Owning a Cavapoo: Everything You Need To Know [Pros & Cons]
They might not be the best-known dog breed, but Cavapoos are one of the cutest and most desirable breeds available today. Now, you want to know everything about this designer breed.
Cavapoos are mixed-breed dogs that are a cross between a Poodle (the “poo”) and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (the “cava”).
Put those two dogs together, and you get a handsome animal. Cavapoos are friendly, playful, and they love to explore their environment. They’re also very intelligent, so they require a lot of attention.
Cavapoo at a Glance
- Height: Cavapoos grow to be about 9-14 inches.
- Weight: A healthy Cavapoo can reach up to 25 pounds, but 8 pounds is also average.
- Duration of Life: With no medical issues, a Cavapoo will live between 10 and 15 years.
- Intelligence: These are highly intelligent animals.
- Drool: They do not drool a significant amount.
- Energy: Fairly high. They are going to want to run around to burn off energy.
- Coat: Cavapoos have curly hair, and their coats range from medium to long.
- Grooming Needs: A Cavapoo needs regular grooming.
- General Temperament: Cavapoos are friendly and playful, but they can also be anxious animals and scare easily.
Why You Should Get A Cavapoo
There are a lot of different reasons to consider getting this particular breed of dog. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
Cavapoos Are Very Popular
Cavapoos are one of the most sought-after breeds of dogs for a few reasons. They’re magnificent animals for new and seasoned dog owners, and they’re also really great with children. They’re a gentle breed of animal that is reasonably easy to train.
They’re also excellent companion dogs for people and other pets, making them a perfect pup for lonely seniors looking for a furry friend or another lonely dog while its owner is at work.
Cavapoos Are Mostly Hypoallergenic
A hypoallergenic breed means people who are allergic to pet dander will not have as big of a reaction, if any at all, to this particular breed of dog.
While there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic animal, the breeding of these dogs is such that their dander, urine, and saliva are less reactive.
In addition to being hypoallergenic, Cavapoos are usually low to no shedding dogs taking after their poodle parent.
Unlike other pup parents with light-colored dogs, your dark-colored clothes won’t be covered in your new puppy’s fur when they lavish you with attention or fall asleep in the laundry basket.
It isn’t just with Cavapoos, though, as with any cross-breed designer dog; the low/no shredding trait isn’t guaranteed, so if this is important to you, look for a breeder that specializes in this trait.
Cavapoos Are a Handsome Breed
Anytime a designer animal is bred, breeders take the most desirable traits and put them together. The eyes are little chocolate balls set into its face, and they have dark little button noses.
The ears are floppy tufts that highlight the soft face, and the way the hair falls over the snout can sometimes resemble a little mustache.
A Cavapoo’s fur is exceptionally soft if cared for properly. The dog’s coat will be one color at birth and then turn a different color as they mature. They’ll be brown, black, tan, beige, or white.
Cavapoos Are Bred to Be Sensitive to Their Owner’s Moods
One of the more surprising traits of owning a Cavapoo is their love for humans is in their genetics. But that’s not quite it. They tune to human emotions and feelings, and they get a sense of when someone might need a bit of attention.
A Cavapoo is loyal to a family and always attentive to what’s going on emotionally. It’s one of their best traits. Don’t be surprised if your Cavapoo curls up with you after a hard day or tries to get you to focus on them rather than worrying.
Cavapoos Are Extremely Intelligent
Because they’re half poodle, one of the most intelligent dog breeds, mixed with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is also very smart and loyal, Cavapoos are easy to train.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen automatically.
Training a Cavapoo will take work and plenty of positive reinforcement. These dogs want to please their owners, however and have a good disposition for training.
Because of this temperament, they make excellent watchdogs.
If they hear something or someone approaches the house, they’ll alert everyone around them.
One of the most fun aspects of this dog breed is its intelligence. The only smarter breed is a border collie. That’s why Cavapoos are commonly circus dogs.
Cavapoos Are Great for Apartments
Some dogs need a lot of space ‒ space to run around and freedom to explore their world.
