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Cavapoo Breed Traits

Cavapoos are extremely people-oriented and love being in a home environment
They are great around kids of all ages
They are very social dogs by nature and get on with everyone
They are a good choice for first time dog owners providing they do not leave their pets alone for too long
They are very adaptable little dogs
Cavapoos are very intelligent and therefore in the right hands are easy to train
They are very good watchdogs

Factors to Consider

Cavapoos hate being left on their own and suffer from separation anxiety
They need to be professionally groomed several times a year
Some Cavapoos shed quite a lot of hair
Some Cavapoos suffer from serious health issues which means vet bills

Background to Cavapoo

The Cavapoo is a cross between two pure breeds, namely a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are sometimes called Cavoodles in a few parts of the world which includes Australia, but are more commonly referred to as Cavapoos in Ireland. They are one of the first “designer dogs” to appear on the scene when they were bred in America during the 1950’s.

Reputable breeders use Miniature Poodles which they cross with Cavaliers because Toy Poodles are prone to suffer from more hereditary health issues which they could pass on to their offspring. Cavoos are now an extremely popular choice whether as a companion or family pet thanks to their loyal, kind, placid and extremely sweet natures with the added bonus being they are thought to be “low shedding” dogs. Cavapoos are the smaller cousins of the Cockapoo and can either have a silky coat or a wavy coat depending which of their parent breeds they have thrown to, but both coats are quite high maintenance on the grooming front.

Where did Cavapoos Originate?

Cavapoos were first bred in American during the 1950’s by breeders who wanted to create a low-shedding dog that would be an ideal choice for people who suffer from allergies. Poodles were used to create Cavapoos for this reason. It was not very long before these charming little dogs found their way into the hearts and homes of many people not only in the United States, but over here in Ireland and elsewhere in the world thanks to the fact they inherited many of their parent breed traits.

However, as with many cross breeds or “hybrid dogs”, there is never any guarantee as to which traits and characteristics a Cavapoo might inherit from their parents, but this has not affected their popularity. Responsible breeders now use Miniature Poodles to cross with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels because Toy Poodles are known to suffer from more hereditary health concerns which they could pass on to puppies.

Cavapoos are known to have kind, affectionate, loyal natures and although they have been around since the fifties, they are not as yet recognised by The Kennel Club, nor is the Cavapoo recognised by other international dog clubs. However, as time goes by and with careful, selective breeding, a consistency in the Cavapoos looks, temperament and size might be achieved which could as a result mean they would eventually be recognised as a breed in their own right, but this could well take several generations.

Today, the Cavapoo remains one of the most popular new breeds on the planet even though it’s a bit of a gamble as to how puppies turn out when it comes to size, looks and temperament. With this said, every dog is unique and this applies to these little dogs that over time have proved themselves to be kind, loving and charming companions and family pets to have in a home.

Did you Know…..

Cavapoos are among the most popular breeds not only in Ireland, but elsewhere in the world even though they are a relative new hybrid dog breed to appear on the scene
They are renowned for their sweet natures
Cavapoos can have silky or wavy coats depending on which of their parent breeds they have thrown to
Some Cavapoos are hypoallergenic whereas others are not, but all Cavapoos shed dander which could trigger an allergy in people
Cavapoos come in lots of different colours

What should a Cavapoo look like?

Height at the withers: Males 33 – 45 cm, Females 33 – 45 cm

Average weight: Males 5 – 10 kg, Females 5 – 10 kg

Every Cavapoo is slightly different when it comes to colour, size, shape and coat texture because it all depends on their parent dogs and whether or not they are first generation Cavoos. They are thought to be hypoallergenic, although it has to be said, that although they have inherited this from their Poodle lineage, it is the dander a dog sheds that is partly responsible for triggering allergies in people. With this said, the Cavapoo is still considered to a low-shedding little dog and one that’s become a popular choice with people who suffer from allergies.

A lot of Cavoos have cute round faces with floppy ears which are soft to the touch. They have very endearing large eyes, full of expression which adds to their adorable looks. However, some puppies inherit a more Poodle like appearance whereas others will lean towards the Cavalier when it comes to physical traits.

When it comes to coat colours, the texture and length of a Cavapoos hair can be quite different from dog to dog with some leaning towards the Poodle and others having more of a Cavalier type coat. As such some Cavapoos can have silky coats which they inherit from the Cavalier whereas others have a wavier coat which is a good indication they have thrown more to the Poodle. When it comes to colours, Cavapoos come in a variety with the most commonly seen coat colours being as follows:

Blenheim – chestnut and white
Tricolour – black, white and tan

How will a Cavapoo move?

A Cavapoo’s gait is bouncy and when they move they do so positively, covering a lot of ground when they do. Many dogs inherit the high stepping gait of a Poodle which adds to their elegant looks.


It is really important that potential owners contact reputable Cavapoo breeders when thinking about sharing a home with one of these sweet natured dogs. The reason being that although there is not set “breed standard” because they are not recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club, it is essential that good breeding practices be adhered to so that no exaggerations are bred into puppies. It is also crucial that both parent dogs be tested for the relevant health concerns associated with their breeds.

Will a Cavapoo Have a Good Temperament?

The Cavapoo can inherit many of the characteristics and personalities of their parent breeds and they are renowned for being affectionate, friendly and loyal companions and family pets which is why they have consistently been among the most popular cross breeds around both here in Ireland and elsewhere in the world for such a long time. They are renowned for being extremely sweet-natured which means they get on with everyone and everything.

