When we were deciding on whether it was cockapoo vs cavapoo, we found ourselves asking what exactly are the differences and similarities between these poodle hybrids?
I’ve summarised our original research below because (like the geeks we are) we kept a fairly detailed list of the pros and cons between these the cavapoo and cockapoo breeds!
Cockapoo vs Cavapoo History
A good first place to start in this step by step comparison of these two breeds is to dive into the histories of cockapoos and cavapoos.
The cockapoo hybrid breed originated as a result of a cross breeding craze that originated in the 1950s and 1960s in the USA. They were bred partly for their looks (which are adorable) as well as for their coat types, which are regarded to be hypoallergenic providing that the coat type is correct.
Cavapoos (aka Cavoodle) have come much more recently, and cross breeding cavapoos became especially popular in Australia in the 1990s. They were bred to be a smaller version of cockapoos, and a healthier variant of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is known to have a number of health difficulties.
Because both hybrids are extremely popular and are in high demand, they are often bred by nasty puppy dealers; I wrote a post recently about how to properly research your breeders if you want to avoid this!
Recommended: Is a cockapoo right for you? Take our quiz!
Cavapoo vs Cockapoo Temperament
When it comes to cockapoos vs cavapoos the key think you might be wondering is what the difference is between the two personalities of these dogs.
The temperament of both dogs are inherited from poodles and cocker spaniels (Cockapoos) or Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Cavapoos). As a result, temperaments can vary from dog to dog.
Poodles are known for their intelligence and loyalty, and were originally bred to be retrieving gun dog. This breed of dog is super clever, ranking just behind border collies in dog intelligence lists, which means that they are easy to train, but can be a little quick to second guess their owners!
Cockapoo temperament, as we’ve covered in more depth, typically inherits this intelligence from their poodle parent, but also the sweet and loving nature of cocker spaniels, which are not known for being the brightest of dogs!
Cockapoos, as a general rule, tends to be typified by them being:
- Loyal and loving
- Easy to train
- More human orientated than dog focussed
Cavapoo temperament is slightly different because of the traits inherited from the Cavalier King Charles. Similar to cockapoos, they are regarded as being clever and easy to train. But, they are regarded as being less energetic and slightly more restful. As a result, people say the cavapoo temperament is:
- Easy to train
- Extremely human orientated
Which temperament is best?
When thinking about the cockapoo vs cavapoo temperament, the thing you have to think about is which breed works best for your lifestyle.
Cavapoos do tend to be a little needier than cockapoos, so probably won’t suit owners who aren’t around for most of the day (although, I would say cockapoos are a very close second here as we’ve learnt!).
That said, because of this love of humans cavapoos are often selected to be used as therapy dogs!
On the other hand, cockapoos are a little more energetic and “bouncier” than cavapoos, so would perhaps suit younger families who are more active and prepared to have lots of outdoor fun.
Recommended: Is a cockapoo right for you? Take our quiz!
Cockapoo vs cavapoo health issues and lifespan
Both cockapoos and cavapoos can have health problems if you don’t research your breeders properly, and end up buying from someone who hasn’t bred their puppies for health.
Common cavapoo health problems can include:
- Patellar Luxation (knee issues)
- Atopy (Skin allergies)
- Hip dysplasia
- Cerebellar Abiotrophy (progressive disease affecting balance and coordination)
- Mitral Valve Disease (heart issues that can lead to heart failure)
Common cockapoo health problems can include:
- Atopy (Skin allergies)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (progressive blindness)
- Glaucoma (elevation of pressure inside the eye)
- Petellar Luxation (knee issues)
Which type is healthier?
As is clear from the list above, cockapoos are less likely to suffer “serious” issues than cavapoos, as a lot of the common illnesses are eye related and these can be easily prevented by good breeding.
Of course, if you find a good breeder and do your research, they will have tested to eliminate or minimise the risk of the health conditions faced by both cavapoos and cockapoos. This is also the case when you look at the F1, F2 etc. descriptions that breeders use.
But, when we were deciding between cockapoos vs cavapoos, the fact that cavapoos appeared to be more at risk of contracting health issues was a big deciding factor for us.
And, if you consider this, the following differences between the lifespan of these dogs makes sense:
- Cavapoo lifespan 12-16 years
- Cockapoo lifespan 14-18 years
Cockapoo vs cavapoo size
The size of a dog is found by measuring from their paw to their shoulder blades.
When fully grown, cockapoos tend to get between 28cm (11”) – 36cm (14”) tall. This is about the height of a coffee table, and their head gets to a height of an average adult’s knee.
The height of a cavapoo is roughly similar to that of a cockapoo, with them growing to a height of between 28-33cm.
