15-21 lbs
United States
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Shetland Sheepdog

The Cava-Shell dog is a medium sized dog and is a hybrid breed crossed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Shetland Sheepdog. They typically seem to have a coat that is thick, wavy in nature and very silky. The Cava-Shell is an excellent family pet, they have an engaging gentle personality and have ample energy to play with the children. They can be a little reserved around strangers until they get to know them. Highly intelligent, they respond well to training and are keen to please. Known for their low barking level and patient and kind nature, the Cava-Shell is a lovely addition to a family. As mentioned earlier, they do have ample energy so are best suited for a house with a fenced yard so they can play and run about.

purpose Purpose
Companion dog, agility, tracking
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Shetland Sheepdog

Cava-Shell Health

Average Size
Male Cava-Shell size stats
Height: 14-16 inches Weight: 17-25 lbs
Female Cava-Shell size stats
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 15-21 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Mitral Valve Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Cherry Eye
Occasional Diagnoses
  • May be sensitive to certain drugs
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Ear Examination
  • Blood Work
  • Ocular Tests
  • Full Physical Examination regarding joint movement around the hip and kneecap
  • Diagnostic Tests for Hyperthyroidism

Cava-Shell Breed History

The Cava-Shell does not yet have much of its own history to brag about, therefore looking at the parent dog enables us to understand where this lovely dog comes from. The Shetland Sheepdog comes from the rugged Shetland Islands, and was called for many years a Toonie, meaning to farm. Farmers bred the dogs by crossing the Border Collier with smaller dogs, the reason being to herd their flocks of Shetland sheep. Some say it was bred to chase the birds from the sheep, as many of the Shelties seem to have a passion for chasing birds. In the 1800s the Sheltie was brought to England and Scotland, while at home on the Shetland Islands the farmers started breeding their small Shelties to be even smaller and fluffier and sold them to the visitors who came to the island. The following years there was much dissension about what the dog should look like and what it should be called. The first Sheltie to be registered by the American Kennel club occurred in 1911. But there was much agonising over the name with an agreement finally being made to call the dog the Shetland Sheepdog and that it should resemble a Collie (rough) in miniature. The American breeders imported Shetland Sheepdog from England until the 1950s. During the 1970s they were the tenth most popular dog on the AKC list, and held it for the next 15 years. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had a royal upbringing, being the preferred dog of King Charles ll. They are a descendant from the King Charles Spaniel. In the 1600s the King Charles Spaniels were interbred with the Pug dog which produced a smaller dog with a flatter nose and upturned face, as well as protruding eyes. This is the King Charles Spaniel that we know today. However, in the 1920s an American called Roswell Eldridge had a vision to breed the type of King Charles Spaniel that was famous in the paintings of Van Dyck of King Charles ll and his Spaniels. They had a longer muzzle so he advertised for any such dog that was still available. He even offered prize money in the London Cruft dog show if someone could show him one. A lady by the name of Miss Mostyn Walker appeared and won the prize but Eldridge had died a month earlier. However, other breeders embraced his vision and so the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel returned to its roots as the true heir to the royal Spaniels and were given the prefix Cavalier (in the 1940s) to distinguish them from the King Charles Spaniel. With such a fascinating history, the Cava-Shell can rightly hold itself proud and distinguished.

Cava-Shell Breed Appearance

The Cava-Shell can vary in appearance depending on the predominance of genes from the parent breed. Generally, the Cava-Shell has a head that is like a blunt wedge when viewed from the side, with a tapering muzzle and slightly rounded skull. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The nose is black and the nostrils wideset. The Cava-shell has beautiful dark round eyes like the Cavalier, or they could inherit the almond shaped eyes from the Shetland. The ears are often fluffy and held slightly erect with tips folded over. The tail is often long and feathered and carried at a slight curve. The legs are longer like the Shetland, with nice rounded paws. The long silky coat often forms a mane around the neck and chest. The Cava-Shell comes in many colors ranging from black and white, to tri-colored. They are an attractive appealing dog that is proving popular.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Cava-Shell eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Cava-Shell nose
Coat Color Possibilities
white Cava-Shell coat
black Cava-Shell coat
brown Cava-Shell coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Cava-Shell straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Cava-Shell Breed Maintenance

