About Cavapoos

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cavalier corral king charles spaniels ohio cavapoos

BREED CHARACTERISTICS

Adaptability
3/5
Dog-Friendly
3.5/5
Cat-Friendly
3/5
Shedding
1.5/5
Grooming
3/5
Barking
3/5
Territorial
2/5
Child Friendly
4.5/5
Playfulness
5/5
Affection
5/5
Exercise Needs
3/5
Social Needs
5/5
Apartment Friendly
3.5/5
Stranger Friendly
4/5
Health Issues
3.5/5
Intelligence
4/5
Trainability
4/5
Watchdog Ability
1.5/5
Breed Group: Mixed Designer
Height: 9 to 14 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 9 to 25 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
 

The Cavapoo is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle dog breeds. Outgoing, playful, and curious, these pups inherit some of the best traits from both of their parents.

Cavapoos go by several names, including Cavadoodle and Cavoodle.

The past few decades poodle mixes, including the cavapoo, have become incredibly popular in the US. The idea of a poodle mix is to blend the personality traits of one breed, in the case of the cavapoo the good-naturedness of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, with the low shedding and hypoallergenic traits of poodles.

Although the sudden popularity of cavapoos may make them seem to be a recently created breed, it is believed that they were first bred in the 1950s in Australia.

The Cavapoo varies in appearance depending on the genetic influence of the parent dogs. Their faces are usually compact with long fringed floppy ears and large brows. The body is small but well proportioned, with strong short legs that may have the Cavalier fringing. Small round feet often fluffy in nature add to the appeal of this attractive little dog. The muzzle is long with a cute button nose, while the eyes are the most expressive and innocent being large, round and wideset. The Cavapoo dog has a slightly superior or regal air but is no snob; they are people friendly dogs who want to be close to their families. As puppies, they are irresistible and will choose you rather than you choosing them. 

The Cavapoo is a great companion for anyone, from the elderly down to the small child. They are people dogs; they adore being with their family and pine when they are left alone. The Cavapoo can be somewhat hyperactive at home, racing around the house in excitement when you return to the house to be with them. They are just as eager to cuddle up on your lap and will take as much attention as you can give them without tiring. They are highly intelligent and learn quickly, but respond best to a kind attitude, patience and loads of praise. The Cavapoo mixes well with other people, dogs and pets. Very young children should be supervised around this small dog as injury to the dog can occur unintentionally from rough play. These dogs are eager to please and will try hard to do what you ask. Just don’t let them think that they are the boss or they may develop bad habits. Again, gentle but firm insistence on ‘good doggie manners’’ should start from the day you get these little powerhouses.

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Always walk the Cavapoo on a leash. When he sees a bird or other potential prey, everything else goes out of his head. All too often Cavapoos are hit by cars and killed when they chase a bird or ball, right into the street.

It should go without saying that the Cavapoo is not meant to live outdoors. He’s a family dog who needs to be with his people and protected from excessive heat and cold.

Other Quick Facts

  • Just like the most famous designer breed in the world, the Labradoodle, the Cavapoo comes from Australia. Australian dog breeders were first to deliberately start crossbreeding the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. The idea was to combine the Poodle’s intelligence with the mellow, peaceful character of the Cavalier. The Cavapoo inherited other characteristics too, and one of the most interesting ones is that this breed barely sheds.
  • Like with many designer breeds, the Cavapoo dog is also known by different names. There is no official standard because it is a mixed breed, so no “official” name was given to them. Some breeders and owners call these dogs Cavadoodle and Cavoodle. Still, the name Cavapoo is the most famous and widely used.

History

Cavapoos, also known as Cavoodles or Cavoos, are among the first “designer dogs” that were created by mixing two dog breeds. For this crossbreed, breeders started experimenting by mixing a Poodle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and therefore achieve a new type of dog that would combine the characteristics of both dog breeds. The main goal was to create a hypoallergenic dog for people with allergies, as both the Poodle and the Cavalier are dog breeds with a lower propensity for triggering allergies in susceptible people.

Breeders first started this crossbreed in the 1950s, in America. Soon Cavapoos grew more and more popular, due to their loving temperament and docility. Though both Toy and Miniature Poodles can be bred to create a Cavapoo, responsible breeders use the Miniature, rather than the Toy, as it is less prone to hereditary health problems.

