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The Cavapoo also called the Cavadoodle or the Cavoodle is a mix between the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. In most cases it is the miniature sized Poodle that is used to create a small companion dog who also enjoys taking part in competitive obedience and agility. Sometimes though the Toy Poodle is used to create an even smaller dog. He should live between 12 to 15 years. This is a designer dog with a very expressive little round face, and is fast becoming popular around the world.

Here is the Cavapoo at a Glance
Average height 9-14 inches
Average weight 7-18 pounds
Coat type More like a Poodles usually so curly, sometimes long and wavy
Hypoallergenic? If leans towards the Poodle yes
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Moderate
Tolerant to Solitude? Not for long periods
Barking Low to moderate - may bark when people walk past
Tolerance to Heat Moderate
Tolerance to Cold Moderate
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good to excellent
Good with other Dogs? Very good to excellent
Good with other Pets? Good, would be very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Excellent
Trainability Very good to excellent
Exercise Needs Moderate
Tendency to get Fat High, they will over eat if you let them
Major Health Concerns PRA, epilepsy, patellar luxation, MVD
Other Health Concerns Hip dysplasia, eye problems, allergies
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $700 to $1500
Average Annual Medical Expense $450 - $550
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $550 - $650

Where does the Cavapoo come from?

The Cavapoo is popular family mixed breed dog despite there being no set look for them. This is not a new hybrid or designer dog but has in fact been around since the 1950s when he was first crossed in America. It is now also popular in the UK and in Australia where it is called the Cavoodle. The idea behind this breeding was to create a dog that was low shedding, a great family dog and one that suited those with allergies. Different breeders produce Cavapoos in different ways, some only cross Poodle with Spaniel known as a first generation cross. Some do backcrossing which is to cross a Cavapoo with a Spaniel or Poodle. And finally some do multi-generation crosses which is crossing a Cavapoo with a Cavapoo. You get different characteristics in the resulting puppies from each approach. Here is a look at the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The Poodle

You can find pictures of Poodle like dogs on old Roman and Egyptian artifacts an in tombs from as far back as the 1st century. These are the ancestors of today's Poodle. While a lot of people believe the Poodle is a French dog, in fact he comes from Germany and was used for hunting ducks and other waterfowl. But he became a more distinct breed when he made it to France. There have been three sizes of Poodles for centuries, the Standard, the Miniature and the Toy. French aristocracy adopted the toy Poodles as companions to carry around with them. When Gypsies took the Poodle into the circus to perform and clipped them into interesting shapes, the aristocracy mimicked it. He was registered in the Kennel Club in England in 1874, and the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Today he is known for being super intelligent, eager to please and easy to train. He is very loyal and loving and while energetic, can be calmed with training, socialization and enough exercise. He has a seeming aloofness to him when observed from afar, but in fact when you talk to Poodle owners you discover he has a great sense of humor and loves to clown around and play.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Technically this is a fairly new breed, being re-bred within the last century, but he existed before for hundreds of years as a toy spaniel, often the companion to the rich and royal. You can find these toy spaniels in paintings by famous artists like Gainsborough and Van Dyck between the 16th and 18th century. Their name comes from Charles I and Charles II who both loved the dog. In fact the latter made it a rule that this dog could go anywhere in public even in the Houses of Parliament. Sadly though by the mid 19th century the toy spaniel as it had been was almost extinct. In the 1920s an American started looking for toy spaniels that looked like their original selves. Eventually others also became interested in reviving that breed. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were named so to distinguish themselves away from the King Charles Spaniel who have flat faces. It was not until 1945 that they were recognized as separate breeds.

The Cavalier love people. Anyone is a potential lap to sit on, a person to get attention from, a friend to be made. He can be quite varied in temperament though, some can be quiet, some bark a lot, some can be playful and energetic. He will follow you everywhere and does not do well being left alone. He loves his food and is fairly intelligent so will probably go along with training if there are treats as rewards!


