Everything you need to know about Cavapoos

Written by Napo HQ
Reviewed by Dr. Oli Robinson MRCVS and The Finchley Vet team
23rd Aug 2023
7 mins read
Cavapoos are the smaller cousin of the Cockapoo. This popular crossbreed is part Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. Being a crossbreed, their size and temperament can vary, but they’re generally small, smart, loveable dogs.

Breed history

The Cavapoo is another crossbreed gaining popularity, and is sometimes referred to as a “designer dog breed”. A Cavapoo is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. They’re also known as Cavadoodles, Cavoodles, or any way of mashing the two breed names together!
They’re a pretty new pup, emerging in the last 20 years or so. People wanted a cute, expressive dog with an affectionate temperament and a no-shed coat. Cavaliers were chosen for their friendly, loving personality, and Poodles for their no-shed fur. Because they are so similar in looks and temperament, Cavapoos are often considered the smaller cousin of the Cockapoo.


Since Cavapoos are a crossbreed, they come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. What all Cavapoos have in common though, is a thick double coat that’s usually wavy or curly, drop-ears, and large dark eyes. Depending on whether they have Toy Poodle or Miniature Poodle in their family history, they can be small or medium sized. They can also be any shade from cream to red to black!

Cavapoo colours

Cavapoos can be a wide range of colours, because they can be almost any colour or pattern that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels or Poodles can be.
  • Blenheim (Red and white)
  • Black
  • Red
  • Tan
  • Apricot
  • Brown
  • Chocolate
  • Black and tan
  • Black and white
  • Red and white
  • Tan and white
  • Apricot and white
Cavaliers can also be tri-colour or parti-colour, where they can be any combination of white, black, apricot, tan, or red.

Cavapoo temperament

A Cavapoo temperament can be tricky to predict, as their personalities can be more like an aloof Poodle, or a friendly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. However, both the parent breeds are intelligent, loyal, and active so you should expect your Cavapoo to be those thing! Usually, they are lively, loving, happy-go-lucky dogs that bond closely with their families. Because all their parents breeds were bred to be companions, Cavapoos are can be “velcro dogs”, and may be prone to separation related issues.

How much exercise does a Cavapoo need?

A Cavapoo will need at least an hour of exercise every day, and it’s best to split this into 2 or 3 shorter walks. However, these pups are known for being energetic and intelligent, so they’ll need plenty of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. You can try indoor games as well as outdoor walks and plenty of training to keep them occupied.

How to groom a Cavapoo

Your Cavapoo grooming routine will depend on what kind of coat they inherit, and how long you keep their fur. Short fur requires less brushing, but more regular trimming. If your pup has short fur, you can brush them once a week. Dogs with medium-length fur will need at least 2 brushes a week, and long-haired dogs should be brushed daily. Brushing is essential to help prevent matting, and remove any dirt and dead skin or fur.
As for trims, if you want to keep their fur short you’ll likely need to have them groomed every 4 weeks, but you can have them groomed every 8 weeks instead if you’re happy for them to have longer fur.
You should wash your pup every 3 months at least, but generally, you only need to bathe them as often as they’re visibly dirty or smelly. You should check their claws once a month and clip them if they’re too long to prevent them from splitting or overgrowing. Remember to clean their teeth regularly to prevent dental disease. Finally, you’ll also need to routinely check their ears as Cavapoos can be prone to ear infections thanks to their long, hairy ears.

Common Cavapoo health problems

Because Cavapoos are a crossbreed, they can inherit the same health problems that their parent breeds are prone to. Some common Cavapoo health problems are:

Heart issues

Cavapoos can inherit heart issues. Mitral valve disease is incredibly common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It causes one of the valves of the heart to stop working correctly. Heart murmurs, which are abnormal noises in the heart, are a common way that this problem is discovered. Meanwhile, Poodles can be affected by cardiomyopathy, which is where the heart muscle weakens and becomes enlarged.

Eye problems

Eye problems are one of the most common Cavapoo health problems, because both Poodles and Cavaliers can inherit them. These include cataracts, dry eye (which can lead to ulcers,) curly coat dry eye, and entropion. Entropion is particularly uncomfortable as the eyelid turns inward, and can cause irritation that may lead to infection or ulcers.

