The Cavanese: A Complete Guide

Last Updated:

The Cavanese is the hybrid combination of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Havanese.

Both of these breeds are classified as toy dogs and are some of the most affectionate companions that you will ever have in your house.

Their small size makes them a perfect choice for people who live in a small home or apartment, but they can adapt to a larger environment as well.

To properly understand how a hybrid like the Cavanese will behave, it’s important to look at the history and character traits of the parenting breeds.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was first developed towards the end of the 17th Century as a royal companion. The King Charles Spaniel was a favored hunting dog at the time, and they were known for having a great sense of smell and were high energy dogs.

However, to keep their prowess as hunters, they were often kept outdoors and were trained to be more aggressive.

This meant that they weren’t very good dogs to have around the house or keep around families.

So John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough hired a breeder to make a smaller, more family-friendly version of the King Charles Spaniel.

The result was a tiny, friendly breed that they named the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

These small dogs were highly adaptable to small environments and were low-energy, affectionate dogs that needed the constant attention of their owners.

This made them a great option for small children and nobles who didn’t get out of their homes often. The Havanese has a similar history and is known as Cuba’s national dog.

They are also a small toy-sized dog and have been kept for a long time as household pets in the small homes and apartments of Havana.

They don’t need a lot of exercise and prefer to stay indoors most of the time. This is perfect since there isn’t a lot of room to let the dog out in the busy, populated streets of the city.

Today they are very common show dogs and are very obedient, and easy to train. Havanese, like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also need constant care from their owners.

When you breed these two small dogs together, you get the Cavanese, which is a hybrid that has all of the best features of both of the parenting breeds.

They are small, fluffy dogs that need constant attention, making them a great companion for people who work out of their home or are retired.

If you have children, then you can also expect your Cavanese to get along well with them as long as they are properly socialized with them during puppyhood.

Cavanese Puppies – Before You Buy…

A small black and white Cavanese dog
The Cavanese needs constant attention and care.

These adorable little puppies are desired by just about everybody who sees them, but they are quite a responsibility.

They are lap dogs which means that they are happiest when they are sitting in their owner’s lap and receiving almost constant attention.

It’s not good to leave these little dogs alone, and doing so can have a detrimental effect on their physical and psychological health.

What Price are Cavanese Puppies?

Expect to pay between $900 and $1,100 for your Cavanese puppy.

This high price is due to the fact there is an equally high demand for the breed, and that both of the parenting dogs are known for being fairly expensive as well.

The Havanese usually costs right around $1,000, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel usually costs $1,200 to $1,400.

How to Find Reputable Cavanese Breeders?

Because of their high price and demand, it’s not uncommon for shady breeders to try to pass off a cheaper mixed breed as an authentic Cavanese.

Your best bet to finding a reputable breeder is to find one who operates on a small-scale and caters to high-end clientele.

These breeders will not only be able to devote more time and care towards their stock, but they will also have a reputation that they need to maintain.

This means that you are more likely to get an authentic puppy and the chances of the breeder trying to scam you are a lot lower.

As always, with an expensive puppy like this, it’s important to check the pedigree and health records of both of the parenting dogs if they are available.

A mix of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Havanese dog
The Cavanese is great for people who live in small apartments.

3 Little-known facts about Cavanese puppies

  1. Throughout their entire lives, Cavanese will need constant attention and care. They don’t do well in isolated environments.
  2. Cavanese puppies will need to be housebroken when you first bring them home. It’s very common for them to have problems wetting the bed as well as night terrors in the first few months that they are living with you.
  3. Cavanese puppies are very low-energy dogs, and they don’t need to get outside often other than to use the restroom. However, they can also be easily potty trained should you prefer.

Physical Traits of the Cavanese

The Cavanese is a very small dog, and even when they are full-grown they can easily fit in your hands.

Due to their tiny frame, it’s fairly common to see people carrying around these little dogs in handbags or custom doggy backpacks.

This is one of their favorite places to be as it means they can see the world and spend time with their owners without having to walk around.

These dogs have very expressive faces which is what makes them particularly adorable. These dogs are cute, and they know it.

You will often find that they are quite manipulative dogs. If you have something that they want, then you can expect them to utilize every cute feature to try to get you to give them what they want.

Their coat tends to be thick and shaggy, following more after the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

However, they tend to get their coloring from the Havanese and are most commonly white or a mixed white and black.

