You could be forgiven for confusing a Havapoo with a Cavapoo, given their similar genetic origins. They are both fantastic, loving, and adorable dogs with a contagiously cheerful quality to them.
Poodle mixes are some of the most popular hybrid breeds, with Havapoos and Cavapoos being popular among those. And there are good reasons for this. They are often affectionate, intelligent, and agreeable to people with pet allergies.
However similar they may be, a closer look will reveal some notable differences between Havapoos and Cavapoos that you should keep in mind if you are considering whether one or the other is better for you to make a part of your family.
What is a Cavapoo?
A Cavapoo is a cross between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These gentle and affectionate hybrids are an adorable combination of some of their parent breeds best qualities. They make great family pets and get along well with other dogs.
Their agreeability and even temperament can be attributed to their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lineage, while their intelligence and athleticism are a clear product of their Poodle genetics.
What is a Havapoo?
Also a hybrid, the Havapoo is a cross between a Poodle and a Havanese. They are famous for their upbeat temperament and sociability. Like the Poodle, Havanese are a highly intelligent breed resulting in a super-smart hybrid.
Havapoos are personable and peppy with entertaining personalities.
Havapoo vs. Cavapoo
Both breeds share many similarities due to their common parent, the Poodle. However, some essential differences may dictate whether one or the other is the dog for you. Let’s take a look at some of their shared and contrasting traits.
The American Kennel Club does not have set breed standards for either of these hybrids. Given their size, they both would probably fit into the toy group.
With Havapoos and Cavapoos alike, their expressive faces and cartoon-like cuteness clearly display traits found in both of their parents.
At a glance, a Cavapoo puppy seems to express more physical similarities to its Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s side of the family. With floppy ears and a shorter snout, their stature is typically closer to that of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel than the Poodle.
Their coats come in a range of colors, including black, white, tan, brown, golden, red, apricot, and tri-colored.
Cavapoos average between 8 – 14 inches tall and between 9 – 25 pounds. This is variable due to the size difference between their parent breeds.
Havapoos are consistently smaller, between 8 – 12 inches and 7 – 13 pounds. They, too, are fluffy with a more stubby face, similar to a Havanese puppy.Their hair tends to be a little longer, as with the Havanese, but with tighter, tighter poodle-like curls.
Havapoo puppy coats are usually black, white, tan, grey, or brown.
Both the Cavapoo and the Havapoo are considered friendly and social breeds. They are popular family pets who are comfortable in a variety of environments, from small apartments to large homes.
Cavapoos are pretty energetic as puppies but tend to mellow out as adults. Depending on their lifestyle – or that of their owners – Cavapoos can be active and athletic but are just as happy loafing around the house for most of the day. When properly socialized, they can be very agreeable and well-behaved around children and other dogs.
Cavapoos are loving and affectionate, forming strong bonds with their owners. They can be somewhat attention-hungry, even jealous when they are not the center of attention and are prone to separation anxiety when left alone.
Havapoos are lively and friendly towards all. They are outgoing with generally fun, engaging personalities.
With two highly intelligent parents, Havapoos tend to be very smart and are easy to train beyond the basic commands. Contrast this with Cavapoo intelligence which is a little less impressive due to their Cavalier Spaniel lineage (the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is not by any means a dumb dog but is still humbled by the smarts of the Poodle).
Training Differences Cavapoo Vs Havapoo
Given the remarkable intelligence of their common parent, the Poodle, both Havapoos and Cavapoos can become well trained with the right amount of attention.
Cavapoos are lively and easily distracted as puppies, and training at this stage will require a little patience. They typically don’t have trouble learning basic commands and obedience. And since they are often calmer as they age, Cavapoos are generally well behaved.
Havapoos are very bright and eager. They may have an easier time with and are more enthusiastic about more advanced training. A Havapoo might prefer more regular physical and mental exercise beyond puppyhood, but like the Cavapoo, they too could settle into a more relaxed lifestyle.
Health and Lifespan
In general, hybrid breeds such as the Cavapoo and the Havapoo enjoy long, healthy lives. While purebreds are likely to pass down genetic diseases and abnormalities from generation to generation, hybridization tends to weed out these flaws.
Cavapoos can live between 10 – 16 years which is relatively long even for a poodle mix. However, they are not without health concerns. Commonly Cavapoos are at risk for heart, knee, and weight gain problems.
A Havapoo’s lifespan is usually between 12 – 14 years. They tend towards similar health problems to Cavapoos but are also known to have thyroid and neurological issues.
Grooming and Care Havapoo vs Cavapoo
Like many poodle mixes, people often purchase both the Havapoo and the Cavapoo as hypoallergenic dogs. That is to say that their hair is generally not an issue for people with pet allergies.
It should be noted that no dog is perfectly hypoallergenic if only because hair and fur are not the only allergens associated with dogs. Skin, dander, and saliva may also cause allergic reactions in some people. That said, both breeds shed very little and are not known for excessive slobbering.
Cavapoos and Havapoos are somewhat high maintenance in terms of grooming. Since they don’t shed much, they need semi-regular haircuts and baths. It is crucial that you brush their coat regularly so that it is less likely to become too unruly.
Havapoos, with their longer, more tightly curled hair, may need a little more attention and active grooming practices. For the most part, you can do this grooming at home provided the right tools and know-how.
In either case, an occasional trip to the groomer couldn’t hurt, depending on who you ask anyway – I’ve certainly met dogs who look at a bathtub like it’s the mouth of an active volcano.
Both breeds benefit from regular exercise and stimulation as puppies and throughout life. As mentioned, Cavapoos may become a little less active later in life, some requiring only an occasional walk.
They would both be better suited as indoor dogs, even in smaller spaces. However, outdoor time and socialization are recommended.
Which is Better?
That, of course, depends on what you’re looking for in a dog. I have a hard time saying one dog is worse than another, but one may be better for some and not others.
You want to consider several things when you decide which type of dog will best fit into your lifestyle, Havapoo, Cavapoo, or otherwise. What is your experience with dogs? How much time can you dedicate to training? What type of living space do you have? Do you have any kids?
If you want a dog who is fun, boisterous and bursting with love, then a Havapoo might be the right choice. Havapoos are ideal for the active city dweller. However, they are adaptable and can adjust to all sorts of living situations and lifestyles.
So long as you can provide an outlet for their physical and mental energy, a Havapoo makes a great companion and a near-endless source of love and cheerfulness. Havapoos can’t really be left alone for a long period of time though.
But if you prefer a dog that requires a little less stimulation but maybe a bit more affection, the Cavapoo is the way to go. Cavapoos become firmly attached to their humans and rely heavily on these bonds. If you can dedicate the attention – they crave a lot of attention – and the love they need, you can expect a delighted and loving dog.
Havapoos and Cavapoos Side by Side
To summarize, here are the main takeaways when comparing Havapoos with Cavapoos.
Havanese/purebred Poodle hybrid
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Standard, Toy or Mini Poodle hybrid
Ultimately we tend to fall in love with our dog’s unique personalities. This is hard to deduce based on generalizations of the breed.
Whatever mixed breed or purebred dog you bring into your family, you have the power to provide a positive environment, follow a healthy routine, and foster a loving relationship with your new four-legged doodle puppy companion.