Cavachon – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Bichon Frise Mix

The Cavalier Bichon mix, also called Cavachon, ranks among the most adorable dog breeds around today. These designer dogs were bred from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise.

By nature, the Cavachon is an affectionate dog, and it loves to play. All its characteristics make it a perfect household pet. They were bred many years ago to be great companion dogs and today, they are still great at keeping people company. If you’re interested in learning more about the Cavachon, you should keep reading. You will learn about their appearance, health risks, grooming requirements, and other important details in this article.

A cavachon standing on the grass.
Photo Credit: mabelcavachon

Cavachon Facts and Figures Summary

Other names:Bichon-King Charles, Cavalier-Bichon
Parents:Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise
Life span:10 – 15 years
Height:12 – 13 inches
Weight:15 – 30 pounds
Personality:Loyal and Gentle
Temperament:Affectionate, Playful, and Happy
Shedding Level:Low to Medium
Puppy cost:$1500 to $6000

What is a Cavachon Mix?

Just by judging from the parent breeds, you can tell that the Cavachon was designed to be a household dog. Cavachons were first bred in the 1990s in North America. They are smallish dogs but are known to be playful and really friendly with people. Also, their adorable appearance accounts for their widespread breeding today, because everyone wants to have one in their home. There are many interesting characteristics of Cavachons, but to understand them, you need to know some details about their parent breeds.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy breed, and just as its name suggests, it originates from the United Kingdom. They are a variation of a set of small Spaniels King Charles II used to own. By some small differences, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is different from King Charles Spaniel. As to characteristics, this breed of dog is friendly and playful. They are loyal dogs and easily form bonds with owners.

Bichon Frise are also small dogs, and they are from the Mediterranean. Their puffy fur and small body make them adorable and they quickly became popular in North America. They are also loving and playful dogs. They enjoy being around humans and have problems with being left alone. Although Bichon Frise have that big puffy coat, they barely shed and are hypoallergenic.

A cavalier king looking in the camera.
canildocavalier (Cavalier King)
Bichon frise standing with packets.
hi_chonbon (Bichon Frise)

The Cavachon takes its traits from these two small dogs. Cavachons are also referred to as Cavalier Bichon or Bichon King Charles. As both parents are small, loving companion dogs, you already know what to expect from the Cavalier Bichon. We look at the details from here on.

Cavachon Health & Appearance at a Glance

Cavachons were bred from small dog breeds, so naturally, Cavachons are also small dogs. Aside from its small size, the Cavachon also gets its adorable appearance from its parent breeds. With designer breeds, there are always differences in the way each dog appears, even though they are of the same breed. 

Dogs take different traits from either parent, so your Cavachon might look a bit different from your friends. Irrespective of this, Cavachons always have their round head, long fur, and floppy ears on a small body to help you tell them apart from other breeds.

Build, Height and Weight

Some kernel clubs classify Cavachons as a toy breed. The Cavachon’s small stature is what made them become popular as household dogs. Cavachons usually max out their height at 12 – 13 inches. An adult Cavachon also weighs somewhere between 15 and 35 pounds. Their small size makes them enjoy running around. Even in a house without a yard, a Cavalier Bichon can find space to stretch his little legs by running around looking for fun.

Colors and Coat

Cavachons have an attractive coat of fur. Their coats are usually between medium and long. But it would always be wavy across their small bodies. Cavachons usually have different looks because they are designer dogs. They get their coat traits from their parents, and one parent’s traits might be more dominant when inherited.

This breed of dogs usually have more than one color on their coat. The most common colors you would see on a Cavachon’s coat are apricot, white, tan, and pied. This attractive coat of fur also makes the Cavachons hypoallergenic because they are low shedders. 

Life Expectancy and Possible Health Issues

Designer dogs are less likely to have genetically based health problems because they are bred from unrelated breeds. However, this does not make Cavachons invisible; they could still suffer from health complications.

The life expectancy of a Cavalier Bichon is 10 to 15 years. If you want your dog to live to his fullest, he must get the best of care. As an owner, you have to handle your Cavachon’s grooming and vet visits prudently.

