If you are reading this guide you have most likely fallen for the cuddly and adorable Mini Cavapoo. Or at least want to learn more about them. Although, the Cavapoo is not a new designer breed, they have been capturing the hearts of many in recent years.
The miniature Cavapoo has something other popular crossbreeds do not. That is their small, but sturdy size and desire to be close.
Their small size makes them perfect for the person who wants to travel with their dog. Although small, they still have lots of energy to make life with them fun.
The desire to be close also benefits the person who wants to take them along. These little pups are content to hang out near you while you have a meal at a restaurant, or go sightseeing while chilling in a dog bag.
Sounds like the right type of pup for you? Then join us as we go over:
- What is a Miniature Cavapoo
- Other names for the Cavapoo
- History of the Cavapoo
- Miniature Cavapoo Temperament
- Miniature Cavapoo Generations
- Characteristics of the Miniature Cavapoo
- 8 things you may not know about the miniature Cavapoo
Quick Facts About the Miniature Cavapoo
|Height||12 to 16 inches|
|Weight||15 to 25 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 to 15 years|
|Temperament||Affectionate, friendly, and playful|
Mini Cavapoo Guide
What is a Mini Cavapoo?
The Cavapoo is a crossbreed that combines the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) with the Miniature Poodle. These petite pups are smaller than many of the other mini doodle breeds like the popular Mini Goldendoodle, Mini Labradoodle or Mini Bernedoodle.
If you are looking for an even smaller dog, there is also a Toy Cavapoo, which is a crossbreed that combines the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) with Toy Poodle. But this combination will have a slightly different personality and are also harder to find.
Other Names for the Miniature Cavapoo
If you were looking for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and poodle mix, you may have come across the Cavoodle. The Cavoodle is commonly used name for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) and Mini Poodle crossbred in Australia.
The Cavapoo may also be called the Cavadoodle, Cavapoodle, and Cavipoo. However, but here in the USA you will see the term Cavapoo used most often.
You might also come across an Australian Cavoodle. These pups are a bit different than the American Cavapoo. While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and poodle are still used in the mix, an Australian Cavoodle will also have Labrador Retriever in them.
History of the Cavapoo Mini
The exact history of the Cavapoo is unknown. Unlike some of the older breeds from Europe, there is no documentation regarding the origins for the Cavapoo.
Some people believe the first Cavapoo that was intentionally bred in Australia in the 1990’s shortly after the Labradoodle became popular. But a breeder from Australia states the first Cavapoos were born in the 1950’s here in the states.
Unlike with the Labradoodle or Bernedoodle, no breeder has laid claim to being the first one to purposely crossbreed the Cavalier and poodle in either Australia or the USA.
The most likely scenario is that various breeders in both countries started to experiment with different poodle crossbreeds to see which one would be the next big hit.
Regardless of how the Cavapoo came to be, the resulting puppies became a popular choice for people looking for a smaller dog that had a low shed coat.
Cavapoo Breed Standard
Although some poodle mix breeds, like the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle have breed clubs that developed a breed standard, the Cavapoo does not have a breed club nor a breed standard. This means the pups will have slightly different looks and sizes based on the breeder’s preferences.
Because of this, the best way to get a glimpse at what the Cavapoo may be like is to look at the parent breeds. This will give us clues about what to expect when it comes to the Cavapoo’s personality, looks and size.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is actually a fairly new breed in the United States. They were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995. Though, the British Kennel Club accepted them as a breed in 1945 and the original King Charles Spaniel from which they are derived is believed to come from the 17th century.
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 King Charles Spaniel has a complicated history. They originated from the toy spaniels that were popular with European mobility going 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 accidentally 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 mini 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. They are known to be “class clowns”, delighting their owners with their antics. Most poodles also love to swim.
Their high intelligence requires that they receive both mental and physical training to keep them happy and out of trouble. They would also prefer to have their people around them as often as possible.
But, while they want to be active during the day, they will settle down nicely when the day is over.
Mini Cavapoo Temperament
As you can see by the Cavapoo Personality Chart below, the poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel share a lot of the same personality traits.
While there are some differences between the two breeds, there will be less variation in a Cavapoo’s personality. Most Cavapoos are affectionate, intelligent and outgoing. Their easy-going nature makes them a good choice for kids and seniors. But, remember their small size means they can easily be hurt by accident.
Although they are calm dogs, they still like to be active and enjoy time outside. How active they will be is influenced by their breeding. We will discuss this more in the generation section next.
What do Cavapoo owners stay about their dog’s personality?
When Cavapoo owners were asked about the personalities of their pups, most said they were great family dogs that were very affectionate, but some commented on their dog not being active enough while others stated their dogs were too active.
Mini Cavapoo Generations
As I just alluded to, their miniature Cavapoo’s breeding will affect their personality, and energy level. It will also affect their size, appearance and how much they shed. This is due to the varying percentage of poodle vs cavalier inherited. To indicate the percentage of poodle vs spaniel, breeders use the generation classifications of F1, F1b and F2.
