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The Cavachon: Cavalier King Charles cross Bichon Frise

bichon frise and cavalier king charles spaniel

The Cavachon is a cross between the Bichon Frise and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

© Rin Seiko & Lenkadan - Shutterstock

Cavachons are growing increasingly popular in the designer dog world. A cross between the Cavalier King Charles and the Bichon Frise, these little dogs are bright and affectionate.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 15/05/2021, 18:00

The Cavachon is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise. The cross originated from a happy accident in 1996 which produced a litter of adorable Cavalier/Bichon puppies. 

Today, Cavachons are known as “designer dogs” and are becoming increasingly popular due to their low shedding coats and loving temperaments. While you may be looking for breeders near you, don’t forget that there are thousands of crossbreeds waiting for loving forever homes in rescues as well. So if you can, adopt, don’t shop!

In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about these adorable little dogs, starting with their parent breeds!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles is a super affectionate breed! ©Austin Kirk - Unsplash

Cavaliers originated in Europe as early as the 1500’s. They were made popular by King Charles II of Scotland, who was a real fan of the breed. And it’s not hard to understand why. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels might be the happiest, most loving and affectionate dogs in the world. For this reason, they make fantastic first-time owner dogs and family dogs. They are also smart and very eager to please, which makes training a breeze. 

Learn more about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are full of life and love! ©Radovancev Zarko - Shutterstock

Bichon Frises first appeared in the Mediterranean as early as the 14th century, when Barbets were crossed with Poodles. Although they were first used as hunting dogs, they are now considered the quintessential lapdog! Bichons love to be with their owners and are super affectionate. They are healthy, smart, and great with kids. The only high maintenance thing about them? Their coat, which needs professional grooming and trimming every few weeks.

Learn more about the Bichon Frise

Cavachon Size and Colour

Both Cavaliers and Bichons are small breeds of dog, so you can expect your Cavachon to be small as well. Typically, Cavachons weigh between 15 to 35 lbs (7 to 16 kilos), and are 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33 cm) in height.

Most Cavachons are white, cream, or a little bit of both. Some, however, can inherit the Cavalier’s tricolour or red/apricot coat.

Cavachon Grooming and Shedding

As with any crossbreed, it's hard to know exactly what your puppy will look like. However, Cavachons’ coats range from a long and wavy texture to a tighter curl texture. 

If you’re looking for a low-shedding dog, you should choose a puppy with a curlier coat. This would indicate their coat is more similar to the Bichon’s, which doesn’t shed. A coat that doesn’t shed needs more professional grooming, however. In this case, you should be taking your dog to the groomer once every 6 to 8 weeks. Remember, a low-shedding dog is not necessarily a hypoallergenic dog. It’s the skin dander that triggers allergies, and even low-shedding dogs shed a little dander.

If your Cavachon’s coat is wavy, chances are that they will shed moderately. You should brush your dog’s coat at least a couple of times a week to keep it looking clean, shiny, and healthy.

Cavachon Temperament

Cavachons are a result of two incredibly loyal, affectionate, and loving dogs. So it’s no surprise that they make such amiable pets. They are very happy-go-lucky and friendly with everyone!  

They generally love children, so can make great family pets. Because they’re so eager to please, they are also easy to train and can therefore make good first-time owner dogs. They are extremely social animals with a low prey drive, so they are a good choice for homes with multiple pets. They are extremely adaptable and could be very happy living in an apartment. They won’t make good guard dogs, but they’ll make fantastic companions. If you’re looking for a love sponge, a dog that will follow you everywhere, and shower you with cuddles and kisses whenever they get the chance, this is the dog for you. 

Cavachon Training

Cavachons are smart, eager to please, and highly trainable, as long as you use positive methods. Don’t let your dog develop “small dog syndrome” though! If you spoil your pet and don’t give them any training or boundaries, they are likely to walk all over you, and turn a deaf ear to anyone’s commands. Make sure you put effort into training your dog, no matter how cute and innocent they look.

Cavachons can also develop a tendency to be fearful of unfamiliar things if they are not properly socialised, so make sure you don’t skip this step when they are young. You should also put a special emphasis on teaching your dog how to stay alone at home. Cavachons develop very strong bonds with their owners and can therefore suffer from separation anxiety when they can’t be with them. Make sure you teach your dog how to stay home alone gradually, by helping them build confidence and learn how to enjoy their own company. 

There have been reports of Cavachon puppies being harder to house train than other breeds of dog. If you stick to your schedule and take your dog out as often as they need, you’ll have better chances of having a toilet-trained dog in no time! Remember, positive reinforcement goes a long way!

Exercise Requirements of the Cavachon

Cavachons can be playful and energetic, so their exercise needs should not be ignored just because they are small dogs. However, they require a lot less exercise than many other breeds or crossbreeds. You should take your Cavachon for an active walk of 30 minutes minimum every day. However, to keep your dog happy and healthy, you should complement this with interactive games, puzzle toys, and other enriching activities. 

If your dog is displaying some problem behaviours, such as excessive barking, digging, or destruction of furniture, it could be that they’re not getting enough exercise. Make sure you adapt your exercise routine to your dog’s specific needs.

Cavachon Health

Crossbreeds tend to be healthier than pure breeds, but genetic diseases can still be passed down from the parent breeds. While Bichons are one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world, with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, Cavaliers are less healthy. Their biggest health concern is their heart. As they get older, Cavaliers are 20% more likely than other breeds to develop a heart condition such as Mitral Endocardiosis and Heart Murmur. 

In order to avoid getting a puppy with an inherited genetic disorder, make sure you select a serious and reputable breeder. Ask about your puppy’s parents, and whether they’ve had any heart problems. The healthier the parents, the more likely you are to have a healthy puppy. Other common health problems that you may encounter with a Cavachon include Hip Dysplasia, Legg-Calve Perthes Disease, Atopic Dermatitis, obesity, and dental disease. On average, Cavachons live to be 11 to 13 years, though some can live much longer if properly cared for throughout their life.

The development of many health problems can be prohibited with a good lifestyle. Choose a high-quality dog food and don’t overdo it with the treats. Exercise your dog regularly and always ask your vet for advice if you have concerns about their health.

Cavachon Puppies

As a result of the pandemic and consequent lockdowns, the demand for puppies has risen dramatically in the past year. This has led to the price of puppies almost doubling for certain breeds. Designer dogs such as the Cavachon are extremely popular, because people hope they’ll get the best of both parent breeds. However, all dogs are different, and you could just as well and up with the worst of the two parent breeds. It is essential that you do proper research and choose a responsible breeder before you opt for one of these dogs. If you’re sure this cross is the one for you, however, you should expect your puppy to cost you anywhere from £2,000 to £2,500. 

While Cavachon puppies are extremely cute, don’t forget that there are so many dogs in shelters waiting for homes. Many designer dogs and other cross or mixed breeds end up in rescues after their owners realised that they weren’t prepared to have a dog. The right thing to do would be to go see whether your local shelter has a dog that would suit your lifestyle. If you can, adopt, don’t shop!

So what do you think? Does the Cavachon sound like the perfect dog for you?

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Frequently asked questions

Do Cavachon dogs bark a lot?

Are Cavachons high maintenance?

Do Cavachons like to cuddle?