Cavoodle

A complete breed guide for cavoodle dogs

LAST UPDATED 3 JUNE 2022

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Elise Barry BVSc (Hons), BSc

The Cavoodle is a very trendy breed ranking in the top ten of most popular dog breeds in Australia. The Cavoodle is believed to have first been bred in the USA in the 1950's by crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Miniature Poodle. This breed was popularised with crossbreeding programs in the 1990's in Australia due to the breed's excellent temperament, low to non-shedding coat (hypoallergenic) and having an outgoing, affectionate nature.

Contents:

Facts About the Cavoodle

History

Cavoodle's Personality

Top health recommendations for Anxiety

Health Concerns

Nutrition

Related Breeds

Further reading

Facts About the Cavoodle

cavoodle wearing a blue coat
Breed size: Place of origin: Other names:
Small USA/Australia Cavapoo / Cavadoodle
Breed group: Energy level: Weight range:
Crossbreed, 'oodle' Medium to high 5 - 12kg (depends on parentage Toy/Miniature Poodle)
Life expectancy: Tendency to bark: Height range:
10 - 15 years Low Toy: 28-35cm, Mini: 33-45cm at shoulder
Drool factor: Coat length: Colours:
Low Long 6-10 colours (red/ruby/chestnut, black, black & tan, black & white, tri colours (Blenheim), gold, chocolate)
Shedding factor: Social needs: Overall grooming needs:
Low to Non-shedding Moderate Low maintenance although regular trims needed

How big do Cavoodles get?

Due to the varying sizes of the poodle and the cavalier, a cavoodle's adult weight can range from 5-12kg. Their height ranges from 22-35 cm at the shoulder. The best way to estimate your dog's expected adult weight is to have a look at their mother and father.

How much does a Cavoodle cost?

A Cavoodle puppy in Australia usually costs $4500-7000. The Cavoodle is now ranked as Australia's #1 most popular breed, and the pandemic only increased demand. This means that while they may have cost less than $800 ten years ago, now one of these fuzzy mates will set you back $4500-7000.

Do Cavoodles shed?

Cavoodles shed no hair and are therefore great for people with allergies or those like fur-free furniture! However, for fur to be 'non-shedding' means that it grows continuously, so the Cavoodle does require regular trimming and professional grooming every few weeks.

Are Cavoodles good pets?

Cavoodles are intelligent and gentle souls who make great companions for owners of all ages. They are people-oriented, clever, and will love everyone in the family, including other pets. However, they aren't typically the cheapest dog to keep, due to their common health issues and requirement of regular grooming.

How long do Cavoodles live?

The Cavoodle lifespan is 10-14 years. As with any breed, they will live much longer if you take good care of them, never let them become overweight, and keep their teeth in top condition!

Do Cavoodles bark much?

Yes, typically cavoodles bark a lot. They are a very vocal breed and may bark when they are hungry, bored, anxious, or excited. They are also prone to separation anxiety. To reduce your Cavoodle's barking, ensure you train with positive reinforcement from a young age and reduce problem behaviours before they begin!

How do I choose a Cavoodle breeder?

When looking for a Cavoodle, your options are to: a) adopt from a rescue (this is our top recommendation!) b) buy from an or online marketplace or pet store (NOT recommended!), or c) Research a reputable breeder. Never purchase a puppy without inspecting the breeder's premises and asking the 10 Breeder Checklist Questions first. Good breeders socialise their animals, house them humanely, allow you to inspect their premises, and selectively breed healthy traits and good temperaments. Read our Guide to Finding a Good Breeder for more tips.

Are Cavoodles good with kids?

Yes, Cavoodles are excellent with kids! As with any breed, proper socialisation is essential to ensure your dog forms positive associations from a young age. And because Cavoodles are so gentle, always supervise young children around a Cavoodle to make sure the dog is not hurt.

Cavoodle History

a white cavoodle sitting on a bed indoors

The breed was believed to have been first developed in the United States of America in the 1950's by crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Miniature Poodle. However, the breed has been popularised and further established in Australia by crossbreeding programs in the 1990's with both Miniature and Toy Poodles.

Cavoodle Personality

white cavoodle with bandana

Cavoodles are a sociable breed that love people and make a great family dog. They're robust, active and intelligent making them easily trainable. They prefer companionship and can become very attached to caretakers therefore ensuring they have lots of stimulation when left alone will help prevent behavioural issues developing, like separation anxiety.

Take a look at our recommended training treats and interactive toys to keep your Cavoodle busy and mentally worn out. Long lasting chews such as Bell and Bone Dental Sticks or bully sticks are both great options to occupy your Cavoodle when you're away.

Too many toys to choose from? Why not let us pick for you with the Curious Box? Each Curious Box contains a selection of two to three engaging toys ( and treats!) Even better, the theme changes every 6 weeks, making it the perfect way to keep your pet's supply of toys and treats fresh, fun, and varied!

Top recommendations for Cavoodles with stress and anxiety

Because Cavoodles thrive on companionship, they can become very attached to their family and prone to separation anxiety. Dogs with separation anxiety may panic and suffer from stress when left alone.

The best way to treat separation anxiety depends on the dog. Severe cases may not be able to be left alone without injuring themselves and may require medication from your veterinarian. But for most cases, dealing with separation anxiety is all about desensitising your dog to you leaving and returning to the home.