Cavachon Personality Traits

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise are both loving, happy, and playful dog breeds. The Cavachon takes these characteristics from its parent breeds. This feature is what makes it an ideal household pet.

A cavachon sitting on a bench.
Photo Credit: mabelcavachon

Cavalier Bichons are not overly energetic; they play around but spend only moderate energy and time running around. Cavachons are affectionate dogs, so they constantly want people around them. A home where at least one person spends a lot of time in the house is perfect for a Cavachon. Cavachons also love people, but they could be shy around strangers. This trait is common with their parent breeds too.

Cavachon Temperament and Instincts

The Cavachon is a gentle dog, and if you ask many Cavachon owners, they would easily describe him as being a happy dog. They love to spend time around people, so if you get a Cavachon, you can expect him to spend most of his day close to you. Most of the time, because Cavachons are so small and adorable, his constant presence would keep you smiling.

Cavachons’ calm temperament also makes them great for children. So you can let your furry friend loose in the house and rest assured that everyone is having a good time. Also, when compared to other small dogs, Cavachons bark moderately. Excessive barking is not a regular behavior for Cavachons; if yours does this, you should find out the cause.

How to Care for a Cavachon?

Cavachons are low-maintenance dogs. If you have ever cared for a dog that required you to clean up its hair every day before, a Cavachon is going to be a breath of fresh air for you. They are low-shedding dogs, so caring for them is easy.

As a Cavalier Bichon owner, you still need to provide the best care for your dog. Here are some tips on how to properly care for a Cavachon.

Grooming and Shedding

Cavachons have medium-length, low-shedding coats. This type of coat makes them easy to groom. However, even though cleaning a Cavachon is easier than cleaning many other breeds, if you neglect this role, your furry friend could develop infections from dirt.

A good rule of thumb for grooming a Cavachon is to brush them down three to four times every week. Cavachons have wavy hair, so it can easily get matted. Thankfully a good brushing multiple times weekly prevents this. You should also give them a complete wash and groom every six weeks.

Furthermore, Cavachons have floppy ears with lots of hair in them. If this region is left alone, it will become a breeding ground for infections that will harm your furry friend. Use an ear-cleaning solution to clean out your dog’s ears periodically.

Diet and Feeding

You should feed your Cavachon carefully. Giving them too little food would be bad for their health. At the same time, overfeeding these petite dogs would make them gain weight. Cavalier Bichons use moderate energy daily, and what they eat should match their energy use. It is important to have a sleeping schedule and stick to it when handling these dogs.

Cavachon pups can eat three to four times daily, and when they are fully grown, it should be reduced to two. It is important to speak to a vet about the exact dietary requirements for your Cavachon. They vary in size and health, so the recommendation differs for each pup.

Activity and Exercise Requirements

The Cavalier Bichon is a moderately active dog. They play a lot, especially for a small-sized dog, so as an owner, you must be ready to meet this requirement. Cavachons run around the house a lot, but they must be given outdoor playtime too. Thirty minutes of intense outdoor play daily should be enough to keep him mentally and physically sound. 

Ideally, a Cavachon prefers a house with a yard. But if you can give it sufficient outdoor activity daily, it would be fine even while living in an apartment. While he is indoors, you should also provide toys and puzzles for your Cavachon to engage with. This breed of dogs enjoy physical and mental stimulation, so you should give them as much as possible.

How to Train a Cavachon?

Cavachons are intelligent dogs, and they are constantly looking to please their owners. With this, they tend to respond to training really fast. Simple positive reinforcement techniques would help your Cavachon learn.

When training a Cavachon, try to keep the training sessions short so he doesn’t get bored. They are smart, so they would learn fast, but it also means they could get overstimulated during lengthy training sessions. While you are practicing positive reinforcement, you should be careful with the number of treats you give out because overfeeding a Cavachon could easily cause obesity. 

Training Cavachons is very important because when small dogs are untrained, they could develop small dog syndrome. Besides, a Cavachon with social skills is a lot more fun to be around.

Known Cavachon Health Problems

The Cavachon is a healthy dog; nonetheless, it is susceptible to some of the diseases its parent breeds were prone to. First off, Cavachons have floppy ears, and they are loaded with wavy fur. Dogs with this build are prone to developing ear infections, especially when the ear is left unkempt or the dog spends a lot of time in the water. As a Cavachon owner, you should groom your dog’s ears properly to prevent infections.

