Cava Tzu

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Cava Tzu

Canis lupus

Last updated: January 17, 2022
Verified by: IMP

Females are more territorial than males, but you can train this behavior out of them.

Cava Tzu Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Cava Tzu Conservation Status

Cava Tzu Locations

Cava Tzu Locations

Cava Tzu Facts

Name Of Young
Fun Fact
Females are more territorial than males, but you can train this behavior out of them.
playful and affectionate
United Kingdom

Cava Tzu Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type

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color: yellow;

Cava Tzu as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
– lbs
Female weight
– lbs

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View all of the Cava Tzu images!

This species is also known as the Chrysanthemum Dog, working as a companion to Chinese royals when it first was bred.

Bred as a mix between the Shih-Tzu and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the Cava Tzu has many coat varieties (though their look will depend on the unique genetics). Some puppies even feature a ruby-tinted coat. Their incredible intelligence and willingness to be trained make them ideal companions, and they won’t even need much exercise.

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Even with a few health concerns, the small companion dogs tend to live a long and loving life in anyone’s home.

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3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Cava Tzu

Here are a few brief pros and cons to owning a Cava Tzu.

Pros! Cons!
No unnecessary barking: As energetic as this pup might be, you won’t have to listen to them bark for hours or with every passing stranger by the door. Terrible watchdog: A lack of barking could be on both the pros and cons side, but it would be pretty challenging to know about any possible intruder with a quiet nature.
Minimal shedding: Though this dog is prone to some shedding, they generally are easy to keep under control with brushing through the week. Expensive: This breed is not as expensive as others, but the adoption price of a purebred is (at least) $500.
Friendly: This pup could not be more social! Adults and kids of all ages love the playful demeanor. Even complete strangers can’t help but give in when approached by one. Unpredictable features: Since this dog is a mix of two species, it is hard to predict their temperament and personality before they are born.

Size and Weight

The Cava Tzu is a small dog, so it falls into the “toy dog” category. Males and females alike only weigh about 10-16 lbs., standing about 18 inches tall. Their small size is complemented by a fine and silky coat that grows quite thick, requiring special attention for grooming to look as refined as possible.

As puppies, the Cava Tzu only weighs a few pounds when they are weaned from their mother.

Weight (Male): 10-16 pounds, fully grown
Weight (Female): 10-16 pounds, fully grown
Height (Male): 18 inches tall
Height (Female): 18 inches tall

Common Health Issues

When a breeder creates a mix like the Cava Tzu, they often benefit from eliminating the potential for specific health issues. However, they still have a few to face.

Health and Entertainment for your Cava Tzu

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Mitral Valve Disease is the most common condition, indicating that the dog is prone to heart failure. It is most often found in small dogs. They can also develop Syringomyelia (fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord) if there is a malformation.

Patellar luxation and hip dysplasia are common issues in the legs. While dysplasia indicates that the hip bone is out of its socket, patellar luxation occurs in the kneecaps. Limping on one leg is an indication of issues in the joints and bones.

Due to the flat face with the short nose, brachycephalic syndrome is a concern. Some minor issues include backward sneezing, dental issues, ear infections, and other problems requiring very little support. Luckily, all dogs do not develop these conditions, and they often live healthy lives.

Overall, the most common (and significant) health issues that this breed deals with include:

  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Syringomyelia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Eye Problems
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome

Temperament and Behavior

The affectionate nature of the Cava Tzu is part of the great appeal to families, mainly because it is one of the few small dog species to have such an agreeable temperament. They prefer to be around their family as much as possible, and they get rather excited around children and strangers.

As adaptable as the Cava Tzu’s personality is, it should come as no surprise that many older adults like to adopt these types of pups. Whether on their owner’s lap, in their arms, or running around the room, their most notable trait is their happy demeanor. They can even be left alone for hours on end for working adults without any issues.

How To Take Care of Cava Tzu

Whether you pursue adoption through a shelter or with a breeder, Cava Tzus (both puppies and adults) require specific care to make them feel welcome. Their food and grooming must be important, tending to their needs as you would any other pet.

The Best Dog Food for Cava Tzus

As small as the Cava Tzu dog may be, they still need about a cup of food each day, divided into two meals. Don’t leave food out for this pup to graze on, as it could lead to obesity. The dry food has to have high amounts of protein and fat, and owners should avoid ingredients like wheat and corn that cheapen the nutrition. If you add some wet food, be aware that they’ll consume many calories, but it gives them a little more moisture.

Since this breed can have mitral valve disease and an elevated heart failure risk, stay informed on the added heart failure risk of legumes in dog food, and try a legume-free dog food.

With this in mind, A-Z Animals’ favorite for the best Cava Tzu dog food is Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet | Small-Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.

The absence of legumes helps protect Cava Tzus’ heart health and longevity. Instead, the food is made of real chicken for hearty protein. There’s taurine with the dual benefit of nourishing the heart and the eyes. Plus, the calcium content sustains strong bones, teeth, and cartilage, and there’s copper for the connective tissues. So this food sets Cava Tzus up for mobile joints and good vision, too.

Click this link to purchase Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Small Breed Grain Free Dog Food on amazon.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken & Sweet Potato | Small-Breed Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food | 4-lb. Bag

  • Contains (1) 4 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
  • U.S. farm-raised chicken is the main ingredient
  • Supported by Natural Balance’s ‘Buy With Confidence’ guarantee, ensuring quality, safety, and nutrition in every bite

Maintenance And Grooming

With a medium-length coat, the Cava Tzu needs quite a bit of grooming to keep it looking smooth and beautiful. Their hair is dense but straight, requiring about twice-weekly brushings to avoid shedding. They even need regular trimming as their fur gets longer! However, the only time that a full bath becomes necessary is when the pup is exceptionally messy, protecting their otherwise sensitive skin. This dog is far from hypoallergenic, but the proper care bypasses the shedding that most owners fear.

If the dog will let you brush their teeth, daily upkeep is best.


Since Cava Tzus are intelligent and easy to train, making any obedience classes incredibly easy to take on. Both parent breeds – King Charles Spaniel and Shih Tzu – have the same level of intelligence and desire to please their owners. They like to jump and play, but a firm hand with positive reinforcement is well-equipped for any training.


With their small stature, this dog breed doesn’t require much activity to be happy and healthy. These dogs are just as comfortable playing around in an apartment as they are in a big yard, but watch the temperature! This dog is better suited to the cold than the heat, so you should reserve their physical activity for indoor time on hotter days.

Even though the Cava Tzu requires little activity, it is still imperative. With a propensity for obesity, make sure to get them out on a brief walk every day. Since they have a positive reaction to training, getting this pup out and about for activity is relatively easy.


These puppies are incredibly sweet and affectionate, much like their adult counterparts. Though they require less food, they still need the same attention for grooming, exercising, and socialization.

Cava Tzu And Children

Though most small dog breeds tend to get nippy with little ones in the house, that is not the case here. Instead, the Cava Tzu adores family members of all ages, and they barely even bark! With the proper training, they are at peace completely, but little ones should still have supervision while learning the appropriate ways to act around family pets.

Dogs similar to Cava Tzu

Other dog breeds similar to the Cava Tzu include the Shih-Tzu, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the Lhasa Apso.

  • Shih-Tzu. Often the dominant breed of the Cava Tzu, the Shih Tzu’s name means “little lion,” coming from Tibet where royals kept them close.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This breed stands proudly at 13 inches tall (maximum) and originally became popular due to English and Scottish nobility in the 14th century.
  • Lhasa Apso. This breed is a significant part of Tibetan culture, given as a sign of friendship (rather than being sold through a breeder).

Some of the popular names you may consider for your Cava Tzu dog breed include:

  • Dottie
  • Daisy
  • Fergus
  • Teddy
  • Ralph

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and — of course — pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Cava Tzu FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Cava Tzu dog?

A Cava Tzu dog combines the genetics of the Shih Tzu and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Sometimes, they are referred to as Chrysanthemum Dogs, and they were initially owned by individuals with a royal status in China.

Do Cava Tzus bark a lot?

Sometimes. This breed loves attention, jumping around to get it. However, this type of dog rarely barks in most cases, which is why breeders do not recommend their adoption as a watchdog.

How much do Cava Tzu puppies cost?

Adoption of a purebred puppy from a breeder can cost $500 to $1,000, depending on the source.

How do I care for a Cava Tzu dog?

Like any species, this type of dog needs daily food (about 1 cup of dry dog food), at least one 30-minute walk a day, and love from their family.

How do I know if my dog is Cava Tzu or a Shih-Tzu?

All Cava Tzus have Shih-Tzu genetics. Their appearance, behavior, and personality are similar, especially if the former’s genes tend to side with the Shih-Tzu as the dominant species. The best way to know for sure is by getting a genetics test with a veterinarian.

How much does the Cava Tzu cost to own?

The cost will vary with the age, breeding, and color of the dog. While puppies start around $500, other factors that drive the price include the cost of food (about $20+ per month), veterinary bills (varies), and grooming upkeep. These factors can cost owners upwards of $1,000 annually.

Is the Cava Tzu good with kids?

Yes. However, their tendency to jump and play with younger children means that they need consistent supervision.

How long does a Cava Tzu live?

The breed typically lives for 12-15 years.

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