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14 mins read

Toy Cavoodle Fact Sheet – Everything you Need to know (Read this first)

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Toy Cavoodles are perfect for small living spaces such as apartments, making them the most popular among the Cavalier King Charles Poodle mix breeds. The only Cavoodle smaller than a full-grown Toy Cavoodle, is a Teacup Cavoodle and these are becoming increasingly popular because of their convenient pocket size.

Most Toy Cavoodles have loyal and loving temperaments, making them popular with families and some even thrive in therapy dog training

Toy Cavoodle Size – How Big Do Toy Cavoodle Get?

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Toy Cavoodles are the result of crossing a purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Toy Poodle. A full-grown Toy Cavoodle generally weighs between 3kg and 5.5kg and is less than 30cm tall (to the top of the shoulder).

Anything bigger than 6kg is classed as a Miniature Cavoodle. To ensure you get a true Toy Size Cavoodle, it’s important to meet the parents of the puppies advertised for sale. If either parent is larger than 6kg, there’s a good chance your puppy will mature to be larger than a Toy Cavoodle.

Some Cavoodle breeders utilise large Toy Poodles in their breeding programs. A true Toy Poodle weighs less than 5kg. Similarly, some Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can weigh as much as 14kg – such dogs are unlikely to produce Toy-sized Cavoodles. Not only is meeting the parents of your Cavoodle puppy important to ascertain if you’re buying from a truly ethical breeder but you can gain an insight into how big your dog will be when fully grown.

Teacup Cavoodle Size

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A Teacup Cavoodle weighs less than 3kg and is truly a pocket puppy-size teddy bear that will happily travel in a designer dog carrier bag, backpack, sling or basket.

Is a Toy Cavoodle a good dog?

Toy Cavoodles make wonderful companions for singles, couples, the elderly and families with older children. While Toy Cavoodles are good family dogs and are generally not aggressive; they need to be supervised around small children because their small size means that they can be easily injured by toddlers in falls or rough play.

Overall, a Toy Cavoodle puppy from a responsible breeder will generally grow to be a great dog that lives a long life.

Buying a puppy from a breeder based solely on a cheap price or availability can cost more in vet bills, dog behaviourist and obedience training over the long term.

Puppies bred and raised in puppy farms, backyard breeders or large breeding facilities, are known to suffer from behavioural problems like reactivity, aggression, fear, phobias, separation anxiety, barking, whining, abnormal repetitive behaviours etc.

The process of finding a good breeder can be time-consuming but there are certain details that shouldn’t be overlooked. Some of these include:

  • Meeting the parents or at the very least the mother of the Toy Cavoodle puppies for sale.
  • Assess the temperament of the parent/s – are they calm, groomed and appear to be healthy? Is this the sort of personality you want in your home?
  • Viewing the DNA testing of both parents and any other health checks that have been carried out such as Hip and Elbow scoring.
  • Meeting the breeder in person and seeing where your puppy has been born and raised. This is the only way to truly know that you’re not supporting a puppy farm.
  • Viewing the contract of sale and health guarantee that the breeder provides with the Toy Cavapoo puppy. Make sure you’re buying your puppy from a registered business (verify ABN) and get your vet to read over the health conditions covered in the guarantee.

Do Toy Cavoodles bark a lot?

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Toy Cavoodles can be prone to behaviour issues like separation anxiety and reactivity. Both the Cavalier King Charles and the Toy Poodle, crave human companionship and without early training to build the skill of independence, this can make leaving a Toy Cavoodle alone, quite the struggle.

Toy Cavoodles can bark a lot when they’re feeling excited, frustrated, or scared of something in their environment. Therefore, early puppy training that starts with the breeder’s puppy-raising program and continues with the new owner, should focus on building the Cavoodle’s confidence, optimism, flexibility, tolerance to frustration, independence and calmness.

A calm Cavoodle is a combination of sound genetics, ethical breeding practices, positive experiences (particularly during the socialisation periods) and lifelong training using positive reinforcement.

What Problems Do Toy Cavoodles have?

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Toy Cavoodles can be affected by all the health problems associated with their parent breeds; the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Toy Poodle. The best Cavoodle breeders carry out health testing on their breeding dogs to prevent the transmission of such health problems in their Toy Cavoodle puppies.

Health screening should include DNA testing for all the testable diseases affecting the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Toy or Mini Poodle. Ethical breeders are informed and educate themselves on the hereditary diseases associated with the dogs they breed. They will never breed two disease carriers together, and their Toy Cavoodle puppies for sale will therefore not be affected by genetic diseases such as PRA blindness.

Other health screening measures available to breeders include heart testing, hip and elbow scoring, eye testing and patellar checks.

