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A Cavapoo is a dog type rather than a dog breed, because they’re not recognised in the UK by the Kennel Club, due to the fact that they are a hybridor cross breed rather than a breed in their own right.
Crossing a poodle (usually a miniature poodle) with a Cavalier King Charles spaniel results in a Cavapoo, and both dogs bred directly from a poodle and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and subsequent generations of Cavapoos all fall under this heading.
The Cavapoo is the second most popular deliberate cross-breed or hybrid dog type in the UK, as well as being the 20th most popular overall, beating out over 200 pedigree breeds in terms of demand for dogs of this type, and the number available for sale at any given time.
Whilst the trend for deliberate hybrid crossings of this type is something that we tend to think of as a fairly recent fashion, the Cavapoo actually has a longer history than many people realise, with the first Cavapoos being bred in the USA during the 1950’s.
So, what makes the Cavapoo so popular, and why are they in such great demand in the UK at the moment? In this article, we will look at the main factors that make this type of dog a good choice for prospective puppy buyers. Read on to learn more.
There can be a degree of variance in the size of different Cavapoos because of the different size options that poodles can be found in – but generally, miniature poodles are used as part of Cavapoo breeding programs, which results in a reasonably small but not tiny dog.
This gives the Cavapoo the versatility to live happily in either a large, rural home or a small city apartment, because they don’t take up much space and are quite adaptable and able to fit in with people from all walks of life and different types of lifestyles.
When you cross two different dogs of unrelated breeds, their subsequent offspring have a lower chance of inheriting any breed-specific hereditary health issues that might be present in either of the two parent breeds. This is due to what is known as hybrid vigour – and because it is generally the combination of both sets of genes that a dog received from both of their parents that tends to dictate whether or not the dog in question will inherit a hereditary health problem, the chances are lower for a cross breed than a pedigree.
However, buying a cross-breed or hybrid dog of any type is not in and of itself a guarantee of good health – and it is important to bear in mind that Cavapoos can and sometimes do inherit health issues from one or both sides of their parentage.
Responsible Cavapoo breeders will undertake pre-breeding health screening on their parent dogs to identify the markers of potentially harmful hereditary health conditions, and only choose healthy dogs to breed from. If you are considering buying a Cavapoo, always ask the breeder about their health testing protocols, and the background of their breed lines and general health.
Cavapoos are smart little dogs that are particularly renowned for being easy to train, and they take direction well and try hard to please. Even if you haven’t owned or trained a dog before, as long as you do your research and have a plan to adapt your training protocols to meet the needs of your dog, you will generally find that the Cavapoo is easy to work with and very rewarding to teach new skills to.
One of the main reasons why Cavapoos were first bred was to try to achieve the poodle-type coat within a dog with traits from both parent breeds, because the poodle coat is very low shedding and so, is less likely to trigger allergy symptoms in people who are often allergic to dogs.
However, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, and whether or not any given person reacts badly to the fur of any given dog can be quite variable.
Additionally, whilst many if not most Cavapoo breeders deliberately breed to achieve the low-shedding coat trait, this is not a given – pups may have a coat more in line with that of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel than the poodle.
It can also be hard to tell when looking at puppies what type of coat texture they will possess when they are older, but looking at the coat of both parent dogs and other pups within the litter can help to provide some guidance – but never assume that a Cavapoo will have a low-shedding coat simply by virtue of their ancestry, because this isn’t always the case.
Cavapoos are highly social little dogs that tend to be friendly with both strangers and other dogs, and they are usually confident, well behaved and personable when out and about.
They are also highly affectionate with their favourite people, and like lots of cuddles and attention. They tend to be loyal and loving, and quite soulful, and don’t thrive if left on their own for long periods of time, or not provided with enough attention.
If you are looking for a small dog that will enjoy a couple of lively daily walks but also be happy to curl up on the sofa with you watching a film, the Cavapoo might well be a good choice.