Cavapoos are one of the cutest and most popular Poodle crossbreeds. So if you're thinking of getting one, this is what you need to know about them
Origins and history
The Cavapoo is a poodle crossbreed. It's a mix of a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that was first bred in the United States in the 1950s. Breeders wanted to create a low-shedding dog for owners with dog allergies, and Cavapoos became especially popular through Australian crossbreed programmes in the 1990s. They are known to be small, active, and affectionate dogs who are perfect for families with small children. The Cavapoo has also become very popular in the UK, although it has yet to be officially recognised by the UK Kennel Club.
Physical characteristics of the Cavapoo crossbreed
Most Cavapoos have small round faces, floppy ears, and large eyes. As they rarely shed their coats, Cavapoos are a popular choice for people who suffer from allergies. Because the Cavapoo is a crossbreed, some will have soft silky coats inherited from the Cavaliers; others will have wavy and wiry coat taken from the Poodle. Cavapoos come in a wide variety of colours, but some of the most popular colours include black, white, and chestnut.
Lifespan: 13 - 15 years
Weight: 33-45cm 5-10kg
Cavapoos have inherited many of the best characteristics from their parent breeds and are known for being loyal, affectionate, and sweet-natured companions.
Cavapoos are also very intelligent and it will require plenty of stimulation to keep them entertained or engaged. Although some can be quite small, Cavapoos are full of energy so plenty of exercise is a must. But Cavapoos are quite sensitive and they don’t respond well to harsh correction or heavy-handed training. So remember to be gentle and focus their training around positive re-enforcement for the best results.
Because of their loyal natures, some Cavapoos will struggle with being left alone for a long period of time. This can lead to separation anxiety and ‘bad' behaviour, such as excessive barking and destructive behaviour around the home.
Health of the Cavapoo crossbreed
Because Cavapoos are a cross breed, they are less likely to suffer from the same health problems as their parents. This is due to something called “hybrid vigor”, a term used to describe the improved immune system resulting from mixing the strongest elements of the parent's genetics. However, there are a few issues that Cavapoo owners should be aware of.
- Progressive retinal atrophy: This is a hereditary disorder that affects eyesight and may lead to permanent blindness. As of yet, the causes are not known and treatment is limited. Symptoms include a reluctance to go downstairs, and a nervousness in unfamiliar places.
- Luxating patella: Otherwise known as slipping kneecaps, luxating patella is a common problem for small dogs and crossbreeds. It’s due to a malformation of the kneecap and can be also caused by injury. A Luxating patella can be quite painful and affected dogs will either limp or go lame. Surgery is one way to fix it, but it can also be treated with anti-inflammatory medication.
- Congenital heart problems: The most common heart problem is mitral valve disease. It's due to a contraction of the heart valve, which over time will begin to leak. It can also lead to heart murmurs.
Cavapoos also have short muzzles, meaning they’re extremely sensitive to heat and hot weather. Take extra care during the summer months to keep them cool.
Depending on the size of the dog, feeding amounts will vary slightly. However, the following amounts are a good guideline. For puppies:
- 2 months old - 96g to 127g.
- 3 months old - 108g to 149g
- 4 months old - 113g to 158g
- 6 months old - 103g to 159g
- 7 months old - 92g to 144g
- 8 months old - 81g to 129g
- 10 months old - 81g to 115g
- 11 months old - 80g to 114g
For full-grown Cavapoos, the following amounts should keep them fit and healthy:
- Dog weighing 5 kg can be fed 69g to 90g
- Dog weighing 8 kg can be fed 110g to 144g
- Dog weighing 10 kg can be fed 138g to 181g
Cavapoos are a relatively low-maintenance breed, but they'll still need a weekly brush to keep their coat clean. Others with slightly longer coats will need a little more grooming, but a monthly clip or trim will keep it in good condition. Like many poodle crossbreeds, Cavapoos have a tendency to get ‘weepy eyes’. These should be cleaned with a warm damp cloth or non-alcoholic wipes. Teeth brushing, eye cleaning, and nail clipping are also part of a Cavapoos grooming routine.
Training of this cross
Cavapoos are a very intelligent breed that is also very easy to train. As with all other dogs, consistency and patience are key, so focus on a daily 10-15 minute session. Cavapoos prefer a softer training approach, and extra patience may be needed when it comes to potty-training as Cavapoos can sometimes a take little longer to respond.
Cavapoo puppies can be quite mischievous so take care not to spoil them or encourage the wrong kinds of behaviour. It’s vital to set early ground rules and boundaries. Without these, you’ll start to notice behavioural problems as a Cavapoo develops.
Because they need lots of rest during their early years, Cavapoos need a quiet, safe place to nap and relax. But they can also be very playful so puppy-proofing the house is really important. Cavapoo puppies love to chew and explore - make sure all cables and wires are tied up and out of harms ways.