Shiffon

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Tibet <> Belgium -> U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Shiffon

The Shiffon is a hybrid dog. Its parent breeds are the Shih Tzu and the Brussels Griffon. Shiffons are happy, energetic dogs. A small dog, the Shiffon will probably weigh no more than 7 kilos at maturity. It's also likely to measure no more than 28 centimeters. He's very affectionate, but can sometimes be rather stubborn. They are happy to live with singles, seniors and families. He is, however, best suited to older children. He gets on well with other dogs, but we encourage owners to socialize him from an early age for best results. Shiffons are also well suited to small apartments and houses with or without fenced yards.

History of the Shiffon

The Shiffon is a hybrid breed. Although there's not much information available about the Shiffon's exact origins, we can study the origins of its parent breeds to understand the Shiffon's history.

 

        

A little of the Shih Tzu

        
The Shih Tzu has its roots in China, where it can be found in 16th-century works of art. He was also a favorite of the Empress of China. It is said that the Shih Tzu had its own palace, and that the empress trained these little dogs to beckon to her when she visited. Some experts believe it is related to the Lhassa Apso, another dog considered royal by the early Chinese. For many years, the Chinese refused to export the dog outside their country, but when the Empress died in 1908, the remaining royal families were unable to reproduce her breeding practices. As a result, many poor-quality dogs were sold on the market. In the 1930s, a couple were exported to England, from where they made their way to America. The Shih Tzu was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1938.
Standard of the Shih Tzu

 

        

A little of the Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon originated in Belgium, where it was bred to hunt and kill vermin. The Affenpinscher, Pug and Toy English Spaniel may have been crossed over the years to give rise to today's Brussels Griffon. The Queen of Belgium, Marie Henriette, owned a Brussels Griffon, and began breeding and promoting the breed throughout Europe. In the early 1890s, the Brussels Griffon made its way to England, then to the United States. World War II nearly brought the Brussels Griffon to extinction; the ravages of war made owning a dog almost unaffordable. The Brussels Griffon is still a rare breed today; however, the breed became popular again after a Brussels Griffon starred in As Good As It Gets alongside Jack Nicholson.
Standard of the Brussels Griffon

Appearance of the Shiffon

The Shiffon is a small dog, weighing no more than 7 kilos as an adult; females can be slightly smaller than their male counterparts. Their coat can be of two types, depending on the dominant breed. It can be rough and short, like that of the Brussels Griffon, or long and silky, like that of the related Shih Tzu breed. In general, the coat color is fairly uniform. It can be brown, black, or a combination of the two. There may also be some white markings. If the Brussels parent breed is dominant, he may have the “bearded” characteristic of the Brussels Griffon. He'll have dark eyes and his tail will probably be curled over his back. He may have bushy hair around his eyes. He may also have floppy ears that will need a little care.

Temperament of the Shiffon

The Shiffon is an energetic, happy little dog. They are often described as exuberant and curious. He's always ready to play; many owners also describe him as cheerful and charming. He is happiest when spending time with his family, and is not prone to separation anxiety. He may want to be the pack leader, so if you have other dogs, you may need to monitor his behavior with them. He may also be jealous of other family members, as he is known to become attached to a single family member. He may also be aggressive about his territory. However, socialization at an early age will help the Shiffon learn exactly the behavior you expect of him.

Needs and activities of the Shiffon

The Shiffon is a very playful and active dog. He'll enjoy joining you for short, brisk walks around the neighborhood. Be careful on longer trips. If he inherits the brachycephalic snout of the Shih Tzu, he may have difficulty breathing if overworked. Keep a small bottle of water at his disposal during exercise. He'll also appreciate trips to the dog park; however, these should not take place until he's fully trained. Remember that he generally gets on well with other dogs, but can become aggressive if he feels his territory is being threatened. He also doesn't realize that he's such a small dog, and he doesn't know the fear of bigger dogs. Keep toys that allow him to exercise his chewing tendencies around the house, but also toys that stimulate his mind. He'll release his energy indoors if he has enough time to play.

Maintenance of the Shiffon

Shiffons require a moderate amount of grooming. He sheds very little, so you can afford to brush him weekly to remove excess hair. However, if he's inherited the long, silky coat of the Shih Tzu, you'll need to devote some time to keeping his coat in good condition. You can choose to have him clipped at the groomer. In this case, you'll only need to brush him once every two weeks. Give him a bath only when necessary. Brush his teeth two or three times a week to prevent tartar build-up and bad breath, or even better, brush every day to prevent tooth decay. Trim his nails every two weeks, unless he wears them out on his own.

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