Take an intelligent, hypoallergenic toy poodle, mix in the grace and charm of a cavalier King Charles spaniel, and you have the cavapoo. Although you’ll sometimes hear them called a “designer” breed, there’s nothing hoity-toity about this lovable little hybrid rascal.
Cavapoos are at once regal and rowdy; silly and serious; affectionate and aloof. For an all-around crowd-pleaser, it’s hard to find a pup more perfect than the cuddly cavapoo.
Also Known As…
Cavadoodle, cavoodle, Curly, “the best of both worlds.”
What Is The History Of The Cavapoo?
To understand yourself, you must first understand your roots. And though their roots may be more adorable than our own—sorry, Great Aunt Helga—the same is true for one of the most popular poodle crossbreeds, the cavapoo.
The “cav” part of the name comes from the cavalier King Charles spaniel. These toy spaniels are the direct descendants of a long line of English royalty (royal dogs, that is). As their name suggests, cavalier King Charles spaniels were famously loved by the British monarch King Charles II, who always had a few at his feet.1 He even went so far as to decree that all public places must welcome these fancy, four-legged friends. Perhaps that explains why, even now, you can never go too far without seeing one. They are also one of the dog breeds that get along with cats.
The “poo” part of the name, of course, arrives courtesy of its parent breed, the pup’s poodle genes. Poodles are thought to have originated in Germany, though no one can be 100% sure—they made a splash (literally) all over Europe as duck-hunting dogs, guard dogs, guide dogs, and even circus performers.2 No matter where they came from, one thing is clear: they ended up the darlings of the ruling class—beloved in the royal courts of France—and a certified hit with us mere peasants. Nowadays, you’ll find these curly-coated water dogs in backyards across America. This is one of the most popular poodle mixes right now.
Fun-loving, intelligent, and utterly adorable, you might just say these aristocratic dogs were destined to mix—it just took a few centuries. But in the 1990s, Australian breeders finally had the brilliant idea to cross the two beloved dog breeds.3 Today, cavapoos are a worldwide phenomenon, especially among hypoallergenic designer dog breed lovers.
How Big Do Cavapoos Get?
Height: 9–14 inches
Weight: 8–24 pounds
How Long Do Cavapoos (Generally) Live?
Little guys are known for living longer and cavapoos are no exception, with an average lifespan of 10–15 years.
What Is A Cavapoo’s Temperament & Personality Like?
Dogs are like people; they’re all a little different. So while it’s impossible to generalize a breed’s personality, most cavapoos are sweet and playful. They are one of the most affectionate dog breeds. They’ll gladly glue themselves to their dog owner’s ankle as they wander around the house.
However, this affectionate attitude can be a blessing and a curse. This designer dog loves it when you’re there—and they really hate it when you’re gone. These moptops are particularly prone to separation anxiety, so it’s essential to train them to be alone and socialize them from a young age.
Are Cavapoos Good With Kids? Cats? Dogs?
Because cavapoos are cat- and toddler-sized, they make terrific companions for your smaller family members. Other dogs will likely receive a loving reaction from your cavapoo—namely, a wag of the tail and a playful headbutt.
Whenever your pooch meets a new canine, feline, or human, it’s best if you’re there to supervise. Cavapoos are the furthest thing from aggressive, but you never know how their new playmate will act.
Are Cavapoos High Energy?
Fitness fanatics, these cuddly pups are not. Nonetheless, cavapoos need around 45 minutes of light physical activity every day.
And they definitely need it. An energetic cavapoo left to its own devices may take its energy out on your favorite stuffed animal or the bathroom garbage can. So, couch potatoes, consider yourself warned!
Are Cavapoos Hard To Train?
Poodles and cavalier King Charles spaniels are both easy-to-train dogs, so it follows that cavapoos are, too. They’re super smart, relatively agile, and want nothing more than to make you happy. In other words: they’ll listen when you ask them to sit.
If you’re hoping to turn your cavapoo dog into a show-stopping show pooch, just remember that persistence pays off, and it’s best to start obedience training as early as possible.
