Learn about the Cavachon dog in our latest guide. Do they make good pets? Are they good with other animals? Get all the answers below!
Height: 30 – 33cm
Weight: 4.5 – 9kg
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
Pedigree Breed (recognised by the Kennel Club?): No. The Cavachon is a cross between the two pedigree dogs the Bichon Frise and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Positives and Negatives of the Breed
- Very friendly and loving
- Great with kids and strangers
- Soft and fluffy
- Intelligent and easy to train
- Suffer from bad separation anxiety
- Some possible hereditary health issues
- Needs a fair bit of grooming
- Needs a lot of attention
A small and lovely crossbreed, the name ‘Cavachon’ isn’t too easy to figure out leading many seeking Cavachon information to ask, what is a Cavachon?
Cavachons are another popular designer crossbreed that combines two awesome small pedigree dogs, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise.
The result is an extremely soft, fluffy, gentle and friendly dog of above-average intelligence. Cavachons are superb family dogs as they’re kind and lighthearted and interact extremely well with children.
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Of course, like any dog, they will need to be supervised with smaller children but in general, they’re very gentle and love the energy of children’s play rather than being put off by it.
They’re also superbly tolerant of loud atmospheres and don’t tend to be shy if they’re in the mood, though this depends on proper socialisation from an early age.
Cavachons are energetic but don’t tend to be hyperactive. They’re quite content sitting around with their owners but do love being out, about and exercising in open areas.
In general, Cavachons train well as they’re loyal to their owners and tend to build very strong connections to them.
This means they also tend to suffer from bad separation anxiety that can badly affect them, particularly when they’re young.
They are suitable for smaller places, e.g. apartments, but are probably happiest in a family setting where there’s a lot of life going on around them.
This will reduce the chance of isolation and keep this happy little dog mentally and physically stimulated.
Cavachon dogs have pretty dense coats but they don’t shed much at all. They are quite often given the label hypoallergenic and it’d be fair to say they’re amongst the least likely dogs to cause allergic issues in those who are prone.
The coat will need to be brushed every few days but it shouldn’t take long as these dogs are naturally quite small.
Like many very small dogs, they love to be near their owners and whilst they’ll love the company of other people, they will place your attention on a pedestal.
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Cavachons have probably existed naturally for many years but as a specifically-bred designer breed, they’re relatively modern.
However, they date back at least to the 1950s where the Cavachon dog became companions to Italian sailors before being officially recognised by the Kennel Club in the 1960s.
Designer dog crazes took over the market in the 90s. Smaller dogs that were versatile and loving companions started to become much more popular.
Breeders started to meet the rising demand of small and friendly crosses in the 1990s, crossing dogs is linked with lower likelihoods of hereditary health issues and combined with the ability to offer more selection to family buyers, Cavachons became popular alongside many other small crosses.
They’re now one of the most popular of the super-small cross breeds and continue in high demand amongst owners of all types worldwide.
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Cavachons are super friendly and kind. This is their key temperament, they aren’t complex to train and don’t have many idiosyncrasies to be acutely aware of. This makes them an excellent dog for first-time owners.
Their friendly outlook and behaviour also allow them to slot into households that have children, other pets or other dogs.
Of course, socialisation from early on will be important but once trust has been established, Cavachons generally get on with anything and everything. As a gentle dog, Cavachons will not make good guard dogs and do not have predatory or defensive instincts.
Cavachons are clever and they can easily defy their lapdog personas. They will need mental and physical stimulation and as a dog of above-average intelligence, they may often feel at a loose end if they don’t receive adequate attention from their owners.
They’re not particularly needy as such, and they won’t often whine when unhappy, but they will mope and are likely to get depressed with isolation.
Cavachons are small but have big personalities and may become overzealous with other family pets once they become comfortable. Due to their size, they should be kept an eye on around big dogs and even cats.
Small children may also not realise quite how fragile a small dog can be. Just because they have a lively personality doesn’t mean they can be thrown around and treated without care.
Cavachons are generally healthy dogs and can live up to 18 years in extreme cases. The Cavachon lifespan is above average for all dogs, about average for dogs of similar size.
Overall health depends on the results of the cross but providing the breeder takes healthy parents from healthy pedigree lineages then Cavachons are unlikely to develop serious hereditary issues.
Possible issues commonly revolve around the eyes and ears. Ear infections are likely at some point and eyes should be cleaned regularly to prevent conjunctivitis and more serious infections.
Cavachons can also have quite delicate throats and will need to be lead trained carefully to avoid harmful pulling. Always use a harness if your Cavachon pulls often at all, it’s far safer than using a conventional collar.
Cavachons do not need complex diets and are relatively easy to keep in good nutritious health. However, eating too quickly can be an issue leading to digestive problems.
Consider toys that release food for completing mental and motor tasks. These will relax Cavachons after eating and ensure they digest their food properly.
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Cavachons aren’t to be underestimated in terms of what level of exercise they need and will need a good walk or two every day.
Yes, they are small and won’t demand miles and miles out of their owner at every opportunity but they do love to stretch their little legs in freedom and live an active life.
They’re pretty energetic and may not enjoy being as sedentary as owners might think. This often puts them at odds with their lapdog status.
Actually, whilst Cavachons love to spend time snuggling with their owners, this is all the more satisfying for them if it follows a good workout. This is not a totally docile dog and it certainly isn’t a static one.
A lack of understanding here can lead to desocialisation and isolation when owners can’t or don’t give Cavachons the stimulus they need. They may retire and mope in their bed on their own, perpetuating the problem.
Just because Cavachons are clever and understanding doesn’t mean they can be left to their own devices. Exercise them mentally and physically with walks and play.
Cavachons exercise very well with children and so long as they’re supervised with smaller children, this is a great way for them to get the stimulation they need.
Cavachons are clever and like to learn from their owners. Their intuitive learning style is fun to watch and for a small dog, their ability to compute tricky puzzles is impressive.
Cavachons love to find sneaky routes or fun hiding places in their homes. They like to roam off the lead and will have to be socialised from an early age to keep them sensible and relaxed around big dogs. Exposure to big dogs, like with any small dog, should be done carefully under a watchful eye.
A Cavachon puppy will learn quickly and rarely act unwilling to cooperate and stubborn. Cavachons are loving and need to be supported through positive reinforcement, not punishment.
They should rarely cause serious issues on the lead like pulling, though they are enthusiastic and are likely to tear off after butterflies and other movements.
Cavachons will quickly react to any restraint placed upon them by their owner. Cavachons know their size and will hide behind their owner if faced by a threat like another big dog.
They aren’t the most fragile small dog around but will need to learn to not play too hard.
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Cavachons have thick coats that curl and kink and they don’t shed much. They are regularly classed as one of the most hypoallergenic dogs and this tag is probably well earnt.
This also means they demand a fair amount of grooming, especially for a little dog. Brushing is crucial every 4 or 5 days to prevent matting, knotting and the build-up of dirt.
Light washes are easy to carry out because of the Cavachon’s small size – take advantage of it to keep your fluffy friend clean!
This shouldn’t take along as Cavachons aren’t large but still, many owners are surprised by how demanding this form of Cavachon upkeep is. It’s particularly important to keep the eyes and ears clean as these are the sites most likely to become infected.
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