In hindsight, we were incredibly naive when we set about purchasing a Cavapoo puppy for our family. We placed an advert on a well known pet selling website asking if anyone was selling Cavapoos and were contacted the very next day by someone whose family Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had just had a litter.
We were lucky in that Rosie did actually come from a loving home and we were given access to speak to the Poodle Sire owner as well as receiving copies of the health testing paperwork for both puppy parents.
If you have your heart set on a Cavapoo, then you should find a reputable Cavapoo breeder in the UK who’s dedicated to raising healthy, happy Cavapoo puppies. A good Cavapoo breeder will let you meet the dam, offer a health guarantee for your dog and provide you with expert advice.
If you are looking to buy a designer doodle breed, such as a Cavapoo, then research is vital. Because whilst a loving home, nice environment and well-socialised dog are important in the moment, a healthy Cavapoo puppy is what we all desire and it is easy to forget that many health problems can occur later in life.
Following on from our recent blogs, looking into the cost of purchasing a Cavapoo puppy and reasons to rescue or adopt, we will now look at the benefits of buying a puppy through registered Cavapoo breeders and where the best breeders are located in the UK.
For those living in the United States, please check out our pages on the Top 8 Cavapoo breeders on the East Coast of America and the Top 4 Cavapoo breeders in California, because wherever you are looking, we’ve got your Cavapoo breeders covered!
How do I find a reputable UK Cavapoo breeder?
As a Cavapoo is a cross breed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, there are only a few breeders that specialise in this specific breed of dog. If you are after a Cockapoo, however, there seem to be a lot more breeders up and down the country specialising in producing this Cocker Spaniel/Poodle cross breed. Cavapoo breeders, however, seem rather unique.
Ideally you want someone who understands the health issues associated with both parent breeds (dam and sire) of a Cavapoo and who offer health testing as standard.
Most Cavapoo breeders are found via word of mouth, or through Facebook adverts, but another way of locating a breeder is to find the national breed club for the dam and inquiring about breeder referrals.
A breeding licence is required for anyone breeding three or more litters in a 12-month period, and a star rating system has been designed to both reward high-performing breeding establishments and to give further help to the puppy buying public to identify good breeders.
A “hobby breeder” is entitled to breed up to 2 litters of puppies within a 12 month period. However even if a single litter has all of its puppies advertised and sold then the breeder is deemed to be in the ‘business of breeding’ and should legally obtain a licence from their local council.
Best Cavapoo breeders in the UK
Whether you live in Scotland, Northumberland, London or the South Coast everyone wants to know where the best Cavapoo breeders near me are!
Well you are in luck, as we have compiled a list of reputable Cavapoo breeders in the UK, who offer potential owners the opportunity to give their pups forever homes.
Best Cavapoo breeders in Scotland
Glendream Doodles – Based in the Fife countryside, this small and select kennel breeders have 15 years experience and specialise in Cavapoo and Cockapoo puppies. All of their puppies are genetically unaffected by degenerative diseases and they take health testing of their dogs very seriously. Their Cavapoo puppies are a first generation hybrid (F1) which come from Toy or Miniature Poodle stud dogs and their Kennel Club Registered Cavalier King Charles Spaniel girls, are heart tested annually.
Phone: 01337 870332
Best Cavapoo breeders in Wales
Castellan House – Situated in Pembrokeshire, these well-known family run breeders have an established reputation for cross breeds and have even featured on BBC Wales. All of their puppies are vet checked and vaccinated with the first part of the primary vaccination given before they leave at 8 weeks old, along with deworming treatment and are paper trained. Please note that there is no advertised information on health testing, however, they do come with a money-back guarantee in case of any health issues.
Phone: 01239 841644 or 07981858101
Best Cavapoo breeders in north England
Prestige Cavapoo – This Durham based breeder has been expertly breeding champion dogs for over 22 years (including Crufts breed winners) but decided to switch to Cavapoos in order to fit in with family life. Their Cavapoo puppies come vaccinated, microchipped, health checked, and are already treated for fleas and worms. On top of that they provide a puppy pack, blanket and even a family tree so that you can trace your dogs ancestors. Their breeding dogs are KC registered and clear of any degenerative diseases.
Best Cavapoo breeders in north west England
Rosedale Doodles – Rosedale are the longest standing professional breeder of Cavapoos in the UK, with 40 years experience, so are well equipped to give new puppy owners plenty of advice. The dogs themselves live in specially designed kennels and have 6 acres of picturesque greenery to enjoy, with large fenced runs spanning the grounds. All of their dams and stud dogs are part of the family and are chosen for their intelligence and docile, friendly temperaments. Each stud dog is KC registered and are all DNA tested clear for neonatal encephalopathy, degenerative diseases, PRCD, LOPRA, degenerative myelopathy and von willebrand disease type 1 and type 2.
Phone: 07909 232836
Best Cavapoo breeders in London & the south of England
Chamuel Puppies – This KC Registeredbreeder is based in Basildon, Essex and produces puppies following the Kennel ClubAssured Breeder criteria as well as following the Puppy Socialisation Plan. Here you will find all generations of Cavapoo from F1, F1b and F2 with all puppies raised in a loving home. Breeding dogs are health tested and all puppies are given inoculations, worming, flea and tick treatments before they leave for their forever homes.
Henley Poos – Specialising in the breeding of Cavapoos and Maltipoos, this three generational family have 90 years of combined experience. They only breed F1 Cavapoos and all dams, sires and pups are kept in the family home so are well socialised in a house environment. Henley Poos health test all of their dogs in line with the recommendations from the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme and all puppies are vet checked before leaving.
Lotties Cavapoos – This Hampshire based breeder produces both Cavapoos and Cavachons from her family home. Her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel girls are all DNA clear through parentage for episodic falling syndrome, dry eye and curly coat and eye screening is done by an eye specialist annually, prior to mating. The stud dogs are KC registered with sweet and loving temperaments, and they too are extensively DNA health tested (details of which can be found on the website).
What should I expect from a reputable Cavapoo breeder?
Responsible breeders always consider the health of their puppies to be top priority and there are a number of steps a breeder should take to increase the chances of breeding happy and healthy Cavapoo puppies.
These include DNA testing, health screening schemes and a desire to avoid close inbreeding. Alarms should ring if they state they have only been checked by a vet, as they should be carried out by British Veterinary Association (BVA) approved specialists. If this is the case, then the breeder will have the various official certificates to show you.
All good reputable breeders will know that temperament of the parents is paramount – particularly the mother dog – in producing a calm and contented litter. Cavapoos are not aggressive by nature.
Your breeder should also be able to share a lot of up to date information on each individual puppy regarding how training has been going and their individual temperament at each stage of early development.
Please note that it is unusual for the sire not to be on site when you visit, so you may not get to meet the stud dog in person, but the opportunity should always be offered.
What documents should a good dog breeder provide you with?
In addition to returning home with a Cavapoo puppy, there are a number of items that should be provided to you as part of the puppy buying process. These provisions include:
(1) Contract of sale
This document should detail the responsibilities of both the breeder and the owner and explain the transfer of the registration papers.
(2) Puppy pack
This material should include advice on feeding, training and exercise as well as any health procedures such as worming and vaccinations. Some breeders will also include the dog food that you puppy was on and also a blanket which contains the mothers scent.
(3) Health records
You should be given copies of all health records for your puppy (and its parents); in particular the schedule of vaccinations and required boosters. Full disclosure of any potential genetic health issues associated with the breed should accompany these records, as well as the results of any testing or screening performed.
(4) Health guarantee
A health guarantee confirms the health of puppy at the time of collection with a stipulation that this fact be confirmed with a vet within a specified time period. There should also be a detailed explanation of recompense in the event that a health condition does arise within the length of the guarantee.
How long is the average waiting list for a Cavapoo?
There is currently a huge demand for Cavapoos, but a good breeder will continue to breed at the regular rate, therefore it is not unusual for a waiting list to be anything up to 2 years due to the current supply and demand issues!
