Almost 40% of Australian households have a pet dog, making it the top pet across the nation. One breed has increased in popularity over the past 5 years is the Cavoodle. These adorable crossbreeds, a mix between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle, have gained immense popularity in recent years, with experts claiming this being due to their teddy-bear look and docile but intelligent personality. If you're one of the hundreds of thousands of Aussie's considering adding a Cavoodle puppy to your family, there are important factors to consider.
We've interviewed Tiana, owner of Oodle Ways, a boutique Cavoodle breeder in Brisbane, about some of the internet's top queries when it comes to all things Cavoodle.
Tiana has a plethora of experience working with Cavoodles. It all started whenher parents surprised her with her first Cavoodle, Oscar, when she was just 8 years old, back in 2008. She quickly became obsessed with his beautiful personality, leading her to working as a Veterinary Nurse for over 4 years, studying Veterinary Technology, working in a Boutique Grooming Salon, teaching Puppy School and then starting her very own Cavoodle breeding business, Cavoodle Coaching business and launching the world's first Cavoodle-Specific, puppy raising cause - Oodleway: Puppy Prep.
By working in each sector of the small animal industry, she has been able to bring all of this knowledge into designing her Breeding program which focuses on raising Cavoodles to compliment your lifestyle, not complicate it.
Tiana takes a holistic approach and really focuses on what stage of development each puppy is in, giving her the ability to train the puppies through her curriculum program so that the litter families skip the dreaded “puppy stage”.
🤔What is the 'puppy stage'?
The puppy stage typically lasts from weeks 8-20 of your puppy's life. It's filled with potty accidents, sleepless nights, separation anxiety, chewed furniture (and shoes).
With this being said, we asked Tiana the burning questions about all things Cavoodle puppy!
How Old Should a Cavoodle Puppy be Before You Can Bring Them Home? 🐣
The Breeding Standards and Guidelines for Dogs Australia states a puppy must be 8 weeks old before being separated from their litter. However, when we look at the development of a puppy, they can actually go through a “fear period” at 8 weeks of age. During this period, stimuli and experiences they were once comfortable with the day before, can actually become really frightening to them and a change of environment can be detrimental to their overall demeanour as an adult dog.
What I do?
Monitor my litters and hold onto them until they pass through this fear period and go back to being curious, social butterflies (usually between 9 - 10 weeks of age).
How Old Should a Cavoodle Puppy be Before their First Groom? ✂️
My Cavoodles have their first baths by 6 weeks of age and I give them hygiene tidies every couple of weeks from about 4 weeks of age. This regular handling is extremely important as Cavoodles will need to be groomed every 6 - 8 weeks for their entire life.
The more they are desensitised to this process from a young age, the less they will be stressed from the grooming process as an adult.
Depending on the length of your puppy’s coat, this first grooming experience does not have to include a full groom but it’s imperative they experience the process of a hydro bath and blow dry with industrial hair dryers at this age. Your grooming salon will be able to advise you of their hygiene protocols in regards to Parvo virus and the number of vaccinations your puppy has had. Grooming appointments for your Cavoodle will cost upwards of $90 every 6-8 weeks with a maintenance tidy for upwards of $55 in between this. So for anyone who is wanting to learn how to groom your Cavoodle yourself and increase the strength of your bond with your puppy, I am about to launch Oodleway: Home Groom this Christmas which will step you through the entire process of properly brushing, washing, drying, coat prepping and grooming process with your Cavoodle. Send me an email at email@example.com to express your interest in my grooming course and I’ll send you a personal email myself once it’s available!
What is The Best Way to Potty Train a Cavoodle? 🚽
Potty training starts with the breeder as a puppy forms a surface preference at 3 weeks of age when they first start going to the toilet by themselves (prior to this, their mum has to stimulate them to go potty). Therefore, the best way to potty train a Cavoodle is to choose a Breeder who has only allowed their puppies to go to the toilet on grass! This means, when they come to your home, they will instinctively go searching for a surface that feels like grass which will typically be your backyard or a designated potty area. Without giving away all my secrets (my course Oodleway: Puppy Prep is available for purchase and dedicated to helping families prepare for their new Cavoodle including how to toilet train them) it’s all about consistently and reducing the area your puppy has to roam in the house.
What’s the Best Way to Get Your Cavoodle to Stop Crying at Night? Is it Normal? 🌚
Puppies cry to communicate their needs to their mum and siblings and when they come home to you, they will also cry to try and communicate with you. But the key is learning when they are crying for attention vs actually needing your assistance.
Separation anxiety is one of the BIGGEST issues Cavoodle families face and it all forms in the first few days with your new puppy when a family attends to every cry their puppy makes or never leaves them alone. All of my clients have heard me say this over and over again, but boundaries, consistency and predictability is the key to making your puppy feel safe, loved and comfortable.
