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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Can you help me find a reputable breeder?

Hi there,

I just wondered if you would possibly be able to tell me where it was best to buy a Cavapoo puppy safely? I have been looking on the internet as obviously The Kennel Club does not have breeders listed for Cavapoos as not a pure breed.

I bought your magazine to see if you might have any adverts in the back of the magazine but could not see any for Cavapoo puppies for sale?

It was actually Harrods who told me to get in touch with you as they thought that you maybe able to help in my search. They warned to be careful on the internet for adverts but I guess it is okay if you go to visit the breeder and puppies and see Mum and if Dad as well, and see it in situ and with all health checks done etc?

We already have a seven-year-old Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel!

I would be very grateful if you might have any ideas and had any safe websites that you could recommend for instance?

Look forward very much to hearing from you soon

Many thanks for your help.

With kind regards and best wishes,


Miranda, by email


  1. I really hope you manage to find a puppy from health tested parents. Sadly too many people are just crossing any breeds, claiming that they will be healthier than the parents but that only works if you start with healthy parents!

    Sadly many breeders are not even testing pedigree dogs so I think you might struggle to find a Cavapoo from health tested parents, I really admire you that you are searching and not just tempted by the first advert you come across.

    There is helpful information about looking for a Cavalier puppy [but also applies to other breeds], also copies of certificates you should be shown by breeders.

    For Cavaliers:
    Puppies should be eye tested between 8 and 12 weeks but a certificate for the litter is issued rather than individual certificates.

    All potential breeding dogs should be checked:
    for luxating patella ideally between 8 and 15 months [as the ligaments tighten up after that age] - this can be done by a vet who can issue a certificate - cost depends on the vet, sometimes only a consultation charge but they can charge for the certificate too.

    Eye tested annually by an ophthalmologist [this is a requirement of the Assured Breeders Scheme in the UK - although the breeder doesn't have to abide by the test results!]

    Heart tested annually - by a cardiologist

    ~~ Eyes and hearts should at a minimum be tested in the 12 months prior to the birth of your puppy ~~

    MRI scan - the new BVA/KC scheme is now in place, there is a great deal of information on this on

    It is recommended that the dogs are scanned before being bred, ideally at 3 and again at 6. There isn't currently a separate test for PSOM [glue ear], it is usually an incidental finding on MRI scanning.

    There is a DNA test for Episodic Falling and Dry Eye/Curly Coat from the Animal Health Trust.

    Hip dysplasia is not perceived to be a huge problem in Cavaliers but there have been quite a few Cavaliers on our Cavalier Talk forum over the years with hip dysplasia.

    The mean score for the breed is 16 - each hip is scored individually. The best score for each hip is 0, the worst is 53. Sadly when dogs are x-rayed and found to have bad hips, often the x-rays are not then submitted for scoring [happens in all breeds, confirmed by several vets]

    You can find out more about conditions affecting the Cavalier at
    Other useful websites are and

    Toy Poodles [generally used for the smaller crosses]
    from the Dogs Today perfect pup website -
    Only buy from eye-tested parents - should be eye-tested annually by an ophthalmologist for Progressive Retinal Atrophy
    Other conditions affecting the breed:

    Slipping patella
    von Willebrand Disease

    I believe that they are prone to epilepsy too, hopefully the breeder would be honest with you - and would not be breeding from affected dogs anyway.

    Good luck with your search.

    Nicki, North Scotland

  2. There probably is a Cavapoo rescue you could get a puppy from. Even if you have to wait a bit you would be helping an animal in need. We have them here in the USA but not sure about one in the UK.
    Good luck!

  3. Try here as they health test:

  4. Being a dog groomer for more than 40 years, I get the chance to see the various "cross breeds" in the salon, and get a better experience than most of the various breeds used.
    Most caviepoos have a nice temprement, but are prone to quite a few health issues, inherited from their parents.
    In order of common problems, Weight, Heart, Joints, digestion and sight issues. And sadly these issues seem to be compounded when these breeds are crossed.

