Cavapoo (Cavoodle) Exercise Needs Guide

Cavapoo exercise

The Cavapoo, also known as the Cavoodle,  is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. We will refer to them mainly as a Cavapoo here. They were originally bred in Australia towards the end of the 1990s to provide the perfect non-shedding family and companion dog.

The Cavapoo (Cavoodle) is fun and playful, loyal and smart. This intelligence means they respond well to training.

How much exercise does a Cavapoo(Cavoodle) need

The Cavapoo requires a moderate amount of daily exercise of between 30 to 60 minutes. This should include a walk either on or off leash and some free play and activity. Mental stimulation is also crucial to prevent boredom. Adjust the quantity of exercise to suit your individual dog taking into account their age and energy levels.

It is better to do some exercise every day than very little during the week with a big session at the weekend. It is important for all dog owners to be aware of over-exercising their dog. Too much exercise can be worst than not enough. See here for overexercised dog symptoms.

The amount of exercise your Cavapoo needs will depend on their age, and the individual dog. Puppies’ bodies are still growing and too much exercise can do more harm than good. See the bottom of this post for more on exercising a puppy.

With an older dog exercise is still important. The quantity of exercise is more of a balancing act. They need sufficient to keep them mobile and manage weight, but overdoing it can leave them sore or in pain. See the bottom of this post for more on exercising a senior dog.

Cavapoo (Cavoodle) walking requirements

Cavapoo walking

The daily walk is essential for a Cavapoo not only to release some pent-up energy. The walk allows your dog to stimulate the mind with the sights, sounds and smells they come across.

Ideally, the minimum should be 20 to 30 minutes daily. This can be just once a day, or two walks a day would be better if your schedule allows. The pace of the walk should be a comfortable pace.

Dogs also like routine, so try to schedule the walk for around the same time each day. Daily walks are much better than nothing all week and a big walk at the weekend.

If your dog has good recall and comes on command, walks at the park off the leash are ideal. Alternatively, you can use a retractable leash to allow them more freedom while maintaining control. In general, Cavapoos are obedient and usually have good recall if trained.

Cavapoo (Cavoodle) free play and activities

In addition to the daily walk, it is essential to also provide some free play and games to further tire them. By keeping the muscles strong they will support the joints and tendons preventing injury. Providing your Cavapoo with a variety of toys is a great way to provide exercise and mental stimulation and to keep them occupied. For the best type of toys for Cavapoos see here.

These are some of the recommended activities and exercise ideas to play with your Cavapoo.

Swimming

Most Cavapoos enjoy swimming and playing in the water.  Swimming is also one of the best exercises for any dog. The benefits of swimming for your Cavapoo include

  • a strenuous activity that burns energy fast.
  • helps strengthen and tone muscles from the resistance provided by the water.
  • is a low impact activity that doesn’t put a strain on joints and tendons.
  • is an ideal therapy for a dog recovering from injury or surgery – see what is Canine Hydrotherapy to learn more.
  • Most Cavapoos love to swim and will want to do it

If you don’t have access to a pool, river, lake or the ocean for your dog to use most cities have canine hydrotherapy centers especially for dogs to swim.

For more on swimming exercise for dogs see here.

Fetch

cavoodle fetch

Playing Fetch with your dog is another fantastic way to burn pent-up energy. Many Cavapoos love to ball with balls. Even if your Cavapoo isn’t ball orientated you can still play fetch using their favorite toy.

Dogs can play this for hundreds of throws. A great alternative is to use an Automatic Ball Launcher so your dog can play Fetch by themselves. As Cavapoos are smart and very trainable they can be taught to use one of these. For more information check out “Automatic Ball Launchers for Dogs

Play with other dogs

cavapoo play

Provide the opportunity for your Cavapoo to play with other dogs. This is not only great to burn energy and stimulate their mind (social enrichment), but teaches them important social skills.

Cavapoos love the company of people and other dogs and in general, are very social and friendly.

Backyard Agility

Set up an agility or obstacle course in your backyard. You can use items you have around the home, build your own agility or you can get reasonably priced agility sets on Amazon. You can include tasks such as the weave, hurdle jumps, tunnels or jumping through hoops or a platform to jump on and stay.

Stair Exercise

A good energy burner and muscle strengthener if you have stairs in your home. Start at the bottom of the stairs and have your dog “stay”. Throw the ball to the top of the stairs and then say, “Go!” Let your dog dash up the stairs. Have them return down the stairs at a slower pace to avoid injury.

Walking upstairs or a hill strengthens the legs as the full body weight of your dog is on each leg as the step. As they descend the stairs they are using the opposing muscles for stability. For more on stair exercise for dogs see here.

Dog toys that move on their own

There are many dog toys available that shake, rattle, roll and move about on their own. The movement of the toy is engaging for a dog and provide enrichment and get them moving.  See “Dog toys that move on their own” to learn more.

The Wicked Ball is a good example of this type of toy. If your dog is ball mad then the Wicked Ball is the ultimate moving dog toy for them. The magic ball runs and bounces all by itself and the LED light adds another level of engagement for your dog. No App or remote controller required.

It has several settings such as the Intelligent Companion mode. In this mode, the Wicked ball has 10 minutes of play and 30 minutes of rest. If your dog pushes or hits the ball it starts the play cycle again. It also has three reaction modes (gentle, normal, active) so you can set it to suit your dog’s mood.  Due to its obstacle avoidance system (collision sensor), it doesn’t get stuck in tight spots.

The Wicked ball is durable and dog safe and is also waterproof so it can be played with when swimming. It also has a treat hole for dogs that are food motivated.

View the Wicked Ball on Amazon.

Cavapoo (Cavoodle) mental stimulation and enrichment

All dogs need an outlet for their minds. If they are not provided the opportunity to challenge their minds they will come up with their own ways to achieve this. This usually manifests itself in bad behavior such as excessive barking, digging, escaping and other destructive behaviors. Read “Mental stimulation and mind enrichment for dogs” to learn about the 6 types or categories of mind stimulation a mental enrichment and some great ideas to provide this.

Some ways to provide mental stimulation and enrichment include;

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are ideal for dogs like the Cavapoo to challenge their minds and test their problem-solving skills.  Try to find puzzle toys that are a bit more challenging as they tend to work these out quite quickly. Check out “Top  puzzle toys for dogs” for my top picks.

In addition to puzzle toys, Kongs for dogs are another great way to get your Cavapoo to solve a problem and challenge the mind. Read “How to use a Kong for dogs“.

Scenting and nose games

Cavapoos, like all dogs, have a keen nose. Playing scenting and nose games helps to provide mental stimulation. Read “12 Scenting and nose games for dogs” for some ideas.

Chew Toys

Provide your Cavapoo with chew toys. Cavapoos are in general a lighter or moderate chewer rather than a power chewer. Chewing is a great way to occupy them. In addition, chewing releases endorphins and helps to relax a dog. Many dogs hold stress in the jaw.

For more on the benefits of chewing and the best chew toys click here.

Learning

Teaching new commands and tricks is also excellent to provide mental enrichment. Cavapoos are smart and love learning new things. A popular game that involves learning is to teach them the names of their toys. Dogs can learn hundreds of words and names.

Food enrichment

Turn mealtimes into an opportunity for your Cavapoo to get a mental challenge and enrichment. Instead of feeding them from a bowl, give them activities that require them to work for their food. To learn more about feeding enrichment for dogs see here.

Enrich their environment

Environmental enrichment is the process of making a dog’s living space more engaging and interesting. To learn more about environmental enrichment for dogs see here.

How much exercise does a Cavapoo (Cavoodle) puppy need

Cavapoo sleeping on a foot

The exercise suggestions above relate to a healthy adult Cavapoo. The exercise needs of a puppy are quite different. With puppies, their bones, muscle, and joints are still growing and developing.

Overly strenuous walks are not necessary and in fact, could possibly cause harm. An activity that is high impact on the joints should also be avoided.

The best exercise for a young puppy is free play with age-appropriate toys.

Socializing with other puppies or friendly adult dogs is a great way to burn some of that puppy energy along with teaching them the social skills they need.

As your puppy gets older you can take them for short informal walks allowing them to sniff and explore and get used to being on a leash. Puppies under three months probably haven’t had all their vaccinations so shouldn’t be walked in public. Check with your vet when it is alright to venture out to the park or street.

The general rule of thumb for walking a puppy is around 5 minutes for every month of age. So, for example for a 4-month-old puppy, a walk of 15 minutes to 20 minutes is enough. Monitor your puppy on the walk for signs such as lagging behind, lying down or panting. End the walk if they seem too tired.

Mental stimulation is important for puppies and can tire them just as much as physical activity. For more on mental stimulation for puppies see here.

For more on exercise for your puppy read “How to exercise your puppy

Exercise needs of a senior Cavapoo (Cavoodle)

As a dog gets older they become less active and have lower energy levels. However, it is still important that they remain reasonably active to keep their joints and muscles mobile and to manage their weight. Read ” Dog exercise for a senior dog” to learn more.

Many dogs develop arthritis as they age. Exercise for them becomes a balancing act. It is important to keep their joints mobile and manage weight, but too much can make them sore. Read “How to exercise an arthritic dog” to learn more.

Summary – Cavapoo (Cavoodle) exercise needs

The Cavapoo (Cavoodle) is fun and playful, loyal and smart. This intelligence means they respond well to training.

They require a moderate amount of daily exercise of between 30 to 60 minutes depending upon the individual dog.  This should include a daily walk, free play and activities, and mental stimulation.

Let us know in the comments how you exercise your Cavapoo.

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