Ask Difference

Griffon vs. Griffin — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 8, 2024
Griffon typically refers to a breed of dog or a type of vulture, whereas Griffin is a mythical creature with a lion's body and an eagle's head.
Griffon vs. Griffin — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Griffon and Griffin


Key Differences

Griffon often denotes a specific breed of hunting dog known for its keen sense of smell and loyalty, such as the Griffon Bruxellois or the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. These breeds are appreciated for their hunting skills and companionship. On the other hand, Griffin (or griffon) represents a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, symbolizing strength and intelligence. It's a figure in ancient mythology, signifying a blend of mastery of the land and the sky.
The Griffon vulture, known for its impressive wingspan and scavenging habits, plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by cleaning up carcasses. Whereas, the Griffin, in various mythologies, guards treasures and possesses unfathomable wisdom, reflecting the virtues of courage and watchfulness.
In heraldry and symbolism, Griffons are depicted as noble creatures embodying valor and protection. They often appear on coats of arms and flags, signifying strength and vigilance. Griffon dogs and vultures, while admired for their physical traits and ecological roles, do not carry the same symbolic weight.
Cultural representations of Griffons span literature, art, and architecture, showcasing their mythical power and allure. They are subjects of fascination in fantasy genres and historical art. Meanwhile, Griffon breeds and the Griffon vulture are celebrated in different contexts, such as in dog shows, wildlife conservation efforts, and educational materials on biodiversity.
The fascination with Griffins extends into modern entertainment, from books and movies to video games, illustrating humanity's enduring intrigue with mythical creatures. Griffon dogs and vultures, though less mystified, captivate interest through their real-world presence, contributing to our understanding of nature and animal behavior.

Comparison Chart


A breed of dog or type of vulture.
A mythical creature with a lion's body and eagle's head.


Loyalty, hunting prowess, ecological role.
Strength, protection, wisdom.

Cultural Role

Real-world importance in hunting, conservation.
Mythological significance, guarding treasures.


In dog shows, wildlife documentaries.
In mythology, heraldry, fantasy literature and art.


Due to their characteristics and roles in nature.
Rooted in mythical power and symbolism.

Compare with Definitions


Symbolizes steadfastness in certain cultures due to its hunting capabilities.
In medieval tapestries, the Griffon dog represents loyalty and courage.


Embodied in art and literature as a symbol of nobility.
Medieval heraldry often features a Griffin to signify courage and strength.


Known for its unique appearance and demeanor in the animal kingdom.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is distinguished by its robust and versatile hunting skills.


Represents a blend of terrestrial and aerial dominance.
The Griffin's composition highlights the virtues of the king of beasts and the king of birds.


A dog breed known for its keen sense of smell and loyalty.
The Griffon Bruxellois excels in agility competitions due to its intelligence and agility.


Appears in various cultures as a guardian of sacred places.
In Greek mythology, the Griffin protects the gold of the Hyperboreans.


A type of vulture with a wide wingspan, contributing to ecosystem health by scavenging.
The Griffon vulture soars above the mountains, scanning for carrion.


Fascinates in modern fantasy as a majestic beast.
In popular novels, Griffins are depicted as noble creatures capable of flight and combat.


Featured in wildlife conservation discussions for its role in nature.
Conservationists emphasize the Griffon vulture's importance in preventing the spread of disease.


A mythical creature symbolizing strength and wisdom.
The Griffin, with its eagle's head and lion's body, stands guard over the ancient treasure.


A Brussels griffon.


The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Ancient Greek: γρύψ, grū́ps; Classical Latin: grȳps or grȳpus; Late and Medieval Latin: gryphes, grypho etc.; Old French: griffon) is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and sometimes an eagle's talons as its front feet. Because the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts, and the eagle the king of the birds, by the Middle Ages, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.


A wirehaired pointing griffon.


A fabulous beast with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion.


Variant of griffin.


A mythical beast having the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle.


Alternative form of griffin


A large vulture (Gyps fulvus) found in the mountainous parts of Southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor, supposed to be the "eagle" of the Bible.


A breed of dog usually called the Brussels griffon, reminiscent of the legendary creature.


An English variety of apple.


A griffon vulture.


A person who has just arrived from Europe.


One of a European breed of rough-coated dogs, somewhat taller than the setter and of a grizzly liver color. They are used in hunting game birds. The Brussels griffon is a very small, wiry-coated, short-nosed pet dog of Belgian origin.


A cadet newly arrived in British India: half English, half Indian.


Breed of various very small compact wiry-coated dogs of Belgian origin having a short bearded muzzle


A watchful guardian, especially a duenna in charge of a young woman.


Breed of medium-sized long-headed dogs with downy undercoat and harsh wiry outer coat; originated in Holland but largely developed in France


An Anglo-Indian name for a person just arrived from Europe.


Large vulture of southern Europe and northern Africa having pale plumage with black wings


A fabulous monster, half lion and half eagle. It is often represented in Grecian and Roman works of art.


A representation of this creature as an heraldic charge.


A species of large vulture (Gyps fulvus) found in the mountainous parts of Southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor; - called also gripe, and grype. It is supposed to be the "eagle" of the Bible. The bearded griffin is the lammergeir.


An English early apple.


Winged monster with an eagle-like head and body of a lion

Common Curiosities

What cultural significance does the Griffin have?

Griffins hold a mythical status across various cultures, often associated with guarding treasures and symbolizing nobility and courage.

What is a Griffon?

A Griffon refers to either a specific breed of dog or a type of vulture, known for its distinctive characteristics and roles in nature.

How are Griffons significant in ecology?

Griffon vultures play a crucial role in ecosystems by scavenging dead animals, which helps prevent the spread of disease.

Are Griffins real?

Griffins are mythical creatures and do not exist in the real world, though they are a popular subject in mythology and fantasy.

What does a Griffin represent?

A Griffin represents a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle, symbolizing strength, protection, and wisdom.

Can Griffons be pets?

Certain Griffon breeds, like the Griffon Bruxellois, are popular as pets due to their loyalty and companionship.

How is the Griffin represented in modern entertainment?

Griffins are featured in fantasy books, movies, and video games as majestic and powerful creatures.

Are Griffon dogs good for hunting?

Yes, many Griffon breeds are highly regarded for their hunting abilities, particularly due to their keen sense of smell and endurance.

What is the difference between a Griffon and a Griffin?

A Griffon refers to specific breeds of dogs or vultures, while a Griffin is a mythical creature combining features of a lion and an eagle.

How are Griffins used in literature?

In literature, Griffins are often used to symbolize the guardian of something valuable or as noble companions to heroes.

What role do Griffons play in heraldry?

In heraldry, Griffons are depicted as noble guardians, often used to signify courage and vigilance on coats of arms.

How do Griffon vultures contribute to biodiversity?

By scavenging, Griffon vultures help maintain healthy ecosystems and contribute to the control of animal populations.

What mythology features Griffins?

Griffins appear in several mythologies, including Greek and Middle Eastern, symbolizing divine power and protection.

Can Griffins fly?

In mythology and fantasy, Griffins are depicted as capable of flight, combining the aerial ability of an eagle with the strength of a lion.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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