Choosing a dog can be incredibly difficult. There are so many incredible breed options out there. There are so many adorable doggos just begging to be loved. How could anyone possibly choose?! Fortunately, designer dogs help, combining the trains of multiple puppers in one perfect package. If you can’t make up your mind between the gentle Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the playful Bichon Frise, the Cavachon may be just the dog you are looking for. It combines the best of both worlds! As the offspring of two very popular small breed dogs, this hybrid promises to be a wonderful companion and a family pet. Plus you get all of that in an unbelievably adorable package! How could anyone possibly resist?
This designer dog is not accepted by the AKC because it is technically a hybrid or crossbreed rather than a purebred dog. If you aren’t concerned with showing your dog, however, this may not be a problem at all. Despite the lack of official recognition, these lovely mixes offer a lot to their owners. In general, they are cute, smart, friendly, and have a sweet nature. What more could anybody want?
However, you should keep in mind that the appearance and temperament of designer dogs like the Cavachon varies greatly from one litter to another. But, for the most part, you can expect a combination of Cavalier- and Bichon Frise-like characteristics. The only question is which parent’s genes will prevail! It’s a surprise every time. No two Cavachons are alike, even within the same litter. Still, given how wonderful his parents are, Cavachons tend to make for incredible companions regardless of how the gene pool shakes out. These dogs are bred to be loved and you will be powerless to resist their charms if you bring one into your home.
If you can’t make up your mind between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise, the Cavachon may be just the dog you are looking for.
Up until the Labradoodle became a worldwide phenomenon, designer dogs weren’t even a term, let alone a trend. Generally, all mixed breed dogs were considered to be mutts, no matter what their lineage was. That was snobbish judgment and thankfully those days are over. Everything changed when breeders realized that by intentionally crossing purebreds, they could eliminate some of the hereditary health issues and create improved new breeds in the process. Of course, it’s silly to think that there haven’t been any crosses between purebreds until designer dog breeds came to be. It’s just when their mixing became intentional that the dogs were selected for certain qualities rather than just being a product of an “accident”.
Gleneden Kennels of Virginia claims to be the first to cross a Cavalier King Charles and a Bichon Frise in an effort to produce a new breed. According to them, the first litter of Cavachon was born in 1996, in the United States. Over 20 years later, the Cavachon continues to be a popular and beloved hybrid responsible for bringing furry joy to a vast number of happy homes.
The Cavachon is a 50/50 mix of a purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a purebred Bichon Frise. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, and won’t have official pedigree papers to document their lineage (sigh…perhaps one day). However, it’s important to inquire about your puppy’s parents. A lot about your puppy’s personality will depend on the personality of its mom and dad, as there are no set standards for the breed. It’s the only way to have any sense of what to expect from a Cavachon before bringing the little pupper home.
Additionally, meeting the parents of the puppy gives you the opportunity to determine if the breeder is reputable or if you’re dealing with a puppy mill. Never buy puppies from backyard breeders and pet stores, as they’re highly likely to be sick from poor breeding and inhumane living conditions. It’s truly tragic what some breeders are capable of and your don’t want to support their disreputable business practices. Dogs deserve to be born into safe and healthy environments. Anything less is absolutely awful.
Most dogs do best when fed commercial pet food and the Cavachon is no exception. As a small-breed dog, the Cavachon requires a high-quality dry dog food diet that is formulated for their size, activity level, and age. You’ll have to do that research on your own, but most dog food manufacturers provide the necessary information.
Just make sure that you stick to the recommended serving size, as these hybrids are prone to obesity. They often have a big appetite that doesn’t match their small bodies, and will gain weight quickly. In turn, that extra fluff will put unnecessary stress on their joints and lead to serious health issues such as diabetes. While it’s tempting to give into your pup’s demands and feed them to their heart’s content, it’s important to always put their long term health before their short term demands. A seemingly harmless amount of extra food today could lead to devastating health concerns tomorrow.
Of course, if you are ever concerned that your pooch’s dietary needs aren’t being met, it’s always wise to consult with your vet. While dog food manufacturers provide decent feeding guidelines, all dogs are different and have their own needs. Only your veterinarian is qualified to identify the specific dietary needs of your pooch. So, always take their advice if you are confused. It’s why you have a vet, after all!
The Cavachon breed is smart and eager to learn so it is recommended that you start your puppy off early with both socialization and training.
The Cavachon breed is smart and eager to learn so it is recommended that you start your puppy off early with both socialization and training. For the best results, it is a good idea to keep your training sessions short and fun for your dog so he doesn’t become bored. Use a firm and consistent hand in training your pooch so he doesn’t develop problem behaviors or Small Dog Syndrome. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should be harsh with your pet. Yelling, punishments and other aversive training methods are counterproductive and will damage your bond with your dog. This is closer to abuse than training and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, use praise and treats as an incentive to help your dog to learn. This will make a huge difference in the long run.
Start with teaching them the basic things, such as where to go potty or how to walk on a leash. Next are the commands such as sit, stay, come, etc. Additionally, you should make sure to socialize your pet on time- this will help ensure their friendliness. It might also be worth enrolling your pup in a training school. This will not only make training easier on you, but it will give your dog valuable socialization time with other pups!
