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The Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Bichon Frise Mix): Your Complete Guide 

The Cavachon

The spunky and delightful Cavachon is full of personality and can make an excellent companion and lap dog. This toy mix is a blend of the sweet-faced Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the doll-like Bichon Frise. The result is a charming dog, both in looks and temperament. 

The mix is impressively athletic for a dog of its small stature and abounding in affection. Though sweet as a peach, they love a bit too much and may develop separation anxiety. To give you all the Cavachon dog breed information you need, we consulted the Complete Owner’s Guide To The Cavachon. This way, we have covered all the main aspects of this dog breed to help you decide if they’re the right dog for you.

They are typically between 9-18 inches tall and weigh between 10-20 pounds. Cavachons are great family pets and get along well with children and other pets. This dog needs regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and appearance and enjoy regular exercise and playtime.

History of the Cavachon 

The intentional mixing of Cavaliers and Bichons and other mixes like Golden Cavaliers is only a few decades old from 1990. These mixes may have existed over the centuries, but few written records exist. 

The goal of the breeders was to create a dog that combined the desirable traits of both parent breeds, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s friendly personality and the Bichon Frise’s low-shedding coat. Over time, the breed gained popularity among dog lovers.

Since this is an emerging breed, you can learn a lot about the dog, like disposition, by exploring the history and purpose of the parent breeds. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels was developed to restore the initial longer-muzzled looks of the original King Charles Spaniel. They came from Britain in the 1900s, while the first English Toy Spaniels (King Charles Spaniel) started in the 1600s. 

When King Charles Spaniel’s popularity grew, so did breeders who gradually shortened their muzzles. A wealthy breed fancier offered a handsome sum to anyone who would present the Spaniel with the longest muzzle, so the Cavalier’s story began. 

Bichon Frises have long and elaborate histories as lap dogs and companions. They showed up in the 14th century when French sailors brought the dogs home from Tenerife, among the Canary Islands. 

It is believed that these hearty companions originated from the Barbet or French Water Dog. We can see this in their name, “Bichon,” which comes from “barbichon” or “little Barbet.” 

They gained massive popularity among the French aristocracy, which later put them in danger during the french revolution. They were, however, kept alive and continued rising in fame. 

They are also called Bichon-king Charles, Cavalier Bichons, or Cavashons. Designer clubs like the Designer Breed Registry and DRA have recognized the dog even though AKC has not listed them since they aren’t purebred. Some people have also bred miniature or teacup Cavachons.

How big do Cavachons get?

The Cavachon usually stands about 10 to 13 inches (25 to 33 cm) tall and weighs between 10 and 15 pounds (4 to 6 kg). However, some may be as heavy as 35 pounds.

What do Cavachons Look Like?

What do Cavachons Look Like?

Common Cavachon colors include:

  • Cream, 
  • Apricot,
  • White, 
  • Blenheim (red with a white blaze over their nose and forehead),
  • Tricolor (black and white with tan points),
  • Ruby, and
  • Black and tan.

Cavachons are small dogs, but not nearly as small as some, like teacup Bichons or teacup Maltese. They can have the powder-puff Bichon Frise look but with plenty of colorful feathering on the ears like Cavaliers. 

They are proportional in physique, although they can be slightly longer than tall, like Cavaliers. They have dome-shaped heads, and most have pretty standard-sized muzzles for their size. Ears are mainly long and floppy, although they can be V-shaped like Bichons. They have dreamy dark brown eyes spaced well apart. The nose is primarily dark.

Their coats are medium-length to long and can be curly or wavy. The coat colors vary a lot because they can take after either parent resulting in a white bichon look or tri-colored like Cavaliers. They can inherit the Bichon hypoallergenic coat, improving their compatibility with allergic people. 

