(aka: Griffon Blege, Griffon Bruxellois, Belgian Griffon)
The Brussels Griffon comes to around 8-12 inches in height and is also 8012 pounds in weight. This small dog comes in two varieties - one is the rough coated Brussels Griffon, and the other the smooth coated Brussels Griffon. The rough coated version has a wiry, harsh coat, and the smooth coated variety has a short, close fitting coat. The coloring of the Brussels Griffon is black, red, or black and tan with some white markings. He also has protruding yes, and this is a feature that could lead to various eye infections. The Brussels Griffon has a docile and meaningful expression.
Brussels Griffon Temperament
Alert and intelligent, the Brussels Griffon is a delightful toy dog that is ideal for a companion dog. Spirited and curious, this is a dog that can be very comical and entertaining when he wants to be, but will also be happy to snuggle up on the lap of his owner. These dogs are independent and can have something of a manipulative streak if not properly trained and managed, but he is also sensitive, intelligent, and fun to be around. The Brussels Griffon does get on with children, but is better around older children who are more considerate, as boisterous younger children could put him in danger due to his small size.
When it comes to strangers the Brussels Griffon may be friendly or nervous depending on his personality. He tends to get along with other pets, although he may be way of and even aggressive with strange dogs if he feels challenged by them. The Brussels Griffon is a lively and obedient dog, but doesn't like to be teased. These dogs are better suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. The Brussels Griffon can also have a jealous streak, and when it comes to his toys and food he can be very possessive. Training the Brussels Griffon should be okay providing you have confidence and use the right training methods, but this breed is difficult to housebreak.
The grooming requirements for the Brussels Griffon will depend upon whether you have the rough or the smooth coated variety. With the rough coated Brussels Griffon the grooming requirements are somewhat higher, as you brush his coat a couple of times each week, and you should also trim around his bottom for hygiene reasons. With the smooth coated Brussels Griffon an occasional brushing will suffice.
Reaching back into their 17th century beginnings in Belgium, the small Brussels Griffon was bred to rid stables of vermin, just as many small breeds were back in the day. However, their diminutive stature and endearing character made them suitable for accompanying coach drivers on their routes from time to time. Soon, their reputation as a companion animal grew between the working class and nobility until they were presented in a dog show sometime in the late 1800's. Their popularity grew further from there as a number of breeders also took interest in the dog, boosting its numbers. However, during World War I and II, the breed dwindled to near extinction. With virtually no Griffons left in Belgium, breeders in other parts of Europe helped to bring numbers back up, although barely. Interest in the Brussels Griffon peaks form time to time with occasional appearances on movies or TV.
These days, the breed is still considered rare, putting a strain on available breeding stocks, especially when it comes to unscrupulous or amateur backyard breeders. To ensure purity of line, breeders now require signed contracts obliging new owners to have their pup spayed or neutered by a certain date.
The Brussels Griffon is a small sensitive dog, making training a large sensitive issue. While the terrier in them wants nothing more than to please their owner, they can at times seem willful and stubborn. However, heavy handed techniques or harsh tactics are an absolute thumbs down for this breed. It will not take much to put them on the side of caution. Once they have been intimidated, it can take even more time and patience to get to a place where they are ready to work on the issue again. Sensitivity will be required when training this small petite animal. Another bonus to training is that owners can get better insight into their Griffon's personality, which can at times seem a little bit moody.
For the most part, obedience training is an easy task, especially since the Griffon has the opportunity to bond even more with the owner. As many have found, housebreaking a Griffon can prove to be somewhat difficult, although not impossible. The best course of action is to work a rather flexible schedule with the dog, removing items such as expensive rugs until the dog's maturity catches up with the training process. For many breeds, it is the progression of maturity that allows the dog to better process information. As always, consistency is a must.
Although they tend to balk at new experiences, with encouragement Griffons are known to do quite well with leash training at around 6-8 weeks of age. It is important to use a lead that is of an appropriate size to ensure a smooth training process.
Classes that offer alternative disciplining measures are a best bet for owners and their Griffons. Gentle training methods for this breed can include the use of praise, treats, clickers and good old fashioned patience.
The life expectancy of the Brussels Griffon is around 12-15 years. There are a number of illnesses and health problems that are associated with the breed, and this includes luxating patella, Legg Perthes, seizures, heart problems, and cataracts. The parents of the Brussels Griffon puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.