Cavapoo vs Mini Goldendoodle – A Complete Comparison

Arguably two of the most famous of the Poodle hybrids, the Cavapoo and Goldendoodle frequently come top of the family pet wish lists in both Europe and America.  Indeed, if you are looking for a Doodle in the smaller size ranges then the choice between a Cavapoo and a Mini Goldendoodle can be a tricky one as there is so much to love about them both.

While there are many similarities, there are some differences. Read on as we compare them both and hopefully help you make the final decision.

Quick Glance Comparison

  CavapooMini Goldendoodle
Other namesCavoodle or CavadoodleMini Groodle
Weight12 – 25 pounds15 – 35 pounds
Height9 – 15 inches13 – 20 inches
Life span12-15 years12 -15 years

History of the Cavapoo

The Cavapoo is the result of crossing the irresistibly silky and floppy-eared Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Poodle. As Cavaliers fall under the “toy” size category for the most part they are crossed with Miniature or Toy Poodle’s to create the Cavapoo.

The Cavalier is a great match for the Poodle as both breeds have a working history that encourages smarts and energy, making for a delightful little pocket rocket Doodle cross.

The Cavapoo has been noted as existing from around the early 1950s however it was the 1990s into the early 2000s when the Cavapoo along with many other Doodle hybrids really exploded in popularity.

For an even more detailed history of the Cavapoo, be sure to check out our Cavapoo Breed Guide: An In-depth View.

History of the Mini Goldendoodle

The Golden Retriever is adored the world over for its affectionate, loyal nature and impossibly happy (if slightly goofy nature). Unfortunately, their lovely golden locks are prone to shed by the bucketful making them incompatible for those with allergies or those who just can’t hack rocking the dog hair-covered wardrobe look.  Fortunately adding a pinch of Poodle can often result in a Goldendoodle offspring who will shed significantly less but still take on the best traits of both a Golden and a Poodle.  

While the first Goldendoodle crosses were primarily bigger as they would be crossed with the larger, Standard Poodle, as time progressed breeders finessed a cross with a Miniature Poodle to make for a smaller Goldendoodle often referred to as a Mini.

Be sure to check out our other article Pros and Cons of a Goldendoodle for even more background on this amazing member of the Doodle family.

Colors, Coat Type, and Maintenance

While the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle share in the Poodle parentage. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Golden Retriever’s coat couldn’t look more different. We’ll compare below what impact that has on their Doodle offerings.

Cavapoo Coat

Generally speaking, a Cavapoo will present with a wavy to curly coat that sheds less than their Cavalier parent. As always though a throw of the hybrid dog dice is a tricky thing and there is no guarantee that your Cavapoo will be curly with some inheriting the flatter silkier appearance of a Cavalier.

Maintenance of your Cavapoo’s coat will depend on how curly or flat-coated they are. The Cavapoo with the tightest of curls will need daily brushing to prevent any shed hair or debris from tangling and causing mats. Wavier Cavapoos may be easier to brush, and their coats tend to stop at mid-length. A silken, flatter-haired Cavapoo’s may need frequent grooming trips to keep their coats shorter and manageable.

When it comes to coloring, the most common presentations are brown shades of fawn, chocolate, tan, and chestnut, golden tones, reds, and white. Black coloring is rarer in Cavapoos. They can be single-colored however are more commonly bi-color or even tricolor.

Mini Goldendoodle Coat

The Goldendoodle is often curly or wavy. A flat coat Goldendoodle will largely resemble a Golden Retriever in appearance however there is a further variation of a straight coat where a Goldendoodle will have straight hair but inherit the floppy eyebrows and mustache/beard shaping (known as furnishings) that is so synonymous with the Doodle cross.

Slightly more color variation is seen in the Mini Goldendoodle than the Cavapoo with variations of black, brown, blue, silver, white, creams, apricot, red, and tan. In addition, the distribution of marking patterns can be more varied in Goldendoodles with sable, merle, part, and phantom patterning.

Regular brushing is a must for all Goldendoodle owners with the frequency of grooming/clipping dictated by personal preference and the length of coat they grow.  Many Goldendoodle owners often opt to keep them shorter for easier management as the fluffier varieties can grow into longer densely curled, fluffy coats which can be prone to matting.


One of the biggest considerations when selecting any breed of dog is thinking about their fully grown size and whether this fits with your lifestyle. While both the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle are considered smaller Doodles, read on to see that range can be quite wide.

Cavapoo Size

The Cavapoo and Miniature Poodle are fairly similar in size and weight making for a greater chance of consistency in their offspring. Many breeders will consciously seek to make pairings based on size to further increase the chances of predictably sized pups.

Adult Cavapoos will generally range in weight from 12 to 25 pounds and be between 9 and 15 inches tall.  This makes them desirable to those with smaller living accommodation or smaller yard space. The smaller stature also means ease of transport and allows the little Cavapoo to slot nicely into a whole wealth of situations with their owner without too much hassle.

