Cavapoo Hybrid Genetics
F1 Cavapoo = Cavalier King Charles Spaniel X Poodle
(50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 50% Poodle)
The first generation F1 Cavapoo is produced by crossing a Poodle (Miniature or Toy) with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. At Pleasant Meadows we ONLY use a Miniature Poodle as they are well known for being healthier than the Toy Poodle. The F1 Cavapoo is low shedding and it is suitable for most families with MILD to SEMI-MODERATE allergies. Most F1 Cavapoos will have loose wavy gorgeous curls, but tight curls are possible as well. Puppies will not typically have straight hair with this cross. Although, it's important to note that most F1 Cavapoos will start out as newborns puppies with the appearance of straight fur and their waves and curls develop as they mature. Their appearance can range from Cavalier features or those of the Poodle or somewhere inbetween. The first generation benefits the most from hybrid vigor.
F1B Cavapoo = F1 Cavapoo X Poodle
(25% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 75% Poodle)
F1B Reverse Cavapoo = F1 Cavapoo X Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
(75% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 25% Poodle)
The back-cross F1B Cavapoo is produced by crossing an F1 Cavapoo with a Poodle, or with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (this is called an F1B Reverse Cavapoo when an F1 Cavapoo is bred to a Cavalier). F1B Cavapoos that are the result of an F1 Cavapoo and Poodle parents will have a higher success rate for non-shedding, and are recommended for families with MODERATE to SEVERE allergies. Tighter curls are more predominant in this type of F1B Cavapoo, but looser curls and straighter coats more like the F1 do show up as well. Their appearance will lean more towards the Poodle features, but again, Cavalier features can be present.
And for the F1B Reverse Cavapoo (which result from an F1 Cavapoo and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parents) will have a near-Cavalier-like appearance with the Cavalier fur-type that is only suitable for families with ZERO to VERY MILD allergies, although the biggest benefit of an F1B Reverse Cavapoo is that they will look like a Cavalier but will retain the health benefits of being a hybrid mix.
F2 Cavapoo = F1 Cavapoo X F1 Cavapoo
(50% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 50% Poodle)
The second generation F2 Cavapoo is produced by crossing an F1 Cavapoo with another F1 Cavapoo. They are typically low-shedding but can be non-shedding and are recommended for families with MILD allergies. Their appearance will be most like the F1 Cavapoo with straight to loose wavy curls, but this is the most varied mix of Cavapoo for fur type as anything from straight coats can like the Cavalier to full on Poodle curls can happen with this mixture. The benefit of such a cross is that they are "second best" for retaining hybrid vigor.
F2 Splash Cavapoo = F1 Cavapoo X F1B Reverse Cavapoo
(62.5% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 37.5% Poodle)
A Splash what? Before you start googling trying to figure out what an F2 Splash Cavapoo is -- please let us explain! An F2 Splash Cavapoo is our coined term for this specific Cavapoo mix -- the name comes from the added "splash" of Cavalier. We are the first breeder in Canada (perhaps in North America) to create multi-generation Cavapoos and therefore we have needed to create terms that make sense according to what we raise here at Pleasant Meadows. Our Cavapoo stud, Amedeo (now retired), is an F1B in reverse (explained above), and therefore, even though we create second generation Cavapoos when we cross Amedeo with any of our F1 Cavapoo females -- the Cavalier ratio is higher because of Amedeo's influence. This mixture can create anything from straight coats to wavy/curly coats, although straight coats are usually dominant and near Cavalier-look-alikes are often achieved. The F2 Splash Cavapoo is great for families who love the Cavalier, but want to benefit from the hybrid vigor. Because the coats can be so varied -- the F2 Splash Cavapoo is best suited for families with ZERO to MILD allergies. They are still considered low-shedding, but because their coats can be varied, we price them the same as as F1 Cavapoos. Please note: Amedeo is now retired and therefore we may not have any more Splash Cavapoos unless another opportunity arises.
F2B Cavapoo = F1 or F2 Cavapoo X F1B Cavapoo
(37.5% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 62.5% Poodle)
The back-cross F2B Cavapoo is typically produced by crossing an F1 or F2 Cavapoo with an F1B Cavapoo. They also have a high success rate for non-shedding and are recommended for families with MODERATE to SEMI-SEVERE allergies. Their appearance can vary between the F1 and the F1B Cavapoo with loose wavy curls to tighter dense curls. The same ratio of Cavalier and Poodle can also be achieved by crossing a purebred Poodle with an F1B Cavapoo that had an F1 parent back-crossed to a purebred Cavalier (an F1B Cavapoo in reverse). Or alternatively, from a F2 Splash Cavapoo that is bred to a purebred Poodle -- we occasionally do this mixture to retain as much Cavalier in the cross as possible while still allowing the resulting offspring to be allergy friendly for families with allergies.
