12 things to know before getting Cavapoo
Cavapoo dogs are a fascinating mixed breed between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle breeds. Here are 12 crucial things to know before getting the pup for yourself.
As a mix, Cavapoos are not officially recognized by most kennel clubs and there are some variations in their coat and behavior patterns based on their parents. They are also known under several different names such as Cava-Doodle, Cavoodle, Cavipoodle, and others.
However, mixed or not, Cavapoos are almost always an incredibly gorgeous, friendly, intelligent, playful, and gentle dog breed. Absolutely perfect for families with children, the Cavapoo has a lot of great characteristics and just a few notes you should keep in mind before getting such a pup.
What are the 6 key characteristics that make Cavapoo dogs special?
Cavapoo dogs are peculiar in some regards and absolutely adorable in others. Even if they are not recognized as an official breed by most kennel clubs, Cavapoo dogs are fantastic family pets by almost all standards and are definitely worth consideration. Here are six special characteristics that make them excellent pets:
1. This breed has one of the most adorable coats thanks to its parent breeds
The Cavapoo is easily recognizable thanks to its very descriptive coat. Its fur can come in different colors and shades, based on the dog’s parents, and it can be either flat or wavy. Either of these variants always looks like the fascinating mix you’d expect from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixed with a Poodle.
2. This is a highly social breed
Cavapoo love other pets and they adore people. This is a very loving and loyal dog breed that is almost guaranteed to love any family as long as they don’t mistreat the pup. These dogs are also very good with strangers and with guests, making the Cavapoo a good choice if you want to often have folks over.
Of course, some basic puppy socialization is still advisable – even the most social dog breed can be made anti-social with the improper care. Also, keep in mind that there are character differences in dogs so there can be the occasional anti-social Cavapoo that needs extra socialization.
3. The Cavapoo is exceptionally easy to train
These dogs are both highly intelligent and very social, just like their parents. This is a fantastic combination if you want a dog that’s easy to train. Especially if you’ve owned and trained a dog before, training a Cavapoo will feel like a breeze to you.
If this is your first pup – don’t get complacent. Proper obedience training is still very important if you want to have a good time looking after your Cavapoo. We’re just saying that you’ll have an easier time doing said training with a Cavapoo than with most other breeds.
4. These dogs are good-natured and family-friendly
It’s a very rare sight to see a Cavapoo that’s actively angry or hateful toward anyone, whether it’s strangers or their own family. This is one of the most good-natured breeds you’ll see – even when they misbehave Cavapoos usually have wide smiles on their faces. This makes them great pets for families with children as well as households with other dogs or pets.
5. Cavapoos are usually low-shedding or non-shedding dogs
Depending on their lineage, most Cavapoos are either low-shedding or non-shedding. This is excellent if you don’t want to vacuum your couch every other day. Some Cavapoo owners even swear that their dogs are hypoallergenic and that’s somewhat reasonable as most Poodles are viewed as partly hypoallergenic dogs.
However, as an unrecognized mixed breed, confirmation on this for Cavapoos is scarce – don’t get this dog for its proposed hypoallergenic qualities alone. If you want a low-shedding dog, however, Cavapoos are there for you.
6. A Cavapoo can live for a long time with the right care
The average age for Cavapoos is between 10 and 14 years but these dogs can often live up to 20 years with the right care and if they avoid certain diseases. We’ll touch on the latter below but as far as life expectancy is concerned, this breed is a good option if you want a pup that will be with you for a good while.
The 6 things you should know before getting a Cavapoo
As great as Cavapoos are, there are still a few things you should keep in mind before getting such a dog. Questions such as health, exercise needs, and separation anxiety are just some of the concerns that should always be on your mind when getting a dog and the Cavapoo is no exception. Here are 6 things to consider:
1. Cavapoos are very energetic and need lots of exercise
Like their parent breeds, Cavapoos are a highly energetic dog breed. They need at least an hour – preferably 2-3 - of active outdoor playtime per day. We do accent on “active playtime” – not just walks.
When these pups are not running in the park they are also very playful indoors. This means that you should get them quite a few interactive dog toys and you’d also do well to play with them regularly.
2. These dogs are so friendly they don’t work as guard or even watch dogs
Many people get dogs with the hope of them acting both as family pets and as watch or guard dogs. This is a good concept most of the time but it really doesn’t work with Cavapoos – these dogs are just too friendly and good-natured.
3. You have to know the Cavapoo’s parents to know what your pup’s health is going to be
As the Cavapoo is a mixed breed, there isn’t very consistent information about their health. The best w can tell you is that your pup’s health will be very dependant on their lineage. In other words – you should always get the health information of the pup’s parents before buying or adopting the Cavapoo.
As both Poodles and Cavalier Spaniens are pure-bred breeds, any reputable breeder should have such information readily available. If not – don’t risk it and find another pup. Cavapoo pups with unhealthy lineage can experience health issues such as syringomyelia , mitral valve disease , eye cataracts, and others.
4. Regular grooming is required
Even though they are low-shed and sometimes non-shed dogs, Cavapoos do require regular grooming. Their gorgeous coats are prone to getting entangled if not brushed regularly regardless if the Cavapoo has curly or straight hair. Weekly brushing is the bare minimum with many owners combing and brushing their pets daily. This isn’t as much as it may sound as Cavapoos usually enjoy getting the extra pets, especially if there’s a tasty treat at the end of the brushing.
Another important note here is that this breed’s beautiful coat also requires good washing from time to time, especially after their more playful outdoor sessions. A Cavapoo’s coat can easily become an entangled and dirty mess after just one visit to the park. Get a good dog shampoo and a good brush and be ready for such situations.
Another good grooming tip is to regularly inspect your pup’s eyes and ears for dirt as that can easily cause an unpleasant infection. When necessary, use a damp piece of cloth or cotton to clean these sensitive areas.
5. This is a strictly indoor breed
While Cavapoo pups love playing outside, these aren’t an outdoorsy breed. This means that they should never be left to sleep in a dog house outside or even be left alone in a yard for too long. This is an indoor breed – their health, coats, and even mental well-being depend on being at home and together with their human families.
6. Leaving a Cavapoo alone is tricky
Probably the most important note about the Cavapoo breed is that they are incredibly susceptible to separation anxiety. This is very typical for all dog breeds that are both highly intelligent and very social. Basically, every time you want to leave your Cavapoo home alone for more than a couple of hours you risk your dog getting anxious, stressed out, outright depressed, to start developing disobedient tendencies, or to go all-out destructive on your furniture.
What can you do about this?
Here are a few pointers:
Get as many new, interesting, and interactive toys for your Cavapoo
Make sure someone is always at home with your Cavapoo
If no family members are available, hire a dog sitter or a dog walker
Arrange pet dates with another dog owner
Get as much playtime and socialization done with your Cavapoo before you leave for work
- Get your Cavapoo a second dog for them to keep each other company when you’re away
If neither of these is an option, maybe the Cavapoo isn’t the right breed for you.
How to prepare for getting a Cavapoo?
Overall, Cavapoo pups are very easy to raise and look after. Housetraining and obedience training are a breeze, especially if you know what you’re doing, and so is socialization. Shedding also isn’t much of an issue so you don’t need to worry about getting a specialized pet-friendly vacuum.
The few things you will have to have are good grooming tools, a good doggy shampoo, plenty of indoor toys, a good leash, and a pet-friendly home interior. Finding a good vet for routine bi-annual check-ups ahead of time is also recommended.