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Cavoodle Pet Road Test

The lovable little Cavoodle is suitable for all age groups and most lifestyles. Great for small homes with little or no backyard, but will still benefit from a regular walk.

Breed: Cavoodle (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Miniature Poodle)  Also known as Cavapoo.
Temperament: Intelligent, seeks human companionship, friendly
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Maintenance: Medium
Recommended for: Everyone, especially families.

Golden Cavoodle Dog

What is a Cavoodle / Cavapoo?

The Cavoodle is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Miniature Poodle. Whilst the concept of the ‘designer dog’ is nothing new, ‘purpose-bred’ cross breeds like these, have been very popular for over 30 years, with sales steadily increasing – with the Cavoodle variety being a little gem. <h3Appearance? Many puppies are born with long and soft floppy ears, large brows and a compact round face – giving the dog an eternal puppy appearance.

However, when purchasing a designer dog, be aware that a great deal of variability can occur amongst the puppies.

What do they look like?

Although they are all undoubtedly very cute, not all dogs will look alike. Variation amongst the litter is influenced by the genetic contribution of each parent. Some pups will appear more Poodle-like and others more like a Cavalier.

Colour: From solid black, white, blenheime (chestnut and white), tri-colour (black, white and tan) or gold all over.
Size: From 30-35cm (12-15′)

Adults will range in height from 30-35 cm (12-15′), the smaller size an influence from the Cavalier contribution.


Following on from the success of the Spoodle (a Cocker Spaniel x Poodle). Cavoodle breeders set out to bring out the best of the Cavalier and Poodle breeds and produce an intelligent, compact and healthy little animal with a wonderful temperament.

Why choose a Cavoodle?

The Cavalier is one of Australia’s most popular purebred dogs, and rightly so. Deliberately bred as a companion dog, it has an adorable temperament and is gentle and compliant around children.

The Miniature Poodle is intelligent and loyal. But can have ‘neurotic’ tendencies, especially if over spoilt by their owners. However the crossbreed is likely to have this tendency diminished with the contribution of the Cavalier’s laid back temperament. Regardless, it is important to not spoil the dog excessively.

From the day that you take delivery of your Cavoodle puppy, it will do all that it can to be with you. 

These dogs prefer people to other dogs.  Some owners may find this tendency to be always with them absolutely delightful.  Others may find it a bit irritating.  However, if you want a faithful, gentle dog that is always with you, Cavoodles are a good choice.

Can you train a Cavoodle?

Cavoodles are usually quite intelligent but they are not as biddable as many other breeds. That is, during training they may not wish to comply with your commands.

Fun and positive reinforcement is the key to success, not strong discipline.  Your puppy may be 9-12 months old before the penny drops that co-operation with their owner is the key to a happy life.

While they are incredibly friendly, they may totally dominate their owner at the same time.  Always make sure that you initiate the play times – and expect the dog to always walk behind you – not in front as a pack leader.

Caring for you Cavoodle

Regardless of the puppies appearance, the coat will shed and regular grooming is required. Those animals with a poodle-like coat will need brushing around three to four times a week, a cavalier coat perhaps only once a week. Clipping may be necessary three to four time a year. Poodle-like coats, whilst perhaps requiring clipping more often, are less inclined to shed as much as the Cavalier.

The poodle-like coat is very much inclined to get knots in it which quickly become large lumps of fibre if they are not removed.  This coat also attracts snags of twigs, leaves and other garden materials that must be groomed out.  A visit to a dog parlour may be needed every month or two – on top of the grooming at home.

These dogs love human contact and being groomed, so this can be a mutually enjoyable activity while watching TV etc.

Cavoodle health and lifespan

The Cavalier and Poodle breeds (particularly the Cavalier) are predisposed to certain health problems. However the Cavoodle is less likely to suffer such problems due to the benefits of ‘hybrid vigour’.

Hybrids benefit from a more diverse genetic makeup than purebreds, and are often not susceptible to conditions which may afflict the parent breeds.

Still, choose your breeder carefully when buying a pup. Responsible breeders are screening parents to eliminate known genetic problems such as luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps), eye defects and congenital heart problems. Sadly, some people still seem less concerned with diseases and more concerned with selling puppies. Owners can expect a healthy dog to be a member of the family for around 10-14 years.

Do they make a good family pet?

The lovable little Cavoodle is suitable for all age groups and most lifestyles. Thanks to the influence from its parents, the Cavoodle is an intelligent dog, not as hyperactive as some other cross breeds and adores human companionship. Cavoodles are great for small homes with little or no backyard, however these dogs will still benefit from a regular walk or fun in an open space.

Cavoodles are far more healthy and active than either of its parent breeds.  Do not expect a lazy couch potato, rather expect a fun-loving pet that likes exercise and will create its own fun (i.e. destroying things) if you neglect it.

Where can I buy a Cavoodle?

Many pet stores, especially the larger franchises, specialise in Designer Dogs. However always satisfy yourself that the pups are from healthy parents.

National Contact: Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders