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Cavanese (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & Havanese Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Height: 8-13 inches
Weight: 7-15 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Brown, fawn, black, white, pied
Suitable for: Active families with children, looking for a sweet, easygoing dog
Temperament: Loyal easy to train, affectionate, playful

The Cavanese is a friendly, happy pup that will melt your heart because he’s so cute. This sweetie is a cross between the adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the cheerful Havanese. He succeeds admirably in his purpose as a gentle companion dog. His personality makes him an ideal family pet. It also helps that the Cavanese is intelligent and easy to train.

The Cavanese is a loyal pup and affectionate with just about anyone he meets. While he’s not the best watchdog, he is entertaining, even with his occasional naughty streak. Perhaps it’s because of his history as a pet of the nobility that explains the latter. Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Havanese grew up in the lap of luxury—literally!

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Cavanese Puppies – Before You Welcome One Into Your Family…


The essential thing to understand about the Cavanese and Cavanese puppies is that he loves people and needs their attention. In return, you’ll have a loyal pet. That also means he’s prone to separate anxiety if he doesn’t get enough love. However, he makes it so easy with his playful and friendly nature. The Cavanese is active but more easygoing than other breeds that are more intense. He’s just content with the company.

Both parent breeds are adaptable. The Cavanese, therefore, will do well either in the city or the country. The Havanese in him will tolerate warm weather reasonably well, while the Cavalier is okay with mildly cold weather. Cavanese puppies are smart pets that make an excellent choice for the first-time dog owner. Overall, the Cavanese is an outgoing pooch that is eager to please.

3 Little-Known Facts About Cavanese

1. All of the Havanese in the World Can Trace Their History to 11 Dogs

The Havanese has a storied history that goes back to the days of Christopher Columbus and Spain’s reign over Cuba. Early settlers brought the pups to Colonial Cuba, where they eventually became the national dog. The Cuban Revolution in the 1950s changed everything. Those fleeing the country managed to bring 11 Havanese out of harm’s way. The rest, as they say, is history.

2. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Has Been the Model for Several Famous Artists

Several painters from the past fell under the spell of the charming Cavalier. One of the first works was William Secord’s book “Dog Painting,” featuring a work by Antonio Pisano in 1440. Other artists took up their brushes to honor this delightful pooch, including Gainsborough, Van Dyck, and even Rembrandt.

3. The Parent Breeds of the Cavanese Have Major Star Power

As cute as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Havanese are, it’s easy to understand how so many people have fallen in love with them. The Cavalier counts King Charles I, Queen Victoria, Mickey Rooney, and Frank Sinatra among his admirers. The Havanese has a loyal following with the likes of Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Joan Rivers, and Ernest Hemingway.

Parent Breeds of the Cavanese
Image Credit: (L) Jumpstory | (R) Dorotthya Mathe, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cavanese 🧠

The Cavanese is a lovable pooch. One look will tell you why. Both parent breeds are intelligent dogs in their own right. That makes this hybrid equally easy to train. He is a sensitive dog that won’t respond well to harsh words if he misbehaves. However, it’s essential to take the lead in training to curb some of the bad habits associated with them, including barking.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Cavanese is an excellent choice for families with children of all ages. He will love everyone. He is a kid-friendly pet. We suggest reminding younger kids to be gentle with him. It probably doesn’t help that he looks so much like a stuffed animal for cuddling. The Cavanese is also stranger-friendly. Early socialization can make sure he retains this charming trait.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Cavanese is generally dog-friendly, too. He’ll make friends easily with the other dogs in the neighborhood, especially if he gets acquainted with others early in life. However, he is moderately territorial, which isn’t surprising, given the background of both parent breeds. The Havanese in him has a stronger prey drive. He may give the family cat a hard time, occasionally.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cavanese:

It’s always smart to know what you’re getting into when buying a pet for both your family and the pup. There are some basic facts that you should know upfront that apply to any small breed, including the Cavanese. The particulars rest with the personalities of the two parents. You’ll likely find that one is more dominant than the other, showing a greater influence on the Cavanese’s temperament.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Feeding a small dog means paying attention to his appetite closely. Cavanese are susceptible to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar if they use up their energy stores too quickly. The best way to handle this condition is with small, spaced meals. We recommend three feedings for puppies and two for adults. You’ll find it easier to keep track of his daily intake if you stick to a regular schedule.

We’d also suggest keeping the treats just for training. We get it. The Cavanese is so adorable that anyone would want to make him happy. As we mentioned, the parent breeds are prone to gaining weight. We think it’s more because he’s so cute than any physical reason.

Image Credit: Russell Altieri, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

Both the Cavalier and the Havanese tend to gain weight. That means you must make sure he gets plenty of exercise and playtime to keep it in check. Fortunately, the Cavanese is always ready for a game of catch, which will make this task that much easier for you. He also has the energy to match and keep up with the activity.

Training 🦮

Positive reinforcement with treats is the best training method. He will respond well to your enthusiastic encouragement. The Cavanese has a moderate tendency toward nipping that you’ll need to control early on because of his sharp puppy teeth. Make sure that he doesn’t get too many rewards to avoid unhealthy weight gain.

Image Credit: Finnish LL Photography, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The good news is that both parent breeds shed only occasionally. The Havanese has a denser coat that you must brush a few times a week to avoid mats. You might consider getting a puppy cut for him if his fur is long. The Cavalier side of the Cavanese will need an occasional trim for his ears and feet. Light-colored dogs often develop tear stains that you should clean.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Don’t let the list of health issues turn you off from getting a Cavanese. Many of them are the same ones you’d see with any small breed. Remember that you can get screenings for them, which can give you some assurance of how fit your Cavanese is and the potential for future problems. Reputable breeders participate in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) program for the benefit of the canines.

Minor Conditions
  • Separation anxiety
  • Deafness
  • Eye infections
Serious Conditions
  • Syringomyelia
  • Heart conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

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Male vs Female

You will have an affectionate pet no matter which sex Cavanese you get. Both are equally loyal and friendly companion animals. It comes down to whether you want to breed your pup and the cost of getting them altered. If you don’t want a litter of puppies, we suggest you get your Cavanese spayed or neutered.

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There is so much to love about the Cavanese. He is the right size. The hybrid Cavanese brings the best of his parent breeds in an adorable pup that is loyal and affectionate. He is good with the kids and other people. While there are some health issues, regular veterinary care will help you manage your Cavanese. The essential thing to understand is that the Cavanese wants attention. If you can give it, you’ll have a great pet.

Featured Image Credit: michaelheim, Shutterstock

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