Cavapoo, also known as Cavoodles or Cavoos, are among the first “designer dogs” that were created by mixing two dog breeds. For this crossbreed, breeders started experimenting by mixing a Poodle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and therefore achieve a new type of dog that would combine the characteristics of both dog breeds. The main goal was to create a hypoallergenic dog for people with allergies, as both the Poodle and the Cavalier are dog breeds with a lower propensity for triggering allergies in susceptible people.
Breeders first started this crossbreed in the 1950s, in America. Soon Cavapoos grew more and more popular, due to their loving temperament and docility. Though both Toy and Miniature Poodles can be bred to create a Cavapoo, responsible breeders use the Miniature, rather than the Toy, as it is less prone to hereditary health problems.
Over the years, as Cavapoos become more and more selected, their looks, temperament, and size will tend to become more consistent. Although it will probably take many generations, this consistency will hopefully lead to their recognition as a breed. Today, however, every dog may still turn out different – in appearance and character – but one common feature will remain, the Cavapoo’s gentle nature and friendliness towards people and other animals.
Cavapoo Exercise and Activity Levels
Cavapoos require moderate exercise. They are a small crossbreed and thus do not require high physical activity. Nevertheless, they do need at least one long walk each day. While a short morning walk will suffice, a longer, more interesting walk in the afternoon, with some level of stimulation, both mental and physical, will keep them healthy and alert dogs, able to develop their full potential.
Origin of Designer Dogs
The term ‘designer dog’ is simply a label given to dogs who have been purposely bred from two purebred dogs. Often, they are bred to combine their looks, and to increase genetic diversity, which often makes them healthier and hardier dogs. Often you will hear, particularly from purebred fans, that the notion of mixing up gene pools is a negative thing, but as long as it is done in a controlled environment and it is done with the pup’s best interests at heart, then it is actually a great idea for both the pups and families who want the best of both worlds in one dog.
With its large, adorable eyes, the Cavapoo is a small dog with physical features that may resemble either the Poodle or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Depending on the size of its Poodle parent, Miniature or Toy, the Cavapoo’s size will differ accordingly. Cavapoos may have a wavy or silky coat that can come in different colours:
- Chestnut & White (Blenheim)
- Black, White & Tan (Tricolour)
Cavapoos have long, floppy ears, and a round face. Although it was initially created to have a hypoallergenic, low-shed coat, not all Cavapoos are so, with some actually shedding more than their parents. Their size usually varies between 28 and 35 cm (11-14 inches) for the Toy Cavapoo and between 30 and 40 cm (12-16 inches) for the Miniature Cavapoo. Their weight ranges from 5 to 10 kg (11-22 lb).
The Cavapoo is known for its exceptional temperament, which makes it a great family pet. Cavapoos are extremely friendly and sweet, getting along well with children and pets. Having little prey drive, these are ideal dogs for sharing a home with other furry pets. Intelligent and people-oriented, Cavapoos are a great choice for first time dog owners, as they are adaptable and easy to handle.
Because they are so fond of people, they may develop separation anxiety when left alone, which should be tackled early from puppyhood, as to prevent such episodes. Training, with positive reinforcement and gentle treatment, will help raising a healthy, well-rounded dog. Despite their short attention span, Cavapoos are generally easy to train, as long as consistency is kept. House-training may be more difficult, typically requiring more time than other dogs usually do. Patience and understanding are a must, as they will eventually learn.
Loyal, very social, and kind, the Cavapoo also makes a good therapy dog. Cavapoos are also good watchdogs, making sure their owner is warned of any visitor that is arriving. Aside from this task, Cavapoos do not bark excessively.
Cavapoos are intelligent dogs that learn quickly. As with any other dog, consistency and repetition is paramount. Daily training sessions of 10 to 15 minutes are recommended and a gentle hand is preferred.
Cavapoos do not respond well to harsh treatment. House-training may require a little bit more patience, as they may be slower to learn. Perseverance is a must, as potty-training may take a while longer than owners would like.
Cavapoos usually live long lives of 13 to 15 years. Because they are a mixed breed, they will have less tendency to have health problems than their parents. This is due to the “hybrid vigour”, which is the improved function of all biological systems, resulting from the mixing of the genetic contributions of both parents.
Cavapoos are considered a low-maintenance crossbreed. A weekly brush will keep their coat healthy and shiny and prevent knots. However, because every dog may be different, those with longer hair may require a little more grooming and a monthly clipping or trimming may suit them best.
Also, Cavapoos have a tendency for having tear stains, which should be cleaned with a damp cloth when needed. Teeth brushing, ear cleaning and the occasional nail clipping, as needed, sum up the rest of a Cavapoo’s grooming routine.