Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (2024)

Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (1)

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  • Characteristics
  • Pros and cons
  • Cost
  • Size
  • Health issues

The super cute cavapoo (sometimes called cavadoodle or cavoodle) is a delightful family pup with a playful, affectionate, and outgoing character. They are a cross between the popular cavalier King Charles spaniel and the sweet-natured poodle.

Working as a dog behaviorist, I'm happy to say I've not encountered any significant behavioral problems with this lovely hybrid breed. They are easy to train, funny, adaptable, easygoing, and great with children.

Cavapoos are popular hypoallergenic pets. They weigh five to 10kg and are nine inches to 15 inches tall, depending on gender. Most have low shedding, wavy or curly coats in adorable colors. Cavapoos need regular brushing and periodic visits to the dog groomer for a short back and sides.

Because the cavapoo is a hybrid breed, its life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. If you're unsure if you have a cavapoo, this guide will help you choose the best DNA dog test.

Cavapoos are sociable little doggos who adore attention and form strong attachments to their owners. They're an ideal furry friend for a first-time dog owner, and not least because they adapt quickly to most lifestyles. They just want to be your best buddy and join in with everything you do. Cavapoos are on our featured list of the 25 best dogs for families.

Cavapoo characteristics

Cavapoos are playful, affectionate, and kid-friendly. They are good with other dogs and household pets. They don't have a high prey drive or need hours of daily exercise, although they'll happily join in on long hikes. They are bouncy characters but not excessively high energy if they get a daily walk.

I've found cavapoos easy to train because they are intelligent and quickly grasp what we're trying to teach. Plus, they genuinely want to please their 'mum and dad', and despite being small, one of the best things about cavapoos is they aren't yappy dogs.

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Cavapoos originated in Australia. They come in cute autumn colors like fawn, gold, chocolate, tri-colour, cream, and chestnut. Their coat is medium length, hypoallergenic and curly or wavy. It can become tangled when wet, so it's best to get their coat trimmed every six to eight weeks.

To learn more about why we love sharing life with a dog, read the feature about the 32 best things about owning a dog.

Cavapoo pros and cons

Of course, we think cavapoos are perfect, but there are a few pros and cons to consider:

The pros

  • Hypoallergenic: They have a low-shedding coat, so family members are less likely to develop pet hair allergies.
  • Ideal size for a family: Cavapoos don't take up much space, so they can live happily in an apartment or small house as long as they exercise daily.
  • Super friendly: The cavapoo oozes affection and friendliness and gets along with almost everyone, even the cat.

The cons

  • Specific health issues: Cavapoos can be prone to eye problems, dental disease and heart conditions.
  • Separation anxiety: Cavapoos are happiest when with their family. When left alone, they can experience separation anxiety. To learn more about separation anxiety in dogs, check out this feature.
  • Unethical breeding: Because of the breeds' popularity, backyard breeders and puppy mills breed hybrid dogs indiscriminately to make money. Always check for ethical breeding and avoid puppy mills.
  • Grooming: This fluffy pup's coat needs regular brushing as it can quickly become tangled.

Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (3)

Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog & Cat Slicker Brush

This slicker brush is perfect for getting tangles out of a cavapoo's coat. Plus, it's super easy to clean - just press the bristle retraction button and you're good to go!

The cost of a cavapoo

The cavapoo is on our featured list as one of the most expensive dog breeds.

Anticipate spending $1,000 to $4,000 for a puppy with good lineage and no interbreeding.

High-end, reputable breeders often provide extra benefits, such as a start-up puppy food pack and advice for early training. They may also offer to take the puppy back at any stage of its life if your circ*mstances change.

Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (4)

The size of a cavapoo

Cavapoo puppies are teeny fluffballs of cuteness, weighing less than five pounds at eight weeks old. Your new furry friend might be happy snuggling into your hand. As a full-grown adult, a male cavapoo is 10 inches to 15 inches tall and weighs around five to 10kg. Female adult cavapoos are nine inches to 11 inches tall and weigh approximately four to eight kg.

Cavapoo health issues

Cavalier King Charles and poodles have common health issues, so unsurprisingly, cavapoos may inherit some of these genetic problems. Reputable breeders strive to continually improve the health of their litters and avoid breeding dogs showing common genetic diseases.

Here are some of the potential health issues for cavapoos:

  • Congenital heart defects, such as heart murmurs (a common health issue for cavalier King Charles)
  • Atopy is an uncomfortable skin allergy that can cause itchy skin
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can lead to blindness.
  • Orthopedic issues like luxating patellas that can cause the kneecaps to pop out
  • Dental disease – it's essential to maintain good teeth and gum health with regular brushing. For more information on dental health, read our features on dog gum diseases or tips to keep dog teeth clean.

It's worth mentioning that gum disease can lead to other health issues if not addressed, so prevention is better than cure. Get your cavapoo puppy used to having his teeth cleaned.

Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (5)

Nutri-Vet Chicken Flavored Enzymatic Toothpaste, 2.5-oz tube + Jasper Finger Dog & Cat Toothbrush

Keep your dog's teeth squeaky-clean with a good-quality toothpaste and brush. The chicken flavor will make it a tasty experience for your cavapoo pup!

Cavapoos are like happy, fluffy teddy bears. You just want to snuggle your nose into their soft fur. After all, they are listed number one in our feature about the best teddy bear dog breeds.

Remember to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder and enjoy many happy years with your adorable cavapoo friend.

Enjoyed this? You might also be interested in reading about the maltipoo.

Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (6)

Jan Barley

Dog Behaviorist & Writer

Jan is a dog behaviorist and writer living in the Cotswolds, UK. She has shared her life with dogs for over fifty years and is fascinated by behavior. She enjoys helping people better understand their dogs to develop a deep bond and enjoy time together. Jan particularly enjoys working with impulsive and reactive dogs as her legacy from helping Poppy, her rescue Weimaraner cross overcome fear reactivity.

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Cavapoo: characteristics, size and what to expect, according to a behaviorist (2024)
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