Joint issues

Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can all suffer from luxating patella, which is where the kneecap slips out of place. Many small dogs can develop this condition, including Cavapoos. Cavapoos may also inherit Legg-Perthes disease which Poodles are prone to, and causes the head of their femur (which connects to the hip joint) to break down due to lack of blood flow.

Hormone disorders 

Poodles are prone to several hormone disorders, which means Cavapoos can inherit these issues. They include Cushing’s syndrome, which causes too much cortisol to be made. Addison’s Disease, which leads to not producing enough of certain hormones. They’re also prone to Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland.


Both Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a higher risk of developing epilepsy, putting Cavapoos at greater risk of inheriting it.

Ear infections

Ear infections are common in dogs, but especially in breeds with long, hairy ears, like Cavaliers and Cavapoos.

Dental disease

Dental issues are common in all dogs. It’s a widespread Cavapoo health problem because they are a small breed, which makes them more at risk of overcrowding. This in turn increases their risk of dental disease. Because Cavaliers are brachycephalic, with shorter jaws than normal, it also makes the risk of overcrowding greater.

Frequently asked questions about Cavapoos

Are Cavapoos easy to train?

Cavapoos are generally easy to train. They can inherit the intelligence of a Poodle, alongside the eagerness to please of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Which makes a great combination for training! As with any breed, it's important to use positive reinforcement and consistency when training your pup.

How big do Cavapoos get?

Because they’re a crossbreed, Cavapoo sizes vary. Generally, they won’t get bigger than a Miniature Poodle, which can be up to 38cm tall. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to be slightly smaller, reaching 23cm. And Toy Poodles are even smaller!
How big your Cavapoo gets will depend on whether they’re bred from a Toy or Miniature Poodle.
It’s very uncommon for a Cavapoo to be bred from a Standard Poodle, but if they are, you could expect them to be as big as 40cm tall and weigh over 20kg.
For more info on puppy growth, check out our puppy growth guide.

How long do Cavapoos live?

A typical Cavapoo lifespan can be anything from 10 to 15 years.

Do Cavapoos shed?

Cavapoos can shed. It depends if they have more of a curly Poodle coat, or a straighter Cavalier coat. Genetics can be unpredictable in crossbreeds like a Cavapoo. Some dogs might have a very curly coat like a Poodle that continuously grows instead of shedding, whereas other pups can shed, especially if they have more of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's traits.

Are Cavapoos hypoallergenic?

Cavapoos may be hypoallergenic, but often they will shed fur or dander. It’s tricky to predict because it depends on what traits your pup inherits. Some will have a coat like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and shed fur and dander. Others might shed less if they have a coat like a Poodle, or potentially not at all. It’s also important to remember that no dog is truly hypoallergenic because allergies can be triggered by saliva, dander (dead skin), or fur. Usually dander!

Do Cavapoos bark a lot?

Cavapoos aren’t known to be very vocal or super yappy, but they aren’t silent either. It’s normal for all dogs to bark, so it’s a good idea to use positive reinforcement to set your pup’s expectations and that being calm and quiet = good things. Here are some tips on how to stop puppy barking.

Cavapoo vs Cockapoo

Cavapoos are known as the little cousins of the Cockapoo. Both crossbreeds have some Poodle heritage, which can give them similarities like being energetic, intelligent, and potentially inheriting a curly coat. However, they’re different because they have different Spaniel heritage. A Cavapoo is a cross of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, whilst a Cockapoo is a Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Poodle. Because of this, Cockapoos tend to be bigger and more active.

Cavachon vs Cavapoo

As the name suggests, both these dogs are a type of crossbreed with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Whilst a Cavapoo is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, a Cavachon is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon Frise.
Since they both share Cavalier qualities, they have a lot of similarities in their size, coat, and colour. Bichon Frise and Poodles also have similarities, such as both having a low-shed, curly coat. However, their temperaments can be different. Bichon Frise are generally friendly and bubbly dogs, whereas Poodles can be more aloof. Generally, Cavachons and Cavapoos are very similar crossbreeds.

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