Cavachon Breed Information, Traits, & Characteristics

The cavachon is a cross between a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a bichon frisé. A cavachon is also known as a cavalier-bichon or bichon-King Charles.

These mixed breed dogs are small, growing up to 13 inches tall (at the shoulder), and weigh 15–35 pounds. This breed is known for being friendly, affectionate, and playful.

Cavachons’ small size makes them suitable for apartment living. The breed’s kind nature makes it suitable for families with children — as long as the children are gentle with the dog.

This mix typically lives for 10–15 years.

Cavachons cost between $1,500 and $3,500.

Cavachon Characteristics & Overview

Cavachon standing and looking at the camera

These common facts about the cavachon provide an overview of the mixed breed.

Common names:Cavachon, cavalier-bichon, bichon-King Charles
Origin:North America
Parent breeds:Cavalier King Charles spaniel and a bichon frisé
Breed group:Hybrid
Size:Small
Height:13 inches
Weight:15–35 pounds
Colors:White, apricot, cream, pied, tan
Coat:Double coat, long length
Life expectancy:10–15 years
Temperament:Friendly, excitable, fun-loving, gentle
Shedding:Light shedders
Barking tendency:Minimal to moderate
Cost:$1,500–$3,500

Origin & Purpose

Cavachons were originally bred in North America in the 1990s. This dog was bred to create a small, trainable, and friendly dog that could live in small spaces.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Originating in the United Kingdom, the cavalier King Charles spaniel is a small toy breed known for its long, silky coat and sweet personality. These dogs were a favorite of King Charles II of England in the 17th century. This relationship is how the breed got its name.

Cavalier King Charles spaniels are friendly, playful, and easy-going dogs that bond closely with their owners. This trait also appears in cavachons, who create close relationships with owners. The spaniels struggle with being left alone, a trait that cavachons also inherit.

Bichon Frisé

Bichon frisés were originally bred in Mediterranean countries. These small dogs are members of the non-sporting group.

These dogs are playful, mischievous, and loving. Like the cavalier King Charles spaniel, the bichon frisé hates being left alone. Unlike other breeds, this dog doesn’t shed, so it’s ideal for people with mild allergies. Cavachons share this hypoallergenic status.

Lifespan

A healthy cavachon can live up to 15 years old, but health issues can shorten the dog’s lifespan to 10 years or less. To ensure a long life, exercise and play with the dog regularly, and take it to the veterinarian immediately at any sign of illness.

Cavachon Appearance

Cavachon pup laying down

The cavachon is a crossbreed, so its appearance can vary depending on which parent the mix resembles most. These fluffy dogs are small and grow up to 13 inches tall at the shoulder. The breed is medium to long-haired and varies in color. Most cavachons have two to three colors in their coat.

Height and Weight

Cavachons are considered small dogs with a height of up to 13 inches and a weight between 15 and 35 pounds. Males are slightly taller than females, on average.

Some breeders have developed toy cavachons, which weigh less than 10 pounds.

Colors

Cavachons typically have two or three colors in their coats. The most common coat colors are white, apricot, pied, and tan.

Coat

Cavachons have a double coat that is medium-long, silky, and wavy. Because of its long coat, the breed doesn’t tend to shed, making the dog more suitable for allergy sufferers than other breeds.

Cavachon Personality and Temperament

Cavachons are gentle, affectionate, and outgoing. Like its parents — the cavalier King Charles spaniel and the bichon frisé — the mix is known for having a cheerful personality and a lack of nerves or shyness around strangers. As a result of their friendliness, these dogs do not make successful guard dogs.

Cavachons are great family pets because they’re gentle with children. However, to keep the dog safe, teach small children how to properly handle a small dog.

These dogs are known for being needy and wanting constant company. This trait makes the breed unsuitable for families who are away from the house for long periods.

Barking

While cavachons bark a moderate amount, they tend to bark less than other breeds of similar size. If your dog barks excessively, check that all its needs are being met and that the dog feels comfortable. Excessive barking can be the result of anxiety, fear, or boredom.

Cavachon Care

Cavachon puppy laying in a basket

Caring for a cavachon is relatively simple. Because the dogs don’t shed much, they require less grooming than other breeds. The most important needs of these dogs are love and attention.

Food Needs

Cavachons should be fed a high-protein diet consisting of good quality, minimally-processed whole foods.

Puppies need to eat around three to four times per day, with adults needing only two meals per day.

Grooming Needs

Most cavachons have relatively low-maintenance grooming needs and are hypoallergenic. Grooming needs can increase if the dog inherits the spaniel coat instead of the bichon frisé coat.

