Havapoo vs Cavapoo: What’s the Difference?

Havapoo vs Cavapoo: What’s the Difference?

The Havapoo is a hybrid between a Havanese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. The Cavapoo crosses a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. When comparing two mixed breeds that are cheerful and affectionate, it can be a tough decision. The Havapoo and the Cavapoo may seem quite similar due to their shared Poodle genetics. But we’ll take a look at some of their differences to help you decide which one would be a better fit for your family.

Let’s start by comparing their differences at a glance.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo at a Glance

Havapoos and Cavapoos are part of an ongoing enthusiasm for designer dogs. That is, dogs with parents from two different pedigrees. This table gives you a quick summary of how these two dogs compare:

Parents Havanese + Mini or Toy Poodle Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Mini or Toy Poodle
Weight 4 – 15 pounds 4 – 18 pounds
Popular Colors White, gray, brown, tan, black. Black, white, red, brown, tan, apricot, tricolor.
Coat Type Long, silky and wavy. Long and silky. May be curly, wavy or straight.
Temperament Friendly, playful, lively, smart. Sweet, gentle, affectionate, agreeable.
Lifespan 10 – 15 years 12 – 15 years.


If size or looks are an important factor for you, then the next section has what you need.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo Appearance

Havapoos and Cavapoos, and particularly those from Toy Poodle parents, can vary quite a bit in size. This will largely depend on the size of their parents:

  • Havanese: 7 – 13 pounds
  • Miniature Poodle: 10 – 15 pounds
  • Toy Poodle: 4 – 6 pounds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 13 – 18 pounds

The possible weight ranges of their crosses are:

  • Toy Poodle Cavapoo full grown: 4 – 18 pounds
  • Miniature Poodle Havapoo full grown: 4 – 15 pounds
  • Toy Poodle Havapoo full grown: 4 – 13 pounds
  • Miniature Poodle Cavapoo full grown: 10 – 18 pounds

Cavaliers are bigger than Havanese, so Cavalier Poodle crosses are larger on average than Havanese Poodle crosses. A Havapoo full grown is very likely under 10 pounds, regardless of their Poodle parent. Whereas an adult Cavapoo is more likely to be over 10 pounds.

The wider the possible range of sizes, the more variety there will be in individual sizes. For example, Havapoos and Cavapoos with a Miniature Poodle parent are more predictable in size, because Miniature Poodles are close in weight to both the Havanese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo: How Are They Different?
Havapoo vs Cavapoo: How Are They Different?

A Havapoo adult is likely to have short legs, a rectangular body shape, floppy ears, and a fluffy tail. Cavapoos are more likely to have round faces with large soulful eyes and a compact, squarer body.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo Coat

All three breeds that contribute to these two mixes come in a medley of marvelous colors. Poodles’ curly, non-shedding coats come in 10 standard colors, which are:

  • Black
  • Silver Beige
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Apricot
  • Cream
  • Grey
  • White

They can also be registered in 18 non-standard colors, which include 17 two-tone combinations of the standard colors, plus cafe au lait.

The Havanese breed is recognized in 9 colors, plus bicolor patterns. They also carry the genes for sable and brindle patterning. Cavaliers are pretty straightforward by comparison – they can be black and tan, black and white, chestnut and white or ruby. But whichever way you put these three breeds together, there is genetic potential for Havapoos and Cavapoos to have a wide range of colors and patterns!

The Havanese breed is celebrated for their glorious, flowing fur that can reach floor-length and be straight or gently wavy. A Havanese Poodle mix coat can vary from medium to long with a wavy or curly texture, depending on which parent they resemble. Cavapoos’ coats can be long and wavy or slightly curly.

Differences between a Cavapoo and Havapoo
Differences between a Cavapoo and Havapoo

Poodle crosses are touted for their low-shedding coats, which are often described as hypoallergenic. However, all dogs produce allergens mostly in their saliva, not their fur. So while both Cavapoos and Havapoos can be low-shedding, there is no guarantee that either will be safe for allergy sufferers.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo Training

When it comes to intelligence, the Poodle ranks second only to the Border Collie for ability to pick up new cues. Poodles are also easily motivated with food rewards, as are both the Havanese and the Cavalier – an advantageous quality when it comes to training. Using force free training with positive reinforcement from treats is faster, more effective, and more fun than using force or punishment.

The Cavalier has Spaniel genetics and may seem to be easily distracted, so work in an area with few distractions. Remember, all spaniels have a strong chase instinct, and it’s in their blood to want to chase creatures that are smaller than they are! Your Havapoo or Cavapoo might also inherit the Poodle’s fondness for fetching things and carrying them around in their mouth. In which case, they may enjoy learning more complex retrieving tasks.

