Cavoodle vs Cavapoo? What is the correct name for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle cross breed?
Depending on who you ask they are both correct. The Cavoodle goes by many names including Cavadoodle, Cavapoodle, Cavipoo and of course the Cavapoo.
However, Cavoodle is used most often in Australia, but here in the USA we use the term Cavapoo. Regardless of the name, these pups have become undeniably popular for people looking for a smaller doodle.
What is a Cavapoo mixed with?
The Cavoodle or Cavapoo is a crossbreed that combines the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) with the poodle. These adorable pups are smaller than many of the Mini doodle breeds like the popular Mini Goldendoodle or Mini Bernedoodle. making them a great choice for people that like to travel or who live in a small apartment.
It’s believed that the first Cavapoo that was intentionally bred in Australia. But unlike the Labradoodle or Bernedoodle, no breeder has laid claim to being the first one to purposely crossbreed the Cavalier and poodle.
Instead it’s believed that after the first Labradoodles were successfully bred to be hypoallergenic, various breeders started to experiment with other types of poodle mix breeds.
The hope was to develop a new breed of dogs that were low shedding and easier for people with allergies to be around.
Since the cross breeding is done intentionally, these dogs are referred to as designer dogs. As you can see in the history of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel most dogs are.
Regardless of how the Cavapoodle came to be, the resulting puppies became a popular choice for people looking for a smaller dog that had a low shed coat.
Since the Cavadoodle is a mixed breed that does not have a breed standard, the best way to get a glimpse at what they may be like is to either ask Cavoodle owners what their pup is like or to look at the parent breeds to get clues about the Cavapoo’s personality.
In this post we have done both. Let’s start with a look at the parent breeds, but we will add real life experiences from the people who share their life with a Cavapoo.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is actually a fairly new breed in the USA. They were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995. At just 12 to 13 inches high at the shoulder and 13 to 18 pounds, the Cavalier is considered to be part of the toy group.
The Cavalier has a complicated history. They originated from the toy spaniels that were popular with European mobility going all the way back to the Renaissance times.
But unlike some of the larger spaniel breeds that were used for hunting, these spaniels were bred to be lap dogs. Their small size made them a perfect fit to sit in someone’s lap to keep them warm during the cold months.
The King Charles Spaniel is named after the British monarchs, King Charles I and II during the 17th century. This father and son duo were devoted to the breeding of these dogs.
At this point the King Charles Spaniel still resembled the larger spaniels, but during the Victorian age the breed was crossed with Asian toys. This resulted in a domed skull and flatter face we see in the English Toy Spaniel, also known as the King Charles Spaniel in England.
In the 1920’s a wealthy American named Roswell Eldridge offered a cash prize to breeders who could produce “Spaniels of the Old World type.” Breeders rose to the challenge to create the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel we see today.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Temperament
The Cavalier is considered to be friendly, affectionate, gentle and playful. These pups are very social and adapt easily to new situations. They can comfortably live in either an apartment or big house.
They are also intelligent and easy to train. Like most lap dogs they want to be with their people. Because of this they are prone to separation anxiety.
All of these traits combined make them a good fit for first time dog owners and families that will be around the dog often.
However their small size makes them susceptible to becoming accidently hurt by young or rambunctious children.
The Poodle’s history is a bit more straightforward, though its origins are disputed.
According to the American Kennel Club the Poodle is believed to be from Germany, but the French have claimed the poodle as their own. It’s even the national dog of France.
The belief that the poodle is from Germany stems from its name. The word “poodle” is believed to come from the German word “Pudel” which means to splash in the water. The Germans also claim the poodle to be from Germany.
Regardless of where they come from, the Poodle was bred to be a water dog. Their curly coat was developed to keep them warm in the cold waters and their webbed feet are to make swimming easier. Originally used by hunters to retrieve waterfowl, the poodle was later bred down to become a smaller sized companion dog.
Poodles come in four sizes: Standard, Moyen or Small Standard, Mini and Toy.
The Poodle is a family oriented pup that is highly intelligent, easy to train and gentle. Poodles are active dogs that like to be busy. Larger sized poodles will love to go for long walks or hikes in the woods. Most poodles also love to swim.
Their high intelligence does require that they receive both mental and physical training to keep them happy. They would also prefer to have their people around them as often as possible.
Oh and did I mention that they are often referred to as the class clown? There’s a reason why poodles are used in circus acts. They just love to entertain you and be the center of attention.
But, while they want to be active during the day, they will settle down nicely when the day is over.
As you can see by the Cavaoodle Personality Chart below, the poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel share a lot of the same personality traits.
