Cavapoo Ultimate Breed Guide: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle Cross

The Cavapoo has become very popular as a family pet in recent years, and for many good reasons. Friendly, attractive and loyal, these pretty and attentive dogs make great pets where youngsters are around and are a sensible size too.

Let’s have a look in more detail about this breed, and what you need to know if you are considering one of these lovely dogs as your family pet.

Origins of the Cavapoo Cross-Breed

The Cavapoo is one of many popular ‘hybrid’ breeds, most of which are carefully bred combinations of selected breeds. The original premise was to create a family pet that would have the characteristics of both breeds, with a lack of hair shedding, thus creating a breed suitable for people with allergies.

The Cavapoo, bred from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, is one of the more popular of the hybrid dogs. The choice of a poodle is a common one thanks to its non-shedding characteristics and good nature, which when combined with the nature of the spaniel results in a very attractive and lovable dog.

First bred in the USA in the 1950’s – indeed, this makes them one of the original hybrid breeds – they are a perfect choice for anyone looking for a smaller family dog, one that has the temperament to be enjoyed by children, and that can be easily trained to be loyal and friendly.

Cavapoo Breed Characteristics

If you are considering buying one you want to know as much as you can about the breed and how it will fit into your family. You can rest assured that they are a family dog, a friendly animal, and one that will put up with and enjoy the attention of children.

As with all hybrid dogs, it is worth remembering that the characteristics of the parents will influence the nature of the puppy. For this reason, it is recommended you use a reputable breeder, never buy from a pet shop, and check out the credentials of your breeder in advance.

Cavapoo Pros and Cons


  • Is a very family-friendly dog, and will love being among people in the home
  • This is a breed that will be great with children, and that will be more than happy to talk to anyone who comes into contact with it
  • if you are new to dog ownership, the small size and good nature of the breed makes it an ideal choice
  • Is an intelligent dog and is, therefore, an easy one to train
  • they are attentive, and will let you know if someone is knocking on the door!



  • Is a sociable and loyal dog, it will not take kindly to being left alone, so it’s not a dog that will be suitable for a house that remains empty most of the day
  • Will need grooming thanks to their beautiful coat, and it is highly recommended this is done professionally a few times each year
  • Despite being bred as a non-shedding dog, breeding means that some will shed hair, so it is worth checking with the breeder on this point
  • As with all dogs, there are health issues to be aware of, so again, a reputable breeder will make all the difference

Overall, a fine choice for a small family dog, so let’s a little more about its main characteristics.

General Appearance

There is no doubt that the Cavapoo is an attractive-looking dog, with its cute little face and floppy ears, and the lovely, endearing large eyes inherited from the spaniel parent. The coat can vary greatly between dogs, thanks to the different texture and type of coat of the poodle and spaniel, but it will always be one that is attractive. In short, it tends to be summed up by one word: adorable!

Cavapoo Colours

They inherit their colours from the parent dogs, and this means there are many different colours that you may find when choosing your dog. Here are the five main colours that you will likely come across:

  • Black – as many poodles and spaniels are black, this is a common colour. It is not to everyone’s taste, but beware, if you see a black Cavapoo puppy, you will be hooked!
  • White – again not as popular as some other colours, white dogs are nevertheless attractive, but be aware this is a high-maintenance colour, especially if your dog is to spend a lot of time outdoors
  • Chestnut – one of the more popular colours, this lush brown hue is a wonderful coat for a pretty dog, and you will love the puppies in this colour
  • Gold – a glorious colour for any dog, but even more so for a Cavapoo, this is a luxurious coat colour and one that is very popular, although not as common as some
  • Blenheim – this is a name given to a chestnut and white dog and results in a very pretty animal indeed. It’s a typical colour for a spaniel, though less so for a poodle.
  • Tricolour – for many people, the tricolour is the coat of choice, being a mixture of black, white and tan. This is a very pretty colour indeed.

The colour of each litter cannot be determined in advance, so you should consider options and not stick to just one option, as all are very attractive coats indeed.

How to Groom a Cavapoo

As we have already said, the coat will be determined by the parent dogs, and can be varied in type. Some have smooth, silky coats, although the more common type of coat is that of a longer coat, although not as long as many other dogs, that need grooming regularly for the best effect. Regular brushing at home is highly advisable, but it is also necessary to let a professional groomer tame your dog’s coat once in a while using professional equipment like a dog grooming table and a grooming hair dryer, as this will ensure you always have a dog that is not only beautiful but also comfortable.

