Mixed or hybrid breeds have become very popular in recent years. The right combination of two pedigree breeds can not only be beautiful but can also result in the perfect mix of the two parent breeds’ temperament and abilities.
Among the smaller poodle crosses, the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo are favored by many not only for their adorable, teddy bear-like looks but also for their incredibly kind natures, remarkable intelligence, and hypoallergenic coats. Both make great companions and fit in well with most families.
With so many similarities, choosing between the two can be difficult. However, there are some differences. This article will examine the similarities and differences between Mini Goldendoodles and Cavapoos so you can make the best choice for yourself and your family.
First, let’s look at what these mixed breeds are. They have cute names but when first hearing of them, you may not even know what breeds they are made up of.
The Mini Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. The origin of this breed is Australia and the USA. They are smaller than the standard Goldendoodle (which is crossed with a Standard Poodle). Size and characteristics can vary but here is what you can expect from this crossbreed.
- Size: 13-20 inches tall (ground to shoulder)
- Weight: 15-35 lbs.
- Lifespan: 10-15 years
There are also multiple generations and it can get a little confusing between the differences. The F1 Mini Goldendoodle is the result of a Golden Retriever and Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. These are the largest mixes of the crossbreed.
An F1B (first generation backcross) is similar except it is the result of an F1 Miniature Goldendoodle and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle. This generally results in a smaller dog that has even more hypoallergenic qualities. You can read more about the F1b here.
The Cavapoo is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature (or Toy) Poodle and originates from Australia. Just like with the Mini Goldendoodle, they can vary in size but, overall, they do tend to be smaller.
- Size: 9-14 inches tall (ground to shoulder)
- Weight: 9-25 lbs.
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
This small breed has won the hearts of many as it makes a great family pet.
These two crossbreeds are very similar in a lot of ways. This is partly because of them having the same Miniature Poodle heritage and partly because the Golden Retriever and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are both intelligent and sociable breeds. There are some key differences between the two, however.
|Parents||Golden Retriever + Miniature Poodle||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Miniature Poodle (Toy Poodle)|
|Weight||15-35 lbs.||9-25 lbs.|
|Height (at the shoulder)||13-20 inches||9-14 inches|
|Life Expectancy||10-15 years||12-15 years|
|Temperament||loving, playful, loyal, energetic, smart, eager to please||loving, playful, loyal, smart, eager to please|
|Best Suited For||active families||families|
|Color Varieties||golden, white, cream, copper, chestnut, black or grey (or mixture)||golden, white, chestnut, copper or black (or mixture)|
|Maintenance/Grooming (low-med-high)||medium to high||medium to high|
|Cost (reputable breeder)||$2,500 – $3,500||$1,200 – $2,500|
|Other Names||Mini Groodle, Mini Doodle, Mini Goldenpoo||Cavoodle, Cava-Doodle|
Let’s look further at some important similarities and differences between these two great Poodle mix dogs. If you are on the market for a dog like this, hopefully, this article will help you decide which one will be the perfect fit.
Coat Similarities & Differences
The Mini Goldendoodle’s coat is a mix between their Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle heritage. It can vary from wavy to curly and can be in a wide variety of colors, or a mix of colors, such as golden, white, cream, copper, chestnut, grey, and black. They are either low or non-shedders, so they can be considered a hypoallergenic breed. Though less likely, a Mini Goldendoodle can inherit the straight coat of the Golden Retriever.
When it comes to grooming, the Mini Goldendoodle is considered medium to high-maintenance depending on the curliness of their coat. The curlier the hair, the more effort needs to go into grooming. Their coat can get fairly long and has a tendency towards matting if not brushed on a weekly, or even daily, basis. Regular trimming not only keeps your pup comfortable in warmer climates but also helps keep tangles at bay and makes brushing a breeze.
Further, it is notable to point out that all poodle mixes sport coats that are low in odor and don’t typically have “that dog smell”. However, dirt and grime can get trapped in hair that’s too long, so regular trimming and bathing will keep them smelling fresh.
The Cavapoo’s coat is soft and typically ranges in texture from wavy to curly. It can also come in a variety of colors, such as black, white, chestnut, copper, gold, or a mixture of colors. Similar to Mini Goldendoodles, Cavapoos tend to shed very little or not at all, so they, too, are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed. Their coat is also fairly high-maintenance and will need to be brushed, bathed, and clipped regularly to keep it looking beautiful.
Both of these crossbreeds typically inherit the hypoallergenic, low odor coat of the Poodle which makes them great options for people who have allergies and who are sensitive to smell.
Because of the genes they inherit from their parent breeds, Mini Goldendoodles are extremely intelligent and this makes training very easy. They can be highly obedient if trained properly and will usually need very few repetitions of a command before they can learn it. This makes them an ideal choice for first-time dog owners because they are forgiving of any training mistakes that a new owner could make.
Our Mini Goldendoodle picked up commands very quickly and has been easy to train throughout her life. She has always surprised us with her intelligence and willingness to learn in order to please us. A little positive reinforcement and repetition are all it takes to train them to do just about anything.
Likewise, Cavapoos are also a very intelligent breed. They are easy to train and can learn basics in a short amount of time.
Cavapoos learn new commands most effectively with positive reinforcement and do not respond well to punishment or harsh words. This is true of most dogs though and you will generally get further if you lead with a calm demeanor rather than trying to force your wants onto your dog.
Both the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo make perfect family dogs and both breeds are loving, playful, loyal, and eager to please.
Because of the Mini Goldendoodle’s intelligence and calmness, they make excellent service or therapy dogs. They have a very low prey drive so tend to do well in households with small animals. They are also great for families that have children. They do have a tendency to be a bit shy and fearful, which can sometimes cause problems with socializing outside of the home.
They also tend to be very attached to their owners. This can often be a problem when trying to socialize them with other dogs. Our dog does not care one bit about meeting or playing with other dogs at the dog park. She’d rather sit in our laps and watch the other dogs play. She often jumps up on our legs wanting to be picked up so other dogs can’t sniff her.
Mini Goldendoodles are great for alerting an owner of an intruder or visitor at the door. However, don’t expect them to be much of a guard dog. While their bark can be loud, their bite is not going to be one that will protect you.
Cavapoos are also very good with children, but they are really quite small, so can get hurt quite easily. Smaller children need to be very carefully monitored when they are interacting with Cavapoos in case they accidentally hurt them. Cavapoos are very kind and gentle in nature. They crave attention so if they are in a house with other pets, they can sometimes get jealous. But they are non-aggressive and sociable outside of the home.
Just like the Mini Goldendoodle, Cavapoos can be good watchdogs. They are great at alerting their owners to the presence of an intruder or visitor through barking.
Both the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo love being with their families. So much so that they are both prone to suffering from separation anxiety. They thrive in homes where there will be someone in the house most of the time and can get anxious and destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
Separation anxiety can be difficult to manage if they are going to be left at home on their own regularly, so it is important to take this into consideration when deciding to get one of these breeds.
Although Mini Goldendoodles are small dogs, they actually have high energy needs. They love to play and need between 40 and 60 minutes of exercise a day, ideally with some of that off the leash. They do well in houses that have a garden area for them to run around in. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become bored and this can lead to some destructive behaviors.
Cavapoos have moderate exercise needs. They don’t need as much exercise as the Mini Goldendoodle, with around 20-30 minutes a day being sufficient. Cavapoos are a good choice for apartment living, as they don’t need a garden to run around in as long as they get regular outside exercise. They are, however, prone to obesity, so they do need to have enough exercise to keep themselves fit and healthy.
Cavapoos are not known for being excessive barkers and it is rare to come across a problem barker in this breed. In contrast, some Mini Goldendoodles do like the sound of their own voice a little too much. This can be a problem if there are neighbors close by who can become irritated by the noise, especially if the dog is left alone in the house regularly.
As with all pedigree breeds, the parents of the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo can be prone to particular health conditions. Unfortunately, these health conditions can be passed down to both of the mixed breeds. It is important to be aware of these conditions and to communicate with any breeder that you are buying from to make sure that the proper health checks have been conducted.
Any reputable breeder will verify that both parents are healthy before breeding them to reduce the likelihood of hereditary issues.
Health conditions common to both
- Hip dysplasia (test available)
- Hereditary cataracts
- Patella luxation (knees that slip out of place)
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Sebaceous adenitis (a skin disorder)
Mini Goldendoodle health conditions
- Von Willebrand’s Disease (test available)
- Elbow dysplasia (test available)
- Prcd-PR (an eye disorder with a test available)
- Subvalvular aortic stenosis (a heart condition)
- Addison’s disease
Cavapoo health conditions
- Mitral valve disease (a heart condition)
- Multi-focal retinal dysplasia (an eye condition)
- Legg Perthis disease (a problem with the hip joint)
Generally speaking, mixed breeds like the Mini Goldendoodle and the Cavapoo have a lower risk of developing certain hereditary diseases that are more commonly found in the two breeds they are a mix of. This can primarily be attributed to the fact that there is more diversity in their gene pool which consequently lessens the possibility of inheriting the genes for these conditions.
The cost of Mini Goldendoodles and Cavapoos can vary considerably depending on a variety of factors (location, popularity, litter size, health testing, etc.).
Mini Goldendoodles average between $2,500 to $3,500 while Cavapoos range from $1,200 to $2,500.
Breeding these smaller designer dogs often results in fewer puppies per litter. The main factor here is the size of the mother and the smaller she is, the lower the puppy count. Given their huge popularity, you have a situation of low supply and high demand which hikes up the cost. Waiting lists for Mini Goldendoodle and Cavapoo puppies are the norm these days so keep that in mind.
Responsible breeding is expensive and the cost is calculated into the price of a puppy. Reputable breeders spend a lot of money on various health exams and genetic testing on the parents prior to breeding and during pregnancy to ensure healthy offspring.
Add in stud fees, fertility testing, artificial insemination & collection, birth expenses, specialty foods and supplements, numerous supplies, first rounds of puppy shots, worming, microchipping…you get the picture. All these costs add up and factor into the purchase price of your new puppy.
Before you shop for a new companion, please also consider checking out your local animal shelters. There are also many breed-specific rescue organizations. Who knows, your best new friend may already be waiting for you.
If you choose to go the breeder route, please do your research and ask lots of questions. Check out the below resources from the Humane Society to help guide you on your journey.
How to find a responsible breeder: https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/how-find-responsible-dog-breeder
How to identify a responsible breeder: https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/find-responsible-dog-breeder.pdf
Cavapoos are a little smaller than Mini Goldendoodles. This is important to think about especially in regards to them being playmates for young children where a much smaller dog could get hurt more easily.
2) Exercise needs
The Mini Goldendoodle needs a lot more exercise than the Cavapoo and generally does better in a house that has an outside area, whereas the Cavapoo can easily adapt to apartment living.
The Mini Goldendoodle tends to be more timid and shy than the Cavapoo. Cavapoos are also more likely to act as a watchdog than Mini Goldendoodles.
Mini Goldendoodles are slightly easier to train than Cavapoos. They are also more suited to being service or therapy dogs.
5) Health conditions
Both breeds tend to be prone to particular health conditions that are unique to either the Golden Retriever or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
6) Other pets and children
Mini Goldendoodles find it easier to adapt to living in a house with other pets than Cavapoos, who do have a tendency to become jealous if they aren’t the focus of attention. Both dogs love being around children, but special care needs to be taken with the Cavapoo because of its extra small size.
Some Mini Goldendoodles can be problem barkers, whereas this is quite a rare trait for Cavapoos.
Both Mini Goldendoodles and Cavapoos are wonderful mixed breeds to own. They are both kind, loving, playful, loyal, affectionate, and happy. The small differences between the two can be important when considering the day-to-day life of owning a dog, but whichever one goes home with you, you can be sure that they will soon become a much-loved member of your family.