What are Cavapoo's like?
Cavapoos are friendly and and fun little pups that love humans of all ages. Affectionate and sociable, they can live in almost any home and make good dogs for first-time owners, just as long as they’re not left alone for too long.
Cavapoos have skyrocketed to one of the favourite kinds of dog in the UK, alongside the similar-looking Cockapoo. Like Cockapoos, Cavapoos are a crossbreed, or “hybrid” dog. They’re the result of crossing a Poodle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and this cross is meant to bring out the best of both breeds and create a small, loving companion dog that would be suitable for allergy sufferers and look as cute as a cuddly toy.
Given the size of Cavaliers, the most common crosses are with Miniature and Toy Poodles. Miniature Poodles are used more often because Toy Poodles are seen as having more hereditary health issues.
Although “Cavapoo” has become the most common name for these cuddly little cuties, they are also called Cavadoodles, Cavaoodles, and even a Cavoo. (Bless you!)
Most Cavapoos are small dogs, about the same size as a Cavalier but usually a bit heavier. They often have soft, wavy fur like other doodle breeds but the way they look can vary a lot depending on whether they take after their Spaniel or Poodle parents.
What were Cavapoos bred for?
Cavapoos were bred to be the perfect companion dog that was affectionate and sweet-natured, as well as cute and low-shedding.
Miniature and Toy Poodles and Cavaliers are both companion dogs, which means a Cavapoo is destined to be a loving little lapdog that craves cuddles and wants to be with their human all the time.
Like most Poodle crossbreeds, Cavapoos were bred in the hope that puppies will inherit the low-shedding coat of a Poodle so they will be suitable for allergy sufferers. The crossbreeding is probably also due to looks as well, since people are drawn to the teddy bear face of a Cavapoo over the slimmer features of a Poodle or typical Spaniel look of a Cavalier.
What is a Cavapoochon?
A Cavapoochon is a crossbreed of three different dogs, the Poodle, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the Bichon Frise. That means the big difference between Cavapoos and Cavapoochons is the fact one also includes the Bichon Frise in their family history.
Because the Cavapoochon has both the Poodle and the Bichon Frise in their bloodline, they are a bit more likely to inherit a fluffy, low-shed “hypoallergenic” coat. But there is a variety in the characteristics your pooch can inherit because there are three dogs in their direct background, and the mix of these breeds can vary.
For example, a Cavapoochon could be bred from a Cavapoo and a Bichon Frise, so they are half Bich and quarter Poodle and Cav. Otherwise, they could be half Poodle and quarter Bichon or Cavalier, or any other combination of the three. Because of the varying mix, there is a lot of variety in how these pups look. One thing is for certain though, they look like little cuddly toys and just like Peter Pan they never seem to grow up, keeping their puppyish look their whole life.
Cavapoochons and Cavapoos are very similar dogs. They look very alike, they’re about the same size, and they have a similar life expectancy. Even their temperaments are very alike as they share a lot of common characteristics thanks to their shared Poodle and Cavalier lineage.
Cavapoo vs Cockapoo
Cavapoos and Cockapoos are both “designer dogs”, crossbreeds created to combine sought-after traits from other purebred dogs. Cockapoos are usually bigger than a Cavapoo and need more daily exercise to keep them fit and stimulated.
Both breeds are very gentle and loving and prone to separation anxiety, but Cavapoos are usually needier since they’re bred from companion breeds. Cavapoos are also the more laid back of the two dogs, since they are little lapdogs. Cockapoos are generally much bouncier with bigger characters as well as bodies.
Meanwhile, Cockapoos have hunting dogs in their background, making them slightly more trainable and a little more likely to handle some time alone. It does make them much more energetic and switched on though, so they do require an active household with parents willing to provide lots of walkies and enrichment to keep them happy and healthy.
Key Cavapoo statistics
Cavapoos can vary quite a lot in their size, coat, and colours because they are a crossbreed. However, because they usually have a Miniature Poodle parent there is not as wide a range of sizes like you might find with other doodles that can use standard poodles, like a Cockapoo or Labradoodle.
