Given that a Cavapoo is a cross breed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, why is it that this dog breed has suddenly started to command such a large price tag?
Although Cavapoos are incredibly popular, a lot goes into producing a healthy, and well socialized Cavapoo and this often reflected in the price you pay. Other factors such as supply and demand, breeders reputation and the class and color of each dog, can also explain why Cavapoos are so expensive.
We have set out to look at why prices for Cavapoos have increased since lockdown, the variances that are causing prices hikes, and will be looking at why some breeders have doubled the price of their pups due to a puppy shortage.
Why are Cavapoo dogs so popular?
It is easy to see why these small to medium sized dogs are so popular. After all, they are so much more than a cuddly, curly bundle of fur.
A mixed breed, the Cavapoo manages to take the calm and friendly nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and effortless blend it with the intelligence of a Toy or Miniature Poodle. Not only are these designer dogs eager to please, but they are quick learners which makes them relatively easy to train.
And when it comes to a coat that you can be truly proud of, the Cavapoo is at the front of the queue. Due to being a doodle blend, they have low shedding fur so are great for those who suffer from any allergies.
It’s no wonder then that these cute canine companions make fabulous family pets and are so highly sought after.
How much should you pay for a Cavapoo?
According to the UK site Pets4Home, the number of people looking for dogs during lockdown, rocketed by 100% – which would account for a rise in the cost of Cavapoos.
Fast forward 12 months and as life begins to feel like it is getting back to some sort of normality, why is the cost for a Cavapoo dog continuing to rise?
When it comes to dogs, it is a simple case of supply and demand that is driving prices to extortionate levels.
The Cavapoo is now one of the most expensive Poodle mix breeds, and in the UK you can expect to pay £3000+ for a Cavapoo puppy. This is mirrored in the USA, with some advertisement advertising cute Cavapoo puppies for sale in excess of $4,000.
And with so many potential owners bidding for the same Cavapoo, illegal puppy mills are popping up everywhere to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers.
Why do Cavapoos cost so much?
Doodle breeds are getting more sought after, with the Cavapoo now making the top 10 list for most popular cross-breed in the UK, as well as being the 20th most popular breed of dog overall – beating many a pedigree to these prime positions.
And, thanks to scores of people attempting to quell their lockdown loneliness by buying a puppy, or feeling more flexible in their jobs to incorporate a new found furry friend, demand for these dogs have massively outstripped supply.
This has meant that many reputable breeders have been able to exaggerate the price of their Cavapoos, many of which are not even KC registered or come with any health tested certificates at all!
Why are Cavapoos more expensive than other breeds?
As a Cavapoo is a cross breed dog it cannot be registered with purebred dog clubs like the American Kennel Club, although their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle parents are.
Instead, however, they can be registered with canine organizations such as:
- The Kennel Club UK
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- International Designer Canine Registry
- International Canine Association
These designer breed dogs are great for both showing and breeding, and thanks to their low shedding fur, Cavapoos have become much more expensive than many other dog breeds.
What factors affect the cost of a Cavapoo dog?
The cost of a Cavapoo puppy can fluctuate massively, but the price you are prepared to pay may not meet the expectations of a breeder. This could be due to the following factors:
Some regions or states have many Cavapoo breeders, so there is less competition and more supply which drives the cost down. In other areas, however, Cavapoos are becoming so popular and supply is so scarce that there are wait lists of up to 2 years.
The color of your Cavapoos coat can also have an impact on pricing. Some colors are harder to achieve than others and are therefore considered more rare. Red colored coats tend to be more expensive, whereas back Cavapoos may be slightly cheaper.
Puppies generally cost more money than older dogs. As Cavapoos can live up to 15 years in age, their expensive price tag can be justified. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for a Cavapoo puppy then you may want to consider adopting a dog from a rehoming shelter.
Our Cavapoo is an F1 which means that she is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle cross. The further you go back in generation, the more expensive your Cavapoo pup is likely to cost. Therefore an F1b puppy is generally more expensive than an F1 puppy. This is because they are less likely to have any hereditary health issues and will produce the least shedding fur (as they will have much more of the Poodle parentage). There are multiple numbers and categories that are used to distinguish the breeding attributes of a Cavapoo. For more information read our article on the different types of Cavapoo variations.
A dog that comes from a good pedigree will obviously cost you more. A pedigree dog is one that has a record of its ancestors. If the mother or stud dog has a show or competition history then you are buying into that heritage when you purchase your Cavapoo puppy.
The quality and reputation of the breeder can cause the price to increase. A ‘backyard breeder’ is generally someone who is perfectly legitimate and well-intentioned, but you are unlikely to receive much verifiable information about the dogs. A good breeder, however, will have registration documents for both parents and should health test their Cavapoo puppies, vaccinate and microchip before handing them over to their new owners. Beware of social media adverts and always check out the puppy’s environment before making a decision.
Like us, most people prefer to buy puppies in the spring or summer so they can train them during sunnier days. As demand becomes less during the colder months (with the exception of Christmas), you will often find that Cavapoo prices are lower.
A female Cavapoo often fetches a higher price because of her breeding potential. That said the differences between male and female Cavapoos are minimal, with many choosing to purchase male dogs as they cheaper to neuter than a female Cavapoo is to spay.