A cavachon feeling dizzy.
Photo Credit: mabelcavachon

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is prone to some heart conditions. Your Cavachon might inherit this feature from the Cavalier. It could also get some diseases from the Bichon too. These are some conditions that a Cavachon might be prone to based on its parent breeds: Mitral valve diseases, Syringomyelia, Patella luxation, Heart Murmur, and Cataracts, among others.

A simple solution to preventing these is to groom your dog appropriately and pay regular visits to the vet for checkups.

Daily Routine for a Happy Cavachon 

When your Cavachon gets up, he should get a potty break first thing in the morning. Cavachons require about 30 minutes of outdoor activity. You should fit this into whatever time is suitable for you so your dog fits into your daily schedule. Feeding is important for Cavachons. As a pup, you should feed him four times daily, and when he is fully grown, he can be fed twice daily.

Is a Cavachon the Right Dog for You?

Cavalier Bichons are low-maintenance dogs, so they fit right into almost any home. However, they must still receive all the care they need, or else you would have an unhappy or sick Cavachon. As a Cavachon owner, you have to groom him properly periodically, meet daily activity requirements, and attend regular vet appointments. If you can’t adequately do these, then a Cavachon is not for you.

You should also note that because of the Cavachon’s friendly temperament, they love having someone around. If you are barely ever at home, then a Cavachon is not the right dog for you. They enjoy homes where there is something to share company with almost round the clock. 

Suppose you are bothered about having a Cavachon with your children in your house. You can allay your fears; Cavachons are great around children. It is even safer when your Cavachon is properly trained to behave well.  

Should you buy or adopt a Cavachon?

A Cavachon pup costs between $1500 and $1600, depending on the breeding lines. This should be the first thing to influence your decision. If you can’t afford this amount on a pup, you should use the cheaper option of adoption. When calculating cost here, you should consider that you would also be spending some money afterward on grooming your furry friend.

Adopting a Cavachon from a shelter would help give an abandoned/rescued dog a new home. But when you do this, you have little information on the parents of the dog to know about common illnesses, appearance, and other things a breeder would have told you. The decision of buying or adopting is up to you, and it depends on your situation as a prospective Cavachon owner.

FAQs about the Cavachon Cross-Breed

Are Cavachons potentially aggressive breeds?

No, Cavachons are gentle dogs. They get their gentle nature from their parent breeds. Cavachons sometimes bark when they encounter strangers and to alert their owner, but that’s as far as their aggression gets.

Is the Cavalier-Bichon dog yappy?

Cavachons are not yappy dogs. When compared to other dogs, especially small ones, Cavachons bark moderately. Sometimes, they are referred to as quiet dogs. Cavachons could bark when trying to alert their owners that a stranger is approaching.

How large will my Cavachon grow?

Cavachons usually differ in size, but generally, they are still small dogs. You can expect your Cavachon to reach a maximum height of 13 inches, and they generally don’t weigh more than about 35 pounds. This is the regular size for small dogs like Cavachons.

Does the Cavachon shed a lot?

No, the Cavachon does not shed a lot. Their medium-length coat is non-shedding, this makes them hypoallergenic, and it also means that you would have to clean their hair daily.

Can I leave my Cavachon alone for long hours?

No, you should not leave a Cavachon alone for many hours. Cavachons enjoy people’s company; they are needy dogs and are far from independent. When you would be out for long hours, you should plan to have someone with your dog or leave him at a doggy daycare.

Are Cavachon dogs known to dig around?

Cavachons are adventurous dogs, so if you leave them outside unsupervised, they will do some digging. You should give them outdoor time, but don’t leave them unsupervised, so their adventurous runs don’t get too messy.

Should first-time dog owners get a Cavachon?

Cavachons are fine for first-time dog owners. They are low-maintenance dogs, so they can easily be cared for. They are also intelligent, so they pick up on training cues fast. As a first-time dog owner, if you can meet all the basic grooming and activity requirements for the Cavachon, you would be fine caring for one.