This is a huge plus when you are looking for a mixed breed dog. When you crossbreed dogs with different personalities you never really know which traits will be passed down. But since the poodle’s and Cavaliers personalities are close there is less guess work.
Cavoodle Personality Chart
But, even though the Cavalier and Poodle have similar personalities, there are some differences.
The poodle is much more active and energetic than a Cavalier. They require both physical and mental stimulation daily. Poodles are more standoffish with strangers where the Cavalier is friendlier to new people. Poodles are often referred to as a clown and like to get a reaction from you.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are more easygoing and laid back. Since they were bred to be a companion dog they will spend more time chilling than playing. They are also more affectionate, but can be prone to separation anxiety.
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing what they will be like until you have started to live with them.
This is important to keep in mind. When Cavadoodle owners were asked about the personalities of their pups, most said they were great family dogs, but some either commented on their dog not being active enough and others stated their dogs were too active.
It’s important to work with an experienced breeder who is able to read what the puppies will be like when they grow up.
Like all poodle mixes, you can choose which cavapoo generation you prefer.
The most common Cavapoo generations are the F1 and F1b. As you can see by the chart an F1 Cavoodle is half poodle and half Cavalier.
An F1b Cavoodle is an F1 breed with a purebred. The b stands for crossback, meaning they are crossing the F1 back to one of the original purebreds. In this case the purebred can be either a Poodle or Cavalier.
Breeders choose to cross breed back to the original purebred for a few reasons.
- The most common reason is to breed low shedding dogs. The hope is by breeding back to a poodle, the offspring will inherit two low shedding genes rather than just one.
- Another reason to cross breed back to a purebred is to retain more of the desired breed’s personality. In the case of the Cavapoo they may choose to crossback to the Cavalier if they are looking for offspring that are easy going and less energetic.
- A F1b is also common when trying to change the size of a dog. This allows breeders to slowly either increase or reduce the size of the puppies while maintaining the proper structure.
What size is a Fully Grown Cavapoodle?
The Cavapoodle or cavapoo can be found in three different sizes depending on the size of the poodle used in breeding. The sizes are called: Toy, Mini and Standard.
The toy Cavapoo is the smallest size you can find. They are a combination of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Toy Poodle. Their small size makes it easy to bring these pups wherever you go.
According to breeders, the toy Cavapoo is between 10 and 15 pounds. Their height ranges between 9 and 12 inches tall at the shoulder.
But in actuality the toy Cavapoodle can have an even wider range in sizes. Toy Cavapoodle owners reported their pup’s adult sizes to be anywhere between 7 pounds all the way up to 20 pounds.
There were even a few reported toy Cavapoos that grew to over 20 pounds.
The Mini Cavapoo is slightly larger than the toy and a fairly popular size. These “medium” sized pups are a combination of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a miniature poodle.
Breeders suggest that these dogs will be between 13 to 25 in weight and 12 to 16 inches tall. But when Cavapoo owners were asked how big their mini Cavapoos were at their adult size the responses ranged from 9 pounds all the way up to 30 pounds.
Standard sized Cavapoo are less common than the other two sizes. They are created by breeding a larger Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with either a small standard poodle or Moyen Poodle. These pups are also referred to as a “Cuddle” Cavapoo by some breeders.
A Standard Cavadoodle can be between 35 and 50 pounds. This is a fairly new size that was created for people who loved the Cavapoo but wanted a larger dog.
To learn more about the Cavapoo sizes and how you can estimate the size of your pup visit our post: Cavapoo Full-Grown: How Big Do They Get?
How big will your Cavapoo get?
There are a few ways to guess how big they will get.
- One way is to talk with your breeder. If the breeding pair has had previous litters, then the breeder should be able to give you a fairly good guess of the adult size. But because they are a mixed breed even looking at previous litters may not be accurate.
- Another way is to look at the size of the parents, but remember that past generations can also have an effect on the size of the offspring. Even if the parents are both small, but there is a great grandparent that is large, it’s possible for the puppies to inherit genes from the larger great grandparent.
- There is also the 4 month rule. That is at 4 months your puppy is roughly half the size of their full grown self. This tends to be somewhat accurate but can still be off.
7 Common Questions about the Cavoodle
Here are some common questions people ask before choosing to get a Cavapoo.
1. Does the Cavoodle bark?
Yes, some Cavadoodle owners report that their pups do tend to bark. This may come from the spaniel side of the breed.
But it can also be caused by boredom. Make sure your pup is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. A content pup that is ready for a nap will not want to bark at the neighbors.
