Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by themubbi63

You might be forgiven for looking at the Cavapoo and thinking it’s a teddy bear. After all, that’s exactly what it looks like. But the little Cavapoo is actually one of the most popular cross breed dogs in the world. With their soft, curly fur and their playful, loving naturs, Cavapoos make absolutely wonderful family pets. Let’s find out more about their personalities, physical features and where exactly they come from.

What Exactly Is a Cavapoo?

You might wonder what kind of cross breed the Cavapoo is. And really, what kind of name is ‘Cavapoo’ in the first place? Well, the name ‘Cavapoo’ has to do with their lineage. It comes from the words ‘Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’ (different from the plain King Charles Spaniel) and the ‘Poodle’. 

These small or medium sized dogs, since they are after all what is called a designer breed, are a relatively new breed. They’re so new, in fact, that they aren’t registered with any kennel clubs. As with many hybrid dogs, we don’t know much about their history or origins. While they may have naturally occurred before, when did breeders start breeding them deliberately and why did they become so popular?

Doodles (any mix of poodle and another dog breed) are becoming more and more popular around the world so it’s important to be knowledgeable about them.

Let’s Talk About That Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Ancestor

There’s no talking about hybrid breeds without discussing their parent breeds. They’re too new for us to get a proper guage of their temperament, appearance and health issues. Thus, we need to refer back to their parents. The very reason people create cross-breeds is to develop a certain kind of appearance and temperament in dogs and cull out the unwanted aspects of their parent breeds.

Now, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named after King Charles II of England, is a small toy dog of the spaniel type. With curly fur, long and floppy ears, a short stature and a flat face, it’s one of the cutest dog breeds in the world. The flat face was introduced in the seventeenth century when the King Charles Spaniel was interbred with other flat faced breeds. 

In the 1920s, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (affectionately nicknamed ‘Cavs’) diverged from the parent breed of King Charles Spaniels. This is when breeders tried to get the dog back to its original appearance of the dog that belonged to Charles II during the English Civil War. 

These dogs were called Cavaliers because ‘Cavaliers’ was the name given to the supporters of Charles II during the English Civil War. Affectionate, playful and eager to please, Cavaliers adapt quickly to different environments. They do well in agility and obedience training and are often used as show dogs. Due to their spaniel blood, they do have strong hunting instincts and can’t be trusted around birds and small animals.

Let’s Talk About That Poodle Ancestor

Poodles, likewise, have no less of a murky and long history. While the breed was popularized by the French and many people believe that it originated in France, they actually originated in Germany. They were bred to be water retrievers, just like the English Water Spaniel or the Irish Water Spaniel. This meant that they accompanied hunters and retrieved waterfowl from ponds and rivers. They also retrieved unused arrows and bolts.

Poodles are an old breed compared to most retrievers that we see in this modern day and age. They’ve been around since the Middle Ages. Because poodles are extremely intelligent and trainable and have stellar good looks, the French began to train them as circus dogs. In recent years, this has evolved into poodles being show dogs. They’re also among the top service dogs in the world.

Poodles come in a variety of colors and are an extremely energetic and lively breed. They’re also extremely sociable and willing to learn, which makes them excellent show dogs. They’re hard workers and they excel in agility and obedience training.

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History of the Cavapoo

Now that you know what the parent breeds of the Cavapoo are like, you’ll get a good idea of their own temperament and nature. These small, energetic, playful dogs incorporate some of the best traits from the two breeds that are descended from. 

Poodle mixes of any kind have become extremely popular in the United States over the last few decades. After all, it combines the smart and eager-to-learn personality of the Poodle with other desirable traits in other dogs. In the case of Cavaliers, it is their calmer, less hyperactive nature. The almost hypoallergenic coat is obviously a plus. 

While the Cavapoo is popular in the US and Canada, it actually originated in Australia. Australian breeders started intentionally breeding Cavaliers and Poodles together in the 1990s and selling them to people as ideal family dogs.

Cavapoo Size

Like with any poodle mix, the size of a Cavapoo might vary quite a lot depending on whether it is descended from a standard, miniature or toy poodle. There is very little standardisation as far as their size is concerned. If you buy a Cavapoo as a puppy, you won’t know how big it will get until it is fully grown. 

An average fully grown Cavapoo can be anywhere between 9 and 14 inches (23 – 36 cm). If the Cavapoo has a toy Poodle parent, it might be a maximum of 11 inches or 33 cm. But with mini Poodle parents or standard Poodle parents (very unlikely since toys and minis are usually used to breed Cavapoos), they might reach a maximum height of 18 inches or 45 cm.

The latter is practically unheard of and most Cavapoos max out at 14 inches or 36 cm. Regardless of parentage, you can be assured that your Cavapoo will never get very big. They’re perfect apartment sized dogs. As far as weight is concerned, they typically weigh under 20 lb but some big Cavapoos might weigh upto 30 lb. Most vary between 8 and 20 lb (3.5 – 9 kg).

