Cavapoo vs Cockapoo

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: March 21, 2024
Cavapoo vs Cockapoo

See files for Dogs

Even if you are not someone who reads up about different dog breeds, you may have heard of the Cavapoo or Cockapoo. While having official recognition of a new breed takes time, some breeds become popular so extensively, they become a recognizable breed regardless. Such is the case with both the Cavapoo and the Cockapoo. They are breeds which grew organically from the breeding of a Poodle with Spaniel breeds. Due to their lifelong adorable puppy appearance, both of these dogs have become very fashionable, particularly in the USA.

However, AnimalWised wants to remind readers that fashions should not dictate the reasons why we adopt animals. By looking at the comparison of the Cavapoo vs. Cockapoo, we can help shed some light on these two tender breeds. We show you how that informs their care and what safeguarding measures they require for a happy and healthy life.

You may also be interested in: Greyhound vs Warren Hound


  1. The Cavapoo - Origins, Character and Care
  2. The Cockapoo - Origins, Characteristics and Care
  3. Differences between cavapoos and cockapoos
  4. Adopting a Cavapoo or Cockapoo

The Cavapoo - Origins, Character and Care

Pedigree dogs have been created by recognizing certain characteristics and then selectively breeding dogs to try to maintain them. In this way, all non-mixed breed dogs are in some way ‘designer’. However, the term designer dog is used to refer to animals which are crossbred from two different pedigree dog types. This differentiates them from mongrel or mixed breed dogs, i.e. those with unknown or non-pedigree genetic lineage.

The Cavapoo, also known as the Cavoodle, is one such designer dog. They are the product of a mix between a Miniature Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, as depicted in the picture below. The result of this pedigree crossbreed is an adorable curly haired dog with combines the benevolent character known as a particular character trait in both its parents' breeds.

This is a relatively recent hybrid breed with their origins in 1990's Australia. Breeders in this country crossed the two breeds create all the best traits of a companion animal. They were particularly looking at:

  • Temperament: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most sociable dogs we know. They are great with children, other dogs and almost anyone they meet. The Poodle is one of the most intelligent dogs in the world, although it is also very sociable and great with others. The result is a stellar crossing in terms of sociability, affection, playfulness and sweetness.
  • Exercise: while all dogs need exercise, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed which can readily adapt to the habits of their human guardians. The result for the Cavoodle is they are relatively low-maintenance in terms of exercise, but are still great dogs for active families.
  • Adaptability: the Cavapoo's sociability makes them very adaptable to any family types, whether they leave in town or country. The intelligence of the Poodle makes them slightly better at being around traffic and other city hazards than even the King Charles Spaniel.
  • Appearance: physicality was also considered when creating the Cavapoo breed. Their coat is curly, but not too long. It sheds little and is considered a relatively hypoallergenic dog. They will need weekly brushing to prevent knots, but their grooming is relatively minimal.

Both the Toy Poodle and Miniature Poodle can be used to create the Cavapoo, but it is the Miniature Poodle which is thought to yield the best results in terms of health. Despite their great popularity and well-recorded characteristics, the Cavapoo is not yet officially recognized by most international cynological organizations such as the American Kennel Club.

Cavapoo vs Cockapoo - The Cavapoo - Origins, Character and Care

The Cockapoo - Origins, Characteristics and Care

Unlike the Cavapoo, the Cockapoo is a much less recent hybrid dog breed. They first came to prominence in the 1950's in the United States. Their popularity soon snowballed, becoming very fashionable companion animals in a relatively short space of time.

The term Cockapoo can be applied to Poodle mixes with either the American English Cocker Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel. Since their neither have official registry with most breed associations, any crossing from these breeds will be considered a Cockapoo. There is little physical difference when comparing Coackapoos from either American or English Cocker Spaniel types.