General Care and Maintenance of a Cavachon 

  • Hypoallergenic: They may be if they inherit the Bichon coat
  • Shedding: Minimal to moderate 
  • Exercise: 30 minutes to an hour of daily exercise 
  • Temperament: Happy, lively, confident, affectionate, loyal, friendly
  • Trainability: Easy to train because they’re intelligent and love to please owners 

Energy level

Cavachons are energetic dogs but would immediately jump on an opportunity to snuggle with you on the couch. Their small size allows them to burn off excess energy easily, but daily walks are still vital. They can be a handful while young but usually settle down quite well when they are older.

Housing needs

Cavachons do well in apartments where they can spend as much time with you as possible. They handle time alone horribly and need you around as much as possible. A yard will allow them to play and release energy, but watch out for the temperatures to avoid heatstroke. 

Exercise needs

Cavachons need about 30 to 60 minutes of a daily walk broken down into two sessions. Remember to watch out for them as you exercise because those with short snouts can overheat more easily. Mental exercises with snuffle mats and food puzzles exercise their minds with mental stimulation.

Food & Diet Requirements 

Cavachons need quality food with balanced animal protein (20- 25%), vitamins, carbs, and minerals. Their Bichon sides make them susceptible to liver issues or hypothyroidism, requiring less protein (max 18%), so it’s best to get that checked out. 

They may also be prone to genetic heart issues, so feed a heart-friendly diet high in taurine, omega-3 fatty acids, and carnitine.

They are also prone to bladder issues, therefore, need plenty of water and some wet food on some days. When creating an elaborate meal plan, your vet will consider all possible medical issues affecting your Cavachon. 

How to Groom A Cavachon

Cavachons require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and appearance. Here are some steps you can take to groom a Cavachon:

1. Brush their coat.

Use a slicker brush to brush your Cavachon’s coat to remove tangles, mats, or loose hair. Brush their fur in the direction of hair growth to avoid any discomfort. Most Cavachons need to be brushed at least four times a week.

2. Trim their hair.

If you prefer a shorter coat for your Cavachon, use clippers to trim their hair. Start trimming their belly and then work up to their back and sides. Use scissors to trim around their ears, paws, and face. You can also see a professional groomer to have your dog’s hair properly trimmed. There are several cuts available for the Cavachon, including:

– Puppy cut
– Teddy-bear cut
– Sporting cut
– Schnauzer cut or
– A fluffy cut

3. Bathe your Cavachon.

Use gentle dog shampoo to bathe your Cavachon. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue. After their bath, dry them with a towel or a blow dryer on a low setting.

4. Trim their nails.

Use a dog nail trimmer to trim your Cavachon’s nails. Only trim the tips of their nails to avoid cutting them quickly, which can be painful.

5. Clean their ears.

Use doggy ear cleaners to clean your Cavachon’s ears. Avoid using Q-tips as they can push debris further into the ear canal. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge.

6. Clean their eyes.

Lighter-coated Cavachons are susceptible to tear stains and need their eyes frequently cleaned with dog eye wipes to prevent eye infections and keep their eyes healthy.

7. Brush their teeth

Use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your Cavachon’s teeth regularly to maintain their dental health

By following these steps, you can keep your Cavachon looking and feeling their best.

The Health of a Cavalier Bichon Frise Mix

The Health of a Cavalier Bichon Frise Mix

Cavachons are generally healthy dogs, benefitting from “hybrid vigor,” where mixed dogs are healthier than purebred parents. However, they are still susceptible to health conditions present in their parent breeds, especially if breeders don’t run genetic tests on their parents. 

Mitral valve disease is common among these dogs and can be a major cause of heart failure causing fatality. Here, a heart valve weakens, indicated by heart murmurs and other suggestive signs. Those with short snouts can experience breathing problems like Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BOAS).

The mixed breed is also susceptible to kidney issues like stones and liver problems like Portosystemic Shunt (PSS). Hormonal problems leading to conditions like Diabetes Mellitus and Hyperadrenocorticism are also prevalent. 