2. Is a Cavoodle a high maintenance dog?
It really depends on the type of fur they inherit. Cavapoos that have a curlier coat will require brushing a few times a week and frequent trips to the groomers. Ones that favor the cavalier’s silky coat will require less grooming but will shed more.
It’s not uncommon for poodle mix breeds to have a mixed coat. An example of this is curlier fur on the legs but a wavy coat on their backs. This is the case with my poodle mix breed.
3. Do Cavoodles shed?
Whether a Cavapoo sheds will depend on the genes that they inherit from the poodle and Cavalier. Poodles are considered to be low-shed dogs, but the Cavalier is a moderate shedder. An F1 Cavapoo will shed less than a Cavalier but more than a poodle.
If getting a non-shedding dog is important to you, look for a breeder that tests for the genes that control how much a dog will shed. By knowing which genes the parent dogs have, they will be able to breed the dogs to have low shed puppies.
4. What color is the Cavapoo?
Cavapoos can be found in all the colors the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel comes in and also all the colors the poodle comes in. But the most common colors are cream, ruby and light red.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels official colors are:
- Blenheim – is a white dog with chestnut markings around the eyes and on the ears. They will also have large chestnut markings on the back and sides.
- Tricolor – is a mainly white dog with black around the eyes and all of the ears. They will also have tan markings over the eyes, on the checks, inside the ears and on the underside of the tail.
- Ruby – the whole body is colored a rich red.
- Black and Tan – black with tan markings over eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs, and on underside of tail.
But Cavaliers also come in all black, black and white, chocolate tri color, chocolate & tan and chocolate ruby.
Poodles can come in almost any color known to the dog world.
5. What is the lifespan of a Cavapoo?
The average lifespan of a Cavapoo is between 10 and 15 years. Larger dogs will typically have a shorter lifespan and smaller ones tend to live longer.
According to Embrace health insurance the Cavapoo is susceptible to a number of health issues that affect their parent breeds. This includes conditions like: luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, a heart condition called mitral valve disease, epilepsy and eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, entropion, cataracts and glaucoma.
Your breeder should be testing the parents and grandparents for certain common health conditions. Ask to see the results of genetic testing for OFA patella (knee), cardiac clearances as well as certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that eyes are healthy.
While health testing is not a guarantee of a long, healthy life, it can help avoid unnecessary heartbreak caused by poor breeding.
6. Is the Cavoodle a good dog for first time dog owners?
Thanks to their laid-back attitude and intelligence the Cavapoo is a great dog for first time dog owners.
But I strongly suggest that you take them to a puppy training class.
Cavoodles are good if you know how to train them. Puppy training is as much about training your dog as it is about teaching you the right way to train your pup.
7. Where to find a Cavapoo puppy?
It’s important to only buy a puppy from a reputable breeder that does health testing on their breeding dogs. Health checks on puppies are not a substitute for parental health tests.
Also watch out for scammers online and on Craigslist. Ask a lot of questions to see how well the seller knows the breed and puppies. If anything seems out of place, move on.
You can also look for a Cavapoo rescue.
5 Things to know about the Cavapoo
1. Separation Anxiety
When you take two dogs that are bred to be companion dogs and combine them, separation anxiety is a real possibility. This is the case with the Cavapoo. Both the Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel were bred to spend most of their time with people so it is only nature that will become upset when they are alone.
In fact when Cavapoo owners were asked about separation anxiety the response was it’s a “cavapoo thing”. In reality many dogs suffer from separation anxiety. But dogs can be trained to stay alone, if you start the training early. If you are concerned with separation anxiety you should check out our post on how we dealt with separation anxiety with our puppy.
2. High energy level when puppies.
Don’t expect your cavapoo puppy to be sitting around all day. While the Cavalier King Charles spaniel and the mini poodle were bred to be a companion breed, they are both from a line of hunting dogs. This means that they like to be active. Especially when they are puppies.
Cavapoo puppy owners say you should expect your puppy to get the Zoomies before bed time. This is a common trait among most young dogs.
Don’t know what the zoomies are? It’s when your puppy decides they need to let out a little energy and starts to run wild all around your house at top speed. It generally doesn’t last long
Most Cavapoo owners stated that their puppies started to slow down by the time they were one year old. But every puppy is different.
3. They can jump surprisingly high
For rather small dogs the Cavadoodle can jump surprisingly high. It’s probably the poodle in them. But something to keep in mind when you need to contain them.
5. Cavapoo change color
It is not uncommon for a dark red or brown Cavapoo to fade to a lighter color. This is caused by a gene carried by the poodle. Not every Cavapoo will fade. If this is a concern, ask your breeder if any of the previous offspring have faded.