5 to 12 kilograms
Cavoodles, or Cavapoos, are adorable small to medium-sized dogs that have won the hearts of many families. A hybrid of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle breeds, they are smart, energetic, and known for their love for people. Their trainability and affectionate nature make them perfect companions. As charming mixtures, Cavoodles carry all the lovable qualities of their parent breeds, making them increasingly popular. With a Cavoodle around, there’s never a dull moment! This guide explores the history and characteristics of the Cavoodle breed, appearance, personality, and tips for caring for and training these lovely dogs. Finally, we discuss the common ailments they may be predisposed to.
5 to 12 kilograms
25 to 38 centimetres
medium to long
gold, tan, cream, black, apricot, red, chocolate and brown. With or without markings.
The Cavoodle breed was first developed in Australia in the late 1990s when breeders began crossbreeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Poodles.
The goal was to create a small, hypoallergenic dog that had the friendly and affectionate nature of the Cavalier, but with the low-shedding coat of the Poodle. The breed quickly gained popularity in Australia and soon spread to other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
In the US, the Aussie name did not take hold, and this breed is known as the Cavapoo there.
Today, Cavoodles are not always simply a cross of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Poodle (known as an F1 hybrid). F2 and F3 generations are offspring of other Cavoodles. Sometimes, Cavooldes are also crossed back over Poodles. These pups are referred to as F1B hybrids.
Several major dog organisations, including the American Canine Hybrid Club and the International Designer Canine Registry, recognise cavoodles.
Cavoodles come in a variety of colours and sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle’s DNA they carry. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great family pets. Cavoodles are also highly intelligent and trainable, which makes them suitable for a variety of lifestyles and living situations.
Cavoodles are highly social and love to be around people, making them great family pets. They are well-suited for children as they are patient and gentle with young ones. Their outgoing and friendly nature makes them quick to adapt to new environments and people, making them suitable for families with busy lifestyles. However, it’s important to note Cavoodles require regular exercise and playtime to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
Cavoodles are generally not known to be excessive barkers. They are intelligent and easy to train, which makes them easier to control when it comes to barking. However, like all dogs, Cavoodles may bark in response to certain stimuli, such as strangers, other animals, or loud noises. It’s important to provide them with adequate training and socialisation to ensure that their barking behaviour is under control.
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Cavoodles are adaptable to various living situations, making them suitable for both apartments and houses. However, they are an active breed that requires daily exercise and playtime to keep them healthy and happy. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with enough space to move around and burn off their energy. A house with a fenced yard would be an ideal setting for Cavoodles as it allows them to run and play freely. However, if you live in an apartment, you can still provide your Cavoodle with enough exercise by taking them on daily walks and play sessions in a nearby park.
Besides, Cavoodles love to be around their owners and crave attention and affection. They do not do well when left alone for extended periods, and separation anxiety can cause behavioral issues. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with enough human interaction and companionship. If you work long hours away from home, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to provide your Cavoodle with enough attention and care.
As mentioned, Cavoodles require moderate exercise to maintain their health and well-being. It is recommended to have at least 30 minutes to one hour of daily exercise, which can include walks, playtime, or engaging in mentally stimulating activities like puzzle toys.
Cavoodles have a medium to long coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. It’s suggested to brush their coat every 2-3 days and have a professional grooming session every 6-8 weeks. Regularly check their ears for any debris or infection and clean them as needed.
Like other small breeds, Cavoodles can be prone to dental issues such as plaque buildup, tartar, and gum disease. To maintain good oral health, brush their teeth 2-3 times a week using dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings by a veterinarian are also recommended to ensure optimal dental health.
Cavoodles are intelligent, enthusiastic, and obedient by nature. Add to that a strong desire to please, and you have a highly trainable dog. When it comes to training, Cavoodles thrive on positive reinforcement; they respond well to treats and praise. With minimal effort, they can be taught to fetch a ball, which can be great fun at the park. Typically Cavoodles are sociable and like playing with other dogs, ensuring fun outings together. Early exposure to a variety of environments, people, and other animals will help them develop their innate social skills.
When it comes to buying a cavoodle, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder. Look for responsible breeders who are registered with a recognised breeding organisation and who can provide health certificates for the puppies.
Price can also be a consideration; Cavoodles can be quite expensive, with prices ranging from one to several thousand dollars, depending on the breeder and the quality of the dog. Don’t forget the cost of owning a cavoodle doesn’t just include the purchase price, there are ongoing expenses such as food, grooming, and veterinary care.
Cavoodles love soft, plush toys they can cuddle with (or destroy). Chew toys are also a great option to keep their teeth healthy and prevent destructive behaviour. Toys that squeak or crinkle can pique their interest and provide hours of entertainment. Look for toys specifically designed for small breeds like Cavoodles.
In addition to toys, games that involve mental stimulation and physical exercise are crucial for Cavoodles. Interactive puzzle games that challenge their cognitive skills are a great option. These games can help improve their problem-solving skills and keep their minds sharp. For physical exercise, games like fetch and tug-of-war can help burn off excess energy and keep them physically fit.
While they are generally healthy dogs, Cavoodles can be predisposed to certain health issues and diseases. Some of the potential health problems in Cavoodles are:
DOGS can be affected by Chiari-like malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM), two complex conditions that are often linked. CM occurs when a dog’s brain is too big for its skull. Typically, the skull cavity is too short, pushing the back part of the brain (brainstem and cerebellum) into the skull’s rear and obstructing the cerebrospinal fluid’s flow. This brain compression is the most common cause of SM in dogs. SM is characterised by the formation of fluid-filled cavities or syrinxes in the spinal cord, which can lead to neurological symptoms. Brachycephalic breeds, recognised by their short muzzles and flat faces, are most likely to develop CM and SM. This condition is most commonly reported in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, one of the parent breeds of Cavoodles, and consequently, some Cavoodles inherit this issue.
Mitral Valve Disease is quite common in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed. This disease is characterised by a left-sided heart murmur that gradually degenerates, eventually leading to heart failure and death. Sadly, this heart disease typically affects Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at a younger age than other breeds. This hereditary disease has nothing to do with the dog’s lifestyle and is all about the genes your Cavoodle may have inherited.
Atrophy is the wasting away of a body part. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), is a group of degenerative diseases in dogs that affect photoreceptor cells in their retinas. The gradual deterioration of these cells eventually leads initially to night blindness and finally to complete blindness. There is no known cure. Luckily, most dogs easily adapt to vision loss, as long as their environment doesn’t change too much.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a condition in dogs where the hip joint, which should work like a ball and socket, doesn’t fit together as it should. The ill-fit results in grinding and rubbing instead of a smooth sliding movement, leading to joint instability and symptoms such as hip pain and issues with limb function. While mild cases can be controlled using anti-inflammatory drugs, severe instances could necessitate surgery due to extreme pain, difficulty in walking, and eventual loss of use of the joint.
Tracheal collapse occurs when the windpipe (trachea) weakens or collapses. The structural integrity of the trachea is maintained by small cartilage rings covering only about 83% of its circumference, with a thin tissue membrane completing the circle. When these cartilage rings lose their rigidity or if the membrane slackens and sags, the tracheal rings flatten during inhalation, hindering airflow to the lungs. This can result in characteristic symptoms, such as a honking cough, difficulty breathing, a reluctance to exercise, and bluish gums, caused by oxygen deficiency. Risk factors like obesity, chronic respiratory disease, and heart disease can exacerbate tracheal collapse.
Patellar luxation is a condition where a dog’s kneecap (patella) doesn’t stay in its proper position and slips or moves out of place. The kneecap normally sits and slides in a groove at the end of the thigh bone (femur). But in some dogs, especially smaller breeds or those that are bow-legged, the kneecap can ‘pop’ out of this groove. When this happens, it can look like your dog is skipping, hopping on three legs, or even holding one of their hind legs at an odd angle. It is often caused because the groove in the femur, where the kneecap sits, is too shallow or that the spot where the kneecap attaches to the shinbone (tibia) isn’t quite in the right place, upsetting the balance of forces on the knee.
Interestingly, once the kneecap pops back into place, your dog will usually carry on like nothing ever happened! In mild cases, the condition doesn’t usually cause too much discomfort and may not even require treatment. However, severe cases can cause pain and an unusual gait and may need surgery to fix.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent seizures. The condition is fairly common in dogs, with almost 1% of dogs affected. These seizures (sudden surges of electrical activity in the brain) can result in symptoms like twitching, tremors, shaking, spasms, and convulsions.
In most cases, the exact cause of Epilepsy is unknown, but a genetic basis is assumed to be the culprit in certain breeds. In many cases, the brain appears normal but functions abnormally. However, seizures can also be caused by structural abnormalities in the brain.
Anti-seizure medications are generally effective in managing epilepsy. While they may not completely stop all seizures, they can significantly reduce the frequency and severity, leading to a better quality of life.
Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy or opaque, often appearing bluish-grey. This leads to impaired vision or even blindness. Common in aging dogs (and humans), this condition is like a foggy window obscuring your view. Cataracts can be treated, often with surgery to remove the cloudy lens.
Atopic dermatitis, colloquially known as skin allergies, is fairly prevalent in dogs, Cavoodles included. This condition can lead to skin irritation and inflammation and is frequently triggered by environmental allergens.
Otitis externa, or ear infections, can be linked to skin allergies but also have other causes. In breeds like Cavoodles, their distinctive long, floppy ears can contribute to the problem by trapping moisture, providing an ideal environment for bacterial and yeast infections.
It’s important to take your Cavoodle for regular check-ups with a veterinarian, maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, and be aware of any potential health issues that may arise. Taking out pet insurance before any of these issues arise can be a good way to deal with the financial aspects of unforeseen veterinary expenses.
Not all veterinary costs are covered by pet insurance. Have a look at Knose’s Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’’) and the Target Market Determination (‘TMD’’) to consider if you may benefit from taking out a policy with Knose.