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Cava-Chin | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cavachin happy in grass

Height: 8 – 12 inches
Weight: 14 – 18 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 14 years
Colors: White, brown, red, fawn, black, sable, brindle, tan
Suitable for: Families with older children. People in apartments or houses
Temperament: Sweet and playful. Affectionate, social, and easy-going. Spunky with a good memory

If you are a first-time pet-owner and you are looking for a small pup to bring home, the Cava-Chin is an adorable designer breed with a lot of charm. This lap-size dog is a mix of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Japanese Chin. Bred into one dog, they make a smart, playful, and spirited pet with an enchanting demeanor.

Owning a toy dog has a lot of benefits, but many people mistakenly believe that a smaller frame means they are easier to care for. Unfortunately, that is not always the case which is why you want to do your homework on the breed you are considering.

If you have your heart set on the Cava-Chin then you have come to the right place! We will outline exactly why this pooch is right for you, and also provide some info on why this might be a breed you should leave to someone else.

Keep reading for all the details, plus lots and lots of adorable pics!

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Cava-Chin Puppies


The Cava-Chin makes an irresistible puppy that is hard to say no it. They are delicate, tiny, yet they possess a sweet temperament and spunky attitude that is too cute for words. As an adolescent canine, they will need to start their training, be given plenty of chew toys, and given plenty of love and attention.

You also want to ensure that this little tyke is handled properly. As they are so small, they can be injured quickly and easily. You will want to keep them away from any stairs they could fall. What’s more, be careful when they’re on furniture like your couch. Even a short tumble can cause injury. Finally, you want to teach your youngsters that a Cava-Chin is a pet and not a toy!

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Cava-Chin

1. The King Charles is known for being a comfort dog.

The King Charles Spaniel was originally bred as a hunting dog, and they were known as the “comforter spaniel.”

2. The Japanese Chin’s origin is a mystery.

The origin of the Japanese Chin is not known. That being said, some research shows they are distantly related to the Pekingese that came into existence in 620 AD.

3. There’s a bit of a size difference.

Interestingly, the female Cava-Chin is typically larger than the males. The male is also more prone to separation anxiety.

The parent breeds of Cava-Chin
The parent breeds of Cava-Chin: Left – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (otsphoto, Shutterstock) | Right – Japanese Chin (GoranH, Pixabay)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Cava-Chin🧠

Bred from two popular companion/toy breeds, the Cava-Chin is a sweet-natured, playful, and loving dog. They can be spunky and full of mischief, yet they are still easy-going, friendly, and intelligent. This little guy is very lively with a healthy love of activity. They quickly become attached to their humans and can be very affectionate.

You will find this little rascal has a mind of its own. The Cava-Chin can have a sassy side where they will push their interests. Add a little stubbornness, and you will find this miniature canine needs a firm yet gentle lead to follow.

This designer hybrid is also a social creature. They enjoy being in the spotlight, and they have a knack for keeping themselves theirs with tricks and cute antics. That being said, they can also suffer from separation anxiety. Although they are a good dog for a first-time owner, they are not recommended for people who spend hours away from home each day.

Are Cava-Chins Good for Families?🏡 

Cava-Chins make great family dogs. This spotlight-hog thrives in an environment where there are a lot of people around to play with them, cuddle with them, or just spend time with them. They are good with children, as well. The only thing to remember is that you will need to supervise your toddler when they play with this pooch. This dog has a long memory, and they can become timid or nippy if mistreated. As long as the kids are gentle with this pup, they will be gentle, friendly, and laid-back with them, too.

This breed also does well with one person as long as you have a lot of time to spend with them. Retirees or people who work from home are best. If you can bring them along to work, that will also work well. They are essentially a sweet and easy-going canine that does well in a social setting.

Do Cava-Chins Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽 

The Cava-Chin’s social nature extends from people to pets, as well. They will enjoy going to the dog park to meet some friends. They will also not mind having another canine in the house provided you can give each of them equal attention. With their spunky yet calm temperament, it typically works out well.

The only thing we would warn against in regards to other dogs is their anxiety can show up in a few different ways. You may remember that we mentioned this little pup watching out for their interests? Well, they can become grouchy if their food or toys are touched. Also, showing equal attention to each pup is key.

Also remember, socializing your pet at an early age will help them acclimate to other pets in the home.

Other Pets

That last statement is true for other animals, too. The more exposure they have to other animals like cats or rabbits, the more adjusted they will be. We will say, however, that this designer has some herding and hunting instincts that can be hard to shake.

Don’t be surprised if your Cava-Chin barks at or chases smaller pets. They will also go after smaller animals outside like squirrels or chipmunks. Unfortunately, if you don’t socialize your pup with your cat or other smaller pet when they are a puppy, it is probably not the best idea.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cava-Chin

The Cava-Chin is a really fun, unique, and adorable dog to have. Of course, there is a lot more to pet ownership, however. The cuteness can wear off quickly if you are not equipped to handle their everyday care.

