High-maintenance dogs–like high-maintenance people–are often deemed more trouble than they’re worth. You’ve heard that Cavapoos are rather high-maintenance pooches, which has admittedly made you hold off from adopting or buying one. Is the Cavapoo really that high-maintenance?
Cavapoos are high-maintenance in some ways and less so in others. For example, the dog needs daily grooming (brushing), the right diet, and plenty of attention. You don’t have to bathe your Cavapoo that often though, its exercise routine is standard, and the dog trains easily.
In this guide, we’ll first examine what makes a dog higher-maintenance versus lower-maintenance and then delve into all the areas of Cavapoo care that are above the norm. Check it out!
What Makes a Dog High-Maintenance?
Let’s begin by assessing why some dogs are more high-maintenance than others. Here are the traits those pooches usually possess.
High-maintenance dogs are known for their strong personalities. Perhaps the dog is very independent to the point of only needing people to provide shelter and food.
Maybe the canine is incredibly stubborn and strong-willed and does what it wants more than anything else.
If the dog is difficult to train on top of all this, it can lead to some frustrating experiences between man and dog.
More Self-Pleasing Than People-Pleasing
Some dogs live for making their owners happy. Others could honestly care less, and those are the dogs that are often labeled as high-maintenance.
They’ll listen to their owners when it suits them, but if they want to do something and their owner disagrees, then the dog will still go off on its own.
A dog that needs a lot of special care is often deemed high-maintenance as well.
For example, if a dog requires frequent grooming (brushing every day, regular haircuts) or more exercise than about an hour per day, then most prospective buyers or adopters are going to label the dog as too much effort and bring home a couch potato pooch instead.
Lots of Attention
All dogs need some form of attention, but for a high-maintenance dog, it’s on a different level entirely. Maybe the pup suffers from separation anxiety or any other kind of anxiety, or perhaps they were abandoned when they were young.
Either way, a dog like this will want to be a person’s literal shadow, and that does get tiring after a while.
Where Cavapoos Are High-Maintenance
Now that you better understand that makes some dogs higher-maintenance than others, it’s time to take a closer look at the Cavapoo and how much effort a pup like this requires.
Cavapoos are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels mixed with Poodles, and that makes brushing this hybrid dog quite time-consuming. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a silken, moderately curly coat that’s about medium length.
It’s not so difficult to brush, admittedly, but can become tangled and knotty due to its length. You have to watch out for painful mats as well.
It’s the Poodle coat that’s the real challenge. As low-shedding as a Poodle coat is, brushing through those tightly-wound wiry curls is something you’ll have to get used to.
You don’t have to brush your dog every single day, although it’s a good idea if you want to mitigate the risk of tangles and mats.
Some people may consider regular brushing high maintenance, but others will view this as therapeutic or a bonding experience for them and their dog.
Related Reading: Do Cavapoos Shed Hair or Their Coat? (Answered by an Owner)
Need for Attention
The Cavapoo, like many designer crossbreeds, is a companion animal first and foremost. That means the Cavapoo doesn’t only thrive on attention but lives for it.
If you leave your Cavapoo alone for long periods, the dog will be miserable. Cavapoos also aren’t good in cages or kennels all day, as they get lonely. That said, you can crate-train the dog.
A Cavapoo that’s left on its lonesome too can develop separation anxiety that can result in accidents and destructive behavior around the house.
Even when you are home, the Cavapoo prefers to be the center of attention. Ours certainly does. Our dog Coco is in the habit of following us around the house. She likes to be near us a lot of the time unless she’s been worn out from exercise.
You have to be ready to give up the bulk of your heart and some quality time to your Cavapoo. But if you’re after a companion, then the Cavapoo is perfect.
Related Reading: Do Cavapoos Like to Cuddle? Are They Affectionate?
Cavapoos can develop dental problems, usually more in adulthood than during their younger years. Once your pup loses its baby teeth, you could be in for a lot of doggy dental visits.
Some owners elect to clean their dog’s teeth daily or a few times a week. Your vet can also clean them which may save you on dental bills later in your life.
Adjusting your Cavapoo to getting its teeth brushed daily is a bit of an uphill battle. Even once the Cavapoo is used to you invading its mouth, between all the other care this dog needs, daily brushing is a lot.
