Havapoo vs Cavapoo – how do you choose between these adorable mixed breeds?
The Havapoo is a hybrid between a Havanese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. The Cavapoo crosses a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. When comparing two mixed breeds that are cheerful and affectionate, it can be a tough decision. The Havapoo and the Cavapoo may seem quite similar due to their shared Poodle genetics. But we’ll take a look at some of their differences to help you decide which one would be a better fit for your family.
- Havapoo vs Cavapoo at a glance
- Cavapoo vs Havapoo appearance
- Havapoo vs Cavapoo coat
- Cavapoo vs Havapoo temperament
- Havapoo vs Cavapoo trainability
- Havapoo vs Cavapoo exercise requirements
- Cavapoo vs Havapoo health
- Havapoo vs Cavapoo – which one is right for you?
- Finding Cavapoo and Havapoo puppies
Havapoo vs Cavapoo at a Glance
Havapoos and Cavapoos are part of an ongoing enthusiasm for designer dogs. That is, dogs with parents from two different pedigrees. This table gives you a quick summary of how these two dogs compare:
|Parents||Havanese + Mini or Toy Poodle||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Mini or Toy Poodle|
|Weight||4 - 15 pounds||4 - 18 pounds|
|Popular Colors||White, gray, brown, tan, black.||Black, white, red, brown, tan, apricot, tricolor.|
|Coat Type||Long, silky and wavy.||Long and silky. May be curly, wavy or straight.|
|Temperament||Friendly, playful, lively, smart.||Sweet, gentle, affectionate, agreeable.|
|Lifespan||10 - 15 years||12 - 15 years.|
Havapoo vs Cavapoo Appearance
Havapoos and Cavapoos, and particularly those from Toy Poodle parents, can vary quite a bit in size. This will largely depend on the size of their parents:
- Toy Poodle: 4 – 6 pounds
- Miniature Poodle: 10 – 15 pounds
- Havanese: 7 – 13 pounds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 13 – 18 pounds
The possible weight ranges of their crosses are:
- Toy Poodle Havapoo full grown: 4 – 13 pounds
- Miniature Poodle Havapoo full grown: 4 – 15 pounds
- Toy Poodle Cavapoo full grown: 4 – 18 pounds
- Miniature Poodle Cavapoo full grown: 10 – 18 pounds
Cavaliers are bigger than Havanese, so Cavalier Poodle crosses are larger on average than Havanese Poodle crosses. A Havapoo full grown is very likely under 10 pounds, regardless of their Poodle parent. Whereas an adult Cavapoo is more likely to be over 10 pounds.
The wider the possible range of sizes, the more variety there will be in individual sizes. For example, Havapoos and Cavapoos with a Miniature Poodle parent are more predictable in size, because Miniature Poodles are close in weight to both the Havanese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
A Havapoo adult is likely to have short legs, a rectangular body shape, floppy ears, and a fluffy tail. Cavapoos are more likely to have round faces with large soulful eyes and a compact, squarer body.
Havapoo vs Cavapoo Coat
All three breeds that contribute to these two mixes come in a medley of marvelous colors. Poodles’ curly, non-shedding coats come in 10 standard colors, which are:
- Silver Beige
They can also be registered in 18 non-standard colors, which include 17 two-tone combinations of the standard colors, plus cafe au lait.
The Havanese breed is recognized in 9 colors, plus bicolor patterns. They also carry the genes for sable and brindle patterning. Cavaliers are pretty straightforward by comparison – they can be black and tan, black and white, chestnut and white or ruby. But whichever way you put these three breeds together, there is genetic potential for Havapoos and Cavapoos to have a wide range of colors and patterns!
The Havanese breed is celebrated for their glorious, flowing fur that can reach floor-length and be straight or gently wavy. A Havanese Poodle mix coat can vary from medium to long with a wavy or curly texture, depending on which parent they resemble. Cavapoos’ coats can be long and wavy or slightly curly.
Poodle crosses are touted for their low-shedding coats, which are often described as hypoallergenic. However, all dogs produce allergens mostly in their saliva, not their fur. So while both Cavapoos and Havapoos can be low-shedding, there is no guarantee that either will be safe for allergy sufferers.
Havapoo vs Cavapoo Temperament
Like appearance, a designer dog’s temperament can be inherited from either parent breed, or resemble a hotchpotch of both.
The Havapoo is almost sure to be a high-spirited, intelligent dog, since the Havanese and the Poodle both share these traits. Typically, they’re very playful, affectionate, and friendly little dogs that enjoy human company. Poodles can be a little slow to warm up to new people though, and the same may be true of both the Havapoo, and the Cavapoo.
The Cavapoo is a sweet, loving dog who is likely to get on well with children and other pets. They can vary when it comes to energy level, depending on whether they take after the lively Poodle or the more laid-back Cavalier.
The Mini and Toy Poodles, Havanese, and Cavalier were all bred to provide humans with company. They all tend to spend a lot of time seeking out interaction with their owner, and frequently struggle with being left alone for extended periods. Separation anxiety can be a problem for both Havapoos and Cavapoos. It can manifest in persistent barking and destructive behavior when you’re gone.
Havapoo vs Cavapoo Training
When it comes to intelligence, the Poodle ranks second only to the Border Collie for ability to pick up new cues. Poodles are also easily motivated with food rewards, as are both the Havanese and the Cavalier – an advantageous quality when it comes to training. Using force free training with positive reinforcement from treats is faster, more effective, and more fun than using force or punishment.