F2B Mimic Cavapoo = F1B Reverse Cavapoo X Poodle
(37.5% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 62.5% Poodle)
A Mimic what? Before you start googling trying to figure out what an F2B Mimic Cavapoo is -- please let us explain! An F2B Mimic Cavapoo is our coined term for this specific Cavapoo mix -- the name comes the fact that this mix "mimics" the Cavalier and Poodle ratios. We are the first breeder in Canada (perhaps in North America) to create multi-generation Cavapoos and therefore we have needed to create terms that make sense according to what we raise here at Pleasant Meadows. As mentioned above, it is possible to create the same ratio of Cavalier and Poodle by crossing a purebred Poodle with an F1B Cavapoo that had an F1 parent back-crossed to a purebred Cavalier (ie. an F1B Reverse Cavapoo). We have done this cross several times now with our two F1B Reverse Cavapoos (Amedeo and Emma) which are 75% Cavalier and 25% Poodle. When you breed an F1B Reverse Cavapoo to a purebred Poodle -- the resulting offspring's genetic composition is 37.5% Cavalier and 62.5% Poodle, however, we have found in our experience of raising them that their general appearance and fur type is more in line with that of the F1 Cavapoo. The difference in their appearance is because a "normal" F2B Cavapoo is a second generation mix that comes from two Cavapoo parents where the Poodle's influence is equal or greater than the Cavalier's influence which essentially "cements" in a specific look (usually F1 or F2 crossed with an F1B) because it is the second generation. Whereas the Mimic F2B Cavapoo is an F1B Reverse Cavapoo crossed-back to a purebred Poodle which makes it more like an F1 in appearance because it is more like a first generation cross even though the ratio of Cavalier and Poodle turn out the same as a F2B Cavapoo. Since this Cavapoo mix is most like the the F1 Cavapoo in fur type and appearance -- the F2B Mimic Cavapoo is suitable for families with MILD to SEMI-MODERATE allergies. This cross is low to non-shedding, but because they mature to look more like the F1 Cavapoo in appearance, we price them the same as the F1 Cavapoo. Please note: Emma and Amedeo are now retired and therefore we may not have any more Mimic Cavapoos unless another opportunity arises.
F3 Cavapoo = Any Cavapoo X F2B Cavapoo
(43-45% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- 55-57% Poodle)
The third generation F3 Cavapoo is produced many different ways by crossing an F1, F2, F1B, or F2B with an F2B (further explanation below). There is no right or wrong way to produce the F3 Cavapoo, but it is done to solidify your base traits for a multi-generation Cavapoo. They also have a high success rate for non-shedding and are recommended for families with MODERATE to SEMI-SEVERE allergies. Their appearance will be most like the F2B Cavapoo with wavy to tight curls, but more Cavalier-like feautures can still be present. The ratio between Cavalier and Poodle will vary depending on which generation of Cavapoo is mixed with the F2B Cavapoo. At Pleasant Meadows we create the F3 by crossing an F1 Cavapoo with an F2B Cavapoo that had a grandparent that was an F1B in reverse Cavapoo. This creates a ratio of 43.75% Cavalier -- 56.25% Poodle which would be the same ratio if an F2 Cavapoo is bred to an F2B, but when using an F1 Cavapoo it is possible to maintain more hybrid vigor in the mixture because it's closer to the first generation cross.
What do all those letters and numbers mean?
The different types of Cavapoos are according to the mix between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Miniature Poodle. Here is a breakdown:
The "F" in F1, F2, etc. stands for "Filial" which means son/daughter/offspring -- this term refers to all hybrid dogs (like the Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Cockapoo, Cavapoo, etc, etc.) And the numbers are according to the generation.
F1 = 1st generation. (50% Cavalier -- 50% Poodle) This is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossed with a Poodle.
F1B = 1st generation backcross. (25% Cavalier -- 75% Poodle) This is an F1 Cavapoo crossed back (referring to the "B") to either a purebred Cavalier or a purebred Poodle.
F2 = 2nd generation. (50% Cavalier -- 50% Poodle) This is a F1 Cavapoo crossed with another F1 Cavapoo. The percentage of Cavalier and Poodle remain the same because each F1 Cavapoo parent is a 50/50 mix between the two breeds so the ratio does not change.
