THE BRUSSELS GRIFFON

brussels griffon

Packed with personality, the Brussels Griffon is part of the ‘toy group’ of dogs. It sometimes goes by the name ‘monkey face’, ‘bearded dog’ and even ‘the Griff’ by its loyal fanbase.

This compact bundle of joy is also known to be playful and energetic.

Known to have their favorites, a Brussels Griffon is a loyal and loving dog, that forms a close attachment to its owner.

Brief History

The Brussels Griffon can trace their lineage back to 1890s Brussels, where it was bred to hunt mice and rats. It is a hybrid of a number of breeds, including the English Toy Spaniel, which can be seen in its facial features, and is also part Affenpinscher Pug, where it gets its compact size and wiry coat.

Eventually winning their way into the hearts of their owners, Brussels became popular house pets and started to enter dog shows in the early 19th century. One such fan was Belgium Queen Marie Henriette, who helped popularize this breed throughout Europe.

Today there are two versions of this breed: the rough-coated, and the smooth-coated version, also known as the ‘Petit Brabancon’. There is also belief that this smoother breed with possibly mixed with the Yorkshire Terrier, which altered its facial features.

Like many dogs at this time, the first and second World Wars posed a threat to this breed. However, thanks to due diligence from breeders in US and UK, it was salvaged for many generations to come.

It was enrolled into the American Kennel Club in 1910.

Physical Features

Its short, thick body is in contrast to its large round skull and undershot chin. It possesses large black ears and a black nose that is short and set back between both eyes. The tail is docked.

The rough coat is known to be wiry, while its smooth coat more soft. Distinctively, this covers the head to form a fringe and beard. The coat color can be either reddish brown, or black and reddish brown markings, or just plain black.

Average Height:

8-10 inches

Average Weight:

8-12 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Temperament

They might be small, but this is a sturdy breed with a strong and charming personality that is irresistibly infectious!

Cheery, curious and confident, it’s quirky traits are loved by its owners. It also has a notable energetic streak which comes from its terrier background.

brussels griffon

But take note; some Griffs are known to be a little bossy, as part of their natural desire for independence. This can make them a bit of a challenge to train. As such, they do well with socialization classes and training as young as possible to curb unwanted behaviors. They will respond best to positive affirmations and recognition.

Although extremely loving to its owner, this is not a breed that specifically enjoys being around children and is also known to be a barker.

The Griff however is a versatile breed, which can live in small spaces and adapts well to city living.

Special Needs

The Griff is sensitive to heat and should avoid any situation where overheating is a possibility

It is also a breed that needs to be trained and socialized to prevent future challenges, combined with ongoing daily exercise and mental stimulation. Being a ‘people dog’ it does not do well on its own for lengths of time.

As this is a curious and energetic dog, they fall foul to escaping easily, and should be kept within close proximity when out and about.

They do not make good ‘emotional support dogs’ since short-faced breeds do not take to air travel well.

Possible Health Concerns

Although an active and healthy dog, this breed may be susceptible to the certain health conditions:

This includes ‘Brachycephalic Syndrome’ also known as snoring and snorting their through mouths. They are also predisposed to cleft palate – a facial defect, which is usually evident at birth.

Some Brussels are known to suffer from ‘Hip Dysplasia’ and ‘Laxating Patellas’ – a condition affecting the kneecap.

Exercise

Certainly active, the Brussels Griffon needs daily exercise; at least 30 minutes a day. It may also benefit from dog training classes, obedience, agility and some rally sports.

During hotter months, exercises should take place indoors to prevent them from overheating.

Nutrition

brussels griffon

This breed does well on a high-quality dog food that is well-balanced. Therefore home-cooked meals work well for this breed; speak to your veterinarian for a prescribed diet.

Their recommended daily intake should be ¼ to ½ cup of dry foods.

Grooming

The rough-coated Griff tends to be a relatively easy dog to care for, while the smooth version can shed at certain times in the year. Nonetheless, they do require daily brushing with a grooming glove or brush for both coat types and many will have their coats clipped for easy maintenance. At least twice a year they require specialized grooming.

Weekly bathing is required with an appropriate canine shampoo, alongside an ear cleaning and nail trimming every few weeks. Dental brushing with the use of chew toys, and dental treats is essential to help prevent plaque.

A small dog with a big personality, the Brussels Griffon is a unique toy dog with a cheerful disposition. Yet, it can be stubborn and difficult, as well as prone to barking when left for long periods alone. It also doesn’t get on as well with children as some other breeds.

Because of this, socialization and training is essential in teaching your Griff to get along with other people and pets. Plenty of daily exercise, praise and company will keep bad behaviors at bay.

Smart and friendly, the Griff’s curious nature means that you will have to keep an eye  on their whereabouts; although that shouldn’t be too hard, as they love the company of their owners. Indeed, the Griff will entertain you endlessly and win its way into your heart!

Liked this post? Subscribe to our newsletter!

What is the Age of Cats in Human Years?

Have you ever wondered what is the age of cats in human years? Here’s your answer.

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat

How to Adopt a Maine Coon Cat The Maine Coon Cat is one of the oldest breeds native to...

How Long are Cats Pregnant?

How Long are Cats Pregnant? Whether you’re a cat breeder or owner, if you have a...

What are Siamese Cats?

What are Siamese Cats? Delightful and charming, cute and clever, the Siamese cats are...

Amazon Parrots as Pets

Amazon Parrots as Pets There may be more than 350 different types of bird species...

What Are African Grey Parrots?

What Are African Grey Parrots? One of the most distinctive breeds of parrot is the...

What Are Bearded Dragons?

What Are Bearded Dragons? The Bearded Dragon is like a primeval character that would...

Interesting Facts About Parrots

Interesting Facts About Parrots When you have a parrot as a pet, they can be fun but...

Kidney Failure in Cats

Read this article to learn about kidney disease and kidney failure in cats. Know the signs of kidney failure in cats and call a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Breathing Problems in Dogs and Cats

There are a number of reasons why your pet may be experiencing breathing problems, read this article for some possibilities.

Cat Health: A Checklist

In this article find a checklist for cat health. You’ll learn daily, weekly and monthly tips for cat healthcare. And call a local veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Common Illnesses in Dogs and Cats

Watch out for these common illnesses in dogs and cats, including skin conditions, upset stomachs, urinary tract infections, and arthritis.

Upset Stomach in Dogs and Cats

It can be scary when your dog or cat experiences vomiting or diarrhea. In this article learn the signs and symptoms of upset stomach in dogs and cats. As well as remedies for upset stomach in cats and dogs.

Dog Health: A Checklist

Keep track of your dog health with this checklist. Covering everything you need to do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

You may have asked yourself: is pet insurance worth it? Veterinarians and pet health experts say yes!

When to Visit Your Veterinarian

As a pet owner, it’s important to know the signs to watch out for that indicate a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.

Is My Dog Drinking Lots of Water?

Is Your Dog Drinking Lots of Water? How to know when your pup’s thirst is a sign of a...

February is Pet Dental Health Month

February is Pet Dental Health Month By Dr. Bruce Little February is National Pet...