The key statistics for a Cavapoo are:
|Average height (Withers):||22.8 - 35.5cm||22.8-35.5 cm|
|Average weight:||5.4 - 11.4kg||5.4-11.4 kg|
|Lifespan:||12-15 years||12-15 years|
Fun facts about Cavapoos
They come from a land down under
Cavapoos were first bred and popularised in Australia in the 1990s, so they have been appearing in households for a few decades now. However, their popularity has exploded in recent years, alongside other “doodle” crosses like the Cockapoo and Maltipoo.
Poodles are the second smartest dog breed in the world. Cavaliers meanwhile are well above average in terms of canine intelligence, coming in at #44 putting them alongside many witty working breeds. That means you can be sure your Cavapoo is a surprisingly smart cookie as well as being cute enough to scrunch.
What is an F1 Cavapoo?
F1 stands for “first generation”, so an F1 Cavapoo will be the first Cavapoo generation of their family. An F1 Cavapoo will have a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as their parents.
An F2 Cavapoo means they are the second generation, so their parents were both Cavapoos. (Usually, these parents are both F1 Cavapoos.) So the higher the number, the further down the generations they are. So an F3 Cavapoo is the third generation, which means their parents and their grandparents are all Cavapoos.
Later generations of Cavapoos will have a slightly more predictable appearance and temperament. Meanwhile, because F1 Cavapoos have Poodle and Cavalier parents, it’s a bit of a gamble how they will look and act because there is no guarantee what characteristics they will inherit.
Meanwhile, you might also come across an “F1b” Cavapoo. This means that one of their parents is a Cavapoo, but the other parent is either a purebred Cavalier or a Poodle.
When do Cavapoos stop growing?
Most Cavapoos only take a year to reach their adult size and be considered fully grown. You might find your pooch reaches their adult height by 6 months, and then spends the rest of their first year filling out and developing their muscles and adult fur.
Are Cavapoos easy to train?
Cavapoos aren’t difficult to train by any stretch of the imagination, but they do require lots of positive reinforcement to keep them upbeat. They are quite sensitive dogs, so don’t respond well to harsh corrections, but they love playing and pleasing their humans so making training feel like a game can work well. Poodles are very smart dogs, and Cavaliers are pretty witty and easy to train too. All in all, Cavapoos are smart, eager to please, and easy to train.
However, toilet training will require more patience as Cavapoos can take longer than average to learn. This is mostly just because they are only small, so they only have little bladders and can’t hold everything in for long. But be patient and positive and follow these tips and your pup will soon have the hang of potty time.
Cavapoo puppy names
As far as canines go, few have as loveable a personality as a Cavapoo which is why they’ve won over thousands of hearts around the world with their cute looks and charming character.
Cavapoos could be the cutest pooch out there with their adorable teddy bear looks, but their matching personality is just as endearing. They are placid, playful, cuddly, loving little dogs that you can’t help but want to pick up and scrunch.
Both Cavaliers and Miniature and Toy Poodles are companion dogs that love to be around people, meaning that the Cavapoo temperament is super friendly and affectionate. They’re great with kids too because they are gentle and loving, but have enough of a playful streak that they make enjoyable playmates.
The Cavapoos sociable nature also means that any human or hound they come across is simply a friend they haven’t meant yet, and they’re friendly even with strangers. They’re even good with cats and other animals, happy to get along with anyone and everyone. The downside to this dog being so loving is that they don’t like to be alone and can suffer from separation anxiety.
As well as being friendly furry friends, the Cavapoo temperament is typically very sweet, gentle, and relatively laid back. They are still quite outgoing and playful, but nothing beats a cuddle for a Cavapoo and they aren’t a high-energy dog so they won’t be bouncing off the walls or needing miles and miles of walkies every day. They are very intelligent little dogs and like to keep busy though, so you might find your pup follows you around all the time and tries to stick their nose into whatever you're up to!