F2B = 2nd generation backcross. (37.5% Cavalier -- 62.5% Poodle) This is an F1 or F2 Cavapoo crossed back (referring to the "B") to an F1B Cavapoo. The same approximate ratio of Cavalier and Poodle can also be achieved by crossing a purebred Poodle with an F1B Cavapoo that had an F1 parent back-crossed to a purebred Cavalier (an F1B in reverse).
F3 = multi-generation. (approximately 43-45% Cavalier -- 55-57% Poodle depending on the exact mix) This type of Cavapoo is typically created in the following different ways:
F1B Cavapoo X F1B Cavapoo
F1B Cavapoo X F2B Cavapoo
F2 Cavapoo X F2 Cavapoo
F2 Cavapoo X F2B Cavapoo
F2B Cavapoo X F2B Cavapoo
The same ratio of Cavalier to Poodle for an F3 Cavapoo can also be created by crossing an F1 Cavapoo with an F2B Cavapoo that had a grandparent that was an F1B in reverse Cavapoo. This creates a ratio of 43.75% Cavalier -- 56.25% Poodle which would be the same ratio if an F2 Cavapoo is bred to an F2B as shown above, but when using an F1 Cavapoo it is possible to maintain more hybrid vigor in the mixture. This is how we do it at Pleasant Meadows to help maintain more overall good health in our puppies.
F3 is the term used for any Cavapoo mix that is made with any of the above crosses making the puppies produced the 3rd generation of Cavapoo.
The different types go on and on all the way up to F10's which by the time you breed 9 generations of any hybrid, it becomes an actual breed and not just a cross between two dogs.
Typical Height and Weight Variations for the Cavapoo
Below you can see the typical height and weight variations in the Cavapoo!
There are three different classes:
SMALL ... 12-15 pounds ... 12-13 inches tall at the shoulder ... 14-16 inches tall when sitting
MEDIUM ... 16-19 pounds ... 13-14 inches tall at the shoulder ... 16-19 inches tall when sitting
LARGE ... 20-22 pounds ... 15-16 inches tall at the shoulder ...20-23 inches tall when sitting
Please see the photos below for examples of these sizes!
PLEASE NOTE: These are approximate sizes, any puppy from any parent can mature to be a little taller/shorter or weigh a little more/less than each one of the "typical sizes" listed above. General structure can also vary, some puppies may mature to be bulkier like the Cavalier or more slender like the Poodle -- we are dealing with nature and these sizes should be viewed as a reference and not a guarantee! There may be puppies that fit a size "small" in height, but are a size "medium" in weight, etc.
These girls were measured from the floor to the top of their heads.
(NOT INCLUDING THEIR FUR)
These girls are also pictured with full length coats over their body for your reference to fur types, but please note that their face/muzzle and their feet have been trimmed. This keeps the fur away from their eyes, and less dirt is tracked in our home with shorter fur on their feet!
Again, these girls were measured from the floor to the top of their shoulder.
(NOT INCLUDING THEIR FUR).
Coat type: CURLY FLEECE
Fur is brushed in the photo and is a medium curly coat that frizzes when brushed like the Poodle to give a poofy look to the curls. This coat has dream curls when wet or un-brushed. This coat type should be brushed 2-3 times per week.
Coat type: WISPY FLEECE
Fur is brushed in the photo and is a medium wavy coat that brushes smooth with little wispy waves. This coat is easy maintenance with virtually no tangles that only needs to be brushed 1-2 times bi-weekly. It can be wispy or thick waves.
Coat type: WAVY FLEECE
Fur is brushed in the photo and is a medium wavy coat that has some wave and kink, but brushes virtually smooth. When wet or un-brushed this coat is gorgeous kinky waves. This coat type should be brushed 2-3 times bi-weekly.
Coat type: CURLY/WAVY FLEECE
Fur is brushed in the photo and is a combination coat of curly and wavy fleece. The coat brushes out to a curly poofy finish with some wave mixed in with the curls. This coat type should be brushed 1-2 times per week.