The size of the Cavachon varies depending on breeding but, for the most part, these dogs stand 12 to 13 inches tall at maturity and weigh between 15 and 35 lbs.
The temperament and behavior of the Cavachon breed will vary from one litter to another depending on breeding. For the most part, however, you can expect your pooch to be a friendly and playful dog that gets along well with children as long as they are introduced at a young age. Like most small dogs, the Cavachon has the capacity to develop Small Dog Syndrome is not properly trained, so be sure to socialize your dog from a young age. These dogs can be loyal and form strong bonds with family, particularly with one member, and they make great family pets. Provided training goes smoothly, you’ll never have any regrets about bringing this pup into your home. They light up a room and put smiles on the faces of anyone who comes into contact with them. That’s a fact.
Common Health Problems
For the most part, the Cavachon is a healthy breed. In many cases, crossbred dogs are less likely to develop congenital conditions than purebred dogs simply because the gene pool is much larger. That is not to say that this isn’t prone to developing certain conditions – all breeds have the potential to be affected by a number of different diseases. Some of the conditions most likely to affect the Cavachon include ear infections, heart murmur, eye problems, and flea allergies. That’s why regular checkups with a vet are important for all dogs. You can never predict when a health issue might pop up, but identifying and treating these sorts of problems early is the best defence.
The average life expectancy of the Cavachon breed is between 10 and 15 years. For such a relatively new breed – fifteen years is quite the lifespan! Especially when you consider the fact that the average maximum lifespan for most dog breeds is fifteen years of age. This means that the Cavachon has a lot to offer and can be the ideal friend for a great number of years. If you were looking for a companion dog – this breed might be the perfect choice!
Of course, you can’t expect your pet to reach fifteen years of age just based on the estimate. They will require a lot of your care and attention, and that includes a healthy and balanced diet fit for their size, a lot of exercise and affection, and regular vet checkups. Only when you take care of this can you expect to see a long-lived and thriving pet.
The Cavachon is an energetic breed that loves to play, but it is not so energetic as to be hyperactive. A 30 minute daily walk is usually sufficient to meet the exercise needs of this breed though. In some cases, active playtime may even be enough to do the trick. Even if your Cavachon seems content to lay around on the couch, daily exercise is important for his health. So make sure to get it in, even if the little pup doesn’t seem to want it at the moment. He will appreciate it in the long run. A great solution would be a fenced-in yard! If you have this privilege at your home, that is a great advantage for many dog breeds – Cavachon included. With this, they can be allowed to exercise and play under your close supervision all they want. Not only will this save you time and effort (from going to the park every day), but it will also offer your pet an environment in which to thrive. You’d find that the Cavachon has moderate energy levels and can be content with some daily walk and a chance to run and play. But this does not mean that you can neglect them and keep them cooped up indoors all the time. This quickly leads to boredom – and from there it is a short way to apathy and behavioral issues.
You can expect your Cavachon to be a friendly and playful dog that gets along well with children as long as they are introduced at a young age.
The Cavachon is not recognized by the AKC because it is technically a hybrid of two pure breeds rather than a new breed. This breed is, however, recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the International Designer Canine Registry, and the Designer Breed Registry. Besides these, there are smaller, local organizations and clubs that are dedicated solely to the Cavachon designer breed. These clubs are most often run by long time owners and enthusiasts you can reach out to to get first-hand information about the breed. If you are a new or future Cavachon owner, joining designer dog breed forums or one of the local clubs is a great way to start with one step ahead. Learn all about their diet needs, their basic habits, their pros and cons, and their pedigree. It’s crucial to be informed in order to be as good an owner as you can be!
Because the Cavachon is bred from two long coated breeds, these dogs typically have medium-length or long silky coats. Depending on breeding, the coat may also be slightly wavy. Cavachons come in a wide range of colors including white, apricot, black, and tan. The Bichon Frise is a solid-white dog while the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is typically white and tan or white and apricot. Many Cavachons have mostly white coats with black, tan, or apricot markings. This hybrid is also considered to be hypoallergenic.
Thanks to their heritage, Cavachon dogs are very elegant and can be in need of occasional professional level grooming. It is best to take them to a dog grooming salon, where they can get the proper beauty treatment and their coat can really look their best.
There is no set litter size for Cavachon puppies because it varies depending on the parent dogs used in the cross. It is possible for Cavachon puppies within the same litter to exhibit varying degrees of Cavalier and Bichon Frise characteristics. For example, several puppies from one litter may exhibit solid-colored coats while others are multi-colored – it just depends on the parent dogs used to create the litter. In any case, you can be sure of one thing: you’ll fall in love with your puppy instantly! Just don’t let their cuteness charm you to forget all about training. They will try to get away with murder as puppies because of the power that cuteness holds. But don’t fall for the trap! Early training and socialization are essential for Cavachon puppies, as they will ensure your new pet grows up to be a lovely, friendly dog.
Socialization is one of the most important features of raising a healthy and sociable Cavachon doggo. While they are still puppies, it is important to introduce them to new dogs, kids, and adults that are strangers to them. This way, they can enjoy that company and become affectionate and friendly for the future. Fail to do this, and you might end up with an aggressive, anxious, or frightened adult dog – and that can lead to a whole host of other issues.
Photo credits: Feorgie/Shutterstock; CGH Photo/Shutterstock; JStaley401/Bigstock.com
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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