Griffichon (Bichon Frise x Brussels Griffon Mix): All You Need to Know

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Griffichon (Bichon Frise x Brussels Griffon Mix)The Griffichon is the adorable hybrid of the loving, affectionate bichon frise and the athletic, active Brussels Griffon.

The hybrid blends the laid-back, happy-go-lucky nature of the bichon with the high-energy, distinctive features of the Griffon, resulting in an amicable designer dog that makes excellent companions and will suit most households.

In this blog post, we’ll look more closely at this fascinating hybrid and their two parent breeds, and hopefully help you decide if it is the right breed for you.

Griffichon (Bichon Frise x Brussels Griffon) History

The Griffichon is a relatively young hybrid breed that emerged in the early 2000s and is the result of a cross between a bichon frise and a Brussels Griffon. Because it is a new breed, there is little information about its origins and history. Its parent breeds, on the other hand, have been around for a long time.

Bichons frises were popular as lap dogs among aristocrats in the 14th century. This trend started in France and subsequently extended throughout the rest of Europe. However, they rose to prominence under the reign of Henry III of France, who had bichons as treasured court companions.

That’s why it’s often mistaken for a French dog, and it even has a French name, where the “frise” means “curly hair”. However, they originally come from Spain where they were sailing dogs primarily kept for companionship.

The other parent breed, the Brussels Griffon, is younger than the bichon frise. It was bred in Belgium around the 19th century, specifically for hunting rats and vermin. They then began traveling in horse carriages as guard dogs, protecting passengers from robbers.

They are believed to be a mix of a variety of breeds including the Griffon d’Ecurie, the Affenpinscher, the Yorkshire Terrier, and the English Toy Spaniel. They, like the bichon frise, were immensely popular among noblemen after the Queen of Belgium fell in love with the breed.

They were, however, victims of the World Wars, and their population was greatly diminished, almost non-existent. Belgium was almost barren of native Griffon dogs, but their migration to the United Kingdom and America before the war events helped conserve this canine population.

Griffichon Appearance, Coat, Size, and Weight

Griffichons are petite dogs that weigh between 13 and 16 pounds for males, and 10 to 14 pounds for females. Both stand at about 9 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder.

The Griffichon mostly resembles a bichon frise in appearance but can have an adorable underbite like a Brussels Griffon.

Its coat greatly depends on which parent breed it takes after.

If they take after the bichon, they should have soft, curly fur all over their bodies, a small head, floppy ears, and a fluffy undocked tail. But, if a Griffichon resembles the Brussels Griffon parent, then its hair may be coarse and shaggy. They have medium-length, extremely thick fur and come in a range of coat colors such as blue, brown, fawn, cream, red, white, gray, and black.

Griffichon Maintenance

Because of their medium-length, dense, curly hair, their hair must be detangled every day with a pin brush and a dematter. You’ll need to brush your Griffichon frequently, and their hair needs to be hand-stripped if it becomes too dense and out of control.

They could also do with an occasional trip to the groomer to keep their coat healthy and trimmed. When getting a haircut, a detangling spray can be used.

Although they are little fuzzballs, they do not shed much as they are single-coated dogs without an undercoat. They might be suitable for people with allergies as the bichon frise is a hypoallergenic breed. It’s a hit or miss, though, since the Griffon isn’t.

Like any dog, their nails have to be clipped, their eyes and ears cleaned, and their teeth cleaned frequently. Small dogs are prone to eye and dental problems, and regular maintenance will keep tear stains and eye infections at bay.

In addition, a Griffichon is likely to have an underbite, where the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth. This can make it difficult for a dog to pick up and hold onto things, or cause pain and irritation in the gums and jaw. In some cases, an underbite can even lead to difficulty eating and drinking.

You’ll need to pay more attention to your Griffichon’s teeth and observe stellar dental hygiene. Periodontal disease affects more than 80% of dogs above the age of three, and small dogs are more vulnerable because food and particles find it easier to get stuck in their smaller teeth.

Brush your Griffichon’s teeth daily with a meat-flavored toothpaste and doggy toothbrush, and go for regular checkups to the vet to clean out any plaque and tartar that might be built up over time.

 

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Griffichon Activity Level and Space Requirements

A Griffichon requires a moderate amount of activity to ensure its fitness and health. They enjoy going out, yet they can be equally content to stay at home as long as they receive adequate mental and physical stimulation.

Exercise Needs

They can be active dogs and will do well with 30 to 45 minutes of intense exercise every day. An under-stimulated Griffichon can be a nightmare at home and exhibit annoying behaviors like excessive barking, destructive chewing, and digging.

While bichons can be sedentary, calm dogs, the Brussels Griffon was originally bred to hunt vermin. The Griffichon is potentially an athletic, active dog that will do well in activities like swimming, frisbee, fetch, and agility.

Space Requirements

Being small dogs, Griffichons do not require a lot of space. They can do well in apartments as long as they are given enough exercise.

Griffichon Temperament and Intelligence

A Griffichon is a joyful, loving, and loyal dog, much like its parents. It gets along well with children and other canines and is both intelligent and obedient.

It is a terrific watchdog, but may quickly become friends with strangers. However, if it feels endangered, it will always protect its own. It is easy to train, however, for some of them, patience and time may be required. Griffichons do not respond to criticism or punishment during training.

Positive reinforcement is the key to getting this smart dog to obey. Overall, it is a highly loving, easy to befriend, easy to train, and excellent companion dog.

Griffichon Health and Lifespan

Griffichon is a relatively healthy hybrid with a life span of 12 to 15 years, similar to both its parent breeds. However, like any dog, they are predisposed to certain genetic conditions like brachycephalic syndrome, patellar luxation, and hip dysplasia.

To decrease these risks and increase their longevity, it is always advisable to follow their doctor’s visits and keep their health under regular review. Many conditions are manageable if caught in time, while if left undiagnosed and treated, these conditions can escalate into more severe situations.

Is Griffichon the Right Breed for You?

Griffichon is an excellent companion dog for either a family where someone is always around the house to keep the pooch company, those who are retired, work from home, or can take the pup with them to work. They may not be suitable for people who would be out for lengthy periods leaving their pup alone. This is because Griffichons dislike being alone, and are prone to separation anxiety.

They get along well with children and other pets, although they might have a bit of a prey drive that can cause them to chase smaller animals.

They have modest exercise needs and only need about 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. They are playful and will enjoy games and interactive toys to keep them mentally stimulation.

They will also suit a household that has time to attend to their grooming needs. Their hair has to be brushed often, and they will need an occasional haircut. However, they are not heavy shedders and might even be hypoallergenic if their coats take after their bichon frise parent.

You’ll need to spend some time socializing and training your Griffichon, as if left to their own devices, they are cheeky dogs that can get into all sorts of trouble. If you can spare the time, a Griffichon can make an excellent hiking buddy, family member, and canine best mate!