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Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & Poodle Mix)

Nicole Cosgrove

June 21, 2021
Height 9-14 inches
Weight 8-20 pounds
Lifespan 12-15 years
Colors Black, brown, red, apricot, cream, white
Suitable for Active families looking for an affectionate pet that is also an excellent watchdog
Temperament Friendly, playful, intelligent, adaptable

The Cavapoo is a loving dog that’s perhaps best suited as a companion animal or family pet. This mix combines the sweet nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the intelligence and proud bearing of the Poodle. While it’s not certain when the hybrid first appeared, they likely got their start in the United States, where they’re also known as the Cavadoodle.

As with other mixed breeds, the pup that you get will have varying traits, depending on which parent is dominant in a particular characteristic. However, you’re sure to get a loving dog nevertheless. Both breeds are quite popular, according to the American Kennel Club. The Cavalier ranks 17th and the Poodle sixth.

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Cavapoo Puppies — Before You Buy

All dogs have baggage that comes with the breed’s history. The Cavapoo is no exception. They’re a smaller dog that does well holding their own. However, both parent breeds have a history of health issues, which is essential to know up front. While this pup is relatively easy to train, they’re not an ideal choice for first-time pet owners. The same can be said of other intelligent dogs.

On the positive side, you couldn’t ask for a more affectionate or playful pup. Cavapoo puppies are also about the most adorable dog that you’ll ever see. They aren’t high-energy nor are they barkers. Nonetheless, early socialization is vital to cultivate good canine manners. The same advice applies to training.

Energy:
Trainability:
Health:
Lifespan:
Sociability:

What’s the Price of Cavapoo Puppies?

The popularity of the parent breeds will figure into the cost and availability of a Cavapoo puppy. You may find that it’s hard to locate one. You should also factor into the price. You can easily expect to pay $1,200-$2,000 for a pup. We suggest getting one that is a bit older, around 10 weeks. This pooch matures more slowly than other dogs of their size. Getting one too young increases the risk of behavioral problems.

Higher quality puppies can fetch considerably more, with figures topping $3,000 or more. We recommend only getting a pet from reputable breeders that do the necessary pre-breeding health screenings. That will decrease the chances of serious congenital disorders later in life. The puppy may cost more, but they’re worth it in the end.

The first year of pet ownership is typically the most expensive. Your expenses will likely run up to $2,000 or more. Thereafter, it’ll probably cost you around $1,000 annually. Vet visits and food will take up the largest portions of your budget.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Cavapoo

1. The Name of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Reflects Is Noble Heritage.

Both King Charles I and his son Charles II fancied this breed. The predecessor was selectively bred with the Pug. The modern-day version has the longer muzzle than what the king preferred.

2. The Poodle’s Original Job Defies Their Current Association.

While we think of the Poodle as being French, their background is German, and their original job was as a gun dog for retrieving waterfowl. But it’s hard to think of this pup without their fancy haircut.

3. You Can Get a Poodle in the Size That You Prefer.

Poodles are unique in that they exist in different size classes. There are standard, miniature, toy, and teacup, albeit not officially recognized. Interestingly, each has a specific job. The standard is a hunting dog. The miniature is a truffle hound. The smaller sizes are companion animals.

cavapoo mixed breed dog parents
The Cavapoo’s parents. Left: Poodle (PxHere), Right: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Pixabay)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Cavapoo

While Cavaliers are calm and docile dogs, Poodles are energetic. How you raise your puppy will have a significant influence on their activity level. Both parent breeds are intelligent. That means that mental stimulation is vital for a good quality of life for your pup. The Cavapoo is moderately sensitive to harsh words, making positive reinforcement a better option.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

The Cavapoo loves people and will make an excellent family pet. They’re not a yippy or mouthy pup so they will get along with the kids. We suggest supervising playtime with younger children because of the dog’s size. You should teach them how to pick up their pet correctly to avoid injuries. It’s worth mentioning that the Cavapoo doesn’t like to be alone. They’ll do well in active households.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Cavapoo is dog-friendly as long as you socialize them as a puppy. The more exposure that they get to other dogs and people, the more that you can ensure that they’ll play nice with other dogs. They have a moderately high prey drive due to their hunting history. They may chase the family cat if given a chance. However, the pup’s small size will probably be no match for an adult feline.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cavapoo

These pups can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long stretches. That means a time commitment to ensure they that get enough interactive time. The Cavapoo can handle cold weather better than hot, something to bear in mind when going on walks.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

It’s imperative to feed the right food for your Cavapoo’s life stage and size. The dietary needs of puppies differ from adults, where they need the extra nutrients and calories to support growth and development. Also, small breeds mature quicker than large ones, which may not reach adulthood until they’re 2 years old.

You should offer your Cavapoo puppy three to four small meals a day. We don’t recommend free-feeding because it’ll make it more difficult to gauge how much they’re eating. The spaced meals ensure that their blood sugar will stay stable throughout their busy day. You can scale it back to two times a day once your pup reaches adulthood.

While the Poodle isn’t prone to gaining weight, the Cavalier is. It might be due in part to their cute face. Who can resist giving them a treat? However, we recommend limiting snacks to no more than 10% of your Cavapoo’s daily caloric intake. You should also monitor your pet’s body condition and make adjustments if necessary to keep your dog fit.

Exercise 🐕

The Poodle is an active dog when given a chance. The Cavalier is more of a couch potato. That means you’ll need to take an active role in ensuring that your pup gets enough exercise to avoid weight gain. A couple of daily walks will suffice and give your Cavapoo time to reinforce their leash manners and get exposure to new things. Remember that active pets are less likely to be fearful.

cavoodle King Charles Spaniel Poodle mixed breed dog
Image: bonandbon, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

We recommend that you start training on day one with the basics of not nipping. The Cavapoo is sometimes a slow learner. Therefore, you’ll need to work with your pet daily. We suggest limiting treats to lessons. It’ll make a more powerful motivator. Positive reinforcement is the best strategy for this gentle-nature pup. Praise will work wonders in a dog so eager to please.

Grooming ✂️

Both parent breeds have a thick, wavy coat, making daily brushing necessary to avoid mats and tangles. If your Cavapoo takes more after the Poodle, you might want to consider giving them a puppy cut to make grooming easier. You should also check your pet’s nails and ears often. You may have to pluck hair from their ears occasionally to prevent infections.

Health and Conditions 🏥

A risk of some congenital health issues exists with both parent breeds. We suggest getting a pup from a seller that does the necessary screenings. Regular veterinary care is an excellent way to prevent certain conditions from occurring or at least catch them early if they do. That can make the treatment easier and less stressful for both you and your pet.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions

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Male vs. Female

The size differences between male and female Cavapoos aren’t significant. You’ll get a loving pet no matter which one you choose. If you decide to neuter or spay your dog, it’s worth mentioning that the former is considerably less expensive than the more invasive surgery of the latter. The recovery is also quicker. We suggest discussing whether to proceed with your vet.

Research has shown that altering a pet’s sex can affect their risk of some cancers and joint disorders. The other concern is obesity. The surgery can affect your pup’s metabolism and increase their chances of gaining weight. You’ll probably find that you’ll have to cut back on your dog’s daily intake.

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Final Thoughts

The Cavapoo is sure to capture your heart with their adorable looks and sweet nature. They’re a happy dog that always seems to wear a smile on their face. It’ll have the same effect on you and your family. The pup has a few issues, but we can say that about any breed. Providing a healthy diet and getting regular veterinary care will ensure that your pet lives a long life while bringing joy to your home.


Featured Image Credit: Steven B Gold, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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