Cute and cuddly in appearance, the Brussels Griffon is a breed of toy dog, deriving its name from its place of origination, Brussels, a city in Belgium. Also known as the Griffon Bruxellois, this breed has other two kinds, namely the Griffon Belge and Petit Brabançon that may differ in coat and color but identified as a variety of the same breed. This sturdily built dog with a short body stature is characterized by a rounded head, large, black, well-set eyes, small ears, steady gait and a high set tail carried to the front.
|Other names||Brussels Griffon, Petit Brabançon, Griffon Belge,
|Common nicknames||Griffon, Bruss, Griff|
|Coat||Rough (wiry, dense); Smooth (straight, short, glossy, tight)|
|Color||Black, belge, black and tan, red, brown, blue, chocolate, wheaten, tan|
|Average lifespan||12 to 15 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Small|
|Height of a full grown Brussels Griffon||7 to 10 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Brussels Griffon||8 to 10 pounds|
|Litter size||1 to 3 puppies|
|Behavioral traits||Cheerful, lively, curious, charming, affectionate|
|Good with children||No|
|Climate compatibility||Intolerant to hot as well as cold climates|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Minimal|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, AKC, CKC, ANKC, NZKC, UKC, KC (UK)|
Dogs like the Griffon were renowned in Europe for a long time, and their ancestors could be seen in paintings and portrayal as early as the 15th century. However, it was not until the 18th century that the Griffon came into existence. They are said to have drawn their lineage from small terrier kind dogs called griffons d’ecurie (wire coated stable dogs) employed in stables to keep a check on rats. The drivers were known to cross their dogs with a host of other canines for improving their quality. Though nothing has been written, it is said that breeds like the Pug, Affenpinscher, English Toy Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier and Brabançon (an ancient Belgian breed) were instrumental in the creation of the small-sized Brussels Griffon with a human-like face, also possessing abilities to hunt rats. Its popularity, however, increased in the 19th century when it received royal patronage after the Belgian queen Maria Henrietta took a liking for this breed. Eventually, it became a pet of the aristocratic class and people from the upper strata of the society carried out efforts in improving the standard of the breed. The Club du Griffon Bruxellois developed in the year 1889 with the ones having a smooth coat classified as Griffon Brabançon. Both the rough and smoothly coated ones had been imported to the U.K. and U.S. with the first Griffons being registered by the AKC in 1910. Post the two world wars there were hardly any Bruss left in Belgium. It is only for the efforts by dog fanciers of the United Kingdom and the United States which saved it from extinction.
They are perfect companion dogs with a big heart, loving to snuggle with their master or near and dear ones. In fact, they have a tendency to bond intimately with a particular person in the family than all the members. They are suspicious and could be aversive to any unknown person or dogs. The Bruss does not like to be left alone for prolonged periods and can also turn destructive under such circumstances. They are impatient dogs and do not want to be bullied or disturbed by children. While some Griffons would prefer older ones than small kids, a few may not like the company of children at all. They would share a comfortable rapport with other dogs and cats of the family. However, the Griffon may suffer from small dog syndrome and could try to get aggressive with dogs more massive than it in size.
They are intelligent but sensitive and needs to be handled in a patient and firm yet gentle way, thus requiring an experienced taskmaster.
Good quality dry dog food mixed with a measured amount of homemade food would help it remain healthy.