The Cavapoo is a hybrid dog type that is created from the crossing of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle, usually a toy or miniature poodle. Cavapoos have become really popular in the UK over the course of the last couple of decades as they have become ever-more widely spread and well known about, and every year, thousands of puppy buyers choose the Cavapoo as their next dog of choice.
However, getting the facts about Cavapoos can be complicated because there is no formal breed standard in place for dogs of this type, and everyone has a different idea of what makes for a good dog, a good example of a Cavapoo, and the type of traits they should possess.
If you are considering buying a Cavapoo, it is important to do plenty of research into their pros and cons and what it is like to live with and care for a dog of this type, and this article will share ten things you need to know about Cavapoos, before you go out and buy one. Read on to learn more.
First of all, the Cavapoo is a crossbreed dog produced from the crossing of two parents of separate recognised breeds, or subsequent crosses of Cavapoos with each other or back to a dog of one of the parent breeds.
This makes the Cavapoo a dog type and not a dog breed in formal terms, and as such, Cavapoos are not recognised by the Kennel Club and cannot be registered with them. This means that they are not eligible to compete in formal Kennel Club breed shows – but can still take part in canine sporting competitions and other types of dog show events that are open to non-pedigree dogs as well as pedigrees.
The fact that the Cavapoo is not a recognised pedigree dog breed means that there is no breed standard in place for the Cavapoo either. A breed standard is a formal document produced or approved by the Kennel Club that outlines in detail all of the traits that a dog should display to be considered a good example of their breed.
The breed standard dictates everything from the fine details of the dog’s physical appearance to their temperament and the type of skills and core traits they tend to exhibit, and information like this can help puppy buyers to find out all about the breed in question, and compare dogs they might be viewing to the benchmark.
However, the lack of a breed standard in place for the Cavapoo means that there is no official formal consensus about what these dogs should be like – although various Cavapoo clubs and organisations in the UK produce their own guidance on what makes for a good Cavapoo in their opinions.
There are three different poodle sizes, and generally miniature poodles are used in Cavapoo breeding programmes, with the second most common option being toy poodles. Standard poodles don’t tend to factor in as they’re much larger, and not a good mating match for a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
Miniature poodles are generally preferred as miniatures have less breed-specific health concerns than toy poodles, so it is important to find out exactly what type of poodle variant was used as a parent for the litter you are considering buying from.
Poodles of all sizes are highly intelligent dogs – ranked second in fact, out of almost 140 different dog breeds! The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is almost dead in the middle of the list in 73rd place, and when you cross two dogs of these breeds together, you’re apt to end up with a dog that falls roughly within the top third of the canine intelligence list and so is very smart in its turn.
The intelligence displayed by any given Cavapoo can be very variable of course, but this does tend to be quite a smart dog type that has the potential to learn a lot of things, but also that may become bored easily if they don’t lead an engaging and interesting life.
The average asking price for Cavapoos for sale in 2019 is around the £971 mark, and this is very costly for a dog that is at the end of the day, a crossbreed or mongrel!
Even many pedigree dogs of other breeds change hands for a lot less than this on average, and the high purchase price of Cavapoos often surprises their buyers.
This is something to bear in mind and budget for if you were hoping to save some money by choosing a non-pedigree dog!
The poodle coat is very low shedding and fur that is lost tends to get tangled up in the rest of the dog’s hair, and so needs to be brushed and combed out.
This means that many Cavapoos will also inherit this same trait, which helps to make them a popular choice with people who often suffer from allergies to dogs, as less shed hair means less dander and allergenic triggers to set off allergy symptoms.
While there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, Cavapoos are one of the dog types that can be a viable option for people with allergies.
Not every Cavapoo will inherit a coat that shares the poodle trait of being low-shedding; some will have a coat more like the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, or something in between. Whilst many Cavapoo breeders seek to reproduce or reinforce the poodle coat trait in their own breed lines, do not take it as a given that every Cavapoo will have a poodle-like coat.
Despite the benefits that come from hybrid vigour, the two parent breeds in Cavapoo crossings each have a range of potential hereditary health issues that can affect individual dogs, and that can be passed onto their own young.
Outcrossing to another breed, as is done to produce the Cavapoo, reduces the chances of hereditary health issues that are breed-specific being passed on, but hereditary health issues that can affect either parent breed may be passed onto the Cavapoo, and you can find out more about these here.
With that caution in mind, Cavapoos as a whole tend to be hardy, robust and long lived, with an average lifespan of anything between 13-15 years. Choosing a healthy puppy and buying one from a responsible breeder is of course the best way to avoid later health problems, so be very discerning about the person you eventually make your purchase from.
Finally, something that can have a big impact on your life with a Cavapoo is the fact that many dogs of this type are very intolerant of being left alone, and some may develop acute separation anxiety.
Conditioning the dog to accept being left alone for short periods of time can help with this, but the Cavapoo is not a dog to consider if you will need to leave them alone for long periods of time on a regular basis.