Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo – The Differences Explained

Poodle mixes are popular thanks to their friendly dispositions and ease of maintenance. But due to their Poodle gene, it can be challenging to tell the difference between these mixes. In our case, Cavapoos and Cockapoos are as similar as they are different. 

Cavapoos and Cockapoos are small, friendly, playful, and energetic dogs. They present similarly, but there are a few key differences, such as the slight size difference and the temperament. Cavapoos are slightly smaller and quieter than Cockapoos. 

If you have your eyes on these two small dogs but are stuck on choosing one, read on to understand the similarities and differences. That way, you can make an informed decision and get the dog that matches your lifestyle and needs. 

Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo Background

Both dogs are hybrid dogs, with a Poodle gene shared between the two. These are the results of mixing different dog breeds with a Poodle to create a healthier, more manageable, and adaptable dog. 

Here is a brief discussion of their background, which can be resourceful in understanding how they behave and look. 

Cavapoo Background

The Cavapoo is a result of breeding the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle.  These two together create a low-shedding dog, an outstanding and common trait of the Poodle.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is believed to have originated in North America following breeding and improvement from other breeds. Since 1952, this dog has become popular among breeders looking to improve the qualities of other dogs. 

The Poodle is one of the oldest breeds initially bred to hunt waterfowl. Poodles originated in Germany, but their popularity has grown significantly in other parts of the world. 

Today, Poodles are some of the most popular breeds and have held a top position as a hypoallergenic breed. 

The result of these two is the Cavapoo, a small dog that adores its human family. It is one of the most affectionate dogs and easily adapts to new family dynamics, relates well with kids, and interacts well with everyone in their environment. 

Cockapoo Background

The Cockapoo is a cross breed between a purebred Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle.  The Cockapoo has existed since the 1950s and has been a top contender among breeders looking to create Poodle cross breeds. 

The Cockapoo, like other designer dogs, is not recognized as a pure-breed dog, although some associations and clubs are working towards this. 

Cockapoos have been popular since their inception, and their numbers continue increasing daily. They are great family dogs and enjoy the company of their human and animal families. They are a sought-after dog for individuals, families with young children, and multi-pet families. 

Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo Appearance

These two furry dogs can pass as one, considering their relatively similar size, expression and temperament. They are both fluffy, have curious eyes, and present playful personality traits. But they have unique features that stand out, of course, because they have different parents. 

Cavapoos and Cockapoos differ slightly in size, with the Cockapoo appearing bigger than the Cavapoo. But, the difference is insignificant and may not be the first thing you pick up at a glance. 


Both dogs have a wide range of height measurements depending on the size of the Poodle used in breeding.  But, if the same size of Poodle is used for both, they have a somewhat similar height, with the Cockapoo growing a little taller than the Cavapoo. 

Cavapoos can grow as high as 9 to 14 inches and can weigh between 7 to 18 pounds.  A toy Cavapoo is the smallest of the pack, having been bred using a Toy Poodle. Therefore, if a Cavapoo is produced using a standard Poodle, the biggest Poodle, then the Cavapoo will be the biggest.

On the other hand, Cockapoos have a wide range of height and weight measurements as it comes in different sizes depending on the type of Poodle used. 

The Teacup, the smallest Cockapoo, weighs less than 6 pounds and can grow as high as 10 inches. The Toy Cockapoo can grow as high as 10 inches and weigh as heavy as 12 pounds. The Toy, usually bred with a toy Poodle, has a sturdier body than the Teacup and maintains this even in adulthood. 

The Miniature Cockapoo, bred using a miniature Poodle, can weigh between 13 to 18 pounds and grow as tall as 11 to 14 inches. It is a little blogger than the Toy and can easily be confused with one due to the slight size difference. 

The Standard Cockapoo, the biggest of them all, can weigh 19 pounds and grow as tall as 15 inches. It is sturdier than the standard Cavapoo, but the difference is not noticeable, especially in their puppy stage. 


Cavapoos and Cockapoos come in various colors, thanks to their parent’s variable coat colors. 

The Cavapoo comes in Black, Gold, White, Tricolor (Black, White, Tan), and Blenheim (Brown and White).  The Cavapoo coat color depends on the parents’ dominant gene: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. 

On the other hand, the Cockapoo comes in Black, Brown, Red, Tan, Silver, and White.  Like other designer dogs, the color depends on the parents’ genes the mix takes. One with a strong Poodle gene will therefore have one of the Poodle colors.

Coat Type 

The coat type depends on the dominant gene from the parents, like other characteristics. Cavapoos and Cockapoos have a fluffy coat, mostly non-shedding, thanks to the Poodle gene. 

The Cavapoo has consistent curls, similar to those of the Poodle, whereas the Cockapoo has a long, straight, or curly coat, depending on the dominant gene from the parents. If the Cockapoo takes after the Poodle, the coat is curly.  

If it takes after the Cocker Spaniel parent, it gets a long, straight coat which can be challenging to maintain. But, with occasional clipping and regular brushing, you can manage the long coat and keep it neat. 

Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo Temperament 

These two dogs are known to be playful and energetic, but the Cockapoo has an extra bout of energy compared to the Cavapoo. Cavapoos are laid back, calm, and love to snuggle, but Cockapoos are always ready for hours of playtime and a good walk. 

Both are loving dogs and enjoy the attention from their human family, but one thing stands out with the Cockapoo. A Cockapoo is always after hugs, cuddles, and kisses, making it one of the most affectionate designer dogs. 

