Cavapoo vs Cockapoo – what are the differences in breed?

cavapoo puppy vs cockapoo puppy

My parents own a lively Cockapoo called Lulu. She was the primary driver behind us getting a dog due to her loving temperament and although we dote on her dearly, having done our research we decided that a Cavapoo would fit our family dynamic better.

But just which breed is best in the Cavapoo vs Cockapoo debate?

Cavapoos and Cockapoos may look alike but due to their genetics, there are certain behavioural and personality traits that set them apart.

Here we look at which breed of dog is best for you and examine the key differences between a Cavapoo vs Cockapoo.

cavapoo puppy vs cockapoo puppy

What’s the main difference between a Cavapoo and a Cockapoo?

Although both breeds of dog are made up of part poodle, it is the other parent’s genetics that makes each breed unique.

A Cavapoo is a crossbreed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, whereas a Cockapoo combines a Cocker Spaniel with a Poodle. Although the difference doesn’t sound significant, parentage plays a huge part in terms of temperament, appearance and even health issues.

Cockapoos (Cockerpoo or Cockerdoodle as they are also known) originated as a result of a cross-breeding craze that started in America in the 1950s and 1960s. Cockapoos were bred partly for their sweet looks and loyal nature but mainly for their coat types which are considered to be low shedding.

Cavapoos (aka Cavadoodle or Cavoodles) are a much newer breed, which became popular in Australia in the 1990s. Cavapoos were originally bred to replicate a smaller version of a Cockapoo and to create a healthier variant of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is known to have a number of health issues.

cavapoo dog breed infographic

What does a Cavapoo look like?

Quite often people will remark that our Cavapoo looks like a teddy bear. This is because of her cute button nose and curly coat that she inherited from her Cavalier King Charles and Poodle parents. We also have her groomed in a teddy bear cut in order to showcase her best assets.

Similar to the Cockapoo, the Cavapoo coat can vary immensely in color, ranging between brown, red, black and white, to anything in between.

It is not unusual for people to comment that Rosie is a gorgeous Cockapoo, because most people are unable to tell the two breeds apart. In fact this is something I struggle with myself when in a park full of oodles!

cockapoo dog breed infographic

What does a Cockapoo look like?

The differences between these two breeds in terms of their good looks are minimal, although a Cockapoo does have a longer muzzle thanks to the Cocker Spaniel genes.

Their coats come in a variety of colors and they are best known for being brown, white, black, tri-color, red, beige, apricot, chocolate, black and white, sable and merle.

Which breed is smaller in stature – Cavapoo vs Cockapoo?

A dog’s size plays a big factor when searching for the right canine companion. You want it to be able to fit into your lifestyle and more importantly into your home!

For those considering getting either a Cockapoo or a Cavapoo, then you will be please to know that both breeds are considered small-medium sized dogs.

Lulu the Cockapoo
Lulu the cockapoo who lives in sunny Spain (also has a lovely temperament and high energy).

Lulu is a relatively small Cockapoo, and when compared to our Cavapoo Rosie, they are pretty even in terms of size. We also have friends who have a Cockapoo exactly the same age as Rosie, and yet their dog Domino towers over her. This is because both breeds fluctuate in size, depending on the type of Poodle their parent descends from.

Poodles come in many different size variations, from teacup to toy, miniature, and standard, and it is these genetics that is likely to dictate how big your Cavapoo or Cockapoo will grow. This is why it is so important to speak to your breeder to understand the history behind your intended dog.

There is not a great deal of difference between the two breeds when it comes to height, as on average a Cavapoo will reach around 9-15 inches tall with a Cockapoo hitting up to 19 inches. Again, both breeds weigh in at between 12 and 25 pounds when fully grown.

As stipulated above, it is difficult to know the exact height measurements of a Cavapoo or a Cockapoo until they hit maturity, although it is largely dependant on the size of the Poodle. Oodles who were bred from Toy Poodles will be smaller than those who were bred with miniature or standard.

To find out more about how big a Cavapoo will grow, read our informative blog.

cavapoos are great with kids
Our cavapoo is amazing with our kids, she’s very gentle despite the manhandling!

Which breed has the better temperament – Cavapoo or a Cockapoo?

It is important, that you don’t just buy a breed of dog based on their looks. Personality plays a big part in which breed may be right for you. And when it comes to temperament, this is where the main differences between a Cavapoo and Cockapoo lie!

