Cavapoos are a small, designer dog breed that is an adorable cross of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. They are also known as a Cavadoodle or Cavoodle.
Cavapoos are small dogs with moderate energy levels and are an excellent choice for apartment dwellers as long as they get adequate exercise and mental stimulation. They are immensely attached to their humans and will not do well if left alone for long periods.
Known for their gentle, affectionate personalities, Cavapoos were first intentionally bred in Australia in the 1990s. The goal was to cross the loving, good nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the Poodles’ intelligence and hypoallergenic features.
To maintain the small stature of Cavapoos, Toy or Miniature Poodles are typically used, not Standard Poodles.
Cavapoos weigh 10 to 20 lbs for males and 9 to 15 lbs for females. Males stand at 11 to 14 inches at the shoulder, while females stand at 9 to 11 inches.
Grooming Needs Of Cavapoos
Cavapoos are low-shedding dogs that have minimal grooming needs. Their soft, medium-length coat can be wavy or curly. They are an excellent choice for people with allergies due to the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle.
A brush once or twice a week to prevent mats and tangles and remove dead hair is necessary. Mats can be uncomfortable and even painful while leaving the skin vulnerable to infections.
Regular nail trimming is needed unless your Cavapoo regularly runs on rough ground and naturally wears the nails down.
Ears should be cleaned twice a week with a natural ear cleaner such as this one. Alternatively, a mixture of 50/50 water and vinegar can be used as a homemade ear cleaning solution.
Being a small breed, Cavapoos are prone to dental problems. Daily brushing of teeth and dental chewing bones can help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar and help keep your Cavapoo’s teeth healthy.
Cavapoos aren’t dirty dogs and will require a bath every one or two weeks, depending on their lifestyle and environment. They tend to love the water and should not object too heavily on bath time. Use plenty of treats or this slow treat dispenser from Aquapaw if your pup hates bath times.
Exercise Needs Of Cavapoos
Cavapoos have moderate energy levels and make great family dogs and companions for folks living in apartments. Still, they need physical exercise and mental stimulation.
A 30-minute walk a day combined with a few play sessions will tire your Cavapoo out and allow valuable time together. Different dogs have varying energy levels. Some dogs will fetch a ball for hours, while others are content with curling up on the couch for most of the day.
Puppies have higher energy than adult dogs and often have the “zoomies,” their way of burning off excess energy. Their bones will not stand up well to one long walk but instead, have shorter walks multiple times a day.
Senior dogs above ten years will require less exercise and do well with a short walk of 15 minutes daily.
In addition to a daily walk, loads of play sessions in between will strengthen the bond between you and your Cavapoo. Use interactive dog toys like this treat dispensing ball for hours of mental and physical stimulation for your pup.
The Classic Kong has been entertaining dogs for over 40 years and remains a hugely popular choice for dog owners worldwide. Stuff it full of frozen, natural peanut butter or other healthy treats, and watch your Cavapoo go nuts for hours.
Bonus Tip: Cavapoos tend to love the water! They come from two breeds that are natural swimmers. Swimming is an excellent way of maintaining muscles and ligaments and will be a fun way to exercise your Cavapoo. Read here about how to introduce your Cavapoo to swimming safely.
Training Needs Of Cavapoos
Cavapoos are intelligent dogs that are highly attached to their humans and love to please. Because of these traits, they are highly trainable and will excel at obedience classes and any mental stimulation.
They require loads of attention and love learning. Consider signing up for puppy playschool or obedience classes to keep your Cavapoo’s mental health in shape.
Cavapoos are gentle, sensitive dogs that will respond to positive reinforcement. Harsh corrections or punishments will not work on them and might lead to behavioral problems like fear or insecurity.
They bond closely with their humans and will always seek to please. Praise and treat lavishly while sticking to firm, calm corrections. Never show anger while correcting your Cavapoo. Harshness increases stress levels and might cause more anxiety in an already anxious dog.
