1. Key Breed Facts
2. Breed Characteristics
3. Looking for a Cavapoo ?
8. Intelligence / Trainability
9. Children and Other Pets
11. Caring for a Cavapoo
15. Average Cost to keep/care for a Cavapoo
The Cavapoo is a cross between two pure breeds, namely a Poodle and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. They are sometimes called Cavoodles in a few parts of the world which includes Australia, but are more commonly referred to as Cavapoos here in the UK. They are one of the first "designer dogs" to appear on the scene when they were bred in America during the 1950's. Reputable breeders use Miniature Poodles which they cross with Cavaliers because Toy Poodles are prone to suffer from more hereditary health issues which they could pass on to their offspring. Cavoos are now an extremely popular choice whether as a companion or family pet thanks to their loyal, kind and placid natures with the added bonus being they are considered "low shedding" dogs.
Cavapoos were first bred in American during the 1950's by breeders who wanted to create a low-shedding dog that would be an ideal choice for people who suffer from allergies. Poodles were used to create Cavapoos for this reason. It was not very long before these charming little dogs found their way into the hearts and homes of many people not only in the United States, but over here in the UK and elsewhere in the world thanks to the fact they inherited many of their parent breed traits.
However, as with many cross breeds or "designer dogs", there is never any guarantee as to which traits and characteristics a Cavapoo might inherit from their parents, but this has not affected their popularity. Responsible breeders now use Miniature Poodles to cross with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels because Toy Poodles are known to suffer from more hereditary health concerns which they could pass on to puppies.
Cavapoos are known to have kind, affectionate, loyal natures and although they have been around since the fifties, they are not as yet recognised by The Kennel Club here in the UK (June 2016), nor is the Cavapoo recognised by other international dog clubs. However, as time goes by and with careful, selective breeding, a consistency in the Cavapoos looks, temperament and size might be achieved which could as a result mean they would eventually be recognised as a breed in their own right, but this could well take several generations.
Today, the Cavapoo remains one of the most popular new breeds on the planet even though it’s a bit of a gamble as to how puppies turn out when it comes to size, looks and temperament. With this said, every dog is unique and this applies to these little dogs that over time have proved themselves to be kind, loving and charming companions and family pets to have in a home.
Height at the withers: Males 33 - 45 cm, Females 33 - 45 cm
Average weight: Males 5 - 10 kg, Females 5 - 10 kg
Every Cavapoo is slightly different when it comes to colour, size, shape and coat texture because it all depends on their parent dogs and whether or not they are first generation Cavoos. They are thought to be hypoallergenic, although it has to be said, that although they have inherited this from their Poodle lineage, it is the dander a dog sheds that is partly responsible for triggering allergies in people. With this said, the Cavapoo is still considered to a low-shedding little dog and one that’s become a popular choice with people who suffer from allergies.
A lot of Cavoos have cute round faces with floppy ears which are soft to the touch. They have very endearing large eyes, full of expression which adds to their adorable looks. However, some puppies inherit a more Poodle like appearance whereas others will lean towards the Cavalier when it comes to physical traits.
When it comes to coat colours, the texture and length of a Cavapoos hair can be quite different from dog to dog with some leaning towards the Poodle and others having more of a Cavalier type coat. With this said, the most commonly seen coat colours includes the following:
The Cavapoo can inherit many of the characteristics of their parent breeds and they are renowned for being affectionate, friendly and loyal companions and family pets which is why they have consistently been among the most popular cross breeds around both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world for such a long time.
Being good natured and sociable, Cavapoos get on with everyone and become totally devoted to their families, loving nothing more than to be part of a household and involved in everything that goes on in the home. They are also known to get on well with children and when well socialised from a young age, they like being around other dogs and pets too. In short, a Cavoo is an all-round, highly adaptable small dog and one that fits in with most lifestyles with no trouble at all.
The only downside to sharing a home with a Cavapoo is that they thrive on human company and hate being left on their own for any extended periods of time. As such, they are happy when they live in a household where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out. If left to their own devices for long periods of time, these charming small dogs can quickly develop some unwanted behavioural issues which can be hard to correct. This includes excessive barking, being destructive around the home and suffering from separation anxiety.
They are clever dogs having inherited their intelligence from both parent breeds and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and obedient dogs. When a Cavapoo is well socialised from a young age and correctly trained using positive reinforcement methods, they are a real pleasure to have around and many of these charming dogs do a great job as therapy dogs.
