The Cavanese Dog: What’s it Like Owning One?

havanese king charles spaniel mix

The Cavanese, sometimes known as the Havalier, is not a purebred dog.

Instead, it is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Havanese dog. This mixed breed dog is known for being friendly, loving and fun to be around.

This mix first appeared on the scene sometime in the 1980’s. His popularity has increased in recent years and anyone who has owned this cute dog knows how loving and gentle these little dogs can be.

They make excellent family pets; their loving and gentle nature allows them to get along well with children of all ages.

Their intelligence also makes them easy to train and work with since they respond well to their master’s desires.

So, are you considering getting one of these charming pooches?

In our guide to the Cavanese dog, we take a closer look at their history, temperament, health and more to help you determine if this is the right pet for you. So keep reading.

What Is A Cavanese?

As we’ve already mentioned, the Cavanese is a cross between a purebred Havanese and a purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The Cavanese is also known as a Havanese King Charles Spaniel Mix, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Havanese Mix, Havanese Cavalier Mix or simply Havalier.

Due to this mixing of purebred dogs, it is not always easy to predict exactly what each Cavanese puppy will be like. This will mainly depend on which parent breed each puppy takes after most.

It will also depend on whether the cross was of two purebred dogs or if the parent dogs were both crossbreeds themselves. The product of two crossbred dogs is commonly known as a multi-generation cross.

While it is impossible to predict exactly how a litter of Cavanese puppies will look or act like, there are some physical characteristics and personality traits that seems quite common in this mix.

This means that, not all Cavanese puppies will look alike. Similarly, breeders cannot predict what the personality of any one Cavanese puppy will be like.


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No one can tell beforehand! What we know is that Cavanese puppies will inherit certain traits from each parent dog. However, puppies can lean more towards one parent or be a combination of both.

That’s the beauty of genetic diversity. It helps to give dogs a better chance of being born healthy.

However, it is important to note here that it doesn’t completely get rid of the possibility of a puppy inheriting certain health problems from each parent.

The best thing to do is to learn more about each parent breed to discover more about the potential Cavanese puppy’s temperament and health.

So, let’s take a look at the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Havanese breeds. That way, we can get a good idea of what to expect from a Havanese King Charles Spaniel Mix.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog with medium energy levels.

This breed originated from the UK and has a long history.

Sometime in the 1600’s flatter faces were preferred, but these had some serious respiratory problems.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel history origin

The breed was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1945, but it was not until 1995 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) accepted it into its registry.

In recent times, the popularity of these dogs has increased considerably across the world.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel recently cracked the top 20 and is currently ranked at number 19 of the most popular pure breeds in the United States.

The Havanese Breed:

A relatively old dog, the Havanese boasts Cuban roots and is said to be a descendant of the Bichon Tenerife. The breed is currently the National Dog of Cuba.

Cuban elites made the breed their preferred pets. Soon after, the breed acted as show dogs and was taken to Europe to entertain circus-goers with their impressive tricks.

havanese dog

The breed made its way to the United States in the 1950’s. Since then, they have played different roles. Some have served as herders while others have acted as children’s playmates.

Many others have excelled as watchdogs and loyal family companions.

The AKC officially recognized the Havanese as a unique breed in 1995.

ALSO READ: Why The Beaglier Can Be An Amazing Family Pet For You?

The Physical Characteristics of a Cavanese Full Grown Dog

The Havanese Cavalier Mix has a small, delicate body, so you should take care not to hurt the dog accidentally. However, these dogs should not be overly fine-boned or fatty.

They should have short legs that are proportional to the rest of the body.

The tail can either be tapered and held in position, like the Havanese, or stubby, like the Spaniel’s. It might also be slightly curled or curved.

They have a round head and a short muzzle. Their nose is typically black in color. They have dark, round eyes that add to their expression of intelligence, alertness and friendliness. The ears are flopped and can be either short or long.

The Cavanese coat is relatively short and soft, with a curl or wave to it. The coat can be tri-colored, bi-colored, or solid colored.

The most common coat colors are black, white, tan and fawn, with any combination of colors.

The Size, Height and Weight of a Full-Grown Cavanese Dog

Cavanese dogs are considered to be a toy dog breed, and as such, they are extremely small.

The largest Cavanese should weigh around 15 pounds. However, the average weight of full-grown Cavanese dog is around 12 to 13 pounds.

When it comes to their height, males are around 10 to 11 inches tall while females stand 8 to 9 inches tall.

Cavanese Behavior and Temperament

The Havanese King Charles Spaniel Mix makes an excellent companion for families that are looking for a loyal and loving dog. These little guys are sweet, affectionate and intelligent.

They are also very obedient, calm and easygoing dogs. They are not aggressive, but they are also known to be rather shy and wary of strangers.


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If you tend to have many guests and parties over, make sure there is a quiet place for your puppy to go and relax just in case he gets stressed out.