The Temperament of a Cavapoo

Temperament is very important when you are considering a family dog, and as far as the Cavapoo goes, this is precisely what it was bred for. Both the poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – the parent breeds – are friendly, good-natured dogs, so a well-bred Cavapoo can be expected to bear the same characteristics.

This does not mean that every dog will behave in the same fashion; dogs are living creatures, after all, and each has its own character. In general, however, a Cavapoo is a friendly and lovable dog that will fit in well with the family.

There is, after all, a reason why they are one of the most popular cross-breed dogs of all; this is dog that will quickly become part of the family, a very sweet natured dog that is not given to aggression, and one that is ideal where there are children involved, or where a single person wants a loyal and attentive animal by their side.

The Cavapoo is the perfect family dog; indeed, you will find that in a very short time, it becomes part and parcel of everything that goes on in the home, and wants to be involved in every way it can. This is a dog that will soon foster loyalty to its people, and that will be by your side at every opportunity.

As a smaller breed, it is perfect in homes of a smaller size, as long as it gets the exercise needed – more of that in a moment – and the attention it deserves. Where children are concerned, the playful and friendly nature comes to the fore; this is also true of other dogs if introduced at an early age, and other pets including cats.

As with all dogs, however, a Cavapoo that is left unattended for too long at a time can become a less than desirable pet; this is not the dog’s fault, as the owner needs to understand that this is a breed that needs human company. They are not dogs that make a lot of noise, but any neglected dog will resort to barking to gain attention.

They are bred from two intelligent dogs, so will inherit that level of intelligence and understanding. It will respond well to training, and will become very loyal, but be aware that intelligent breeds such as this respond better to positive training than to being told off repeatedly. All puppies have to learn, and yours is no different. Treat it kindly and let it know who is in charge, and the result will be a dog that is unsurpassed in terms of friendliness, loyalty and enjoyment of ownership.

Living with a Cavapoo

It is a very sensible move to get an idea of what a Cavapoo is like to with and, if you can, to talk to other owners who live in homes similar to yours – and who lead a similar daily routine – to get a better idea. Your breeder will also be able to tell you more about living with your dog, and we have a few pointers here for you, too.

First, let’s get back to the intelligence issue: as dogs go, they are a very bright one and this has its bonuses. It means you can train it well – we will talk more about training later on – and that it will quickly understand right from wrong. This is a dog that will want to be a part of family life, however, so you need to be happy with an animal that will, quite literally, dog your footsteps.

It is a great dog for a single person – as long as they can give it the company it needs – and, thanks to its intelligence and loyalty, also an excellent choice for a first-time owner. This is not a large dog by any means, so will be happy in smaller homes. Your Cavapoo will like to learn and needs to be kept mentally stimulated, so don’t shy away from teaching it amusing tricks!

When it comes to adaptability this breed is up there with the best. As we have said, it will be happy living in a smaller home – even a city apartment – if it gets the attention and exercises it needs and will be equally at home in a larger home with access to a big garden. This is a very playful breed, so be prepared to spend a good deal of time enjoying games with your Cavapoo – and you will enjoy it, we guarantee that.

One factor about Cavapoos that is attractive to owners is that they don’t have a strong prey drive; this means that, unlike some other breeds, yours will not be inclined to chase after another moving animal – the neighbours cat, for example, or yours – if it has been correctly trained from the outset. This makes it a very easy dog to take on walks where other dogs are present. Indeed, you should find yours actively enjoys meeting other dogs.

One attractive aspect of Cavapoos is that they are not known for barking unnecessarily. By and large they are quiet dogs – especially if correctly trained from an early age – so will not cause you sleepless nights! Be aware, however, that if your dog does bark a lot it may be down to the environment it is in, so consider its routine carefully. As an aside, you can also be sure that if there are strangers looming around your home, they will let you know!

Another thing to remember about owning a Cavapoo is that, in many cases, a Cavapoo will enjoy a good swim. This is not the case with every dog, but the breed is inclined to take to the water. Take care when out walking if you don’t want a wet dog on the way home.

All in all, this breed is a wonderful dog to live with if well-trained and cared for, and a great idea for a family pet.

Training Your Cavapoo

The intelligence that is bred into them is part of the reason that these wonderful little dogs make a great choice of a family pet. Because they respond well to instruction and are eager to learn, if you begin your training routine early in the dog’s life, the result will be a fabulous family pet that is friendly, loyal and enthusiastic, and thoroughly enjoyable to have around.

As with all dogs, training needs to be done in a sensitive and positive fashion. You are bringing a puppy into your home, so you should expect a little wayward behaviour in the early days, especially the inevitable ‘accidents’! This is only natural, as a young dog needs to learn.

Your first early training should revolve around laying down the ground rules; every dog should know who is boss – and it shouldn’t be them! Teach them the basics early on, and once your puppy is at an age where it is ready to learn more thoroughly, it will be more than happy to respond to that training.

Many people make the mistake of being too aggressive when it comes to training a puppy, so here are a few things that you should NOT do when you are engaging your puppy in training:

  • Shout – a puppy will become frightened and will lose trust in you if all you do is continually shouting at it when it does something wrong. Remember, it’s a puppy, and it needs to be taught.
  • Use physical reactions – never hit your puppy; this will only lead to it losing any trust it ever had, and being scared of you, neither of which are conducive to effective training.
  • Lock it away – if your dog makes a mistake, locking it on its own will only make it more nervous.

Those few points may look like common sense, but all too often people overlook them. Here are a few things you should do to encourage positive learning when training your puppy:

  • Start early – the younger you begin training your  puppy, the sooner you will have a well-trained and enjoyable dog as part of the family
  • Socialize – make sure your puppy is around other people and animals a lot of the time, to get it used to a situation that will be alien to it in the first instance
  • Be positive – you need to reinforce your dominance over the dog, but you need to be positive when doing so. Talk in an encouraging fashion and let the dog know you are happy with it, and you will soon have a very happy Cavapoo
  • Patience – your puppy will not learn everything overnight, and some things take longer than others, so be patient when training your puppy – enjoy your time with your new dog!

Training a dog – any dog, not just a Cavapoo – takes time and effort, so if you don’t have the time to spare, perhaps you should be looking at a different type of pet. If you are willing to put the time and effort in, however, the result will be a wonderful, friendly, and beautiful dog that will be with you for a long time.

Cavapoo Health Care

As with all dogs and other pets, they need to be cared for properly if it is to be kept in good health. You need to make sure your puppy gets all the required boosters and immunization during its lifetime, and that it is given the right exercise to keep it healthy, and fed the correct food.

As the average lifespan of a healthy, well-cared-for Cavapoo is around 13-15 years, you should be prepared to have your beautiful new companion in your life for a long time. You should also know that, as with many dogs, there are a few potential hereditary health problems that can come about, even in well-bred dogs. We won’t list them all here, but advise you to talk to your breeder and ask whether they can advise you on the likelihood of these diseases occurring in their dogs. Rest assured, a reputable breeder will have done all they can to eliminate the chances of such diseases, so find a breeder that you know you can trust.

Getting Your Own Cavapoo

If you are decided that this is the dog for you – and it really is a fabulous choice of a family pet – you have two options:

Rescuing a Cavapoo – this is a favourite for some people, and there are many opportunities to rescue and rehome Cavapoos that have been rejected by others. There are problems with this: firstly, you don’t know the breeder or where the dog came from, and secondly, you don’t know why it needs rehoming. Be careful when taking this option as it can be a gamble, but it can also give you a beautiful, loving dog at a reduced price

Buying a Cavapoo – this option means you get to meet the breeder, and possibly the parent dogs, hence you have greater insight into the puppy and its background. There are many breeders dealing with this breed, so it is worth checking out a few. If you really want the best dog, be prepared to travel, and also be aware that you will pay around £500-£700 for a professionally-bred Cavapoo puppy, which is a small outlay for something that will bring the entire family endless pleasure for many years.

Breeds Similar to a Cavapoo

It’s worth remembering that there are other hybrid cross-breeds that offer similar satisfaction. The Cockapoo, for example, is a slightly larger dog that is a cross between a poodle and a cocker spaniel, while the Labradoodle is bigger still, being a Labrador-poodle hybrid. Both of these, and many other such crossbreeds, are beautiful, friendly, and loyal dogs that you may want to consider. Don’t forget to look at the Cavachon as well.

Last Word

The Cavapoo is a fine choice of dog for a family, especially one with young children, thanks to its very sweet temperament and intelligence, and is also great as a first dog if you have never owned one before. Be prepared to put in the time and effort needed to train your puppy, and find one from a reputable breeder, and you will enjoy many years of fun and happiness with your new companion.




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