Cavador

helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on May 15, 2020
Fact Checked

A Cavador is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Labrador.

This hybrid dog is a mix between two of the most common breeds in the world.

Labradors are the most popular dog breed in the USA, according to the American Kennel Club.

The charming Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes the top 20 in the AKC’s list, ranked at number 16.

Cavadors are a medium-size mix that can bred intentionally or unintentionally.

If you’ve got your heart set on a Cavador, your first stop should be your local rescue shelter.

In this article we’re going to take a close look at the Cavador, including Cavador appearance, temperament, price and much more.

We’ve spoken to Malaika (@zohra_malaika), Mia (@mygoldencooper) and Barkley (@barkley.the.cavador) to learn more about this wonderful cross breed.

What is a Cavador?

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

A Cavador is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Labrador Retriever. While this hybrid dog usually goes by the name Cavador, they can also be called Cavadoor or Cavadore. Alternatively, you can just refer to this “designer dog” as a Cavalier Labrador cross.

Given the popularity of the Cavalier and Labrador breeds, the Cavador is a mix that you can find at rescue shelters in need of a permanent home.

The first Cavadors started to appear in the early 1990s before emerging as a popular dog amongst pet lovers looking for a family-friendly mix.

Although the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Labrador Retriever are recognized by the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club, neither organization have granted the Cavador recognition. However, the Dog Registry of America does recognize this particular mix.

Barkley’s parents explained how they came across the Cavador mix breed.

We ended up with a Cavador because we wanted a Labrador but also wanted a dog that wasn’t as big as a Labrador. I also had a Golden Retriever previously and felt like getting a dog that was similar but different.

Mia’s parents had a similar thought process in their search for a dog.

We were attracted to a Cavador as we were looking for a medium size dog. We thought Mia was an attractive-looking dog and the size that would suit our small home.

Cavador size

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Cavadors can range in size depending on whether they take after their smaller Cavalier parent or medium-sized Labrador parent. A suggested height range for a Cavador is between 18 and 25 inches tall. They’ll usually weigh between 22 and 55 pounds.

Cavador appearance

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

As with all mixed breeds, a Cavador’s appearance will vary with each individual member of the cross. It’s impossible to predict which physical traits a Cavador puppy will inherit from each parent.

They’ll usually be golden, yellow, black or brown in color but Cavadors have been known to have a coat color that is more of a shade for cream or red. Similar to the Labrador, Cavadors usually have a short-to-medium lenght coat that is straight but dense. While their coat color can vary, Cavadors should have brown eyes with floppy ears that can have feathering if they take after their Cavalier parent.

Bastiaen shed light on the Cavador appearance for us by describing Malaika.

The appearance of our Cavador is completely black. She just has a small white spot on her hind leg.

Cavador temperament

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Cavadors can prove popular with families due to their friendly and engaging personalities. Cavaliers were traditionally popular lap dogs that like to give and receive affection from their pet parents. The primary purpose of the early Labradors was to act as retrieving dogs during hunts. Hence, Labradors have a lot of energy. As both parent breeds are known for being friendly and sociable dogs, we can say with some degree of confidence that a Cavador should be a pleasant and well-mannered mix.

Let’s hear a little about Barkley’s temperament.

Barkley has a great temperament. He is very inquisitive, loves food and is well behaved. He is quite active and gets two park walks where he loves to sniff and chase a ball. But during the day he is quite low key and relaxed.

Malaika has an easy-going temperament, too.

Our Cavador has a soft temperament. She likes to give and receive a lot of love. She has a soft character. When playing with our other dog (a Boxer girl) she does stand her ground. This to show that she will not let her do anything to her.

Do Cavadors suffer from separation anxiety?

Malaika the Cavador and Zohra the Boxer (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Malaika the Cavador and Zohra the Boxer (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Separation anxiety is a chronic canine disorder that can affect any dog irrespective of breed or mix. It doesn’t discriminate! It usually occurs when the dog owner leaves their home (or is getting ready to depart). Separation anxiety can manifest itself in a number of different ways, including barking, howling, whining, chewing, digging, defecating or urinating. As a predominantly companion breed, some Cavalier King Charles Spaniels appear to be suffer with the chronic condition.

We asked Mia’s guardians whether they’ve experienced this issue.

She doesn’t appear to suffer from separation anxiety but she will always be wherever my other dog and I are in the house.

It’s a similar story with Barkley, who doesn’t appear to be fazed when left alone.

Barkley gets some food when we go out. We have done this since he was a puppy and he doesn’t seem to get any separation anxiety. We’ve been on several holidays also and had a pet sitter look after him with no issues.

Proving that every member of a breed or cross breed is different, Malaika does suffer with separation anxiety.

I must say yes. We got her three years ago (our first dog). In the beginning, she had a hard time sitting alone at home during the day (we both work full-time) and after a year we moved (we lived in an apartment) to a house and then decided to allow a second dog into our family. We made the decision because Malaika would not sit alone during the day when we went to work. It is going well after two years and they’re super attached to each other – they’re like sisters!

Do Cavadors make good guard dogs?

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Cavadors are unlikely to excel as guard dogs given their small size. They’re also quite a friendly breed by nature. Having said that, they can make good watch dogs as they’ll raise the alarm if they hear or see someone approaching the front door.

Malaika is quick to spot a potential visitors and bark.

When someone comes to visit or she hears something, her temperament is a bit louder.

It’s a similar story with Mia.

She is a good watch dog and always first to the door barking.

Do Cavadors make great family pets?

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

As we’ve already touched upon above, Cavadors tend to be a popular breed with families. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are sweet dogs that like to cuddle and interact with their owners. Labradors are more energetic and will relish a game of fetch in the garden or yard. They’re loyal to their pet parents. So there’s a good chance Cavadors will thrive as family pets.

Do Cavadors like to cuddle?

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, you’re probably looking forward to those relaxing evenings curled up on the sofa with your canine companion. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have excelled as companion dogs for centuries. Often described as the quintessential lapdogs, they’ll enjoy some snuggle time. So what about a Cavador? Let’s hear from Malaika’s mom.

Yes of course [Malaika likes to cuddle]! If we would let it happen, she would relax with us all day long. Relaxing is her hobby!

Are Cavadors easy to train?

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Labradors have excelled as search and rescue dogs, blind eye and guide dogs throughout the 20th and 21st century. They’re a highly trainable breed with an underlying eagerness to please. Ranked as the fourth smartest dog in the world, there’s a good chance your Cavador will be a quick learner. Having said that, we recommend starting puppy training from a young age to give you the best chance of success in the long term.

Do Cavadors bark a lot?

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

As Malaika and Mia revealed earlier in this feature, Cavadors will bark if there’s someone approaching the front door or they hear a noise outside. However, aside from being excellent watch dogs, they don’t appear to bark any more or any less than any other type of canine.

How much exercise do Cavadors need?

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

While Cavaliers have relatively moderate exercise needs, Labradors need lots of opportunities to burn energy throughout the day. As a result, your Cavador is likely to have moderate to high exercise needs. Remember, every Cavador will be different. Wag Walking recommend at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.

Are Cavadors hypoallergenic?

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

A hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to trigger a person’s allergies. The AKC state on their website that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic but some dogs are more hypoallergenic than other breeds. The Cavador isn’t a hypoallergenic mix.

Do Cavadors shed?

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Cavaliers and Labradors are moderate-to-high shedding dogs so it’s likely that a Cavador will shed quite a bit. They’re moderate but regular shedding means you can expect some loose hair on your clothes, furniture and floor.

Do Cavadors need regular grooming?

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

It’s a good idea to regular brush a Cavador to remove dirt and debris from their coat. A quick brushing session a couple of times a week should help maintain the appearance and health of their coat.

Malaika’s owner regularly gives her charming Cavador a brush.