The grooming needs of a Cava-Shell are moderate. While they do have a long silky coat, a good brushing with a firm bristle brush will take care of any shedding. As they are an active dog, they may require bathing every week or second week to keep them smelling sweet. Ensure you use one of the speciality dog shampoos to ensure there are no allergic reactions. Dry your Cava-Shell thoroughly and check for any skin infections, sores or cuts that may be affecting your dog. While your dog is enjoying your attention, calmly check the insides of the ears and gently wipe out. other areas to maintain is dental hygiene (get them used to having their teeth brushed) and toe nail clipping.

Brushes for Cava-Shell
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Cava-Shell requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Cava-Shell Temperament

The Cava-Shell is blessed with a mild temperament, which makes them ideal as a family dog. They are very affectionate, loving and totally loyal to their family. The Cava-Shell is highly intelligent and responds well to training, and will do best with kind patient training rather than harsh methods. If you reward them with lots of praise, pats and the occasional small treat, they will do anything they possibly can for you. They tend to have ample energy and love being involved in active games, walks or any activity you wish to include them in, including swimming. They will fetch the ball until you tire of the game. The Cava-Shell can be reserved towards strangers, but once they get to know them they are affectionate and congenial. Devoted and loyal, the Cava is a family’s best friend. They are just as fond as snuggling up on your lap or beside you, and will soak up all the attention and love you can give.

Cava-Shell Activity Requirements

The Cava-Shell has ample energy and will need a daily walk and a yard to run around in. They will eagerly join in any game you want to start, or they can play with the children with patience and kindness. While they may seem reserved at first to new people, that will soon wear off and your Cava-Shell will welcome them into his circle of friends. These dogs will enjoy training and agility games, running alongside you as you cycle to the shops, and will happily accompany you anywhere. They love to swim as well, so will likely join the family if you are splashing about in the pool.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
120 minutes
activity minutes

Cava-Shell Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00
food bag monthly cost

Cava-Shell Owner Experiences

3 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Brand new to our family at 8 weeks old, she is high energy and intelligent. She has the Sheltie herding instinct and attempts to herd our 3 cats. One cat specifically is her friend, they play together all the time. Crate training is going very well and is now her "safe space". She has already learned 3 commands of sit, shake and laydown, both verbally and hand signing. Treats were the inspiration behind the very quick learning curve. Being winter, we have not had a chance to fence our yard yet (will happen this spring), but you can tell she was designed to run! Vet checked twice thus far and she's in perfect health with no issues, and with a little cheese, she didn't even flinch when she got her shots. Looking forward to years of enjoyment with our little Hannah Banana. FYI - we have bought her plenty of toys, but loves and old work boot I had and an empty soda bottle :).
2 years, 1 month ago
4 Months
2 People
House & Yard
We have two that are litter mates. They love playing together and taking food and toys away from each other. They pick up on commands very quickly and have been a wonderful addition to our family. They are fearful of loud or sudden noise and run to us for comfort. The female is very protective of the male. They kennel and leach trained very quick!
2 years, 5 months ago
6 Years
2 People
Playing with toys
definition of a lap dog. 18lb male, healthy weight, lean. has a beautiful smile. will run up to people and bark at them while leashless, but stays by your side. scared of lightning. super soft fur. made of pure love.
4 years, 9 months ago
8 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Ours is a rescue he was moved around a lot before we got him. He is a real cuddle bug, loves to snuggle up. He is extremely loyal and looks to us for approval . Fantastic house dog we had a break in before we got him no worrys now. Terribly fussy eater will go a couple of days without eating, often has a slightly disappointed look on his face at dinner time. Had trouble with his teeth caused by a abscess. Friendly with other dogs lives with a ‘sister’ who is a lab Colly mix. Awful on the lead pulls like mad. Good with kids hates cats overall he has been quite a bit of work but omg do we love our boy flaws and all he goes down as one of my once in a lifetime dogs so thankful to be his mum and he found his way to us in his forever home
2 years, 11 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd