Cavapoos 101 An Intro to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel-Poodle Mix

When it comes to Cavapoo dogs, you can find no kinder Doodle to join your household. They are as sweet on the inside as they look on the outside. With a round face, big eyes, and floppy ears, you’ll fall in love the moment you set eyes on them.

You may also know the Cavapoo as a Cavadoodle or a Cavoodle. No matter the name, they are guaranteed to be devoted, curious, social, and happy dogs to have around. If you’re looking for a family-friendly dog, look no further.

Their calm nature has them quietly keeping you company while their outgoing and playful tendencies keep you entertained when you’re feeling energetic. Talk about the best of both worlds!

In this guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about adopting a puppy and what to expect from a full-grown Cavapoo. This covers the breed’s history, size, typical behavior, ideal lifestyle, and training capabilities. Also included are their exercise habits, grooming needs, and any medical concerns with the breed. Let’s learn about Cavapoos!

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Meet The Cavapoo Breed

The Cavapoo dog is a crossbreed bred from a purebred Cavalier King Charles and a Poodle. They are known first and foremost as family dogs due to their affectionate and playful nature. When you combine the outgoing and gentle disposition of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the intelligence of a Poodle, you get an excellent combo.

Cavapoo
Photo used with permission. Credit: rejbrown.

Cavapoos first became popular in the USA during the 1950s. Those who had allergies still wanted to enjoy the company of a family pet and the demand for hypoallergenic dogs went up. While not guaranteed as hypoallergenic, Cavapoos tend to shed less and be good for those with allergies. This they get from their Poodle genes!

Like any mixed breed, their appearance and characteristics can drastically vary depending on the parent dog and what genes they inherit. They can lean towards one of the breeds more strongly than the other, or be an equal mix of the two.

When it comes to first generations (the first litter from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle) versus the second generation and further on (a Cavapoo bred with another Cavapoo), you will have much more variation. Their appearance and personality will differ – however, they will almost always be friendly and sweet.

Cockapoo vs Cavapoo

The Cockapoo and the Cavapoo are very similar breeds that appear and act similar to one another. A Cockapoo is a crossbreed of a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel (American or English).

First, let’s discuss the similarities. Both have descended from the Poodle and carry their low-shedding, hypoallergenic qualities. They also inherit the brains and loyalty from their Poodle DNA. The size of both breeds varies immensely and it is best to look at the parents of the puppies for an indication of how large they will be.

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The differences are few but could be important if you’re trying to decide between the two breeds. Cavapoo dogs have lower maintenance when it comes to grooming their coat. On the flip side, a Cockapoo’s hair will grow quicker and they may inherit silky hair from their Cocker Spaniel parent that requires more frequent washing.

Cockapoos are more prone to separation anxiety than Cavapoos. While both dogs don’t like to be alone, it is worse for Cockapoos. They also tend to be a little more energetic and require more exercise than a Cavapoo.

Lastly, Cockapoos have a slightly longer life span of 14 to 18 years, while the Cavapoo is 13 to 15 years.

Overall, choosing between the two breeds can be a difficult decision. In the end, the personality of the specific puppy you choose is what it may come down to. Talk with a respectable breeder and they will help you to find the perfect match based on your lifestyle and the dog’s personality.

Cavapoo Size

Most Cavapoos are bred with a Miniature Poodle. This means they tend to be smaller to medium-sized dogs when they are full-grown. While you can breed them from a Toy Poodle, this isn’t recommended as they are prone to more health issues. To estimate their size and height, it is best to look at their Poodle parent or genes.

Since they are a newer breed, there are fewer standards when it comes to size. Crossbreeds also vary immensely, with different-sized puppies coming from the same litter. Cavapoo size can range anywhere from 9 to 25 pounds and 9 to 14 inches at shoulder height.

Because of their smaller size, they are good for apartment living. Ensure they get their daily walk and they should be just fine without a yard. Though of course, a backyard certainly doesn’t hurt!

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Behavior

Is there such thing as a perfect dog? Well, the Cavapoo has thrown their hat in the ring! They have an ideal dog temperament with a friendly and gentle personality. They love to play with you and are more than happy to offer up some cuddles.

The Cavapoo breed feeds off of attention – they need plenty of validation, praise, and overall love to be happy. Ideally, they would be best for a home that is prepared to give their Cavapoo lots of attention and mental stimulation through training, toys, and lots of petting.

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They’re not shy dogs, being considered rather outgoing to everyone they meet. You can expect your Cavapoo to walk up to everyone with a wagging tail. This means friends and family who visit, the stranger across the street, other pups, and maybe even a household intruder. They are so happy to just meet any and everyone, so don’t expect them to be a guard dog!

Because of their happy and welcoming nature, they are also a good fit for a home with multiple pets. They will be happy in a home with other dogs or cats as long as they get lots of attention. So make sure you have plenty of love to go around.

Introduce your pets slowly to any Cavapoo puppies, as they may be very excited to meet their new sibling and may be more adaptable than your existing pet.

Separation Issues

You can also expect your Cavapoo to be attached to your hip. They most certainly are the type of dog who follows you everywhere, including the bathroom. However, they must learn how to be alone. Otherwise, they can develop bad habits such as barking and destructive behavior to cope with the lack of attention.

To prevent any chewing, try to have plenty of toys to keep them entertained. Indestructible chew toys are great for any chewers and keep dogs well occupied. It is also a good idea to crate train your Cavapoo so that they can safely be left alone. But, only leave your Cavapoo in a crate for a few hours at a time – they shouldn’t spend all day inside one.

Since they love their human so much, they are prone to separation anxiety. Socializing Cavapoo puppies at an early age and practicing time apart will help them learn to be on their own in adulthood. An anxious pup is never a good thing!

Lifestyle

Are they the right fit for you? Cavapoo dogs shouldn’t have a busy owner as they require lots of attention and stimulation to be happy. However, they are good for new owners as they are highly adaptable to their environment and are easy to train.

Cavapoo size

Cavapoos are companion pets, meaning they should live indoors. A life outside, in a garage, or a crate for most hours of the day will not suit their needs.

Because of their sweet disposition, Cavapoo breeds have also been known to work well as therapy or emotional support dogs.

Training

Due to their Poodle intelligence, Cavapoo puppies train very easily. Begin training your Cavapoo while they are a puppy – the sooner, the better! The key to a good training session is to make it short and sweet. Shorter, more frequent training sessions will help hold their attention and will make sure it always ends on a positive note.

Since they are so gentle, positive reinforcement is the best way to train a dog. They love to perform tricks and get a treat or belly rub as a reward.

It’s second nature for Cavapoos to be obedient. They like to be guided and told what to do. They need physical and mental stimulation to keep them busy, and training should ideally fulfill both of those needs for them.

Exercise

Cavapoo dogs require a moderate amount of exercise. They are not known for being the most athletic dog, but they can adapt to a more physical lifestyle if their owner likes to be active. They do enjoy shorter hikes!

The typical Cavapoo needs at least one 30 to 60-minute walk per day. They should also have shorter play sessions or shorter walks throughout the day. They enjoy fetch and running around in the backyard, so a few minutes of this kind of play will help with their energy.

Since they are prone to weight gain, daily exercise is required. The overall health of a Cavapoo is in the hands of its owner and implementing good feeding and exercise habits. They can easily live a long and happy life with the right regiment.

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Grooming

Cavapoo dogs are certainly beloved for their beautiful coat of fur. They come in many colors including cream, gold, chestnut, chocolate, and white. You’ll see many combinations of colors, usually comprising of two colors but also tri-colored or a solid color as well.

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They have soft, short hair. It can be wavy or fall towards the curlier side depending on how much Poodle they inherit. One thing is certain – their fur will be very fluffy and ready for cuddles.

This curly coat means they can tolerate moderate cold temperatures, and heat when it is cut short. They are less prone to shedding, so if you hate to vacuum, this may be the breed for you.

In terms of grooming care, they will need weekly brushing to keep their fur clean and free of mats. You also want to check their ears daily for any pests and debris. A vet will likely recommend a cleaning solution to prevent any ear infections common with floppy ears.

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Small breeds are prone to dental issues, so be sure to brush your Cavapoo’s teeth daily. They also are susceptible to tear stains which you can gently wipe away using a damp cloth.

Medical Concerns

Compared to their purebred parents, Cavapoo dogs are much healthier. Overall, crossbreeds tend to have better health because they are bred to inherit all the good traits and none of the bad ones. However, there are still a few medical concerns that are seen in Cavapoos.

Congenital Heart Attacks

Congenital heart attacks occur when there is high pressure in the left side of the heart. This pressure can result in the slow wearing of the valve which can lead to heart murmurs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a dgenerative eye disease that can lead to a dog’s blindness. It is genetic and hereditary, so look to the parents for any indication. Common symptoms include night blindness and an unwillingness to go downstairs, explore new areas, or go outside during the night.

Slipping Kneecaps

Also known as luxating patella, slipping kneecaps are quite common in smaller dogs and crossbreeds. This occurs when there is a malformation of the kneecap or an injury that results in the kneecap slipping out of place sideways. This usually occurs at a young age and a dog will hold its leg up when it happens.


Every breed comes with its ups and downs. While some dogs have more medical concerns than others, it shouldn’t stop you from finding your perfect dog. Overall, Cavapoos are fairly healthy dogs. The key is to look after your own dog and implement good habits.

If you choose a Cavapoo as your next furry friend, you won’t be disappointed. They offer endless love and affection, greeting you the moment you walk through the door. There’s nothing better to look forward to every day!

Learn How to Care for Your Doodle Puppy!

Perfect for first-time Doodle parents, this course covers 50 topics in full detail, including many topics special to Doodles.

Plus, Get Access To:
  • Exclusive Doodle characteristics survey data
  • Our Puppy Growth Tracker
  • Recommendations on Doodle parent-approved pet products
  • High-quality printables
Learn More

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