One of the most important factors to consider when getting a Cavanese dog is the amount of attention he needs. They are eager to please and they crave attention.

? If you are always away from home during the day due to school, work or other responsibilities, then the Cavanese is not the right breed for you. These dogs need to be around their families and owners almost at all times.

They don’t like being left alone for extended periods of time and might suffer from separation anxiety disorder. Pups with separation anxiety tend to bark excessively if left alone.

Despite their small size, these dogs do require plenty of exercises to prevent any bad behaviors from developing due to boredom. Therefore, daily walks and play sessions are strongly recommended for these little pooches.

The Cavanese is not known to be a good watchdog, so this isn’t the right dog for you if you are looking for a watchdog. While these pooches are known to be fearless and intelligent, they are generally friendly and gentle.

When choosing a Cavanese puppy for you and your family, temperament is a major consideration. Pick a well-bred puppy from a responsible breeder. That way, you can get a good idea of how your puppy may turn out.

When a Cavanese joins a household, he expects to be a vital part of the family. In return, he offers unconditional love, loyalty, entertainment and pleasure. He simply enjoys making his family happy.


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Behavior With kids:

Cavanese dogs are playful dogs who get on well with kids. Being relatively small, however, it is important to ensure your Cavanese puppy isn’t handled roundly by small kids to avoid injury.

As with all breeds, socialization and supervision are vital. Your Cavanese pups should learn basic rules and small kids should be taught to be gentle, kind and considerate.

Children should not be allowed to tease puppies in any way. Proper and gentle handling should be taught and encouraged by an adult.

Not only will your Cavanese be a friend and playmate, he will also be a reliable member of your family who requires love, care and attention in return.

LEARN ABOUT IT: 5 Signs Of A Jealous Dog And How to Deal With It.

Behavior with Cats:

Cavanese dogs get on well with other kinds of pets, but some may develop a habit of chasing cats and other small animals.

It’s a natural instinct, and doesn’t necessarily mean the Cavanese dog is aggressive. Proper training and early socialization can help prevent this behavior.

Behavior with Other Dogs:

The Cavanese also loves other dogs, so if you want to add more dogs to your household or you’d like to take part in dog meetups, the Cavanese can be a great choice.


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Do Cavanese Make Good Family Pets?

Yes! Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Havanese are sociable and get along well with children and other pets.

They also adapt well to all kinds of living environments, including apartments and other small living spaces.

Both breeds also need attention and a lot of quality playtime with their owner and family. If you can meet their needs, then the Cavanese can fit well into your family.


Cavanese dogs are cute and adorable. They are also smart and quite easy to train. However, don’t let his charm fool you into allowing any bad habits.

Be firm in your training sessions, and your Cavanese will be a well-mannered, obedient and trusted four-legged friend.

The most difficult issue when it comes to training is housetraining. Small dog breeds are generally slow to housetrain. You need to curb excessive barking as well.

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As with any breed, it is strongly recommended to start training immediately you bring your puppy home to avoid problems. The Cavanese can be taught to utilize a litter box, which can come in handy during training.

Be sure to use positive training methods that include the use of rewards, treats and praise because these dogs don’t respond well to harsh or negative training.

Cavanese dogs are generally eager to please, so provided you establish yourself as the pack leader, you will achieve the desired results.

As with all dogs, the Cavanese will definitely benefit from proper training and early socialization as well. Let your best friend meet a lot of other people and other pets so he can grow into a confident and calm dog in different situations.

ALSO READ: 13 Common Dog Training Mistakes You Ought to Avoid

Exercise Needs

The small Cavanese is fairly energetic and playful, so he will need daily exercises in addition to a wide range of interactive dog toys to keep him busy and mentally stimulated.

You can take your Cavanese for a walk at least once a day or you can take him to a nearby dog park to meet and play with other canines.

If you have a fenced-in yard, you can let your dog run and play around off leash and he will certainly enjoy playing games such as fetch and hide-and-seek with you.

Try to give you dog at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day along with different forms of playtime to help strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

Cavanese Shedding

So, is the Cavanese hypoallergenic? Well, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Havanese Mix is not hypoallergenic, but the Havanese parent is known for his low-shedding coat.

In fact, Havanese dogs shed none to minimal. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about dog hair covering your couch or car. Cavanese dogs can be an ideal choice for you if you don’t tolerate pet hair.

However, no dog is completely hypoallergenic. Different dogs or pets will provoke different levels of allergic reactions, depending on the owner’s sensitivity to pet hair.

Cavanese Grooming

If you have a Havanese Cavalier Mix or are considering getting one, bear in mind that these dogs should be groomed regularly. However, this task should not be difficult because the Cavanese is a small-sized dog.

Since the Cavanese dog’s coat is very soft, it is not necessary to brush it too much and the job can be done quickly as well.

