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Cavapoo Dog Breed Guide: Size, Care Needs, Temperament & Health Issues (2024)

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cavapoo dogSkeptical of breeds? The Cavapoo blends the gentle Cavalier Spaniel and Poodle into an adaptable, loving pup. This breed thrives when she’s part of an understanding, freedom-loving pack. Her cavapoo coat requires some upkeep to stay healthy and tangle-free, but grooming strengthens your bond.

Key Takeaways

  • Cavapoos are a hybrid dog breed with traits from Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles, bred for companionship and a low-shedding coat.
  • Cavapoos have three main coat varieties – curly, straight, or wavy/curly blend – that influence grooming needs like brushing and professional trims.
  • Cavapoos have a gentle, patient temperament that makes them good with people of all ages, though supervision is advised as they may nip if startled.
  • Common cavapoo health issues to be aware of include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye conditions like cataracts, and syringomyelia.

Cavapoo Overview

Cavapoo Overview
When bred responsibly, the Cavapoo brings together positive traits from its Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle parents to create a small, family-friendly hybrid.

With adult weights ranging from 8-25 pounds, Cavapoos exhibit wide variation in size, coat color, coat type, and facial features.

Regardless of their individual differences, responsibly bred Cavapoos tend to share a cute, teddy bear-esque appearance and people-pleasing temperament that help explain their popularity.

Breed Origins

You’re looking at a hybrid of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and either a Miniature or Toy Poodle when you see a Cavapoo.

Originated in the 1990s or early 2000s in the United States or Australia.

Bred to be a friendly companion dog with a low-shedding coat.

Combines the best traits from the sociable, gentle Cavalier and the intelligent, low-shedding Poodle.

Crossbreeding allows for dogs with hybrid vigor that tend to have fewer health issues.

Size and Appearance

Size, Care, and Health Issues:

Two Cavapoos can vary greatly in size and appearance, depending on whether the Poodle parent was a Toy, Miniature, or Standard Poodle.

These hybrid pups display diversity in their bear features.

Cavapoo size variations stem from their mixed breeding.

Despite differences in statute, most share endearing traits like soft, low-shedding, and sweet, dog-friendly disposition requiring regular Cavapoo Grooming.

Coat Types

Size, Care Needs, Temperament & Health Issues:

One will find Cavapoos sport three main coat varieties: curly like the Poodle, straight like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or a blend of waves and curls.

Coat type influences maintenance needs – the curlier the coat, the more grooming it requires for tangling prevention and allergy management.

Coat colors vary widely, with common hues being black, white, brown, red, sable, and tri-color.

Regardless of coat, Cavapoos are moderately high-shedding and require routine brushing and professional trims.

Personality Traits

Personality Traits
When it comes to personality, the Cavapoo is known for being gentle, patient, and loving with people of all ages.

Their sweet temperament makes them a good fit for families with young children who know how to properly interact with dogs.

However, supervision of small kids is still advised, as Cavapoos may become frightened or nip if hurt or startled.

Social Behavior

Your Cavapoo’s companionable nature makes them well-suited for multi-pet households and bonding closely with their owners.

Socialization techniques like supervised play dates facilitate positive canine interactions.

Bonding activities like walks, playtime, and praise strengthen the human-cavapoo connection.

Attentiveness to behavioral cues prevents negative behaviors.

Training methods utilizing rewards reinforce wanted conduct.

The friendly, kid-friendly Cavapoo with an easy-to-train temperament thrives in a family environment.

Compatibility With Children

Their gentle temperament and patience make Cavapoos a good match for families with kids.

Cavapoos tend to be very friendly toward children.

Their playful and affectionate temperament allows them to get along well with kids.

However, as with any breed, proper socialization and supervision during playtimes is essential.

Cavapoo kids and dog interactions can provide great social benefits for all involved when responsibly managed.

Still, their potential for mouthiness means some caution is warranted.


As companion dogs bred to be loving family pets, Cavapoos adapt well to apartment living and different lifestyles.

Their moderate exercise needs and playful personality allow them to adjust to both active owners and less active individuals or families.

However, Cavapoos may not thrive in homes with excessive noise or barking that doesn’t provide them with a quiet, low-energy environment.

