Cavapoos are one beautiful breed. With the wavy hair and big brown eyes from the Cavalier King Charles and the hypoallergenic non-shedding from the Poodle, it’s no surprise Cavapoos have become a favorite amongst the so-called “designer breeds.”
Soft, small, fluffy, loveable, and hypoallergenic — is there anything wrong with this special breed? Are there bad things about Cavapoos?
Well, no dog is perfect. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you decide to adopt a Cavapoo.
What’s Wrong With Cavapoos?
Cavapoos made their debut in the 1990s in the United States, but have since become more and more popular as homeowners have begun to prefer non-shedding dogs. The Cavapoo’s small size (as usually one of the parents is either a toy or miniature Poodle) is also in line with current dog buying trends.
There are a number of things to be careful of before going out and getting a Cavapoo.
Cavapoo Price Problems
In recent years, poodle mixes have gained immense popularity in households from coast to coast. With this popularity, the average cost of Cavapoos has also risen dramatically. Today a breeder can make a pretty penny from a litter of Cavapoos.
To put it another way, these dogs are not accessible for all households.
Cavapoo Breeder Problems
With the price of Cavapoos being so high, some breeders are simply into breeding for the money.
If you’re going to buy a Cavapoo (or any of the designer breeds), you need to be sure you’re sourcing it from a responsible breeder.
There are two reasons for this. On the one hand, an irresponsible breeder’s puppies may have complicated, unforeseen health problems that can dramatically reduce the length of your Cavapoo’s life. Furthermore, by supporting irresponsible breeders, you are often financially supporting animal abuse.
How To Tell If You’re Dealing With a Responsible Breeder
A responsible breeder will, first and foremost, make you feel comfortable. If you have any weird feelings about the breeder, this may be your first sign that things aren’t exactly how they seem. Here are some things to look out for.
Will the breeder let you meet the parents? If the breeder doesn’t want you to meet your puppy’s parents, this is a bad sign.
Will the breeder let you see where the puppies were raised? If the breeder doesn’t want you to see where the puppies grew up, you’ll have no idea what the living conditions are like. Puppies and their mother need an ample, hygienic space to live, uncrowded and peaceful.
How many breeds/puppies does the breeder offer? Generally speaking, a responsible breeder will deal in only one breed of puppies. Furthermore, they will limit the pregnancies of the mother. If your breeder is offering many different breeds often and throughout the year, this can be the first sign of a puppy mill.
Cavapoo Behavior Problems
Once you’ve sourced a responsible breeder and found a Cavapoo puppy with a healthy home background, you need to prepare yourself for the potential behavior problems of the Cavapoo.
New Cavapoo 101
The Cavapoo comes highly regarded as a breed that is great for novice owners. It’s a people pleaser that has a loving disposition. That said, there are things new Cavapoo owners need to keep in mind.
The Cavalier King Charles gene. The genetics from the Cavalier King Charles gives the Cavapoo a very high level of energy. As a new owner, you should commit to exercising your new dog daily. And this doesn’t just mean walks. Cavapoos need vigorous physical exercises, like extended games of catch or time spent swimming and playing with other dogs or children.
The Poodle gene. With a poodle parent, the Cavapoo is extremely intelligent. It’s a dog that can get into mischief if you’re not careful. In addition to daily physical exercise, your Cavapoo will need intellectual exercise as well. There are dog experts the world over (many of them free to watch on YouTube) that have great advice about raising puppies.
Cavapoo Puppy Training Tricks
No matter how adorable and “good-natured” it’s supposed to be, a puppy needs to be trained. Without proper training, you may very well end up with an aggressive, dominating, loud, and abrasive dog.
Unfortunately, this fact leads thousands of dogs every year to be dropped off at animal shelters. These once adorable puppies, already mature and with terrible habits inherited from their former owners’ unwillingness to train them, very rarely find their way into adoption.
This is why new owners of any breed must commit to a full training regimen, not for a month or two months, but for the life of the dog.
If you’re dead set on getting a Cavapoo puppy, there are plenty of tried-and-true methods that work for getting your Cavapoo well-socialized for living side by side with your family.
#1: Socialization. Socialization is, far and away, the most important thing for the Cavapoo puppy. It needs to meet people and dogs of all kinds (after vaccination, of course). It should meet children; it should meet old men wearing hats; it should meet Great Danes and Chihuahuas alike.
When meeting people (especially children), you shouldn’t let the people just touch your Cavapoo all over. Have the stranger make your dog sit first with a treat in their hand. If your dog sits for them, the stranger is then allowed to pat your dog lightly on the head and tell it it’s a good Cavapoo.
#2: Basic Discipline. Before your puppy ever leaves the house, it should have basic home discipline. This means it should be able to sit, lay down, and rollover. Setting baseline commands early on that your puppy must follow is a fundamental way to establish an appropriate human-dog relationship. Puppies do it for the treats at first, but then out of a love for order.
#3: Potty Training. Puppies, like children, don’t understand that there’s certain places they’re allowed to potty. You must train your Cavapoo to use the bathroom only where appropriate. Teaching your puppy potty training will allow you to keep your dog in the house with your family (where it wants to be) without fear of accidents.
Cavapoo Health Problems
Cavapoos can have health problems, many of which are genetic. They can be prone to progressive retinal atrophy. Veterinarians can rule out this eye disease with a genetic test.
Your breeder should only have bred with animals that have undergone an appropriate genetic test, but you should make sure this is the case either way.
Some Cavoodle may be prone to heart disease or kneecap problems. Due to the different coat structures of poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, some Cavapoos have coat and skin problems. A healthy Cavapoo will live an average of 15 years.
Cavapoo Temperament Problems
Cavapoos are people pleasers and highly social dogs. They may very well have a high level of anxiety whenever their human companions leave their sides.
Luckily, as with all dogs, Cavapoos can be trained to be alone. You must simply practice leaving them alone for short periods at a time before extending that time for longer. The best way to begin this training is to combine it with crate training. If your dog loves its crate, it won’t mind spending thirty minutes at a time in there.
Then, when it needs to be in the crate longer (say, for example, at the kennel when you go on vacation), it will be well-adjusted to both its habitation and your temporary absence.
The Trouble With Cavapoos
All told, Cavapoos are really lovely dogs that have dramatically enlivened the homes of families across the United States. But Cavapoos also have their fair share of problems, from irresponsible breeders looking to make a quick buck, to high prices, potential health problems, and early behavioral issues.
The key takeaway is this: if you’re prepared to begin a life with a Cavapoo, don’t begrudge yourself the joy. However, keep in mind that having a puppy is a massive responsibility and not to be undertaken lightly. We hope this guide has helped you make the most informed decision possible.
If you decide to get a Cavapoo, good luck! You’re in for a spirited, loyal, and loving companion.