Mini Goldendoodle

When you stand a Miniature Poodle and a Golden Retriever next to each other, there is a very noticeable size and weight difference.  This is one of the reasons that the Golden Retriever is almost always the mother as there is the potential for puppies to be larger than a Miniature Poodle mother could safely carry.

This size discrepancy between the parents leads to a little more variety in the size and weight of first-generation Mini Goldendoodles. They could take after a Golden and be on the bigger size of being more Poodle and smaller. Even in one litter, there can be a variety.

Adult Mini Goldendoodles can range between 15 to 35 pounds on average and stand at anywhere between 13 and 20 inches.

Overall though a Mini Goldendoodle has a greater chance of being slightly bigger than a Cavapoo.


While the biggest factor in any dog’s behavior is often the experiences it is exposed to and treatment it receives there are some breed-specific similarities and differences between the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle.

Cavapoo Temperament

The Cavapoo is a true “people person” dog. Borne of the Cavalier’s history as a companion dog to rich and royalty, they are never happier than when they are in the company of humans. This little pup’s working dog heritage often makes them eager to please and a joy to train. They are often extremely affectionate making them loved as family pets for children who have been taught how to act appropriately around dogs.

The Cavapoo’s need for company can predispose them to separation anxiety however so this should be tackled from an early age and stage in their training to ensure you have a confident little Cavapoo.

Mini Goldendoodle Temperament

A Mini Goldendoodle is described as intelligent, bright, cheeky, and loving. While the Cavapoo loves people, the Goldendoodle loves everyone and everything and has been known to seek friendships in some unlikely places such as cats if socialized early.

A Mini Goldendoodle will also make a great companion dog however whereas your Cavapoo may display some protectiveness of its family, a frustration of some Mini Goldendoodle owners is they would quite literally head off with anyone who offered them a biscuit and some scritches.

So if you want a dog that will make sure you get to know everyone in the park, think Mini Goldendoodle.

Exercise Needs

While both the Mini Goldendoodle and Cavapoo enjoy a snuggle on the sofa, they just as much need regular exercise to stop them from turning their attentions to more destructive pastimes.

Cavapoo Exercise Needs

An adult Cavapoo will require daily exercise. Especially in their younger years they can be quite high energy despite their smaller size and require anything between 30 and 60 minutes of active walking a day.

Mini Goldendoodle Exercise Needs

Anecdotally Mini Goldendoodle’s can often be very high energy for their relatively small stature and will often need 30 minutes of vigorous exercise and up to 1 hour all in walking. Given the opportunity, they will often exercise for longer with many exercising up to 2 hours a day and still being good for more.

Feeding Requirements

As both the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle are relatively similar in size their feeding needs are somewhat similar. On average both will require somewhere between 1 and 1.5 cups of good quality dry dog food a day, split over two meals. Wet and raw diets may need to be more specific in regard to individual dogs’ needs.

As the Cavapoo is a little more petite, this can make them more susceptible to obesity with even only slightly overfeeding. Likewise, if your Mini Goldendoodle is particularly overactive they may need a little more each day to prevent them from becoming undernourished.


The good news is both the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle are considered healthy breeds with both benefiting from the hybrid vigor phenomena. This occurs when crossing two differing purebred lines allows for the opportunity to breed out some less desirable health issues common in the parent breed.

Cavapoo Health

There are some health conditions that Cavapoos may be slightly more prone to. These include:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Luxating Patellas
  • Congenital heart problems.

Mini Goldendoodle Health

The Mini Goldendoodle shares a propensity for Progressive Retinol Atrophy and Luxating Patellas however in addition can also experience Hypothyroidism and Von Willebrand’s Disease (a blood condition).  The good news though is just because they could have one of these conditions, it doesn’t mean they will.


With popularity and demand for dogs in general only ever seeming to increase this is leading to bigger and bigger prices. Doodle crosses remain highly popular, and the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle prized for their natures and manageable size can attract a hefty chunk of change.

There are so many factors that will impact the price of a pup. Local availability, general demand, gender, and breeder credentials to name but a few.

At the time of writing this piece, a Mini Goldendoodle could be expected to cost in the region of 10 to 15% more than a Cavapoo on average. This is in part due to fewer breeders opting to undertake the challenges associated with breeding two different size parent dogs.  Breeding a Cavalier to a Miniature Poodle is more straightforward for breeders meaning in many regions a Cavapoo is more available.

However, there are always variations and a Cavapoo in one of their rarer and popular colorings such as solid red can attract a premium of up to 50% on their normal price.


Both the Cavapoo and Mini Goldendoodle make for excellent, affectionate, and loving smaller-sized Doodles.

You can expect a Mini Goldendoodle to grow slightly bigger and have more variety to choose from in coat and color however they may attract a slightly higher price due to demand. Generally speaking, they are more high-energy and make a good option for those who already have or intend to bring a feline friend into the home.

The Cavapoo may be more available and in their most petite sizes can be manageable for those with smaller space or those with physical restrictions or the elderly who are limited in their ability to provide lengthy walks.

No matter who you decide, both pups offer up a great dog to enjoy and go on adventures with for on average 12 to 15 years.