Cockapoos are considered social dogs, which means they are at their best as companion dogs.  They should not be left alone for a long time as they might develop separation anxiety. Again, they draw their affectionate self from spending time with their families.

Cockapoos have separation issues and may become anxious if left alone. They also get overexcited when you get home and can be quite a ball of energy to handle. If not socialized well, Cockapoos tend to be noisy and bark uncontrollably when excited or anxious. 

On the other hand, Cavapoos are calmer and would rather cuddle and lounge all day.  Although they have their energetic moments, they are not as pronounced as those of the Cockapoo. They will play from time to time and take turns sleeping and playing.  

This does not mean Cavapoos are lazy and low-energy. They enjoy playtime a lot and interact as long as you engage with them. But in comparison with the Cockapoo, they are a little calmer and quieter. 

Generally, Cavapoos are known to be sweet and loving, getting along with kids, adults, and other pets. Equally, Cockapoos are friendly dogs, and with their whirlwind of energy, they make the perfect dogs for an active family looking for a playful dog. 

Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo Care and Maintenance

Before you take one of these furry and cuddly dogs home, it is crucial to understand their daily needs and all you need to do to keep the dog happy and healthy. 

Like other dogs, Cavapoos and Cockapoos need care and maintenance but are these any different for one dog? Let’s see how feeding, exercise, grooming, and training differ in these two dogs. 


When it comes to finding the right food for your dog, you need to evaluate their energy needs and the nutritional benefits in relation to the dog’s size.  For Cavapoos and Cockapoos, a diet formulated for a smaller dog will do, but it needs to balance all essential nutrients.

It is important to note that Cavapoos are prone to excessive weight gain, especially if they do not get adequate exercise.  Additionally, they have no control over how much they eat and can go on and on nibbling as long as the food is provided. 

Therefore, you need to limit treats for Cavapoos and keep them on a specific feeding schedule. You can provide enough food to meet their energy requirements and ensure they get vital nutrients while managing their weight.  

For Cockapoos, having a twice-a-day feeding schedule works best and helps to regulate how much food the dog eats.  The amount of food will depend on age, activity levels, and the dog’s size, so consider that when buying dog food. 

If you have a hard time figuring out the best dog food, consult with your vet to get food that not only supports your dog’s health but also suits the immediate dietary needs of the dog. 


Cavapoos and Cockapoos have moderate energy, but on the moderate spectrum, they lie on opposite sides.  Cavapoos are calmer than Cockapoos, and while they need regular exercise, they are less energetic than Cockapoos. 

Cavapoos will want to lounge all day and cuddle, but they need at least 30 to 60 minutes of active time daily. For Cavapoos, exercise does not have to be extreme but rather interactive playtime and short walks. This is adequate to keep them happy and healthy. 

Cockapoos, on the other hand, are super active and will be okay playing all day. They need at least an hour of exercise, only that it needs to be interactive moderate exercise.  You want to ensure your Cockapoo expends the extra energy to prevent destructive behavior.

Both Cavapoos and Cockapoos require as much mental stimulation as physical. These are intelligent dogs and need stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Provide interactive toys such as squeaker toys and puzzles to engage their mind during playtime. 

Grooming Needs

Since the Cavapoo and the Cockapoo share the Poodle parent, they have similar coats. They are considered to have a hypoallergenic coat, so the coat is pretty simple to maintain. Even so, these dogs need weekly brushing to keep their coat neat and clean. 

While they are low maintenance, the Cavapoo is more low maintenance than the Cockapoo.  The Cockapoo is more prone to shedding depending on the parent it takes after. But, if it takes after the Poodle coat, it is less prone to shedding and easier to maintain. 

A bath once a month is adequate to keep these two clean, but you can give additional baths if needed.  If your dog needs more than one bath a month, ensure you use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to prevent drying the skin and coat. 


Cavapoos and Cockapoos are pretty easy to train, but they have one flaw. Unlike most dogs, these two do not respond well to training at an early age. They are pretty distracted when young and have a problem paying much attention to one thing for a long time. 

That said, the short attention span works with small training sessions that incorporate playtime.  That way, the dog can get its distraction from play and be willing to stay for training. But be prepared to be slow with training these as they take their time and would rather not learn.  

Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo Health 

Both are healthy dogs, but this does not clear them from issues that their parents may suffer from. The first thing to ensure you have a healthy Cavapoo or Cockapoo puppy is to get one from a reputable breeder.

A Cavapoo can live between 10 to 16 years with proper care and routine checkups with the vet. Here are the health conditions that Cavapoos are prone to: 

  • Slipping knees
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Congenital heart attacks
  • Obesity
  • Ear problems

Cockapoos can live between 12 to 18 years. Their life expectancy depends on the dog’s health and overall lifestyle. Here are the health issues that Cockapoos are prone to:

  • Eye problems like cataracts
  • Ear Infections
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Obesity 

The Bottom Line

The choice between Cavapoos and Cockapoos depends on your situation and your needs. They are both great dogs, and their different parent breeds and energy levels are the main difference. 

If you are looking for a calm but playful dog, the Cavapoo might be the best for you. The Cockapoo might suit your situation better if you need a dog that easily blends in with your active lifestyle. All the same, they are excellent family pets that everyone will love. 

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Maureen G.

Maureen has been a Content Writer in the pet niche for over 5 years. She has vast knowledge on dog-related topics including dog breeds, dog health, dog care, and nutrition. With keen interest on the evolving world of dogs, Maureen stays on top of developments, specifically designer dogs. She is a part-time volunteer in dog shelters and rescue centers, therefore conversant with the day-to-day lives of dogs.

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