On the other hand, some dogs have curly hair and thorough brushing might be required.

A simple brushing once to thrice per week will keep this pup looking splendid, but this will again depend upon the type of coat your dog has.

To remove any tangles, make sure to work through them with a wide-toothed comb. The hair cutting routine will also depend on the type of coat your Havanese Cavalier Mix puppy has inherited.


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If your dog has inherited the Havanese coat, you may want to clip it every few months to keep it neat and tidy.

If your pup has the coat of the Spaniel breed, only areas near the ears and between the toes should be clipped. However, keep in mind that shaving down your dog’s coat can leave him prone to harmful sunburns.

Bathe your Cavanese once a month to get rid of any dirt if you live in a hot and humid area. If you live in a cold and dry area, however, bathe your pup less often.

Keep in mind that washing your Cavanese too frequently will remove natural oils from his skin and leave his coat without its natural shine and glow. When you are not bathing your dog, use deodorizing wipes to keep his skin and coat looking good.

Also, check and clean your dog’s ears regularly to prevent infection. You should also brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent dental issues.

RELATED: 9 Tips To Clean A Dog Without A Bath

The Cavanese Diet & Feeding Information

Due to their small size, your Cavanese dog will usually not need to eat more than one cup of high quality dog food each day.

It is also advisable to divide this food into two meals to avoid bloat. A tool like an automatic dog feeder comes in handy here.

These dogs usually spend much of the day napping and lounging around, so they won’t feel hungry as quickly as you may imagine.

Nonetheless, if he’s hungry between the two meals, it is fine to give him treats. Also, make sure your pup has access to fresh water to help keep him hydrated.


Since the Cavanese is generally a healthy breed, your pup should live a long life.

Cavanese dogs can live up to 15 years, as long as the dog is properly taken care of.

Cavanese Health Issues

Since the Cavanese is a mixed breed dog, he might inherit certain health problems that affect his parents.

However, it is impossible to predict the exact health issues that an individual dog will suffer from, but there’s also no guarantee that your puppy will suffer from any of these issues.

The good thing is that hybrid dogs tend to be generally healthy and strong. Be sure to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder who can produce the health records of both parent dogs and work with your veterinarian to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Some of the health problems that affect the Havanese and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel include hip and joint dysplasia, chondrodysplasia, patellar Luxation, mitral valve disease, Legg-Calve Perthes, heart problems, liver problems, skin issues, ear problems and eye conditions.

Fortunately, dog DNA testing is advancing at a rapid rate with new and better tests constantly being introduced to help dog owners to properly diagnose inherited conditions before they become a major problem for their pets.

For more information on DNA testing for your furry friend, be sure to check out the Embark Dog DNA Test.

How Much Does a Cavanese Puppy Cost?

Small, sturdy and packed with charm, the Cavanese is a pooch who easily coaxes happiness from his family and owner.

But while this cute and adorable pup is poised to bring smiles to your face every day, will adding one to your family be too much for your pocket?

Well, the average Cavanese price ranges from $900 to $1,100. This high price for Cavanese puppies for sale is due to the fact that there’s a high demand for these dogs and that both parent dogs are quite expensive as well.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel typically costs anywhere between $1,200 and $1,400 while the price of the Havanese dog is around $1,000.

Finding Reputable Cavanese Breeders

Due to the high demand and price, it is not uncommon for backyard breeders and puppy mills to try to offer a cheaper hybrid dog instead of a genuine Cavanese.

If you are looking for an authentic Cavanese dog, it is imperative to work with a reputable breeder.

It is also important to ensure you have some knowledge of your pet’s heritage, so you can be familiar with any potential health problems that may occur in the future. A trustworthy breeder should provide this information, along with other important details.

As always, it is best to check the health records of both of the parent dogs to ensure you are getting a quality and healthy Cavanese puppy.

ALSO READ: Everything You Need To Know About The Cavapoo

Cavanese Dog Rescue

Since these pups are quite rare, it may be difficult to find this exact mix listed for adoption at a shelter or animal rescue near you.

It is best to check with breed-specific rescues and shelters, which sometimes take in mixes and purebreds that have a certain breed in them.

Given the health problems involved, adopting a dog may be a great option since you know more about the health condition of a full grown dog.


The Cavanese dog boasts the loving, gentle personality of his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parent and the charm and intelligence of his Havanese parent.

These little dogs will fit in with most households. They are trustworthy enough to be around small kids, yet active enough to play games with older children.

He will cheerfully walk and play around each day and then come and curl up on the sofa with other members of the family.

He is easy to train and responds well to treats and rewards. Early socialization can help ensure you have a well-behaved pup.

If you want a small, friendly and intelligent dog that will stop at nothing to bring smiles to your face and joy to your heart each and every day, then the Cavanese can be a great choice for you.


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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