety when left alone. As such they are best suited to living in a household where someone is home most of the day, or where they can be taken to work. Cavapoos are an intelligent breed and as a result, they are relatively easy to train.
Cavapoo Breed History
Popular designer dog breed
First deliberate breedings took place in Australia in the late 1990s
Originally bred to be more ‘hypoallergenic’ than other dog breeds
Although the very first Cavapoo is likely to have existed through an accidental mating many years prior, the first litters intentionally bred to produce Cavapoos were in Australia in the late 1990s. These puppies—which were a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle purebred parents—quickly gained popularity and were soon seen in America and in the United Kingdom, as well as several other countries around the world.
As with all designer breeds, the aim of the cross was to produce puppies that inherited the best traits from both breeds. The Cavapoo should have the calm and friendly nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel combined with the intelligence of the Poodle. One of the main goals was to produce a dog that was hypoallergenic, making them less likely to trigger symptoms in people who suffer from allergies to pet dander.
Cavapoos are also sometimes known as ‘Cavadoodles’ or ‘Cavoodles’ and the majority of these hybrids are a first-generation (F1) cross-breed. This term refers to a puppy with both a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle parent.
This often results in an unpredictable mix of traits in the offspring. The genetic traits from each purebred parent may be shared equally in their puppies, or the puppies may inherit more traits from one parent than the other, resulting in a Cavapoo that may be more Cavalier King Charles Spaniel than Poodle, or vice versa.
To try and produce a more standardized appearance and temperament, some breeders will breed a Cavapoo with an unrelated Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or Poodle, or even another Cavapoo. These hybrids are referred to as a second-generation cross-breed and over time will usually result in a more consistent ‘look’ which might eventually allow a ‘breed standard’ to be created.
Eventually, this may lead to Cavapoos becoming a recognized breed, but it is likely to take several more generations of breeding before this happens. Currently, each Cavapoo puppy is likely to turn out differently.
Cavapoo Size & Weight
Classed as a small breed of dog
As a hybrid, adult weight and size will vary hugely
Can weigh anything from 7-25 pounds
Cavapoos are classed as a small-sized breed and are of medium-build. Adult size and weight will vary greatly according to the individual dog and will mostly depend on the size of the poodle they are bred with. An adult Cavapoo usually measures 9-14 inches to the shoulder but in some cases could be more or less.
Cavapoo Personality & Temperament
Playful and social
Cavapoos are an outgoing and social dog. They are loyal and loving to their human family members but equally will love to meet new people and are usually friendly towards strangers. They love human companionship, in fact, so much so that this breed does not cope well for long periods alone.
This crossbreed can therefore be prone to problem behaviors such as separation anxiety so would do best in a household where there is someone at home for most of the day. Their playful nature makes them ideal for families with children, but their small size means that they can be easily injured so they are better suited to living with older children.
Cavapoos are a crossbreed that loves to play. As well as an enjoyable pastime, playing games is an excellent way to mentally stimulate these clever dogs. Their intelligence also means that they are relatively easy to train, including housetraining and teaching basic commands.
Once playtime is over, this affectionate breed will love nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with his or her family members for a cuddle.
Cavapoos also generally enjoy the company of other dogs and will enjoy the chance to play when out on a walk. Being a social breed, they also usually adapt well to living with other animals in the household including cats. It is still important to supervise any new introductions and ensure that they go smoothly.
Cavapoo Health & Grooming
Requires regular grooming
Less prone to shedding than some breeds
Predisposed to several health conditions
Cavapoos usually have a soft thick coat which may be wavy or curly depending on which genes they inherit from their parents. Regular brushing at least twice a week at home is essential and in addition to this, these dogs will benefit from a 4-6 weekly visit to a professional groomer.
They can be prone to reddish-brown tear staining at the corners of their eyes and this is best prevented by daily cleaning of the fur around the eyes. Their long floppy ears can make them prone to ear infections so for some dogs, regular ear cleaning might be required.
As with all small breeds, they can also be predisposed to dental disease. Daily teeth brushing is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene and this is best introduced whilst your Cavapoo is still a puppy to get them used to it.
The average lifespan of a Cavapoo is 10-15 years. They can be susceptible to several health conditions, particularly those that are known to affect Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles. These include but are not limited to, congenital heart disease, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), luxating patellas, epilepsy, and skin disease. A good breeder will have annual heart scans done on the Cavalier parent, and DNA tests on the Poodle parent, to check for these issues.
An intelligent breed
Relatively easy to train
Cavapoos are intelligent dogs and have an eagerness to please, which makes them relatively easy to train and suitable for first-time dog owners. They are a ‘busy’ breed who love to be kept occupied and training is a great way to do this and mentally tire them.
As with all dogs, they will respond well to positive feedback and gentle commands. Many Cavapoos can be well suited to activities such as agility or obedience.
As a dog that bonds strongly to their human companions and loves to be social, they can be prone to separation anxiety. If you wish to be able to leave your Cavapoo alone for short periods, then training must begin early in puppyhood so that they learn to accept time on their own. Without this training, your Cavapoo might resort to destructive or vocal behaviors when left alone.
Cavapoo Exercise Requirements
An intelligent breed
Relatively easy to train
breed and so require some mental stimulation in addition to their daily exercise to prevent boredom and frustration. One way to do this is by teaching them new tricks or learning a new activity such as agility.
Cavapoos love to play, whether with their human companions or with other dogs when out on a walk. This is a great way to bond with your Cavapoo and exercise them at the same time.
Cavapoo Diet & Feeding
Feed a good quality diet
Feed according to food packet guidelines
Sometimes prone to weight gain
As with all dogs, it is very important to feed a high-quality diet and weigh out your Cavapoo’s food daily. Feed them according to the food packet guidelines for your dog’s age and weight. Be sure to weigh your Cavapoo regularly to check they are not gaining weight. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on a suitable diet and amount to feed your dog. Feeding a dry kibble is preferable to feeding wet food as this will help to prevent dental disease that they can be prone to.
Cavapoo Rescue Groups
If you have decided that a Cavapoo is the dog for you, then why not decide to adopt an older dog that requires a loving home? Whilst there are no specific rescues for Cavapoos in the UK, they can often be found in rescue centers such as the Dogs’s Trust or RSPCA: