Complete Cavapoo Guide: 6 Must Read Facts

The Cavapoo is a mixed breed that combines a Poodle’s intelligence with the loving nature of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

While mixing an aristocratic English breed with a French duck-hunting waterdog might seem odd, the Cavapoo turned out to be the perfect family companion.

This is a small breed with a big heart.

Their low shedding coat also makes them perfect for people with allergies.

Want to learn more about this teddy bear dog?

Keep reading to learn about their history, how to care for them and much more…

Cavapoo

Cavapoo At A Glance

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Cavapoo Dog

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Cavapoo

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Poodle Mix

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Cavoodle


The Cavapoo is a delightful small breed with a big heart.

This mix brings together the best features of the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are loving, eager to please and not as high strung as other more athletic breeds. If you can afford their grooming bill then this is an easy breed to care for and easy to love in love with.

  • Popularity: #13.
  • Speciality: Companion.
  • Weight: 10-20 pounds.
  • Price: $1800-$7500.
  • Personality: Lovable, calm and bright.

Similar Breeds

Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle
Price: $1000-$2000
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Family Friendly: Yes
Size: 6-9 pounds
Shed: Low
Activity: Medium
Maltipoo
Maltipoo
Price: $1000-$1500
Lifespan: 14-16 years
Family Friendly: Yes
Size: 5-20 pounds
Shed: Low
Activity: Low-Medium
Cavapoo
Cavapoo
Price: $1800-$4000
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Family Friendly: Yes
Size: 10-20 pounds
Shed: Low
Activity: Low

Cavapoo Overview

A Cavapoo Puppy

The Cavapoo is a mix of the Poodle (Miniature or Toy) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

They are easy to care for, very gentle and make wonderful down to earth companions that love to chill on the couch just as much as they love playing in the park.

Both of their parent breeds have long histories.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a coveted companion and the Poodle was a hardworking hunting dog.

Mixing these two breeds together creates a very intelligent family companion dog. Also because of their low-allergen coat, the Poodle in this breed makes the Cavapoo great for allergy sufferers.

When it comes to looks, they are just like a living teddy bear! They have dark eyes, a button nose and a curly coat.

You can expect this mix to be loving and intelligent.

They are easy to train and have just the right amount of playful energy for most owners.

Pros

  • A great family companion.
  • Perfect amount of playful energy.
  • Easy to care for.
  • Highly trainable and eager to please.
  • Low-allergen coat.

Cons

  • Can be prone to separation anxiety.
  • Bark a lot when not trained correctly.
  • Grooming can be challenging.
  • A very expensive breed.

A Day In The Life Of This Breed

Depending on how you start the day, your Cavapoo will start it at the same pace. Whether you decide to spend a sleepy morning cuddling them, or immediately get ready for the day, your pooch will be by your side ready to continue the day’s journey with you.

After a quick walk around the block and a much-needed potty break you can expect them to be relaxed.

If you happen to be a homebody or work at home, your Cavapoo will be at your feet, gnawing on their favorite toy or watching the world go by. However if you need to leave for a while this breed is easy to crate train – they are content spending time in a safe space waiting for you to return as they amuse themselves with a toy.

When you take them out to the park at lunchtime expect to get plenty of attention.

This pup will love meeting new people and will be happy receiving strokes from a passerby or sniffing a fellow canine.

At the park they will love any game you give them. Whether you let them play with the other pups at the dog park or spend time tossing a frisbee or a tennis ball, they will be happy. However you do not need to play for long – a good 30 minutes is enough for this breed.

Once they return home they will have a drink of water and will likely be mellowed out for the day. They will be happy for an occasional stroll in the evening should you need an excuse to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

Just remember that no matter how you spend your day, they just love spending time by your side. As the day slowly winds down your Cavapoo is likely just as exhausted as you are and is ready to hit the hay.

They will either sleep in a crate or snuggled up in bed with you, waiting for another exciting day by your side.

History And Origin

Poodle Mix

Whilst the Cavapoo is an extremely common dog today, they have not been around for long.

They were first bred in the 1990s in Australia at the start of the Doodle craze began. First came the Labradoodle and not long after the Cavapoo.

Whilst the history of this breed is limited we do know much more about both parent breeds.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has always been a dog of the aristocracy. These dogs eventually diverged from the original King Charles Spaniel when they began being bred as Cavalier type dogs with flatter skulls and longer faces. Although they almost went extinct during World War II, they soon began growing in population again once the war finished.

Poodles come from an entirely different background. These are intelligent working dogs that were bred to retrieve ducks and other waterfowl (usually in cold temperatures). The Poodle eventually became available in two more sizes (Miniature and Toy) and is the only non-sporting dog eligible for AKC Retriever Hunting Tests.

Cavapoos inherit the loving nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the intelligence of the Poodle – this creates a hybrid that is perfect for families raising a dog for the first time.

5 Fun Facts

  1. They are also known as a Cavoodle.
  2. Their calm personality makes them a great therapy dog. Studies have shown that they can have a lasting impact on humans and often enhance their therapy.
  3. Poodles and Poodle mixes are very popular dogs in the White House.
  4. Cavapoos do not shed a lot of dander (same as their large mix cousin Sheepadoodle) and are good for people with allergies.
  5. Their parent breed (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) was so well-loved by nobles that they often made appearances in their portraits – such as the famous La belle Strasbourgeoise.

Temperament And Behavior

Cavapoo Outside Playing

The Cavapoo has a gentle and loving temperament.

They enjoy being around people and are content to spend the day watching the world fly by with you.

Because this breed is a mix you cannot guarantee their temperament however you hope they inherit the Poodle’s intelligence and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s kindness.

This hybrid is playful but not to the point of being overly energetic.

Cavapoos enjoy playing fetch or tug of war but they only initiate play when they are bored or have not been exercised. Again because this is a mix each one is different. Some are relaxed like their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parent while others are a bit more athletic like their Poodle parent.

Their loving nature can be a double-edged sword.

As they are incredibly attached to people they are prone to developing separation anxiety. This means when left alone they can be vocal or destructive in a variety of creative ways. The good news is with the correct positive training this can be fixed.

Overall this is a loving hybrid that should get the best attributes from both parents.

Just remember that while anxiety is an issue with this breed it is easily fixed with positive reinforcement – remain patient and consistent with your training and socialization.

How Much Does A Cavapoo Cost?

This is an expensive breed.

You should expect to pay anywhere from $1800-$4000 for a Cavapoo puppy.

This high price tag is mainly because of their popularity and color.

Age Price
Puppy $1800-$4000
Adult $900-$1800
Adoption $75-$350

Buyer’s Tips

  1. You should keep a list of recognized breeders. This is a very popular breed and once a litter becomes available they will likely be reserved within a day or two. Keep a list of reputable breeders you trust and set a calendar date for when their puppies will become available so you can beat the crowd and reserve a puppy yourself.
  2. Just like other Doodle breeds this breed needs to be professionally groomed to keep their coat healthy. Make sure to set money aside each month so you are prepared for any necessary spa days.
  3. If you are not able to set aside a fund for the groomer then consider getting a set of basic grooming supplies. The money you save by doing it yourself will add up over time. Plus your pup will be happier knowing its trusted owner is the one cutting its hair.
  4. The Cavapoo is a breed that is content with a small selection of toys however you should not skimp on mental stimulation.
  5. Because this breed is a people-dog you can take them outside around other people to give them stimulation.
  6. Not only will you save money on fancy toys, but you will also create lasting memories and make someone’s day by letting them say hi to your pooch.
  7. One great thing about this breed’s popularity is that these dogs are available to buy in almost every state. One pitfall however is that puppy mills tend to take advantage of this. Be wary of Cavapoos being sold for less than $900 dollars that seem available year-round.

Cavapoo Dog Appearance

Cavapoo Close Up

Because this is a mixed breed it is hard to say exactly what your pup will look like.

Some look more like their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parent with longer ears and a loosely curled coat. Whereas others look more like their Poodle parent with a tightly curled coat.

However there is no doubt that these dogs look like living teddy bears and are just as cuddly!

Thanks to their Poodle parent, their coat is low shed and leaves less allergy-inducing dander lying around.

Their fur grows continuously and is soft to the touch.

While there are a variety of haircuts the most common are the Teddy Bear Clip and the Puppy Cut. These two haircuts make the coat shorter and easier to brush – this means less day to day grooming.

Size

This pooch is the perfect size for most homes and apartments.

They will weigh between 10-20 pounds and stand 9-14 inches tall. Those bred with Toy Poodles will be lighter and smaller whereas those bred with Miniature Poodles will be bigger.

Colors

You have a rainbow of colors to choose from with this breed.

The most popular colors include: fawn, black and tan, ruby, white and black and cream.

Cavapoo Care Guide

Cavapoo Dog

Caring for the Cavapoo is fairly straight forward.

This pup’s small size makes them easy to feed and as a companion breed they do not need lots of exercise.

The most tedious part of caring for this teddy bear pup is grooming their curly coat.

Unless you know how to trim a dog’s coat, it is likely that you will need to spend a few bucks at the groomer’s to keep their coat nice.

Apart from that, this is a fuss free pooch.

Exercise

Although one of their parents is a working dog, the Cavapoo does not need a high amount of exercise.

This pooch is often happy with short periods of play followed by resting.

Two or three short walks (15 minutes) each day is enough for this breed. This will leave them tired enough until the next walk or play session. Because the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a hunting breed it is likely your Poodle mix will be too. So off-leash walking is not recommended for this breed.

An activity that would work wonders for your Cavapoo would be hiking.

Not only will your pooch be exposed to exciting scents and sights, but they will also get the chance to spend quality time with their favorite people.

  • Total Daily Activity: 30 minutes.
  • Activity Level: 2/5.
  • Favorite Activity: Playing in garden.

Grooming

Cavoodle

One of the best things about owning a Cavapoo is their lovely and curly coat.

However this is also one of the more challenging parts of caring for this lovable breed. Their coat is prone to matting if it is not cared for properly. Lots of first time keepers find it hard to learn how to groom the coat so they pay for a professional groomer.

If you do decide to get them groomed you will need to take them once or twice a month. If you would rather save money (and have the time to do so) it is recommended that you groom your dog yourself.

Using a slicker brush for brushing sessions will be the best for this breed’s curly coat. It will also help to keep their coat clipped short in either a teddy bear or puppy cut.

While buying the equipment upfront will be on the costly side, this one-time purchase can be a smart investment and save you lots of money in the long run.

Overall grooming their curly Doodle hair is the hardest part of caring for this breed.

If you can successfully groom them then the rest of their care is easy.

Nutrition

When it comes to feeding, serving breakfast and dinner for the Cavapoo is not a tough task.

As they are a small breed they do not need lots of food.

Anywhere from 1-1.5 cups of good-quality kibble is enough – very active pooches will need a touch more than this.

However remember that it is very easy to overfeed this breed, so pay close attention to their weight.

Height Weight
Male: 10-14 inches 10-20 pounds
Female: 9-14 inches 10-15 pounds

Health Concerns

While they are a relatively healthy breed the Cavapoo is susceptible to certain health problems such as:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is a condition that affects the hip joint and reduces mobility.
  • Cataracts: Cavapoos suffering from a cataract will usually have cloudy vision and will likely need surgery to correct this.
  • Mitral Valve Heart Disease: This disease is a genetic condition that can affect Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It often results in the degeneration of the mitral valve.
  • Epilepsy: This is a neurological condition that causes seizures and sadly is often seen in some Poodles.

However thanks to this mixes’ hybrid vigor this mix tends to be healthier than most purebreds.

How Long Does A Cavapoo Live?

You can expect them to live well into old age. A well cared for Cavapoo can live up to 15 years old.

How To Train A Cavoodle

Cavapoo Portrait

The Cavapoo’s intelligence makes them very trainable – this is a trait given to them by their Poodle parent.

However as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a sensitive nature, the best way to train this breed is through positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement has many benefits.

Your job is to make sure each training session is a positive experience – they can learn lots of tricks.

Just remember because of their sensitive nature you should not use any aggression as this will make them scared and also make training an unpleasant experience.

Socializing this breed is fairly easy (especially if it is with other dogs).

The Cavapoo is not naturally aloof and will enjoy spending time with other breeds. Just make sure to keep these socialization sessions short, sweet and positive to show them that meeting a new child or hearing the vacuum cleaner is not a scary experience.

When it comes to mental stimulation there is no need to spend hours on end training.

As this breed is less of a working dog and more of a companion breed they do not need as much mental stimulation as the Poodle.

Training will likely provide enough mental stimulation but it would not hurt to consider competing it in an obedience-based sport (such as rally).

Rally is very similar to agility courses except instead of jumping hurdles your pup performs certain skills (such as sit and stay).

Summary

If you are searching for a down to earth companion then look no further than the Cavapoo.

These companion dogs will steal your heart with their gentle personalities and intelligence.

They are very trainable and make the perfect companion if you work from home or are a homebody.

If you can afford to professionally groom them then this is the best option.

