Cavachon Breed Traits
- Sweet, even natures which makes them great companions
- Nice size, not too big or too small
- They have low shedding coats
- Easy to house train and train
- Very adaptable and providing they are given enough daily exercise are happy to live in an apartment
- Fun-loving natures, Cavachons get on with everyone and everything
Points to consider
- They form strong ties with their owners and never like being left on their own
- Can suffer from separation anxiety and hates being left alone
- Cavachons are higher maintenance on the grooming front
Background to Cavachons
The Cavachon came about by crossing two pedigree dogs namely the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with the Bichon Frise. These little dogs were first developed in the States, but quickly became extremely popular in other areas of the world, including here in Ireland thanks to their adorable looks and charming natures. Cavachons are not recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club or some other international clubs. However, breed clubs have now been established in many countries of the world with an end goal being to ensure breeders adhere to good breeding guidelines so these delightful dogs remain responsibly bred, especially as for the moment there isn’t a breed standard for the Cavachon.
Cavachons come in lots of sizes and can have different coat textures too with puppies in a same litter being quite different in appearance. The one consistent is that Cavachons no matter what their size and looks, all boast wonderfully kind natures which in short means they make lovely companions and trustworthy family pets.
Where did the Cavachon originate?
The breed was developed in the States with the first Cavachon appearing on the scene in 1996 when two pure breeds were crossed, namely the Bichon Frise and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at Century Farm Puppies which are kennels belonging to an American Breeder. Over the years, other responsible breeders have taken great care when choosing healthy parent dogs with the end goal being to reduce the risk of Cavachon puppies inheriting any of the disorders that afflict the Cavalier and the Bichon. Selective breeding is important when it comes to a dog’s personality too and as such reputable breeders always choose to mate dogs with friendly, outgoing and confident natures.
The result of crossing the Bichon with the Cavalier was a delightful and charming little dog that inherited many of their parent breeds' physical traits and personalities. With this said, a lot of breeders choose to produce first generation otherwise known as F-1 Cavachons which are Bichons/Cavalier crosses. The reason being that there is more chance of offspring having non-shedding coats than second or third generations dogs and over the years they have found that F-1 puppies tend to have nicer and friendlier personalities too.
As previously mentioned, Cavachons are new to the dog world, but their popularity continues to grow thanks not only to their adorable looks and puff-ball coats, but also because they are considered as being "low shedders". In short, this means anyone suffering from allergies may not be quite as affected when they come into contact or live with a Cavachon, although the dander a dog sheds usually triggers allergies in people too. Regardless, Cavachon has become a very popular choice both as a companion dog and as a family pet in Ireland and elsewhere in the world with allergy sufferers and others. For the moment, Cavachons are classed as "designer dogs" and as such they are not recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club in Ireland.
Did you know...
- Is the Cavachon a vulnerable breed? No, they are one of the most popular new hybrid dogs to have been developed over recent times
- Cavachons are one of the most popular hybrid dogs in the United States with more dogs being registered through the American Canine Hybrid Club every year than ever before
- A first generation Cavachon's coat is often more non-shedding than F-2 and other Cavachons
What should a Cavachon look like?
- Height at the withers: Males 31 - 33 cm, Females 31 - 33 cm at the withers
- Average weight: Males 4.5 - 9.0 kg, Females 4.5 - 9.0 kg
Cavachons are small dogs that boast extra fluffy, thick coats which can be quite wavy or curly. They have inherited many of their physical traits from their parent breeds, being the Bichon Frise and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. A result of the cross is a delightful dog with extremely expressive eyes and a cute face. Although small in stature, these little dogs have an athletic look about them. They have the long, floppy ears of the Cavalier and they have inherited their medium to long silky, soft coat from both parent breeds.
Because there is no set breed standard as such, every Cavachon is slightly different with the one consistency being in their coats, its texture and colour. Bichons have lovely white coats and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels boast having gorgeous coats that can either be white and tan or white and apricot, they can be a rich ruby red, a beautiful blenheim colour or they can have tri-coloured coats. As a result, Cavachons can be many different colours which includes the following:
- White with black, apricot or tan markings
When it comes to coat texture, this too can vary quite a bit with some dogs having straight hair whereas other dogs might have wavy to quite curly coats. However, their coats grow very quickly in the first few months of their lives which means puppies need to be brushed frequently and gently to keep things tidy to prevent any matts and tangles from forming. If a dog's coat is going to be curly or wavy, this usually happens when they lose their puppy coats and their permanent ones grow through which is typically when they are around 4 to 6 months old.
Cavachons are compact, nicely proportioned little dogs that boast short, strong front legs and nicely rounded bodies with level backs and slightly tucked up bellies. The hindquarters are compact with dogs having bushy tails that they carry hanging down when relaxed, but raised when excited or alert. They have lovely, large, round and very expressive eyes, a trait that adds to their adorable looks. Their feet are quite large for such small dogs with nice, firm pads and strong nails.
How should a Cavachon move?
When Cavachons move, they do so with a bouncy, energetic gait showing the fun-loving side of their personalities in whatever they do.
Responsible breeders would never breed any exaggerations into the dogs they produce which is the only way to ensure that Cavachons retain a good conformation. Prospective owners should avoid being tempted into buying extra small dogs because they may well develop serious health issues because of their size.
