The Cavapoo, a dog that goes by different monikers such as the Cavoodle or the Cavoo is not a purebred dog. It is the result of the cross-breeding of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a variant of the poodle dog; the toy poodle.
The aim of this cross-breeding was to create a new type of dog that would possess the characteristics of both parent dogs in order to achieve a breed that would be hypoallergenic for people with allergies.
This is due to the fact that the parent breeds; the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the miniature toy Poodle are dogs with a lower tendency to trigger allergies in vulnerable people.
The Cavapoo was initially bred as a hypoallergenic, calm spirited dog meant for companionship. They quickly became a popular choice for dog enthusiasts because of their sweet nature and extremely adorable faces. They are known for their friendliness and for being social and family pets.
History Of The Cavapoo
The Cavapoo was originally bred in Australia in the early 1950s as the result of breeding the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the Toy Poodle. This breed of dog has been in the limelight for about 10 to 20 years.
It is more popular in the United Kingdom and Australia. Breeders have developed them in different ways but the first generation Cavapoo was created by crossing the spaniel and the poodle.
To know the history of the Cavapoo, we have to know a bit about the two breeds that were crossed to create this amazing dog.
The Cavalier King Spaniel
One of the parent breeds of the Cavapoo, the Cavalier Spaniel has its origins rooted in the Roman Era. These gentle and loving dogs were the perfect feet warmers and amazing lapdogs. In the 1700s, King Charles II of England took a great interest to these pooches, and from that period onward, they became known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Although there is no evidence that today’s Cavalier King Spaniel is a direct descendant of King Charles’ dogs they still carry the name as the dog’s got their popularity from him.
The Poodle is a breed that has three different variants; The standard-sized poodle, the miniature poodle, and the toy poodle. To crossbreed with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the aim of creating a Cavapoo, only the miniature poodle and the toy poodle can be used. This is as a result of the size of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
The Toy poodle grows to about 11 inches in height and weighs between 4 to 6lbs. A miniature poodle on the other hand is slightly larger, growing to between 10 – 15 inches in height while weighing about 10 to 15lbs.
The poodle, a proud, intelligent, and elegant dog was bred initially to hunt waterfowl. Its location of origin was Germany though this breed was further bred distinctively by the French.
The poodle’s existence goes as far back as Roman and Egyptian times as there are illustrations and statues that depict dogs with a striking resemblance to the modern-day poodle. Breeders started producing smaller versions of the poodle in the 1400s, first the miniature poodle and then the toy poodle came after.
Each variation of the breed grew to have different uses for the French. The standard poodle was used to hunt ducks, the miniature poodle’s use was to sniff out truffles in the woods, while the toy poodle due to its size and stature was a companion dog to the wealthy families and nobility.
This breed also had their fair share of being in the circus due to the fact that as smart dogs, they were quick to learn tricks.
Appearance And Size
What makes up the physical attributes vary due to the fact that some may have more resemblance to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel while others may look like the poodle, either the miniature poodle or the toy poodle. This can also have an influence on their coat which although is typically soft and short, maybe curly or wavy as well.
Often described as a fuzzy faced teddy bear, the Cavapoo’s adorable appearance melts everyone’s hearts. They are not petite in nature despite their small size. They have a rather solid, sturdy build and are well proportioned, with strong and short legs which may have the cavalier fringing.
Their feet are round and small, often fluffy in nature and usually adds to the natural appeal of this attractive little pooch. They have an inviting look with their compact round face, almond eyes that give an extremely innocent expression, long fringed and floppy ears, and very large brows.
The Cavapoo is usually expected to have a flat muzzle but can sometimes be long with a cute button nose.
Thanks to their inherited genetics from their poodle parent, the Cavapoo do not shed their fur rather, it continues to grow. Generally, their coats are usually cut to a fairly short length but it also depends on the preference of their owners. A common haircut style for the Cavapoo is the teddy bear.
The Cavapoo can have different color variations in their fur; cream, chocolate, gold, chestnut, white, fawn, Blenheim (brown and white), or even tri-color (black, white, and tan).
They also have variations in their coat type; hair, fleece (most common) and wool.
The hair coats make them look quite rough and wiry and almost looking like terrier dogs. Dogs with this coat type shed more than every other coat type but also require less grooming due to the fact that the coat does not grow long.
The fleece coats are known as the most common coat type for the Cavapoo. It presents a loose wave or curly look and is very soft and has a smooth feel to it. It is a low shedding coat.
The wool coats like the fleece coats are low shedding coats and unlike other coat types, they do not release pet dander due to the tight curls. It is a more suited coat for people with allergies.
A fully grown Cavapoo should be expected to stand between 9 to 14 inches tall and have a weight ranging from 9 pounds to about 25 pounds.
Although, as they are a hybrid, a standard grooming style or procedure is not available for these dogs. Since they are known to be a high maintenance breed, grooming the Cavapoo can prove to be a very detailed and highly repetitive activity.
As they do not shed but rather grow out their coat, they require at least a weekly brushing in other to get rid of knots or tangles and more than regular weekly grooming to keep them at their best conditions. Places of concern during grooming are their armpits, and where their harness/collars rest.
If your Cavapoo is smelling, it might be due to the fact that the hair is too long and there might be some dirt caught in it. To solve this problem, regular bathing and trimming are advised. Routine clipping helps to keep their coats manageable. Check also for matted fur and if found, can be carefully trimmed out with scissors.