Over the years, as Cavapoos become more and more selected, their looks, temperament, and size will tend to become more consistent. Although it will probably take many generations, this consistency will hopefully lead to their recognition as a breed. Today, however, every dog may still turn out different – in appearance and character – but one common feature will remain, the Cavapoo’s gentle nature and friendliness towards people and other animals.

Personality

The Cavapoo is known for its exceptional temperament, which makes it a great family pet. Cavapoos are extremely friendly and sweet, getting along well with children and pets. Having little prey drive, these are ideal dogs for sharing a home with other furry pets. Intelligent and people-oriented, Cavapoos are a great choice for first time dog owners, as they are adaptable and easy to handle.

Because they are so fond of people, they may develop separation anxiety when left alone, which should be tackled early from puppyhood, as to prevent such episodes. Training, with positive reinforcement and gentle treatment, will help raising a healthy, well-rounded dog. Despite their short attention span, Cavapoos are generally easy to train, as long as consistency is kept. House-training may be more difficult, typically requiring more time than other dogs usually do. Patience and understanding are a must, as they will eventually learn.

Loyal, very social, and kind, the Cavapoo also makes a good therapy dog. Cavapoos are also good watchdogs, making sure their owner is warned of any visitor that is arriving. Aside from this task, Cavapoos do not bark excessively.

Cavapoos are intelligent dogs that learn quickly. As with any other dog, consistency and repetition is paramount. Daily training sessions of 10 to 15 minutes are recommended and a gentle hand is preferred.

Cavapoos do not respond well to harsh treatment. House-training may require a little bit more patience, as they may be slower to learn. Perseverance is a must, as potty-training may take a while longer than owners would like.

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What You Need to Know About Cavapoo Health - All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease.

Lee Vogelsong

Did You Know?

“Sex and the City’s” Charlotte York had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Elizabeth Taylor. Real-life celebrities Claire Danes, Terri Hatcher, Mischa Barton, Diane Sawyer, and Jerry O’Connell are Cavalier owners.

Health

All dogs, whether purebreds, crossbreeds, or mixes, have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the mixed breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the mixed breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.

Cavapoos may be susceptible to the health problems of both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle, but there’s also a chance that the genetic diversity introduced by mixing two breeds may lower the chances of developing certain inherited diseases. The very nature of genetic variation makes this difficult to predict for a mixed breed dog.  Please refer to the breed guides on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles for an overview of some of the inherited diseases reported in these two breeds.

The Cavapoos can develop certain health problems. They include a heart condition called mitral valve disease, a neurological problem called syringomyelia, patellar (knee) luxation, certain eye problems such as cataracts and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye, an ear condition called primary secretory otitis media, allergies, and other skin problems. Most of these conditions are suspected to be hereditary.

Mitral valve disease is the most common acquired heart disorder in dogs. It’s a defect of the mitral valve, located between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart. The valve gradually thickens and degenerates, eventually becoming leaky. That forces the heart to work harder to pump blood out and it becomes enlarged. Lots of dogs get MVD in their senior years, but in Cavaliers, it can strike at an early age. A heart murmur is the first sign of MVD. Cavaliers with a murmur may go on for years without any problem or need for medication, or they can develop congestive heart failure, which can often be controlled for a time with medication.

Syringomyelia is a nervous system disorder. It results from a congenital bone deformity in which the rear part of the skull is too small. The cerebellum and the brainstem are crowded and obstruct the foramen magnum, the opening at the bottom of the skull. When this happens, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is obstructed, resulting in the formation of fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord. The damage can cause pain. Signs include scratching at the neck and sensitivity in the area of the head and neck. The dogs often yelp or scream for no apparent reason, may hold their head in a certain position much of the time, or develop a wobbly walk.

Syringomyelia can be mild, requiring no action; managed with pain medication; corrected with surgery; or so severe that the dog must be euthanized.

Cavapoo Maintenance

Cavapoos can have different types of fur, depending on which genes they inherit, but most have a curly or wavy coat. A Cavapoo coat looks its best with professional grooming every four to six weeks, and it requires brushing or combing every two to three days to prevent mats or tangles as well as regular bathing every two to four weeks in between appointments with the groomer.

Cavapoos are among the breeds that commonly develop reddish-brown tear stains beneath their eyes. Your best bet is to wash the face daily, carefully wiping beneath the eyes, to prevent stains from setting.

Your Cavapoo doesn’t need a bikini wax, but you do need to trim the genital area for cleanliness or have the groomer shave the lower belly area. This prevents urine from staining and stinking up the coat and feces from getting caught in the hair around the anus.

In addition, trim his nails every few weeks, keep the ears clean and dry, and brush his teeth regularly — daily if you can — with a vet-approved pet toothpaste. Small dogs are especially prone to periodontal disease.

The Cavapoo is an active little dog, and while their needs can be met by indoor play, it will adore being taken for a walk, invited to play games in the fenced yard, or taken for outdoor exercise to the dog park to interact with other people and dogs. Although active, this dog is ideal for apartments. They adapt well to the lifestyle of their owners and aim to please. If you have a yard, ensure that it is well fenced to protect your little dog when he is outside on his own (which is unusual as they will normally be wherever you are). While you are out walking your dog, it is advisable to keep them on a leash unless they are in a fenced in area, as they may scent something and forget to come back to you as they check the trail out. But more than anything, these dogs want to be with the owner all the time; they are not a dog to be ignored or outside. They are perfect for someone who wants a dog to be part of the family. The Cavapoo will reward you with love, affection, loyalty and undying devotion.

The Cavapoo is a “busy” dog that loves to be active and as a result, these pups require a healthy diet of high-quality dry kibble. Not unlike most dog breeds, these hybrids also have complex nutritional needs that are best met through a dry food formula specifically tailored for them. The right ratio of meat-based protein and micronutrients as well as healthy carbs and fats will keep your Cavapoo healthy and content.

Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life. If you’re getting a puppy, ask the breeder about the ages of the dogs in her lines and what they died of.

Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Cavapoo at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.

Finding

Finding a good Cavapoo breeder is the key to finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as is possible. He or she is more interested in placing pups in the right homes than in making big bucks.

Good breeders will welcome your questions about temperament, health clearances and what the dogs are like to live with and come right back at you with questions of their own about what you’re looking for in a dog and what kind of life you can provide for him. A good breeder can tell you about the history of the breed, explain why one puppy is considered pet quality while another is not, and discuss what health problems affect the breed and the steps she takes take to avoid those problems.

Start your puppy search by finding a breeder who is a member in good standing of either the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club – USA or the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, and who has agreed to abide by the CKCSC’s code of ethics or the ACKCSC’s ethical guidelines, both of which specifically prohibit selling puppies through retail outlets such as pet stores and outline the responsibility their member breeders have to the dogs they produce and the people who purchase them. Choose a breeder who is not only willing but insists on being a resource as you train and care for your new dog throughout his life.

Avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through. You should also bear in mind that buying a puppy from websites that offer to ship your dog to you immediately can be a risky venture, as it leaves you no recourse if what you get isn’t exactly what you expected. Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run. Many reputable breeders have websites, so how can you tell who’s good and who’s not? Red flags include puppies always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any puppy, and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Those things are convenient, but they are almost never associated with reputable breeders.

Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, don’t forget that old adage “let the buyer beware”. Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with puppy mills can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. There’s no 100% guaranteed way to make sure you’ll never purchase a sick puppy, but researching the breed (so you know what to expect), checking out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and asking the right questions can reduce the chances of heading into a disastrous situation. And don’t forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue organization, or other reliable sources for healthy puppies. ​

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The cost of a Cavapoo puppy varies depending on his place of origin, whether he is male or female, what titles his parents have, and whether he is best suited for the show ring or a pet home. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $3,000 for one of these popular pups. For that price, the puppy you buy should have been raised in a clean home environment, from parents with health clearances and conformation (show) titles to prove that they are good specimens of the breed. Puppies should be temperament tested, vetted, dewormed, and socialized to give them a healthy, confident start in life.

Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Cavapoo might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. An adult Cavapoo may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive and demanding than a puppy. With an adult, you know more about what you’re getting in terms of personality and health and you can find adults through breeders or shelters. If you are interested in acquiring an older dog through breeders, ask them about purchasing a retired show dog or if they know of an adult dog who needs a new home.

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