F1 Cavapoo– Is a first generation Cavapoo. This means it’s the first time a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is mated to a Poodle – Pups are 50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and 50% Poodle.
F1b Cavapoo – Is a second generation Cavapoo. The b stands for “back” as in “cross-back to one of the parent breeds”. With a F1b Cavapoo, an F1 Cavapoo is mated to either a poodle or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
When a poodle is used for the cross-back, the genetic make-up is thought to be 25% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and 75% Poodle. While there are no guarantees, the puppy should be more poodle like than Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This breeding should result in a Cavapoo that will shed less, have a curlier coat and be more energetic than a F1 Cavapoo.
F2 Cavapoo– Is a later generation Cavapoo. In this case, two Cavapoos are bred together. This is the most unpredictable of all the generations after the F1 generation. This breeding can result in a wide range of traits since you will not know which traits might be passed down.
Multigen Cavapoo – A multi-generation cavapoo is where the breeder has been paring later generation Cavapoos. A multigen Cavapoo should be more consistent in their look and shedding.
Characteristics of the Mini Cavapoo
Mini Cavapoo Size
The Cavapoo can come in four sizes. Sizes are typically based on the size of the poodle used and the expected full-grown size.
The miniature Cavapoo is the second smallest size and the most common one you will find. The other sizes include the Toy Cavapoo, Medium Cavapoo and the Standard Cavapoo. The standard Cavapoo is the least common size. Review the chart below to see the height and weight ranges of each size category.
Cavapoo Size Chart
|Miniature||12 to 16 inches||15 to 25 pounds|
|Toy||Under 12 inches||Under 15 pounds|
|Medium||16 to 18 inches||Up-to 35 pounds|
|Standard*||Greater than 18 inches||35 to 50 pounds|
What do Cavapoo owners stay about their dog’s size?
Breeders suggest that mini Cavapoos will be between 15 to 25 in weight and 12 to 16 inches tall. But when Cavapoo owners were asked how big their miniature Cavapoos were when they were full-grown, the responses ranged from 9 pounds all the way up to 30 pounds.
Miniature 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 be found in the following colors; Black, White, Apricot, Cream, Silver, Red, Grey, Sable, Brown.
Miniature Cavapoo Shedding
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.
Lifespan of a mini Cavapoo
The average lifespan of a Miniature Cavapoo is between 10 and 15 years.
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 patella, hip dysplasia, a heart condition called mitral valve disease, epilepsy and eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, entropion, cataracts and glaucoma.
Look for a breeder that does genetic health 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.
FAQ’s About the Mini Cavapoo
1. Is the Cavapoo 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.
2. Is the Cavoodle good 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 you should still take them to Puppy Training Classes. Cavapoos 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.
3. 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 might also want to look for a Cavapoo rescue.
To learn more about buying a Cavapoo including how much they cost in your state, checkout our post on Cavapoo Price: How Much Does A Cavapoo Cost?
8 Things You May Not Know about the Cavapoo
1. The mini Cavapoo likes to bark
Some Cavapoo owners have stated that their pups tend to bark often. This may come from the spaniel side of the breeding.
But it can also be caused by boredom. Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. A content pup that is ready for a nap is less likely to want to bark at the neighbors.
2. Velcro Dogs
The most common trait of the miniature Cavapoo is that they like to be near their people. This really shouldn’t a surprise when you consider that both breeds are bred to be companion dogs. And that the King Charles Spaniel was bred to spend most of their time on their owners laps to keep them warm.
However, their need to be near people all the time can turn into separation anxiety if left alone. You may be able to train them to stay alone for some of the time. But these dogs do better when there are people around them most of the time.
3. High energy level when puppies.
Don’t expect your cavapoo puppy to be sitting around all day. While both breeds are considered to be companion dogs, they also from a line of hunting breeds. 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
Many Cavapoo owners state that their puppies started to slow down by the time they were one year old. But every puppy is different.
4. They can jump surprisingly high
For rather small dogs the Cavapoo 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.
6. The miniature Cavapoo can be difficult to house train
Some Cavapoo owners have commented on the long time it takes to house train a Cavapoo. Not sure if this is truly an issue with the breed or training.
With all puppies it’s very important to learn their potty signs and to watch your puppy carefully until they are house trained. Also, limit the area they are allowed to be in until they are at least 9 to 12 months. To get more potty-training tips, including potty signs to watch out for visit, our post on Potty Training a Puppy – Made Easy
7. Some Cavapoo only have a stub for a tail
This is not natural. Cavapoos have a long-feathered tail (like the one pictured above), but some breeders choose to dock the tail. Make sure to ask a potential breeder about this before paying a deposit.
8. Cavapoos can to get carsick
Cavapoo owners have stated that their pup tends to get carsick. This is a common issue with all puppies, but most grow out of it once they an adult. However, some Cavapoos even as adults still get carsick. One recommendation that seems to help many, is getting a raised car seat so that they can look out the window.