Cava-tzu: The tzu-per cute, smart and playful little dog for the whole family

Cava-tzu: The tzu-per cute, smart and playful little dog for the whole family 1

“Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Shih Tzu Mix”

The cava-tzu is a small, mixed-breed dog that will fit in nicely in most homes. It is friendly to little children and intelligent enough to be trained and taught tricks. It can also be a reliable watchdog, and it doesn’t require much grooming. But perhaps the cava-tzu’s best attribute is that it’s tzu-per cute and adorable! Few humans can resist the charms of this endearing little fur ball.


The cava-tzu is a hybrid dog with two purebred parents: the cavalier King Charles spaniel and the shih-tzu. As its name comes from its parents’ names, its characteristics are also largely inherited from its parents.

Like the cava-tzu, the cavalier King Charles spaniel is also a small dog that is well known for being very affectionate, playful, smart, courageous yet gentle, and sociable.

The shih-tzu, also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, is an even smaller dog that hardly weighs between 9 and 16 pounds, and grows up to no more than 11 inches high, in its adult years. It is also affectionate, playful, lively, smart and outgoing.

Combine these two small adorable purebreds, and you get the cava-tzu: a smart, loyal and loving dog that you will likely fall in love with too.

Appearance and physical features

The cava-tzu has an adorable teddy-bearish appearance that it retains up to its old age. It has a round face, as well as round, dark, button-like eyes, and a black, glossy nose. Its ears hang loose, reaching down almost to its neck. It has a moderate-to-dense silky coat very similar to that of its parent, the shih-tzu. This coat needs to be brushed and trimmed regularly as part of the pet’s normal maintenance.

It grows to an average height of 9 to 18 inches, and it weighs 10 to 16 pounds  on average.

General characteristics

Intelligence, loyalty, playfulness, affection, obedience and people-orientedness are the traits that are commonly associated with the cava-tzu. No wonder the whole family, especially little children, get along very well with this cuddly little dog.

Being intelligent and agile, the cava-tzu can be trained to take part (and win!) in dog competitions. With proper training, it can learn tricks that will further endear it to everyone. With its inborn obedience, and its eagerness to please its owners, the cava-tzu can also be trained to be a capable watchdog.Cava Tzu Dog

It is a small dog, usually weighing no more than 8 kilograms, but it is surprisingly active. It loves to have fun, run around, and play ball games. It has an innate athleticism that makes it a good jumper and an even better catcher. It especially enjoys catching and chasing things that its owner throws for it. It is happiest when its owners are also active people.

Still, the cava-tzu is a small dog, hence its energy supply isn’t endless. It does get tired easily, and loves to take a nap after playing. This nap can lengthen to a few hours’ sleep if the physical activity has been unusually long or wearing for it.

The cava-tzu is very sociable. It generally gets along well with everyone, including small children, the elderly, and other pets. It is also comfortable with strangers. Small children can be best friends with a cava-tzu. But of course, infants and toddlers still have to be watched when they are playing with the pet. It doesn’t take much to get the dog excited, and it loves to show its excitement (and affection) by jumping around and being very playful.

Life Span

The average life expectancy of a cava-tzu is 10 to 15 years. Considering that the cava-tzu is a small dog breed, this translates in human years to roughly 55 to 75 years.

Unlike humans, your cava-tzu will reach full sexual maturity just one year after being born. It generally ages very fast during the first two years of its life. This is true of all dogs in general. Thus, the first two years of your pet’s life are the most crucial times in terms of growth and development. This is when it should receive optimum nutrition and learn good behavior through training and play.


The cava-tzu enjoys playing indoors, so any house or apartment that allows this will generally be sufficient. A lawn or backyard where it can chase after balls and run around is ideal, but it is not an absolute necessity. When space is absent, a walk or a quick jog can provide the needed exercise for your dog. Thus, a dog-friendly neighborhood or a nearby park will be good to have for your cava tzu.

All dogs generally prefer a quiet environment to a noisy one, and the cava-tzu is no exception. This allows it to rest and sleep well when it needs to.  It is alright to have active children and other pets around, as long as they don’t over-stimulate your dog. In fact, the cava-tzu enjoys playing and being sociable. It just gets tired easily because of its small size (and therefore limited energy supply), and so it needs a good balance of play and rest, of activity and quiet.