Beware of buying a Cavapoo through a puppy mill
Many potential owners, in their rush to buy a cute Cavapoo pup, end up being scammed, or worse still buying a farmed puppy.
At present there is something of a “cottage-industry” going on, whereby attractive Cavapoo puppies are constantly produced with no one able to monitor it. Without the overarching protection and regulation of an organisation such as the Kennel Club, no one knows (or often cares) whether a Cavapoo bitch has been bred every season.
If you buy a Cavapoo from a puppy mill then there is no way of knowing where the parents have come from. On top of this, health testing will be minimal (if done at all!) and it is likely that you will receive an unvaccinated and potentially poorly pup at the end of it.
It is always best to buy from a reputable breeder or at least one that is registered and not from a ‘private seller’ seen online. These are most likely scammers who have set out to bring in the biggest profit with as little scrutiny as possible.
In order to ensure that you are not buying your Cavapoo from a puppy mill, make sure that you visit the property and see the puppy parents in the natural environment so that you can assess the setup and conditions. This is often hard if you live some distance away from the so called breeder.
Buying a Cavapoo is a big investment both emotionally and financially so it is important to do some detective work to assess both the dog and the so called breeder. If you want to know more then take a look at our guide on questions to ask when buying your Cavapoo puppy.
But above all, be prepared to wait for the right puppy for you and your family.
What is the cost of owning a Cavapoo puppy?
If you are considering purchasing a Cavapoo, then you should be aware of the upfront costs that are associated with owning a puppy – in addition to their hefty purchase price.
Your dog’s basics needs have to met from day one, and this includes having the right food, water bowl and other puppy essentials such as a bed or crate, toys and blankets ready and waiting. Puppies require a lot of care and attention, so if you are unsure what you need then take a look at our checklist of things to buy, to give you a head start in preparing for your new arrival.
Whilst some breeders may only sell their Cavapoo puppies once they have been fully vaccinated, others will expect the new owners to do this instead. Rosie was in the latter category, so we had to factor in the upfront cost of visiting a vet within the first few weeks of her arrival.
We took out a puppy plan through our local veterinarian surgery, which included her first and second vaccinations, worm and flea treatments, microchip, 4 weeks of pet insurance and a discount on neutering. We choose to get Rosie spay at just over 6 months of age. If this is something you are interested in, then check out our blog on the health benefits associated with getting your Cavapoo spay.
On top of this, we paid for a course of puppy training so that we could understand the best way to work with our Cavapoo and to ensure that she was well socialized from very young.
What are the ongoing costs of having a Cavapoo?
Your dog will continue to grow, and although they are considered to be a small size dog, Cavapoos can grow to be 14 inches tall and weigh up to 25lbs! Therefore you need to ensure that you have plenty of food and space for your Cavapoo to live a happy, healthy life.
In order to keep your Cavapoo in tip top condition you need to ensure that they are regularly dewormed and free from ticks and fleas. As their curly coats are relatively high-maintenance, you need to ensure that your little Chewbacca is regularly groomed so that their fur does not mat or tangle.
Home grooming is something that can be done yourself if you feel brave enough, or you may want to pay a professional groomer to pamper your Cavapoo for you.
Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles have some well-known health issues (source), being a designer cross breed, your Cavapoo is much less susceptible to them. That said, it is a good idea to make sure that you have pet insurance, should the worst happen.
Finally, Cavapoos are incredibly loyal dogs who like constant attention. We are lucky as we can take our dog to the office every day, but if you have a Cavapoo that doesn’t like to be left alone, then you may want to consider a dog walker or some form of doggy daycare.
What you should look out for when buying a Cavapoo puppy?
When getting a dog like the Cavapoo, getting the cheapest deal may not always turn out to be the best solution. In terms of purchasing a good dog, with a loving temperament, you often get what you pay for.
If you see a Cavapoo that is advertised as cheap, there’s a good chance the dog will not come with any type of health guarantee.
While breeders cannot guarantee a dog will never get sick, a responsible breeder who deals with good bloodlines and sires, will often screen the parents and will provide buyers with a 1 or 2-year health guarantee against certain genetic diseases.
Where to buy a Cavapoo?
For some potential owners, they will place their name with breeders and wait for a call, whilst others choose to look online for adverts selling Cavapoo puppies. But it may surprise you to learn that a growing number of people are also choosing to adopt a dog from a rescue shelter or centre.
Now that lockdown has eased and people are starting to return to their daily routines, many are finding that a dog no longer fits in with their lifestyle or needs, so these centres are becoming overrun.
While you may not necessarily get much information on the background of a dog when you visit a rescue centre, you will be giving a Cavapoo the chance of a forever home and are likely to get a wonderful family pet in the process.
Whether you want to buy your Cavapoo from a recommended breeder or would prefer to adopt from a shelter, there are so many things that you need to consider. From their ancestry to their health, we have written a whole guide on the best places to safely buy a Cavapoo puppy.
Cavapoos make amazing family pets, so if you want one of the best dogs around, then you are going to be paying top dollar for the privilege.
That said, from first hand experience, we can confirm that a Cavapoos is definitely worth the cost – especially when you factor in the many years of joy your canine companion will bring you!
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