You should also make sure to check their ears daily and clean them out as the Cavapoo is prone to ear infection just like their Cavvy parent and ear infections can produce an absolutely unpleasant smell. Wipe their eyes using a clean damp piece of clothing.
The Cavapoo is known to have reddish-brown tear stains, this can be removed by washing his face daily with special attention to the area beneath his eyes. You can also prevent this from happening by flushing the dog’s eyes out with the appropriate solution.
Regular inspection of the toenails is advised to ensure there are no snags in the fur. Getting the Cavapoo used to having their teeth brushed and feet handled for a proper nail clipping at a young age really goes a long way. Start with a series of short sessions and build up over time.
Reward them for good behavior and your dog will become one that enjoys its routine health check and maintenance program. It is advised to visit a qualified groomer for your dog except you have the experience. Most Cavapoo owners pay a visit to the grooming salon at 8 – 10 weeks’ interval to have their dogs professionally checked, groomed and clipped.
The most preferred cut by most owners is the Teddy bear clip, keeping the body and legs short with a round looking face. Another favorite is keeping the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ear style which is simply long and straight.
The mixed heritage of the Cavapoo plays a part in their temperament as well; they can lean towards the poodle or be more Cavalier-like in temperament. Your average Cavapoo has a temperament not so different from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; they are very affectionate; they love to be with their family.
As mentioned before about the Cavapoo, they are a lap dog through and through, though the Cavapoo can also be presented as agility, obedience, or rally dogs.
The Cavapoo is an average to low energy breed but this does not hinder them from being playful at times. They do not have a high prey drive, they are not destructive by nature and not aggressive either and as such, will do absolutely great with other people and dog.
They relate well with other dogs and will happily live with other animals but this depends on the early socialization of the puppy. Due to their high sociability, they are known to suffer from separation anxiety and would not tolerate being left alone for long stretches of time.
Signs to watch out for are pacing, chewing, barking, howling, and crying. They are known to soak up as much attention as you can give to them without even an ounce of tiredness. They are goofy dogs and would easily entertain you with their antics.
Cavapoos have a short attention span and should be supervised when playing in areas that are not fenced in or better still be kept on a leash. Though not obsessive barkers, they may bark to alert you of strangers at your door. Although, this does not make them a good guard dog because they would try hard to please and get attention and care.
They have high adaptability and can fit into most home environments. These dogs are highly intelligent and learn quickly but it is best to teach them using positive reinforcements so a gentle but firm “good doggie manners” should be enforced from the very first day you get them.
They are a fine and dependable addition to a family and would comfortably help in a stronger bond building. Cavoodles can be gentle and loving with the young ones and still interesting and energetic with the teenagers, this is due to the inherited happiness of the poodle.
The Cavapoo is a fairly healthy dog. Although, despite the hopes of out-breeding negative health qualities, they still face some health issues.
Some dogs have been known to have congenital heart attacks, slipping kneecaps, progressive retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia.
It is advisable to visit a vet to know how best to manage these health issues. Additionally, always be on the outlook for symptoms and signs of illness to help early diagnosis and treatment.
Food And Diet
Cavapoos are to be fed with high-quality dog food with all the required nutrients to ensure optimal growth and development. The dietary requirement will vary for each puppy depending on activity level, weight, health, etc.
Many breeders usually leave you with a feeding regimen if you get a puppy. You can stick to that and gradually change as your puppy grows. If you don’t know how to transform their feeding regimen, always visit your vet.
Though being a small dog, Cavapoos generally require 40 calories per pound of bodyweight daily. Just like their Cavalier parents, the Cavapoo has a tendency towards obesity if overfed. So it will be in the best interest of you and your dog to watch how you feed him, treats inclusive.
Training And Exercise
The Cavapoo is one of the easiest dogs to train. The best way to train them is by positive reinforcement.
Since they often get distracted, lessons need to be short or done in places with little to no distractions in the beginning. This would exponentially increase the chances of them learning the appropriate behaviors.
Early socialization is highly advised. Take them out and show them all the world has to offer at a young age and in a controlled environment.
The Cavapoo, like his poodle parent, would still love to run around. An average of 30 to 60 minutes of daily playtime would do as the dog is generally gentle and mellow. They thrive in brain games due to their high level of intelligence.
Should You Get A Cavapoo?
The Cavapoo is a great family dog and an amazing companion for families with older children, senior citizens and singles too.
They have a sweet appearance and a kind temperament.
Cavoodles are perfect for allergy sufferers as they are hypoallergenic.
If you’re worried about space, then weep no more as the Cavapoo has the perfect frame to fit in an apartment or house with little or no space.
Buying A Cavapoo
You can get a Cavapoo from reputable breeders around you. A Cavapoo puppy costs between $1000 to $2000. The factors affecting the prices vary from the location of breeding to quality of the dog.
Also note that apart from the cost of buying a Cavapoo puppy, there are living expenses as well. You’ll have to spend on food, grooming tools, puppy classes, leash, etc.
While buying a puppy, always go to a reputable breeder, one who is willing to show you any requested certificate. Ask questions in any area of confusion. Also, try to meet the mother and siblings of your puppy-to-be as this would give you an insight into his temperament.
Alternatively, you can choose to adopt one from rescue shelters. It will save you a lot more only you’d be getting a grown dog, not a puppy.
As you’ve read, the Cavapoo might be that bundle of joy you’ve been looking for. They’re so cheerful and adorable that they’ll never do anything wrong in your eye.
They love the presence of their owners making them great companions. Being extremely intelligent and social, they could fit into your family like they were made for it.