In my course Oodleway: Puppy Prep, I teach you how to help them sleep through the night from day one as well as how to differentiate between an attention seeking cry vs a cry where your puppy needs assistance.
What’s the Top Health Risks for Cavoodles?🫀
1. Heart Disease
2. Joint Issues
Are Cavoodles Good Family Dogs in General? 👨👩👧👦
While YES is my first response, it really does depend on what type of family you have. When you are picking a breed of dog for your family, it’s extremely important that you look at your family’s lifestyle and then the original breed purpose of a dog.
Take a Border Collie for example. Border Collie’s are a working breed originally bred to work on a farm herding cattle. This means they are extremely loyal, intelligent, eager to learn and have an intrinsic desire to constantly be thinking. To take this breed off a farm and into an urban household, the family has to be very active and be able to dedicate a very large portion of the day to providing mental and physical enrichment for their Border Collie. If a breed’s needs aren’t met, this is when they become bored which leads to destructive behaviours such as digging, chewing, barking and nipping.
So if we then look at a Cavoodle, we have to split this breed into a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS) and a Poodle. The original breed purpose of a CKCS was to “warm laps in drafts castles and on chilly carriage rides” - i.e, they were bred as a placid, affectionate lap dog. If you’ve met a CKCS today, you would quickly realise not much has changed for this gorgeous breed. When we look at a Poodle, the Poodle was originally bred as a hunting dog to retrieve ducks and rabbits. This means, they are a very intelligent breed with a desire to fetch and retrieve which also conveys to a playful personality. So when we mix the CKCS and Poodle together, what we get is a friendly, affectionate, intelligent, playful breed with the added benefit of an adorable face and a very low-non shedding coat which does tend to suit most urban families.
Why isn't a Cavoodle a Breed?
In the breeding world, we have Purebred dogs which are recognised officially as a breed with a closed gene pool and Cross-breeds that have mixed breeds in their heritage. In every right, a Cavoodle (which is currently classified as a cross-breed) is definitely a breed but it hasn’t been around long enough to have generations of careful breeding in place that adheres to a breed standard which closes the gene pool and provides predictably in terms of looks, body structure and personality with every litter. In the years (possibly decades) to come, I am certain the Cavoodle will be recognised as a Purebred dog like a Poodle or the CKCS, and for this to happen, Breeders will have to breed Cavoodles with Cavoodles that all adhere to a breed standard as outlined by the country’s breeding body.
Until this happens, we will love Cavoodles as they are and the most important thing a family looking to buy a Cavoodle can do is to find a reputable, educated Breeder with plenty of credibility behind them.
What’s a ‘Teacup’ Cavoodle? ☕️
Simply put, a “teacup” Cavoodle is a marketing phrase that non-reputable breeders will place on their ads to attract a family looking for the smallest Cavoodle possible. There are two official sizes when it comes to Cavoodles and it is dependent on the size of the Poodle parent. We have Miniature Cavoodles which are mid-range in size (roughly 8kg - 12kg) and have a Miniature Poodle parent. We also have Toy Cavoodles which are smaller in size (roughly 4kg - 7kg) and have a Toy Poodle parent.
💡Pro Tip: When it comes to classifying a Cavoodle’s size, there are so many factors that come into play and rather than going by weight, I highly recommend going based on the height of the parents to get the best indication of how big your Cavoodle will grow.
What’s Your Top List of Items to Have Ready When you Bring Home a New Cavoodle Puppy? 🧾
A good Breeder with lifetime support, a copy of Oodleway: Puppy Prep to take all the stress and confusion out of raising your Cavoodle, a crate, vet-recommend dog food, enrichment toys, long lasting treats, baby gates to section off the house and a socialisation + desensitisation schedule prepared for day one.
You can download my free Socialisation Guide and Shopping list for Cavoodles here -> https://www.oodleway.co/essentials
💡 Pro Tip: Don't forget your puppy's first collar! Try a lightweight and ultra-soft ST ARGO puppy collar. We recommend a small for a Cavoodle Puppy. Having a collar for your puppy is very important for ID purposes.
What’s the Difference Between a Cavoodle and a Spoodle?
A Cavoodle is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. A Spoodle is a cross between the Cocker Spaniel and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. Spoodles are absolutely beautiful and will typically have higher energy levels than the Cavoodle, due to the high-energy nature of the Cocker Spaniel, versus the more placid temperament of a Cavalier.
How Much Does a Cavoodle Cost? 💸
This depends on where you buy your Cavoodle from and what support your Breeder offers in addition to the work they have done with their puppies. For more information on my Breeding program, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a general rule: Cavoodles cost between $6,000-$8,000 AUD as of 2023.