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Cavapoos & Cockapoos in a Nutshell

  FACT:  That adorable teddy-bear look of these two breeds is really, really hard to resist!  Chances are strong that if you go visit Cavapoo or Cockapoo puppies or even frequent on-line pictures of them, you are very likely to fall madly in love.  You are officially warned.

  As you probably already know, the Cavapoo is a crossbreed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature or Toy Poodle.  The Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle.  These crossbreeds have been around in America since the 1950s. And today they are becoming more and more popular all around the world. The main reason is that they are just so darn cute… along with many people's desire for a dog that is low-shedding, low-allergenic and strong on hybrid vigor.  Unfortunately, each of these traits (other than the cuteness one) is hotly debated.  Some Cavapoos and Cockapoos shed quite a bit, some are just as bad as other breeds for folks with allergies, and hybrid vigor continues to be a very controversial topic among the experts.

  So that’s the bad news.  Still interested?  The answer is usually “Yes!”… for good reason.  They exude charm.  A LOT of charm.  They are highly social and they love to spend time with you; whether you are sitting on the couch or on the toilet doesn’t seem to matter to them.  They don’t care if you don’t live in a mansion or an apartment – our Cavapoos and Cockapoos generally weigh 12 to 25 pounds, fitting well into homes of any size.  And they don’t demand that you be a marathon runner in order to exercise them.  A decent walk and some play time (a game of fetch or tug of war) does just fine.  

Personality

  Speaking of charm, it would be difficult for them not to be charming.  The parent breeds are loving, loyal and outgoing.  With their sweet disposition, they typically get along well with everyone, from young folks to older folks.  As such, it’s no great surprise that they have served successfully as support or therapy dogs.   They may not thrive, however, in a home where everyone works away from home for long hours.  Also, most Cavapoos and Cockapoos are able to learn a wide variety of tricks, due to their intelligence (that's the poodle's contribution) but also due to the fact that they yearn to please you.

Color & Coat

  Cavapoos and Cockapoos come in several beautiful colors, including red, apricot, merle, tricolor, and black. Any of these can have large or small amounts of white.  Most folks (including us way back when) are smitten with red with white markings.  However, we also have fallen in love with the tri-color black and white as well as the silver (blue) merle and white colors and have thus added a tri-color black and white female (Sugar Bear) and a silver and white female (Tinkerbell) to our little menagerie. The coat can vary greatly from that of the silky coat of the Cavalier and Cocker Spaniel (the silky coat tends to shed a little more) to the curly coat of the Poodle (which can mat more easily and requires a little more grooming).  No matter the color or texture of the coat, however, it’s their perpetual puppy-dog look that has people falling in love.  Seriously, who can resist?

 

Crossbreeding

  Many assume that a hybrid mix of two different breeds will result in the best of the two breeds, but genetics doesn’t always play that way. It’s often been compared to opening that beautifully wrapped present on Christmas morning – you just never know what’s going to pop up when you open that box.  That’s because genetic traits tend to disperse randomly in each puppy.  Selecting certain characteristics over several generations certainly doesn’t provide a guarantee, but does increase our chances of getting what we want in that beloved package. 

  So, when considering a doodle, you need to become familiar with a lot of letters and numbers:  primarily F1, F1B, and F2.  What do they mean?  Here’s the short version of the genetics course.  The "F" stands for "filial" which means son/daughter/offspring.  The number indicates the generation.  The “B” stands for a backward cross.

 

F1 = 1st generation.  This is a Cavalier or Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Poodle.  Breeders will often claim that this tends to be the best cross when it comes to hybrid vigor (theoretically resulting in the best of each breed and lowering the risk for the negative traits of each).  However, this is one of the most hotly debated topics in canine breeding; many if not most experts put little stock in hybrid vigor when it comes to crossbreeding dogs. 

F1B = 1st generation backcross.  Most often this is an F1 dog crossed back (thus the "B") to a Poodle.  This is usually done in order to achieve a more hypo-allergenic and lower-shedding index, but often results in a look that is a little curlier like that of a Poodle. 

F2 = 2nd generation.  This is a F1 crossed with another F1.  F2 breeding can at times result in a wider range of looks between the parent breeds, meaning that a few of the pups might carry more of the Cavalier/Cocker or Poodle look.

  At MorningSide Farm, we primarily raise F1 and F1b puppies, Our goal is to raise healthy puppies with that adorable teddy bear look… that’s what we originally fell in love with and what we’ve been hooked on ever since!

 

Health

  Cockapoos are considered to be free of any serious health issues (and this is the main reason we have included them in our program).  Cavapoos on the other hand may be susceptible to the health problems of the Cavalier.  The greatest risk is that of heart problems.  Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) is a serious heart condition that shows up first as a heart murmur.  MVD can cause early death, although it often is successfully managed with medication.  The best solution is to breed dogs who are free of heart murmurs and who come from parents who are also free of murmurs.  Each of our dogs fits this bill!  

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