Will a Cavachon Have A Good Temperament?
When it comes to temperament, the Cavachon boasts having a gentle, affectionate and kind nature. They thrive on human company although they enjoy being around other dogs and pets as well. They have become known as real lap dogs never turning down an invitation to cuddle up with an owner whenever they can.
Cavachons form very strong bonds with their families and love nothing more than to be involved in everything that goes on in a household. They adore playing interactive games because of they boast being fun-loving, bouncy characters by nature with the added bonus being they have inherited the intelligence of both parent breeds which makes them easy to train.
They are also very aware of their environments and will quickly let an owner know when there are strangers around although, these adorable, charming dogs are in no way very good watchdogs thanks to their size and their affectionate, social natures. Cavachons are a great choice for first time owners thanks to the fact they are intelligent little dogs and they love nothing more than to please which means when well cared for and properly socialised, they are easy to train and a joy to have around.
However, there is a downside to living with a Cavachon which is that they do not like to be left on their own for long periods of time simply because they thrive on human company. As such, they are a good choice for families where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house which helps prevent a Cavachon from getting bored and developing separation anxiety and any other unwanted behavioural issues.
Is a Cavachon a good choice for first time owners?
Cavachons are a great choice for first time dog owners providing they have the time to dedicated to an energetic canine companion and one that hates being left on their own for any length of time. As such, they are better suited to households where one person stays at home so a dog never spends too much time on their own.
What about prey drive?
Cavachons are not known to have a high prey drive because they are social by nature and as such they like saying "hello" to everyone and everything they meet. However, that's not to say they won't chase the neighbour's cat whenever they get the chance or they might decide to take off after a squirrel when they mood takes them.
Will a Cavachon be playful?
Cavachons are extremely outgoing by nature and thrive on playing interactive games with their families. They also make wonderful therapy dogs not only because they are so affectionate, but also because they are always so eager to please whoever they meet. It would be fair to say that Cavachons are one of the most amenable and fun-loving dogs around.
What about adaptability?
Cavachons are highly adaptable little dogs being just as happy living in an apartment in town as they would be living in a house in the country, providing they are given enough attention, mental stimulation and physical daily exercise to prevent boredom from setting in.
What about separation anxiety?
Because Cavachons form such strong bonds with their owners, they never like it when they are left on their own for any length of time and as previously mentioned they are best suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they always have company. Another option is to get another dog or a cat to keep a Cavachon company when there’s nobody around. If left to their own devices for too long, a Cavachon would suffer from separation anxiety which could result in them developing unwanted and destructive behaviours around the home.
Will a Cavachon Bark too much?
If not corrected at an early age, a Cavachon might start barking for just about any reason when the mood takes them which can turn into a real problem more especially with the neighbours. Puppies should be taught not to bark for no reason, being extra careful not to prevent them barking at all or scaring them which could end up with a timid and shy dog.
Do Cavachons like swimming?
Some Cavachons love swimming when the weather is warm whereas other dogs avoid puddles because they don't like getting their feet wet. It would be a mistake to force a dog into the water if they don't want to go in because it would end up frightening them even more. Care should always be taken when walking a dog that loves being in water when walking them off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case they decide to leap in.
Are Cavachons good watchdogs?
Cavachons are not particularly good watchdogs because they are so friendly by nature, but this is not to say a dog would not be quick off the mark to let an owner know when a stranger is about or when something they don't like is going on in their environment.
Will a Cavachon be easy to train?
Cavachons are intelligent and they pick up new things very quickly, but this includes the good and the bad. With this said, training a Cavachon is usually a fun, enjoyable experience because they are so receptive when it comes to staying focused on a person they have formed a strong bond with. These little dogs thrive on getting things "right" and love nothing more than receiving as much praise from their owners as possible when they do.
They respond very well to positive reinforcement training and being so smart and sensitive by nature, Cavachons do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy-handed training methods which could end up with one of these little dogs becoming shy, retiring and timid. At the other end of the scale if a Cavachon gets their own way too often, they can develop behavioural issues which includes Small Dog Syndrome, something to be avoided at all costs.
However, puppies and young Cavachons must be well socialised once they have been fully vaccinated which should involve introducing them to as many new situations, strange noises, people, other animals and pets as possible so they mature into well-rounded, confident adult dogs. Some Cavachons have proved difficult to housetrain, but with patience, perseverance and a lot of understanding they can be taught to do their "business" outside, it might just take a little longer than with other breeds.
Puppies should be taught the ground rules as early as possible although they will always test the limits just for fun. The first commands a puppy needs to be taught are as follows:
- Leave it
Will a Cavachon be Safe with Children and Other Pets?
Cavachons are known to be great family pets because they are so good when they are around children and they like nothing more than to play interactive games with them. They are known to be extremely tolerant by nature, however, because they are such small dogs, children must be taught how to behave and how to handle them to prevent them from injuring or scaring these little dogs. With this said, any interaction between dogs and children should be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with someone being frightened or getting hurt.
Cavachons are social dogs by nature and as such they usually get on well with other dogs, more especially if they were well socialised from a young age. They are also known to be good around cats they have grown up with in a household and will usually be nice towards other pets although care should always be taken when they are together just to be on the safe side.