The good news is, they are not too difficult to handle in terms of their everyday needs. Below, we will tell you everything you need to know.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴 

Let’s start with their diet. As you can imagine, this little pooch does not consume huge amounts of canine chow. They typically eat about a cup of kibble per day that you can break into two servings. You can also choose between either dry kibble or canned wet food. There is also the option of freeze-dried raw diets, plus you can make their meals at home.

Regardless of which food you choose, they should all be nutritious and healthy for your pet’s size, age, activity level, and overall health. This is where your vet comes in to help. As you pooch ages, their meal requirements will change. Your vet will be able to provide you with a good meal plan to support their lifestyle and keep them healthy.

This designer hybrid also doesn’t have any restrictions or allergies, but they can be prone to dental issues. For that reason, you want to stay away from food and treats that are high in sugars and artificial ingredients. As they are also prone to weight gain, it is another reason to stay away from those ingredients.


Although your Cava-Chin is an active and playful pup, they do not require a strenuous exercise routine. Daily outdoor activity of about 30 minutes is sufficient to keep them healthy and trim. Besides that, though, they also need some additional playtime. This can be done at a dog park, backyard, or even in the house.

They are smart little creatures, so they enjoy games and learning tricks. Keep in mind, you always want to keep them on a leash when you are out. Even in a fenced-in back yard, you will have to keep a close eye on them. They sometimes like to escape, but what’s more concerning is they like to chase cars.

You also want to be careful when the weather is hot and humid. If they take after the Japanese Chin side, their pushed snout can cause them to overheat quickly. Alternately, they will require a sweater during the winter to protect them from the cold.

Even though your Cava-Chin doesn’t need a lot of exercises, it’s still important to make sure they are getting all their excess energy out. Boredom and inactivity can cause them to be destructive. They will bark excessively, chew on things they are not supposed to and show other naughty behaviors.


Like we talked about in the personality section above, this little pooch can be stubborn and willful. This will require you to have patience while training them. They do like to push the boundaries, so they can get their way, but being consistent will make the world of difference.

We also mentioned that they have a good memory. For this reason, among others, we strongly recommend positive reinforcement when training. This will help with training and other areas. Starting training sessions as a puppy is also important.

The younger you start training the better, especially in socialization and housebreaking. Even as ads, a fall from a table or couch can cause the pup to injury themselves. Keeping their little paws on the floor is your best bet to keep them safe and avoid possible costly very bills.

Grooming ✂️

This is where things can get a bit more intense, but only a little. The Cava-Chin has a fluffy coat that needs to be taken care of regularly. You will want to use a pin brush on their fur a few times a week to keep them soft and shiny. You want to use a de-shedder brush, as well, to keep the fur from flying around your house.

You may also need to increase brushing during the change of season when their shed is worse. Typically, they have a moderate amount, but regular grooming will keep it to a minimum. You also need to bath them every four to six weeks depending on the need. You must use a de-shedder brush to remove any mats and tangles before giving them a tub, though. Once the mats get wet, you will not be able to get them out.

Other Grooming

You also want to keep an eye on your Cava-Chin’s ears and nails. The former should be cleaned once a week with a soft cloth and dog ear cleaning solution. The later should be done every time you can hear nails on the floor. That sound indicates their nails have grown too long.

As we mentioned, this designer breed has been known to have dental issues, therefore, brushing their teeth daily is important along with having their teeth inspected annually by your vet. We know brushing your dog’s teeth is not always easy, but if you start them as a puppy, you will be surprised at how quickly they become used to it. In fact, that holds true for all grooming sessions.

Health and Conditions❤️

You will be happy to note that the Cava-Chin is a fairly healthy pup. They don’t have a lot of predisposed conditions, yet there is always a chance that they can develop anything their parents suffered from. Also, lifestyle, diet, and age can play a role. Take a look at the serious and minor conditions that are possible for this pet.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Dental issues
  • Weight gain
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

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Final Thoughts: Cava-Chin

Overall, the Cava-Chin is a sweet, easy-going, and social designer breed that has a lot of personality and charm. They are loving, playful, and affectionate. They are happy to go on walks or enjoy a snooze on your lap. As a fairly easy dog to care for, they are an adorable companion for families, retirees, or singles.

You will find this dog will be able to thrive in an apartment setting or a house with a yard. Being a social and playful pet, they will get along with children and other dogs. Socialized early, they can even be content with a home full of other furry friends. We hope you enjoyed this article, and it has provided you with all the details you need on the Cava-Chin. Check back soon for our next mixed-breed feature!

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Featured Image Credit: StefanieMueller, Shutterstock

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