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Cava Tzu (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & Shih Tzu Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info & Care

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cava Tzu (Shih Tzu x Cavalier King Charles Spaniel)

Cava Tzu (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & Shih Tzu Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info & Care

The cute and cuddly Cava Tzu brings together the best characteristics of both their parent breeds, the Shih Tzu and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. A pint-sized pup with a big personality, the Cava Tzu is sweet-natured and eager to please.

Breed Overview


9–18 inches


10–16 pounds


12–15 years


Brown, black, pied, white

Suitable for:

Novice dog owners, families with young children, apartment dwellers


Loyal and loving, playful, eager to please, friendly

Perfect for first-time dog owners, families with young children, and even senior citizens, the Cava Tzu is a pocket-sized pup that will supply you with endless amounts of love and loyalty for years to come.

Are you thinking about adding a Cava Tzu to your household? Here’s everything you need to know about this adorable designer dog.

Cava Tzu Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Cava Tzu Puppies

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner looking for your forever furry friend or an experienced owner who wants to add a compact canine to your family, the Cava Tzu is sure to make an excellent companion! A hybrid dog developed by breeding a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Shih Tzu (or the Lion Dog), the Cava Tzu possesses desirable traits of each breed, including a small size, an easygoing personality, and hypoallergenic qualities.

As a designer dog, this little dog cannot join the AKC’s roster of purebred dogs. However, this doesn’t make the Cava Tzu any less desirable! Due to the increased popularity of designer dogs, demand for this little pup is on the rise. While this makes the Cava Tzu more accessible, it also increases the number of bad breeders trying to make a quick buck on this fashionable dog. Puppy mills are taking full advantage of the hybrid dog trend and producing puppies at staggering rates. While these low-quality breeders will generally sell their dogs at appealingly low prices, the puppies can suffer from numerous health and behavior issues, including parasites, mange, aggression, and shyness.

It’s important to always buy your Cava Tzu puppy from a responsible and reputable breeder. Of course, you’ll also have to stock up on puppy essentials for your new four-legged family member, including a crate, toys, food, bedding, leash and collar, and more.

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Image by: Left-  Ihar Halavach, Shutterstock | Right – Lenkadan, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cava Tzu 🧠

The Cava Tzu is an even-tempered and outgoing dog that embodies the best traits of both of their parent breeds. An occasional barker, they are a great pet for families with young kids and single seniors. Kind-hearted and highly intelligent, the Cava Tzu is a compassionate companion that can learn new tricks with ease. But sometimes, their quick wit and curiosity can get the better of them. Whether they slip through a hole in the fence or wriggle out of their harness, the Cava Tzu is a true escape artist. Always be sure to keep a close eye on this dog if they’re playing in the backyard or out for a walk with you.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Cava Tzu makes an excellent pet for just about anyone! Whether you have a large family with young children or are an older adult living in an apartment, this breed is great for all kinds of people.

When it comes to children, the Cava Tzu makes a wonderful playmate. Their small stature ensures that they won’t accidentally injure your tots during playtime. They are also extremely energetic and can always keep up. But that doesn’t mean that this dog doesn’t enjoy lounging around or napping on the couch. The Cava Tzu is truly a little lap dog!

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

They sure do! The Cava Tzu’s even temperament makes them a great addition to a multi-pet home. They have enough spunk and courage to play with bigger breeds and enough patience to tolerate the family cat.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cava Tzu

As with any other dog, buying a Cava Tzu is a life-changing decision. While this designer dog isn’t as high maintenance as some other breeds, they do need daily exercise, affection, and mental stimulation.

Here’s everything you need to know about caring for a Cava Tzu before taking the plunge.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

While energetic, the Cava Tzu doesn’t require extensive amounts of playtime. To offset this, be sure to feed your dog a high-quality, high-protein kibble that is specially formulated for their age, activity level, and size. Cava Tzus are prone to obesity, so feed them no more than 1 cup of kibble divided into two meals every day. This will likely cost you about $20 per month.

Only give your Cava Tzu treats and tasty tidbits in moderation to keep the extra pounds off.

Exercise 🐕

The Cava Tzu is a playful breed that doesn’t require large amounts of vigorous exercise. About 40 minutes of exercise each day will do the trick. You can divide that time into short walks, outdoor romps in the backyard, and indoor play sessions.

As with any dog, mental stimulation is as important as physical exercise for this breed. Provide your Cava Tzu with lots of toys and attention to ward off boredom.

Training 🎾

The Cava Tzu is certainly a sharp little dog that loves to learn! Although they won’t knock over a person by jumping on them, you should still teach your dog good manners. Cava Tzus are people-centric dogs that love to please. Due to this, positive reinforcement training works best for this breed. Always provide plenty of verbal praise when your dog follows commands.

Grooming ✂️

While there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, the Cava Tzu sure comes close! This hybrid breed is a low shedder and doesn’t require tons of brushing. Their straight, dense fur only needs one weekly brushing session using a pin brush or slicker brush. Trim their nails and clean their ears and eyes as needed. Don’t forget to brush your Cava Tzu’s teeth every day for optimal oral health.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Eye problems
  • Reverse sneezing
Serious Conditions
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Syringomyelia
  • Patellar luxation

While the Cava Tzu is generally a healthy little dog, they can develop certain health issues as they age. Routine wellness appointments, blood work, and X-rays as needed will ensure that your dog lives a long and healthy life.

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Male vs. Female

Both Cava Tzu sexes are affectionate and intelligent. The male Cava Tzu might be a little larger than the female, though.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Cava Tzu

1. They’re Descended From Royalty

The Cava Tzu’s parent breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was actually named by King Charles II, who was a breed enthusiast. The king wouldn’t go anywhere unless his three dogs were with him.

2. The Shih Tzu Is an Old Breed

That’s right! The Shih Tzu is more than 1,000 years old. This dog has even been traced as far back as 1,000 B.C. in China.

3. They Rarely Bark

Are you looking for a quiet dog? The Cava Tzu rarely ever barks!

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a first-time pup parent or a seasoned veteran, the Cava Tzu can make an amazing pet. Intelligent, affectionate, and downright adorable, this small dog is great with just about everyone, people and pets included.

If you’re on the hunt for a superb little dog, the Cava Tzu could be perfect for you!

Looking for more crossbreeds? We have articles about both Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mixes and Shih Tzu Mixes!

Featured Image Credit: Erik Lam, Shutterstock

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