Are Cavachons Smart Dogs? [Our Family’s Personal Experience]

our smart cavachon kirby

When you add a new dog to your family, many people are determined to get the most intelligent dog they can. It can make training a lot easier to have a dog who is quick to pick up on your cues and desires. Fortunately, we have found that our Cavachon is a brilliant boy who anticipates what we want from him. How does this breed stack up when it comes to intelligence?

The Cavachon is an intelligent dog breed that quickly picks up new tricks. Because they are so bright, you will need to make sure to engage their minds and bodies to prevent destructive habits. Play games with them and train them to make good use of their brains.

If you want to learn more about the Cavachon dog breed, here is everything you need to know about how intelligent your new dog really is.

Are Cavachons Intelligent?

Most people want their new dogs to pick up on their training as quickly as possible. A smart dog makes things go much more smoothly. In our own experience, we have been pleased to find that Kirby is an extremely intelligent dog who pays careful attention to the cues we give him. It doesn’t take much for us to teach him a brand new skill.

When we first got Kirby, we knew that training was essential to make our lives easier and build our bond with him. Now, he knows that he has to perform if he wants a tasty morsel from one of us. We have taught him to do basic things like sitting and lying down, but he also knows more advanced commands such as giving high fives, jumping, and rolling over.

It has indeed been a great experience teaching him to do these things, as he is a rapid and eager learner.

Not only are Cavachons easy to train because they are intelligent, but they are also quite enthusiastic about making their owners happy. They are willing to work hard for your affection, as well as a delicious treat from time to time. Motivation is certainly not lacking in this breed!

Are Cavachons Clever?

Now that you know they are brilliant dogs, you might be wondering just how clever this breed is. The truth is that they pay attention to the things that go on around them. Cavachons tend to be vigilant dogs who are always watching to see what you will do next.

Perhaps the best example of this is our experience with Kirby and leaving the house. He pays close attention to our leaving cues that he knows when we are about to head out for an evening walk or a quick drive. Because he is watching, he is right at our side whenever it is time to leave the house so that he has the opportunity to come out with us.

He also loves to play a game called Dog Smart that engages his mind and senses. In this game, there are nine removable dog bones with small spaces underneath each one. We hide a treat under one of the dog bones. Kirby must use his brain to figure out how to remove each bone with his nose and paws to determine which one is hiding his reward. He loves playing this game with us!

Because these dogs are incredibly clever, you will need to take precautions to keep them engaged in both mind and body. You can do this by training them, taking them for long walks, and providing them with puzzle toys like Dog Smart or Kong balls stuffed with peanut butter.

If your Cavachon does not have anything to engage them, they are likely to engage in some destructive or annoying behaviors such as chewing, barking, or digging. Keep them occupied while you are home, but they also need things to do whenever you are away. Otherwise, you may not be happy with the games they make up for themselves!

Cognitive Abilities?

You might be wondering just how your Cavachon’s cognitive abilities stack up compared to other dogs like the Eskipoo or Belusky. You will be pleased to learn that your new Cavachon and its cognitive skills are pretty impressive. Even when compared to other breeds, the Cavachon is still a brilliant breed.

Their cognitive abilities are constantly being refined as they learn new things from you. They can adapt to whatever you are asking of them quickly. This intelligent dog is quite mentally flexible and anticipates what you are going to require from them.

This is highly evident in the training process. Your Cavachon is likely to try out all sorts of behaviors to figure out what you are asking of them. Once they land on precisely what you want, they are likely to offer the behavior repeatedly in hopes of earning that same reward.

Make sure that you don’t inadvertently reward your dog for bad behavior. For example, some owners may take their dogs out immediately for a walk when they bark. Your dog will learn that they get what they want by barking, and they will offer this behavior more and more frequently.

Always be cautious about rewarding behavior like this. You might accidentally create quite the headache for yourself if you do.


Training is crucial for every dog. It helps to keep them from getting into trouble, gives them a job to do, and builds the bond you have with your dog. Whether you want them to learn the basics or to do more advanced tricks like Kirby, you need to spend a good portion of your time working with your new dog.

When you work with them, you want to be sure that you are only using positive reinforcement. Find what motivates your dog to work hard. For some, this will be treats and other delicious snacks. Others are more motivated by toys and playtime. Here are some ways you can reward your dog:

  • A small training treat
  • Green beans
  • A quick round or two of fetch
  • A short game of tug
  • Access to a favorite toy like Dog Smart
  • A belly rub

Whatever your dog prefers, be sure to provide something that feels like a reward to your pup. This will motivate them to work hard to earn what you are offering.

Even if you are getting frustrated with your dog, refrain from yelling at them or punishing them for not knowing what you want. It takes time for your dog to learn what you want, which is an integral part of the training process. As they get to know you better and practice more, they will be much faster at giving you what you ask.

If you give in to the urge to yell at your Cavachon, you may be damaging your relationship with them. This will lead to your dog dreading the time you spend working with them. They may start to avoid you instead of curling up at your feet or in your lap during down time.

Do your best to preserve your relationship with them and make training a positive experience that they can look forward to.


Your Cavachon will love to play games with you, just like Kirby does with us. If you don’t have access to puzzle toys, you might be wondering how else you can engage your dog’s brain. What types of games can you play with them to tire them out in both mind and body? Here are a few creative games you may want to try out:

Find It

Have your Cavachon sit or lie down in one room. Take a smelly treat into the next room and hide it somewhere. Release your dog and have them go into the room to try to find what you hid for them. This engages them in mind and body by encouraging them to sniff out a delicious reward.

Hide and Seek

When you are out in the backyard, wait until your dog is not paying any attention to you. While he sniffs around, quietly move somewhere out of his sight and hide. You can wait for him to find you. If he does not realize that you are gone after a while, you can whistle for him or call his name to get his attention back and encourage him to search for you.


Does taking your dog for a walk sound like a boring way to get their exercise in? Engage their bodies in a game of agility. Even if you don’t have an actual setup, you can create a fun course for them to work through using chairs, cardboard boxes, and any other obstacles you can find around the house. Your Cavachon will love figuring out how to get past these hurdles!

Engaging Your Intelligent Cavachon

It’s no secret that your Cavachon will be an intelligent dog, especially if they are anything like our Kirby. You will need to engage their minds if you want to eliminate problematic behaviors like barking or chewing. Play fun games with them or give them puzzle toys to keep them occupied. You’ll love playing these games with your smart dog!

More on Cavachons

If you’re simply in love with Cavachons and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:

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