Any other form of care besides grooming comes easy.

While the world is always busy and bustling, the laid-back and gentle Cavapoo will be by your side and eager to make your day.

These dogs are simply easy to adore and fall in love with.

Do you own this teddy bear dog? Let us know in the comments section below…

John Woods Headshot
John Woods is the Founder of All Things Dogs and leads our editorial team as our Editor in Chief. A member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, he has been a dog lover since he was 13 years old. John is parent to Nala, a working lab retriever. John has also volunteered at multiple animal shelters, where he gained firsthand experience of rehabilitation and force-free positive reinforcement training methods.
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30 Comments

  1. We have a 1 year old Cavapoo and he is the friendliest, sweetest, most adorable dog I’ve ever met. Lovely with strangers, other dogs, young kids, etc. He does need ~30 mins – 1 hour of running around outside daily, though. Lots of energy.

  2. I have a Cavapoo. She is super friendly and loads of fun. Her goofy personality makes everyone smile. She is very intelligent. She learns tricks quickly. This is an awesome breed.

  3. I bought a 8 week old cavapoo, after just over a week I can safely say he was almost house trained. He is now 14 weeks and has learned to fetch, sit, lay and stay. During weekday he stays home alone for 6 hours, provided the TV is on (cartoon channel). I monitor his activity via a remote camera on my phone. Cavapoo’s are just so lovable you never have enough with them around.

  4. My cavapoo just turned 4months and his vet is already asking me about neutering i have done my research and im stuck in the middle i look at all sides, but i would like to know if any of you did it and did it change your dog in any way? Thank you☺🐶

  5. We have a 3 year old cavapoo more the pet child in the family .
    Super intelligent loving and adorable bundle of joy. Yes he’s stolen everybody’s heart. He is the love of our life.
    Only issue is his eating habit .. we have to force feed him .
    He loves the treats but his pedigree is a no no. We have to soak smash his food and feed him . Any advice will be very helpful .

    • Hi Anita,

      Generally, CKCS are renowned for their love of food. Poodles on the other hand, can be quite fussy. You could have just ended up with more Poodle than Cav in your pooch. It could simply be a case that he isn’t too excited about the particular food you are feeding? Have you tried alternative foods?

      Ensure you are feeding a high quality food which meets his nutritional requirements. It’s also worth considering if he has any digestive discomfort after eating which could deter him from wanting to eat? If you are concerned about his eating habits, please arrange to see your Veterinarian.

      Do you leave his food out for him? With fussy eaters, it can help to place the food down and if it’s not eaten within 10-15 minutes, pick it up so he has to wait until the next mealtime. When you are doing this, it pays to have a routine so he knows when the next meal is coming. For example, if you are feeding twice a day, he may have his food at 7am and 6pm. If he hasn’t eaten it by 7.15am, pick it up and try him with fresh food at 6pm.

      Also, be mindful to not overfeed treats. Whilst you may feel guilty that he isn’t eating and therefore give him treats so he at least eats something; he’s just getting full from his treats.

    • My husband and I have a 7 month old Cavapoo, Sophie. She is such a joy to us. We got her about 10 months after loosing our 16.5 year Pomeranian. I felt guilty getting another dog and “replacing” Codi, but we were in love the minute we met her. She is loveable, playful, intelligent and great with adults, children and other animals. Our only problem with her is her non-interest in dog food. She is a bit underweight due to this problem. I went through five different, highly rated and expensive brands dog food with no luck. My vet suggested I give her a product called Nutra Cal, a gel like substance that provides dogs with extra calories and vitamins that are missing from their diet. Luckily, Sophie likes the taste of this gel and will lick it off of my fingers. Good luck with finding a food for your pup that he/she likes. It can be difficult, but there is something healthy out there that will work. It is hard not just giving them human that they will eat, but so important you don’t. They need the proper nutrients that the dog food provides.

    • My cavapoo can be picky as well. I’ll cook carrots and sweet potatoes (no seasoning) and I mix it with her dog food. She loves it! And it’s good for her.

  6. I am wondering about a Cavapoo mated with another Cavapoo. Would the offspring still be of Cavapoo quality with essentially the parents being two mixed breeds? Thoughts? Thank you.

  7. Oh my gosh thank so much. I am getting a dog but I wasn’t sure on the Cavapoo. But now, having read this, I have made final decision I want a Cavapoo. You have helped me, so much thank you.

