The Cavapoochon (sometimes spelled Cava Poo Chon) is an adorable designer breed containing a mixture of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, and Toy Poodle. With their teddy bear-like appearance and sweet nature, they’re rising in popularity right now.
If you’re thinking about getting one, keep reading for everything you need to know about the crossbreed in this complete guide to the Cavapoochon.
First, check out the video below for a look at this adorable mixed-breed dog:
Cavapoochon fast facts
|Average Weight||9 – 14 inches (22.9 cm – 35.6 cm)|
|Average Height||12 – 20 pounds (5.4 kg – 9.1 kg)|
|Coat||Thick, medium-long, curly double coat|
|Barking||Not especially vocal|
|Good with kids?||Yes|
|Good with cats?||Yes|
|Good with other dogs?||Yes|
|Tolerates being alone||For short periods|
|Tolerates apartment life||Yes|
|Exercise Needs||30-45 minutes per day|
|Health Concerns||Heart problems, eye disease, hip dysplasia, allergies, epilepsy.|
|Life Span||12 – 15 years|
History & origin of the Cavapoochon
The Cavapoochon is a relatively new mix, first crossbred in the early 2000s in the United States. Mixed or crossbreeds are also commonly referred to as designer dogs because they’ve been designed to carry the most fashionable traits of their parent breeds.
Although this breed doesn’t have a long history, its parent breeds do. Let’s explore the history of its parent breeds to better understand their traits and characteristics.
The Poodle is a culturally significant dog breed famous for their fashionable curls. They have appeared in European art tracing back as early as the 15th century and became a common symbol in the fashion industry in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Despite their nickname of the “French Poodle”, the Poodle actually originated in Germany, but they were later developed in France where they were utilized in traveling circuses. They are a water-hunting dog that was originally bred for flushing and retrieving game from water.
In fact, their name is a direct translation of the German word Pudel, which means to splash water. Poodles are thought to have canine ancestors linked to Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German, as well as Hungarian and Russian water dogs, so they are closely related to other European water breeds.
There are currently three sizes of Poodle; Standard, Miniature, and Toy; with the Toy variety being developed in the 1900s by breeding naturally smaller Poodles together. They remain one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world, as well as the second smartest dog breed, and they’re commonly used to create mixes because of their intelligence and hypoallergenic coats.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a Toy-sized breed of dog developed from the English Toy Spaniel in the early 1900s, which was bred for hunting in England in the 1600s, likely using mixes of small Spaniels with Toy breeds from Asia.
These royal pups were owned and adored by King Charles II of Great Britain, whose father’s supporters were known as Cavaliers during the English Civil Wars, hence the name.
Although they have a French name, (Bichon meaning small dog, and Frisé meaning curly), The Bichon Frise originates from Spain. They were actually bred to be sailing dogs and herding dogs, but the French later developed them into lap dogs.
Despite their humble beginnings, which date back to the 14th century, they were eventually bought into continental Europe by sailors and quickly became favored by French nobility, especially during the Renaissance era.
Physical characteristics of the Cavapoochon
Let’s see what happens when we put all of those breeds together! Keep in mind that mixed-breed dogs can favor one parent over another, so there’s no guarantee that every Cavapoochon will look the same.
Size & weight
The Cavapoochon is a small, Toy-sized dog with an average height of 9 – 14 inches or 22.9 – 35.6 cm depending on the sex of the dog, and an average weight of 12 – 20 lbs or 5.4 – 9.1 kg. They’re well-suited to small homes and apartments, so long as they are well looked after.
Puppies are born in litters of 2-8 puppies. They tend to reach their full adult height by 9 months but continue to fill out until they’re around a year old. They enter adolescence at 6 months of old and reach sexual maturity by about 9 months, as well as full mental maturity by about 2 years of age.
These adorable dogs have small, round heads and beautiful teddy-bear-like faces with big eyes, short snouts, and adorable floppy ears. They have a narrow build with short legs and tails and they come in a variety of colors.
