What happens when you cross the loving nature of a cavalier King Charles spaniel with the spunk of a miniature poodle? You get the cavapoo, an ideal breed for almost anyone looking to adopt a dog. Also known as cavoodles or cavadoodles, cavapoos have a big heart in a small, fluffy body, growing to around 9 to 14 inches tall and 12 to 25 pounds. Cavapoos are a perfect mix of their parents' best traits, easily winning over the heart of any dog lover.
The main reason cavapoos are so perfect for families is their friendly nature. These dogs are very loving and enjoy cuddling up to the whole family. Thanks to their gentle and affectionate predisposition, they get along well with children as well as adults. Cavapoos also do well in households that already have other pets. They'll often bond quickly with other dogs, and their low prey drive means they can even live happily with cats when introduced properly.
Given how fluffy their coats are, it may come as a surprise that cavapoos are great for families with allergies. Most people with a dog allergy are allergic to a dog's dander rather than fur, and cavapoos were initially bred to produce low dander. They also don't shed much fur, making them even more allergy-friendly. However, while the cavapoo is often advertised as a hypoallergenic breed, no dog is guaranteed to be allergy-friendly, and even a cavapoo might still trigger allergies in some people.
Cavapoos aren't the most high-octane breed out there, but they still need plenty of exercise to lead a healthy and happy life. Experts on the breed recommend that you walk your cavapoo for around 20 to 30 minutes per day. You can walk your dog in one long session, but two 10- to 15-minute walks are equally acceptable if that suits you better. Try to provide your cavapoo with a further 30 minutes of free play each day; this could include playing fetch, going off-leash at the dog park, or giving your dog an automatic moving toy.
Cavapoos aren't just good for families; families are good for cavapoos, too. It's essential that your cavapoo has someone at home to keep them occupied for the majority of the day, whether that's an adult or an older child. The curious cavapoo can quickly become bored and unhappy without mental and physical stimulation. Alongside exercise, they need plenty of cuddles, toy play, and enrichment. When they're left alone too long, they can experience separation anxiety.
Don't worry about needing a big family home for your cavapoo — this breed does well in apartments, too. With their small size, cavapoos can get plenty of activity in a small home as long as you take them outside for 30 to 60 minutes a day. On top of that, the cavapoo is also a relatively quiet dog. They don't usually bark unless there's a reason, which means they won't disturb your apartment neighbors or irritate your landlord.
Since cavapoos typically inherit the curly fur of their poodle parent, they do need regular grooming to prevent their coat from tangling and matting. However, keeping on top of grooming a cavapoo isn't as difficult as you may think. Brush their fur with a two-sided brush every day or two, and remember to wipe their ears and eyes. You'll also want to bathe them and cut their nails every month or so. A cavapoo's coat only needs trimming once every 2 to 3 months.
When it comes to training, cavapoos usually do best with positive reinforcement because of their gentle nature. Whether you're potty training, crate training, or teaching basic tricks, remember to give your cavapoo plenty of love and affection when they get things right. Try not to get angry with them if they make mistakes, as negative reinforcement will slow their training progress. When you take a praise-heavy approach, your dog should pick up training pretty quickly.
With all that energy packed into a small body, cavapoos need high-quality dog food to keep them fueled. Look for formulas specially made for small breeds, as they often contain the right levels of protein and minerals for a cavapoo's activity level. One thing to note is that cavapoos have a reputation for sensitive stomachs and picky eating. As such, you may have to try a few food brands before settling on the right one.
Like many crossbreeds, cavapoos are less likely to have health problems than purebred cavalier King Charles spaniels or miniature poodles. However, there are a few conditions you should look out for. Cavapoos are more likely to suffer from congenital heart problems, so listen out for coughing or shortness of breath while exercising. They can also be prone to slipped kneecaps and eyesight loss.
If you're looking to welcome your first ever dog into the family, the cavapoo is a great choice. Thanks to their adaptable nature, you won't have to worry about creating the perfect environment for them to thrive. Alongside that, their grooming and exercise requirements aren't too difficult to handle, and they're naturally friendly without intensive socialization.
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