Apartment Living

With their moderate activity levels and affectionate personalities, cavapoos adapt well to apartment living for you.

Cavapoos are highly adaptable to urban lifestyles and smaller living spaces given their affectionate yet moderate energy personalities.

As canine companions amenable to apartment amenities and pet-friendly regulations, cavapoos make excellent city pets when provided adequate indoor playtime catered to their individual personality and activity needs as puppies or adults.

Adjusting to Different Lifestyles

While Cavapoos adapt well to apartment living, they can also adjust to different lifestyles as your versatile companion.

As an owner, you’ll find their people-pleasing personality lets them thrive when included in your daily routine, whether that involves lots of activity or more low-key downtime.

Through proper socialization techniques, Cavapoos can adapt to handle allergies, anxiety triggers, varied training schedules, and changes in activity levels, while maintaining their sweet, affectionate nature.

Health Concerns

Health Concerns
When considering a Cavapoo, you must familiarize yourself with some of the more common health issues the breed faces.

These include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Various eye conditions
  • Syringomyelia

As a prospective owner, being aware of these potential problems will allow you to provide the preventative and responsive care needed for your dog’s well-being.

Hip Dysplasia

You’ll often see this joint condition in Cavapoos since their parent breeds are vulnerable, so get your pup examined for loose hip joints that can cause arthritis down the road.

Genetic predisposition

Preventive supplements

Surgical interventions

Rehabilitative therapies

Canine genetics play a role in Cavapoo health issues like hip dysplasia.

Being aware of their preventive measures, surgical options, and rehabilitation techniques allows owners to support their Cavapoo’s wellbeing.

Consulting a veterinarian provides guidance on appropriate holistic approaches for managing this condition.

Patellar Luxation

One common health issue you’ll encounter with Cavapoos is patellar luxation, where their kneecap slides outside its normal path and causes pain and arthritis.

Supporting joint health in Cavapoos requires a proactive approach:

  • Preventive Care:
    • Frequent checkups
    • Surgical interventions
    • Lifestyle modifications
    • Breed-specific considerations
  • Exercise Routines:
    • Rehabilitation options
    • Supportive therapies
    • Owner education
  • This condition can significantly impact their activity level and quality of life if left untreated.

    As a hybrid dog affected by inherited conditions of both parent breeds, responsible breeding practices remain vital for their long-term wellbeing.

    Eye Conditions

    Finding yourself saddled with vet bills, a Cavapoo may be predisposed to various eye conditions:

    • Cherry eye
    • Dry eye
    • Retinal problems
    • Cataracts
    • Corneal dystrophy
    • Progressive retinal atrophy
    • Eyelash problems

    Regular vet checkups, vision care, and grooming essentials like cleaning around the eyes can help prevent infections. Managing allergies also reduces irritation. With diligent care, you can help protect your Cavapoo’s eyesight.


    You’re also at risk of dealing with syringomyelia, a condition where fluid-filled cavities form within your Cavapoo’s spinal cord, potentially causing severe pain.

    1. Syringomyelia Awareness. Learn the symptoms and advocate for research.
    2. Exploring Treatment Options. Work with your vet on medication, surgery, or therapy.
    3. Joining Support Groups. Connect with other Cavapoo owners facing this diagnosis.

    Grooming Needs

    Grooming Needs
    The Cavapoo has moderate grooming needs.

    You’ll need to:

    • Regularly brush their soft coats
    • Clean their eyes and ears
    • Trim their fur to prevent tangles and matting

    Providing routine coat care will keep your Cavapoo looking and feeling their best.

    Coat Care

    After contending with health concerns, you’re moving on to grooming requirements for a Cavapoo’s coat.

    Combing through their soft, low-shedding coat regularly helps prevent matting, while bathing keeps their skin and fur clean.

    Use these grooming tips to keep your Cavapoo looking stylish:

    Fur Length Brushing Frequency Bathing
    Short 2-3 times per week Every 2-3 weeks
    Medium Daily Weekly
    Long Daily Every 5-6 days

    This routine shedding solution and allergy management allows for easy coat maintenance.

    Regular grooming provides bonding time and keeps your Cavapoo clean, mat-free, and looking its best.

