A grey Cavapoo dog

The Cavapoo is very affectionate, loyal and an excellent companion pet.

© Shutterstock

Everything you need to know about the Cavapoo

By Ashley Murphy Content Writer

Updated on the

Cavapoos are one of the cutest and most popular Poodle crossbreeds. They are very affectionate and great with children. Let's meet the Cavapoo.

The Cavapoo: A cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Origins and history

The Cavapoo is a mix of a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that was first bred in the United States in the 1950s. Cavapoos became especially popular through Australian crossbreed programmes in the 1990s. Breeders wanted to create a low-shedding dog for owners who suffer from dog allergies.

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. 
Let's meet the Cavapoo's parents breeds.

The Poodle

The Poodle ©Shutterstock

The Poodle is known for being intelligent, alert, loyal and easy to train. They come in different sizes: Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle.This breed is an excellent companion, they quickly get attached to their families.

The Poodle is an active dog and will need to be stimulated mentally and physically. Make sure you train your Poodle and socialise it early on in its stage of life.

The Poodle is also famous for its beautiful and curly fur, therefore, it will need to be professionally groomed.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Chrles Spaniel ©Shutterstock

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a happy, loving and easy going dog. This breed is a wonderful companion pet and will definitely be your best friend. This sweet dog can sometimes be a little bit stubborn and will therefore need to be trained at an early stage of their life.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel absolutely loves its family, it will follow its owner everywhere and will get on really well with children. This dog's coat can get really long, therefore it will need to be groomed regularly.

Physical characteristics of the Cavapoo     

  • Lifespan: 13 - 15 years                
  • Weight:  5-10kg 
  • Size: 33-45cm  

Most Cavapoos have small round faces, floppy ears, and large eyes.

As they rarely shed, Cavapoos are a popular choice for people who suffer from allergies. Because the Cavapoo is a crossbreed, some will have soft silky coat type inherited from the parent breed the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, 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.          

Personality of the Cavapoo

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 and will need plenty of exercise. 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 reinforcement for the best results.

Because of their loyal natures, the Cavapoo will struggle 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 issues of the Cavapoo

Because Cavapoos are a crossbreed, 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.
These include:

  • 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.

The Cavapoo also has a short muzzle, meaning it is extremely sensitive to heat and hot weather. Take extra care during the summer months to keep your dog cool.

How to groom a Cavapoo

Cavapoos are a relatively low-maintenance breed, but they'll still need a weekly brush to keep their coat clean. Some Cavapoos who have slightly longer coats will need a little more grooming, but a monthly clip or trim will keep its coat in good condition.

Like many poodle crossbreeds, the Cavapoo dog has 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.

How to train a Cavapoo

Cavapoos are a very intelligent breed and 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

The Cavapoo puppy ©Shutterstock

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 the Cavapoo can develop.

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.

Find out more about these mixed breed dogs:

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