If you think all small dogs are "yappy" handfuls, you may be unfamiliar with the Cavachon. Initially bred in 1996 in North America, Cavachons are a mix between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise, and are a great choice for anyone looking to add a small, quiet, and hypoallergenic dog to their home. Known by Cavachon enthusiasts for being funny and playful, yet laid-back and agreeable, these dogs are an ideal fit for any home with a less than active lifestyle, and a lot of love and attention to give.
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Cavachons are probably most well known for their soft, fluffy hair, which they owe both of their parent breeds to. Inheriting the hypoallergenic mane from the Bichon Frise, along with the fine, lengthy hair of the Cavalier, Cavachons possess a soft coat of medium-long hair that can be seen in a variety of color patterns, including apricot, black, white, and tan. When it comes to determining the size of a Cavachon, you'll want to differentiate between the two varieties: standard and toy. Standard Cavachons will generally weigh between 15 and 22 pounds depending on their weight and sex, while toy varieties measure a smaller 10 to 15 pounds.
Cavachon Temperament & Training
Remember that breed is not a reliable indicator of personality in dogs, and every individual dog's personality is shaped by multiple factors. That said, many people feel that the temperament and personality of a Cavachon are sure to win just about anyone over. Bichons, which are known for their "clownish" personalities, heavily influence the mannerisms of the Cavachon. Like many small dogs, Cavachons are known for being lapdogs, and thoroughly enjoy being close to their people and loved ones. Unlike some small dogs, however, these dogs also have a bit of a sporty and athletic side thanks to their spaniel influences, although their penchant for outdoor endeavors will depend on the specific dog.
Regardless of your dog's personality, or the generally assumed temperament of their breed, every dog guardian assumes the responsibility of making training and socialization a priority in their dog's life. Finding a qualified dog trainer in your area who can show you how to implement positive reinforcement training methods is the best place to start. A good trainer can help answer any questions you might have about positive reinforcement, show you the skills, and set you up with practical techniques to execute them. This investment will go a long way in ensuring that the health and wellness of your dog, and the quality of your own lives together, is set up to be successful. Regular socialization, both in puppyhood and as adult dogs, is an incredibly important part of keeping a dog physically and mentally stimulated, and should be made a part of every dog's routine on a regular basis.
A Cavachon's coat will not shed as much as some dogs, but they will still require regular grooming in order to stay healthy and to prevent matting. It's recommended that you brush your Cavachon around three or four times per week, or more regularly as needed if you have one with a longer coat of fur. Bathe as needed, and be sure to dry the insides of the ears thoroughly with a towel to prevent possible bacterial overgrowth and infection. Guillotine clippers are recommended for these dogs, as their nail color can vary depending on the color of the coat that grows around them. Removing thin sections of a time on dark nails where the quick isn't visible can prevent injury or discomfort.
Cavachon Exercise & Health
Like the Cavalier King Charles, Cavachons are athletic and social creatures. Daily walks and various bathroom breaks outside are recommended, and playing in groups with other dogs generally suits these dogs well. Many Cavachons also enjoy swimming as a form of exercise, and young and adult dogs in good health can usually keep up on a light hike, although rarely require vigorous exercise.
Thanks to their smaller stature, Cavachons, like many small breeds, may be prone to obesity. Light-haired dogs may also be especially sensitive to the sun, so applying SPF or making sure shade is easily accessible can keep their skin free from burns or irritation. Dental concerns may also be of importance when caring for a Cavachon, so starting on a good oral hygiene routine of regular brushing from an early age will be the best course of preventative treatment.
Bichon puppies are usually around three and five pounds at the three-month mark, but you can expect a Cavachon to be a bit bigger thanks to their Spaniel influences. Puppies should reach their full adult height and weight at about 12 months old. A fully grown Cavachon will measure somewhere around 12 inches, and the breed's life expectancy is between 10 and 15 years.