They become totally devoted to their families, loving nothing more than to be part of a household and involved in everything that goes on in the home. They are also known to get on well with children and when well socialised from a young age, they like being around other dogs and pets too. In short, a Cavoo is an all-round, highly adaptable small dog and one that fits in with most lifestyles with no trouble at all because they are so adaptable and versatile.

The only downside to sharing a home with a Cavapoo is that they thrive on human company and hate being left on their own for any extended periods of time. As such, they are happy when they live in a household where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out. If left to their own devices for long periods of time, these charming small dogs can quickly develop some unwanted behavioural issues which can be hard to correct. This includes excessive barking, being destructive around the home and suffering from separation anxiety.

They are clever dogs having inherited their intelligence from both parent breeds and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded and obedient dogs. When a Cavapoo is well socialised from a young age and correctly trained using positive reinforcement methods, they are a real pleasure to have around and many of these charming dogs do a great job as therapy dogs.

They are known to be sensitive dogs by nature and as such they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy-handed training. When a puppy or young dog gets things wrong, it’s never a good idea to tell them off harshly, even if they’ve had an “accident” indoors. Cavoos do respond very well to positive reinforcement training methods and will quickly pick up on what is being asked of them because they love to please and like nothing more than to receive praise and a treat as a reward.

Is a Cavapoo a good choice for first time owners?

Cavapoos are a great choice for first time dog owners because they are so amenable and sweet natured. They thrive on being around people and are therefore very receptive to learning new things and adore the one to one attention they are given when being trained.

What about prey drive?

Being such social dogs by nature and as previously mentioned, Cavapoos tend to get on with other dogs and animals. They do not have a very high prey drive, but this does not mean a dog won’t chase the neighbour’s cat if ever they get the chance to. A well trained and socialised Cavapoo can be taught not to chase another animal providing their education was started early enough when puppies are the most receptive to learning the rules.

What about playfulness?
Cavapoos are playful and they enjoy taking part in lots of canine sports and playing interactive games like “fetch”. Being energetic, they excel at activities like agility and thoroughly enjoy the attention they are given when being trained and when they are taking part in competitions, shows and events.

How adaptable is a Cavapoo?

Cavapoos are extremely adaptable and are just as happy living in an apartment in town as they are living in a house in the country, providing they are given enough daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in.

Will a Cavapoo Bark Too Much?

Cavapoos are not known to like the sound of their own voices too much and can be taught not to bark for the sake of it. With this said, if a dog is left on their own for long periods of time or they are unhappy in their environment, they may well start to bark which is their way of showing they are stressed out and that they would like a little more attention.

Do Cavapoos like Swimming?

Many Cavapoos do like water and will happily jump in to have a swim more especially when the weather is hot. Some dogs, however, are not that keen and don’t even like to get their feet wet and should never be forced to take swim. It is always a good idea to keep a Cavapoo on a lead when walking anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case they decide to leap in.

Are Cavapoos good watchdogs?

Cavapoos are good watchdogs and will quickly let an owner know when there are strangers about or when something is going on in their environment that they don’t like.

Is a Cavapoo easy to train?

The fact that Cavapoos are a cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel means these charming dogs are intelligent. Therefore, they are very trainable and teaching them to do things is an enjoyable experience all round. However, a Cavoo’s training must start the moment they arrive in a new home because they younger a dog is, the easier it is for them to learn new things. It would be a mistake to wait too long before starting their education, but with this said the first stages of their education which is when they are being taught the “ground rules” should never be too intensive, but rather an enjoyable, fun experience for all concerned.

Once a puppy is older and they are fully vaccinated, their training can start in earnest. Enrolling a puppy into a puppy class when they are around 10 to 12 weeks old goes a long way in successfully socialising them so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their training not only has to start early, but it has to be consistent for dogs to understand what is expected of them. Cavapoos like to know their place in a pack and are never happier and more obedient than when they know who they can look to for direction and guidance.

Cavapoos can be a little naughty when it comes to house training but with patience, perseverance and understanding, they can be taught to do their “business” outside, it might just take a little longer than with other dogs. They respond well to positive reinforcement training and enjoy the one-to-one attention they are given when they are being taught new things.

Leave it
Once a dog is older, they can be taught other more complicated commands to ensure they grow up to be more obedient and well-behaved.

Will a Cavapoo be Safe With Children and Other Pets

Cavapoos have earned themselves the reputation for being both wonderful companions and family pets because they get on well with older children who know how to behave around small dogs. Younger children can be a little too boisterous and noisy for a Cavoo to cope with and as such, care has to be taken when they are around toddlers and very young children. In short, they are not the best choice for families with very young children in the home. It’s best for any interaction between dogs and kids to be supervised by an adult to make sure things stay calm and playtime does not get too lively which could end up with someone getting scared or hurt. The problem is that Cavoos are so cute that children of all ages cannot help approaching them a little too quickly which tends to frighten these little dogs.

Cavapoos are friendly dogs by nature and if well socialised from a young age they generally get on well with other dogs. If they grow up with other pets in the house, they usually tolerate being around them and this includes a family cat. However, care has to be taken when they are around smaller pets, bearing in mind that a Cavapoo would think nothing of chasing a neighbour’s cat even if they get on with the family cat.