Both the Cavapoo and Cockapoo are extremely popular members of the Poodle crossbreed offerings. The rise in popularity of all Poodle crosses (collectively termed as Doodles) has been growing steadily since the early ’90s where people became aware that incorporating Poodle parentage can often result in offspring that to varying degrees inherit the low shedding attributes of the Poodle coat.
But with so much on offer how can you possibly decide? If you have managed to narrow it down to Cocka or Cava we are here to help. This article will compare these two and hopefully help you pick the best doggy match to join your household.
Table of Contents
What is a Cavapoo?
A Cavapoo is the adorable result of crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Poodle. Also known by the names Cavadoodle or Cavoodle they are largely believed to have first been actively bred in Australia as early as the 1950s.
Their popularity really grew from the 1990’s onward as the awareness of Poodle crosses in general grew. They are particularly popular in the UK where the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was already a well-established favored breed however their long hair and shedding often meant they were not a great option for allergy sufferers. Adding in the Poodle helped create a dog that generally shed less but retained the good nature of the Cavalier while supplementing it with Poodle intelligence and loyalty.
Today the breed is popular throughout Europe and the United States while still being prevalent in Australia.
To learn about the Cavapoo in depth check out or full Cavapoo breed guide.
What is a Cockapoo?
The Cockapoo is a Poodle cross incorporating another member of the Spaniel family this time the Cocker Spaniel. Whereas the Cavapoo initially developed in Australia, the United States is largely credited with developing the Cockapoo breed. Steadily growing in popularity since around 1960 they made the jump to Europe most notably from around 1990s onwards.
Although both Poodles and Cocker Spaniels are both working breeds the Cockapoo was bred primarily for its applicability to be a companion dog. The outgoing nature of the Cocker Spaniel favored to temper some of the shyness often associated with Poodles and the Poodle coat to dilute the shedding of the silky Cocker Spaniel.
Comparing Coats and Grooming Needs
Firstly, let’s dispel a bit of a myth. Although the Cavapoo and Cockapoo are often touted as hypoallergenic dogs. No dog is ever truly hypoallergenic. In truth what they mean is a Cavapoo or Cockapoo may be less likely to shed fur and dander than their respective purebred Spaniel parentage which in turn can be less aggravating for allergy sufferers.
Crossbreeding any dog however is always a bit of a lottery, there is no magic recipe to resolutely predict just how much Poodle coat attribute the pups may show. Whether Cavapoo or Cockapoo pups present as tight and curly or longer and wavy they both will need a regular grooming schedule including brushing and groomer trips to prevent matting.
The Cavapoo will generally have a soft, mid-length coat that can range from wavy to curly. The Cavapoo coat will be hair rather than fur. This means regular full-body brushing to avoid tangles. This will be twice a week or more and after any muddy or wet adventures.
Cavapoo’s can be solid colors:
More often though they have a mixed coat color. While in theory, they can be any combination of the above colors most often they are:
- Chestnut and white
- Black and white
Occasionally they can even be tri-colored.
The Cockapoo coat will also be hair rather than fur. However, it is generally a little denser than their Cavapoo cousin. They will vary in coat type from tight curls, wavy/ringlet, right through to a smoother/straighter presentation.
They will also need regular grooming and brushing to keep them happy and healthy.
In terms of color, the Cockapoo may be slightly more likely to come in a solid color than the Cavapoo. Common colors include:
They can come in mixed coloring of one or more color with the most frequent being:
- Black and white
- Brown and white
Due to the size of both the Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the most applicable Poodle to crossbreed with would be the Miniature Poodle as they are similar in size. Largely this combination remains the most prevalent Cockerpoo and Cavapoo breeding however in more recent history as the desire for size variety has increased, breeders have experimented with crossing the Spaniel with both the Toy and Standard Poodle to create smaller or larger crossbreed puppies.