Cavapoo Appearance

With a short stature and typically curly coats, Cavapoos are often likened to teddy bears. They inherit the rounded faces from their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parents, the wiry fur from their Poodle ancestors, and the long floppy ears from both. Their appearance is more variable than most purebred dog breeds. Some Cavapoos might have soft and curly coats, some might have straighter hair while some might have thick, wiry hair.

They also come in a large variety of colors, mostly thanks to their Poodle ancestry (since Cavaliers have more fixed colors and patterns). Thus, Cavapoos can be white, black, chestnut, cream, chocolate, fawn, gold and tricolor (black, white and tan). The latter is uncommon and solid colors are more the norm for this cross breed.

They have almost hypoallergenic coats that don’t shed a lot. They have a very sweet expression on their faces. Combined with their small size, the Cavapoo is almost guaranteed to win hearts.

Cavapoo Behavior and Temperament

Cavapoos are intelligent and lively dogs. Highly trainable, the Cavapoo responds well to positive reinforcement. (But don’t be surprised if your Cavapoo ignores orders to stay or sit and just plops down in your lap). Because of their outgoing and friendly natures, they’re becoming increasingly popular as family dogs. They love validation and praise but are prone to separation anxiety. Thus, it’s very necessary to train and socialize them from a young age.

Cavapoos come from two breeds of working parents which makes them great at agility and obedience training. They do, unfortunately, have a high prey drive since both parents were hunting dogs of different kinds. This might make them prone to chasing birds and squirrels.

Cavapoos like nothing better than to be attached at the hip. So if you want them to spend time alone, you’ll have to train them for it. They can get destructive if they get bored and are left to their own devices for a long time. Thus, they do better with families or senior citizens who can give them a lot of time.

Are Cavapoos Good Family Dogs?

Surprisingly, a lot of small dogs aren’t great family dogs (at least for families with small kids). Small dogs like chihuahuas often feel threatened by the presence of a small child and they can bite or scratch. While parents are understandably wary of bringing in a big dog into a house with a small child, big dogs tend to be gentler and more patient.

That is not the case with the Cavapoo. The Cavapoo is great with children (with supervision of course). They’re calm and patient by nature and aren’t known for being aggressive. They are also playful so they’ll love play time and to run around the park. With active young children, it’s a neat trick to keep both dog and child occupied with each other.

Cavapoos are low-maintenance and adaptable dogs that can live in both apartments and houses with backyards. They’re also highly trainable so you can teach them to respond to children’s games and to play gently with them.

However, it is never wise to leave children and dogs completely unsupervised. Accidents do happen. A Cavapoo might get impatient with a child’s rough play if both parties are not taught to be careful. One can injure the other without even meaning to. Thus, it’s always important to keep an eye on them and teach them how to interact gently with each other.

Cavapoo Health

Cross breeds are generally healthier than purebred dogs and so is the case with the Cavapoo. But there are some health issues that plague both the parent breeds of the Cavapoo. Thus, you might want to keep an eye out for those.

Eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy, heart conditions like mitral valve disease and joint conditions like hip dysplasia and luxating patella are common issues. Cavapoos also suffer from epilepsy on occasion and skin allergies and infections are common. 

Schedule regular vet check-ups, stick to a balanced diet, groom your dog regularly and don’t overfeed them. With these measures, you might be able to prevent or control several of these diseases.

Cavapoo Exercise and Grooming

Despite the playful nature of the Cavapoo, their exercise limits are actually quite moderate. They love daily walks although they generally can’t be left off the leash because of their tendency to chase after things. And they have plenty of energy left over for playtime but they do well enough in small apartments. Unlike many big dogs, the Cavapoo doesn’t necessarily need a big house with a yard.

Since Cavapoos have fur that varies from medium to long and is usually curly, they do need regular grooming. The good thing is that these dogs are practically hypoallergenic and they won’t shed a lot on your carpets. (If you’re allergic to fur and dander but still want to get a dog, this might be the breed for you.) But if you don’t brush their coats every three days, their curls might get matted. This can be uncomfortable for the dog and even result in skin infections.

You should also clean the ears and trim the nails of your Cavapoo every fortnight. If the nails are left untrimmed, they might grow too long and snag or break. This would be painful for your little pooch. As with many small dogs, since the Cavapoo does face dental issues, brushing their teeth every day is recommended. Your vet can tell you about toothpaste that is safe to use on a dog.

Conclusion

The Cavapoo is a captivating crossbreed with a teddy bear-like appearance and a heart of gold. Consider their exercise requirements, potential health concerns, and grooming needs before bringing one home. Remember, responsible pet ownership means choosing a breed that matches your lifestyle!

FAQs

Are Cavapoos hypoallergenic?

Almost! Their curly coats shed minimally, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers. Regular brushing is key to prevent matting.

How much exercise does a Cavapoo need?

Moderate! Daily walks are a must, but leash training is important due to their chasing instincts. They can thrive in smaller spaces with playtime indoors.

Are Cavapoos good with children?

Yes, generally! These gentle and playful pups love spending time with kids (with supervision, of course). Their small size makes them perfect for apartment living

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