Fortunately, a Cavapoo can do well in an apartment environment without a big fenced-in backyard or garden.
That doesn’t mean they don’t need to be walked or stimulated regularly, but they won’t go mad in a more confined space provided and will enjoy games with their owner and walks together around the neighborhood.
Ultimately, they are inside dogs.
Cavapoos have short, little muzzles that are very sensitive to high and very low temperatures. They like to play outside, but they don’t want to be outside for long periods, and especially they don’t want to be outside alone.
Cavapoos Are an Excellent Pet for Small Children
The Cavapoo is a good dog to own when there are small children around. These gentle animals are patient, loving, and also just as energetic as a child. They also inherently try to get along with children by matching their moods.
Children are good with Cavapoos because the animals are small and easy to pick up.
Like any animal, however, children need to be taught to respect the dog and be safe with it, the same way they would with a larger animal.
Never leave a small child and a dog alone together at any time, even as gentle as Cavapoos are.
Cavapoos Are Great for First Time Dog Owners
They are a fantastic breed to start a life of having a dog as a pet.
First-time owners will appreciate how smart Cavapoos are, their easy-going personalities, how sweet they are around children, and the minimum requirements they need to be happy.
Since they have such a sweet nature, you’ll be able to learn as you go as long as you spend lots of time with your Cavapoo and are willing to teach them what’s right and wrong in life early on to keep them from picking up any bad habits as puppies.
Cavapoos Make You Part of a Community
Owning a designer breed dog means you have something in common with a bigger group of people worldwide. Cavapoo owners love to talk about their dogs.
If you live in a big city, there may already be groups of other Cavapoo owners who can help you choose a breeder and puppy training class.
Check out social media to see where the most Cavapoo pictures and videos come from in your area and get ready to share your puppy pictures if you decide to join the community.
Why You Shouldn’t Get A Cavapoo
Now that we’ve gone over most of the positive aspects of Cavapoos, let’s look at some of the downsides or potential pitfalls that accompany this breed.
Cavapoos Have Potential Health Issues
Because the Cavapoo is a mix of a poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the dog could inherit both breeds’ health problems.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can have heart conditions and an eye issue called syringomyelia.
This condition causes the eye to dry out and sometimes swelling to appear around the spinal cord.
On the other hand, Poodles can have a bevy of health issues as well, notoriously genetic hip and eye conditions. One of the most common is Addison’s disease.
Addison’s disease results from a deficiency in the adrenal gland and is hard to diagnose since the disease can mimic kidney disease.
A dog with this condition will often have diarrhea and will vomit a lot, too, leading to low blood sugar. It won’t eat as much and will be more thirsty than usual, among other symptoms.
Both breeds also often suffer from joint problems later in life. Hip dysplasia, where joints are lax because of a hip deformity, is a danger for Cavapoos. Other times, they have an issue with the kneecap, where it pops out of place.
A good breeder will test for many of these issues in the breeding parents to reduce the risk of the puppies having the same problems.
Any health problems can be expensive down the road, and since a Cavapoo will live for up to 15 years, make sure to consider pet insurance as a puppy to save money as your puppy ages.
Cavapoos can be more prone to food allergies as well.
Cavapoos Require a Lot of Grooming and Care
While poodles shed only a little and are reasonably easy to care for grooming-wise, this isn’t the case for Cavapoos. This is mainly because their other parent breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, has longer hair that requires more care than the average dog.
Cavapoos require frequent grooming multiple times a year. The grooming helps prevent eye, skin, and ear infections and helps lighten the fur in hot weather.
You should brush the dog’s teeth three times a week to promote good dental health, starting as a puppy to help them acclimatize to the brushing.
Hair grooming appointments will need to happen about every month and a half. Cavapoos that aren’t groomed regularly will get mats in their lower belly and tail, as well as around their butts.
Grooming will help with shedding, too.
It’s also common for this breed to have tear stains out of their eyes. These stains should be cleaned regularly with a wet washcloth, but make it warm to not shock the dog with an extreme temperature.
The dog’s nails also need to be trimmed regularly.
Cavapoos Require a Lot of Attention
A Cavapoo is not the type of dog that you can just ignore.
