Cavapoos, sometimes called Cavoodles, first appeared in Australia in the 1990s. Breeders capitalized on the success of the wildly popular and hypoallergenic Labradoodle to create a smaller, equally allergy-friendly dog.
Because they are smaller than other Doodles, they are an ideal choice for apartment owners. But if you are going to be living in close quarters with a Cavapoo, you should probably know whether Cavapoos are hypoallergenic before you decide to move in!
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Are Cavapoos Hypoallergenic?
Yes, Cavapoos are mostly hypoallergenic and are known to be incredibly allergy-friendly. They have a single-layer coat, and most Cavapoos have hair, rather than fur, which is the reason why they’re hypoallergenic in the first place.
That’s because, unlike fur, hair can grow out indefinitely. This reduces shedding, which means you get exposed to less dander. And, while most people understandably associate shedding with allergies, the dander dogs shed with the hair is the real culprit behind your sneezing and allergic flare-ups.
However, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic. With that said, Cavapoos are more hypoallergenic than most. Part of that comes from their Poodle parentage. Poodles are famously hypoallergenic dogs because of their curly, hair-based coats.
But that’s only half the average Cavapoo’s lineage. The other half comes from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The Spaniel is known for many good things. They are affectionate, energetic, and beloved of royalty. But they are not hypoallergenic dogs.
So, is a Cavapoo hypoallergenic? It all comes down to genes. In first-generation litters especially, the chances of getting a truly hypoallergenic Cavapoo are hit-and-miss. Because of their mixed status, it’s normal for an initial Cavapoo litter to split the difference between dogs that inherit the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat and puppies with an overtly Spaniel composition.
Do Generations Make a Cavapoo Hypoallergenic?
While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the breeding generation you choose can play a pivotal role in whether you’ll be sneezing all day instead of playing fetch. So, if you’ve fallen in love with the Cavapoo (we don’t blame you!) and have resolved to adopt one, getting the right generation can really help your case.
Let’s start by parsing the unusual coding. All dog generations get the letter designation F. It stands for Filial Cross or Filial Generation. It tells you the dog you are looking at is a hybrid mix, like a Cavapoo.
The numbers are much simpler. They tell you which generation of hybrid dog you are looking at. Put another way. These numbers help you identify how early in the crossbreeding process these puppies were born.
That’s useful knowledge when trying to quantify how hypoallergenic a Cavapoo is because, as discussed, a first-generation Cavapoo litter can bear mixed results. Some puppies will be hypoallergenic, but others may not.
An F1 Cavapoo is a first-generation 100% Poodle bred with a 100% Cavalier King Charles. This means that F1 Cavapoo puppies are going to be 50% Poodle and 50% Cavalier King Charles. This isn’t going to be a good Cavapoo generation if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog. You’ll want a generation that has more Poodle genetics.
If you want a hypoallergenic Cavapoo, you’ll likely want one that is either F1B or F1BB, and they are backcrossed to a Poodle
F2 Cavapoos are puppies born to F1 Cavapoos. They were crossbred themselves, and now the breeder wants to capitalize on as many of each breed’s better traits as possible. In the case of the Cavapoo, hypoallergenic status is a significant factor when hoping for an F2 litter because it’s part of what makes Cavapoos popular.
Consequently, as breeders continue to breed and crossbreed Cavapoos, the results become progressively more hypoallergenic. That’s not to say you can crossbreed any two Cavapoos to create a second-generation litter that is more hypoallergenic than the first.
A reputable breeder will carefully assess their dogs for coat type and breed Cavapoos that exhibit predominantly Poodle traits. A F2 Cavapoo is still going to be 50% Poodle and 50% Cavalier King Charles. So if you’re purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder, you’ll want to get an F2B that is backcrossed to a Poodle.
After the second generation of Cavapoos, all dogs become F3 Cavapoos. That’s true whether they are the third, fourth, or fifth generation of puppies born to this particular line.
It’s also common around the third generation of Cavapoo breeding for a breeder to do what’s called back-crossing. That means they reintroduce one of the purebred types into the Cavapoo lineage. That keeps the gene pool diverse and potentially rebuilds some of the hybrid vigor lost due to generations of breeding dogs of a similar type.
This also allows the breeder to reintroduce a Poodle into the gene mix, ensuring that the resulting Cavapoo puppies are still hybrids but with more Poodle genetics than Spaniel. Because these puppies are more Poodle than not, they are more hypoallergenic than other Cavapoos.
With that in mind, if you want to adopt a Cavapoo, but have concerns about allergies, an F3 generation is probably your best bet.
Does Coat Type Decide A Dog’s Hypoallergenic Status?
A Cavapoos coat type is usually the primary indicator behind it being hypoallergenic or not. The higher the likelihood of shedding, the greater the chance of pet dander which leads to allergies.
Like many hybrid dogs, the Cavapoo has several coat types:
The curly-coated Cavapoo is the most hypoallergenic version of the Cavapoo. It takes after its Poodle ancestors and features a short, wooly, close-curled coat.
It sheds minimally but can be extremely high maintenance when it comes to grooming.
The wavy Cavapoo coat is equal parts Poodle and Spaniel. It’s more hypoallergenic than the fleece coat but not as allergy-friendly as the curly, Poodle-style coat.
Like other Cavapoo coats, this one needs regular care and grooming to keep your Cavapoo comfortable, presentable, and healthy.
The fleece Cavapoo coat has more in common with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It’s the loosest of the breed’s coat types and sheds more than the others. Despite this, shedding is considerably less than it would be from a Spaniel.
Because it harkens back to the Cavapoo’s Spaniel heritage, this is the least hypoallergenic Cavapoo coat type, and not ideal for people with allergies.
It requires less maintenance than other Cavapoo coat types but still needs regular grooming to keep it neat and mat-free.
How To Tell If A Cavapoo Is Hypoallergenic?
Now you know more about what to look for when deciding if a Cavapoo is hypoallergenic, how can you make sure you bring home the right dog?
Ask For Credentials
A reputable breeder will be prepared to offer you certifications and paperwork for their Cavapoo. But, that can be complicated because Cavapoo’s hybrid status means that there aren’t the same breeding standards as there are for purebred dogs like Poodles. Not only that, but neither you nor the breeder wants a scenario where you take your Cavapoo home only to return them after 48 hours due to allergies.
Spend Some Time With The Dog
When considering a mixed-breed dog based on its hypoallergenic potential, the best thing you can do is visit the dogs. However, you shouldn’t expect to meet and play with several at once. Most breeders will set aside a particular puppy with your allergies in mind.
It may feel that takes some of the fun out of the adoption process, but what the breeder is trying to do is meet your and the dog’s expectations of a lasting relationship.
If you can’t take the time to visit right away, ask the breeder to send you a sample of the puppy’s fur. Many reputable breeders are happy to do this while you decide if a Cavapoo is right for you. That way, you can handle the fur sample as much as you want and see what kind of reaction it triggers.
But because the amount of dander present varies between dog and sample, it’s still worth meeting the dog in person. Plus, the experience can be super fun!
Signs of Allergies Around Cavapoos
Despite being broadly hypoallergenic, there’s still a chance that a Cavapoo may trigger allergy symptoms in some people. These vary from person to person, and the severity depends on the dander present in or around the dog.
Even so, indicators that the Cavapoo you visit may not be as hypoallergenic as you hoped to include:
- Itchy/watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy skin
It’s also possible that asthmatics may experience difficulty breathing around a Cavapoo. It’s not a guarantee, but the possibility exists. That’s what makes visiting with the dog before adoption so crucial.
Managing Allergy Symptoms Around Cavapoos
Perhaps you decide you can live with mild or moderate allergy symptoms if it leads to utmost leave from your newly-adopted Cavapoo. Or maybe, you aren’t allergic but associate with friends and family that are.
In that case, here’s how you can help manage allergy symptoms so that visitors with dog allergies are comfortable whilst keeping your Cavapoo happy?
Bathe Your Cavapoo
Your Cavapoo may contest this first point. Dogs are walking noses, and they identify themselves to others by their considerable smell. But if you want to keep allergies under control, routine baths are necessary.
A thorough bath helps wash excess fur and dander down the drain. That means less build-up on your sofas and carpets.
It’s also a great opportunity to detangle your Cavapoo and check for mats. Because of their Poodle-type coats, wavy and curly-coated Cavapoos need considerable grooming.
Without it, they are prone to mats, which are more than unsightly snarls in your Cavapoo’s fur. They can cause skin lesions and secondary infections if you don’t treat them, leading to a costly trip to the vet.
However, you want to avoid pulling on mats. It seldom undoes them and risks pulling them tighter against your Cavapoo’s skin. In extreme scenarios, a mat can prevent circulation, and that’s the last thing you want.
Clean Your Residence Frequently
Another way to keep on top of even the most hypoallergenic Cavapoo’s dander is by cleaning and vacuuming routinely.
It means more work for you, but it’s worth it if it reduces allergy symptoms in friends and family.
Pay special attention to places your Cavapoo likes to sleep, like:
- Dog Bedding
While vacuuming, it can also help to throw the dog bed and any soft furnishings, like blankets in the wash. It will help remove what excess hair the bath didn’t wash away. And it means less vacuuming.
Don’t underestimate the value of a lint roller, either. They can be an excellent way to pick residual dog hair off of surfaces, as can a damp paper towel.
Have Your Cavapoo Sleep Separately
Few things are as liquid and winsome as Spaniel’s eyes, and many Cavapoos inherit those. It’s hard, confronted with those eyes to resist the urge to let them sleep with you.
But if you need to manage allergy symptoms, you need to try. A Cavapoo may be hypoallergenic, but there’s still a chance that prolonged contact will trigger mild allergy symptoms.
If nothing else, your bedclothes make an excellent place for dander to accrue over time, and that will trigger symptoms.
And, contrary to popular belief, a crate doesn’t have to be a cruel place. Dogs are den animals by nature, and training them to sleep in a crate or a bed gives them a place to go when they feel anxious. It’s also a wonderful place to hide toys and sleep while you work.
Wash Your Hands
Another way to keep on top of allergies around a Cavapoo is to wash your hands after petting or grooming them.
Soap and hot water should remove any allergens. But it’s still worth keeping your hands away from your face for several minutes after washing.
Use an Air Purifier
Dog dander doesn’t just stick to surfaces. It can also get into the air. That means that despite your best efforts to mitigate the symptoms of Cavapoo-induced allergies, you may still find yourself sneezing or with itchy eyes.
One way around this is to use an air purifier. Place one in the space where your dog spends the most time, and it will reduce the allergens you have to contend with.
Conclusion For Are Cavapoos Hypoallergenic?
So, is the Cavapoo hypoallergenic? Yes and no. The answer has lots to do with their breed generation and coat type. It can also depend on the severity of your allergies.
Before adopting a Cavapoo, take the opportunity to handle their fur and visit with the intended dog. It’s hard to gauge how hypoallergenic an individual Cavapoo is until you meet them in person. And remember, no dog is completely hypoallergenic. A Cavapoo is more hypoallergenic than other breeds, but only because of careful evaluation by breeders of the Cavapoo’s genetics.
Cavapoos can trigger allergies, but it’s also possible to manage those allergies. And if a Cavapoo is something you and your family decide you need in your life, we think it’s worth the effort.
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For more information about the Cavapoo Breed, check out the video below: