Wavy, curly or soft, but ultimately adorable and friendly, these are just some words that Cavapoo owners are expected to utter. Whether you’re looking for a canine companion for your newborn, or whether you’ve decided to embark on the journey of dog parenthood, this hybrid will be a continuous source of friendliness, acceptance towards the younger generation and intelligence.
If you weren’t already aware of those traits, you’ve come to the right place, as this article will serve as a comprehensive guide to what the Cavapoo breed is, its temperament, appearance characteristics and others – steady yourself, as you’re in for a history lesson too.
What is a Cavapoo?
A Cavapoo, otherwise known as a Cavoodle or Cavadoodle, is a hybrid that came into existence by mixing a miniature-sized Poodle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Small in appearance despite being fearless, the mix weighs around 20 pounds and only grows to about 11 to 15 inches tall.
As you might know, size rarely has a bearing on the eagerness displayed by dogs in pleasing their owners. Equipped with a laid-back personality and a to-be-appreciated intelligence, this gentle little dog makes for a great companion – for both kids and adults.
For the Cavapoo, the more, the better, as the hybrid is known for being extremely friendly with everyone, while also adapting and accepting homes with either small gardens or no gardens at all. However, this doesn’t mean that exercise and having the space to run around is not essential. After all, you’ll want to see those floppy ears in action.
Thus, whether you’re single and are looking for a new best friend, or whether you’ve decided to add another member to the family, possessing a gently-natured pup such as the Cavapoo will never seem like a mistake. Craving love and attention, this breed will develop strong bonds that are bound to last for years and years to come – as their lifespan is around 12 to 16 years.
As previously pointed out, the Cavapoo is an adorable cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a miniature Poodle. Concerning the history of this breed, you might or might not be surprised to know that once upon a time, they were considered a “designer dog” – making its appearance on the stages of 1950s America.
Due to the idea that this low-shedding dog would not pose a danger for those suffering from allergies, it was not long before these cute pups starting flooding the movie sets and homes of many people around the globe, not only in the United States. Nonetheless, not many people were once aware of which traits and characteristics this hybrid dog will inherit and that made the whole process a bit dangerous – as there was no guarantee to what you were bringing in your house.
These days, the breed can prosper because of advancements in breeding capabilities, minimizing the risk of Cavapoos suffering from hereditary health problems which could otherwise be passed down to their litter. All in all, what you’re left with is an affectionate, loyal and loving canine companion that has won us over – despite not yet being recognized as a breed in the United Kingdom.
The Cavapoo is renowned for its exceptional character and this is one of the main reasons for which they are famous for young families and singles alike. Sweet and friendly, there is no concern that they won’t get along with other pets or children. This factor makes them ideal for sharing a home with other fluffy and furry animals that you’ve always wanted to own. Especially if you’re a first-time owner that is looking for an easy-to-handle and adaptable pup, you’ve got yourself a winner.
Due to their love for both pets and people, it’s easy to understand why the breed can develop a severe case of separation anxiety, which can be tackled from early on to minimize its effects. With adequate training and positive reinforcement, you are able to ensure that your home won’t suffer from a needy or ill-treated dog. Kind and loyal, Cavapoos can be seen as excellent guard dogs, not barking excessively but still letting you know if you or your family are in danger.
Similar to people, they can suffer from short attention spans, meaning that while they’re easy to train, the dogs do require a routine or a consistent schedule they can then follow. Because of that and other time restraints, we would recommend professional training so that you don’t get lost in the big eyes and soft curls.
When it comes to appearance, every Cavapoo can slightly differ in size, shape, coat texture, or color. Although most breeds describe them as hypoallergenic, it’s essential to remember that they do come from a Poodle lineage – thus, shedding hair and potentially triggering allergies.
Featuring a cute round face and floppy ears that are soft to the touch, Cavapoos have big eyes with a full expression that adds even more to their already apparent beauty. Concerning colors of the coat, the texture and length of their hair can differ from pup to pup, with some having more Cavalier in them, while others are more Poodle.
Regardless, they are low-maintenance and their soft and silky coats are just proof of that. If you’re usually struggling to make a decision, take a couple of friends with you when preparing to adopt your Cavapoo, as there are multiple colors to choose from - including chestnut, gold, tricolor, white, black and Blenheim (white and chestnut).
Depending on the genes they inherit, Cavapoos can have various types of fur, but most commonly they grow to develop a relatively long coat with curls or waves. They need daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles, but their coat looks best when professionally groomed. You should arrange visits to the groomer every four to six weeks and give your dog a bath in between appointments, every two to four weeks.