Do Cavapoos Have Health Issues?
Cavapoos may be known as many things—sweet, devoted, too cute for their own good—but they aren’t known as condition-susceptible canines. Even so, they can come face to face with a health issue.
Because cavapoos are hybrid dogs, they’re occasionally prone to health issues affecting their cavalier spaniel ancestors and poodle parents. These issues can include:4
- Joint problems – Hip dysplasia and patella luxation—slipping kneecaps—can manifest in cavapoos.
- Eye conditions – Vision-related cavapoo concerns include entropion, progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, and cataracts.
- Heart problems – Some cavapoos may encounter mitral heart disease. This condition causes blood to flow backward into the heart and withhold oxygen from the rest of the body.
Do Cavapoos Need To Be Groomed?
Cavapoos don’t shed. The good news? Your allergy-stricken friends can finally come to visit, your couches remain fur-free, and your vacuum won’t clog every week.
The bad news? You’ll have to pay for semi-regular grooming appointments. This small dog’s curly hair is susceptible to matting, so you’ll need to trek to the groomer once every few months for a bath and haircut. While you’re there, you can also ask to have their nails clipped and their ears cleaned—both essential parts of dog grooming (regardless of the dog breed).
How Much Does It Cost To Care For A Cavapoo?
Canine ownership costs depend on your cost of living, your lifestyle, and your cavapoo puppy’s health. However, on average, you should budget $1,300+ per year to provide for your cavapoo.
Cavapoos are fond of frequent feedings but don’t need to eat much. You can generally divide one cup of dry food among four daily feedings. At that rate, you’ll probably spend $25–40/month on food.
Are you tired of trekking out to the pet store whenever you need some kibble? Staying on the couch with your cavapoo is waaaaaay better. Spend more time with your cavapoo puppy when you subscribe to BARK Eats. Every month, a bag of custom-made, nutritionist-approved dog food will bless your front steps. Get 50% off your first month when you sign up today!
Routine Vet Care (Healthy Dog)
General cavapoo maintenance usually involves vaccines ($20–30 per dose) and heartworm tests ($40 each). Don’t forget to budget for the vet fee, too—you can expect to pay at least $50 per visit.
Aim to visit the vet at least twice a year to keep your cavapoo in tip-top shape.
Preventative Medications For Cavapoos
Aside from applying flea and tick medication ($100 per year), you can keep your cavapoo feeling their best by giving them glucosamine chondroitin ($70 for a year’s worth), which may support cartilage health.5 Because some cavapoos suffer from hip dysplasia and arthritis, these supplements can keep their joints feeling fresh and youthful.
As always, talk to your vet before giving your dog medications and supplements.
Unless you can teach yourself how to give at-home haircuts, you’ll probably spend $50–70 at the groomer every few months.
Toys, Treats, Beds, & Accessories
Sure, the plush hamburger squeaky toy and the miniature canary-yellow rain jacket may be the “extras” of dog ownership. But in reality, these accessories are essentials. Set aside enough cash to cover:
- A few toys ($20–60)
- A pint-sized dog bed ($30–65)
- A few bags of treats ($25–40)
- A leash ($20)
- A collar ($15)
Make playtime and snack time more enjoyable for you and your furry friend. Subscribe to BarkBox and receive 2 bags of treats, 2 soft toys, and a delicious dog chew every month ($23 per box). Or, go big and treat your cavapoo to 2 bug bags of traits, 2 rugged chew toys, and 2 mouth-watering meaty chews ($29 per box). Double your first box for free!
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club. General History. https://ckcsc.org/history
- VCA Animal Hospitals. Standard Poodle. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/dog-breeds/standard-poodle
- US Service Animals. Cavapoo: Designed for Love. https://usserviceanimals.org/blog/cavapoo-breed-overview/
- Cavapoo World. Cavapoo Health. https://www.cavapooworld.com/cavapoo-health/
- NIH. Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Osteoarthritis. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/glucosamine-and-chondroitin-for-osteoarthritis