The Cavapoo and Labradoodle share many similarities. They’re both hybrid dog breeds that have been bred with Poodles. They also tend to be very friendly and are often good with families with young children. While both dogs may be excellent choices for first-time dog owners, they do have some differences that set them apart, particularly with living spaces and exercise requirements.
Prospective dog owners must also be attentive to each dog breed’s individual needs and know what to expect if they decide to bring one home and care for one. Being well-informed about the Cavapoo and Labradoodle will help you determine which one is best for you.
At a Glance
Cavapoo Pet Breed
Personality / Character
The Cavapoo is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. Cavapoos tend to be very friendly and enjoy the company of both humans and other dogs. They can get along with other kinds of pets, like cats, but they can also have a strong prey drive. So, while it’s possible for them to coexist with other pets, dog owners must also have the realistic expectation that some Cavapoos may not ever be fully trusted to be alone with other pets.
Cavapoos enjoy being around people, and because of their smaller size, they can become good companion animals for children. These dogs do not do well by themselves for long hours, so it is important for them to be in homes where someone can usually be with them. Cavapoos tend to be very social and welcoming toward strangers and other dogs.
Cavapoos tend to be fairly active and playful, and a Cavapoo’s exercise needs will depend on its size. Larger Cavapoos that are around the 15 to 20-pound range often enjoy going on long walks and can be good hiking companions. Smaller Cavapoos are better suited for apartment life and often don’t need as much exercise. In general, Cavapoos require at least 45 minutes of exercise per day. They can get exercise through daily walks, visits to the dog park, and playing with a variety of toys.
As intelligent dogs, Cavapoos require a good amount of daily mental stimulation and enrichment activities. Bored Cavapoos can end up developing anxiety or engaging in destructive behaviors. Treat puzzles and toys can help keep them occupied, and they’ll also enjoy playing games like hide-and-seek and scent tracking.
Cavapoos are known to be people pleasers and love attention and receiving praise. They’re also quite intelligent, so these dogs tend to be relatively easy to train. Training sessions should be short and frequent to keep Cavapoos engaged. Make sure to maintain a positive attitude and be extra encouraging, as Cavapoos are very sensitive to people’s tone of voice. If you’re ever feeling frustrated, it’s best to end the training session and take a step back rather than express your frustration towards your Cavapoo.
Smaller Cavapoos may have a harder time with potty training because they have smaller bladders and will have to be let out more frequently. However, since they’re quite smart, they can learn bell training pretty quickly and learn to hit a bell every time they have to go outside for a potty break.
Health & Care
Cavapoos are pretty healthy, but they may come across a few common health issues, especially as they age. They’re more prone to developing luxating patellas, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). They can also develop mitral valve disease, which is a heart disease.
Grooming needs will depend on the type of coat that your Cavapoo has. Cavapoo coats range from wavy to curly. Cavapoos with wavy coats tend to shed more, while ones with curlier coats that more closely resemble Poodle coats shed less. All Cavapoos require daily brushing to prevent their fine hairs from tangling and matting. If you aren’t able to keep up with daily brushing, you can request a professional groomer to shave your Cavapoo’s coat to a shorter, more manageable length. Cavapoos benefit from getting their coats trimmed and groomed every 6 to 8 weeks.
Cavapoos crave companionship, so they’re best for people who either spend most of their time at home or are able to take them out wherever they go. Due to their smaller size, they’re often content with apartment living as long as they get their daily exercise needs met. Cavapoos often make good playmates for children and love playing games and learning new tricks.
Personality / Character
Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle. They come in four sizes: miniature, small-medium, medium, and standard. Miniature Labradoodles can be as small as 11 pounds, while standard Labradoodles can exceed 85 pounds.
Labradoodles are known to be wonderful companion dogs. They tend to be very intuitive and attuned to their family members, and many become successful service dogs or therapy dogs. They’re usually fairly patient with children, but larger Labradoodle puppies need to learn to be extra careful around children while they’re playing so that children don’t get knocked down by them.
Like Cavapoos, Labradoodles do not do well being alone for very long. They love accompanying their families everywhere they go. They also tend to be pretty adaptive, so they can get by going to doggy daycare or spending time with a dog walker if you have to leave them at home for long hours.
Labradoodles are highly active dogs that require at least one hour of exercise per day. Smaller Labradoodles can get by with living in an apartment, but Labradoodles generally do best when they live in a single-family home with a fully fenced backyard. These dogs will enjoy going on daily walks around the neighborhood, but they’ll also love going out to experience a variety of places. Labradoodles often make good outdoor adventure companions and can keep up with camping, hiking, and swimming.
Labradoodles are also a highly intelligent dog breed, so they need plenty of daily mental stimulation. They’ll enjoy having a job, like retrieving items or doing therapy dog work. Taking your Labradoodle to new places will also provide new learning opportunities for them. When at home, these dogs will enjoy all sorts of enrichment activities and are quick to learn how to play with treat-dispensing toys and puzzles.
Training a Labradoodle is relatively easy, so they make good dogs for first-time dog owners. Labradoodles are similar to Cavapoos in that they’re eager to please and enjoy learning. They tend to learn obedience training pretty quickly, especially when their efforts are met with a lot of praise and their favorite treats.
Active Labradoodles can often learn to participate in agility courses and events pretty quickly and easily. Some will also enjoy dock jumping.
Health & Care
Labradoodles are pretty healthy, but they do share some similar health issues as Cavapoos. They’re also prone to hip dysplasia and PRA. They may also develop Von Willebrand’s disease or Addison’s disease.
Labradoodles have similar grooming needs as Cavapoos. They usually require daily brushing because their fine hairs are prone to tangling and matting. Most Labradoodles require professional grooming every 6-8 weeks.
Labradoodles are wonderful family dogs that love being around people. They usually require more space than Cavapoos, so they usually do best in single-family homes. Labradoodles make good pets for people who are willing and able to invest in solid training and provide plenty of socialization opportunities. They’re the ultimate companion dogs and love being helpful, so they’ll enjoy spending as much time with their families and learning new tasks and tricks or having a job.
Which Breed Is Right for You?
Both Cavapoos and Labradoodles need to be in homes where they’re not left home alone for long hours at a time. They love being around people and are very sociable. Since they have such friendly natures, they don’t make very good watchdogs. However, they make wonderful family dogs, emotional support dogs, and therapy dogs.
In general, Cavapoos are better suited for apartment living. While they do have a good amount of energy, they don’t need as much exercise as Labradoodles. Smaller Cavapoos can also get by with getting their exercise needs met indoors.
Labradoodles are better fits for people with more active lifestyles. They can keep up with all sorts of activities and are quick learners. They often make the perfect outdoor companion and will enjoy participating in all kinds of activities.
Overall, Cavapoos and Labradoodles are excellent companion dogs that quickly become attached to their families and are capable of developing deep bonds. These dogs love receiving attention and have cheerful and friendly personalities. They can brighten up your day and will love nothing more than spending all day with you.
Featured Image Credit: Top – Mia Anderson, Unsplash | Bottom – Janosch Diggelmann, Unsplash