Because of this, instead of waiting to buy from a specific Cavapoo breeder, a lot of potential puppy owners are using inexperienced and unlicensed hobby breeders or backyard breeders, who use their pet dogs for breeding.
The parents of these Cavapoo litters are unlikely to be KC registered or to have undergone any health testing.
Those intending to purchase a Cavapoo puppy are recommended to buy from a reputable Cavapoo breeder who health tests their litter, follows breeding guidelines issued by veterinary experts, and who is prepared to discuss and advise owners on health issues.
Some of the health tests are quite expensive and along with the quality of care and knowledge and experience of the breeder, the price you pay is likely to be higher and a deposit is often required in order to show that you are serious about purchasing a puppy.
It is important to know that only the pedigree parents of a Cavapoo will be KC registered, as there is no facility available with the Kennel Club to register breeding crossbreeds such as Cavapoos. Therefore only F1 Cavapoos will have KC registered parents on both sides.
What health testing should Cavapoo breeders provide?
When you decide to buy a puppy, you want to ensure that you have made an informed decision based on health test results.
This will give you a better understanding of the kind of genes your dog may pass on to its offspring if you decide to breed yourself, and will greatly reduce the chances of your Cavapoo developing diseases in the future.
Cavaliers and Poodles are both generally happy, healthy breeds of dog. However, as with many other breeds, there are genetic health problems. Whilst not all breeders will have these tests done to check the health of mum and dad, it is strongly recommended by the Kennel Club that they provide proof of the following health tests:
Disease: Mitral Valve Disease of the heart (MVD)
This disease affects many purebred Cavaliers by the time they reach ten years, although MVD can be managed with medication. MVD is often first noticed as a heart murmur but can typically cause symptoms such as coughing, breathlessness, and low energy in dogs, which can range from mild to serious, depending how severely the valve is affected.
Test: There is a Kennel Club scheme where breeders are actively encouraged to get their dogs assessed for this condition. This will need to be done by a qualified veterinary cardiologist and both parents should be clear of MVD as well as their parents (grandparents of any pups). Certificates should be available from the breeder.
Disease: Syringomyelia (SM)
This is the term that describes fluid-filled cavities that develop within the spinal cord causing abnormal sensation in affected dogs. Excessive scratching and pain when being handled are common symptoms of SM. There are several medical options available to treat this condition, but most dogs benefit from medication that directly targets the nervous system and nerve-associated pain. Surgery can be performed, but is often not successful.
Test: MRI scan for Syringomyelia is usually done on both the sire and dam if they are over the age of 2.5 years old. Certificates again should be seen but may need some explanation by the breeder or your own vet. Now that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is readily available, the deformity associated with SM may be demonstrated. MRI may help to predict the expected severity of clinical signs.
Hereditary Cataract & Multi-focal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD)
These are types of inherited eye conditions, which can be easily diagnosed with an eye examination. If your dog has MRD then it will find specific changes to light sensitive to the area at the back of the eye (the retina).
Test: At present accredited breeders of Cavaliers are enforced to eye test their breeding stock although dogs are not required to test ‘clear’. Certificates should be made available. Eye tests are usually done on a litter of pups about 8 weeks old by a veterinary ophthalmologist and certificates for these should also be seen.
Other conditions and tests relating to Cavapoo puppies include:
Curly Coat (CKCS)
This is a congenital condition known as CKCS that affects the skin, eyes and nails of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This condition can lead to a reduced production of the tears and can lead to heavy discharge in the cornea. There is aone-off swab test that can be undertaken to show if this disease is prevalent.
Episodic Falling (EF)
Episodic Falling is an autosomal recessive disorder, predominantly found in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It is characterised by muscle stiffness and collapse of the dog during times of excitement, stress, or exercise. Episodes can last for several seconds or several minutes and approximately 13% of these dogs are carriers for the mutation responsible for EF.In order to check that your new puppy does not have the gene then a DNA swab test for Episodic Falling can be performed on the mum.