Health issues associated with the Toy Cavoodle:

  • Luxating patella – Depending on the grade of severity, surgery can be required. Surgery costs in Sydney can be approximately $2000 or more (depending on the vet) for one knee and recovery is a long process, requiring the Cavoodle to rest for 6 weeks.
  • Allergies – Cavoodles can suffer from a range of food and skin allergies, resulting in itchy skin and/or tummy upsets. Foods like chicken and grains are commonly the cause and can be identified by carrying out a protein-elimination diet.
  • Hip Dysplasia – Responsible breeders carry out hip scoring on their breeding dogs and only breed from females and stud dogs with better than breed average results.
  • Syringomelia – The Cavalier King Charles brain is often too big for its skull causing compression and fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord. This is a painful condition and has been found to affect around 41% of Cavaliers and this jumps to 70% for Cavaliers over 6 years of age.
  • Epilepsy – Seizures.

Can Cavoodles be left alone for 8 hours?

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Some Cavoodle dog owners report that they can leave their dog alone for 8 hours while they’re at work. Others have issues with their dog suffering from separation anxiety, resulting in chewing, barking, soiling in the house, howling, whinging, digging etc. Understandably, this can become a problem resulting in complaints from neighbours; making apartment and city living particularly difficult.

Cavoodles crave companionship but with good training, most can develop the skill of independence and calmness. It’s important to provide your dog with sufficient mental stimulation while you’re away, our top tips include:

  • Stuffed Kongs – fill with raw mince, green tripe, natural yoghurt, tasty treats etc. If your Cavoodle empties the Kong quickly, freeze the night before for a longer-lasting environmental enrichment experience.
  • Licky mats – smear with your dog’s favourite things; peanut butter, sardines, yoghurt, mince, tripe etc.
  • Snuffle Mats – sprinkle your Cavoodle’s daily allowance of healthy grain-free kibble or freeze-dried food. Your dog will sniff, dig, nudge and forage for their food; this is calming and builds their tolerance to frustration.
  • Long-lasting tasty chews – Goat horns, deer antlers, bully sticks etc.
  • Fresh raw meaty bones – Weight-bearing beef marrow bones can be purchased from the butcher, who will cut them into conveniently sized pieces. Freeze and feed raw, one portion to your Cavoodle before leaving for the day.

Are male or female Toy Cavoodles better?

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Desexed male and female Toy Cavoodles can both make great companions. Differences in personality between males and females are dependent on genetics more than the sex of the dog. Desexing can change male dog behaviour fast, but it’s worth investigating the pros and cons first.

Un-desexed male dogs will generally start lifting their leg to mark their territory during adolescence (from 6 months of age), this can be smelly and frustrating for owners.

A good age to desex a male Cavoodle is 6 months of age, this should be young enough to prevent them from developing this urine marking behaviour.

Male dogs can also develop humping behaviour, which tends to be stopped by desexing. However, humping isn’t always a sexual behaviour; male and female Cavoodles will sometimes hump as an outlet for frustration, excitement, anxiety etc.

In cases where a Cavoodle is humping your leg, behaviour modification will involve ascertaining why the dog is overexcited and training the foundations of impulse control, tolerance to frustration, calmness, confidence and optimism.

Some trainers and owners will try to convince you that humping is a sign that your dog is dominating you and that you need to reinstate yourself as the alpha, to solve the problem. Thankfully, dominance theory has been debunked and is not grounded in science. Using fear and intimidation in dog training leads to avoidance behaviour, increases aggression and damages the relationship with your dog.

Female Cavoodles can start having a period/heat from around 6-15 months of age. They will require a sanitary nappy or pants during this time to avoid bleeding in the house. To prevent this from happening, female Cavoodles can be desexed at 6 months of age.

Therefore, there are no major differences between male and female Cavoodles, provided they are desexed at around 6 months of age. Temperament traits, tend to be associated with the genetics, life experiences and training of the dog, therefore it’s important to meet the parents of your Cavoodle puppy where possible.

Are Cavoodle easy to Potty Train?

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Cavoodles are intelligent dogs that learn new behaviours quickly. By focussing on setting your Cavoodle puppy up for success in potty training, you can speed up the process.

Your pup’s potty training routine should have commenced while they were in the care of their breeder.

3-week old puppies that are provided with two distinct areas, will designate one for sleeping and another for toileting on. If the breeder keeps the puppies’ bedding meticulously clean, they will preferentially walk over to the potty area to pee and poop.

Unethical breeders, raise puppies in filthy conditions. As such, these pups will soil where they sleep and won’t have an understanding that distinct areas exist for sleeping, eating and toileting.

Therefore, the ease with which your puppy will transition into your home and form a solid potty-training routine will largely depend on the effort that their breeder has gone to.