As mentioned above, these dogs are seen in several colors, including including cream, biscuit brown, black and tan, chocolate brown, and red. They can be all one solid color or they may have markings on their ears, eyebrows, chests, and paws.
Cava Poo Chons have thick, dense double coats that can be medium-long in length, with low-shedding, hypoallergenic curls. Their coats are soft to the touch and pretty high maintenance to take care of.
Are Cavapoochons hypoallergenic?
No coated dogs are truly hypoallergenic because they all shed somewhat, but Cavapoochon are so low-shedding that they’re considered to be hypoallergenic because they are very unlikely to cause a reaction in people with allergies to pet hair, making them the perfect choice for sensitive owners.
Cava Poo Chon personalities
Cava Poo Chons are good-natured, easy-going, and intelligent dogs with playful, fun-loving personalities. They’re affectionate and loyal toward their family members, as well as friendly towards strangers and other dogs. They’re also gentle with children and older people and they love to socialize because of their lap dog genes.
Cavas are moderately active dogs but not hyper by any means. Due to their Poodle DNA, they’re very bright dogs and need mentally stimulating play and companionship to be happy. Without it, they can become bored and anxious.
Are Cava Poo Chons good family dogs?
Yes, they make excellent family dogs. They enjoy being in the middle of it all and form extremely close bonds with their family members. They’re ideal for moderately active families who love an adventure as much as a day on the couch.
As mentioned above, they’re great with children, vulnerable family members, and strangers. They’re also fairly outdoorsy, so they’re great companions for family walks, vacations, and camping trips.
Are Cava Poo Chons good with other dogs?
Yes. They are friendly dogs that tend to get on with everybody, including other dogs. They’re a good choice for households with more than one pet and they don’t tend to have aggression issues when they encounter other dogs on walks.
Are Cava Poo Chons protective or aggressive?
These dogs are protective of their loved ones but not they’re known to be aggressive, and they tend to get on with everyone they meet. That said, any breed of dog can react defensively when faced with a threat and any breed can have behavioral issues when they’ve been mistreated or untrained.
Are Cava Poo Chons easy to train?
Cava Poo Chons are very bright, eager to please, and keen to learn, but they can be stubborn. So, your training sessions with your Cava pup should be short and rewarding with clear and consistent commands, and lots of positive reinforcement. You should never punish them if they get it wrong but rather redirect unwanted behaviors.
Behavioral signals like clickers may be beneficial with the breed, but remember to start with the basics like sit and stay before moving on to anything advanced. You can start their training at any age, but you should aim to start training your Cava pup by 12 weeks old.
According to the findings of a study called The effect of frequency and duration of training sessions on the acquisition and long-term memory in dogs – it’s most effective to train once or twice a week for 5-15 minute sessions.
Do Cava Poo Chons get separation anxiety?
They are generally calm dogs, but any dog can get separation anxiety, and Cava Poo Chons are at a slightly higher risk. Pent-up energy, boredom, and loneliness increase the likelihood of separation anxiety and result in destructive behaviors like excessive barking and destroying furniture, so it’s important to make sure your Cava pup gets enough exercise, play, and company.
To avoid separation anxiety with your Cava, practice separation training with them early on in their lives. You can do this by building their independence gradually with time alone and creating positive associations through solo play toys like treat dispensers and special treats. Chew toys are also a good idea because they relieve stress.
If your pup is anxious about separating from you, don’t make a big deal out of leaving, but do make a fuss of them when you come back. Don’t react angrily to destructive behaviors, as it’s not their fault, and it could encourage them. It’s much more powerful to ignore it and reward them when they get it right.
You can also use anti-anxiety products like plug-in diffusers and supplements and desensitize your Cava to certain indicators of separation to relieve anticipatory anxiety such as putting on your shoes by doing them and then not leaving the house.
