Often referred to as the Cavoodle or the Cavadoodle, the Cavapoo is a hybrid that occurs when you mix a miniature sized Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs end up with small, compact bodies, which make them an excellent pet for individuals who have small homes or apartments. If you’re considering these hybrid dogs, it’s nice to learn more about them before you get one of your own. Here’s a closer look at the Cavapoo, its history, appearance, temperament, grooming needs, health, and more.
Origin and History
It’s not quite clear how long the Cavapoo has been around, although it’s probably only been around for the past 20-30 years, since hybrids have become popular over the last couple of decades. We can learn a lot more about these dogs by looking at the history of both of the parent breeds: The Miniature Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
The Miniature Poodle came from the Standard Poodle, and the Poodle was originally bred to be a working water retriever. It’s thought that the breed came from the Hungarian Water Hound and the Barbet. Not only were the dogs used as waterfowl retrievers, they were excellent at sniffing out truffles. Although these dogs have a bit of a fancy, snobby reputation, they’re actually active dogs that love the outdoors.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel first got its name from the well-known and favorite King Charles I back in the 1600s. Only wealthy people at the time were able to afford having a dog who couldn’t earn his keep. The breed was also adored by King Charles II, and it continue to be a popular breed within Britain for many years. It’s thought that the breed we have today came from crossing the original Cavaliers with the Japanese Chin and Pugs. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the breed first came to America, and they would soon become recognized by the American Kennel Club, although the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club wasn’t formed until 1996.
The Cavapoo generally grows up to be between 9-14 inches tall at the shoulder, and they generally weigh between 7 and 18 pounds. The very long ears are one of the Cavapoo’s distinctive features. They are known for having a very soft coat, much like that of the Poodle, although a few of them have a wavy, longer, silkier coat that is characteristic of the Cavalier. These dogs can come in a variety of different colors, including brown and white, tricolor (black, tan, and white), gold, white, and black. The sturdy, agile dogs have round faces that are extremely expressive.
Of course, there is going to be some variation in the hybrid Cavapoos. Some display more of the Cavalier features, while others will display more of the Miniature Poodle features. Since their appearance varies so greatly, it can be fun to choose a puppy that has a unique look.
Cavapoos have a very loving and gentle temperament, and they are so gentle that they are wonderful with small children. Since they are so small in size too, they make great companions for small pets and small children. These dogs love to be with humans, and they need to have plenty of attention. They often become very attached to their family.
Since the Cavapoo is very intelligent, they usually are fairly easy to train. They do well with fun, light-hearted training. New owners need to use gentle guidance when training these dogs, and strong discipline should never be used on them. When they are very young puppies, they often have a short attention span and may be quite inquisitive. However, with consistent training, they usually are easy to house train and will learn the house rules quickly.
The Cavapoo is quite small, so they only need a moderate amount of exercise. This makes them great for owners who have small homes. A daily walk outdoors is usually all these dogs need to stay healthy. They do love to play, so make sure they get plenty of playtime with the family.
You’ll find that the Cavapoo is a low maintenance breed, and some owners decide to keep their coats quite short to make grooming even easier. If you do allow your Cavoodle to grow a longer coat, then you may need to brush them weekly to ensure the coat stays shiny and healthy. Brushing regularly can help to prevent knotting and tangling of the coat, making trips to the groomer much easier. It’s also important to brush your dog’s teeth two or three times each week to keep the teeth healthy and prevent bad breath. These dogs don’t usually wear down their toenails on their own, so they’ll need clipped as needed. You may want to leave that job up to a groomer.
Since these dogs are so small, they are rarely used in any working roles. However, they make companion and comfort dogs.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, and the Poodle has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, so the Cavapoo is likely to live between 10 and 15 years. Usually hybrid dogs are healthier than their purebred parents. However, it’s possible for the Cavoodle to end up with the health problems of their parents. Some of the health problems that could be passed down from the Poodle or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel include:
- Patellar luxation
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
- Von Willebrand disease
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Sebaceous adenitis
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Skin problems
- Patent ductus arteriosis
- Renal disorders
- Brachycephalic upper airway syndrome
- Mitral valve disease
- Chiari-like malformation