What Is A Cavapoo Dog? (And is this breed right for you)

The Cavapoo (also known as the Cavadoodle or Cavoodle) is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Miniature or Toy Poodle, and is considered a mixed breed dog. Poodle mixed breeds have increased in popularity in recent years, and for very good reason. Among many of its positive traits, the Cavapoo is hypoallergenic, loyal, outgoing, playful, and a great family dog. Read on to learn more about the Cavapoo, and if it’s the dog for you!

Cavapoo Puppy - What is a Cavapoo Dog
Cavapoo Puppy (also called Cavoodle)

The History of the Cavapoo

The Poodle is known as a water dog, originally from Germany with origins in France as well. The Standard Poodle was bred to retrieve waterfowl. While the smaller Miniature and Toy Poodles were bred primarily to be companion dogs.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small spaniel breed that originated in the United Kingdom as a companion and lap dog.

The Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles, along with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are recognized as breeds by the AKC. Since the Cavapoo is a mixed breed, it is not recognized as a breed by the AKC.  

The origins of the first Cavapoos are relatively unknown, although it is speculated the mixed breed was first purposely bred in Australia in the 1950s. The breed gained popularity in 1990s, as the appeal of Poodle mixed breeds increased. The UK and the U.S. quickly began breeding the Cavapoo as well.

The intelligence and hypoallergenic Poodle traits combined with the gentle affection of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel contributed to the quick rise in popularity of the Cavapoo.

Cavapoo Appearance and Life Span

What is a Cavapoo (cavoodle)

Cavapoos have an average weight of around 8 to 17 pounds (3.5-7.5 kg). Where males can weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kg) and females around 15 pounds (7 kg).

Male height ranges from 11 to 14 inches (28-35.5 cm), and female height ranges from 9 to 11 inches (23-28 cm).

The height and weight of the Cavapoo will depend on whether the parent Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred with a Miniature or Toy Poodle. The average lifespan of a Cavapoo is around 12 to 15 years.

Cavapoo Coat Types

While there are three different coat types the Cavapoo may inherit, the fleece coat is the most common. This is the coat with the loose curls/waves very commonly seen on Poodle mixed breeds.

Fleece coats are quite soft, do not shed much, and are low maintenance.

Wool coats are tighter curls and are low shedding coats. Wool coats require the most amount of grooming, with daily brushing and regular haircuts recommended.

The last type of coat is the hair coat, which is a wiry coat that sheds the most (but still less than the typical dog) but requires the least amount of grooming. And this is because hair coats do not grow as fast.

Regardless of coat type, Cavapoos have floppy ears, large brown eyes, and an innocent appearance, leading to the characteristic ‘teddy bear’ look so beloved by owners!

The Cavapoo is considered hypoallergenic, which means they are ideal dogs for people who suffer from dog dander allergies.

Cavapoo Grooming Overview

What is a Cavpoo Dog Breed

Since the coat types vary and every Cavapoo is different, there is no one suggested grooming regimen for the mixed breed.

In general, the Cavapoo will require regular coat maintenance. So plan to implement a grooming regimen once you have your Cavapoo. Whether that is you regularly grooming your Cavapoo or going to a professional groomer.

The ideal setup would be a combination of the two. Where some brushing and trimming is done regularly at home, but a professional groomer is seen every few months to keep the Cavapoo’s coat in ideal condition.

As with all dog breeds, be sure and introduce your Cavapoo to a regular grooming routine as soon as possible. The earlier they get used to their nails trimmed and coat brushed the better, with the goal of making grooming an enjoyable activity for both owner and dog.

Related: How Often Should You Groom a Cavapoo Dog?

Cavapoo Grooming Supplies

To prepare for your new Cavapoo, be sure to purchase some baseline grooming supplies to have on hand at home.

This includes a brush to prevent tangles and mats. Metal combs or brushes, or slicker brushes are all great options for Cavapoo coats. A two-sided pin and bristle brush is also a great option, as one side detangles while the other side smooths the coat.

As with all dogs, be sure to invest in nail clippers, coat trimmers and dog shampoo as initial items to have at home.

Cavapoo Colors

Black and White Cavapoo Puppy - What is a Cavapoo (Cavoodle)

Cavapoos coats are found in a variety of different colors. Including but not limited to tan/gold, red, chocolate, white, black, tricolor (black, white, and tan), black and white, and Blenheim (tan/red and white).