Do Cavapoos bark a lot?
Cavapoos are moderate barkers and they’ll probably woof at anything out of the ordinary or if anyone is at the door. They’re known to be a bit more placid and quieter than other doodle breeds. However, they are still happy to let their voice be heard so you might want to consider teaching them a “quiet” command, particularly if you and your dog live in a flat with close neighbours.
If your pup has separation anxiety, it is likely that they will bark or even howl if left alone. Proper training and socialisation should help to prevent any problems, but if you’re concerned you should always consult a vet or doggy behaviourist.
Can Cavapoos be left alone?
One downside to cute Cavapoos is that they really don’t like being left alone. It’s advised not to leave them alone for longer than 2-4 hours, and if you need to leave them alone for longer you’ll need to make sure someone can check in on your furry friend.
However, even 4 hours can be too much for a Cavapoo and how well they handle time alone will vary on your individual dog’s personality and level of training. Because Cavapoos are prone to separation anxiety, it’s important your pup is socialised from a young age to get them used to periods of time on their own.
Cavapoos aren’t great at being alone because both breeds in their background are lapdogs through and through. Both Cavaliers and Miniature Poodles are companion breeds that thrive on human company, and a Cavapoo has all that love and human dependance bundled into one cute ball of fur.
On the one hand, it means your Cavapoo will be very friendly, loving, and affectionate, but it does then mean they are also little velcro dogs that don’t want to leave you alone and don’t like being left behind.
Can Cavapoos live with cats and other pets?
Because Cavapoos are particularly sweet and social, they’re usually very happy to live with other pets and even cats. They thrive best in human company, but your dog will be happy to have a furry friend around if you have another dog or a cat.
Cavapoos get on best with cats and other animals if they were introduced as a puppy. Even if you don’t live with a cat, it’s a good idea to try and socialise your dog so they grow up knowing not to chase or bother them.
Cavapoos are one the most adorable dogs you will ever see, although their appearance can vary dramatically based on whether they look more or less like one of their parent breeds. As they are a crossbreed, there is no breed standard and there is no definitive Cavapoo look.
However, it can be easier to predict and guarantee what further generations of Cavapoo will look like because their inherited characteristics became more stable. So if you want to have some certainty of what your pooch will look and act like as an adult, you’ll need to find a F2 or F3 Cavapoo at least and ask to meet the parents and see what they look like.
There is still a typical look that people expect when they think of a Cavapoo, and that’s of a bundle of fluff that looks like a teddy bear come to life. Usually, Cavapoos have round heads with large, almond-shaped eyes and dark noses. They have defined eyebrows too, making them expressive and characterful canines.
They usually have soft, wavy fur which includes feathering on their long, floppy ears which often look very like a Spaniel’s ears. Some dogs might have smoother, silky fur if they take after a Cavalier. Despite being small, their bodies are quite sturdy and surprisingly muscular, with a long tail that they usually hold quite high so they always look curious and excited.
There’s a wide range of possible Cavapoo colours out there since these pups can inherit basically any colour found in Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The most common Cavapoo colours are:
Phantom is a colouration found in Poodles that is characterised by very specific markings. Sable meanwhile means a dog has two-tone hair that is one colour at its root, and another at the tip of the hair.
There’s even a lot of variation in colours even within the tri-colour and bi-colour varieties of Cavapoo. One of the most common combinations is “Blenheim”, which is white and chestnut markings that come from their Cavalier ancestors.
Where can Cavapoos live?
Cavapoos are very small so don’t need a lot of room at home, so you needn’t have a huge house or garden to bring one of these gorgeous dogs home. Cavapoos are also very adaptable, and they’re happy to call anywhere home as long as their human is there. This is a breed perfectly suited to apartment living. As long as they get a good walk every day, they should be just as happy living in a flat as they would a house in the suburbs.
How much exercise do Cavapoos need?