As with the Cavapoo, the breeders developing Cockapoos were looking for certain characteristics to emphasize when crossing the breeds:

  • Temperament: the Cockapoo also loves attention and is very outgoing. However, they do need a lot of attention as they can become very upset if left alone for any length of time. They inherit a very happy disposition from their Cocker Spaniel lineage.
  • Exercise: the Cockapoo is very active and agile, although they do not necessarily need vast amounts of exercise. Their agility and inquisitiveness means they can scale certain barriers and will need supervision.
  • Adaptability: the Poodle's intelligence means that, despite their energy, the Cockapoo can be well-trained and adapt well to many different environments and families.
  • Appearance: as a non-purebred dog, the appearance of the Cockapoo is variable. They may take more characteristics from one parent over the other. All will have a curly coat, but some will be curlier than others. Some will appear more Poodle-like, others more Spaniel-like. The coat is also low-shed, but will require different levels of grooming depending on the individual dog.

As with the Cavapoo, the type of Poodle used to breed the Cockapoo can have a bearing on both their physical and behavioral characteristics. For example, Cockapoos from Miniature Poodle lines tend to be more energetic than others. Also, their size will depend on various genetic factors. A full grown Cockapoo will measure up to about 38 cm in height, roughly the same size as a Miniature Poodle.

Cavapoo vs Cockapoo - The Cockapoo - Origins, Characteristics and Care

Differences between cavapoos and cockapoos

As we can see, there are many similarities between the Cavapoo and Cockapoo. This is unsurprising since they were bred for similar purposes. However, there are some variances due to their differing genetic inheritance. These include:

Physical differences between the cavapoo and cockapoo

  • Hair: although both hybrid races generally have curly and long hair, the cockapoo's coat tends to be thinner than that of the cavoodle.
  • Size: although a generalization, the cockapoo can become a little bigger than the cavapoo. This will depend on the litter and the size of the parents.
  • Ears: as a general rule, cockapoos usually have slightly longer ears than the cavapoo. This is due to the genetic inheritance of Cocker Spaniel.
  • Life expectancy: Cockapoos have a slightly longer life expectancy. They tend to live between 14 and 18 years, more than the 10 and 14 years expected from the Cavapoo.
  • Coat colors: generally, we can find more variety of colors in the Cockapoo dog breed than in the Cavapoo.
  • Snout: sometimes, the cockapoo has a slightly more elongated nose than the cavapoo, which gives this second a more proportionate and adorable appearance.

Character differences between cavapoo and cockapoo

  • Timidity: likely due to its origins, the Cavapoo is generally calmer and patient than the Cockapoo. However, whether a dog is calm or not will often depends on their guardians. Of course, socialization and education are also essential for balance in a dog's character.
  • Independence the Cockapoo does not tolerate loneliness, being being prone to develop separation anxiety, depression, destructive behavior or even aggression if left alone for long periods. The Cavapoo can develop these problems also, but generally do so to a lesser extent. Without sufficient attention, the Cockapoo is likely to bark and demand attention regularly.
  • Adaptability: the Cavapoo's reputation is of a dog that adapts to everything and everyone, making it perfect for homes with children and the elderly. The Cockapoo, despite being very social and affectionate, tends to be a little more stubborn.

Although both dogs have their differences, they both descend from the Poodle. This means they share certain characteristics in terms of their coat and temperament. Intelligence and propensity toward training also characterize the breed. Since the breeds are not officially recognized, there is a lack of data which is able to determine the exact health issues either of these mix breeds might face. However, we can look at the most common health issues of the Poodle for potential problems to look out for.

Adopting a Cavapoo or Cockapoo

Although the Cavapoo and Cockapoo are both generally very adaptable breeds, you will need to consider their suitability before adopting one into your family. This involves the basics of whether you are able to offer them the sufficient amounts of time and effort to care for them. You will also need to ensure whether you have the resources in terms of space and money to appropriately look after an animal.

Neither dog is one which will tolerate a lack of attention. However, the Cavapoo may be less demanding and have a generally more laidback demeanor, so this may tip the scales if choosing to adopt one or the other breed. If you do decide to go for either crossbreed, you should look for reputable breeders. Unfortunately, the popularity of both breeds have resulted in puppy farms popping up and treating the animals inhumanely.

However, due to the need for dogs to be adopted from shelters and animal homes, it is best to look for a dog from one of these institutions. Regardless of breed, there are many animals in need which can become wonderful additions to your family. Take a look at our reasons to adopt a stray dog for more information.

If you want to read similar articles to Cavapoo vs Cockapoo, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.

Write a comment
Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
What did you think of this article?
1 of 3
Cavapoo vs Cockapoo