Destructive Behavior in Cavapoos
Certain destructive behaviors can emerge if your Cavapoo is left alone for too long or has too much energy.
Cavapoos can be voracious chewers, especially puppies. You can meet the teething needs of puppies with a good supply of dental chewing bones. If you find a shoe or sock ripped to pieces, it is too late for a correction.
If you catch your Cavapoo in the act of chewing something that isn’t his, don’t be mad! It wasn’t deliberate.
Calmly but firmly say “no” and remove the item. Direct your pup’s attention to a toy or bone and praise generously when he accepts.
Dogs also love to dig! You might find your Cavapoo digging away at carpets, couches, beds, or holes in the lawn. While most of this behavior comes from natural instincts, some dogs dig out of boredom when they aren’t getting enough exercise.
Digging, while relatively harmless, might be a sign that your Cavapoo needs more attention. If you catch your Cavapoo in the act of digging and this behavior is unacceptable, then correct with a firm “no dig” and redirect attention to his toys. Treat and praise when the digging stops and he starts playing with his toys instead.
Cavapoos can also be pretty barky. They are good alert dogs that will bark at intruders or anything out of the ordinary. Smaller dogs are genetically inclined to be more vocal than larger dogs because of their more vulnerable size.
Read more about how much Cavapoos bark here.
Cavapoos have low to medium prey drives and might not have significant predatory behavior. Despite this, they might attempt to chase rodents or other small creatures.
Excessive licking or grooming can mean a few things. It can be a sign of stress, anxiety, or boredom. An increase in activity level or playtimes might reduce the licking.
If your dog is a balanced, happy dog, the problem might be physical. It could indicate a food allergy or skin problems. If ever in doubt, see your veterinarian.
While getting into trouble is inevitable, further training and additional exercise can reduce destructive behaviors. Be patient and remember that dogs do not display these behaviors out of spite.
Separation Anxiety in Cavapoos
Cavapoos are exceedingly close to their humans and love being with them all the time. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of displaying separation anxiety in varying degrees.
Separation anxiety is common in many breeds of dogs. It is a panicked, anxious response to being left alone or being separated from their humans. Symptoms are:
- Urinating or defecating indoors, even when fully house-trained
- Chewing and destroying anything they can get their paws on
- Constant whining that can turn into howling or barking
- Shaking or pacing
- Panting heavily and drooling
- Excessive licking of paws
- Digging at closed doors or from inside crates in an attempt to get to you
- Trying to escape through digging holes or gaps in fences
Mild to moderate separation anxiety can be avoided with some preparation and work. Here are some tips to reduce the risk.
1. Give your dog a treat or access to his favorite toy only when you leave. An excellent pre-departure toy is a Kong stuffed with peanut butter.
2. Don’t make leaving a big thing. Calmly leave.
3. Give him plenty of exercise. A tuckered-out dog will have no energy to be anxious.
4. Don’t make a fuss over your Cavapoo when you come back. Difficult as it is, ignore him for a few minutes on your return while he settles down and only lavish attention when he is calm.
5. Line his bed or crate with an old t-shirt that smells of you. Be prepared to get that t-shirt chewed up!
6. Get your dog conditioned to being without you. Start with very short durations. First, go into the next room, and shut the door. Wait 2 minutes and go back in. If your dog acts as if he hasn’t seen you all day, wait till he calms down before showing attention.
Gradually increase the length of time that your dog can stay alone without you. Don’t rush it, and be extremely patient.
Separation anxiety is a prevalent problem with dogs with vastly different degrees. Severe separation anxiety problems in dogs will have to be treated by professionals. If your dog has separation anxiety problems getting out of hand, consider going to a reputable behavioral consultant immediately to nip it in the bud.
Cavapoos make great family pets and were bred to excel at apartment living. By providing adequate training and exercise, you can ensure a balanced, happy pooch!