They are known to be sensitive dogs by nature and as such they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training. When a puppy or young dog gets things wrong, it's never a good idea to tell them off harshly, even if they've had an "accident" indoors. Cavoos do respond very well to positive reinforcement training methods and will quickly pick up on what is being asked of them because they love to please and like nothing more than to receive praise and a treat as a reward.
The fact that Cavapoos are a cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel means these charming dogs are intelligent. Therefore, they are very trainable and teaching them to do things is an enjoyable experience all round. However, a Cavoo's training has to start the moment they arrive in a new home because they younger a dog is, the easier it is for them to learn new things. It would be a mistake to wait too long before starting their education, but with this said the first stages of their education which is when they are being taught the "ground rules" should never be too intensive, but rather an enjoyable, fun experience for all concerned.
Once a puppy is older and they are fully vaccinated, their training can start in earnest. Enrolling a puppy into a puppy class when they are around 10 to 12 weeks old goes a long way in successfully socialising them so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their training not only has to start early, but it has to be consistent for dogs to understand what is expected of them. Cavapoos like to know their place in a pack and are never happier and more obedient than when they know who they can look to for direction and guidance.
Cavapoos can be a little naughty when it comes to house training but with patience, perseverance and understanding, they can be taught to do their “business” outside, it might just take a little longer than with other dogs. They respond well to positive reinforcement training and enjoy the one-to-one attention they are given when they are being taught new things.
Cavapoos have earned themselves the reputation for being both wonderful companions and family pets because they get on well with older children who know how to behave around small dogs. Younger children can be a little too boisterous and noisy for a Cavoo to cope with and as such, care has to be taken when they are around toddlers and very young children. In short, they are not the best choice for families with very young children in the home. It's best for any interaction between dogs and kids to be supervised by an adult to make sure things stay calm and playtime does not get too lively which could end up with someone getting scared or hurt. The problem is that Cavoos are so cute that children of all ages cannot help approaching them a little too quickly which tends to frighten these little dogs.
Cavapoos are friendly dogs by nature and if well socialised from a young age they generally get on well with other dogs. If they grow up with other pets in the house, they usually tolerate being around them and this includes a family cat. However, care has to be taken when they are around smaller pets, bearing in mind that a Cavapoo would think nothing of chasing a neighbour's cat even if they get on with the family cat.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Cavapoo is between 13 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other breeds, the Cavapoo is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues that commonly affect their parent breeds which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these charming dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
Cavapoos have short muzzles and as such they are extremely sensitive to heat so during the hotter summer months, care has to be taken to ensure a dog does not overheat which they can do all too quickly and easily which could prove fatal.
As with any other breed, Cavapoos need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
A Cavapoo's coat can be quite different from dog to dog. As such it depends on their coat type as to how much grooming is needed to keep things tidy. If they boast having a longer coat, then more frequent grooming would be necessary with some owners having their Cavapoos regularly clipped which makes managing things that much easier in between visits to a grooming parlour and it's best to have a Cavapoos coat professionally groomed every 4 to 6 weeks. Their coats generally need to be brushed every day or so to prevent any knots and tangles from forming and a daily groom helps reinforce the bond between dog and owner with Cavoos loving the one-to-one attention they get during a grooming session.
Cavapoos tend to get unsightly tear stains under their eyes which need to be gently cleaned with a damp cloth on a regular basis. It's also important to check around a dog's backside and their belly because both these areas tend to get a bit dirty if not regularly washed. Males can develop urine stains on their bellies which if left for too long can get smelly and it could lead to dog's developing sores. The same applies to a dog's backside because if their hair is too long, poop can get caught in it which needs to be washed off as soon as possible before carefully trimming around the offending area.
It's essential to keep a close watch on a Cavapoo's teeth to make sure there is no excessive plaque building up on them because these little dogs are prone to suffering from dental issues and the cleaner their teeth are kept, the less chance of a problem developing.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be notoriously hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Cavapoos are lively, energetic and inquisitive little dogs. They are also very smart which in short, means they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and obedient dogs.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these lively little dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Cavapoo puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.
If you get a Cavapoo puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Cavapoo, you would need to pay anything from £500 to over £1000 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Cavapoo in northern England would be £17.79 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of March 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Cavapoo and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Cavapoo would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
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