Toy Cavoodle puppies from the best breeders will appear to be potty trained from the time you bring them home. When they need to go to the toilet, they will appear to be searching for the ‘toilet spot’ and you can take them outside to the toilet or show them their grass loo.

By praising them when they potty in the desired location, they will willingly repeat this behaviour in the future.

Of course, 8-week-old puppies need to pee frequently and owners need to routinely take their Cavoodle puppy to the potty spot every 30 minutes or so for them to pee (when the puppy is awake and actively moving about).

Puppies will also need to potty as soon as they wake up from sleep, and have a big drink of water or a feed.

How Long Do Toy Cavoodles live for?

The lifespan of a healthy Toy Cavoodle can be anywhere from around 10-15 years of age with some living for as long as 18 years.  

Can Toy Cavoodles Sleep Outside?

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While Toy Cavoodles can generally sleep outside when it’s not too cold, they are happiest inside the home. Some owners report that their Toy Cavoodle barks at nighttime if they are left to sleep outside. This can cause neighbour complaints and result in worsening behaviour, particularly when the barking is associated with separation anxiety.

There are also more distractions outside such as wildlife, cats, fireworks etc and Toy Cavoodles can be prone to barking at the slightest noise, particularly at night when it’s quiet.

Therefore, while Toy Cavoodles can sleep outside, they are likely to be quieter, sleeping somewhere in the house such as in the laundry or a crate. Sleeping inside the house is also more secure, where they can be protected from opportunistic dog thieves or their attempts to escape.

Can Cavoodle be kept outside?

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Cavoodles need companionship, they are indoor dogs that are prone to separation anxiety and cannot be kept solely outside. Cavoodles that are deprived of company, can develop abnormal repetitive behaviours like foot licking, barking, spinning, digging, pacing, whinging, scratching etc.

Are Toy Cavoodles Aggressive?

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All dogs have the potential to be aggressive and Toy Cavoodles are no exception. Poor genetics combined with bad breeding practices, limited socialisation and training that utilises punishment, can make for an aggressive Toy Cavoodle.

You can avoid adopting an aggressive Cavoodle by only supporting ethically bred and raised puppies. The best breeders stand by their Cavapoo puppies and provide support in the form of training and health guarantees for hereditary issues.  

Similarly, avoid dog trainers that use fear and intimidation in their training of your Cavoodle. Science has shown that such methods can increase aggression, reactivity, and avoidance behaviours. The best dog trainers only use positive reinforcement-based methods and play-based training.

Slip leads, choke chains, electric shock collars, prong collars and anything that tightens around the dog’s neck to change behaviour, should be avoided.

The best harness for a Toy Cavoodle is one that has a front and back attachment for the leash. Training your Cavoodle in the foundations of loose leash walking will over time stop them from pulling on the lead.

Do Cavoodles Like to Cuddle?

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Cavoodles are a mix of spaniel and poodle, they adore being close to their owners and will happily sit at your feet while you work or cuddle up with you while you’re on the couch.

Most Cavoodles can’t get enough affection and attention, so much so, that it’s important to ensure that you aren’t always cuddling them.

A common behaviour problem that Cavoodle dog owners report, is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is made worse when owners don’t teach their dogs that their presence doesn’t always mean that the dog has access to them.

Developing your dog’s ability to cope with being alone, starts with them spending small increments of time independent of you when you are at home.

If your Cavoodle is crate trained you might have their crate next to you while you work. Provide a long-lasting tasty chew or a stuffed Kong inside their crate to keep them occupied and to ensure it’s a positive experience.

When you get up to make a coffee, they can’t follow you; this brief period of time where they are alone will represent a positive experience that when repeated throughout and over days, will build their resilience and positive outlook towards existing independently of you.

If you’re having trouble crate training your Cavoodle puppy, a playpen or baby gate will work just as well.

To ensure that the time your Cavoodle spends alone is a positive experience, utilise environmental enrichment aids such as long-lasting tasty chews (bully sticks, goat horns etc), stuffed Kongs, snuffle mats, licky mats, raw meaty bones etc.

Do Cavoodles like to walk?

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Cavoodles like to spend time with their owners and without training, some will not want to be left home alone. Some Cavoodles are prone to barking at other dogs and people on walks, this can be stressful for owners and their dogs. If your Cavoodle is reactive, whines and barks a lot on walks, they are probably not enjoying the experience.

Being on high alert and generally anxious and over-excited is a sign that your Cavoodle’s body is releasing stress hormones such as the flight or fight hormones, cortisol and adrenaline.

Therefore, Cavoodles that bark, growl and cry on walks are unlikely to benefit from them and shouldn’t be walked until they have seen a qualified vet behaviourist who can determine if this behaviour is harming the dog’s wellbeing and if it can be modified.