Your Cavapoo's coat will change a lot in the first couple years of his/her life! All puppies are born with a "puppy coat" that usually sheds out within the first year. This includes every breed of dog out there, even Poodles and other low to non-shedding breeds. It is a normal process of your puppy maturing, and it is unavoidable, but the amount of shedding will depend on your puppy's individual fur type. Some puppies will start to shed their puppy coat as early as 5 months of age and as late as 12 months of age. Clipping your puppy's coat prior to 6 months of age can drastically alter this process, but it is not harmful to do so. No matter what time your puppy receives his/her first haircut -- the fur will grow back thicker and more curly like an adult coat. Do not judge "puppy shedding" on whether or not your puppy is hypoallergenic or not -- every breed of dog goes through this process. You may need to brush your puppy a little more often during that time-frame, or give an additional bath or two, but your puppy will be low to non-shedding depending on your puppy's exact mixture of Cavalier and Poodle!
The History of the Cavapoo
History: The Cavapoo is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Toy or Miniature Poodle. Cavapoos have been in America since the 1950's and are now a recognized hyrbid. They originated in Australia where they are named the Cavoodle. Their popularity in the USA spread rapidly as they proved to be excellent family companions. Their fame eventually spread across the border to Canada in 2010 when we first started raising these lovely spaniels. We certainly cannot claim to have founded the mix between the Cavalier and Poodle, as the Australian's were the first to mix the Cavalier with the Poodle, but we do believe that we were the first in Canada to actively raise the Cavapoo and now they are soaring into everyone's hearts across our nation.
Temperament: Cavapoos are good-natured, friendly and intelligent dogs. They are "full of life", and absolutely thrive on human companionship. Cavapoos are suited for all age groups and they also do well with other non-canine pets if introduced to them at a young age. They are interactive and fun loving -- but also love to curl up with you and snuggle! Cavapoos love to be involved in whatever activity their family enjoys and will often throw themselves into the mix with full-out-exuberance! While the Cavapoo does not have a high prey drive, they are still a spaniel mix and can get quite a rise out of chasing a squirrel or bounding after a butterfly and, therefore, are a breed that should remain on a leash until fully trained. You will find that the Cavapoo gets along quite well with most other dogs because of the Cavaliers friendly influence, however, proper socialization must still continue once the puppy is in your home as you would with any breed. A puppy can be socialized with other older dogs that have already had their vaccinations, and later socialized with other puppies once they have had their second vaccination.
Fur Maintenance: Depending on the fur type your Cavapoo has inherited (more Cavalier-like or more Poodle-like), this will determine how much brushing and grooming is required. Generally for less curly coats regular brushing is all that is required; for more curly coats professional clipping may be periodically required (approximately every 4-6 months). The Cavapoo's fur can be left long if brushed regularly, although it is still important to keep the area around the eyes trimmed short to avoid hair scratching at the eyes which can lead to irritation (tear stains) or infection. And it is also recommended to have a sanitary trim as needed depending on fur type and growth which involves trimming the excess hair around the bum and private area of your dog which helps avoid fecal matter getting stuck on the fur and in male dogs it may help you avoid urinary infections to keep his "undercarriage" fur buzzed short. This can easily be done at home if you purchase a shaving kit from Walmart or from a pet store, or it can be done by your groomer every few months or so. The curlier coat of the F1B and F1B Cavapoo are very easily maintained if trimmed short every 3-4 months based upon your personal preference and how often you brush your Cavapoo. And the F1 Cavapoo usually does not need to be trimmed short unless it is your preference for ease of maintaining their fur, every 4-6 months is quite suitable for trimming. Both coat types can be left long with proper and regular brushing, although you will find that less debris, mud and water, etc. will be tracked into your home if your Cavapoos feet and legs are also trimmed shorter. It is like having good tires or boots that shed the water when traveling through a puddle. Less fur = a cleaner home.
Hypoallergenic Qualities: First off, there is no dog on earth that is 100% hypoallergenic! It is better to look at it as there are breeds that are more likely to be "allergy friendly" than other breeds. Poodles are among some of the breeds that are considered to be "non-shedding" because they have "hair" that continually grows like human hair does instead of fur that is short and sheds out regularly. But, a Poodle (and other "non-shedding" breeds) do still shed fur, but do so minimally. When you brush a Poodle, it will be similar to brushing your own hair where a small amount of hair comes out in your brush. So, dogs that are "hypoallergenic" will often do well for families with allergies depending on how much a particular dog sheds, and based upon each individual person's allergies. Please see the info above regarding the fur types based upon the generation of Cavapoo. Click Here to zip back up to the top! And you can find out more information regarding allergies towards dogs in general on our Allergies 101 page (click HERE to view).