You may be aware that most Cavapoo owners will trim and cut their dog’s fur. Their coats do grow quite quickly and keeping them on the shorter side will prevent mats.
If you live in a hot climate, regular hair cuts and grooming of your Cavapoo are a must. The dog will be much cooler and comfortable with shorter hair.
How often do you need to cut your Cavapoo’s hair? To keep it at a good length, you’ll need to cut it 3-6 times per year. More if you want them to look immaculate all of the time.
Related Reading: How Often Should You Groom a Cavapoo Dog?
Cavapoos are usually active dogs, but they’re also likelier to gain weight than other hybrid breeds. Therefore, you can’t be careful enough with what you feed your four-legged friend.
The dog’s diet should be comprised of micronutrients and macronutrients such as protein from meat and healthy fats and carbs.
Cavapoos don’t need a terribly nutritionally-dense diet when it comes to both their wet food and their kibble or dry food. You can even opt to feed your Cavapoo the raw diet with plenty of ground bones for vitamins and minerals.
A diet made up of high-quality foods will benefit all dogs, not just Cavapoos.
I feed my Cavapoo raw meat mixed with high-quality kibble. The cheap kibble tends to be made up of fillers and food that lacks nutrition. For the meat component, we’ve been giving our dog chicken necks or beef mince.
Since Cavapoos are small to medium dogs, they don’t eat that much, which means your food bills will be reasonable.
Related Reading: What To Do If Your Cavapoo Is A Picky Eater
Where Cavapoos Aren’t High-Maintenance
Maybe the information in the last section didn’t thrill you, but regardless, those are the areas where Cavapoos are considered the most high-maintenance.
As we discussed in the intro, this dog is not totally hard to care for through and through. Ours certainly isn’t. The following areas are a lot lower maintenance by comparison.
Bathing your Cavapoo every week or every other week? Not even close!
At the very least, you’ll want to consider plunking your pet into the tub after a month. You can even stretch that to six weeks unless your Cavapoo has been rolling around in the dirt outside. Then it’s bath time.
The Cavapoo is rather gentle and thus isn’t going to make bath time into a wrestling match as some dog breeds will.
Treat your pup to a high-quality doggy shampoo and conditioner (we’ve recommended some great products on the blog) and take your time while bathing.
It can take a while for those Poodle curls of a Cavapoo to dry on their own, so using a hairdryer on a very low setting will get your dog’s coat dry in no time.
Related Reading: Shampoo Options for Cavapoos (Puppies and Adults)
A fully-grown Cavapoo requires at least 60 minutes of exercise every single day. Sure, some Cavapoos are up for two hours of running around, but for most, about an hour per day suffices.
We’ve found our 8-month-old Cavapoo puppy is satisfied after a 30-minute walk in the morning, and 10-15 mins of play later in the day.
This exercise requirement is not special compared to many dog breeds. Cavapoos are fine with strenuous exercise and are just as much okay with lighter activities. They’ll gladly play inside or outside depending on the weather.
Keeping your Cavapoo exercised is easy all around.
Related Reading: How Much Exercise Does a Cavapoo Need?
Going back to our point from earlier in this article, stubborn, self-pleasing dogs are often the hardest to work with. They defer to what they want to do over what you want to do, which can make for some ultra-frustrating training sessions.
Training the Cavapoo is much better by comparison. This dog is quite brainy and listens well. Cavapoos enjoy training and learning more than basic commands, but agility as well.
We found our puppy picked up the basics like sit, drop, and stay when she was only 12 weeks old. Now she is 8 months, she’s getting better each day.
If you want to take your dog training to the next level, the Cavapoo is ready to get there with you.
Of course, as is true with any dog, the Cavapoo listens and responds best when given positive reinforcement such as verbal praise, head pats, and dog treats!
Related Reading: Are Cavapoos Easy to Train? (Plus Training Tips)
Cavapoos aren’t the most high-maintenance pooches on the block, but they’re not terribly easy to care for in some areas either.
To keep a Cavapoo happy, feed it a well-rounded diet, give the dog plenty of attention, and be ready to commit to regular grooming every single day (or close to it).
Once you and your pup begin bonding, all this extra work won’t feel so much like work anymore!