Cavapoos need a moderate amount of exercise, and most will need between 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. Smaller Cavapoos will need fewer walkies, and they’re pretty happy with 30 minutes walk every day, usually split into two short strolls. Although if you find your Cavapoo is particularly energetic, you might want to take them out for a little longer or provide stimulating play at home such as scent games or Kongs stuffed with Pure.
How long do Cavapoos live for?
The Cavapoo lifespan is a little longer than the average for dogs, and you can expect your furry friend to reach 12-15 years old. The Cavapoo lifespan is a little longer than average for dogs, but matches up with the life expectancy of its parent breeds because Poodles live for an average of 12-15 years and Cavaliers average 9-15 years.
Cavapoo health issues
Being a crossbreed, Cavapoos are slightly less likely to inherit some of the major health problems associated with purebreed dogs. However, it does not mean they are immune.
They can still inherit health problems that their parent breeds are prone to, as well as common canine illnesses. You should look into the health problems of Poodles and Cavaliers to develop an understanding of what conditons a Cavapoo could be predisposed to developing.
Common Cavapoo health problems include:
- Eye problems
- Joint problems
- Ear infections
- Heart problems
There are a few eye problems that can be inherited by Cavapoos. One is progressive retinal atrophy, a condition that eventually causes blindness. There is also multifocal retinal dysplasia, which is uncommon and has little effect on a dog who inherits it.
Cavapoos can also develop cataracts, either inherited or as an age-related condition, and may suffer entropion. Entropion is a painful condition that causes the eyelids to roll inwards and requires surgery to correct.
Both parent breeds can suffer from luxating patella, or dislocating knees, because of their small size and well-bent stifles, (That’s their knees!) Luxating patella isn’t life-threatening but it is uncomfortable. It’s also a good to keep an eye on your Cavapoo’s back legs because Poodles are prone to hip dysplasia and Leggs Perthes disease, which both affect the hip joint.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very affected by heart problems, and so Cavapoos are also at risk. One big problem is Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) which affects almost all Cavaliers and is the most common cause of death amongst the breed.
Miniature and Toy Poodles are also at some risk of MVD as well as other heart problems like dilated cardiomyopathy. Although Cavapoos have “hybrid vigour”, they are still at risk of the problems of their parent breeds and so heart problems are one of the most common major health issues amongst Cavapoos.
Epilepsy affects all kinds of Poodles and by extension all the “doodle” breeds are at risk, including the Cavapoo. In most cases it is a lifelong disease and requires medication to minimise the number of seizures your dog has, which will help to improve their quality of life. However, in-between seizures, most dogs with epilepsy manage to live a full and happy life.
Cavapoos need quite a lot of regular grooming to keep that lush, curly coat in perfect condition. How often you groom your Cavapoo will depend on the kind of coat they inherit.
If your Cavapoo’s fur takes after their Poodle side, they will need more frequent brushing to prevent any mats in their fur. They will also need to be regularly clipped by a groomer to keep their fur tidy. This is because a Poodle’s fur grows non-stop, which is why they don’t shed. It does mean they can start looking like a little sheep in need of shearing though, hence why your Cavapoo will need regular haircuts.
Cavoos with fur more like a Spaniel can be brushed less often and might need less frequent groomer trips, but they will be more likely to shed. Regardless of whether your Cavapoo has curly or wavy fur, you should brush them at least once a week.
The best brush to use for your Cavapoo will be a comb or a pin and bristle brush, using the metal side to take out any tangles or mats that are in their long fur. The brustle side of the brush will be good for smoothing out their fur afterwards. You always need to remember to brush your Cavapoo before they have a bath because water will tighten their curls, making it harder to get any tangles out. It should also stop their fur from becoming a ball of frizz!
Bathing your Cavapoo is straightforward, and you only need to do it once every 3 months, or any time that they really need it. If your pup’s rolled in something smelly, then it’s definitely time for a B-A-T-H. Make sure you use doggy shampoo, because human shampoo will dry out their fur and skin and could make them very itchy.
Other grooming habits
Other than brushing and bathing your dog, you do need to do some regular hygiene checks. Firstly, you’ll need to trim the fur on their face to make sure it doesn’t go in their eyes.
