Cavoodles & Labradoodles. The Basics.
Over the last 10 years, designer dogs have become extremely popular all over the world. But it’s sometimes easy to fall for that cute, fluffy face without considering any of the serious responsibilities you’re taking on when you become a puppy parent.
So, What Are They?
As you’ve probably guessed, Cavoodles and Labradoodles are other dog breeds crossed with different variations of Poodle. That opens them up to a lot of different colours, sizes and traits.
Whilst the dogs that you’re cross breeding with will generally be a standard size, breeding with a Miniature Poodle rather than a Standard Poodle is likely to breed much smaller dogs etc.
The designer dog fad started as breeders wanted to escape the birth defects created by breeding within a genepool. Breeding Poodles with other Poodles will eventually cause issues because those Poodles might be related.
Instead, breeders began creating the ‘Frankensteins’ of the dog world; and what cute Frankensteins they are too. While cross breeding does mean that the dogs will not continue to worsen the birth defects of their parent breeds, they can still be born with defects from both breeds.
Due to demand, breeders are also tempted to overbreed to suit people’s accommodation needs. For example, if you’re aiming for a target market of people living in a city, they’re likely to have less space, so a miniature poodle would be the best breeder. The truth is, the smaller the dog, the more you can charge and unfortunately, this has led to a lot of irresponsible overbreeding of ‘handbag dogs.’ Although breeders have a good idea of what they’ll get when they breed their dogs, when you breed two dogs that are so different, you can’t be 100% positive what the puppies will look like when they’re older. Be prepared for them to grow up to look different from your initial expectations.
However, as long as you know what you’re getting, provide suitable housing and pay close attention to their needs, they all make amazing pets.
A Cavoodle is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. A Miniature Poodle is used in most cases, making it one of the most popular designer dogs as it’s so tiny! They have an amazingly thick, fluffy coat with slightly curly fur which can be cut neatly to give them a beautiful perm. They’re the perfect family dog and are extremely friendly and loving. They become attached easily, however, so they won’t be a great pet if you intend to leave them alone for hours at a time as they might get depressed. Doggy day-care would be a great option if you have to go to work.
- Comes in multiple different colours and can even have multi-coloured markings.
- Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs, so they’re great for owners with allergies and Cavoodles continue this trait. However, they aren’t completely shed free due to the Spaniel genes they still carry.
- They’re unbelievably quiet. Here’s a breed for your neighbours. We expect most dog breeds to bark a little, but actually, Cavoodles are one of the quietest dogs around.
- Easy to train. Cavoodles are the easiest ‘oodle’ to train. They pick up commands easily and are very intelligent.
What to Look Out for
Unfortunately, because of the way they’re bred, they are prone to some common health issues.
- Epilepsy – this can be treated, but it’ll be expensive and your insurance is likely to be high.
- They can get cataracts at a young age.
- Their knee caps are delicate and often dislocate through strenuous exercise.
- They do need a lot of care, with regular eye and ear cleaning (as tear stains are common) and 6 weekly trips to the groomers.
Overall, Cavoodles do make lovely pets and are great around other pets and children as they’re so loving and gentle. However, they can be expensive to purchase, sometimes anywhere up to £3000 depending on size and health. You’ll also need to make sure you’re covered for future health issues throughout their 14 year lifespan.
They’re the best suited for city living out of the 3 ‘oodles,’ as they’re natural lapdogs. Consider your accommodation before making a decision.
You’ve guessed it! A Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Because Labradors are naturally bigger than Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Labradoodles are a larger ‘oodle.’ However, the Lab can be bred with a Miniature or Standard Poodle, so their sizes can vary considerably.
They also make amazing family pets and are known for being loyal and playful. They even make good guard dogs. But they do need a lot of outdoor space. Their Labrador parentage means that they’re incredibly active and need space to run around. If you live in a flat or apartment without a garden, a Labradoodle isn’t the best choice for you.
- Very loving, loyal and great with children.
- Loves to be around other dogs and has been bred to be non-aggressive.
- Adjusts easily to new environments, so if you’re planning a house move, this is the one for you.
- Highly intelligent, can be trained easily and will enjoy performing party tricks.
What to Look Out for
- Like Cavoodles, Labradoodles are prone to epilepsy as this is a trait that is commonly seen in Poodles.
- They often get elbow or hip dysplasia depending on their breeding. This will happen more often if you purchase your pooch from a careless breeder.
- They get eye and ear infections easily due to allergies, so like their smaller cousins, they’ll need to have their eyes and ears cleaned regularly.
- They don’t bark much, but when they do, they’re loud! Living in a building with neighbours in close proximity may lead to a few complaints coming your way.
Like their smaller counterparts, Labradoodles are also mostly hypoallergenic, so they’d be an amazing companion with someone who might have allergies or asthma. There’s no shedding involved, so they’ll leave your sofa pristine when you can’t resist inviting them for a cuddle. However, as their fur grows so quickly, they will need to take a trip to the groomers every 6-8 weeks.
Labradoodles are actually considerably cheaper than Cavoodles. This may be because they’re considered as more high maintenance due to their larger size. You could pick up a puppy for £1000-£2000 depending on the breeder. But make sure you don’t let the cheaper price fool you. A tiny puppy might grow into a giant (Labrador size). Check the parentage first so you can gage their adult size.
Overall, both Labradoodles and Cavoodles make great pets and you’ll experience unconditional love and cuddles from either breed. Just make sure you understand the responsibility you’re taking on and that you have an environment that’s suitable.