Every pet needs adequate care. With the Cavador, it’s no different to any other breed. We sometimes bathe her, we comb her fur and we brush teeth. Her black fur is regularly combed. Our Cavador is now also starting to suffer from pus in her eyes so they must therefore be cleaned regularly.

Do Cavadors have any health problems?

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Cavadors can suffer from health problems just like any purebred or mix. Although they’re a cross which are often stereotyped as healthier dogs, there are some health conditions to be aware of. These include but are not limited to bloat, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and mitral valve disease.

Malaika, who is now seven, has experienced some health problems.

Malaika suffers from patella on her hind leg. This is because she took a lot of stairs as a puppy (when we were still living in an apartment). She is currently receiving laser treatment to ease the swelling and pain. This needs surgery and will do this in 2020.

Mia’s guardians shed light on her health.

Mia is eight years old and the only health problem she has had is a urinary tract infection.

Barkley has a clear health record so far.

Barkley has been pretty good so far, I think they would have a little less health issues than a purebred. I know some labs are more prone to hip issues and arthritis.

Are Cavadors fussy eaters?

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

If you’ve ever experienced life with a fussy eater, you’ll know that it can be stressful attempting to encourage your picky pup to eat their meals. I’ve found that dog food delivery companies can provide a solution for dog owners with their home-cooked meals after testing their food on my picky Klee Kai. I’ve reviewed the best dog food delivery companies in the USA and the best dog food delivery companies in the UK. Alternatively, if you prefer feeding your dog dry food such as kibble, you can still find some great options here.

Barkley isn’t a fussy eater. In fact, he is the quite the opposite.

Barkley loves food, he will generally eat anything, it also makes him quite easy to train. He’s very food orientated.

Mia isn’t picky when it comes to her grub, either.

She is not at all fussy with her food and is just as food oriented as my Golden Retriever is. We do have an issue with her eating non food things she finds on walks.

Do Cavadors get along with other dogs?

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

As we mentioned above, Cavadors are usually outgoing dogs that like to socialize with other canines. Having said that, every dog is different and you should act responsibly when introducing your pup to a four-legged friend for the first time.

Mia, for example, loves meeting new people and new dogs.

She has a gentle temperament and is affectionate with children, adults and friendly with other dogs, in particular she loves to be chased by other dogs. She is a good watch dog and always first to the door barking.

Cavador price

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

Malaika the Cavador (Photo: @zohra_malaika / Instagram)

So you’ve got your heart set on getting a Cavador. You should visit your local rescue shelter to see if they’ve got a member of this cross breed that needs a new home. If not, you could look for a breeder. We recommend asking to see a puppy’s parents, requesting to see proof of health checks and other necessary documentation. You can expect to pay anywhere between $750 and $2,000 for a Cavador.

Here’s what Barkley’s parents recommended as a suggested price for a Cavador.

Cavadors seem to be approximately around $2000.

For instance, Mia cost $1,000 AUD ($700).

My son and daughter in law paid $1000AUD for her. They bought her as an unwanted pet when she was less than two years old as the previous owners said they didn’t have the time to walk her.

Are Cavadors expensive?

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

Mia the Cavador and Cooper the Golden Retriever (Photo: @mygoldencooper / Instagram)

You’ll also need to budget for additional costs once you bring your Cavador home. These include vaccinations, neutering or spaying, dog food, pet insurance and much more.

Cavadors to follow on Instagram

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

Barkley the Cavador (Photo: @barkley.the.cavador / Instagram)

If you want to learn more about Cavadors, we find contacting Cavador owners on Instagram can be a productive way to find out more information about the cross breed. Here are three Cavador accounts to check out on the photo and video app.

• Malaika (@zohra_malaika)

• Mia (@mygoldencooper)

• Barkley (@barkley.the.cavador)

In conclusion

We’ve reached the end of our article on Cavadors.

They’re a friendly, energetic and robust cross breed that can make excellent family pets.

Cavadors will usually have a coat that is golden, yellow, black, cream or red in color.

They’ll have moderate to high exercise needs and should prove to be quick learners.