Cavapoo dog: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Poodle Mix

Cavapoo dog: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Poodle Mix

A mix of both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the poodle, the cavapoo (sometimes called Cavadoodle or Cavoodle) is a small dog breed with soft, curly or wavy fur that was first bred in Australia. With parents from the AKC’s toy and non-sporting groups, this lovable and compact dog is known for its companionable nature.

Cavapoo Mixed Dog Breed Pictures
Cavapoo Mixed Dog Breed Pictures

Cavapoos have become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the past few decades, and they adapt well to most settings. The playful, easygoing personalities of these dogs make them a great fit for most families with children.

History of the Cavapoo

Like all mixed breed designer dogs, we Cavapoos are pretty new on the scene. Though the humans aren’t exactly sure how we first came about, we first became popular in Australia in the 1990s. Our sweet and charming personalities soon won over humans across the world, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States. In fact, we’re one of the most popular hybrid dog breeds in the world!

Our pawesome personalities are a result of breeders wanting to create the pawfect companion dog – we’re great with families, comfortable in apartments, and well-suited to humans with allergies. Of course, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but our Poodle parents come close. That’s why Cavapoos with more Poodle genetics tend to be low-shedding, low-dander pups that don’t cause too much allergy trouble for their humans, while Cavapoos with more Cav than Poo aren’t as good for allergy sufferers. Cavapoo breeders look more for certain temperaments than breed-standard looks in my parent breeds – but don’t worry, they make sure we’re all cute little teddy bear pups, even if we have different coat types and sizes!

 Cavapoo Dog Breed Information and Characteristics
Cavapoo Dog Breed Information and Characteristics

Beyond my allergy-friendly coat, I get my smarts and playful nature from the Poodle side of my family tree. My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel side is where I get my friendliness, sweet temperament, and affection for humans big and small. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were bred to be companion dogs and family pets, which is why I’m so loyal and loving to my humans (and why I get separation anxiety without my humans around)! Poodles were bred to be retrievers – they’re bird hunting dogs, to be exact – so while I’m not a great hunting buddy, I love a good game of fetch!

Characteristics of the Cavapoo

Cavapoos are a great fit for a variety of lifestyles. They prefer being in the company of their owners rather than in a kennel, so prepare for them to be filled with excitement when you come home from being out. It’s best to adopt this breed if you’re planning to spend plenty of time with them. Cavapoos are especially affectionate with their families and tend to have a quiet, calm temperament when they’re not exercising. They can also be quite energetic thanks to their playful personalities.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark Low
Amount of Shedding Low

Cavapoo Care

Like other designer dogs, cavapoos require a bit more grooming than some popular short-haired breeds because of their curly coats. However, the cavapoo is also highly trainable, eager to please, and it only requires a medium amount of exercise to stay happy and healthy.


  • Cavapoos have soft, medium-length fur that can range from wavy to curly and requires regular grooming. They are known for shedding very little, making them an ideal breed for those with allergies to pet dander. Their lack of shedding doesn’t mean they don’t need routine brushing, however. If your cavapoo isn’t brushed at least once to twice a week, its wavy curls may start to mat. Aside from being uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, mats can make the skin underneath prone to infections. Some owners may opt to have their dog’s fur cut short into a ‘puppy cut’ to help prevent matting.
  • In addition to brushing, your cavapoo should get his or her nails trimmed routinely to prevent them from snagging or breaking. They also need their ears cleaned to prevent infection, and it’s important to clean or trim the fur inside the ears.
  • As a smaller breed, cavapoos are prone to dental disease. Brushing your cavapoo’s teeth daily, or as often as you can manage, with dog-friendly toothpaste can help keep its teeth clean and healthy. Dental disease is not merely a cosmetic issue. Gingival tissue is vascular, and it is the number one area where bacteria can enter the bloodstream. This can lead to painful tooth abscesses, but it can also cause a heart condition known as endocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). Proper dental hygiene is especially important for breeds that are susceptible to dental problems.


Despite the cavapoo’s high energy, this breed actually has moderate exercise requirements, only needing daily walks. This, combined with their small stature, makes them suitable for apartments and urban life. They certainly have the energy to keep up with children, but as with all pets, make sure that your children have adult supervision when playing with your cavapoo. Keep in mind that these dogs are on the smaller side, so there is a higher risk of injury with a playful child that gets a little carried away with their roughhousing.


Cavapoos are intelligent, highly trainable, and eager to please their owners. This breed can easily be trained (starting as early as 12 weeks of age) in basic obedience with positive reinforcement-based training. Marking the desired behavior with a treat or praise can help reinforce good behavior.

