Transylvanian Griffinfinches: the only information you'll ever find about this rare dog breed."


Dog Books Written By Michele Welton

Dog books written by Michele Welton

Dog books written by Michele Welton

Dog books written by Michele Welton


The elusive Transylvanian Griffinfinch

Transylvanian Griffinfinch Temperament: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018


The Transylvanian Griffinfinch (pronounced transylvanian griffinfinch) is a bizarre dog breed who is somewhat frustrating to live with.

If you want a dog who...

  • Looks like a cartoon drawing
  • Doesn't cost anything other than printer ink
  • Is flat, so doesn't take up much space
  • Comes in different sizes, from postage stamp to legal size
  • Comes in any color you have on your paper shelf (if you have only white paper, remember that crayons and markers are FULL of color)
  • Weighs almost nothing, unless you print him on an anvil
  • Doesn't shed, chew things, dig holes, get into fights, or bark (though he does make sounds.....we'll get to that)

A Transylvanian Griffinfinch may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • A dog who can never be bathed
  • Escape attempts on windy days
  • Fragility – is easily creased, wrinkled, crumpled, or torn
  • Potential paper cuts if you handle him too roughly
  • Limited watchdog skills. None, actually.

A Transylvanian Griffinfinch may not be right for you. Good. All the more for the rest of us!

If I were considering buying or adopting a Transylvanian Griffinfinch

I would be most concerned about...

  1. Health problems. Too many people simply turn on their printer and print out a Griffinfinch without understanding how fragile he is. Please don't take on the responsibility for this breed unless you know you can keep him safe.

    First, you should print your Griffinfinch on durable paper, not cheapo photocopy paper.

    Second, to keep your Griffinfinch healthy, the most important things to remember are:

    • Do not bend, fold, staple, or mutilate him.
    • You can seriously injure a Griffinfinch by sitting on him when he's lying on the sofa.
    • Don't pet your Griffinfinch after you've been eating potato chips, else he'll smudge.
    • Don't walk your Griffinfinch in the rain.

    Griffinfinches should NOT be handed over to children. That a child "meant well" is little solace to a Griffinfinch who has been folded into a paper airplane and launched skyward. Even worse is the poor little Griffinfinch who is folded into an Origami flower.

  2. Exercise. Once a week, on a breezy day, take your Griffinfinch to a large open field and let him sail across the meadow. But be careful – if it's too gusty, the wind could take him so high that he might be seized by eagles and carried away right in front of your helpless eyes. Griffinfinch owners who witness such a horrifying spectacle often require counseling.

    Remember that Griffinfinches do not come when called. Ever. So if yours gets too far away, you'll have to give chase. If you've "had it up to here" chasing your Griffinfinch on windy days, you might consider a radical surgical procedure involving a hole punch and a length of string. Needless to say, this should only be carried out under general anesthesia.

    A less-drastic solution for a wandering Griffinfinch is to tape him to a sheet of heavy cardboard. Unfortunately, this will cut down on his ability to exercise, so he may become lethargic.

  3. Training. Griffinfinches are not impressed by treats or praise, and they're oblivious to scolding. If you roll your Griffinfinch into a tube and wrap the leash loosely around him, you may be able to coax him to "come" and "heel". Of course you can force him to obey you if you have subjected him to that surgical procedure involving the hole punch. But then you risk breaking his spirit.
  4. Escape attempts. Some Griffinfinches, no matter where you put them, will quietly slide off onto the floor, where they will lie silently while you stride around the room searching for them and uttering bad words.

    When looking for a missing Griffinfinch, check under the furniture. They like to hide – sometimes because they're manipulative, sometimes because they're shy. If you have a shy Griffinfinch, he is more likely to feel secure and stay put if you tuck him inside a manila file folder when set him down.

    Alas, some Griffinfinches will NEVER stay where you put them. You may need to "get tough" with stubborn Griffinfinches by weighing them down with a paperweight or attaching them to a clipboard.

    You can try using a paperclip – attaching the Griffinfinch to other sheets of paper – but a really determined Griffinfinch will simply take the other papers with him. If you find a whole pile of papers hiding under the furniture, and a Griffinfinch is attached to them, don't punish the other papers. Undoubtedly it was the Griffinfinch who masterminded the whole thing. The other papers simply "went along for the ride."

  5. Defensive reactions. If you discipline a Griffinfinch by handling him roughly, he might give you papercuts. If you have a really bad-tempered Griffinfinch and you need to discipline him, I recommend wearing gloves.
  6. Grooming. Your Griffinfinch's coat can be kept clean of dust and debris by wiping it with a dry cloth or by blowing gently on it. Do not bathe him in water. Remember what happened to the Wicked Witch of the West.

    Your Griffinfinch does not require trimming or clipping unless he has excessive white space around him.

    If you make a mistake when trimming your Griffinfinch, you can try to fix it with tape or glue, but everyone will be able to tell that you messed it up and they will snicker at your Griffinfinch behind your back.

  7. Noise levels. Normally, Griffinfinches are very quiet. But if you harass them by waving them around, they make a flapping noise, and if you crumple them, they make a pitiful crackling sound.
  8. Lifespan. If you fold your Griffinfinch into a square and leave him in your pants pocket on laundry day, his lifespan will be very short. If you store him in a safe deposit box, he will live for decades. But since most of us like to interact with our Griffinfinches every day, their real lifespan is somewhere in between.

    You can lengthen your Griffinfinch's life by slipping him into a clear plastic sleeve, but it may not be much of a life. Think of your poor Griffinfinch peering at the world through a plastic sheet that obscures his vision and hearing and scenting ability.

    Please don't have your Griffinfinch laminated. Really, what good is it to have a dog who can't breathe?

Michele and BuffyHello! I'm Michele Welton. I have over 35 years experience as a dog trainer, dog breed consultant, and author of 15 books about dogs. I don't just follow the crowd! I give you my honest opinions and advice based on a lifetime of experience.... [read more]

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