    There is also the extra expense of coat care,
    There is no such thing as "Non sheddng/moulting coat" ALL DOGS shed their coat, and when you cross a breed that sheds its coat but traps it within the growing hair, rather than dropping it on the ground, (like the poodle)
    with a double coated shedding breed, that constantly drops its hedding hair on the ground, (like the cavalier)
    you have double trouble!
    Reason? the coat inherits the faster growth rate and the texture of the poodle, and the heavy fine but thick texture and continuous shedding of the cavalier, and this breed requires daily brushing and combing to keep the hair tangle free.

  5. The pictures of this cross showing those lovely flowing coats takes time and money to achieve,
    On average, the coat grows one to two inches per month.

    And this cross breed will need professional grooming services every 6 to 8 weeks, of around 2 to 4 hrs, to keep the length of the coat down to a managable level for owners to cope with.
    Costs vary widely, if you want a professional Quailifed and insured Groomer, with many years of experience, not only in Groomng and stylng, but also animal care, is aware and complys with ALL DEFRA, Council and Health & Safety requirements, you can expect to pay around £35 per the 6 week appointment. Thats a total of around £315 per year.
    If you go to someone who has not gained any qualifications, may not be insured, or is following all Health & Safety, council and legal requirements, then you could get it for around £15 to £20. at total of £135.
    But is that worth it when the safety of your Dog MUST be paramount?

  6. They area high mantainance breed, and you must be finacially prepared and able to give this breed the time they require.

    To answer your original question if you are prepared for all the continous work and expense required wth this breed.
    It will be very difficult to find a "good" breeder, as you have already found, they are not regstered as a breed.
    Eve seeing both the Mum & Dad together doesn't mean anything.
    Its a comon fact that unscruplious owners, ship puppies over from "puppy farms" and make out their own "pet dogs" are the parents. Or say "Mum/Dad are out/passed away/ sold ect.
    Then you have the ads where they say they will "meet you" with the dog, and all you have to do is pay a deposit, again another con.
    Or you see an ad, whereby they ask you for a returnable deposit, BEFORE you view, to weed out time wasters.

    Its an almost impossible task.

    Most of my owners heard about local breeders and went to see the puppies as much as possible, and only paid small deposits once they'd chosen their pup,
    they ensured the breeder had insurance, by checking with the insurance company BEFORE purchase
    They ensured the breeder had wormed or vaccinated by agan checking wth the Vet used.
    They also checked to see what other pups had been sold by this breeder over the past years, by googling the contact details or address/phone number.

    Even after all of this, and even with Pedigree dogs,

    note- no non pedigree dog can have "papers" or be registered with the Kennel cluc or any other Association, and any that do prodce papers, they are not legal.

    Its a case of "pot luck" each dog is an individual, and like and partnership, you take the good with the bad.

    16 years ago before "designer breeds" we bought for £10, a cross maltese poodle, (now fetching £1,000.00!!!! more fool them!)
    All his brothers and sisters have gone now, because they were fed commercial food and vaccinated yearly.
    Our dogs have always only received their 1st vaccinations, and have been fed raw meat based diet with veggies fruit fish and eggs.

    So again diet is VERY IMPORTANT!

    Please whilst your heart might try and rule your head, sit down and really investigate the best breed, the best for your lifestyle, and the best for your bank balance.

    As others have said, do PLEASE try rescues, they are over flowing with these poor "designer dogs" where breeders can't sell the pups, or new owners just didn't realise the expense required to keep them.
    sorry its so long, but it breaks my heart when I'm faced with yet another matted mess, sufferinf skin issues, or beahvour problems caused by an in sufficient diet, and caused by the owner just not being fully informed, by the breeder just wat their breed requirments where

    Jackie grimmett Canine beautician

  7. I don't think there is a Cavapoo rescue, and the individual breed rescues do not take crosses, but you might find one in the general rescues. They are full of many wonderful dogs in need of homes.

    As a "ps" to my first answer, unless regulation of breeding is instituted, the only way things are going to change is by commercial pressure - by people only buying puppies from breeders who health test.

    Nicki, Scotland

  8. I do hope there is NOT a rescue dedicated just to this dog which after all is a crossbreed. Do not be fooled by the fact it has a fancy designer name as it is a crossbreed (nothing wrong with them) but you have no guarantee of what the dog will turn out like as there is no standard. Go to a general rescue and look for a dog that takes your fancy. I really hate these designer dog names (can't say hate the dogs as I love all) and everyone jumping on the bandwaggon