A cross between a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a bichon frise, the cavachon is playful, spunky and full of love.
Height at Withers:
Small, sturdy and compact with thick, wavy, hypoallergenic coats.
Exercise Requirements: 30 minutes per day
Energy Level: Moderate to High
Longevity Range: 10-15 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: High
Minimizing the back problems of purebred dachshunds
Length: Medium to long
Characteristics: Silky and wavy, low-shedding and hypoallergenic
Colors: White, apricot, cream or white with tan or black; may be tri-colored.
Overall Grooming Needs: High
AKC Classification: Not recognized
UKC Classification: Not recognized
American Canine Association: Not recognized
American Canine Hybrid Club: Not recognized
Designer Dogs Kennel Club: Not recognized
International Designer Canine Registry: Not recognized
Scruffier in appearance than either of its parent breeds, the cavachon dog is a cuddly and friendly companion.
Cross a bichon frise with a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and you'll get a cavachon. There is no breed standard for the cavachon's temperament or appearance, but both the Cavalier and the bichon share a happy and affectionate personality passed down to their cavachon offspring.
Puppies may take after one parent breed more than the other, and wide variation can occur even within the same litter. While each cavachon will combine traits from both of their parent breeds, how those traits combine is impossible to predict, points out PetGuide. As a result, each cavachon dog full-grown is unique, but you can generally expect a grown cavachon to be on the small side, with most weighing somewhere between 15 to 35 pounds and standing no taller than 13 inches at the withers.
The bichon's trademark curly, puffy, cotton-ball coat is tempered by the Cavalier's soft waves, typically resulting in a medium-length, wavy cavachon dog coat that retains the low-shedding, hypoallergenic qualities of the bichon. Coloring typically takes after the Cavalier's cream-and-tan color pattern, although some cavachons may be solid colored or all white like the bichon. They might also have touches of black, resulting in a tri-color pattern.
The most commonly used adjective to describe cavachons is "happy." Charming, fun-loving and friendly, these little dogs crave affection and attention and love to cuddle up in your lap. Although they tend to bark at strangers, they adore meeting new people and make friends quickly and easily.
Cavachons are fairly laid back as far as energy goes, although they do require about 30 minutes a day of exercise and activity, says Dogtime. While not overly adventurous, they tend to enjoy themselves wherever they are as long as they get to be with their people. These pups are highly social and don't like to be left alone.
Gentle and easy-going, cavachons tend to get along well with children and other pets, especially if socialized from a young age. Their keen intelligence and eagerness to please makes them easy to train. However, they tend to have short attention spans, so training sessions should be kept short, fun and positive in order to be effective.
Cavachons are best suited to living indoors and do well in homes with or without yards, making them a good choice for apartments, says WagWalking. Their non-shedding, hypoallergenic coats make them a good match for mild allergy sufferers, while their easy-going personalities, middle-of-the-road energy levels and high trainability make them great dogs for novice dog owners as well as for seniors.
While mixed-breed dogs tend to be less predisposed to breed-specific health conditions, cavachons, while generally hardy, may be prone to the same health issues that impact their parent breeds. These can include common small breed problems like patellar luxation, cataracts and atopic dermatitis, as well as more serious health concerns such as Cushing's disease, heart murmurs and mitral valve disease. Regular veterinary checkups are recommended to monitor for signs of these conditions, especially as the dogs get older. And as with many small breeds, cavachons are prone to oral health problems and require regular dental cleanings, as well as regular brushing and tooth maintenance.
Cavachons don't tolerate being left alone for long periods of time and are prone to separation anxiety. They do best in homes where someone will be home with them throughout the day. If necessary to leave them for long periods, it's best to crate them to prevent destructive behavior, and to start crate-training them and teaching them how to be alone from a very young age.
Try not to overfeed your cavachon. To help maintain a healthy weight, it's best to stick to a feeding schedule and give them measured amounts twice a day, rather than allowing them to graze from a kibble bowl throughout the day. Feed them a high-quality dog food for small breeds that's formulated to their age group and energy level, and be sure to factor treats into their overall daily caloric intake.
Most Cavachons have medium-length, non-shedding coats of tight, wavy hair, which are considered hypoallergenic. However, some Cavachons have longer coats that are less allergy-friendly. Their coat can be kept long and shaggy or in a puppy clip. Either way, they'll need to be brushed a few times a week to prevent tangles and matting. You should bathe your pup about once a month or as needed, although if your Cavachon suffers from skin allergies, more frequent bathing with a medicated shampoo might be necessary, per your vet's instructions.
As a cross-breed, it's likely that a few cavachons have existed unintentionally for about as long as both parent breeds have been around. However, a Virginia breeder claims credit for being the first to purposely cross a Cavalier with a bichon in 1996. The goal was to create a cute companion breed with a hypoallergenic coat and a lower propensity toward health issues. While the American Kennel Club doesn't recognize the Cavachon as a separate breed, cavachons are recognized by the American Canine Association by the alternate spelling Cavashon. Various national and international registries devoted to designer breeds, including the American Canine Hybrid Club and the International Designer Canine registry, also recognize the Cavachon as a designer breed.