Other medical conditions seen in the parent breeds that can affect Cavachons include:

Severe Health Risks 

  • Patellar luxation (shifting kneecaps)
  • IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease)
  • Cushing’s disease 
  • Mitral Endocardiosis
  • Diabetes 
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Syringomyelia
  • Eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy 
  • Kidney stones 
  • Urinary and liver issues 
  • Types of cancer

Mild to Moderate Health Risks

  • Gastrointestinal problems 
  • Allergies 
  • Ear infections due to the droopy ears
  • Dental problems
  • Obesity

Occasional health issues

  • Epilepsy 
  • Sebaceous adenoma

Cavachon Temperament, Training, and Intelligence 

Cavachons are very happy, fun-loving, friendly, and compassionate dogs. They feel complete when they have their loved one’s attention and affection. Sweet-natured, these mixes make friends quickly, even if they are slightly wary of strangers at first. 

They bond so deeply with their loved ones that the dogs can develop severe separation anxiety. Avoid leaving them alone for too long, and consider crate training them from puppyhood to help with the stress. 

Cavachons are easy to train because they live for quality time with their families and have a strong will to please them. They may occasionally exhibit independence and stubbornness, but this is typically short-lived and bypassable with treats. Early training and socialization are vital for a well-trained dog. 

According to the Cavachon Puppy Training Book, these are very sensitive dogs that do not do well with harsh treatments or prolonged stress. A stable, loving, quiet environment is best for a Cavachon. Their training should be consistent and focused on positive rewards. Short sessions are best.

Sociability with Children and Other Pets

Sociability with Children and Other Pets

Cavachons are excellent with kids but shouldn’t be left alone with them to avoid accidental injuries. They are great with other pets because both were bred as lap dogs with little hunting or chasing instinct. Early training and socialization allow your dog to interact well with children and animals. 

Suitable Home for a Cavachon

  • Allergic household– The Bichon genetics may pass down a hypoallergenic coat, so it’s possible this dog is suited to homes with mild pet allergies.
  • Apartments or smaller spaces
  • Mildly active lifestyle 
  • People who want a lap dog and a companion
  • Adult supervision if there are kids at home 
  • Regular schedules where you can spend lots of time with them 
  • Novice owners are still learning how to train dogs, as these are good dogs for inexperienced owners
  • Owners who are up for a bit more grooming than most dogs

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Cavachons shed?

Cavachons are very mild shedders, especially if they inherit the Bichon Frise’s single, Poodle-like coat. However, some Cavachons may inherit a coat more similar to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which means you may deal with some seasonal shedding or light shedding year-round.

Are Cavachons Hypoallergenic?

Cavachons are bred to be as hypoallergenic as possible. However, some may have a coat somewhat like a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, so some of these dogs are a bit more allergenic than others. It’s also important to note that people with severe pet allergies are allergic to proteins in a dog’s skin, urine, and saliva, so there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog. 

When Do Cavachons calm down?

Cavachon puppies are very energetic and can be quite prone to chewing your shoes or driving you nuts with their hyper antics. However, most Cavachons will calm down and become laid back and easy to manage dogs between 12 and 18 months. An extremely hyper Cavachon may need up to two years to calm down, but this is rare.

How long does the Cavachon live?

Cavachons have a long lifespan of 12 to 16 years. They come from two hardy breeds, contributing to the mix’s health so long as the breeder performs proper genetic tests on the parents. Proper lifelong care will also keep this dog living long into their teens.

How Much Are Cavachon Puppies?

Cavachons can cost $800 to $2000, while more established breeders can ask for more. Breeders that ask for suspiciously low charges could be puppy mills, so contact a designer dog registry to look for an ethical breeder. You may find them at a local shelter and give them a second chance at life at only $300. 

Final Thoughts 

Cavachons are excellent family dogs and great for novice owners. They are not too tiny that the risk for traumatic injuries follows them everywhere and are small enough for apartments. They love being around people and may develop separation anxiety, but crate training can help them relax. 


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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