The Cavapoo is a loyal, friendly and affectionate dog. He is a great companion for family with or without children, single people, seniors too. He is very social, loves attention and will demand it. For that reason he will trail you around the house and can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. He is playful too, sometimes mischievous and energetic, sometimes bordering on being a little hyper. He is smart, gentle and loves to cuddle and wants to please.

What does a Cavapoo look like


The Cavapoo can vary quite widely in appearance but there are some features that are more common. They are 9 to 14 inches tall and weigh 7 to 18 pounds. He can be toy size or small. Most have a face that is compact with large brows and ears that are long and hang down. His coat can be long, wavy and silky like a Cavalier's but can also be more curly like a Poodle's. Colors can range from gold, brown and white, black, tricolor. His body is small and compact and he as a round face that gives him a cute puppy look even when he is an adult.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Cavapoo need to be?

He will need daily exercise but as a small dog he is only slightly to moderately active. One walk a day along with some play time would work. He likes playing fetch and other games and visiting the dog park. He can be an apartment dog as long as he gets some exercise each day, some of that can be indoors. Access to a yard is just a bonus. Note that he does have a tendency to obesity because he loves his food so much so regular exercise is important not just to burn of some energy but also to keep him at a healthy weight.

Does he train quickly?

He is clever and usually is easy to train because he is also eager to please. His love of food gives you the ultimate way to train him, using his favorite treats. He quickly picks up what you want him to so and can learn a range of tricks. Use a gentle and positive method to train him though, avoid harsh methods. Because he needs less repetition of a lesson he will train quicker than many dogs. Remember to socialize and train as soon as you get him to ensure he is a well rounded and well behaved dog.

Living with a Cavapoo

How much grooming is needed?

This really depends on what kind of coat your Cavapoo has. If it is like a Poodle's it will need daily brushing, trimming by a professional groomer now and then, and it may be hypoallergenic, with low shedding. If it is like the Cavalier's it will need brushing 2 to 3 times a week to remove mats as it knots easily, and will shed more, a low to moderate amount. Bathing should happen just when he is especially dirty.

Make sure you check and clean his ears each week too as he can be prone to ear infections. Wipe them gently with a cloth or cotton ball using either water or a solution you can get from your vet. His nails should be trimmed when they get too long, this may be something you have done by a groomer too as if you cut too close to the quick it can bleed and hurt him. You should also look after his oral heath by brushing his teeth at least three times a week using a toothpaste made for dogs.

What is he like with children and other animals?

Cavapoos are usually very good with children, even excellent, though socialization and training are often a part of that. They are also good with other dogs and pets. Make sure if he is with young children that there is an adult there too as they do not always know how to carefully touch and play with toy sized dogs and can hurt them by accident. His gentle nature and his love of affection and company mean this is a great family dog.

General information

As mentioned this dog can live happily in a house with a yard, or in an apartment without a yard as long as he gets outside every day and play time inside. He is not good as a watchdog. He needs to be fed ½ to 1½ cups of high quality dry food each day, measured into two servings. Make sure you know how much food he needs depending on his weight and that you do not over feed him. He will let you, and he will get fat.

Health Concerns

As with any dog there are health issues that parents are prone to and that can be inherited. That does not mean your Cavapoo will get any of this, he may live a long happy and healthy life. But the ones that he could be susceptible to include, hip dysplasia, allergies, eye problems, epilepsy, patellar luxation, MVD, PRA.

Costs involved in owning a Cavapoo


Buying a Cavapoo puppy will probably cost something between $700 and $1500. That price is influenced by trend, location, health of the puppy, how reputable the breeder is and the age of the puppy.

Initial costs

Carrier Bag, crate, neutering, blood tests, deworming, collar and leash, vaccinations, micro chipping = $350 - $450

Ongoing medical costs

Vaccinations, check ups, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, emergency medical savings = $450 - $550

Ongoing non medical costs

long hair grooming, food, toys, treats, license, training = $550 - $650


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As long as you are prepared for his neediness this is a great dog to own. He is gentle, smart, playful and easy to train. He will also entertain you and try to trick food out of you and love you. He will be a great addition to anyone's home.

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