Since either of these dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, you’ll need to be patient and teach them how to be alone very gradually. Potty training can be an issue for smaller dogs and their tiny bladders. As puppies, they need to go to the toilet very often. This is especially true of Havapoo puppies from a Toy Poodle parent. Crate training can help prevent accidents before slowly transitioning to going outside.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo Temperament

Like appearance, a designer dog’s temperament can be inherited from either parent breed, or resemble a hotchpotch of both.

The Havapoo is almost sure to be a high-spirited, intelligent dog, since the Havanese and the Poodle both share these traits. Typically, they’re very playful, affectionate, and friendly little dogs that enjoy human company. Poodles can be a little slow to warm up to new people though, and the same may be true of both the Havapoo, and the Cavapoo.

The Cavapoo is a sweet, loving dog who is likely to get on well with children and other pets. They can vary when it comes to energy level, depending on whether they take after the lively Poodle or the more laid-back Cavalier.

The Mini and Toy Poodles, Havanese, and Cavalier were all bred to provide humans with company. They all tend to spend a lot of time seeking out interaction with their owner, and frequently struggle with being left alone for extended periods. Separation anxiety can be a problem for both Havapoos and Cavapoos. It can manifest in persistent barking and destructive behavior when you’re gone.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo Health

No matter which dog you choose, you’ll want them to be as healthy as possible. Mixed breed dogs are at risk of the health issues that affect either parent. The best way to reduce health risks is to research reputable Cavapoo and Havapoo breeders who can prove that both of a litter’s parents were health tested before mating.

Hereditary problems that affect the Toy and Miniature Poodle include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Patella luxation. An orthopedic disorder of the knee.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease. An inherited bleeding disorder.
  • Tracheal collapse. When the windpipe collapses, impairing the dog’s ability to breathe.
  • Cushing’s disease. A serious condition commonly caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland.

Havanese Health Problems

Although the Havenese is considered a healthy dog, they still have certain issues to be aware of, particularly orthopedic and eye problems. The most common Havanese health concerns include:

  • Legg Calve Perthes Disease. A condition in which the head of the femur degrades over time.
  • Osteochondrodysplasia. Which causes improper bone formation.
  • Sebaceous adenitis. An inflammation of the sebaceous glands that leads to hair loss.
  • Deafness.
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patella luxation
  • Congenital deafness
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart murmur

The healthiest Havapoo puppies come from parents who have been tested for:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye disease including prgressive retinal atrophy
  • Patella Luxation
  • Congenital deafness

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health Problems

  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Entropion. An abnormality of the eyelid which cause the eyelashes to grow inwards towards the eyeball.
  • Syringomyelia. Occurs when the dog’s skull is too small for his brain, preventing the flow of spinal fluid.
  • Mitral Valve Disease. Which causes the dog’s heart valve to deteriorate.

Cavapoo puppies should come from parents screened for:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patella luxation
  • Eye disease including progressive retinal atrophy
  • Heart disease

Havapoo vs Cavapoo Exercise Requirements

Even though these are small dogs, they still need exercise every day. Two 20 minute walks, or one longer walk, and playtime where they can run and have fun with their family, are extremely important to ensure they get enough exercise and attention. Despite being the smaller dog, an adult Havapoo is a little firecracker with high energy levels who will consistently need at least one hour of daily exercise.

Havapoo vs Cavapoo – Which One is Right for Me?

These two small Poodle mixes are both adorable, affectionate little dogs that make wonderful pets. Although similar in size, appearance, personality, and lifespan, the Havapoo is likely to be a livelier dog that requires more exercise. Havapoo puppies who inherit the long Havanese hair, they’ll also need more dedication to regular grooming.

If you want a boisterous pup, go for the Havapoo, but if you prefer a dog who needs less activity, the Cavapoo might be right for you. If you share your home with larger dogs, or young children, the larger Cavapoo may be a better choice. Havapoo puppies with Toy Poodle parents are particularly fragile, and easily accidentally injured by larger playmates.

If your home is empty for long periods during the day, bear in mind that both of these mixes are prone to separation anxiety. So you’ll need to factor in the cost of doggy daycare too.

Final Thoughts

While it’s easy to mistake the Havapoo and Cavapoo at first, once you get to know each breed, you can see that they’re unique in many ways. The Havapoo is a bit shyer with the potential for a different coat type. Havapoos can be easier to train, but they’re prone to allergies. However, Cavapoos are more distractable, although they’re more tolerant to separation.

Either of these hybrid breeds could make a great addition to any home as long as they are adopted from an ethical breeder with standard practices. However, if you have a busy work schedule, the Cavapoo may work best for your lifestyle

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.