“Bear in mind that these tests are only an ‘indication’ of a breeding dogs state of health at the time the tests are done. They can never be 100%, but do represent the best chance your Cavapoo pup may have of a healthy future”.
Things to know when visiting a Cavapoo breeder
Not everyone is out to make money nor are they puppy scammers; but it is good to be on your guard, even if you are visiting a reputable breeder. Always make sure that you:
- See the full litter of Cavapoo puppies with their mother, and if possible, their father too. Not all sires live on site, so if this is the case, make sure you get all the details of the owner so that you can arrange a separate visit. If you are told that there is no need to come to the breeders home in person then this should send warning flags.
- Visit the breeder more than once, and when observing the puppies, watch how they interact with one another and the mum dog. It is not unusual for puppy farmed dogs to be placed with a pretend ‘mum’ which they have no bond.
- Look our for signs of any potential health problems, including discharge from nostrils or eyes, snuffling or coughing or poor skin and coat. Medical records and certificates should be made available.
- Handle all of the puppies and check that the mum dog is friendly and good with people.
- Make sure the breeder has been worming the mother and puppies properly and ideally vaccinated at 8 weeks before being purchased.
- Ask questions. Reputable breeders will be willing to answer anything and should provide a full puppy pack with further advice.
- Check that you can only spot only one litter at any one time. If you see multiple puppies (and of different breeds) then this can be the sign of a puppy farm. Unfortunately good sires are difficult to come by, and therefore popular male dogs are being used time and time again to produce large numbers of puppies. This is one of the biggest contributors to a reduction in genetic diversity, and increases inbreeding and elevated levels of genetic diseases.
- Take ownership of your new Cavapoo on or post 8 weeks of age. Any earlier than this can do damage to their social development and welfare.
- Are provided with the DNA profiles of both parents, as then your Cavapoo puppy can be profiled to check with their parents’ profile to verify that the correct parents have been registered.
Questions a good dog breeder should ask potential puppy parents
A good breeder will want to know that their Cavapoo pups are going to good home, and should therefore ask you a number of questions about your home, work, schedules, routines, children and other pets in the house.
They are not prying, but are genuinely interested in placing their dogs with the right owner. After all, ensuring the long term welfare of their puppies far outweighs the need for a quick sale.
Cavapoos, like a lot of doodles, are incredibly affectionate which makes them particularly sensitive to being left alone. Therefore it is important that everyone in the family is on board with owning one, and can dedicate the time required to looking after them.
And, although Cavapoos are great with children (our dog is testament to that!) and do not have a high prey drive in comparison to other breeds, like any puppy, they can nip, chase and be boisterous in the first few weeks and months of their life.
Finally, a good breeder may want you to show a certain amount of knowledge about the Cavapoo breed. This may include temperament, training and exercise requirements, so make sure that you have done your research and have discovered lots of information to ensure that this breed is right for you. This is something that we can do, as this website is packed full of firsthand advice and tips on owning a Cavapoo.
Are Cavapoos more expensive than Cockapoos?
Originally Cavapoos were not as well known as their doodle counterpart, the Cockapoo. This meant that the demand for Cockapoos was incredibly high, which pushed the prices up for these cute Cocker Spaniel/Poodle cross breed dogs.
Just a few years ago you could expect to pay double the price for a Cockapoo than you would for a Cavapoo!
Over the years, however, the Cavapoo has more than earned its place on the doodle wish list, and now commands prices which are aligned with the cute, slightly cheekier, bigger sibling, the Cockapoo.
As Cavapoos and Cockapoos are so similar in looks, temperament and training style, it is not unusual for a lot of breeders to breed both types of dogs at the same time.
If you are looking for a Cavapoo or a Cockapoo then you can expect to pay around £3,000+ when buying from a reputable breeder. Cuddly and cute, these dogs do not come cheap!
If you have chosen a Cavapoo to be part of your family then you won’t be disappointed, providing you have purchased your dog from a reputable breeder.
Failure to do so, could lead to heart break down the line if you discover genetic health issues with your dog.