The Cavalier has Spaniel genetics and may seem to be easily distracted, so work in an area with few distractions. Remember, all spaniels have a strong chase instinct, and it’s in their blood to want to chase creatures that are smaller than they are! Your Havapoo or Cavapoo might also inherit the Poodle’s fondness for fetching things and carrying them around in their mouth. In which case, they may enjoy learning more complex retrieving tasks.
Since either of these dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, you’ll need to be patient and teach them how to be alone very gradually. Potty training can be an issue for smaller dogs and their tiny bladders. As puppies, they need to go to the toilet very often. This is especially true of Havapoo puppies from a Toy Poodle parent. Crate training can help prevent accidents before slowly transitioning to going outside.
Havapoo vs Cavapoo Exercise Requirements
Even though these are small dogs, they still need exercise every day. Two 20 minute walks, or one longer walk, and playtime where they can run and have fun with their family, are extremely important to ensure they get enough exercise and attention. Despite being the smaller dog, an adult Havapoo is a little firecracker with high energy levels who will consistently need at least one hour of daily exercise.
Havapoo vs Cavapoo Health
No matter which dog you choose, you’ll want them to be as healthy as possible. Mixed breed dogs are at risk of the health issues that affect either parent. The best way to reduce health risks is to research reputable Cavapoo and Havapoo breeders who can prove that both of a litter’s parents were health tested before mating.
Hereditary problems that affect the Toy and Miniature Poodle include:
- Cushing’s disease. A serious condition commonly caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland.
- Patella luxation. An orthopedic disorder of the knee.
- Tracheal collapse. When the windpipe collapses, impairing the dog’s ability to breathe.
- Von Willebrand’s disease. An inherited bleeding disorder.
Havanese Health Problems
Although the Havenese is considered a healthy dog, they still have certain issues to be aware of, particularly orthopedic and eye problems. The most common Havanese health concerns include:
- Osteochondrodysplasia. Which causes improper bone formation.
- Legg Calve Perthes Disease. A condition in which the head of the femur degrades over time.
- Patella luxation
- Hip dysplasia
- Congenital deafness
- Heart murmur
- Sebaceous adenitis. An inflammation of the sebaceous glands that leads to hair loss.
The healthiest Havapoo puppies come from parents who have been tested for:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye disease including prgressive retinal atrophy
- Patella Luxation
- Congenital deafness
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health Problems
- Syringomyelia. Occurs when the dog’s skull is too small for his brain, preventing the flow of spinal fluid.
- Mitral Valve Disease. Which causes the dog’s heart valve to deteriorate.
- Entropion. An abnormality of the eyelid which cause the eyelashes to grow inwards towards the eyeball.
- Hip dysplasia
Cavapoo puppies should come from parents screened for:
- Hip dysplasia
- Patella luxation
- Eye disease including progressive retinal atrophy
- Heart disease
Havapoo vs Cavapoo – Which One is Right for Me?
These two small Poodle mixes are both adorable, affectionate little dogs that make wonderful pets. Although similar in size, appearance, personality, and lifespan, the Havapoo is likely to be a livelier dog that requires more exercise. Havapoo puppies who inherit the long Havanese hair, they’ll also need more dedication to regular grooming.
If you want a boisterous pup, go for the Havapoo, but if you prefer a dog who needs less activity, the Cavapoo might be right for you. If you share your home with larger dogs, or young children, the larger Cavapoo may be a better choice. Havapoo puppies with Toy Poodle parents are particularly fragile, and easily accidentally injured by larger playmates.
Finding a Cavapoo or Havapoo Puppy
Cavapoo and Havapoo puppies are quite easy to find for sale these days, due to the more general popularity of planned mixed breed puppies. Unfortunately, it is somewhat harder to find Cavapoo and Havapoo breeders who operate ethically and with high standards of animal welfare. Designer dogs have been a frequent target of puppy mills, who keep breeding dogs and their litters in terrible conditions. This is particularly true of the Havanese and Poodle mix, which is very popular, and conveniently small to house. An adult Havapoo who started out life in a puppy mills is more likely to have behavioral problems and chronic health trouble than a Havapoo from a responsible breeder.
These articles can help you sort the good breeders from the bad:
- Puppy search 12: finding a breeder
- 11 Questions to Ask When Phoning a Breeder
- How to Spot a Puppy Farm
Have you ever had one of these mixes in your life? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
References and Resources
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Randolph. Factor XII deficiency and von Willebrand’s disease in a family of miniature poodle dogs. The Cornell Veterinarian. 1986.
Priester. Sex, Size, and Breed as Risk Factors in Canine Patellar Dislocation. JAVMA. 1972.
Tappin. Canine tracheal collapse. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2016.
Hamamoto. Retrospective epidemiological study of canine epilepsy in Japan using the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force classification 2015 (2003–2013). BMC Veterinary Research. 2016.
Starr. Hereditary Evaluation of Multiple Developmental Abnormalities in the Havanese Dog Breed. Journal of Heredity. 2007.
Gelatt. Prevalence of primary breed-related cataracts in the dog in North America. Veterinary Ophthalmology. 2005.
Frazer. Sebaceous adenitis in Havanese dogs: a retrospective study of the clinical presentation and incidence. Veterinary Dermatology. 2011.
Beardow. Chronic mitral valve disease in cavalier King Charles spaniels: 95 cases (1987-1991). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 1993.