Cava Poo Chon’s day-to-day needs
Let’s take a quick look at the basic needs of Cava Poo Chons for budding owners.
Cava Poo Chons should eat a balanced diet with nutritionally complete dog food. Your Cava’s food should contain all of the nutrients they need for whole body health and wellness, such as vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, and K, and essential minerals like calcium and magnesium for strong bones, muscles, nerves, and cells.
They also need to eat healthy fats and fatty acids for good skin, fur, joints, and brain function, as well as healthy carbs for stabilized energy levels. High-quality protein sources from lean meats like chicken and fish are also essential for strong and healthy muscles, organs, and tissues.
Foods containing natural ingredients are the best, and you should avoid those containing filler ingredients like wheat and artificial additives. You may also want to consider buying kibbles or canned foods that are made specifically for smaller breeds like the Cava Poo Chon, as well as age-targeted foods during puppyhood and senior years to make sure they get exactly what they need.
How much should a Cava Poo Chon eat?
You should give your adult Cava 1 ½ cups of food a day split into two meals. Young puppies should eat 20kg per 1kg of their weight per day split into 3-4 small meals, and senior pups should consume fewer calories as they age so that they don’t gain weight or aggravate their joints.
These little dogs need between 30-45 minutes of exercise split into two walks a day. They also enjoy running, camping, hiking, and swimming. Young puppies need around 5 minutes of exercise per month of their age per day as they grow.
For example, a 3-month-old Cava would need 15 minutes per day, whilst senior Cavas should slow down as they age on the advice of your vet. It’s important not to overexercise developing pups and older dogs, as it can damage their joints.
The Cavapoochon‘s luscious curls are prone to tangling and trapping dirt, so they need a lot of grooming. Tangles and dirt can lead to poor hygiene and matting without regular care, which can be painful and hazardous for your pup.
You should brush them every 2-3 days with a slicker brush and give them a bath once a month with a natural dog shampoo to keep their coat in good condition. Their fur also grows continually, so they need haircuts every 6-8 weeks to prevent tangles and mats.
Are Cavapoochons healthy?
Yes, they are generally healthy dogs, but all breeds are naturally predisposed to certain health conditions. When buying a Cava pup from a breeder, you should ask for health documentation that covers the following.
Hip dysplasia is a fairly common genetic condition in dogs that causes the hip joints to grow abnormally, making them loose and wobbly over time, leading to arthritis. Vets can usually diagnose it following a simple body examination and an x-ray.
Mild hip dysplasia can be managed with daily lifestyle changes, therapies, and pain medications, but more extreme cases can require surgery to correct the joint. However, this is not very common. With treatment, a Cava’s quality of life shouldn’t be affected.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:
- Limping or bunny hopping
- Whining or showing signs of pain/discomfort
- Loss of muscle mass around the hips
- Low energy and irritability
- Limited mobility
- Inability to get comfortable
- Licking the affected joints
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Smaller breeds like the Cavapoochon are more prone to a type of heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy, also known as DCM. This is typically a genetic disease and causes weakened contractions and poor pumping ability in the heart, eventually leading to heart failure.
There is currently no cure for this and usually, it can’t be reversed, but there are veterinary treatments to manage the symptoms and prolong the life of diagnosed dogs. DCM happens in two phases; the occult phase, in which there are no symptoms, and then the overt phase, when clinical signs start to show. Dogs can live anywhere from months to years with the condition.
Symptoms of DCM in dogs include:
- Low energy
- Fainting or collapsing
- Coughing or gagging
- Trouble breathing
- Reduced appetite
- Inability to exercise
- Weight changes
- Swelling in the stomach
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA, is the malformation or deterioration of the part of the eye known as the retina over time. The retina is responsible for vision in low light and detecting color, as well as following movement.
PRA in dogs is genetic and can be early-onset, showing signs at 2-3 months old, or late-onset, developing at 3-9 years of age, but it leads to complete blindness over 1-2 years.
Dogs showing signs of this disease should be seen by a vet right away for an eye exam and ERG testing by an optimologist.
Whilst there is no cure, the deterioration is not painful and won’t affect the length of their life. However, it can be scary, and it requires owners to adapt the household for their dog’s safety and well-being.
Symptoms of PRA in dogs include:
- Blindness, starting with night blindness
- Anxiety, especially at night
- Avoiding the dark
- Dilated eyes
- Eyes that are very reflective of light
- Increased clumsiness
- Being unable to find food and toys
- Lack of eye contact during interactions
Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in dogs, affecting about 0.75% of the doggy population around the world. It can be hereditary or idiopathic and is categorized by seizures, often triggered by stress and tiredness, which tend to start around 6 months old.
If your Cava has a seizure, you should call your vet right away. They will most probably ask you to record it the next time it happens or recall the details of the seizures, as well as conduct a brain scan to diagnose them. Epilepsy can be managed with lifelong medication, but with treatment, it shouldn’t affect the length or quality of a dog’s life.
Signs of an epileptic seizure in a dog include:
- Loss of bodily control during seizures
- Irregular seizures that start and finish very suddenly
- Short seizures ranging from seconds to minutes
- Seizures that are repetitive and similar
Cavapoochons are also prone to food, skin, and environmental allergies. Common food allergies in dogs include gluten, soy, eggs, and proteins from meat and dairy. They can cause smelliness and changes in the coat, as well as low energy and stomach upsets.
Topical allergies include harsh chemicals in shampoos and conditioners and can cause hives, hair loss, and skin irritation, while common environmental allergies include pollen, dust, and home cleaning products and can cause irritated eyes, sneezing, and runny noses.
If you think your Cava pup is allergic to something in their diet, you should talk to your vet about doing an elimination diet to help you find and cut out the cause of their symptoms or switch to hypoallergenic food. Stick to topical products with natural, gentle formulas, and try antihistamine medication for environmental allergies if the cause can’t be eliminated.
Puppy health tests
If you are getting a Cavapoochon puppy from a dog breeder, you need to make sure that you ask them for health documentation signed by a vet that confirms their parents were tested and cleared of all relevant breed-specific hereditary conditions.
As mentioned above, this should include conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Hip Dysplasia to ensure your pup’s health. The documentation should also state that your pup has received all of their necessary vaccinations.
Whilst a health condition is no reason to reject a puppy, no dog should be purposefully bred with a serious health condition, and knowing the status of your pup’s health will save a lot of heartache and expensive vet visits down the line.
You should also ask for a health warranty from your breeder which states that if your puppy does get diagnosed with any of the conditions covered by the document, they will help you with your vet bills.
How much is a Cavapoochon?
How much it costs to get a Cavapoochon depends on whether you adopt a rescue dog or buy a puppy from a breeder. The average cost of a puppy from a breeder currently ranges between $1500 – $3000 in the United States.
The exact cost will depend on a few things, such as the breeder and the dog’s lineage. The smaller the breeder is, the more expensive their puppies will be, but it’s worth the price, as a higher price tag tends to mean better quality of care for the puppies and parents. Puppies born from champion show dogs or working dogs will also have a higher price tag than those bred from regular companion dogs.
Coat color can also play a major role in the cost of a Cava Poo Chon puppy. As mentioned earlier, these lovely pups come in many colors, but the rarer or more desirable the color, the more expensive they will be. The most expensive color of Cavapoochon is the blue merle Cava, which can cost over $6000!
Where can I find a Cavapoochon?
If you’re thinking about buying a Cava pup from a breeder, it’s important to choose an ethical breeder. Puppy mills and backyard breeders often disguise themselves online and sell their puppies very cheaply. They provide little to no quality of care for their dogs and their puppies are significantly more likely to be sick and die, although the breeders often forge health documentation.
It’s best to buy from small-scale hobby breeders that breed from home and come approved by legitimate websites like the American Kennel Club. However, a crossbreed like the Cavapoochon is more likely to be found on a website like PuppySpot or PetFinder.
You should also read the breeder’s reviews online and look for those that only home the puppies once they are over 8 weeks of age. They should be more than happy to send you photos and updates on the pups, as well as offer visits to see their facility. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions, visit them in person if you can, and always ask for health documentation.
Adopting a rescue Cavapoochon will only cost the rescue shelter’s adoption fee, which could be anywhere from $50-$400, depending on the size and popularity of the adoption center.
The adoption process is fairly simple and starts with an application form. If you are approved, you will be allowed to meet the dog in person and the shelter will carry out a home inspection before signing off on the adoption.
Cost of owning a Cavapoochon
The average annual cost of owning an adult Cavapoochon is about $1,200 per year. This breaks down to around $100 per month, although you can expect the expenses to be a little bit higher in the first year, as young puppies go through supplies quickly.
These costs are broken down into medical expenses like vet bills, medication, and insurance, as well as food, treats, toys, and grooming supplies. It also includes accessories like beds, collars, and food and water bowls. The average lifetime cost of owning a Cavapoochon is $15,000.
FAQs on the Cavapoochon
Let’s finish off with a few frequently asked questions about this sweet designer dog breed.
Are Cavapoochon good for first-time owners?
Yes! They are great dogs for first-time dog owners as they don’t need tonnes of exercise and are highly trainable, but owners must be a good fit. These dogs thrive in sociable homes and need a lot of grooming, so single people who work full-time or those who aren’t willing or able to groom their coats on a regular basis aren’t really compatible with the breed.
Are Cavapoochons good with children?
Yep, they’re great with children, as they’re gentle and easygoing dogs. However, care should be taken with smaller children due to their size and all children should be taught how to interact with their pets safely and respectfully.
Can they live with cats?
Cavapoochons can live with cats so long as they are introduced to each other carefully and have their good interactions rewarded.
Are Cava Poo Chons good for retired owners?
Cavapoochons are a very good choice for retired owners because they have an easy-going temperament, they like to have company, and they only need two 15-20 minute walks per day.
Do Cavapoochons get bored?
Cavapoochons are intelligent dogs thanks to their Poodle genes, so they can get bored a little bit more easily than some other dogs. They’re nowhere near as active as their parent breed, but they still need lots of fun play and company to ensure they don’t get bored.
Are they vocal dogs?
Like many smaller breeds, the Cavapoochon can be a little vocal, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They may bark and growl to communicate, but they’re not known for being yappy or excessive unless they’re bored or left alone for too long.
High levels of boredom can lead to pent-up energy, frustration, and separation anxiety over time, or even destructive behaviors.
Can Cava Poo Chons live in apartments?
Yes, they are well suited to living in smaller homes and apartments, so long as they get enough exercise and are taken outside to do their business as often as they need.
What is the difference between Cava Poos and Cava Poo Chons?
Cava Poos are a mixed breed consisting of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Toy Poodle, and the Cava Poo Chon includes Bichon Frise genetics. They look very similar and have very similar temperaments, but Cava Poos are a little bit bigger than Cava Poo Chons, and a little more boisterous, too.
How long can you leave a Cava Poo Chon alone?
You shouldn’t leave your adult dog alone for more than six hours at a time, and less for seniors depending on their health issues and ability to hold their bladder. Puppies younger than 10 weeks cannot be left alone for more than an hour and from 3-6 months, beyond that they should not be left longer than an hour per month of their age.
That is the Cavapoochon! Do you have one or are you thinking of getting one? Let us know what you love about them in the comments below! Oh, and let us know your preferred spelling! I know that Cavapoochon is technically correct, but I personally prefer Cava Poo Chon, or Cavapoo Chon.