Because it’s an intelligent breed, these dogs require companionship either by a human or another dog they enjoy playing with.
A Cavapoo will not be an amenable animal if it’s left home alone for long periods.
One of the traits of the dog is separation anxiety.
Dogs with separation anxiety may believe that their owner is never coming home. They want to please their owners, and they want to be around them. When they’re not, they get anxious and potentially become destructive.
An anxious Cavapoo will whine, bark a lot, chew on furniture, and go to the bathroom inside of the house.
Cavapoos Have to Be Properly Socialized
This goes back to the issue of intelligence. If you don’t train a Cavapoo at a certain age to be used to people and noises, the Cavapoo won’t be used to them ever.
The younger the dog gets exposed to things such as traffic, children, and its environment, the happier it’s going to be in the long run.
Walk the Cavapoo often and expose the dog to noisy places and people of many different heights, sizes, genders, and ethnicities. If this doesn’t happen, the dog won’t react well to things as it gets older.
Puppy training classes after the Cavapoo has had all its vaccines will help them meet many different dogs at a young age.
Cavapoos Are Not the Easiest to Housebreak
Unlike some other dogs, the Cavapoo can be difficult to train to go to the bathroom outside. One of the easier ways to house train a Cavapoo is by crate training. The important part of crate training is to be consistent and regular, giving them a chance to succeed.
Cavapoos don’t respond well to aggression. When training the dog, yelling and striking it will not have positive results. Instead, it will make the dog scared and potentially unpredictable.
Be patient with the animal and reinforce good behavior with treats and kind words. Cavapoos are very responsive to praise.
Cavapoos Require Attention to Proper Feeding
Cavapoos need to eat nutritiously to have a good life. Dog food made specifically for small breed dogs should work well. For every pound, a Cavapoo should get about 40 calories. That means if a Cavapoo weighs 16 pounds, it needs to get about 640 calories a day.
However, the requirements for the dog in terms of calories can vary. Puppies need more because they’re growing and will use more energy.
The breed responds especially favorably to treats, so make sure the treats are nutritious. It’s pretty easy to overfeed a Cavapoo, and they will have health issues if they’re overweight. Being overweight is not good for a dog that could already have some potential inherent health concerns.
Cavapoos Need a Good Amount of Exercise
A Cavapoo is a laid-back, gentle, loving breed of dog. They’ll happily snooze on the couch with their owners or take long naps in the middle of the day. But don’t let that fool you. Cavapoos are a dog that requires at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.
Treat 30 minutes per day as the minimum. An hour a day of exercise is ideal. Most Cavapoos will not complain if they get more than that even.
They can also get bored with just walking.
Cavapoos are smart and like mental stimulation. Having them fetch or jump around with kids is a great way to keep them stimulated. Interactive toys will challenge the Cavapoo, as well as giving the animal simple puzzles to solve.
You can also organize puppy play dates and let another dog help to burn off their energy. The other dog’s owner will appreciate having a tired dog, too.
Cavapoos Are Expensive
Purchasing a designer dog breed from a reputable breeder that breeds for sound temperament and good health can run anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per puppy.
From there, you then have to purchase all the toys, their crate, accessories, and food, all of which you’ll probably be excited to buy before they even come home.
On top of that, because of their coats, you’ll need to make multiple trips to the groomer which all add to the cost.
Things to Consider Before You Get a Cavapoo
Getting a pet is always a big responsibility. Cavapoos are extremely cute, but they are living animals and require a huge commitment. They need things to do and regular attention.
If they don’t get it, it will affect their personality, and that will affect furniture, relationships with neighbors, and the general well-being of a family household.
There are also some general costs when it comes to getting a dog. The house needs to be made pet-friendly before you bring home a new Cavapoo.
They’re extremely curious, especially as puppies, and can get into cabinets fairly easily. They’ll chew whatever they find and can potentially poison themselves accidentally.
Medical and health costs are another thing to consider. A dog needs to be vaccinated, spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, and taken for regular checkups at the veterinarian. All of these necessities will have an impact on your pocketbook.