What is a Cavapoo?
A Cavapoo is a result of crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is known for its small size and gentle, loving temperament while the Poodle is known for its intelligence and curly fur, the Cavapoo inherits aspects from both of its parents. Given the characteristics of both parents, you can count on your Cavapoo being a fairly small dog, having a medium to long coat (either curly or straight), and being very sweet by nature. Cavapoos also come in many different colors! Cavapoos are known as designer dogs. Designer dogs are a combination of two types of purebred parents in hopes of creating a new breed with positive aspects of both parents.
When the puppies are born from two purebreds, in our case a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, they are known as the F1 Generation. We personally breed F2 Cavapoos, F2 Cavapoos are bred from F1 Cavapoos, seeing as all of our parents are less than 12 pounds, your puppies shouldn’t get larger than, as an estimate, 10 pounds, which is why we chose to breed F2s, for their smaller size.
Caring for your Cavapoo
When first bringing your puppy home, they need time to become adjusted to the changes, new house, sounds, people, etc. If you have children at home, we would recommend talking to them before bringing your new puppy home, and there are steps you can take so your children know how to handle them properly. These steps will be covered in the “Socialization” section.
Make sure you have the needed supplies when bringing your puppy home, you can see what we recommend on our Must Haves page! This page also includes the food we recommend, you need to have the best quality food you can get that is also in your price range, and that is why what we have chosen is perfect for us, and should be for you too!
Your puppy will also need to regularly see a veterinarian for care, vaccinations, and preventatives for fleas, ticks, and heartworms.
Preparing your Home
When preparing your home for your new puppy, you need to “puppy proof” it. For a Cavapoo puppy, or any puppy for that matter, anything has a chance to be chewed or played with. To keep your pooch, and your valuables, safe, you need to remove any items that you don’t want damaged or could harm your puppy. Examples of these items are: shoes, clothing, house plants, cleaning products, electrical cords and blind cords, among others. The same should be done for your yard. Yard hazards can include but aren’t limited to chemicals, gas, tools, and bodies of water.
After making sure everything is “puppy proofed” you need to figure out a location for things such as their food and water bowl and their bed. For their food and water bowls, you want to choose an area that is easy for you to access as well as where much of your household activities are; your puppy will want to be where you are! The same applies to where you choose to place your puppy’s dog bed. Lastly, you should decide where you want your puppy to sleep at night, whether it be in your bed or a separate area, you want to make sure it’s prepared before bringing your puppy home!
It is very important to socialize your Cavapoo from a young age so they can be accustomed to different things. Cavapoos are both friendly and curious about all kinds of things, they are happy and want to stay by your side any and everywhere you go! Socialization is simply exposing your puppy to new things. This includes: children and adults, loud or unusual noises (such as a vacuum cleaner), other animals (from dogs and cats to squirrels or birds you might see on a walk), different environments, traveling in the car or otherwise, etc.
If you have children at home, you should talk to them before bringing your puppy home. They need to know that the puppy is fragile and may be scared for many reasons and need to get used to their new environment, so they need to be calm and quiet around their new puppy at first. Tell them at first, they need to pet the puppy gently and not try picking it up yet. Have them sit on the floor and let the puppy approach them, you want to do this at first until the puppy is more comfortable. When your puppy approaches your children, they can pet it and talk to them softly, you can also offer the puppy treats to reward good behavior! If the puppy is reacting well to your children, they can hold them, but puppies are fragile so this should be done while they are sitting down. If your puppy ever seems scared, you should give it some space to calm down and relax before trying again later. Let your children know that it may take some time to get used to them and the new environment.
All dogs thrive on a schedule, especially for potty training, and training from a young age is very important. The most important thing is, no matter what you’re working on, you must stay consistent for your dog to learn. Some basic commands that your dog should know are sit, down, stay, come, heel, leave it, speak, and quiet. These are all helpful for many reasons as well as can help your dog be safer. A fantastic example of this is the command “come”. If you have kept up with training and you see your dog running towards a street, they should come to you when you say “come”. If you haven’t kept up with obedience training, you’re left to stand there and watch as your dog walks into a potentially dangerous situation. Always reward your dog for good behavior and never reward for behavior you don’t want them to do, show them that you are displeased and a great way of doing this is not giving them any attention, whether it be petting them or even looking at them. Lastly, never use their crate as a form of punishment, you never know if you will choose to use it for potty training, or even travel, it would be bad if they were terrified of it.
One of the hardest tasks of training your dog is potty training. First, you need to decide if you want your puppy trained to go potty outside or to use a puppy pad inside. You can also train your dog to specifically use one area of your yard. Puppy pad training has the pros of never needing to worry about letting your dog outside, even if you’re away but, the cleanup is messier and the transition from inside to outside is much harder if you ever plan to have them go potty outside. Another thing is it increases the chance of an accident outside of where they’re supposed to go on the puppy pad. Puppies have smaller bladders and a harder time holding them, so they need to go out more often than older dogs. The most important aspect of knowing when they need to go is supervision. Watch for signs such as sniffing the floor, standing at the door, or walking in circles, if you see this, immediately pick them up and take them to where you want them to do their business. Reward them for doing their business there by saying something such as “go potty” and praising them for going in the right area. The same can be done for crate training, especially if you find yourself out without your puppy or when you are sleeping at night, dogs tend not to go in their crate, unless they are left for a long period of time and cannot hold their bladders anymore. From there, create a schedule so your dog knows what specific times it goes out to go potty. You can expect them to need to go 30 minutes after a meal or after a nap, so include that in your schedule. Dogs thrive on schedules!
Cavapoos need regular grooming appointments or their fur trimmed by you to keep their coat in proper shape, beyond that, they also need to be brushed regularly, nail care, ear cleaning, and dental care. Ideal brushes for a Cavapoo, seeing as they have medium to long fur, are either a bristle or a wire brush. To prevent matting, you will need to brush your Cavapoos fur several times a week, if you leave it unattended, however, mats will form and they will have to be shaved off, which is uncomfortable and can be painful for your Cavapoo. For nails, most groomers tend to use a Dremel tool rather than normal nail clippers, you can easily cut the quick in your dog’s nails with normal clippers, causing them to bleed. Dremels are nice because they tend to file your dog’s nails and leave them with smooth, rather than jagged edges. You can do this yourself, or have your groomer take care of it for you. Dogs with floppy ears, such as a Cavapoo, have a heightened risk for ear infections because they don’t get as much air circulation as other breeds who have ears that stand straight up. Your dog’s ears are very easy to clean though, you just need to take some time weekly to squeeze a few drops of dog ear cleaner in to their ears, gently massage the base of your dog’s ears to distribute the solution, and then wipe any earwax or other things away with a cotton ball or dog ear wipes. However, you shouldn’t ever stick anything directly into your dog’s ears. All dogs need their teeth brushed regularly, but this can be a more difficult process as most dogs initially reject it at first. Start with gently putting your finger in their mouth or allowing them to taste the toothpaste you have for them. After rewarding them with a treat you can move up to a finger brusher for your dog, but start with just a few teeth and then give them a treat afterwards. Slowly get your dog used to the process and they will see it as a normal part of their routine, with some tasty treats as a reward afterwards! Not only will you need to focus on their teeth though, but you also need to brush their gums to prevent plaque build-up.
Lastly, bathing! If you have a groomer that you regularly visit, they can offer great recommendations for shampoos, and your Cavapoo shouldn’t need to be bathed at home unless they get dirty, provided you have regular appointments with your groomer. What should you do if your puppy does get dirty though? Give them a bath! Bathing a Cavapoo is just like bathing any other breed, rinse them, lather some dog-safe shampoo into their fur, then rinse it out! Do this as many times as needed until they are clean. However, seeing as Cavapoos have longer fur, they will need a little extra done after, apposed to breeds with short fur. It’s always nice to use some pet-friendly leave-in conditioner after a bath, but you will definitely need to blow-dry and brush through your dog’s coat while blow-drying to prevent knots and matting.
When you first bring your puppy home, the car ride can be a rather stressful and scary experience for your puppy. Not only is this the first time they’ve been separated from their brothers and sisters, but the unfamiliar sounds and movements can be scary for them, they could even get car sick! Make sure your puppy has gone potty before leaving, then, if the trip is long, make sure to make pit stops for them. This reduces the chances of them having an accident in the car and gives them a little break.
Aside from the initial ride home, there are many things you should know when traveling with your Cavapoo in the future. Depending on the type of travel you plan on doing, you may need different types of carriers. For a car, you may just need a soft carrier, like the one mentioned on our Must Haves page! You want to make sure that your dog remains still and doesn’t move around the car while you’re driving, you don’t want to risk your baby being injured! If going on a long road trip, every couple of hours you will need to stop so your dog has a chance to go potty and stretch their legs a little. Don’t leave your dog in your car though, if you need to take a break, especially if it is hot outside. If you do, it is best to leave your AC running or your windows down. For airline traveling, you need to first find out which airlines allow dogs. After that, depending on where your dog will be, get an appropriate carrier. Lastly, if you are staying in a hotel with your dog, first call ahead of time to make sure the hotel is pet-friendly. It is best to aim for a room on the first floor, so that way you won’t need to navigate stairs or an elevator when your dog needs to go outside. Some Cavapoos can be afraid of the change of location, but either way, make sure you bring things like their favorite blanket and toys to make sure they’re more comfortable, and that they have plenty of water during your stay.