Maltese vs. Cavachon: Which Breed to Get?

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Maltese vs. CavachonThe Maltese and the Cavachon are similar breeds in terms of size and shape. But there are more important things to consider than those two elements when looking at getting a new dog. So which breed would be best suited to you, the Cavachon or the Maltese?

Continue reading to find out.

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Maltese and Cavachon History

The Maltese has an extensive history – so extensive, in fact, experts are unsure precisely where the breed originated.

There are theories that connect the breed to Malta, hence its name, where it is thought to have developed from spitz-type dogs from around the Mediterranean. There are other theories that link the breed to Italian spitz-types and even some experts out there who think that the dog came from East Asian spitz-type dogs.

This bichon family breed’s exact origins may be unknown, but experts do know that it has always been well beloved. The Maltese was a favorite of the British royal family in the 16th century, and then the French aristocracy in the 18th. Even when breeders pushed the breed to its limits by trying to breed it too small, it was saved by other breeders by adding Spaniel breeds and East Asian breeds into the breeding pool.

The Cavachon’s history is significantly shorter. The breed originated in 1996, in North America. It was the result of breeders combining the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise in order to create a fun, happy small dog with fewer health issues than the parent breeds.

Whilst the breed’s history is not long, its parent breeds date as far back as the 16th century.

Maltese vs. Cavachon: What Are the Breeds Like?

With the history lesson finished, let’s compare the two breeds side by side based on a number of different factors.


The Maltese is a toy breed, measuring only 8 to 10 inches tall on average. The breed weighs roughly 7 pounds and has silky white, long, straight hair that covers the entire body. It is descended from spitz-types, but the breed has a recognizable rounded skull and dropped ears, as well as short legs and a black nose.

The Cavachon on the other hand is slightly bigger, measuring between 9 and 13 inches, and will usually weigh around 9 to 18 pounds. The breed has a wavy but silky coat and floppy ears. The coat will either be black and tan, ruby, Blenheim, tricolor, or white. Often, the color of the coat is indeterminable until adulthood.

Life Expectancy and Aging Profile

As small breeds, the Maltese and the Cavachon have longer life expectancies than most larger breeds. This is due to their slower metabolism, leading to fewer structural disorders and fatal illnesses as they age.

The Maltese, for example, has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, and will usually reach its full size by the time they are one year old. The Cavachon has a similar life expectancy of 11 to 13 years, and will usually reach its full size by around 10 to 12 months old.


Temperament is an essential factor to consider when looking at a breed for your next dog. Even very similar breeds can have vastly different temperaments, and this can make the difference between a cuddly pet and a well-trained guard dog. When it comes to the Maltese and the Cavachon, the breeds are quite different in this regard.

The Maltese is a lively, fun dog that will form very close bonds with those within its family very quickly. Maltese are known to be sweet and trusting, but they also have a tendency to be quite spoilt, as many owners find them very hard to say no to.

The Cavachon, alternatively, is very laid back and relaxed – so long as they get enough exercise! They are eager to please and love being the center of attention, so will often fool around and act goofy to get you to laugh. They love to play, love cuddling, and make very well-rounded pets.


Again, intelligence is a very important factor to consider, especially for those hoping to bring their new pet to any kind of obedience or agility show. But even for just day-to-day tasks, a dog’s intelligence will have some impact on how quick they are to potty train, leash train, and learn recall.

The Maltese is a relatively intelligent dog, and with positive reinforcement is pretty capable of learning most things. The breed is eager to please and has a decent attention span, meaning that they can focus long enough to learn tricks in only a few rounds of training.

The Cavachon, on the other hand, is reasonably smart but has a very short attention span. As such, the breed often struggles when it comes to training. But with enough patience and by taking it slow, owners can teach Cavachons a range of tricks.

Maltese vs. Cavachon: Which One Is Easier to Keep?

With getting a dog being a responsibility first and foremost, let’s take a look at what it takes to take care of these two dogs properly.

Required Living Space

Since both breeds are pretty small, they can both get on well in a range of living spaces.

Whether they are in a studio apartment, a condo or a large family house with a garden, the Maltese and the Cavachon will get on just fine. This is assuming, however, that they have had sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.


Out of the two breeds, the Maltese is certainly the higher maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Due to its silky white coat, the breed needs regular wiping after meals in order to prevent stains, will need its eyes wiped regularly to prevent tear stains, and will require brushing daily. The breed will also require bathing every week or so to ensure they keep their gorgeous white color. In addition to this, the Maltese will need its ears and teeth cleaned, too.

The Cavachon, on the other hand, will need to be brushed a few times a week and will need bathing usually once a month. This will depend on what the dog has been up to, though, and after muddy walks or a season, the dog will likely need bathing. In addition to this, owners will need to clean the Cavachon’s ears and teeth, too.

Walking and Exercise

Both the Cavachon and the Maltese require the same amount of exercise on a daily basis – 30 minutes. This will allow them to burn off all of their excess energy, preventing destructive behavior and hyperactivity, and help to prevent them from gaining excess weight.

Failing to provide this can result in health conditions, anxiety and low mood, and poor behavior.

Maltese vs. Cavachon: How Much Do They Cost?

Cost is an essential consideration when choosing a new dog. Different breeds will cost different amounts, but different litters will cost varying amounts, too. It will depend on the breeder, the dog’s lineage, and your location. If the cost is a barrier, it is always worth considering adopting or rescuing.

For a Maltese, owners can expect to pay between $600 and $2,000 for a puppy, as well as monthly costs like food and insurance. For a Cavachon, owners should estimate spending around $700 to $6,000 due to the nature of the designer breed.

In addition to these costs, both breeds will require certain monthly costs like veterinary insurance, food, treats, veterinary treatment, toys, grooming, and other surprise costs. It is important to consider all of the costs of a dog before getting one in order to ensure you can give it the best life possible.

Maltese vs. Cavachon: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

It is also worth considering whether or not the breed will fit into your pre-existing routine and household. Families with other pets and children need to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, and those who work away need to be sure that their dog can cope with it.

Those who do have children should avoid adopting or buying a Maltese. The breed is very small and even at its largest is ill-prepared to handle the sometimes overbearing hands of small children. Alternatively, the Cavachon is slightly bigger and is much more interested in playing with children.

So long as the children are taught how to handle a dog, the Cavachon will be happy to play along.

Families or people with other pets can opt for either breed. Both breeds are happy, social, and relatively fun, and will love having other animals around so long as they are socialized from a young age.

On the other hand, people who do not work from home and have to be out of the house for long periods of time should not, unfortunately, opt for the Maltese. The breed does not cope well with being left alone and may act out or develop separation anxiety. The Cavachon, however, so long as it is trained into it, can be left alone throughout the day.


The Maltese and the Cavachon are both wonderful, hypoallergenic dogs with great personalities. They are both pretty easy to train, and great pets to have around. But if you are planning on working away from home, or if you have children, then the Cavachon is for you.

Regardless of which breed you choose, though, you will be guaranteed to have a loving and very lovable new pet.

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