This is a good chance to check their eyes are healthy too, and you can wipe around them with a damp cloth to try and remove any tear stains. You will also need to brush your dog’s teeth every few days to protect their oral health and prevent problems like bad breath, plaque, and cavities.
Cavapoos are also prone to ear infections because of their floppy, furry ears. You should check their ears every week and you can clean them every few weeks with a special cleaning solution from your vet. Just massage the solution into their ear canal, then wipe it clean and dry with cotton wool.
You’ll also need to trim the fur on their feet between their toes because it can grow over the pads and make it hard for them to get traction, so they slip around on the floor, and it can even splay their toes. You should also check your pup’s toe beans are in good shape and there’s nothing stuck in there, and clip their claws every few weeks.
Most Cavapoos need to have their fur clipped too, and you might prefer to take your pooch to the groomer every few months to keep their coat in top shape. While at the groomer your pup will be bathed and given a haircut. Most groomers will also carry out any other routine hygiene and grooming tasks like checking their paws and claws and trimming the fur inside their ears to help prevent infections.
You can groom your Cavapoo in any style you like really, but there are a few styles that have become staple Cavapoo haircuts because they make it super easy to keep on top of their grooming, and they make your pooch look even more adorable. The top Cavapoo haircuts include the teddy bear cut, the puppy cut, and a summer cut.
The teddy bear cut is where the fur on your Cavapoo’s body and legs is cut quite short, and the fur on their head and ears is kept long. The fur on their head is scissored to give their it a round appearance, and it really emphasises their sweet round eyes. This cut is easy to look after because the fur is normally cut between 1-1.5 inches long on their body, so brushing is easy and it helps to keep your pup cool in warm weather. Best of all, it means your Cavapoo really will look like a cute cuddly toy.
The puppy cut is very similar to the teddy bear cut, except their fur is usually left a little bit longer. Again, the fur on their body and legs is cut short, but the fur on their head is usually cut to the same length as the body. As the name suggests this haircut makes your pooch look like a puppy again. It also makes brushing easy because the short fur is easy to maintain, but will need clipping every few weeks to keep up the hairstyle.
Summer cuts are ideal for keeping your Cavapoo cool in hot weather, and it means that brushing and regular grooming is very easy to maintain because their fur is cut short all over. That means you don’t have to spend as much time brushing your dog because you won’t have to worry about mats and tangles as much. Keeping their fur short does mean that they’ll need regular haircuts to keep the fur from growing out.
Although those are the most common Cavapoo haircuts, there are many others you could choose from. If your Cavapoo has a very curly coat more like a Poodle they can have haircuts like the lamb cut. This cut involves clipping the body but keeping the fur on their head and legs longer and using scissors to give it a rounded appearance, all to make your pup look like an adorable little lamb.
Do Cavapoos shed?
Many Cavapoos don’t shed or shed very minimally because they often inherit the curly Poodle coat. However, if your Cavapoo is a little more Cavalier in appearance then they might shed an average amount for dogs. Typically though, Cavapoos don’t shed a noticeable amount and can even be suitable for some allergy sufferers.
Are Cavapoos hypoallergenic?
Poodles are one of the most hypoallergenic breeds out there and since most Cavapoos inherit the same curly coat it does mean that they are considered hypoallergenic because they do not shed much hair, dander, or drool.
However, there is no guarantee your pooch will be poodley. Some Cavapoos might grow up to have smooth, silky fur like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel which will shed. However, Cavapoos are generally pretty hypoallergenic and are typically suitable for allergy sufferers.
If you want more assurance that your pooch will have the curly Poodle coat that doesn’t shed, you might want to look into finding a F2 Cavapoo, or any further generations, because these will have slightly more predictable characteristics including their fur quality.
It’s important to remember that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic and even a no/low-shedding dog like a Cavapoo could still upset your sensitivities. The best thing to do is to spend some time with the kind of dog you like to see if they suit you.
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