Interestingly while the Cavapoo and Cockapoo have many similarities one of the main differences is that while the Cocker Spaniel can be somewhat regularly bred with a Standard Poodle to create a Standard or Maxi Cockapoo the pairing is not as appropriate for the smaller Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Cavapoo Size/Weight Averages
- Miniature Cavapoo – The most common pairing includes a Miniature Poodle parent and results in a Cavapoo that comes in at an average of 12” to 16” tall and weighing 13lbs to 20lbs.
- Toy Cavapoo – Less commonly a Toy Poodle parent may be introduced to make a smaller Cavapoo. The Toy Cavapoo generally is between 11” and 14” in height and around 7lbs to 13lbs.
Cockapoo Size/Weight Averages
- Standard or Maxi Cockapoo – Where the Poodle parent has been Standard in size you can expect a larger Cavapoo. They will generally be 15” in height or taller and weigh in excess of 19lbs.
- Miniature Cockapoo – The most common iteration where a Miniature Poodle is used results in a Cockapoo that is between 11” and 14” tall on average and weighs in the region of 13lbs to 18lbs.
- Toy Cockapoo –When a Toy Poodle is used the resultant puppies can be smaller. A Toy Cockapoo is generally 10” or under and will weigh less than 12lbs.
Both these dogs have been bred as companion dogs and are naturally affectionate, loving, and outgoing. As with all dogs while their parents may pass on genes that make them more predisposed to certain behaviors or characteristics more often than not a dog is a product of the environment, training and experiences it is exposed to.
Anecdotally the Cavapoo is considered more laid back than its Cockapoo counterpart. Most commonly the following traits are associated with the Cavapoo:
- People orientated and sociable.
Whether you choose a Cockapoo or Cavapoo you will have a dog which generally exhibits a loving nature who thrives around their people and with enough intelligence to respond to positive training.
They both, however, can inherit a degree of anxiety from their Poodle parentage and neither dog will do well with long periods left alone. The higher activity level of the Cockapoo may mean they are more likely to channel that anxiety into destructive behaviors.
Both the Cockerpoo and Cavapoo are products of two mid to high energy parent breeds. While they will both enjoy some cuddle time on the sofa to keep them happy and healthy, they will need daily exercise and access to outdoor space.
If you have a smaller home or less availability for walking you may wish to consider the smaller variations of where a Toy Poodle parent has been introduced as little legs generally need less intense exercise.
The Cavapoo generally has slightly less demanding exercise needs than the Cockapoo. They will manage with one decent walk a day as long as they are also afforded the opportunity for some indoor play or yard access.
Cockapoos, especially in their early years are mid to high-energy dogs. Anecdotally many Cockapoo owners report this activity level can persist for years with their exuberance often being compared to borderline madness.
The key is to afford your Cockapoo ample exercise opportunity as well as mental exercise such as obedience training or puzzle toys in order to tire out their brain as well as their body. As such the Cockapoo may be more applicable for more active families or owners who undertake routine hiking, jogging, or travel.
When do Cockapoo puppies calm down gives a deeper insight into the Cockapoo personality traits and their exercise needs.
Both the Cockapoo and Cavapoo have a slight disposition to allergies which can present as skin itching. There can be many triggers for this but often food intolerances can be a cause. It is vital to feed your little Doodle good quality food. It is a good idea to stick to a particular product and avoid switching it out as the sudden introduction of a new foodstuff can trigger an allergy.
As the Cavapoo is often slightly smaller than the Cockapoo and slightly less active they can be more susceptible to becoming overweight. Owners should ensure they are weighing food and not going overboard on the additional treats. As a rough guide, an adult Cavapoo will require in the region of 470 to 500 calories a day dependent on height and activity level.
As Cockapoos come in slightly bigger, they will require more calories than a Cavapoo but it is unlikely to massively impact a food bill. An adult Cockapoo calorie intake would in the area of 480 to 600 calories a day. However, this can vary as there are three sizes of Cockapoo.
It is important to keep an eye on both the Cockapoo and Cavapoo for any sign of being under or overweight as both extremes will impact your dog negatively. Ensuring your dog attends your vet for at least a yearly check-up means they can weigh and monitor your dog for fluctuations.