    • Hi Tully, I can safely say that you won’t ever regret choosing a Cavapoo as your new family member. We’ve had our Bella for 13 months and she has made our house a home. As I type this, she’s in the middle of our bed getting cuddles from her Daddy. She’s our fur daughter and the light of our lives. We have two teenage children who honest feel like she’s their baby sister. She comes on the school runs and wags her tail at her adoring public along the way. She comes on holiday in our caravan and spilts her sleeping time between the adults and the children. She’s absolutely, the single best decision we made this decade. Go for it Tully, you’ll never regret it xx

  8. My baby is five months old and he loves to stay outsider, close to the back door of course, not too far from mommy. My question is, we live in North Carolina and the temperature is dropping to around mid 40’s and he loves it but, I’m afraid it’s too cold for him. Thoughts on cold weather, please.

  9. Thank you for this article. We are looking for a family dog and we have now decided on a cavapoo. Does anyone have a recommendation on breeders preferably in the south Florida area? We don’t want to get one from a pet shop.

  10. We are looking for a new puppy and thinking about this breed. We have a 12 year old mixed breed (14 pounds) who is good with other dogs (from the reports we get from doggy daycare, etc). Does anyone have any experience introducing their Cavapoo to an older dog at home? Any concerns in doing so?

  11. I did a lot of research on dog breeds, considering I wanted a dog with minimal shedding and small to medium plus loving and great with kids. I was between the bichonpoo and Cavapoo until I met a Cavapoo up front and just fell in love. We purchased are baby girl pumpkin at 10 weeks old and has been with us for almost two weeks now, she is almost fully house broken! As soon as I get all the vaccines this week will also begin taking her to puppy training classes! She is so loving but they do have energy so a good play with the ball and walks everyday is good for them.

  12. I have this dog. She just turned two March 13th 2020. She is such a loving dog. Loves to run and play. She is very good with kids. Training is a breeze. I must say, anyone wanting one of those breeds will not be disappointed. Bailey just loves to be in your lap for her cuddles. She is now sitting at 28 Lb. She loves to run in the back yard with her ball. She loves to ride in the car and go camping. She just wants to be with Mommy and Daddy all the time. Cavapoos are so loving and friendly you will not be disappointed in this breed.

  13. Miss Marple is now six months old and I don’t think we could love her anymore than we do. My husband was reluctant to get a puppy, and now he is completely in love. Our only problem is, that there isn’t enough of her to go around, we all want her. Like some of the other Cavapoo owners, Missy has become very dis-interested in her food, we feed her dry & pouch. However, we have found one thing that she absolutely can not resist. Tinned smoked mackerel (no bones, no skin) in sunflower oil. We put a bit of dry biscuit with it for her teeth, and WOOF, it’s gone. Great for her coat too.
    Finally, we have considered getting another girl cavapoo puppy. Does anyone know or have experience introducing another puppy to a household. Life is very good, Missy is perfect & happy, would hate to risk it by bringing another puppy into the home, but we are thinking Missy might live a playmate.

    • Many owners introduce more than one dog to the household, but we would be more reluctant with the young age of Miss Marple. What an awesome name by the way. At 6 months, she still has some developing and maturing to do, and as you know young puppies take a lot of work. It would be sad that the attention spent on either puppy (Miss Marple is still a puppy), would detract from the other one learning vital skills. Some owners who bring home two puppies at the same time report issues, research littermate syndrome if you are interested. Whilst they are not technically littermates, they would still both be very young at the same time. What if you waited until Miss Marple was fully matured, around 12 months or so and then considered it? She would have also learned more appropriate social skills so more likely to accept a new puppy in a positive and role model worthy way.

  14. Can cavapoos be trained as service dogs? I know poodles are trainable. I’ve also read that terrier breeds, labs, pitties and a few others seem to have the innate ability to detect seizures. Is this quality frequently found in cavapoos as well? Thank you

    • Hi Tara, typically service dogs are selected based on breed and temperament by the organisation licensed to train them. The selection of breed and temperament is normally due to predictability. CCI typically use Retrievers (labrador and golden), I would be surprised if they started to use Cavapoos. Please would you confirm if you mean service dog or emotional support animal?

  15. We have a 3 yr old male cavapoo and he is the most gentle lovable dog I’ve ever had! I have not one complaint about this breed. We have a 2.5 yr old who can be a bit much with him but he’s never nipped or even growled at her. GREAT family pet for all ages!!

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