The biggest difference in the size of cavapoos vs cockapoos is the contrast in their weights.
A full size cavapoo can weigh anything between 5-10 kg (up to the weight of a couple of cats!)
A cockapoo, on the other hand, can get up to around 12kg (up to the weight of a couple of cats and a mouse or two!)
Apologies for the poor size analogies here!
What is the best size?
There’s not a lot of difference between the cockapoos and cavapoos on this one. In fact they are quite similar.
In my experience, the cockapoos I’ve met tend to be a little bit “chunkier” than the cavapoos I’ve come across. What is clear is that if you’re after a big dog, neither of these breeds are right for you!
I would say, though, that if you’re after a dog that suits older owners or very tiny family members, then a cavapoo might just win on the size front.
This is because, as they are slightly smaller and have a calmer temperament (generally), then they are less likely to knock people over if they happen to jump up!
Are cockapoos more expensive than cavapoos?
The short answer to this is: Yes! Our research into the average cost of cockapoos in the UK, shows that breeders are charging an average of £1,101 for a cockapoo puppy.
In contrast, UK pets estimate that the price range for cavapoo puppies is between £500-1000.
This difference in figures is also supported by the fact that large licenced breeders like Raffles advertise cavapoo puppies at a few hundred pounds cheaper than their cockapoo puppies.
Why this difference in price?
Well, part of the reason for this has to be the demand for cockapoos vs cavapoos. I think the higher demand for cockapoos has a lot to do with the health issues that I’ve covered above.
I mean, would you want to pay the same amount for both breeds when you know that one is more prone to serious health issues?
That said, both cavapoos and cockapoos do cost a huge amount of money, and when you think about all of the things you need for your new puppy all of this cost does add up.
Even though both of these breeds cost a lot of money, please please please don’t try and get yourself a bargain priced-puppy. If a breeder is charging suspiciously low prices, you need to ask yourself why!
Coat and grooming
Both cavapoo and cockapoos have extremely similar coats. This is because they are bred from both poodles and shedding dog breeds.
As a result, a successfully bred hybrid will exhibit a coat that is more poodle than not.
This means that, if it is low shedding, it is more likely to be hypoallergenic because dander from the dog isn’t going to be spread around all around the house.
If you want a low shedding cockapoo or cavapoo, when viewing your potential puppy partners, look for pups who have tightly wound, curlier coats.
This is a sign that their coat is more likely to turn out like that of a poodle than either a cocker spaniel or cavalier.
There is a big thing to understand though if you do go for this coat type (and let’s face it, it’s one of the big reasons for going for these types of dogs). Non-shedding coats require lots and lots of grooming. By that, I mean regular brushing, trimming and clipping, to keep your pooch from having painful knots and tangles – in fact that is one of the big things we wish we knew before owning a cockapoo!
Do cockapoos bark more than cavapoos?
Now this is a bit of a random question to finish on, but it is one that I’ve been asked a lot when I’ve met cavapoo owners.
Put simply, my experience has led me to believe that cockapoos do bark more than cavapoos. I think that this has something to do with the fact that cavapoos, on the whole, tend to be a little calmer and more relaxed than cockapoos.
As a result, they use their barking for normal “dog reasons” such as when they hear a noise at the door or when they meet other dogs.
Cockapoos, in my experience, are a lot more vocal. They will not only bark, but will also make all sorts of whines and groans as if they are talking to their humans.
At times this is annoying (especially if you’re chatting on the phone!). But, on the whole, we tend to find it endearing.
Cavapoo vs Cockapoo: What would I recommend?
Now, given the name of this website, you might think I’m a little biased (I am), but there are lots of good points in favour of owning a cavapoo vs a cockapoo.
I think it all comes down to two important points:
1. Their health
As you may have realised from this article, cockapoos are less likely to have “serious” health problems than cavapoos. This isn’t to say that they are all absolutely fine, or you won’t have a health issue with a cockapoo.
It does mean, though, that you are less likely to have to pay higher pet insurance fees, and you are less likely to have to visit the vet.
Most importantly, it also means that you are less likely to face early or untimely heartbreak. And, for me, that was the biggest deciding factor.
2. Your lifestyle
Health issues aside, another huge deciding factor should also be your lifestyle.
As I’ve covered, cockapoos are energetic dogs who require lots of exercise to keep them calm and settled.
Cavapoos on the other hand still require the exercise, but they are known as being calmer and more relaxed than cockapoos.
In my view, if you’re able to provide the right sort of lifestyle, go for a cockapoo. If not, spring for a cavapoo.
Either way, thanks for reading, have fun and good luck on your journey with your new companion!
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