The cava-tzu thrives in places where the weather is moderate to cold. It doesn’t take well to very warm weather. If you live in an area where the temperature gets high, keep your pet indoors where there is air-conditioning as much as possible.

The cava-tzu loves company, so ideally, its owners should be around most of the time, and they should have time to play with it.


The cava-tzu, while energetic, is a small dog, and so it doesn’t need too much exercise. It does, however, need to be active at least for a few hours each day.

Most of its exercise needs can be met by just playing with it indoors and letting it roam freely around the house or in the backyard, if this is a safe, enclosed space. Remove the leash if possible, at least some of the time, so it can get the right amount of exercise that it needs.

It is also a good idea to take the dog out regularly for a short walk or jog. Without this, it can become bored and start to spend its time just sleeping idly for many hours. When it gets bored and restless, it can develop destructive habits such as gnawing on furniture.


Go for high-quality dog food with the right amount of nutrition, as recommended by your dog’s veterinarian. This will usually be the same as what he would recommend for a typical shih-tzu.

Keep in mind that proper nutrition is especially important during the puppy and growing-up years of your cava-tzu.


The cava-tzu requires moderate maintenance in terms of grooming. Keep its fur in good shape with regular brushing, about two to three times a week. Regular trimming is also recommended. If left untrimmed for too long, the cava tzu can have really long hair that will be hard to care for.

On your regular trips to the vet, have your cava-tzu groomed while it gets its vaccine shots. At home, you might also want to play with your pet’s looks and experiment with different hairstyles, hair accessories and dog clothes.

Your dog is naturally cute, and good grooming will accentuate its good looks even more.

Be aware that the cava-tzu sheds a moderate amount of hair around the house, so a vacuum cleaner is a handy thing to have when you have this pet.

cava-tzu breed


The cava-tzu is easy to train because it is born intelligent and agile, and because it loves to please its owners. It won’t take much effort to potty-train and house-train it. It is also easy to teach general good behavior and tricks to a cava tzu.

Ideally, training should start when it is just a puppy, that is, in its first year of existence. Begin with the basics: potty training, housebreaking, obedience training, and getting used to routines (of feeding, sleeping, playtime, etc.). Also, let your dog learn to socialize by allowing it to mingle with children and other pets, and by exposing it to other people such as your neighbors and their children. Taking it out for walks is a great way to accomplish this. At the same time that it is learning to socialize, it also gets the exercise it needs.

While training your puppy, give it praise whenever it demonstrates good or desired behavior. Also give it treats when it learns what you are trying to teach it, such as a new trick. This will encourage your cava-tzu to continue behaving as you want it to behave, and to recognize what is “good” versus “bad.” Avoid being rude, but sometimes, you will have to scold your puppy and be firm with it so it will know how not to behave. But never scold your puppy unnecessarily. Remember to be patient with it, but be firm.

Of course, it is best if the puppy learns how to behave from you as its owner, but if you have to, you can hire a professional trainer to work with your cava-tzu.

Health concerns

With a good diet, some exercise, and the proper care, your cava-tzu should thrive and live a long and happy life.

It does need regular vaccinations, as do all dogs. You must bring it to the vet for this according to the correct schedule. This helps immensely to keep it disease-free.

One thing to keep in mind is to avoid over-feeding this dog. It has a high tendency to get fat if its owners feed it all the time.

Some diseases to watch out for are kidney and bladder problems, patellar luxation, eye diseases, and umbilical hernia. Liver and heart problems, as well as falls and accidents are also things to watch out for in your cava-tzu. But these are avoidable with the usual care.

Your pet is not particularly prone to allergies, ear infections, dental issues, snuffles or hip dysplasia, like some other dogs are. When you feed and groom it well, and keep it in a clean environment, it shouldn’t have any of these health issues.


 A cava-tzu is a lovely, affectionate pet to have. Any family, especially those with children, will enjoy having it as a playmate and companion. The dog isn’t hard to care for, needing just a little exercise and a moderate amount of grooming. In return, it will give you tons of affection, loyalty, entertainment—and the best foot-warming you can possibly want.

This small dog is intelligent, and you can easily teach it tricks and even enter it in dog contests. Its teddy-bear good looks makes it all the more desirable as a family pet. If you have been thinking of getting a cava tzu, go get one now.

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