New Cava-poo-chon Designer Breed Deemed 'Perfect Dog'

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What if we told you there is a breed of dog that is long-lived (up to 20 years, by some estimates), intelligent, hypoallergenic and - best of all - it never outgrows its cute puppy face? It sounds like a beautiful dream, but now it's science fact. The Cava-poo-chon is a new designer breed that has been called the "perfect dog," according to the Associated Press. Yet, some pet experts say the praise is mostly just hype.

The Cava-poo-chon is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Bichon Frise mix and a Miniature Poodle. Linda and Steve Rogers of Pine, Ariz., created the breed along with a geneticist and reproductive veterinarian. This newest designer breed is available now, but if you want one, it will cost you $2,000 to $3,500.

Cava-poo-chon owners say the steep cost is worth it.

"Never have we had a more loving, sweet dog." said Amy Wolf of Austin about her Cava-poo-chon, 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."

Some experts are less enamored by trendy designer breeds. Certified animal behavior consultant Darlene Arden says the Cava-poo-chon is just the latest in a line of breeds "with cutesy names that end in '-oodle,' '-uddle' or '-poo' that come with thousand-dollar price tags."

"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 as a breed, nor does it recognize other, similar designer breeds like Maltipoos or Puggles. Despite their catchy names and hefty price tags, these dogs remain essentially mutts.

"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."


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