Cava-Tzu

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Great Britain <> Tibet -> U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Cava-Tzu

The Cava Tzu is a hybrid dog, a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Shih Tzu. It's a small dog that doesn't require large amounts of exercise or space to live, and isn't a big barker. This, combined with their exceptionally affectionate nature, makes them an ideal partner as a family dog or for elderly people looking for a gentle stroll. In appearance, Cavalier descent is generally more common, which has the advantage of slightly elongating the Shih Tzu's flat muzzle. However, this Cavalier parentage may mean more than their fair share of health problems, as conditions such as heart disease and syringomyelia are common in the breed.

History of the Cava-Tzu

Hybrid breeds, such as the Cava Tzu, are relatively new to the scene. As such, their history is very much that of their parent breeds.
        

A little of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

        
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, as its name suggests, was a favorite of royalty. Famous royal owners include Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth I, Charles I and II. Their heritage dates back to the 16th century, when they were selectively bred from other sporting Spaniel breeds. Originally, they were much more sponge-like, but over time were bred with shorter muzzles and more baby-like faces, making them popular as pets. This coincided with the rise of flatter-faced dogs such as Pugs and Pekingese. For a time, the latter breeds were more fashionable and usurped the Cavalier, whose numbers plummeted for a time with a resurgence in popularity in the 20th century.
Standard of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A little of the Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is reputed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They originated in China under the name Little Lion Dog. However, their nickname Chrysanthemum Dog is perhaps more appropriate, given their gentle nature. Highly prized by the Chinese nobility, they were rarely seen outside China, and it was only towards the end of the 19th century that a pair of dogs was exported to the Western world. This pair became the foundation of the Western breed as we know it today.
Standard of the Shih Tzu

Appearance of the Cava-Tzu

The Cava Tzu can lean more on one side of the family tree than the other. This means that in a litter of puppies, some will look more like a Cavalier than a Shih Tzu, and vice versa. Those puppies that truly mix will be small or toy-sized, with small round faces, bright eyes, black leather noses, floppy ears and curly tails. They have an abundance of soft fur with a thick, silky texture. Most often, their coat is white with brown, ruby, tan or black patches on the eyes, ears and part of the trunk.

Temperament of the Cava-Tzu

The Cava Tzu is defined by its loving, affectionate nature. Here's a little dog that simply loves to be with its owner, but accepts when the latter has to go out. They're not excessive barkers either, so their love of naps makes them suitable for apartment living. A well-socialized Cava Tzu's aim in life is to make friends with everyone. It's a rare phenomenon when a dog breed gets along with cats and other pets, and fortunately this is the case for most Cava Tzus. And, when it comes to people, they'd rather give them a loving lick than think about biting. The Cava Tzu is also a mischievous player and always enjoys playing ball or meeting new people.

Needs and activities of the Cava-Tzu

A Cava Tzu doesn't require much exercise and will happily play games in an apartment or fenced yard. Short walks to the beach or a dog park will be appreciated, but they don't need long walks. They tolerate cold more than heat, so don't walk them when it's very hot outside. The breed is inclined to put on weight. Therefore, even if they are happy to be carried, exercise should not be neglected. They are intelligent dogs, so will appreciate training and obedience classes. The breed is prone to jumping when excited, so training will help with that. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs more exercise than a Shih Tzu. So it depends on which breed your dog takes after more.

Maintenance of the Cava-Tzu

The Cava Tzu needs a moderate amount of grooming and will need its coat brushed about twice a week. Depending on the length of the coat, it may need trimming from time to time, especially the hair around the ears. They shed a moderate amount, but it's not necessary to bathe the breed, but only when necessary and always with a dog shampoo, so as not to irritate the skin. The Cava Tzu is not considered a hypoallergenic breed. Brush your dog's teeth every day if they allow it. It's a good idea to start young so that it becomes a habit. They are prone to dental problems, so good dental hygiene is essential. Clean the ears with a damp cotton ball every week and check whether the nails need to be trimmed regularly.

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