The temperament of the Brussels Griffon rests largely on the foundation of being part of the terrier breed. This means they are all heart, endearing themselves to their owners. Where ever their owner goes, the Griffon will automatically follow. In fact, the tiny blessing is not so much meant to be a family pet as it is a constant companion. It would not be out of the question to see this breed of dog accompanying its owner almost as an escort. As many have come to find, the elfin animal is one that greatly relies on regular contact with its owner. It has not been known to do well when left alone for long periods of time.
Part of the reason a Brussels Griffon is so dependent is its sensitive nature. They are not an overly shy or aggressive animal and quite often are noted for the smug or superior look they give when at ease with the world. However, they rely on consistency and a low key environment to be at their best. This is a large reason why they do not do well as a family pet, especially when there are extremely small children in the household. They are a breed that loves to be lavished with attention but can also be easily over stimulated, making them seem somewhat moody. Those who spend a great deal of time with their Griffon are able to sense exactly what is acceptable for their dog's particular personality and just how much they will tolerate.
While they love to be the centre of attention, the Brussels Griffon is perfectly happy to have a companion or two, whether another dog or other small household pet. There have been occasions when a Griffon, having a rather slim concept of its own size, has been known to try and assert his or her dominance with a dog much larger than itself. Socialization from an early age can help to keep this to a minimum.
Socialization is also necessary for this breed because of its rare look. It is not uncommon for passers-by to comment on the Griffon and want to take a closer look or offer a pat on the head. However, the Griffon is one that can be wary of strangers and may feel threatened. He or she may abruptly snap at the stranger out of sheer nature. Socialization at an early age can also help keep this to a minimum. Politely requesting that strangers not touch the dog can also help in this situation.
In general, a Brussels Griffon will keep to his or her master, warming up to others on its own terms. Not outwardly aggressive, they can be shy with new people and situations. Although they will bark should the doorbell ring, unless they are excessively lonely, they are not a breed prone to the habit of barking at all times of the day and night. They prefer a calm environment and for the most part will avoid confrontation to the best of their ability.
Life Span: 13-15 years
Litter Size: 2-3 pups at a time
Group: The Griffon is categorized in the Terrier and toy groups.
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, NKC, APRI
Colour: The Griffon comes in red, black or black and tan, with no particular colour being more popular than the other.
Hair Length: Medium, Short
Shedding: Light Shed, Moderate Shed
Male Height: 7-8 inches or 18-20cmMale Weight: 6-12 pounds or 2.5-5.5kgFemale Height: 7-8 inches or 18-20cmFemale Weight: 6-12 pounds or 2.5-5.5kg
Living Area: The petite stature of the Brussels Griffon makes it suitable for apartment size living. Although not very big, the breed does enjoy being active. However, because it has a strong attachment to its owner, it is a breed that prefers to stay close and does not do well when left outside for long periods of time.
The Brussels Griffon is a breed most memorable for its unique and distinguishing look. The trio of wide set eyes, flat face and prominent chin coupled with their cheerful terrier disposition has won the dog a small but dedicated following. Its expression is commonly said to characterize that of an elf or monkey. Although grouped in the toy category, the Brussels Griffon is quite a sturdy, stocky breed with thick square proportions, their stance commonly compared to that of a Boxer.
The body is somewhat short yet holds the large head well. Both the ears and tail can be cropped although this is not a requirement. In fact, cropping is a practice that is largely falling by the wayside.
The Griffon will either be found wearing what is called a rough coat or smooth coat. A rough coat consists of coarse, wiry hair, while the smooth coat is glossy with hair that is flat and close to the body.
Neither is more popular than the other; however, the smooth coat allows one to better see the Griffon's unique features. For instance, one can see the slightly arched neck that gives way to a solid barrel chest. One can also see the graceful line that leads up into a slender waist and strong hind legs.
The breed is a better pick for older couples or adults who live alone and want or need a companion with whom to share every moment. Because the breed has a tendency to be sensitive to sound and sudden action and children tend to naturally exhibit these types of behaviour, the two are not recommended for each other.
The two natures combined often result in an unfortunate situation where a well intentioned child ends up with a painful nip when the sensitive Griffon is inadvertently frightened.
When it comes to the Brussels Griffon, there are two different types of coats to consider. The most common is referred to as the rough coat; aptly earning its name from the coarse wiry hair that requires brushing at least twice a week to keep matting at bay. The smooth coats is rather glossy with hair that is flat and close to the body from head to tail..
The Brussels Griffon comes in either a rough coat or smooth coat, each requiring its own amount of upkeep. The rough coat is one that sheds less than the smooth coat but a rough coat also requires hand stripping. Clipping is sorely advised against when it comes to a rough coat.
Hand stripping is the act of removing blown, or dead grown out hair, by grasping hairs between the forefinger and thumb and gently removing in the direction of the hair growth.
The hair comes out easily without any stress to the animal. The result is a smoother, more even coat. It is not a difficult task, although for the untrained individual, it can span over a day to complete. A professional groomer is likely to complete a stripping in 1-2 hours. Facial hair is often lightly trimmed and shaped with scissors.
For smooth coats, the regular use of a grooming mitt can keep seasonal shedding down to a minimum. Folds in the skin on the face of a smooth coated dog should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Left unchecked, these folds that trap dirt and debris can become malodorous, if not infected.
For show dogs, there are times when coats can become damaged due to constant washing and blow drying that inadvertently disperses necessary body oils. It is times like these when a pH-alkaline balanced shampoo should be used to restore balance to the coat. For Griffons with facial hair, it is also necessary to comb through whiskers from time to time to remove food particles and prevent matting.
Exercise for the Griffon need not be overly extensive as their diminutive stature allows them to get plenty of exercise even when indoors. They enjoy daily walks and romps outside but are not prime candidates for extreme distance walks or jogging.
There are some clubs of Brussels Griffon owners who set their dogs in small obstacle courses that bring out their skills as ratters, the purpose for which they were originally intended. The Griffon shows adept skill at weaving in and out of small spaces and also ducking under and jumping over small obstacles. Their energetic personality is easy to see during these exciting events.
Groups dedicated to the promotion and care of the Griffon breed often sponsor these shows and other activities for Griffon owners to take part in. These organizations can often be found by going online or contacting a local kennel club. Information on training Griffons for these events as well as the requirements for sign up and entry fees are readily available. Events are often scheduled to move from one region to another each year.
While Griffons suffer common canine maladies no more or less than any other breed, they will, at times, suffer ailments due to their unique facial anatomy, such as the prominent wide set eyes.
• stenotic nares, also known as narrowed nostrils, combined with extended soft palates can sometimes hinder breathing
• protopsis or the prolapse/expulsion of the eyeball
• eyeball lacerations
• Progressive Retinal Atrophy
• difficult whelping, often requiring a vet to perform a Caesarean section
Miniature breeds are known to suffer from hydrocephalus (the Breeding of miniature Griffons is highly discouraged)
Return From Brussels Griffon To Choosing A Dog
Return From Brussels Griffon To Dog Breeds With Pictures