    Skin Care

    Having thoroughly brushed the Cavapoo’s coat, check their skin for any signs of irritation or allergies while grooming.

    Cavapoos may have sensitive skin prone to allergies, so take preventive measures.

    Adjust bathing, diet, and topical ointments seasonally.

    Consult your veterinarian regarding any chronic skin conditions, as certain dermatological considerations should factor into their care.

    Eye and Ear Care

    After brushing their coats, you’re ready to also clean your Cavapoo’s eyes and ears for their health and comfort. Preventative practices like cleaning and inspections promote ear hygiene and visual wellness.

    Gently wiping around the eyes removes dirt while using a vet-recommended solution and cotton swabs keeps ears clean.

    Exercise Requirements

    When it comes to exercise, Cavapoos have moderate needs.

    Daily indoor activities like playtime and training, along with outdoor walks and adventures in a securely fenced area, are ideal for this breed.

    High-energy Cavapoos may require more vigorous exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated.

    Indoor Activities

    You’ll often want to engage your Cavapoo in indoor activities to meet their exercise needs.

    Provide enriching toys like treat-dispensing puzzle feeders to stimulate their mind.

    Engage them in interactive games like hide and seek or training tricks to tap into their intelligence.

    Rotate different puzzles and games to prevent boredom and encourage mental stimulation.

    Outdoor Activities

    Where can you take your Cavapoo for outdoor exercise while keeping them safe and engaged?

    Cavapoos love leash walks, park adventures, and backyard games. However, their curious nature means they should remain on-leash when out and about. An extendable leash allows them some freedom to explore safely. Consider fenced areas for off-leash play.

    Activity Location Considerations
    Leash walks Sidewalks, trails Use fixed or extendable leash
    Park adventures Dog parks, trails Remain on-leash around roads
    Backyard games Fenced yards Monitor for escape attempts

    Training and Behavior

    Training and Behavior
    When it comes to training your Cavapoo, positive reinforcement is key – reward wanted behaviors, and ignore unwanted ones. Though eager to please, Cavapoos can sometimes give in to their prey instincts, so work on addressing any strong prey drive through training.

    Be patient and consistent with your Cavapoo, using treats, praise, and play to motivate good conduct.

    Positive Reinforcement Techniques

    For effective training of your Cavapoo, you’d use positive reinforcement techniques.

    Reward-based methods like offering treats and praise when they demonstrate desired behaviors are effective for canine education.

    This positive training helps reinforce good behavior and ensures training success.

    Sticking to these positive reinforcement techniques yields better results than punishment-based methods.

    Addressing Prey Drive

    In spite of their sweet temperament, you’d address a Cavapoo’s prey drive through consistent positive reinforcement training focused on impulse control.

    Redirect their energy toward appropriate outlets like interactive games and chew toys.

    Use playful distractions during walks when they notice squirrels or cats.

    With patience and persistence, apply proven training techniques like look at me and leave it to make behavioral modifications.

    Nutritional Needs

    Nutritional Needs
    When it comes to feeding your Cavapoo, it’s important to:

    • Establish a consistent schedule.
    • Provide a high-quality diet tailored to their age.

    Pay attention to:

    To ensure you’re meeting their nutritional needs.

    Providing the right diet and appropriate portions will support your Cavapoo’s health and happiness over their lifetime.

    Feeding Schedule

    You’ll want to feed your Cavapoo two or three measured meals per day on a consistent schedule.

    Feed puppies three to four times a day.

    Feed adults one to two times per day.

    Follow portion guidelines based on your Cavapoo’s age, size, and activity level.

    Sticking to a routine and properly portioned meals ensures your Cavapoo receives balanced nutrition for healthy development.

    Nutritional Tips

    How can you ensure your Cavapoo’s nutritional needs are met?

    • When choosing your Cavapoo’s food, opt for high-quality commercial dog food formulated for their life stage and activity level.
    • Take into account meal planning, dietary supplements, weight management, allergen awareness, and homemade treats.
    • Create a balanced diet tailored to your dog’s needs through consultation with your veterinarian.
    • Monitoring portions, providing fresh water, and scheduling regular check-ups helps keep your Cavapoo healthy.

