What Will My Puppy Look Like?

Mrs Whisky lives in NYC and is a tiny cavapoo puppy she has white markings with white nose and paws

How do we estimate sizes? 

This is a great question.  

There is so much more to this than averaging the size of the parents.

Many breeders will average the size of the parents together and then give a few pounds on each side of that number.  Unfortunately, like in humans, size is more complicated than that. While we can’t guarantee the adult size of your puppy, we take a lot more into account.  First, because our focus is on small breeds our parent dogs are already small we are not breeding a 25 lb dog to a 10 lbs dog. This is the first mistake breeders make.  By their calculation they would average a 17.5 lb dog but since the mom was 25 a puppy could get all of the moms size genes and if the grandfather was 35lbs then yes, it is possible for a puppy with those parents, to have a puppy grow much larger than the parents.  We see this in human genetics all the time. Height can come from a grandparent more than the parents.  The same is can be seen in dogs. 

Our parents are very close to the same size. Many of our parents come from Toy Poodle lines and have a high percentage of small poodles in their genetics.  Most of our puppies are in the 10-18 lbs range. We have had puppies as small as 6 lbs from our smallest moms and puppies as large as 25 lbs from some of our now retired larger moms.  I will give you my best estimation based on previous litters, birthweight or current weight. I also use online calculators to help me predict your puppies size.  Most litters have a natural range in puppy size for you to choose from.

Our Choice Paws families also keep us updated with their dogs adult weight and we can use historical data to compare individual puppies to and give you our best information.

Great things come in small packages

I love the small breeds.  

In general when I am describing a “Toy” Goldendoodle or Cavapoo I estimate the size to be around 7-13lb, standing 9-12 inches at the shoulder.  One or both parents is usually a Toy poodle in a similar size range.

 A “Petite” Goldendoodle or Cavapoo falls between the Toy and the Mini size ranges at approximately 13-20 lbs. 

There is usually overlap around 10-13 lbs. We can see this variation even from the same parents.  I encourage you to look at each litter and evaluate the parents sizes and the current estimations. Most of our dogs will fall in the 10-18 lbs range. I am always striving to breed the smallest compatible parent dogs so that I can keep puppies under that 20 lbs mark.  If you request a puppy with a charted weight under 10 lbs these puppies will need to stay an extra week (9 weeks) and require a higher level of care at birth.  There will be an extra $500 added to the cost of these puppies.  These litters may be listed at $4700 because they have a history of tiny puppies or we expect some very small puppies in the litter.

Tiny cavapoo puppy two pounds red with yellow bandanna going to a family in New York City

Coat Color and Patterns

Solid Red &
Red Abstract

  • This is the most common color combination

In Goldendoodles and Cavapoos the different shades of brown are referred to as red. Red can vary in intensity from a light to very dark. Abstract coloring is the white patches that show up on the red dog.  The white can be on paws, chest, head  and face. The amount of white is less than 50% and is more random in placement.  The amount of white can vary from litter to litter and nature has final say where those white patches appear.


  • This is a unique white coat pattern

A very popular but less common color pattern of white concentrated on the chest and front legs. A well marked Tuxedo extends all the way from their chin and underbelly to their back legs.  This gives the appearance of the dog wearing a tuxedo. 

The white pattern can be found with any of the other coat colors as the predominate color. Tuxedo is more common in Goldendoodles than Cavapoos. We do get an occasional tuxedo in a litter but the amount of white and placement is highly variable.



  • A common color often mistaken for red

Apricot can range from a light peach to a rich golden. Apricot and white is the most common color combination you find in an apricot golden doodle. Only the poodle carries the genes for apricot coloring so Apricot Goldendoodles are the result of breeding an apricot or red poodle with a light Golden Retriever. They are one of the most sought after Goldendoodle coat colors.

English Cream

  • Much more than just a coat color.
    This breed comes from the English Cream Retriever.

Tilly is our foundation mom that comes from purebred English Cream Golden Retriever lines. English cream Retrievers are a more established breed than the American Golden Retrievers.  The English Cream Goldendoodles are known for their solid structures and blockier head. Their snouts are often a little shorter giving them a “teddy bear” face. They are also well known for a calm and gentle disposition.

We have found that many Goldendoodle breeders use the term “English Cream” to refer to any lighter colored goldendoodle.  This inaccurately represents a lineage where the Retriever ancestor was actually from an English Cream Golden Retriever.  

True English Cream Goldendoodle breeders can be hard to find. Tilly always has a full waitlist and rightfully so her puppies are beyond amazing.

Blenheim or Parti

  • The coat pattern where more than 50% of the coat is white

“Parti” is short for particular color. That means that a white background with another prominent color. We usually have Parti colored dogs with red markings but it applies to black, apricot, red and cream. 

 Parti is typically used to describe goldendoodles and blenheim is used to describe the similar pattern in Cavapoos and comes from the Cavaliers ancient history. Their chestnut markings on a white background is known as Blenheim in honor of Blenheim Palace.  

Tri-Color, Black and Phantom

  • These coat patterns are all variations the our cavapoo Minnie that carries for black coloring can produce.

All of our Goldendoodles are red based and we don’t breed for these coat combinations. 

Minnie is our black and white parti Cavapoo. She is a black based dog and has the ability to produce many coat color combinations. Let’s look at a few of these.

Black: An all black cavapoo is more of a rarity. A black cavapoo with white markings are more common. depending on the amount of white it can be classified as abstract, parti or tuxedo.

Tri-Color: The tri-color coat pattern is three of the coat colors apparent in the fur.  Black and white accompanied with tan markings is the most common version of the tri-color pattern in Cavapoos.

Phantom: This color pattern may look similar to bi-color and tri-color pups, but they come with a distinctive pattern. This rare Cavapoo color has a darker color covers the “points”of the dog-their eyebrows, muzzle, legs and under the tail. Most commonly the main body is black and the “points” are a rich tan color.

Coat Characteristics

Wavy Coat:

Can vary from a very loose wave to more pronounced

Appropriate for allergy sufferers

Little to no shedding

Requires frequent combing, brushing and grooming

Looks good with short or longer haircut

These puppies inherited a curl gene from only one parent

Affectionately referred to as a "ragamuffin" look

Tuxedo goldendoodle white face blaze and socks

Curly Coat:

Can vary from loose to tight curl

Appropriate for severe allergies

Little to no shedding

Requires more grooming with the tighter curl

Typically groomed shorter for easy maintenance

These puppies inherited one curl gene from each parent so the curl is more pronounced

Fully furnished

Often referred to as the "Teddy Bear" dog.

AKC registered toy poodle clear genetics curly red coat in a bandanna and bow

Straight Coat:

These dogs do not have curl genes

Our dogs are still furnished (fluffy face)

low to no shedding

Can be kept longer with less maintenance

Often takes longer for their full coat to appear fluffy

More uncommon in our pairings than wavy or curly

It was previously thought that the curl gene controlled the shedding. It may be true that curly dogs are great for allergy sufferers this is due more to the fact that they are fully furnished (carry 2 copies of the furnishing gene)
We test for furnishings are are careful to only pair parents that give us the furnished qualities in a puppy.

Beautiful red puppy with tuxedo markings perfect family dog