Is a Cavapoo a good family dog?

As a child, from the ages of 5 to 15, I would periodically ask my mother if we could get a dog. The answer was as consistent as it was emphatic: “No!”. Unfortunately, my parents just weren’t dog people and, in the end, I had to settle for a cat.

25 years then passed until I was in a position to get a dog of my own. I’m not yet a parent, however, my cavapoo, Alfie, has been around lots of children and babies. He has been nothing but calm and loving with all of them. I can therefore confirm, based on my own first-hand experience and research, that cavapoos make fantastic family pets. This affirmation is based largely on the cavapoo’s temperament; they are loving, patient, and lively.

As we have written about previously, whilst a breed’s temperament can provide clues to an animal’s likely behaviour, even the most innocuous of breeds can demonstrate aggression in certain scenarios. Rescue dogs may even suffer from psychological issues. Therefore please exercise caution when introducing any dog, even a cavapoo, to a young child.

Cavapoos’ temperament

The cavapoo is lively and fairly intelligent, meaning it’s easy to train and likes to go on long walks and play. These are properties it has inherited from the Miniature Poodle. In contrast, from the Cavalier, the cavapoo gets its loving, soft nature- rendering it a lap dog with which you can cosy up in front of the television or fire. The cavapoo is a well-balanced dog breed with many owners believing it provides them the best of both worlds.

How are cavapoos with children and babies?

A cavapoo would be an excellent breed to choose as a child’s first dog. Older children will enjoy the excitable nature of a cavapoo which needs walking daily and enjoys playing fetch. Indeed, cavapoos love any sort of play, whether that be fooling around in the backyard or playing find the treat therefore they make natural companions for children.

It was interesting to observe my cavapoo recently with my two-month-old niece: he carefully licked the tiny baby’s hand, and seemed very aware that the baby was delicate and precious. This was heartwarming for me to witness. That said, babies should never be left on their own around a dog, and I had a firm grasp of Alfie as he inspected my niece.

Are cavapoos high maintenance?

One of the main reasons I hear why people are interested in getting cavapoos is that cavapoos are supposedly hypoallergenic (meaning they don’t drop fur). This isn’t actually true, at least not entirely. Some cavapoos fur is closer in property to that of a poodle, whereas other cavapoos have fur more similar to that of the cavalier. Cavapoos in the latter category will drop a little fur, meaning homemakers may need to vaccuum more regularly. All cavapoos will also require trips to the groomers every 6 to 8 weeks. This prevents their fur from getting too long, knotted and smelly.

As mentioned, cavapoos tend to have a lot of energy and therefore, at a minimum, they need a 45-minute walk daily, or else your dog will be restless. A dog walked first thing in the morning will typically sleep throughout the day. Some sort of mental stimulation in the evening is easily fulfilled by dog toys and chews.

Cavapoos can be a little needy and suffer from separation anxiety. For this reason, it’s important to set clear boundaries with your dog from the start to ensure they are comfortable being on their own for a few hours. Like most dogs, cavapoos don’t do well being on their own for a prolonged period of time since they are highly social “pack animals”.

What is bad about cavapoos?

There is nothing inherently “bad” about cavapoos- they’re a fantastic breed of dog but they might not suit everyone. Whilst they will bark to alert you of an intruder, they are far from guard dogs, and so if you’re looking for a breed that can protect the family home then a cavapoo isn’t a good fit on that basis.

Furthermore, because the cavapoo is not a recognised pure breed, cavapoos cannot be shown. Organisations like the Kennel Club don’t provide any standards for how cavapoos should be bred. This often results in cavapoo breeders not always bothering to get breeding parents health tested so prospective owners should be mindful of this.