Do Cavapoos deserve to exist or is this crossbreed truly a mongrel that should have never been created in the first place?
Firstly, let me give you a little bit of background as to why I am writing this post.
I am a member of quite a few Facebook groups about Cavapoos, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels as I LOVE spaniels and spaniel crosses.
Yesterday, a lady in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel group posted a beautiful photo of her new Cavapoo puppy. I am sure she was expecting a lot of positive comments and many likes.
Instead she ended up with rude and discouraging comments about her ‘mongrel’ and that if she wanted a mix breed dog then she should have rather rescued one instead of supporting irresponsible breeders.
The person behind the rude comments breeds Cavalier King Charles spaniels and maybe she is upset that the breed she loves is being used for cross breeding? I am not sure.
This got me thinking and I did a little research.
I am by no means an expert and do not claim to be. This post is MY thoughts and opinions so you may or may not agree with me. That is fine. Everyone has a right to their own opinions.
So let’s dive in.
History of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
According to Wikipedia, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated from the King Charles spaniel. The King Charles spaniel was first seen in the 16th century and was used for hunting because they could keep pace with trotting horses.
The King Charles changed dramatically in the 17th century when it was cross bred with flat-nosed breeds like pugs.
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel was split from the King Charles spaniel in the 1920’s.
The King Charles spaniel (English Toy Spaniel) has a domed head and short stubby nose whereas the Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a flatter head and longer nose.
Attempts were then made by breeders to try and recreate the dogs owned by King Charles II by using the now extinct Toy Trawler spaniel.
Photo: Charles II as an infant in 1630, painting attributed to Justus van Egmont
In 1928, the first Cavalier King Charles spaniel club was formed where the breed standard was set.
History of the Poodle
This is an ancient breed of dog.
There are different opinions on how the poodle was developed.
The most common theory is that the poodle originated in Germany but was developed in France.
Lots of people believe that the poodle is the result of crosses between several European water dogs, including Portuguese, German, Spanish, Hungarian and Russian water dogs.
Still other people believe that the Poodle’s ancestor is the North African Barbet.
During the 1400 breeder’s started breeding smaller versions.
The standard poodle (largest) was used for duck hunting.
The miniature poodle (medium) became a truffle hunting dog and the toy (smallest) was a companion to the rich and noble.
The first poodle was registered with the Kennel Club in England in 1874
History of the Cavapoo
Cavapoos were first bred during the 1950’s in the USA by breeders who wanted to create a low shedding dog for people who suffer from allergies.
Cavapoos were further developed in Australia during the 1990’s and are referred to as Cavoodles.
They wanted the dog to be kind, loyal and affectionate that would fit into any type of family.
So, they combined the low shedding qualities of the Poodle with the charming temperament of the Cavalier.
The end result is the Cavapoo. A kind family orientated dog that can be owned by people with allergies.
Because this is a crossbreed, the Kennel Club does not recognize the Cavapoo as a pedigree dog.
What is a crossbreed dog?
A crossbreed dog is a dog whose parents are from two different breeds.
For example – the mother is a Labrador and the father is a Poodle. This results in the Labradoodle.
The F1 mating of these two breeds of dogs results in a crossbreed.
The same applies to the Cavapoo because one of the parents is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and the other parent is a Poodle.
So, it is my conclusion that the Cavapoo is a crossbreed.
What is a mixed breed dog?
A mixed breed dog is a mix of three or more different breeds.
The common name is mutt or mongrel.
A Cavapoo is definitely not a mongrel or a mutt as there are only two breeds used to create this beautiful crossbreed.
Can a crossbreed become a new pedigree breed?
Yes, they can.
A prime example is the Cesky Terrier.
Initially this breed of dog was a crossbreed between a Scottish Terrier and a Sealyham Terrier.
The Cesky Terrier was created to develop a dog that was a great hunter of vermin but also an excellent companion with a more mellow temperament then the usual terriers.
There are times when crossbreeds are bred together for a long enough time that they are eventually considered a new pedigree breed. The Cesky Terrier is now recognized by The Kennel Club.
What about the Cavapoo?
Just like the Cesky Terrier, the Cavapoo was bred for very valid reasons.
The Cavapoo was created to develop a dog that had the temperament of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel and the low shedding properties of the Poodle.
The Cavalier is known for its multiple health problems which is affecting most of the present day Cavaliers.
By developing the Cavapoo, the health issues have been minimised. They are not gone but have been significantly reduced.
Some Cavapoos will still develop diseases like syringomelia and mitral heart disease but not to the extent that the Cavalier King Charles spaniel breed as a whole is presently showing.
It is still very important to make sure you choose a Cavapoo breeder that test for these diseases to get the healthiest puppy that you can.
Looking at the history behind pedigree dogs like the Cavalier, Cesky Terrier and the Poodle, it becomes clear that there are times when other breeds of dogs are used to either develop a new breed, strengthen the existing breed or to enhance certain features of a particular breed.
Cavapoos became famous as ‘designer’ dogs purely because celebrities saw there rising popularity and it became fashionable to own one.
Thankfully, that particular trend has slowed down but it did cause many people to see the Cavapoo as a fashion statement instead of understanding why they were created in the first place.
The Cavapoo is one of the most popular breeds in Australia and is the 2nd most popular crossbreed in the UK. They are also highly sought after in the USA and Canada.
The reason for this is because they can easily adjust to most family types and create strong bonds with all family members from young children to elderly people.
They are intelligent, low shedding and respond well to training.
Cavapoos are not a fad that will fade out over time.
Although this is a relatively new crossbreed, their popularity is constantly rising and shows no signs of slowing down.
Over time, with a consistent adherence to looks, size and temperament, I see no reason why the Cavapoo cannot eventually be recognized as a breed in their own right.
This will take several generations and breeders who will be dedicated to producing the perfect Cavapoo with selective breeding.