Similarly, Cavoodle puppies shouldn’t go for long walks before the age of 12 months. They are not fully grown and their joints can be damaged by over-exercising.

Why Do Cavoodles Cry?

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Some dog breeds are more prone to being vocal and whining a lot. This is generally a genetic trait that a Cavoodle inherits from one or both of its parents.

An interesting experiment that a breeder can do to determine what puppies will be more vocal in a litter, is to place all the puppies in a pen and watch how they respond. Some puppies will scream, howl, bark, whine and generally be a lot more vocal about their frustration than others.

This is just one temperament test that a responsible Cavoodle breeder will carry out when assessing the personality traits of the puppies in a litter.

Therefore, some Cavoodles are genetically more likely to cry when they’re having an emotional response or have a need met. They might cry when they are feeling frustrated, excited, fearful, anxious, hungry, need to toilet, or want to go for a walk.

Meeting the parents of any Toy or Mini Cavoodle puppies for sale and observing if they whine, can be helpful to determine if their puppies will also be vocal. Whining can be a nuisance and if a dog still whines despite its needs being met, it’s generally a difficult behaviour to modify.

Are Cavoodles hard to take care of?

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Cavoodles can be needy dogs that develop behaviour problems like separation anxiety, barking, house soiling etc. Training is critical to them being able to be left alone and many Cavoodle owners underestimate the importance of focused, short training sessions.

The best Cavoodle training focuses on developing life skills that are at the root of common behaviour struggles in the breed; independence, tolerance to frustration, flexibility, calmness, and impulse control just to name a few.

Depending on the coat type of a Cavoodle and the hairstyle you want to maintain, the wool and fleece varieties can be high maintenance in terms of grooming. For a wool-coated Cavoodle expect to devote 30 minutes, at least three times per week to brushing and combing (small sections at a time) of their wool. A quick surface brush that skims the top layer of wool and doesn’t penetrate down to the skin, will not stop mats and knots from forming.

If you take a matted dog to a groomer, they will either charge to work through the matted coat (which can take hours) or they will advise that removing the coat completely by shaving down to the skin, is the cheapest and least stressful option for the Cavoodle to endure.

Fleece-coated Cavoodles are lower maintenance than wool-coated Cavoodles, however, they still require a thorough all-over brush and comb, twice weekly that penetrates down to the skin, to stop mats from forming.

Depending on the lifestyle your dog leads, the length of their hairstyle and any trips to the beach or bush may increase the frequency of maintenance brushing required.

While the cute, fluffy teddy bear Cavoodle grooms are the most popular, they can also be the hardest to take care of. If dog grooming isn’t how you like to spend your time and you’re looking for a low-maintenance Cavalier x Poodle, consider a Smooth Coated Cavoodle. While smooth coats will shed, they only require a quick brush and comb through once or twice a week and can often be groomed at home by their owners.

What Colour Cavoodle is most popular?

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The most popular colour among Cavoodle puppies for sale is the rich, mahogany ruby red. Also, popular are the cream, chocolate and merle-coloured Cavoodle pups.

Will My Cavoodle Fade?

It’s important to keep in mind, that poodles carry a fading gene and most Cavoodles will fade as they age. This fading gene is yet to be identified by genetic analysis and therefore the best way to determine if a Cavoodle for sale will fade is to view dogs that the breeder has bred from the same bloodlines when they are at least 3 years of age.

There is no way to stop your Cavoodle from fading –  colour fade is in their genetics and it’s very common. All colours are subject to fading but it is most noticeable in the dogs that start out a rich ruby red, black, merle or chocolate colour.

Fading usually starts to occur when a Toy Cavoodle reaches 18-24 months of age and many ruby, red-coloured dogs will get darker up until the age of 12-18 months, before starting to fade dramatically.

Many breeders will ask a higher price for a dark red or merle-coloured Toy Cavoodle but given that they are likely to dilute by the time they are fully grown, this might influence what you’re willing to pay for these colour traits.

Conclusion

Toy Cavoodles are Australia’s most popular design dog breed for good reason. Their convenient small size, cuddly and generally non-shedding coat, make them highly sought after by city-dwelling families.

They do have some health problems but the best Cavoodle breeders always DNA test and hip score their breeding dogs to prevent breeding puppies that are affected by these issues. 

Fleece and wool coated Toy Cavoodles can be high-maintenance dogs that require regular brushing, combing and grooming. The popular ruby red, chocolate and merle coat colourings are subject to changing colour and fading over time (usually by the age of 2 years).

Similarly, Toy Cavoodles commonly suffer from behaviour problems like separation anxiety and barking. Ethical breeding practices and dog training that focus on building life skills such as independence, confidence, optimism, flexibility, impulse control and tolerance to frustration are vital to raising a calm Cavoodle companion.

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