Griffon Bruxellois Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- There are two coat varieties for the Brussels Griffon. The first coat being rough-coated which consists of harsh, dense, and wiry hair. The second variety is the smooth-coated, which is the opposite being glossy, straight and short. The distinctive feature of a Griffon is its pug like face. The nose is quite short and turned up, diminishing the muzzle almost entirely. Large, prominent eyes are another pug-like feature as is the undershot jaw. This has led some people to liken the Griffon face to a monkey.
- Other Names:Brussels Griffon, Griffon Belge, Belgian Griffon, Petit Braboncon, Piccolo Branbantino
- Country Of Origin:Belgium
- Dog Group Kennel Club:
- Red, Belgian Griffon: Black, black and tan, or red, black and grizzle. Brussels Griffon: Completely and clearly red. Petit Brabonçon: Red, red and black, red, black, and grizzle, black and tan, or just black
- Cheerful, friendly, and sometimes moody, this breed can be fairly picky. As with many smaller breeds, the Brussels Griffon can be difficult to housebreak but with consistency, will do just fine. Being that this is a willful and high-strung breed, a gentle but firm handler would work best with training. Being very sensitive, negative correction will scar the dog and make him everlastingly wary. For this reason, the Griffon is not suggested as a companion for children as their sometimes rough play can be misconstrued and make the dog fearful and unpredictable around children.
- Free with good drive from rear. Moving true coming and going. High stepping front movement undesirable.
- Care and training:
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day.
Active and with a terrier streak, the Griffon does like a good run but will adapt happily to life in a flat.
- Feeding Requirements:
- This little dog does not demand a great deal in the way of feeding. A consistent, nutritious diet, without lots of treats, will result in a healthy dog.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Medium
- Level of Aggression:Medium
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:Low
- Often Docked?Yes
- Average Litter Size:1-3
- Life Expectancy (yrs):12-15
- Health issues:
- Brussels Griffons have difficulty in becoming pregnant and delivering newborns. Only 60 percent of the puppies survive. Other health concernsinclude brachycephalic syndrome, cleft palate, eye problems, and respiratory problems.
- A painting by Jan Van Eyck portrayed the Brussels Griffon in 1434. Once the Brussels Griffon was known as the "Belgian street urchin" who was often found killing rats in stables. Bred for their ratting abilities, their heritage is probably largely due to the Affenpinscher, as well as the Dutch Pug, Ruby English Toy Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier and Irish Terriers. It is said that even more breeds were added to the mix including Barbets, Smoushounds, and Pekignese. Originally, they were mostly a peasant's dog, riding as passengers on cabs on the seat next to the cab driver. This created more popularity for the little dog, and soon it made its way to royalty. French King Henry III, Belgian Queen Henrietta Maria and Queen Astrid were all fans of the breed. Most sources agree that after the breed was mixed with the English Toy Spaniel, however, its nose became shorter and its ratting abilities were depleted. Having Pug blood did not help either. Back then, though, the breed was probably the size of a Fox Terrier and with a longer muzzle, all of them being rough-coated. After which, the two types of coats were developed. The two were the rough coats and smooth coats. In Brussels, Belgium, the Griffon Bruzellois was highly popular between World War I and World War II, literally having thousands in Brussels alone.