Despite the dog’s low shedding, you should brush its hair weekly to avoid matting and knots.

Exercise Needs

Cavachons’ small size means they only require about 30 minutes of exercise per day, including walking or running. This breed’s low exercise needs mean it can be housed in smaller spaces, like an apartment.

Mental Needs

Cavachons are very intelligent, requiring lots of mental stimulation to avoid boredom. Invest in puzzle toys to keep the dog’s brain active. Schedule playdates with other dogs to give the breed adequate socialization.

Common Health Concerns

Cavachons are generally healthier than their parent dogs due to clever breeding. However, these small dogs do face some common health issues.

This breed is prone to eye problems, including cataracts and dry eyes. If you notice eye discomfort in your dog, take it to a veterinarian immediately.

Cavachons are also prone to ear infections. Symptoms include head shaking and swollen, itchy ears that leak pus. A veterinarian can treat the ear infection with eardrops or antibiotics.

Cavachon Training

Cavachon dog playing outside

Cavachons are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. This breed responds best to positive reinforcement, so reward good behavior with affection, food, or toys.

To ensure that the breed behaves well with other dogs and humans of all ages, practice socialization early. Introduce your dog to children when it’s still a puppy and take the dog to playdates with other dogs to ensure you raise a friendly, gentle cavachon.

Cavachon Price

Cavachons are expensive because of the popularity of their parent breeds. Rescue dogs are cheaper than puppies purchased from professional breeders or families.

How Much is a Cavachon?

A cavachon typically costs $1,500 to $3,500. Buying or adopting from a rescue center is cheaper, costing between $200 and $500.

To make sure you’re buying a healthy, well-bred puppy, do research on breeders before buying your dog. It’s also useful to ask about previous diseases of the parents so you can assess health risks.

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Cavachon?

In addition to the cost of the dog itself, anybody wanting to buy a cavachon should budget for food, healthcare, and grooming costs. If you work away from home or travel regularly, you may need to factor in services like dog-walking or dog-sitting.

Owning a cavachon will typically cost between $100 and $200 per month. This cost will be higher in the first year because you’ll need to buy equipment and toys.

Is a Cavachon Right for You?

Cavachon close up looking at the camera

Cavachons are loving, family-friendly dogs that make wonderful additions to many households. These dogs are best suited to owners or families that have plenty of time to play and cuddle.

Cavachons are Suitable for:

Cavachons are friendly, affectionate, gentle, and loving. These traits make the breed suitable for families. These small dogs are adaptable, so they’re able to manage living in households with lots of visitors. The breed can also live with other dogs, but early socialization is vital to ensure the dogs get along well.

This breed is best suited to families and owners with plenty of free time to give their dog lots of love, affection, and play. Thanks to its small size, the cavachon is suitable for smaller spaces, including apartments.

Cavachons are NOT Suitable for:

Cavachons need lots of company, making them unsuitable for families who spend a lot of time out of the house and travel frequently.

Although the dog’s exercise needs are lower than other breeds, its owners still need to provide at least 30 minutes of walking per day. These exercise needs make the breed difficult for owners with movement or accessibility issues.

About Thomas Woods 225 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

13 Comments

  1. Hi Thomas,
    We got a 3 month old Cavachon and he is exactly how you described a Cavachon to be.

    A bundle of joy, smart and super clingy.

    It’s easy to be around him during this lockdow period BUT wonder how he’ll cope after normality resumes.

  2. I love my Cavachon! She is 7 months old now and the sweetest puppy ever. Very smart. She learned all the basic commands very quickly. She is finally potty trained.

  3. I don’t have a Cavachon at this time. I would really like to have one. If you know where I could get one for $400 or &500, please contact me
    Thank you
    Rita Roberts

  4. My beautiful cavachon, Honey, died recently aged 9 from mitral heart disease. I strongly recommend regular heart checks as your pooch gets older. My Honey acquired a slight cough and passed away three months later. Feed your cavachon pup the best quality food you can afford also. They really are the perfect breed of dog and will give their owners an abundance of love and joy. Enjoy every precious moment

    • try contacting a b reeder near you. Mama’s become too “old” to breed. I am hoping for a three year old this Fall.

  5. I’m a new owner she’s two months old rn and I’m just scared I might f up and I need help ? I need a list of how to care for her I’ve never done this and this was not planned by me ?family talks and makes decisions without me

  6. Feeding your dog bottled water and not giving it tap water will help stop tear staining to a cavachon
    Steve .c

  7. My cavachon was chased by two small dogs as a puppy and is now four years old and still very nervous around other dogs. Any ideas?

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