- Activity Level: moderate
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: chill
- Registered?: other
Cavapoo Breed Profile
- Owner Experience
- Activity Level
- Life Span
The Cavapoo is a mixed dog breed. They are a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle that became popular in Australia during the late 1990s. It is still one of Australia’s most popular dog breeds and is a popular designer breed in both the US and the UK.
Although it is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), it is a hybrid designer dog breed recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC). The Cavapoo is also recognized by the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), Designer Breed Registry (DBR), and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
Both of the breeds that make up a Cavapoo are outgoing, loving, and playful. They don’t tend to make good watchdogs as they are more likely to greet everyone as a friend. But, they do make fantastic family companions as they make great playmates for children who are past the toddler stage and get along well with other pets. Although small, Cavapoos are relatively sturdy, but can be hurt by rough play, so any playtime with younger children should be supervised. Their sweet, gentle nature makes them a great companion breed. They also make great therapy dogs!
Due to their smaller size and moderate energy level, the Cavapoo is a good fit for apartment living and can adapt to larger homes as well. Cavapoos tend to have a short muzzle, which means they do not handle heat very well and, because they are smaller, they don’t handle cold very well either.
This dog breed is very much a companion breed that is meant to stay with you indoors. They also will often adapt their energy level to their owner’s lifestyle. They’ll need a certain amount of exercise to stay healthy, but are more than ready to be more active if it means being with you more often.
Cavapoos are generally a healthy dog breed, but can be susceptible to health issues common in both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and in Poodles, like Mitral Valve Disease, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation. Some protection may be provided due to the genetic variation from the cross, but that isn’t guaranteed. The best way to determine potential health issues and to allay any health concerns is to check with the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and ask to see any results from specific health tests.
A Cavapoo has the potential to be highly trainable. They are smart and learn quickly, but they do have a mind of their own. So, they may be more interested in cuddling or sitting on your lap than listening to basic commands. They might change their mind and find the command or trick worth performing if there is a treat involved. Early socialization and training will help a Cavapoo puppy grow into a well-adjusted dog.
They do tend to get bored, so you’ll want to keep training sessions short and focused on fun. Due to their short attention spans, especially as puppies, consistency in training is imperative. Cavapoos also tend to be sensitive, which means they respond best to positive reinforcement techniques like play, food rewards, and praise. Because they are sensitive souls, harsh or sharp tones can sometimes send a Cavapoo into a sulk or a pout.
A Cavapoo’s coat can vary depending on the genes they inherit from the parent breeds, but they generally have a soft coat that is wavy or curly and is considered hypoallergenic due to the presence of the Poodle in the cross. Common coat colors are red, white, black, red and white, and tricolor. You’ll want to brush your pup’s coat every 2-3 days to prevent tangles and matting and get them professionally groomed every 1-2 months.
Biweekly or monthly bathing is usually sufficient to keep a Cavapoo’s fur clean and healthy between grooming sessions. As a small dog, Cavapoos can be particularly prone to gum disease, so it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, daily if you can. They are also prone to ear infections, so you will want to check their ears regularly and keep them clean and dry. Their nails need to be trimmed monthly.
Cavapoos have a moderate energy level, which can adapt to their owner’s lifestyle. A good walk once or twice a day with some indoor playtime is sufficient to keep this pup happy and healthy. They can be prone to weight gain if they are overfed and do not get enough exercise, so it’s important to ensure proper diet, nutrition, and activity to keep this pup healthy.
A Cavapoo is more than willing to be more active if their owner leads a more active lifestyle. Plus, they love chasing balls and are always up for a game of fetch. Cavapoos can also be a good fit for dog sports like agility, rally, and obedience. As with any intense training or exercise regimen, you will want to have your Cavapoo cleared by your vet before jumping into these high-energy activities.
A Cavapoo will generally weigh between 12 and 25 pounds and stand 9 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder. Looking at the size of the parents, especially the mother, can give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to size.
This dog breed tends to live 10-15 years.