The Cava-Chin: A Complete Guide

Last Updated:

The Cava-chin is the hybrid of two of the most well-known and loved lapdogs in the world.

These little dogs are perfect companions for people who live in a smaller home since they do not need a lot of outdoor space to run around in.

They usually prefer to stay indoors and can be found lounging around in one of their favorite cozy spots.

Cava-chins are often described as cat-like in nature. They are social when they want to be, but for the most part, they are independent and prefer to spend their time alone or at arm’s length.

This makes them a great option for people who are looking for a toy-sized dog that they don’t have to devote a lot of time and energy into.

Usually, the best way to figure out exactly how your hybrid will behave is to look at the character traits of the parenting breeds.

Japanese Chins have an interesting history. They were one of the few Japanese dogs that were bred specifically as a companion.

The traditional ideology about dogs in Japan is that they are meant to work and keep vermin away from the house.

The Japanese Chin was one of the first dogs to be introduced into the culture which was the furthest thing possible from a working dog.

Japanese Chins were primarily favored by Asian royalty and were common to see in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean courts. They are very independent, yet affectionate dogs.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was also bred as a companion. They are the smallest breed of Spaniel and are considered to be a toy-sized dog.

These dogs are renowned for their ability to be easily trained and are incredibly affectionate little puppies.

However, unlike the Japanese Chin, they need constant attention to remain happy and healthy.

When you combine these two breeds in the hybrid Cava-chin, you get a wonderful small family dog that is relatively independent like the Chin but has the affectionate and caring nature of the Spaniel.

The breed has slowly been picking up popularity around the world.

Breeders in America, Japan, and even Europe have begun carrying this dog to sell to both high-end customers and busy workers in the city.

Cava-chin Puppies – Before You Buy…

Cava-Chin on the floor
The Cava-chin is a great house dog.

Although they are small and adorable, these dogs can fetch a high initial price which can deter a lot of first-time buyers.

If you can pay this, however, you will find the Cava-chin to be a rewarding housepet.

They are independent enough to be left alone for people with a busy schedule and affectionate enough to spend time with you at the end of your day.

What Price are Cava-chin Puppies?

Because of the high price of both of the parenting breeds and the fact that they don’t have large litters, you can expect to pay around $1,500 for your first Cava-chin puppy.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can easily cost up to $3,000, and Japanese Chins usually go for around $2,000.

When you look at the price that the dealer has to pay to get high pedigree breeder dogs, then you’ll see that $1,500 for a Cava-chin is quite a steal.

As this dog becomes even more popular over the years, however, it may see an increase in price.

How to Find Reputable Cava-chin Breeders?

These dogs are easily confused with another popular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel hybrid, the Cavapom. In fact, sometimes they look almost identical.

The main difference you will see is in the fur color.

Your breeder must know that he has a Japanese Chin instead of a Pomeranian as the parenting dog, as these two can often get mixed up and will result in very different dogs.

However, a reputable breeder will know what they are doing, and you usually won’t have to worry about any confusion.

The price that you should pay for your Cava-chin puppy will be largely dependent upon what type of pedigree the parenting dogs have so it’s important to take a look at the pedigree information before you decide on a final price for this dog.

3 Little-known facts about Cava-chin puppies

  1. Cava-chin puppies are very social when you first bring them home but will become more independent and antisocial the older that they get.
  2. These puppies generally tend to want to stay indoors, but you should make sure that they get fresh air a few times a week.
  3. Cava-chins are very playful little dogs, and they particularly love having a good chew toy around.
Cava-Chin sleeping on bed
The Cava-chin is small and independent.

Physical Traits of the Cava-chin

The Cava-chin is a toy-sized dog that inherits the long torso of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the short, stubby legs of the Japanese Chin.

It has a slightly angular build that is a trait passed down from the Spaniel’s origins as a hunting dog.

These dogs have very expressive faces and are known for making adorable puppy dog faces when they want a treat. It’s very hard to say no to them.

Their eyes are usually deep-set underneath a slightly protruding forehead that the breed gets from the Japanese Chin.

Their most notable feature is their long drooping ears which are an exact replica of the Spaniels.

As mentioned above, this dog looks very similar to the Cavapom hybrid, and the main distinguishing feature is the fact that the Cava-chin usually has white and black fur, whereas the Cavapom tends to have the white and golden fur of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

How Big is a Full-Grown Cava-chin?

This dog is classified as being a toy-sized dog, and you will rarely see a Cava-chin that is heavier than 17 or 18 pounds.

Their average weight is right around 15 pounds which makes them very easy to carry around or take on road trips. These dogs usually stand about 10 inches tall.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Cava-chin?

The Cava-chin has a life expectancy of around 13 years which is good when looking for a small dog. The happier and healthier that they are, the longer that they can live.

This makes the breed a good option for people who don’t deal well with the loss of a pet.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Cava-chin

Tired Cava-Chin
The Cava-chin is a toy-sized dog.

Like most Cavalier King Charles hybrids, the Cava-chin has a moderate level of intelligence.

They aren’t incredibly smart, but they can easily be house trained and taught basic obedience if you use the right methods.

They are generally people pleasers and will do their best to understand what you are saying. Cava-chins don’t respond well to harsh words and yelling, so they are best trained using positive encouragement and treats.

Cava-chins have little to no temper to speak of. They usually keep to themselves and somebody or something is bothering them, then they’ll retreat to a quiet corner to be by themselves.

You will rarely ever have to worry about this dog behaving aggressively. They can be very shy around strangers or people who are introduced to them later in life.

Cava-chins form deep attachments to their owners at an early age and will prefer to be around these people above anybody else.

These dogs are known for their playful personality, and when they aren’t being lazy and sleeping in their favorite armchair, they do enjoy playing games and chasing around small toys.

The Cava-chin’s Diet

This small, sedentary dog doesn’t usually need more than 1.5 cups of food per day.

If they are on the larger side, then you can increase this to 2 if you find that they are constantly hungry and begging for food.

It’s important that you don’t allow these dogs to overeat or feed them human food, however.

Their stomachs are unable to process most human food, and if they become obese, they run the risk of developing dog diabetes and joint pain.

How Much Exercise Does the Cava-chin Need?

Cava-chins are quite sedentary dogs, and they don’t need to be taken out for exercise often.

Once in a while, they do enjoy being taken out for a brief walk, but for the most part, they instead prefer to be kept inside where they can stay unbothered by other people or dogs.

As long as they are moving around for at least 30 minutes a day, then they are getting all of the aerobic activity that they need to stay healthy.

Cava-chin Health and Conditions

If this breed inherits the flatter face of the Japanese Chin, then they have been known to come down with breathing problems if they are over-exerted.

Some Cava-chins have also been known to develop heart murmurs as they are getting older.

Most reputable breeders will scan for these health conditions in the parents, however, and you usually won’t have to worry about this being an issue.

Final Thoughts on the Cava-chinCava-Chin guide

The Cava-chin is a great small and independent house dog which makes them a great option for busy professionals.

They don’t mind being left at home for half the day while you’re at work or school and will find a way to occupy themselves.

Cava-chins offer enough affection to provide companionship for most people and are low-maintenance for the most part.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

Info Sources: 1, 2, 3