    Therapy and Service Roles

    Therapy and Service Roles
    The Cavapoo’s gentle, calm temperament makes them well-suited for therapy work.

    Their affectionate nature also means Cavapoos can be trained as emotional support animals for people in need.

    With dedication and proper training, Cavapoos have the potential to become excellent service dogs assisting people with disabilities.

    Emotional Support Qualities

    Since Cavapoos are gentle, friendly dogs by nature, you’d find them well-suited to provide emotional support in therapy contexts when properly trained.

    Their affectionate personalities allow Cavapoos to form supportive connections as emotional allies for those needing comfort, companionship, and therapeutic traits in a bonding buddy.

    Training for Service

    Your Cavapoo requires specialized training to qualify for therapy work or to perform service tasks for an individual with disabilities.

    Service dog training involves teaching the dog specific skills like retrieving items, opening doors, or providing stability for a person with mobility issues.

    Therapy dog preparation focuses more on obedience, manners, and emotional support training so the dog can safely and calmly interact with people in facilities like hospitals or nursing homes.

    Choosing a Cavapoo

    Choosing a Cavapoo
    When bringing a Cavapoo into your home, finding a responsible Breeder who screens for health and temperament is key.

    You may also consider adopting an adult Cavapoo from a shelter or rescue group in need of a loving home.

    Either route requires Dilligent research to ensure you find a healthy, well-socialized dog that fits your lifestyle.

    Finding a Reputable Breeder

    When choosing a Cavappoo, you’ll often want to ensure they:

    • Screen breeding dogs for genetic health issues
    • Socialize puppies
    • Follow sound breeding practices
    • Provide health clearances
    • Answer questions

    Reputable breeders focus on bettering the breed, not profits. They’ll show you health clearances and let you meet parent dogs.

    An initial vet visit helps confirm the puppy’s health.

    Consider adopting a Cavappoo as many need homes. Shelters can match you with the right temperament.

    Considerations for Adoption

    The final key thing to consider when bringing a Cavapoo into your home is adopting from a shelter or rescue group.

    You’ll want to meet the dog first to evaluate if its personality and activity level fit your lifestyle.

    There are many wonderful dogs waiting for loving homes in shelters and rescues.

    Ensure you ask questions about the dog’s health and temperament beforehand.

    Adopting a shelter pet provides companionship while giving a deserving dog a second chance.

    With proper preparation, you can find your perfect rescued canine companion.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How much does a cavapoo puppy cost?

    The cost for a Cavapoo puppy from a reputable breeder commonly ranges from $1,000 to $2,

    Selecting a breeder who health tests parent dogs and provides health guarantees helps ensure you’re getting a healthy pup.

    Adopting through a shelter, rescue group, or breed-specific rescue is a budget-friendly option.

    What colors and coat patterns do cavapoos come in?

    Cavapoos display a variety of coat colors, including black, white, brown, red, apricot, sable, and parti.

    Their coats can be solid, patched, or have spotting.

    Genetics determine their color and pattern.

    Ask breeders about expected coat types.

    How long do cavapoos live?

    Cavapoos typically live 12-15 years.

    As with any breed, providing proper nutrition, regular veterinary care, exercise, and a loving home will help maximize your Cavapoo’s lifespan.

    Their gentle temperament and moderate activity needs make them an excellent companion.

    Are cavapoos good with cats?

    Though their instincts may initially make Cavapoos wary, training and socialization from a young age typically allow them to become accepting and sometimes even attached to feline housemates.

    Still, supervision is recommended, especially at first.

    How do I pick a reputable cavapoo breeder?

    Carefully research breeders.

    Visit facilities in-person.

    Meet parent dogs.

    Request health clearances.

    Ask questions about breeding practices.

    Choose an ethical breeder who screens for health and temperament.


    Clearly, the Cavapoo’s Cavalier and Poodle parentage gifts her with an endearing disposition, yet also burdens her with potential health issues.

    Though skeptical, recognize her gentle spirit thrives when welcomed into a thoughtful family.

    Let the Cavapoo’s warmth displace cynicism through conscientious care and training.

    By meeting her unique grooming, exercise, nutritional, and healthcare needs, her Cavapoo companions will be rewarded with years of devoted companionship.

    Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

    Mutasim Sweileh

    Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.