The most popular color Cavapoo is the red (including ruby and chestnut) color. The rarest color is black, as it is typically a recessive gene that will come from the Poodle parent.

Cavapoo Energy Level

The Cavapoo is a medium-energy dog that requires at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity a day to be at its happiest and healthiest.

This activity can come in the form of playtime at home, through walks, playing with other dogs at a dog park, or playing in the backyard.

Cavapoos are typically friendly dogs to other dogs and cats, with proper socialization.

Even though the Cavapoo requires a fair level of activity and stimulation, Cavapoos do well as apartment dogs.

The Cavapoo’s main desire is just to be with their humans. So be sure to not leave your Cavapoo unattended outside or alone at home too long, as they are prone to separation anxiety.

Cavapoo Personality

What is a Cavapoo and is it the Right Breed for You

Cavapoos inherit the well-known intelligence of the Poodle along with the devotion of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Their number one priority is being with their owner, and they are considered playful but not extremely energetic.

They are a popular family dog and generally enjoy playing with children, as long as the children do not play too aggressively.

Other temperament traits associated with the Cavapoo are being good-natured, friendly, loyal, affectionate, and loving.

Do Cavapoos Bark?

Cavapoos are intelligent dogs and will quickly realize that barking gets their owner’s attention.

Without proper training and attention, the Cavapoo may capitalize on barking to gain your attention. It’s important to begin training at a young age to quickly teach the Cavapoo when and when not to bark.

Cavapoos are known for being relatively easy to train, and respond well to treats, playing, and praise.

Cavapoo Common Health Issues

There are a couple of significant health issues inherited by the Cavapoo to note.

The first is Patellar Luxation, which is when the kneecap rides outside the femoral groove when the knee is flexed. This is not always a serious issue but can cause pain, arthritis, and injury, particularly as the Cavapoo ages.

The second is Mitral Valve Dysplasia (MVD). This is usually inherited from the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel parent, as MVD is common in King Charles Cavalier Spaniels. This is a serious heart disease caused by the deterioration of one of the heart valves as the Cavapoo ages.

As the mitral valve deteriorates it begins to flow blood back into the heart instead of out, which can lead to heart failure.

While not as prevalent in Cavapoos as in their Cavalier parent, if you notice changes in your dog’s behavior take them to the vet for an evaluation. While there is no cure, there are various treatment options to help manage MVD.

Additional possible health issues include hip dysplasia, ear infections, skin issues, epilepsy, and cataracts.

Many reputable breeders will DNA test their breeding parents to ensure they will not be passing on any health issues.

Cavapoo Nutrition

Providing a balanced, nutritious diet is a key component of raising a healthy Cavapoo.

A general rule of thumb, small dog breeds should eat about 40 calories per pound of dog weight. A 15-pound Cavapoo would ideally receive around 600 calories per day. But this may change depending on age, size, and activity level.

We recommend discussing calorie needs with your veterinarian to confirm how much food your Cavapoo should be eating.

Cavapoos are particularly fond of treats. So it’s important to provide treats in moderation, as Cavapoos also tend to overeat.

Cavapoo Weather Tolerance

Cavapoo enjoying Snow Outdoors - What is a Cavapoo Dog

Most Cavapoos can tolerate colder temperatures with their thick coats, which help provide warmth and regulate heat.

Even though they are less susceptible to the cold, Cavapoos should not be left outside for too long. Their small size means they get colder than large breeds.

Being left outside in the cold (particularly the snow) for too long may result in frostbite, hypothermia, and other associated medical problems.

Senior and puppy Cavapoos are more likely to experience negative impacts from cold weather. Their fur is thinner than a typical Cavapoo adult coat.

The same is true with warm weather. Cavapoos can handle warm weather but should not be left outside for too long or they may experience severe dehydration.

Limiting time outdoors in extreme weather will help protect your Cavapoo from severe weather.  

Final Thoughts

Cavapoos are intelligent, loving, and compassionate dogs, and are devoted companions. The Cavapoo just wants to please its owner and will follow you wherever you go.  If you are open to regular grooming, a training regimen, and are ready for that characteristic ‘teddy bear’ face to be in your life, then this is the perfect dog for you. The Cavapoo makes a great family dog and is an excellent addition to any household.