Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Posted January 18, 2015
Cavachons are small dogs, a Bichon Frise and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix. My parents got this dog from a breeder, and I was living with them at the time and participated in training extensively. Parker was a puppy when they picked him up, but a few months old and basic potty and obedience trained. However, as with dogs and all animals, personality develops with age and poses some new challenges.
One ongoing aspect of Parker is that he is incredibly bright and quick to train. As adorable as he is sharp, a few times showing a trick and rewarding with a dog treat will basically seal the deal on him mastering it. Parker pirouettes, stands on his hind legs, sits and lays down on command. Of course, this doesn't mean he isn't sassy and disobedient at times. He went thorough the standard puppy motions of stealing and destroying everyday objects, and when he wants attention, this still happens.
Parker is extremely territorial, and, as so many cute and innocent puppies do, he has taken over as head of the house. He has a designated spot on the couch, the bed, and more or less every area of the home. He will get upset and growl if this territory is crossed while he's there, but doesn't snap. Growling is pretty standard for him in terms of showing disapproval.
Health wise, Parker is very healthy. He does have a bit of a sensitive stomach, and I suggest utmost caution when giving any table food to Cavachons. Grooming is a bit of a task since long hair easily gets knotted, so it's important to regularly have Cavachons see a groomer. They are relatively low maintenance besides that and rarely, rarely shed.
One issue to address is the dynamic between him and a family cat. This cat had a rough upbringing and was mistreated, which has made him territorial and difficult to get along with. Cavachons are inherently very friendly and curious, so the two clash constantly. The cat has even drawn blood on Parker, because Parker doesn't know how or when to back off. If you have a rather unfriendly pet, I would not suggest such a vivacious breed of dog.
The last thing to note is that Parker is a very loud, sharp barker (as with most little dogs), but does so incessantly once put outside on his leash. Squirrels, birds, other dogs, etc. drive him absolutely wild. If he sees them out of the window, there is the same reaction. As I mentioned, this is very common dog behavior, but something to consider if you have easily disrupted neighbors or require some quiet.