Shiffon Dog (Brussels Griffon & Shih Tzu Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts
White, black, multicolored, tan, red, grey
Apartment living, seniors, quiet homes, families with older children, singles looking for a companion
Loyal, outgoing, courageous, patient, affectionate, alert, dignified
Shiffons are the ultimate lapdog, coming from two breeds that thrive off of companionship. The result of crossing a purebred Brussels Griffon with a purebred Shih Tzu, Shiffons are quickly taking over the designer dog breed market. Often found trailing their owners, these little canines are perfect for apartment living. Though they may be small, Shiffons have big personalities that make them truly unique. Let’s take a closer look at this companion hybrid:
Shiffon Puppies – Before You Welcome One Into Your Family..
3 Little-Known Facts About Shiffons
1. Shiffons have hair instead of fur
Shiffons have silky, long hair instead of fur. This means their coats will keep growing until they’re trimmed. Shiffons are also considered to be “hypoallergenic” because they don’t have fur.
2. Shiffons adapt to most environments
Shiffons are great in that they can easily adapt to most environments, even in busy cities. These dogs are perfect for apartments and smaller homes for their adaptability.
3. Shiffons are first-generation hybrids
Shiffons are almost always first-generation hybrids, which means they come from one purebred Brussels Griffon and one purebred Shih Tzu.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Shiffon 🧠
Shiffons are generally similar from one puppy to the other, but they’re still hybrids and can vary in temperament. One way to prepare for your Shiffon puppy is to look at the temperaments of Brussels Griffons and Shih Tzus.
Brussels Griffons are outgoing dogs that thrive on human interaction. Sometimes called the Velcro dog from how attached they can be, Griffons happiest when they’re with their owners. They’re self-important and they know it, so they’ll naturally take up the role of watchdog. Barking can become an issue if they’re left to their own devices, so this is not a breed to leave home alone for long periods. While they are smart, Griffons will sense any weakness to become the household boss.
Shih Tzus were originally bred for guarding the homestead and providing companionship, so they’re often found trailing the heels of their owners. Shih Tzus are happy and don’t require a lot of exercise, but they enjoy playtime with their families. Though they may not be as demanding as other small dogs, taking these dogs too lightly is a big mistake. Shih Tzus are far cleverer than they look, but they’re not as troublesome as other breeds. Shih Tzus have a dignified air about them, carrying themselves with pride.
While Shiffons can vary in temperament, it’s safe to say that they’ll be great companions. Since Shih Tzus and Brussels Griffons come from purposefully breeding for companionship, your Shiffon puppy will follow suit.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡
Yes, for families with older children. Although they do have higher energy levels than purebred Shih Tzus, Shiffons have tiny, fragile bodies. Because of this, these hybrids are better off with families that have older, calmer children that won’t be too rough with them. Also, these dogs do not appreciate being teased, so younger children may push them too far.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽
Generally speaking, yes, Shiffons can get along with other pets. They’re not known for being aggressive towards other dogs, but it may take time for them to adjust to households with established pets. It’s crucial to introduce your new pets slowly to ensure your Shiffon isn’t overwhelmed.
Things to Know When Owning a Shiffon:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Shiffons are small dogs that need a diet tailored for their little bodies. A high protein diet rich in nutrients, especially fiber, is needed to keep them healthy and thriving. We recommend looking for high-quality dry kibble to help clean their teeth and gums, which can help prevent tooth decay. In addition to dry kibble, we recommend wet canned food for more protein and flavor. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian for your dog’s specific dietary needs.
Shiffons usually have medium levels of energy, so they’ll benefit from a few brisk walks a day and at least a half-hour of playtime. These dogs love to roam around the house and property, so a fenced-in yard is highly recommended. In addition to physical exercise like daily walks and playtime, mental exercise is just as important. A puzzle toy like the Frisco Hide and Seek Puzzle toy is a great way to entertain your Shiffon, but they may be clever enough to figure it out quickly.
Exercising your Shiffon is important as it helps prevent multiple issues like boredom, weight gain, and anxiety. Even if your Shiffon may not seem up for a quick walk, it’s best to take them anyway. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian about when it’s safe to start walking your Shiffon puppy since puppies have delicately growing bones.
Shiffons come from two breeds known to try to outsmart their owners, so it’s important to start training right away. These hybrids will test you, time and time again, so consistency is the most crucial factor in successfully training your Shiffon puppy. Though they’re not exactly eager to please, Shiffons do well with treat-based training methods. They’re sensitive dogs and will balk at any harsh training methods, which can cause resentment in them.
Housebreaking may be difficult with these little dogs, especially since their bladders are so small. Crate training is a great method for housebreaking, but Shiffons should not be crated for too long. These are companion dogs through and through, so crating them for too long is asking for an upset dog.
Shiffons have hair instead of fur, with the texture varying between soft and wiry. They will need to be brushed daily to remove any matting, snarls, or debris from their coats. Because the Shiffon’s hair grows similar to human hair, they’ll need to be taken to a professional groomer for a trim as needed. While bathing your Shiffon is important, it’s best to bathe them occasionally so their skin doesn’t dry out.
Health and Conditions ❤️
Shiffons come from two relatively healthy, sturdy breeds, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be predisposed to various health conditions. Since we can’t guarantee any dog’s health, it’s even harder with a hybrid. The best way to prepare for any health-related issues with your Shiffon is to take a look at the common health conditions of Brussels Griffons and Shih Tzus:
- Patellar luxation
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Patellar Luxation
- Collapsing Trachea
- Intervertebral Disk Disease
- Skin and Food Allergies
Male vs Female
Shiffons are small dogs, but there is a substantial size difference between a female and a male. That being said, both male and female Shiffons have similar mannerisms. Besides the potential size difference, the choice of male versus female is simply a personal preference.
Shiffons are truly one-of-a-kind hybrids, quickly becoming a popular designer dog breed for apartment dwellers and families alike. Though they’re small in size, these dogs will quickly remind you that they’re big dogs at heart. They love to follow their favorite person around like a shadow, so this is a great breed for work-at-home dog owners or retired folks looking for a new companion. If you’re ready to have an aristocrat as a pet, the Shiffon is right for you.
Feature Image Credit: rachnelson, pixabay