Cavapoo Temperament

Generally speaking, a Cavapoo is usually considered to be a gentle and loving dog that is slightly less active. Often a good walk once a day is sufficient for them. Cavapoos are also generally considered to be easier to train. That isn’t to say that Cockapoos are particularly difficult, yet they may need a larger degree of patience in order to get to grips with what you are showing them. For detailed information on how to train your Cavapoo read our step by step guide.

One of the problems with both Cocker Spaniel and Poodle crossbreeds and Cavalier King Charles spaniel poodle crossbreeds is that they need training at a very young age, and as anyone who has had a puppy will know, they tend to have a very low attention span.

Cockapoo Temperament

The temperament of Cockapoos tends to be more active and vocal than that of a Cavapoo, although these dogs are just as loving and endearing. They have an endless supply of energy and love to play, so are more suited to active families that enjoy outdoor activities which can include their Cockapoo companions .

Cockapoo personalities make them a great choice for those with children as these dogs make fantastic family pets.

Are Cavapoos calmer than Cockapoos?

Cavapoos are meant to be quieter than Cockapoos.

Cockapoos have never-ending energy, can be a little crazy and need lots of walks and playtime. Great if you have young children in the house who also need to expend a great deal of exercise.

Although they are incredibly loving, this can overspill into being needy and wanting to be with you all of the time. This can occasionally cause separation anxiety issues. Cockapoos also make better guard dogs as they like to bark to alert you to people and other dogs.

Known for being lap dogs, Cavapoos are loving and gentle and enjoy nothing more than a good cuddle. This, on the whole, makes them more chilled, calm and laid back in comparison to Cockapoos. They make great family dogs as they love small children, but like Cockapoos sometimes they can sometimes struggle with being alone. If you have a Cavapoo that struggles with separation anxiety read our blog on how to train your Cavapoo to be left alone.

It is important to note that each dog will have its own personality regardless of their breed. For example, Rosie is incredibly vocal (especially when let loose in the garden) despite the fact that Cavapoos are meant to be quieter than Cockapoos.

Which breed is the healthiest – Cavapoo or Cockapoo?

Due to hybrid vigor, both Cavapoos and Cockapoos are generally considered to be dogs that have good health, although these breeds can have a tendency for eye problems.

This is due to the mutation which causes progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which is common amongst crossbreds. Whether you choose to add a Cavapoo or a Cockapoo into your family mix, it is important that you or your breeder has it tested for PRA beforehand.

Poodles have very few hereditary health issues, therefore the main health concerns for both Cavapoos and Cockapoos, lie with their other lineage. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels are both prone to some serious health issues.

King Charles Spaniels can develop heart mitral valve disease (MVD), for which there is no cure, with almost 50% suffering from this. Your Cavapoo can inherit this gene along with other traits that bother the King Charles spaniel, such as syringomyelia, cataracts, retinal atrophy, skin issues and epilepsy.

The Cocker Spaniel tends to be a relatively healthy breed of dog although they do have some issues with Familial Nephropathy, which affects the kidneys. Hip dysplasia is also common in cocker spaniels, as is immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. This is an autoimmune disease that causes internal and external bleeding. Your Cockapoo could be at risk of inheriting these diseases as well as Pancreatitis, ear infections, epilepsy and obesity.

This is why, for Cavapoos and Cockapoos (in fact any dog breeds), it is so important that your get them tested for hereditary diseases.

On average, most Cockapoos live a happy and healthy life and can thrive to top around 18 years of age, whilst Cavapoos generally live to the grand old age of 15 years.


We are huge fans of both breeds of dog in our family, and the only thing that persuaded us that a Cavapoo would be a better fit for our family, was the calmer Cavapoo vs Cockapoo temperament.

As it is, Rosie is an incredibly boisterous, bouncy and barky dog who seems to buck the trend when it comes to Cavapoos, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It just goes to show just how similar these two breeds are, and how unique each dog can be. The only way you can gauge what your Cavapoo or Cockapoo will be like, is to see both parents and find out as much as possible about their lineage.

Whichever breed you choose for your next dog, you won’t be disappointed with a Cavapoo or a Cockapoo. Both are great with children and other family pets, and will be loving, loyal companions.

Emma Jones

Emma is the proud owner of Rosie, an F1 Cavapoo. She enjoys writing about what it's like to own a Cavapoo and hopes that you learn more about this breed of dog with her how to guides and tips.

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