To avoid forming reddish-brown tear stains, it is best to wash the Cavapoo’s face daily with plain water, carefully wiping beneath its eyes with a damp cloth. You must also clean its ears regularly, as too much wax can cause persistent infections that are very hard to treat.
The genital area should be trimmed and regularly cleaned, as well, as the coat can get stained with urine and feces, becoming smelly and causing skin irritations. These little dogs are prone to dental diseases too, so you have to wash their teeth regularly to avoid plaque build-up, which can cause gingivitis and lead to teeth loss.
Due to its small size, the Cavapoo is an ideal pet to keep indoors, whether you have a house or live in an apartment. It is not advisable to keep it outside, as its small body tends to lose heat very fast and cannot keep up with the elements.
As every other dog species, they also need a daily exercise routine to stay fit and satisfied. However, due to their small stature, they don’t need a lot of space to run around. A medium-sized yard or one daily walk around the block, along with some playtime inside, is enough to keep them in good shape.
Possible Health Problems
Cavapoos usually live long and happy lives with good care from responsible owners. Generally speaking, as they are the mixed breed between Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, they could inherit some of the conditions from both species. However, they are usually more resilient than their parents, thanks to the “hybrid vigor” - improved function of all biological systems - gained in the mixing process.
However, they do, sometimes, have problems with their eyes, heart and knees. They are also prone to dental problems, problems with their ears and epilepsy.
Cavapoos may suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, which is a degenerative eye disease leading to blindness. This condition is hereditary and is not yet fully understood. Some of the symptoms include reluctance to go downstairs or refusing to go outside when it is dark or dim.
There is still no treatment for this disorder, but if your dog develops it, the best you are able to do is to adapt its living space to allow easy movement and improve the quality of its life.
This breed may suffer from congenital heart problems, as well, such as the Mitral Valve disease. It is usually spotted at regular veterinarian check-ups, as the faulty valve makes murmurs that are easy to hear with a stethoscope.
Inherited malformations or injuries of the kneecaps may cause them to jump sideways out of their place. This is very painful and the dog is not able to use the affected leg. Treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory drugs, but sometimes, surgery is also required.
Buy Cavapoo puppies only from responsible breeders that are careful about the inherited health problems and screen their dogs before breeding, using only the healthiest and best-looking dogs.
However, even the most careful breeders don’t have the power to prevent every possible health problem, so it is your responsibility to provide your pet with the best possible healthcare and to watch out for the biggest problem in small dogs - obesity.
Cavapoos are small energetic dogs that need to be stimulated both physically and mentally to stay healthy, satisfied and obedient. A short morning walk, paired with indoor playtime, is usually sufficient enough to meet their needs.
You are able to let them roam around freely in your yard, but be sure your fencing is secure enough, without holes and weaknesses. Once they find a way out, these inquisitive and intelligent little dogs will soon escape, in search of a new adventure.
Keep in mind you shouldn’t over-exercise your dog, especially in the puppyhood. Their joints are not that strong and excessive physical activity may lead to injuries and result in more serious problems later on in his or her life.
Is This Breed a Good Family Dog?
These are friendly, cheerful animals that enjoy being around people. They get very attached to their owners and can tolerate other pets in the household. This makes them excellent family dogs, but there are some things you have to watch out for.
First of all, they are not recommended to families with very young children, as they can be easily scared or injured while playing with children that tend to get over excited around this tiny, cute creature.
Secondly, although they can get along well with another household pet, including cats, there are no guarantees they will not chase after your neighbor’s animals.
Thirdly, they are so small and gentle, easily attached to you and they will follow quietly your every move. This may result in you unintentionally hurting them. The easy solution is to add a bell to your pet’s collar, so you will be able to hear it coming.
Lastly, don’t own a Cavapoo if you are not able to spend enough time with it. These pets are so dependent on your love and care, that leaving them alone may cause serious anxiety issues.
These are very intelligent dogs, capable of learning new things fast. Their training should start as early as possible - immediately upon arrival to your home. Dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes a day to teach them new things, using gentle hand and positive reinforcement.
However, house-training is a bit troublesome and it may take more time for them than other dogs. Be persistent, understanding and positive and after a while, they will be successfully potty-trained.
These days, the adorable Cavapoo remains one of the most popular breeds on the planet, despite most of the time not being able to predict the size, color, or coating of your future pup. Regardless of this gambling scenario, their temperament and overall personality is the primary determinant of why the hybrid has become this well-known across the globe.
Having been proven as a loyal, kind, intelligent and charming dog, the Cavapoo is an excellent addition to any family looking to expand and bring in a tiny, yet lively element of fun through their front doors.