King Charles Spaniel Poodle mix puppies
The perfect dog? The cava-poo chon - a 'tribrid' mix of a cavalier King Charles spaniel and bichon frise mix bred with a miniature poodle - is smart, healthy, hypoallergenic and never loses its puppy face
Puppy face: The breed is the newest and latest in the decades-old search for the dog-face fountain of youth
'There's always been a market for these forever-ish young dogs, ' said veteran trainer Steve Haynes of Fidelio Dog Works in Austin who is working with 50 first-generation cava-poo-chons.
'Until recently, specialized dogs like miniature Yorkies and miniature Maltese were the go-to dogs.'
The cava-poo-chon is a cavalier King Charles spaniel and bichon frise mix bred with a miniature poodle. With the help of a geneticist and reproductive veterinarian, the tribrid or 'triple cross' was created by Linda and Steve Rogers of Timshell Farm in Pine, Arizona.
With a price tag ranging from $2, 000 to $3, 500, the cava-poo-chon combines the best of the three breeds, Linda Rogers said. She added that there is no reason they can't live for 20 years. The Rogers' offer a choice of color and two types of coat - curly or very curly, she said.
Expert guidance: With the help of a geneticist and reproductive veterinarian, the tribrid or 'triple cross' was created by Linda and Steve Rogers of Timshell Farm in Pine, Ariz
So far, 58 families have returned to get a second cava-poo-chon, and 12 of the dogs have been certified to work in nursing homes and hospitals as therapy dogs, Rogers said.
Amy Wolf of Austin says she found her perfect dog in the breed.
'There's always been a market for these forever-ish young dogs'
'I can't tell you the number of times a day I look at her and say, "You are so cute".'
Not only that, her three-year-old named Callie has become the love of her husband's life - despite his allergies - and enchanted all their new neighbors. She hired Haynes as a trainer.
'Never have we had a more loving, sweet dog. She wants to say hello to everyone, ' said Wolf, who moved into a new home with her husband two months before getting Callie. 'We've met tons of people while walking her. We feel much more connected with this neighborhood than the previous one, all because of her. She makes us more approachable, and we feel a lot safer.'
Puppy love: Brande Bradshaw of Austin thinks Bridgette, her six-month-old cava-poo (there is no bichon in her), is the perfect dog
The popularity of the baby look for dogs started more than a half-century ago with mail-order teacup pups advertised in the backs of magazines.
Fan: Veteran trainer Steve Haynes is working with 50 first-generation cava-poo-chons
Yorkies, Maltese and Pomeranians were popular for a while, and recently there have been hybrid hounds 'with cutesy names that end in '-oodle, ' '-uddle' or '-poo' that come with thousand-dollar price tags, ' said author and certified animal behavior consultant Darlene Arden of Massachusetts.
Arden said she was unfamiliar with the cava-poo-chon, though she applauded the use of a geneticist.
But she condemned 'gimmicks' that some breeders and groomers use to attract unwitting buyers.
'There is no such thing as a teacup anything, ' Arden said. 'It is a market term used by backyard breeders and commercial breeders so they can breed the smallest dogs that shouldn't be bred and sell them for a whole lot of money. These dogs usually end up having health problems and most veterinarians don't want to touch them because the organs are so small.'
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the cava-poo-chon.
'AKC does not recognize cross-bred or mixed breed dogs as official breeds, ' spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said. 'These dogs are the product of two purebred parents of different breeds, resulting in a litter of mixed breed puppies, not a new breed, according to our requirements.'