Shop all stress and anxiety

Cavoodle Health Issues

Dr Carla exercising with her cavoodle

While once considered a fairly robust breed due to their cross breed status allowing them hybrid vigour, the Cavoodle has experienced a few years of selective breeding and as such there are a number of inherited conditions to be aware of.

Allergies and Atopy

Both food and environmental allergies are common in Cavoodles, particularly in Australia. Atopic dermatitis is a generalised allergy caused by items in the environment such as pollen, dustmites or grasses. It usually results in itching, hairloss and red, inflamed skin. Often affected dogs may lick their paws excessively and have recurrent ear infections. Food allergies, on the other hand, may result in recurrent gastrointestinal upset or itchy skin. Management involves reducing or eliminating the allergen from the environment or diet if possible, alongside potentially desensitisation and medication, dietary changes and topical therapies to manage symptoms.

Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia is a condition quite common in Cavoodles, where the skull is too small for the brain. This can cause mild to severe discomfort depending on the severity of compression. If your Cavoodle shows tenderness around the head, neck or shoulders, or is crying out in pain when these areas are touched, a veterinary assessment is recommended.

Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral Valve Disease is very common in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. MVD is first noted with a heart murmur that can progress to congestive heart failure. This form of heart disease can occur in many breeds but is seen at a higher incidence in young Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The condition is thought to be genetic, therefore Cavoodle owners need to be aware and ensure regular health checks are performed by their veterinarian.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when eyes have a cloudy appearance due to changes to the lens. Cataracts can lead to vision loss however they can be removed surgically.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the femur and hip joint do not fit together properly, causing pain, lameness and leading to arthritis. Less severe cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, however surgery may be required for serious cases.

Patellar luxation

Patellar luxation occurs when the dog's kneecap does not fit in its groove properly, leading to it popping in out and out of place. This can cause pain and changes to the dog's gait. Mild cases typically do not require treatment however surgery may be necessary in severe cases.

As with any type of joint disease, arthritis can be a concern. Take a look at our article Arthritis Care in Dogs to see how to help your Cavoodle.

Progressive retinal atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that gradually results in the loss of vision through deterioration of the retina. First observed as a night vision loss (night blindness) it eventually progresses to full blindness. No treatment exists however as with any changes to vision a veterinarian should always be consulted.

Epilepsy

Cavoodles can be prone to idiopathic epilepsy, which leads to seizures with no known cause. There is treatment available for seizure control.

Cavoodle Diet and Nutrition

white cavoodle eating dry food

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Cavoodle puppies

When adopting a cavoodle puppy into your home, it's important to have a few things in order:

Best food for Cavoodle puppies

Cavoodle puppies need to eat a premium, small breed diet that is nutritionally formulated to meet AAFCO Guidelines until they are 12 months of age. Because of the Cavoodle's risk of food allergies and sensitive stomach, you may consider a Rotation Diet to provide exposure to different proteins.

Raw diets for cavoodles? Raw diets are not suitable or safe for Cavoodle puppies due to the risk of bacterial contamination upsetting their sensitive tummies, and an unbalanced diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Read more about Raw Diets: The Risks and Benefits.

Best food for adult Cavoodles

It's very important that you feed your Cavoodle a suitable diet that is age appropriate and meets all of their nutritional needs. Small Breed Adult Dog Food has smaller kibble to suit small and toy breeds. These diets also contain balanced levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for health and wellbeing. Puppy food designed specifically for small breeds is also recommended.

Seeing as Cavoodles can inherit genetic diseases from Cavalier King Charles Spaniels or Poodles it may be advisable to feed a breed specific diet. Royal Canin Cavalier King Charles Adult Dry Dog Food contains taurine and omega 3 fatty acids to support cardiac function. Also Royal Canin Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food has adapted protein content and l-carnitine to support healthy muscle mass.

Related Breeds

Types of Cavoodles

Under the 'Cavoodle' breed umbrella, there are a number of different variations. As well as different sizes of Cavoodles, the Poodle and Cavalier are naturally quite similar to Cavoodles as they are the origin mix!

What is the difference between a mini cavoodle and a toy cavoodle? As cavoodles are a cross breed, the size they grow to really depends on how large their parents are. The two main types of cavoodles are toy cavoodles and mini cavoodles.

Toy Cavoodles

Toy cavoodles are bred with a toy poodle and a cavalier. Toy Cavoodles grow to about 28-35cm tall and weigh around 6kg as adults.

Mini Cavoodle

Mini cavoodles are bred with a mini poodle and a cavalier. They grow to be up to 45cm tall and weigh around 12kg.

Poodle

Known as one of the smartest dog breeds, the poodle was originally bred as a water retrieval dog over 400 years ago. Minature and toy poodles were then bred as companion pets for those requiring a more compact pet to fit an urban lifestyle. Poodles are often recommended as a breed for pet parents with allergies as they shed far less fur and dander than other dog breeds.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is an incredibly affectionate, playful, intelligent dog that eagerly provides endless devotion to their owners. These happy little dogs are great with kids, and their desire to interact with their guardians makes them pleasurable household companions.

Further reading

cavoodle with toys

Premium pet food: Is it worth it?

Does your dog have a food allergy?

New puppy guide

What's in your pet's food?

How to read the label on a bag of pet food

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