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Cavapoo vs. Toy Poodle: Which One Should I Choose?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cavapoo vs Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the Poodle breeds. It is known to be intelligent and loyal, but while the Standard was bred as a hunting companion and water dog, the Toy was bred for its smaller size and was used in circuses and as a companion dog. It retained the low-shedding coat, intelligence, and loyalty of the Poodle, but was smaller and more suitable for apartment living.

The Poodle’s positive traits have seen it used widely in breeding to create desirable hybrid breeds. The Cavapoo combines the intelligence of the Poodle with the laid-back but less-nervous attitude of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The cross also reduces the shedding that is often associated with the King Charles.

Although the Toy Poodle and the Cavapoo naturally share a lot of traits, some key differences may make one breed more suitable than the other for your family. Read on to find out more.

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Visual Differences

Cavapoo vs Toy Poodle side by side
Image Credit: (L) Moravian, Shutterstock | (R) Jumpstory

At a Glance

Cavapoo Dog Breed
  • Average height (adult): 9 – 14 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 8 – 25 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Exercise: 45+ minutes a day
  • Grooming needs: Low to Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Usually
  • Trainability: Intelligent, eager to please, very trainable
Toy Poodle Dog Breed
  • Average height (adult): 8 – 11 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 12 – 20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Usually
  • Trainability: Intelligent, quick, enjoys working with people

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Cavapoo Dog Breed Overview

golden Cavapoo puppy in the garden
Image Credit: Danny Shiers, Shutterstock

The Cavapoo is a hybrid breed: a cross between the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It was first bred in Australia as a companion dog. Its size makes it a good choice for apartments, its friendly nature is a great fit for families, and its intelligence and eagerness to please make it a trainable companion.


The Cavapoo is a companion dog. As such, it not only tolerates but loves the companion of its human family. In fact, the breed can suffer separation anxiety if left alone for too long. It will usually get along well with all family members, including children, whom it will happily play with, and with calm introductions, the Cavapoo should get along with other animal family members including other dogs and cats.

The Cavapoo is considered a calm, level-headed dog, although they can be a little excitable on walks and during daily exercise.


Although bred as a companion dog, the Cavapoo does combine the traits of a Poodle with those of a Spaniel. As such, it needs regular exercise. Expect to provide at least 45 minutes of exercise per day, including regular walks and potentially some agility classes and training.

Image Credit: skeeze, Pixabay


The Cavapoo combines a Spaniel breed with a Poodle, both of which are known for being trainable dogs. And the result is a hybrid dog that will take quickly to most training sessions. The breed typically responds well to positive reinforcement, rather than corrective training. It can perform very well in obedience, and because it is an energetic and intelligent breed, the Cavapoo is a good breed for agility and canine sports.

Health & Care

Although the breed is considered generally hardy, the Cavapoo is prone to some of the diseases that both parent breeds carry. Heart defects, eye conditions, and skin and teeth complaints are among some of the more common problems. However, a reputable breeder should have screened potential parents to ensure that they did not carry these conditions. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of your Cavapoo developing any particular condition, it does reduce the chances.

Suitable for:

Cavapoos make great companion pets for all age groups and family units, but they do require the companionship of their owner. If your dog will be left alone for long periods, a Cavapoo may not be a suitable breed. Similarly, the Cavapoo does need regular, daily exercise, so if you are unable to get out and walk a dog regularly, look for something with lower exercise needs.

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Toy Poodle Dog Breed Overview

brown toy poodle at home
Image Credit: NDAB Creativity, Shutterstock

The Poodle breeds are well known for their intelligence and their stout loyalty. The Toy Poodle, having been used in circuses and for training, exhibits a lot of these traits. The breed is intelligent and will get along with most people and animals, but it might struggle being left alone for too long a period.


The Toy Poodle is another small breed that loves the companionship of its humans, so can struggle if left alone for long periods. It will befriend all family members but can be aloof with strangers. The Toy Poodle is considered a good dog for families that already have pets, but you should ensure a relaxed and calm settling-in period for good integration.


The Toy Poodle has slightly higher exercise requirements compared to the Cavapoo, and you will need to provide at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. Poodles take especially well to agility classes, and they can benefit from agility and canine sports sessions. They will also appreciate time playing, so any opportunity to get in the yard and throw a ball around will benefit your new pup.

Toy poodle sitting on the floor
Image Credit: Julia Volk, Pexels


The Poodle is a popular breed for hybridization because it is highly intelligent and easy to train. The Toy Poodle is no exception and usually takes quickly to training: relishing the opportunity to put its brain to good use. Enroll in agility classes and you can expect your Toy to perform near the top of the class. Again, positive reinforcement training methods are considered best.

Health & Care

Although a generally healthy breed, the Toy Poodle is prone to Addison’s Disease, Hypothyroidism, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. If you see symptoms of any of these conditions, you should consult a vet as soon as possible.

Suitable for:

One of the reasons for the Poodle’s popularity is they are described as being hypoallergenic. Although no breed is truly hypoallergenic, the Poodle is as close as you can get. It sheds rarely, so is a good choice for owners who suffer from dog allergies. However, the breed needs regular companionship so, although suitable for families and people of all ages that can provide regular exercise, the Toy Poodle is not suitable for those that are at work or school all day.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

The Cavapoo and the Toy Poodle are similarly sized dogs that also have similar exercise and training requirements. Both breeds are considered good family pets but can both suffer separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Generally, the Cavapoo is friendlier with strangers, although with good early socialization, the Toy Poodle can also be stranger friendly.

As a hybrid breed, the Cavapoo may cost less to buy than the purebred Toy Poodle, and Cavapoos are more often available for adoption at shelters and rescues. Both breeds have similar requirements so it may come down to a question of availability as to which breed is better for you.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit to: (L) Steven B Gold, Shutterstock | (R) Tra Tran, Unsplash

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