Tiny, fuzzy and oozing with cuteness, you might think that this pooch is a miniature teddy bear! Although you are not entirely wrong because this is a very cuddly breed.
Do you know much about a Cavachon? Well, you are on the right page because all the in-furr-mation you need about this designer dog breed is here!
What Is A Cavachon?
This cute little breed is a mix between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise; they are also called Cavalier-Bichon or Bichon-King Charles.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, American Kennel Club (AKC)’s 18th most popular breed out of 196, is described as affectionate, gentle and graceful.
Meanwhile, Bichon Frise ranks 46 on the list and is considered peppy, playful and very curious.
History of Cavachon
In 1996, the world was graced with the cuteness of a Cavachon when Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was intentionally bred with the Bichon Frise in Gleneden Kennels, Virginia, USA. The breeders were keen to give birth to a companion dog with the best qualities of both parents.
Since it is a designer breed (or a cross-breed), it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club but its parents are part of it.
Get to know a few facts about Cavachon’s parents:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Royalty runs in its name and it is just rightfully so! In the late 1600s, England’s King Charles II loved to hunt with this companion dog.
In the 1600s up to 1800s, this breed after the king’s namesake was portrayed in famous paintings.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel first set foot in the US in 1952 but it was only in 1996 when it became part of the American Kennel Club.
Compared to its royal dog ancestors, today’s Spaniel sports a longer muzzle.
These cute cotton balls of puff were a favorite among the European royalty and nobles.
Barbet or Water Spaniels were the ancestors of the Bichon Frise. Back in the day, there were four basic types of Bichon: Bolognais, Havanais, Maltais and Teneriffe. The latter was extremely popular in France that they gave it its descriptive name “Bichon Frise” due to its soft and fuzzy coats.
These cute softballs first step foot in the US soil in 1955 and in 1973 became officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.
How Cute Are Cavachons In Terms Of Appearance And Size?
Very cute! But even if this pooch is small, it is compact and well-built. You will not be able to resist its sweet, big brown eyes and its delightful little black nose. Just like a Cavalier Spaniel, it has long and floppy ears.
Compared to a Cavalier Spaniel, Cavachon’s muzzle is longer which reduces the risk of respiratory issues encountered by its parents.
Thanks to both its parents with long coats, Cavachon’s fur can either be medium in length or longer. This coat is fluffy, thick and silky! It can either be straight, wavy or curly depending on the dominant parent gene.
You will get a glimpse of what their adult coat length will be at around 4 to 6 months.
Speaking of its coat, it is also low-shedding and therefore suitable for allergy sufferers (although no dog is 100% hypoallergenic since all shed dander)! Compared to other generations of Cavachons, F-1 or the first are less-shedding!
While all Bichon Frise are white as cotton, Cavaliers come in various colors and combinations such as white and tan, Blenheim (or chestnut and white) or tri-colored (white, black and tan). This gives Cavachon an array of possible hues such as cream, white, red, brown, pied or tri-color. Most Cavachons are a combination of colors while a few coats come in solid.
Although there is not a fixed standard on the size of a Cavachon because it is relatively new, its parents will signal you that it is a small dog. In fact, it makes for a perfect lapdog and will be perfect in an apartment dwelling or small houses
The usual height range of a Cavachon is from 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33 cm) from the shoulder while its weight is 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kg).
Grooming the Furry Cavachon
Cavachon’s medium to long coat needs a good brushing from three to four times a week. They can also benefit from grooming every 7 to 8 weeks.
Apart from that, their ears need to be cleaned and checked often. Because hair grows inside their ears, you need to clean it weekly and watch for signs of infection. You can clean it with damp cotton wool or ask your vet for recommendations.
Good oral health is also important for Cavachons since small breeds are prone to dental issues. Brush their teeth daily; if you are unsure how you can always ask your vet for instructions.
Their nails need to be trimmed once or twice a month or if you hear it clicking on the floor already.
In terms of bathing, do only when necessary.
Cavachons also are not suited for extreme weather. During the hot summer months, you may need to apply sunscreen on its nose, ears and other sensitive areas. In colder months, do not allow them to walk outside in the freezing air.
The temperament of a Cavachon
Cavachons are cute and it is a good thing they have an adorable personality more or less as each dog is unique! Apart from which parent gene will be dominant, your upbringing and training will also play its part.
Spunky, Spirited and Brave
Cavachons do not have an endless well of energy but they do not couch potatoes, either! They have moderate levels of energy that also needs to be worked off.
With Bichon Frise on their blood, they are very alert. They are not an aggressive breed but they are likely to bark at strangers. Although because Cavachons are so minute, they do not make a good guard dog.
Cuddly, Affectionate and Full of Fun
Cavachons are a perfect lap dog because they enjoy endless cuddles and naps! They are a very affectionate breed and love to be lavished with attention. Cavachons also always prefer to be with their humans, you might catch them at your tail often. Cavachons have a happy personality; they might be small but they are loads of fun!
Cavachons do not only enjoy the presence of their humans, but they also love to meet other human beings and pets! In fact, if you walk them at the park, you might need extra time to socialize. Also because others will just really find them very cute and probably ask to pet it.
Child and Family Friendly
Because Cavachons are very gentle and tolerant, it makes them a good dog even for kids. They enjoy sitting on the kid’s lap and playing with them!
A word of caution though: both of them should not be left unsupervised. No matter how tolerant the dog is, if it is hurt, it might retaliate. Likewise, children must also be taught not to disturb sleeping or an eating dog.
First-time owners will also enjoy Cavachons!
Warning: High Tendency for Separation Anxiety
Cavachons should not be left for a long time as they crave human attention. When left alone for a long time, they become depressed. When they do, they may become destructive.
If you need to leave your Cavachon, entrust it to a friend or a dog walker.
Exercise Needs of a Cavachon
Cavachons have moderate levels of energy and will only need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily.
That exercise can be walking, playing or fetching. They also would not mind if you take on a longer route since they are playful and energetic.
Apart from physical exercise, they also need mental stimulation so go head with the games and other fun things to do.
Exercising does not only make your dog fit but also makes them happy and well-behaved. Dogs who cannot work off their energies tend to be destructive.
Training the Little Cavachon
Did you know that Cavalier King Charles Spaniel intelligence ranks at 44th? This breed with average intelligence can understand new commands after 25 to 40 repetitions.
Meanwhile, Bichon Frise ranks next at the 45th spot.
Coming from intelligent parents, Cavachons are easy to train! Another plus thing is that Cavachons are eager to earn your praise and will likely repeat behaviors that will make you give them a pat on the back.
In training, this pooch, make sure sessions are short so as not to bore them, but also consistent so that your pup can easily grasp the command.
Like most dogs, Cavachon also responds well to positive training techniques. Give them praise or some treats after a job well done; although slow down on the latter and make sure it is not unhealthy for them.
It is best to start training while they are still a puppy. What do you train them with first? Potty training, how to walk with a leash, basic commands such as “sit” or“stay” are good starters.
Puppies also need to be socialized while still young so expose them to people and other experiences. This will prevent them from having small dog syndrome. Teach them also when barking is appropriate as they tend to do it a lot.
Health, Care and Lifespan of the Cavachon
Not all dogs are the same and your Cavachon will require specific care based on its uniqueness and size.
Ideal Diet for a Cavachon
A Cavachon should be fed with food appropriate for its size, age and energy levels. This small pup will be requiring about 300 to 450 calories daily but when in doubt, always consult your vet.
A puppy might need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day but as it grows to an adult, twice daily is enough. Always make sure to scoop out their meals and not just leave everything at once as they are prone to obesity!
Apart from ensuring correct portioning of their foods, proper and healthy foods should be the only ones getting in their tummies. Especially when you love to give them treats, make sure it is low in calories and must only be 10% of their total diet.
The health of a Cavachon
Designer breeds are touted to have a “hybrid vigor” which means that they are considered healthier than the purebreds. However, that does not mean that they are free from any diseases and common health problems. Cavachons are prone to off conditions:
- Atopic Dermatitis
- Cushing’s Disease or hyperadrenocorticism
- Heart Murmur
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Patellar Luxation
That is why it is important to work only with a reputable breeder as they usually run tests to ensure these are prevented. Likewise, regular check-ups should not be taken for granted as it can detect early signs of problems.
The life expectancy of a Cavachon is between 10 to 15 years.
Caring for a Cavachon
To ensure that your Cavachon will live its best life, here’s a summary of the things you have to ensure:
- Feed high-quality kibble and healthy treats with proper portioning
- Daily exercise and mind stimulating games
- Proper grooming especially for teeth and ears
- Lots of tender loving care and cuddles
How Much Is That Cavachon In The Window?
If you still plan to own a Cavachon, prepare for a price range of $400 to $900 for a puppy. However, it can shoot up as high as $2,200.
Always deal with a reputable dealer and ask for certifications, vaccines and even their parents.
Another option is also to adopt a Cavachon! Sadly, there are a lot in shelters. To find one, check your local shelters or find breed-specific rescues for Bichon Frise or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel since they also take in the mixed breeds.
For starters, here are some of the shelters you can explore:
- Cavalier Rescue USA- www.cavalierrescueusa.org
- Bichon and Little Buddies Rescue- www.bichonrescues.com
- Dog Time- dogtime.com/adopt
These dogs deserve a chance to find another loving home again.
Summary: Is Cavachon The Right Pooch For You?
If you are looking for a cute and affectionate lapdog, a Cavachon is for you! Welcoming a Cavachon in your home will definitely not be a hard decision to make.
However, that is just the first step in owning this cute furry best friend. It entails a lifelong commitment on your part. Make sure that you are ready to care for it for the rest of your life.
Don’t worry, Cavachons will pay with unconditional love and cuddles.