Cavapoos make excellent family pets as they are usually very tolerant of children. Their adorable appearance, manageable size, loyal nature and affectionate behavior makes them easy for children to love.
Cavapoos are great around all ages and enjoy socializing with both people and other dogs. Like all dog breeds, however, Cavapoos should be supervised when around young children in order to ensure the safety of both the dog and the child.
As an outdoorsy family with school age children, we felt that we had a lot to offer a Cavapoo. In addition to a loving home filled with cuddles we had the time and energy to stimulate a dog both mentally and physically, which is just what this breed needs.
What is a Cavapoo?
Cavapoos are a mixed breed of Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and offer potential owners everything they you could possible want from a family dog. Although slightly less well known than its oodle counterpart – the Cockapoo – Cavapoos have been around for almost two decades.
Thanks to their cute faces, floppy ears and curly coats these dogs are now growing in popularity. But when it comes to a Cavapoo this breed offers so much more than just looks, as behind those endearing eyes lies a very unique personality.
Is a Cavapoo good for first time dog owners?
If you’ve never owned a dog before, you may want to consider a Cavapoo. They’re a well-rounded canine with a lot of good traits and although they may be relatively small they have big personalities.
Cavapoos are very smart which makes them easy to train and they have a gentle nature and upbeat demeanor, meaning that they are always eager to please. This makes them ideal for busy families with children, seniors and even singles.
That said, Cavapoo puppies are energetic and boisterous which can put some potential owners off, but rest assured this behavior soon settles down as the dog gets older.
If you are a potential owners who has a hectic lifestyle, or someone who spends a lot of time out of the house, then we would probably advise against getting a Cavapoo. This breed of dog needs a lot of attention and taking on regular walks. In fact Rosie is my little shadow and is quite content as long as she is by my side or at my feet!
Are Cavapoos good with kids?
Cavapoos have earned themselves the reputation for being both wonderful companions and family pets because they get on well with children who know how to behave around small dogs.
Like all dogs, Cavapoo puppies go through certain puppy stages like nipping, biting and jumping. These are not warning signs of aggression but normal puppy behavior which can be managed through training. Likewise, young children are renowned for being boisterous and noisy but providing both kids and Cavapoos are carefully monitored and taught to respect one another, you will soon find that they become the best of friends.
Older children love interacting with pet Cavapoos as they are very tolerant, inquisitive and quick to catch on. Our eldest daughter loves making up agility courses in the garden and training our Cavapoo new tricks, whereas our 7 year old spends hours dressing her up and pushing her around in a baby buggy!
Are Cavapoos good with pets?
Cavapoos tend to get along moderately well with other animals in the family (including cats), providing they are introduced at a young age and in a slow and calm manner. As Cavapoos are quick learners, it wont take long for them to understand the state of play with their fellow feline housemates following a little swipe or period of stalemate.
Cavapoos are friendly dogs by nature and, if well socialised from puppyhood, they generally get on well with other dogs providing they are all given their own space and place to eat and sleep within the house.
Cavapoos are usually playful and curious, although their energetic nature may be irritating to other laid-back dog breeds. That said, it won’t take long for your Cavapoo to learn to understand other dogs body language and learn to appreciate who to play with and when.
Although Cavapoos do not have a very high prey drive, it is important to remember that Poodles were bred to hunt waterfowl, so a Cavapoo may have a keen instinct to chase smaller animals (such as the neighbours cat!).
Are Cavapoos good for allergy sufferers?
A lot of people with allergies consider getting Cavapoos as they believe that their fur is hypoallergenic. But beware, as there is no scientific evidence to suggest that any breed (or cross breed) can be classed as allergy free. It would therefore be irresponsible for a Cavapoo breeder to claim or put the word “hypoallergenic” in their ad.
When people suffer an allergic reaction due to a dog, what they often do not realize is that they are being provoked by dander that comes from flakes of dead skin and dried saliva and not the dogs fur itself. Therefore, just because a person does not experience an allergic reaction around one Cavapoo does not mean that they won’t flare up around another. This is because the quantity of allergens produced by a dog will vary, even if they are exactly the same breed.
If you are interested to find out more about whether Cavapoos fall into the allergy friendly four legged category, or for information on how to prevent dog allergies then check out our blog ‘Are Cavapoos hypoallergenic?‘.
What personality traits does a Cavapoo have?
As this mixed breed is a hybrid between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, its temperament will vary slightly dependant on the DNA of its parents. And, whilst a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is relatively chilled out, Poodles tend to be more highly strung and need a lot of mental stimulation.
Cavapoos are a moderate to low energy breed, but can still be playful at times and adore games such as tug of war or fetch. When it comes to walks, a Cavapoo does not require as much exercise as Poodles do, but they are more outgoing than Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Cavapoos have a high life expectancy, so you can enjoy having them in your life for between 13 and 15 years, and due to their small size, they can easily adapt to all kinds of living conditions such as apartment life.
Cavapoos – things to know about this stunning family dog
Cavapoos (also called Cavoodles and Cavadoodles) really do make the best companions. From their adorable appearance and small size to their sweet temperament and allergy-friendly coats, it is no wonder that mixing a Poodle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has become so popular.
But like all dog breeds, whilst Cavapoos can make perfect family pet, there are some personality traits that you should be aware of before taking the decision to own one. Here we explain more.
Are Cavapoos high maintenance?
Although Cavapoos are relatively low-shedding dogs, they’ll still require effort and time where grooming is concerned. Keeping on top of grooming is essential when you have a Cavapoo, as the poodle fur can make their coat prone to tangles and knots. And depending on how much King Charles Cavalier Spaniel your pooch has inherited; will determine how much hair they are likely to shed.
Most Cavapoo owners will try to stick to a regular grooming schedule, to stop matting from occurring and if you are brave enough, you may want to take on the challenge of giving your Cavapoo a home cut by following our step by step guide on ‘How to groom a Cavapoo‘. If, however, the thought of a home trim fills you with dread, then you will need to get your Cavapoo professionally groomed.
There is no fast and hard rule as to how frequently you should trim your dogs’ fur, however Cavapoos coats continue to grow so a professional groom every 8-12 weeks will really benefit their overall health and wellbeing.
On top of this, regular home bathing and daily brushing is required to make sure their grooming needs are met and that their coats remain soft and shiny.
Do Cavapoos suffer with separation anxiety?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were originally bred as lap dogs, so enjoy the companionship of people. Likewise, Poodles can be very clingy as they are a very sociable breed. Therefore it comes as no surprise to learn that Cavapoos can develop behavioral issues or suffer with separation anxiety if left on their own for large amounts of time on their time.
This problem has only been exasperated further for a lot of Cavapoo owners, who are finding themselves heading back out to work having spent a year at home with their dogs due to lockdown. This sudden shift in routine has left many dogs feeling nervous and suffering from abandonment issues.
We are lucky in that we can take our Cavapoo to the office with us, however she still doesn’t understand why the kids are not at home all day after months of homeschooling, and will often whine when we drop them off at the school gates!
If your dog wants to be around you 24/7 and leaving them alone is starting to become an issue, then check out our blog on separation anxiety and ‘Training your Cavapoo to be alone‘.
Are Cavapoos aggressive?
Cavapoos are not aggressive by nature and can typically be trusted around children and other animals. That said, dog aggression is usually not a genetic trait or breed-specific; it is a byproduct of feeling anxious, afraid or stressed so it is always worth ensuring that your dog feels at ease when placed in social situations.
It is important to keep a watchful eye on your Cavapoo at all times just incase your dog reacts in a negative way. This could be in response to aggression shown from another dog, when playtime starts to get more rough or when you quickly snatch something away from them. All of these behaviors are being triggered by external factors and you can soon teach your dog how to deal with them in a positive way.
As a responsible owner, it is up to you to teach your Cavapoo right from wrong and this should be done through positive reinforcement techniques. We feel that the best way to effectively train your Cavapoo on how to live safely and happily, is by effectively rewarding them for a job well done through treats, toys and verbal praise.
What health issues do Cavapoos suffer from?
No one likes to think about their pet getting poorly or worse still passing away due to ill health, especially when they have become such well loved members of the family. That said it is important to research the types of health problems that Cavapoos can suffer from before purchasing or rehoming, so that you understand exactly what you are taking on. But please don’t let these conditions put you off this gorgeous breed of dog.
Despite the benefits that come from hybrid vigour, the two parent breeds in Cavapoo crossings (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle) each have a range of potential hereditary health issues that can affect individual dogs, and that can be passed onto your Cavapoo puppy. This is why it is so important to understand the health of your Cavapoos parents and where applicable, see all relevant health testing certificates.
Health problems common to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
It is a good idea to insure a Cavapoo puppy while the dog is still young and healthy as unfortunately there are some genetic issues that can be inherited. These include:
- Syringomyelia – this is a condition that affects the spinal cord. This occurs when the skull is too small for the brain resulting in a blockage in the spinal column and preventing spinal fluid for flowing effectively. Syringomyelia is incredibly serious and although medication can help manage it, surgery is often required.
- Mitral Valve Disease – this is the most common cause of death in Cavaliers worldwide and is a congenital heart disorder that stops the valves in the heart from working properly, pushing the blood flow in the opposite direction. There is no cure for Mitral Valve Disease and medication is only temporary.
- Eye conditions – Until quite recently it was common for Cavaliers to suffer from a variety of eye conditions including juvenile and congenital cataracts. These are less common now due to reputable breeders testing their dogs prior to breeding.
Health problems common to Toy and Miniature Poodles
No one can guarantee the health of your family Cavapoo so it is always wise to look at health issues on the Poodle side too. These include:
- Addisons Disease – This condition is caused by a lack of adrenal hormones and can leave dogs with serious symptoms and even prove fatal if not detected correctly. The good news is that Addisons Disease can be managed successfully with medication.
- Hip Dysplasia – A dog suffering with hip dysplasia has an abnormally formed hip socket which means that the joint can move around when in use. This leads to a faster degeneration of the cartilage in the hip joint and can be incredibly painful making it difficult to walk. Although hip dysplasia can not be cured, the pain can be well managed with medication and if the dog is fit and well enough, then surgery can also be a consideration.
- Luxating Patella – This condition is common among small sized breeds of dog and occurs because the groove that holds the kneecap together is too shallow or incorrectly formed. This prevents the leg from bending and if left can get progressively worse. The only solution for a luxating patella is surgery – but this depends on the severity of the condition.
- Epilepsy – This is a brain condition that causes seizures and is often passed from parent to offspring. Poodles are particularly prone to epilepsy, more so than most other breeds. Medication can help to control the seizures and this is given once your vet has determined the correct quantities.
- Canine Arthritis – This condition is very similar to the human form and is a debilitating degeneration of the joints. This is incredibly painful for your dog and can restrict motion and movement. Treatment is the same as for humans with supplements, swimming and environmental aids (such as doggy ramps) all used to help keep your dog active for longer.
These designer dogs with their long floppy ears make great family dogs and are the perfect canine companions – we in ourselves can be testament to that.