In the last few decades, designer dog breeds have become big news. It’s hardly surprising. They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and as a rule, they’re free of the health problems that often plague pedigree breeds. One of the latest designer breeds to start drawing attention is the Glechon, an adorable hybrid that takes the best qualities of the Beagle and the Bichon Frise and makes them it’s own. To find out more, here’s ten things you didn’t know about the Glechon.
1. They’re a hybrid
The Glechon is cute, cuddly, and all kinds of adorable. What it’s not is a pedigree. Like many of the cutest breeds to hit the scene in recent years, the Glechon is a hybrid. Its parents are the Beagle and the Bichon Frise, two breeds that occupy a firm place in the hearts of dog lovers around the globe. The Beagle is something of a mystery. No one quite knows when and where it was developed, but most people believe it descends from pack hounds in England. Their compact size and pack mentality initially made them a popular hunting dog, although today, they’re more likely to be found snuggled up on a sofa than chasing after deer. The Bichon Frise has a similarly enigmatic past. Some people think it descends from the Maltese and hails from the Mediterranean. Other people think it has ties to the Barbet. Still others think it relates to the Water Spaniel or even the Coton de Tulear. Regardless of where the truth lies, we know it gained prominence in Spain before becoming fashionable with the Italian nobility in the 1300s. The very first Bichon Frise in the US was born in 1956. Since then, its achieved popularity as a family pet throughout the world.
2. Their origins are a mystery
While we know that the Glechon comes from the Beagle and the Bichon Frise, that’s about the extent of what we know about their origins. Which breeders decided to begin developing them, no one knows. Which year the first litter was born and which country they come from is a similar mystery. All we know is that they’re here now, and for anyone who can’t resist a cute dog, that’s more than enough.
3. They’re not the biggest dogs around
Neither the Bichon Frise nor the Beagle are what you’d describe as big dogs. Unsurprisingly, their offspring are similarly petite. As 101dogbreeds.com (www.101dogbreeds.com/glechon.asp) notes, the Glechon is a small to medium-sized dog that grows to around 26 to 40 lbs. Other distinguishing features include a long, sturdy body set on proportionate legs, a long muzzle, shiny, round eyes, a round head, floppy ears, and a long, curved tail.
4. They’ve been turned down by the American Kennel Club
Regardless of what you, me, or anyone else thinks about designer dog breeds, no one is going to influence the opinion of the American Kennel Club. And their opinion is set in stone: before any breed can be considered for recognition, it needs to have established bloodlines and a recognized history. Unfortunately, the Glechon has neither. On the plus side, other clubs have a more flexible entrance policy. To date, the breed has been recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Breed Registry (DBR), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
5. They need plenty of exercise
They may be small, but the Glechon has energy to burn. At a minimum, they’ll need around one to two walks per day equating to 30 to 60 minutes in total. They’ll also benefit from the chance to run around in a fenced-in yard and a few visits to the dog park (although be sure to keep them on the leash at all times; if they pick up a scent, they’ll be off before you know it). If you can throw in a few games of frisbee or tug-of-war, so much the better. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity: try to keep a few interactive toys around to keep them occupied and happy.
6. They’re generally healthy
As PetGuide notes, the Glechon, like most other hybrids, is generally healthy. However, they may be prone to developing the same health conditions that plague their parent breeds. Some of the most common problems include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, intervertebral disk disease, hypothyroidism, sensitivity to vaccinations, ear infections, Beagle dwarfism, allergies, epilepsy and eye problems. To minimize the risk, make sure to avoid bringing a pup home from a puppy mill or an unregistered breeder. If a breeder can’t (or won’t) provide you with the medical histories of a puppy’s parents, they’re best avoided.
7. They prefer being the only pet in the house
Glechons make great family pets. They’re friendly, easy-going, affectionate, and make a great playmate for kids. But while they get on with human family members well enough, it’s another story entirely when it comes to pets. Basically, the Glechon likes being the center of attention. If there’s another dog, cat, gerbil, or anything else that’s taking the attention away from them, they’re not going to like it one bit. If you have a home that’s already packed with pets, you might want to think twice before introducing a Glechon into the mix.
8. They have a stubborn streak
Glechons might be intelligent, but make no mistake: training them can be a headache, particularly if they take after the Beagle side of the family. While Bichon Frise’s are relatively easy to train, Beagles have a strong stubborn streak that can make training more of a chore than a pleasure. If your little Glechon takes after the Beagle, you’ll need to be particularly patient and consistent if you want to see results. Housebreaking can be an especially sore area, with many owners having to resort to professional help to get the job done. To maximize your chances of success, keep training sessions short and sweet and use plenty of praise, treats, and rewards as motivation.
9. They aren’t for novices
Although Glechons make great family pets, they can be a handful, with a stubborn streak a mile wide and an aversion to doing anything they don’t want to. Unless you’re experienced in handling dogs, you might want to think twice before bringing one home.
10. They need lots of grooming
Although the Glechon isn’t a big shedder, they still need plenty of grooming to prevent their coat from becoming tangled or matted. As wagwalking.com notes, they’ll ideally need to be brushed with a pin brush around 3 to 4 times a week. As the hair around their face tends to grow quickly, they’ll need to be trimmed regularly to prevent the hair from obscuring their vision. Excessive bathing should be avoided as it can strip their skin of essential oils: use your nose as a guide – if they smell, wash them; if they don’t, leave them be. Teeth should be brushed a few times a week to keep dental problems at bay, and ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid infection. Nails will need to be trimmed as soon as they start to make a clipping sound on tiled surfaces.