In some rare cases, you will also find Cavanese puppies that are born with brown or fawn-colored hair if they inherit more from the Spaniel.

How Big is a Full-Grown Cavanese?

Cavanese are classified as a toy-sized dog and as such, they are very small. The largest that these dogs will grow to be is around 15 pounds.

The average weight of a full-grown Cavanese is around 12 or 13 pounds.

Looking at their height, they usually stand less than a foot tall. Males tend to be around 10 or 11 inches, and females are usually 8 or 9 inches tall.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Cavanese?

Due to their sedentary and sheltered lifestyle, the Cavanese is expected to live a long and healthy life.

It is very common for these dogs to live up to 15 years, making them a perfect choice for those who take well to the loss of a pet.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Cavanese

A Cavanese playing in the snow
The Cavanese has all of the best features of both its parenting breeds.

The Cavanese has a moderate level of intelligence.

They are very obedient and can be easily house trained, but more advanced concepts tend to escape them, so don’t expect them to be doing a bunch of tricks.

These dogs have a very relaxed and easygoing temperament.

They will never be aggressive towards anybody, although they have been known to be somewhat shy and wary of people who they don’t know.

If you are having a large party, make sure that there is a quiet, calm place for your Cavanese to go and hide should they get too stressed out.

One of the most important things to consider before buying a Cavanese is the amount of attention that they need.

If you lead a busy lifestyle and are constantly out of the house due to work or school, then these aren’t the right dog for you. They need to be around their owners for most of their waking hours.

The Cavanese’s Diet

Due to their sedentary lifestyle and small size, you will usually never need to feed your Cavanese more than 1 cup of food per day.

It’s best to split this into two feeding times; morning and early evening.

They often spend much of the afternoon lounging around and napping, so they won’t usually be hungry during this time.

However, if they are hungry between meals, it’s okay to give them small treats.

How Much Exercise Does the Cavanese Need?

Cavanese do not need that much exercise at all. They can usually get all of their energy out just running around the house.

Since they are so small, even your 800-square-foot apartment will seem like a large mansion to them.

It’s still a good idea to make sure that they get fresh air from time to time, so try to make time to take them out for a walk a few times a week.

Cavanese Health and Conditions

These dogs are usually quite healthy; however, in their old age, they are prone to a few common ailments.

The most common condition is that they will develop cataracts which can cause them to lose up to 70% of their vision.

Another less common problem that the Cavanese may develop is heart and liver disease. This can make them prone to heart attack and wasting.

It’s a good idea to take your pet Cavanese to the vet at least a few times a year to make sure they are in good condition.

Grooming Advice

If you have a Cavanese or wish to have one, keep in mind that this dog should be groomed weekly.

However, this job is not very difficult since the Cavanese is a small dog so the grooming can be done very quickly.

Since the coat of this dog is very soft, too much brushing is not required and the task is not too time-consuming either.

However, depending on your dog, the coat can be slightly curly as well so it might require thorough brushing.

Brushing one to three times a week is adequate, which again depends upon the type of coat your Cavanese has.

To remove any tangles or to get rid of the matted hair, try not cutting them and instead work through them using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.

This dog sheds moderately so you can expect a little hair all over the house. The haircutting schedule also depends upon which coat your Cavanese has inherited.

If it is that of the Havanese, you will need to clip the coat every few months to maintain a neat and trimmed look.

But if your dog, fortunately, has the coat of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, only the ears and the areas between the toes need to be clipped.

Also, remember that shaving down the coat to the skin will leave your Cavanese prone to sunburn. Bathe your dog monthly to get rid of the dirt and accumulated oils if you live in a warm and humid area.

However, if your residence is at a cold and dry place, wash your dog less often.

It is useful to remember that bathing your dog very often will strip its coat of its natural oils and deprive it of its shine and glow.

To clean its ears, regularly wipe the inside of them with a soft cloth by dipping it in a cleaning solution first.

Final Thoughts on the CavaneseA long-haired Cavanese dog

If you can devote the necessary time to them, the Cavanese will make a great companion.

They are best suited to individuals who are home for most of the day since they don’t cope well with isolation.

They are a great option for people who live in small apartments and homes because they don’t need to get outside often, and usually prefer to spend most of their time indoors anyway.

The Cavanese can even make a great family dog if they are socialised at an early age!

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

Info Sources: 1, 2, 3