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Cavoodle breed - What health testing should I look for?

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Browse responsible Cavoodle breeders on RightPaw The Cavoodle is the most popular breed in Australia, and we can see why! This gentle, friendly dog is perfect for families and usually has a teddy bear look to match their cuddly personality. Cavoodles are generally a healthy breed. They are a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle (usually a Miniature or Toy Poodle).

Cavoodle puppy on a blue lead walking on wooden deck

RightPaw lists all the health tests each Cavoodle breeder conducts, on their profile. There is a ‘Core’ and ‘Additional’ list. If a test is showing on the profile, that means RightPaw have checked that the breeder is doing this test. You can also click to view any other tests that are available for the Cavoodle, that the breeder might not be using.

RightPaw Cavoodle health test list

Tests performed on my puppy’s parents

The tests shown on your breeder’s profile are tests they conduct on the puppy’s parents. By breeding from healthy parent dogs, the breeder is minimising the risk of their puppies inheriting any of these heritable conditions. Some diseases can be completely avoided by breeding parent dogs who cannot pass on the disease, whereas other diseases are complex, and the breeder can reduce the risk, but may not be able to guarantee the puppy will not be affected.

Recommended Parent Dog Screening for Cavoodles

  • Patellar Luxation

This condition refers to ‘loose kneecaps’ that pop in and out of their groove. Testing for this condition in adult dogs does not guarantee their puppies will not have luxating patellas, but it may make it less likely to occur.

  • Heart Certificate

Unfortunately, heart disease is very common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and therefore can be common in Cavoodles. Any Cavalier parent dog should be screened for heart disease every year before breeding, and it is highly recommended to test every Cavoodle parent as well, to minimise the risk of the puppies developing Mitral Valve Disease.

  • DNA testing

There are a range of genetic diseases in Cavoodles that can be screened for with DNA tests. Whilst this is helpful testing, these diseases are actually uncommon in Cavoodle puppies because the Poodle breed and Cavalier breed carry very different genetic conditions, and therefore they do not crop up in the cross-breed puppies very often.

red puppy lying on grass chewing a stick

Other common health conditions seen in Cavoodle puppies

There are other health conditions that cannot be screened for with any specific testing, so they may occur in puppies from time to time. Even if your puppy has come from the perfect breeding program, no breeder can guarantee that a puppy will not have any health concerns.

RightPaw recommends that all new owners take their new puppy for a health check at the vet within one week of coming home. If your vet notices something new that was not mentioned by your breeder, let the breeder know straight away.

Deciduous teeth problems

Problems with baby teeth is the most common health concern seen in young puppies of all breeds. Puppies may have an overbite, underbite, or have baby teeth that start to come through in an incorrect position.

Incorrect positioning of baby teeth, such as Base Narrow Canines, can result in teeth poking holes into the gum or upper palate as they come through, causing pain, potential infection, and blocking the normal space for adult teeth to come through.

This is a condition that can change from week to week, as it depends on how the teeth shift as they come through. If your breeder informs you that your puppy has a tooth problem, you should discuss this with them in depth before deciding you are comfortable to take that puppy.

If your puppy’s tooth problem is only discovered after you have bought your puppy, you should talk to your breeder about it. We do not know what causes Base Narrow Canines, but there is likely to be a genetic component. It is important for your breeder to know the condition has occurred so they can take this into account when planning future litters. A dog with Base Narrow Canines should not be bred, to avoid passing on a genetic predisposition to this condition.

Your vet can advise you about how severe the puppy’s teeth are, and whether surgical removal of the baby teeth will be required in order to eliminate pain and ensure the adult teeth have appropriate space to erupt.

black dog on grass with tongue out

Umbilical Hernias

An umbilical hernia is a small defect in the abdominal muscles at the point of a puppy’s belly button. The small hole in the muscles allows abdominal fat to poke through as a soft lump under the skin.

We do not know exactly what causes umbilical hernias but there may be a genetic component. If your puppy has been diagnosed with an umbilical hernia your breeder will inform you when you purchase your puppy. They are usually harmless, non-painful and can be corrected at the same time as desexing.

A dog who has had an umbilical hernia should not be bred, to avoid passing on a genetic predisposition to this condition.

black dog sitting on grass lawn

Common health conditions in adult Cavoodles

  • Anxiety

  • Skin/Ear Allergies

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

These conditions are all fairly common in Poodle crosses such as the Cavoodle. They are complex conditions and do not have a simple mode of inheritance, so it is difficult for breeders to screen for these. If your dog does develop any of these conditions as they get older, please contact your breeder to let them know. This is very valuable information for them when they are planning the future genetics of their breeding program.


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