Because they are so closely bonded to their owners, cavapoos are also prone to suffering from separation anxiety. If you have to leave the house often, it’s best to seek a trainer with behavioral experience—avoid those that use ‘aversives’ or ‘corrections,’ as these methods might further stress an anxious pet. Work with a certified trainer who has positive feedback from other dog owners.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Cavapoos tend to thrive on nutritious diets made for small to medium-sized, high-energy dogs. Although the weight range for the breed doesn’t seem very large, it can actually vary widely. A 9-pound cavapoo is much smaller than a 20-pound cavapoo and will require much less dog food per day.
  • Depending on their size and activity, your cavapoo may require anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of food per day. Although this breed has a high energy level, it’s still prone to canine obesity. Your veterinarian can provide a diet plan for your specific dog to maintain a healthy weight.

Common Health Problems

Cavapoos are prone to diseases seen commonly in both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as well as poodles. Reputable breeders will screen their spaniels, poodles, and cavapoo puppies for these illnesses and avoid breeding dogs with genetic diseases. Health problems commonly seen in cavapoos can include:

  • Luxating Patellas: This condition is an orthopedic issue affecting the kneecaps. The grooves that the kneecaps rest in are shallow, allowing the knees to pop in and out of place.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This ocular disorder affects the dog’s retinas and can lead to blindness.
  • Congenital Heart Defects: The most common is mitral valve disease, in which a valve inside the heart is malformed and doesn’t fully occlude when closed.
  • Syringomyelia/Chiari-Like Malformation: This is a condition in which pockets of fluid build up in your dog’s spinal cord.
  • Atopy: Also known as skin allergies in dogs, this condition can cause itchiness and discomfort.
  • Dental Disease: Dental infections and abscesses can be painful, and they also affect the bloodstream (which can cause heart disease). Brush your dog’s teeth regularly and maintain a consistent dental cleaning schedule with your veterinarian.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Cavapoo

Cavapoos are relatively popular dogs. Despite being considered “designer,” they are also surrendered at shelters like most other breeds. If you are interested in adding a cavapoo to your family, it’s best to adopt one from a local shelter.

If you haven’t found any cavapoos at shelters, it’s important to ensure that any breeder you use is reputable. These puppies typically cost between $1,00 and $2,000, but prices may vary depending on location and pedigree. The breed’s popularity also makes them a common choice for puppy mills. To adopt a healthy dog raised in a safe environment, general rules of thumb include avoiding commercial pet shops and breeders that don’t let you see the parents (or where they’re kept). To start your search, consider these resources for responsible cavapoo breeders:

  • Cavapoo Love
  • Best Cavapoos

Cavapoo Overview

  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Weekly to twice weekly brushing required
  • Prone to dental disease, heart conditions, and eye problems
  • Low shedding and hypoallergenic
  • Affectionate
  • Size and adaptability make them good for apartment living

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

The cavapoo isn’t the only poodle mix out there. If you’re interested in adopting one, you can also consider their suitability to your home versus similar breeds:

  • Yorkipoo (Yorkshire terrier and poodle)
  • Maltipoo (Maltese and poodle)
  • Cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle)
  • Schnoodle (miniature schnauzer and poodle)

There are a variety of dog breeds that can join your family, and plenty of poodle mixes can be great options. With just a little research, you can find the right breed for your home!

Related Questions

Do Cavapoo Dogs Shed a Lot?

Thanks to its genes from the poodle, the cavapoo is a low-shedding dog breed that is also hypoallergenic, making it a great choice for owners with mild to medium dog allergies.

Is a Cavapoo a Good Family Dog?

Yes. Thanks to their even-tempered and affectionate nature, cavapoos have great family personalities and respond well to positive reinforcement-based training.

Can Cavapoos Be Left Alone?

Cavapoos become extremely bonded to their owners, so this is not the best choice of breed for those that work full-time away from the home. If you do need to leave your cavapoo alone for shorter periods of time, it’s helpful to work with a trainer who has experience with separation anxiety in dogs.

Fun Facts

  • A Cavapoo has many aliases: Cavadoodle, Cavoodle, Cava-doodle, Cavipoodle, and Canoodle. (Okay, we’re kidding about that last one.) Basically, any derivative of the names Cavalier King Charles spaniel and poodle will do!
  • People often wonder about Cavapoos vs. cockapoos. Although they share a miniature or toy poodle parent, cockapoos have a standard cocker spaniel as their other parent, which introduces completely different characteristics.
  • Cavapoos are huge Insta-influencers! More than 50,000 people follow the exploits of Enzo and brother Rumi on What Enzo Did; With Love Kaden and Adalynn also celebrates the special bond between these fuzzy siblings; and Cooper the Cavapoo, “a chicken nugget with legs,” is an adorable model.
Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.