Dogs, generally referred to as man’s best friend, come in all shapes and types and sizes. When you start crossbreeding, you get even more types of dogs.
People began crossbreeding in an attempt to make a dog befitting of their particular needs. Crossbreeding, however, does not necessarily make a “show-worthy” dog, but it will likely make a loveable dog that you will be happy with.
If you choose breeds carefully, you will likely end up with a dog that has the size, temperament, and appearance of one that you like. The Cavapoo, also known by the names Cavoodle and Cavoo, is a mix between a Poodle and a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.
As one of the first ever “designer dogs,” these dogs are cute enough to be both man and woman’s best friend! Read on to find out more about this lovable breed.
History of Cavapoos
Cavapoos, a cross between Miniature Poodles and Cavaliers, were first bred in the United States in the 1950’s.
The Miniature Poodle was used rather than a Toy Poodle in order to avoid hereditary health issues. Some purebreds carry on health problems, so crossbreeding will lower the chance that health issues will be passed on.
They are an ideal pet for those with allergies because they were first bred to be hypoallergenic dogs. However, you cannot be guaranteed a Cavapoo with no shedding as some shed dander, which triggers some people’s allergies.
They are also a great choice for those who are repulsed by globs of floating dog hair because they are “low shedding” dogs.
The Poodle was chosen to breed with the King Charles Cavalier because Poodles are also “low shedding” dogs.
Crossbreeding rarely results in the same exact dog twice; each will have unique features.
Even so, there are some characteristics of this breed that you can depend on, such as their temperament and overall general looks.
What do they Look Like?
Since Cavapoos are a crossbreed, you can never really be guaranteed the characteristics you desire in your breeding results. You cannot actually even be guaranteed that the dog you get will be hypoallergenic or low-shedding.
Crossbreeding any dogs will never result in the same physical characteristics every time. You can however count on having Poodle-like or Cavalier-like characteristics, such as large, adorable eyes and a wavy or silky coat.
Their breed can be a variety of colors, such as white, black, gold, chestnut, or multi-colored, such as chestnut and white or black, white, and tan. You can count on large, floppy ears and a round face.
They will generally be between 11 and 15 inches tall for one bred with a Toy Poodle or slightly larger for one bred with a Miniature Cavapoo.
In weight, you can estimate a full-grown dog to be between 10 and 20 pounds. When crossbreeding, there is always a chance that some offspring will look more like a Poodle while others will look more like a Cavalier.
Cavapoos are a great family pet because they have a wonderful temperament, being very friendly and sweet.
They get along well with children, strangers, and other pets (including cats), and they are very people-oriented. These are dogs that are easy to train and get along with since they are very adaptable. They are also very loyal and kind.
This breed is very affectionate and have high social needs. Unfortunately, since these dogs love being around people so much, they develop separation anxiety very quickly.
However, if this is tackled early on, they can be trained to outgrow this. Training needs to include positive reinforcement in order to raise a dog that doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety.
They are very easy to train even though they have a very short attention span. Thankfully they also don’t bark much.
How to take Care of Them
All pets require some level of care, but this dog breed is a relatively easy one to take care of. Caring for your Cavapoo includes grooming, training, and exercising your dog.
This crossbreed can be considered low-maintenance, typically only needing to be brushed once a week in order to prevent knots and to keep their coat looking healthy and shiny.
As not all dogs are the same, there is a chance that this breed may have shorter or longer hair or different-textured hair, so some dogs may end up needing more frequent grooming. They also often have tear stains under their eyes that would need to be washed with a damp washcloth every now and then.
The remainder of a Cavapoo’s grooming needs are similar to that of most other dogs, including the basics such as cleaning teeth and ears and clipping nails.
A good thing about them is they learn quickly so long as gentleness, consistency and repetition occur.
They do not respond well to harsh treatment, so it’s always better to be patient with this breed when it comes to training.
These dogs are playful and excited, with a zest for life, but they only have moderate exercise needs. While they do not need excessively high activity, they should be taken for at least one long walk every day. A longer walk will help keep them stimulated, active, and alert.
You can expect a Cavapoo to live between 13 and 15 years, barring unforeseen situations or unpredictable health problems.
Given proper care and a good diet, they will be around for a while. When planning a new addition to the family, do your research and make sure you are aware of hereditary health issues. Do your research on finding a reputable breeder, particularly one that offers a health guarantee on puppies.
If a breeder cannot offer a health guarantee on the puppy you are buying, that is a dead giveaway that the breeder is up to something.
When you visit the puppy, walk around the grounds and look at the living conditions of the animals. This will also give you a clue as to how the animals have been treated and what sort of health they will be in.
Cavapoos can suffer from health ailments common in any dog, but particularly those common to the Poodle and Cavalier breeds.
Many diseases can be tested for, such as mitral valve disease, syringomyelia, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy. Other health problems can occur, but they can’t be screened for.
Mitral Valve Disease
This is a congenital heart disease that can be tested for. It occurs when high pressure, over time, leads the valve of the left ventricle of the heart to wear out and eventually leak.
The leak causes a murmur, so symptoms of mitral valve disease are not noticeable until the murmur develops later in life. In humans, heart valves can be replaced, but in dogs, this is not a realistic option.
Depending on the veterinarian’s diagnosis, medication may be an option. While this does not mean that death is right around the corner, heart failure will eventually occur.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This refers to a group of degenerative eye diseases that are genetic and hereditary.
These eye diseases affect both eyes and lead to eventual blindness. Symptoms include difficulty seeing, reluctance to explore, go outside in the dark, or go down stairs, and night blindness.
There is no cure for it but you can make adjustments around the house to make movement easier for your pet.
Luxating patella is more commonly known as slipping kneecaps. This is seen often in small dogs and crossbreeds, such as this breed. The cause is either an injury or a malformation of the kneecap which results in the kneecap moving sideways out of place.
If your dog is suffering from slipping kneecaps, it will cause pain and sometimes lameness; your dog will limp or hold its leg up when the slipping happens.
While surgery is possible, this is usually just treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.
Obesity is near the top of health problems in animals, which is unfortunate considering that this is easily preventable.
When a dog is obese, it can suffer from a shortened lifespan, lethargy, bone and joint problems, digestive issues, and respiratory problems. To make sure your dog is not affected by obesity, make sure you are feeding it an appropriate diet of healthy dog food for its age.
It’s easy to overfeed dogs, especially when they give you “the eyes,” but it is in their best interest to be strict about the amount of food you give them and the frequency with which you feed them. In addition to this, make sure you are allowing your pet appropriate time outdoors to run, play, and exercise.
Since Cavapoos are highly sociable, low-maintenance, easy to train, and don’t require a high level of physical activity, they are a great first pet for anyone.
Their sociability also makes them a great addition to a growing home – whether you are growing with pets or with kids.
Their size is suitable for apartment-living or smaller homes, and their low-shedding coat is great for those who have allergies. If you’re interested in adding on to your family, consider a Cavapoo.