There is a wealth of website advice out there that will provide comparisons of the cost and quality of many common dog food brands. It is always best to research these when picking dog food.
Cavapoo and Cockapoo Health
The good news is that in general, both the Cavapoo and Cockapoo are considered robust dogs. First-generation crosses often benefit from hybrid vigor where some of the less desirable health traits of each parent breed can effectively be diluted by adding new genes.
There are some general health conditions that may be more common in Spaniel/Poodle crosses namely:
- Patellar Luxation (knee issues)
- Atopy (skin allergies)
- Eye issues, in particular, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA
Health Issues More Common in Cavapoos
- Mitral Valve Disease (heart issues)
Health Issues More Common in Cockapoos
- Hip dysplasia
The above conditions are not an exhaustive list and are not going to be experienced by every dog. Many of the conditions have a genetic component meaning reputable breeders should be able to provide health screening information for parents to lessen the likelihood of passing conditions on.
Being generally small to mid-size dogs both the Cavapoo and Cockapoo demonstrate a longer life span than large or giant breeds. On average the life expectancy of a well-bred Cockapoo is around 13 years however there is some evidence of some living in excess of 15 years.
Cavapoos live on average between 12 and 15 years. Both these dogs, therefore, represent a sizeable commitment if you intend to take one on from puppyhood.
Cavapoo and Cockapoo Cost
There are so many factors that can cause the cost of a dog to fluctuate. Availability, local demand, color, breeder credentials, parentage …. the list can seem endless. At the time of writing this piece both the Cockapoo and Cavapoo remain firm favorites as family dogs and as such, you can expect to be placed on a waiting list for sometimes in excess of a year to obtain a pup from a reputable breeder. There are many things you should check out when looking for a new puppy and our reputable breeder guide can help you with the process.
As always, the advice for anyone contemplating buying a puppy is to do your homework. The popularity of both the Cockapoo and Cavapoo has led to reports of some breeders employing unethical approaches to maximize the number of available puppies for sale such as overbreeding and poor matching of parent dogs.
It can be so difficult to not let your heart overrule your head when faced with an adorable puppy but remember to consider checking out local rescues where there may be an existing Cockapoo or Cavapoo who may have just as much potential to become a loving member of your family.
In terms of a general guide, you can expect to potentially pay more for a Cavapoo as they are less prevalently bred than Cockapoos which has led to increased demand. That is not to say a Cockapoo will necessarily come cheap. Both these dogs have increased significantly in price over the last year due to increased global demand and popularity.
Both the Cavapoo and Cockapoo are predisposed to making great companion-dog style pets. The Poodle parentage in both may make them more suitable for anyone who is prone to allergies and their intelligence means they respond well to consistent, reward-based training.
Both will require regular brushing and grooming to keep them happy and healthy and come in a variety of colorings.
Temperament wise both dogs are loving, loyal, and sociable however the higher activity levels of the Cockapoo may mean they are the better choice for the more active owner. Prospective owners with smaller homes or less active lifestyles may be more drawn to the Cavapoo. Both however will need daily exercise.
Both the Cockapoo and Cavapoo are “people” dogs and will experience anxiety if left for long periods on their own. The slightly larger and more active Cockapoo may be more prolific in destructive behaviors if they become overanxious.
Both dogs are particularly in demand at the time of writing this article meaning they are likely to attract a premium price. Anecdotally a Cavapoo may be as much as 20% more costly than a Cockapoo however this can be influenced massively by things such as breeder credentials, local availability, and color/gender popularity.
Ultimately though no matter which one of these adorable Doodle offerings you end up inviting into your home, the consistent outcome will be hours of enjoyment sprinkled and a life that definitely will not be dull!
In addition, the popularity of both these dogs all over the world has given rise to massive online communities that you will be able to tap into. Furthermore, many cities and towns may also have local Cavapoo or Cockapoo owners’ groups for you to meet with other like-minded Doodle aficionados.
Oh, and just remember if you really can’t decide, there is always the option to go with one of each!