Size: Approximately 12-15 inches at the shoulder. Height is based on the height of the parents -- but it's not the whole picture. When you cross a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Poodle -- this enables the Cavapoo to draw from everything in both of the parents gene pools. This means that hereditary traits from generations back from both breeds can show up and be present in Cavapoos. Hybrid dogs also have the potential to sometimes exceed the size of their parents in height and weight in nature's version of "bigger is better". Not outrageously bigger, but Cavapoos have been occasionally noted to reach 16-18 inches at the shoulder. Spaying or Neutering a dog prior to 6 months of age also dramatically increases the chance of a puppy growing to an "odd size". Please read more about this on our page -- The Best Time to Spay or Neuter.
Weight: Approximately 12-25 pounds. Weight is proportioned according to a Cavapoo's height. Cavapoos are generally well muscled and lean, rarely pudgy. Also as mentioned above sometimes Cavapoos can reach a larger height so this does mean that their weight would increase proportionately as well to around 25-35 pounds. And again, this can also be affected by when the puppy is spayed or neutered, please refer to the link above.
Life Expectancy: Approximately 12-14+ years. A Cavapoos life expectancy is based on the health of the parents' lines -- however, since it's a hybrid breed (a mix between a purebred Cavalier and a purebred Poodle) -- their life expectancy has been known to reach 14+ years old because not only do the two breeds blend so well together, but there are less health issues in hybrid dogs.
Health: Hybrid dogs possess what is known as "Hybrid Vigor" or Heterosis -- a term used to describe the enhanced health resulting from crossing two compatible purebred dogs together to create a hybrid. When two purebred dogs are crossed together their offspring are less likely to develop genetic faults since the gene pool has been widened. Having a hybrid dog doesn't mean that your dog can't have a genetic problem related to each purebred parent -- but the likelihood is dramatically reduced. Further, careful selection of the purebred parents by the breeder helps to avoid these issues. It is important to note that no hybrid dog is "immune" to disease or health issues. Hybrid dogs generally have less genetic health problems, although like any breed of dog, they can still be subject to "common" ailments. Since starting to raise Cavapoos in 2011, we have not had any reports of genetic defects, and that seems to be the general report from Cavapoo breeders around the world that the Cavapoo is healthier than the Poodle and Cavalier. What can happen from time to time is malocclusion (over or under bites), base narrow canines on the lower jaw, and minor teeth misalignment. This happens randomly, even from parents with perfect scissor bites (correct bites), and is solely based on the difference in jaw size and length when mixing the two breeds. These teeth conditions are, however, not solely a Cavapoo issue, but are actually the most common teeth conditions in dogs of any breed. Teeth issues don't occur often, but this would be the single thing we would say you should be prepared for in the Cavapoo. Please see our Teeth Alignment page for more details!
Hybrid or "Designer" dogs are now one of the most sought after puppies -- why? Quite simply because purebred dogs have become very ill. The inbreeding amongst the same gene pool over hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years, has bred into breeds a multitude of diseases, cancers, and bone ailments. If you think about it for a moment -- man created dog. We as humans bred dogs together that had desirable traits to suit a specific purpose of hunting, retrieving, herding, protecting, etc. and to solidify those traits -- we bred them again, and again, and again until we created the "perfect dog". That is how every single one of the breeds that we know today were created. All dogs were once wolves, and we bred them to be the dogs that we know today. And by doing that, we also narrowed their gene pool and bred in a multitude of health issues. The purebred dog world would have you believe that it is a "mortal sin" to mix two purebred dogs together to create a hybrid, but they forget that ALL of the purebreds that exist today WERE ONCE A MIXED BREED and are a combination of several breeds that were bred together to create one "superior breed" for a purpose. The big question is, why did we stop? Why is it now considered a horrific injustice to once again "create a new breed"? The goal of reputable hybrid breeders is not to destroy the purebreds, but rather to improve the health of the purebreds by health screening our dogs the same as any other breeder of purebred dogs would do, and to grow with our ever changing world and to have the right to do what our fore-bearers did many years ago -- to create "dog".
Heterosis, or hybrid vigor, is a scientific phenomenon that was first discovered nearly 50 years ago and has been one of the most significant discoveries of all time. The theory of Heterosis is exploding everywhere from breeding dogs and livestock to growing superior vegetable and fruit crops in farms across North America. The basis of science (as it pertains to dogs) is that when breeding two purebred dogs -- only the superior genes carry forward -- this producing a significantly smarter and healthier dog!
Here is more information on the Cavapoo:
For more on Hybrid dogs:
Info on Hybrid Vigor from Dogs to Plants: