The Brussels Griffon dog breed was bred to hunt and kill especially rats. It is a Belgian street dog that is considered an unusual breed of dog. If we talk in terms of comparison with hunting hounds, Brussels griffons are small dogs who do not demand to pamper.
They are full of affection, are witty, and have an intelligent brains. These little pooches are full of energy and require a lot of exercise and playtime to remain fit. Even though they are not considered perfect for first-time dog parents, Brussels Griffons are adorable four-legged companions who can fill your life with joy if you have some experience with dog handling. Let’s find out more about these dogs before deciding in favor of bringing a Brussels pup home.
- Originated in Belgium
- Bred as hunting dogs
- Born out of intermixing of several breeds
- Almost went extinct during world wars, protected by English breeders
Brussels Griffons in the same way we’re trained to be hunting dogs primarily to keep the stables free from rats and mice and other reptiles.
The Brussels Griffon that we have today was bred by a mix of a few breeds. To mention a few – Pug, English Toy, Affenpinscher, etc. might have been the ancestors of the modern Brussels Griffon.
They adopted different traits from every breed. For eg, from the pugs, their smooth coat is inherited, from the Toy Spaniel, they got their large and expressive eyes along with their round head. Whereas, from the Affenpinscher, their small size and wiry coat, and their monkey face might have been inherited.
Over a period of time, they gained fame. Lately, in 1883, the Belgian breeders created a standard code regarding how a Brussels Griffon should look.
This led to their entry into the official dog shows which made them famous. The queen of Belgium, Marie Henriette, fell in love with a Griffon and it elevated their status in the whole of Europe.
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Around the same period of time, in 1889, Griffons got entry into the United States and got registered with the American Kennel Club.
The number of Griffons in the world decreased during both the world wars. Since it was a period of crisis and war, pets were a luxury. Not many could afford pets and by the end of WWII, this breed was almost extinct in their country of origin itself. However, luckily, because of the efforts of some English breeders, they survived in England.
Size and Appearance
- Small dogs
- Monkey like faces with expressive features
- Active, athletic, and agile
When it comes to the appearance of a Brussels griffon, they are often described as the breed which has got a face like a monkey. They are small and intelligent with expressive eyes. Dog experts say that their expressions are so lively that they are almost like humans.
Griffons have a flat face, a large pair of eyes, and a prominent chin. Even though they are small in size, they are quite heavy and athletic. They are good at sports, obedient, and agile.
Brussels Griffon dogs have a sufficient life span. They are known to live up to 14-15 years. So if you want a company for a long time, they might be a good choice for you.
Personality and Temperament
- Attention craving pups
- Expressive in behavior
- Stick like velcro to the ones they love
- Independent and eager to learn
- Bossy and natural leader
Some of them are extroverts while the others are shy and reserved. Mostly, they are in the middle of the extremes.
Brussels has a bossy attitude when you look at them at first but behind that bossiness, you can always find the soft dog who loves his people and constantly craves the attention of their loved ones. In a funny way, sometimes, they are called ‘Velcro dogs’ because they stick like velcro to the people they admire the most.
If Brussels doesn’t get the attention they desire, they misbehave. Being ignored doesn’t sit well with them. They will surely let you know when they get pissed.
Apart from the traits of their behavior mentioned above, their temperament is also affected by a lot of factors including their socialization, heredity, training, etc.
To make sure that the one you are bringing home is lying in between the spectrum and is not on the extremes of the behavior, try to meet one of the parents of the puppy or any relative. It gives you an idea about the inherited behavior of the puppy you are planning to adopt.
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Like every other dog, socialization plays a very important role. Ensure that your dog gets early socialization. For that, invite your friends over so that they become habitual to a foreign presence in the house and behave well in the presence of people they might not know.
Take them out to dog-friendly restaurants, it helps a lot in their socialization. Socialization ensures that your puppy becomes a well-rounded dog. You can even enroll them in the puppy kindergarten initially.
Though, as mentioned above, Brussels Griffons Dog Breed love attention but do not confuse this as their need. They are quite independent pooches who you can train properly with positive reinforcement.
The best you can do is be kind and consistent with them and keep the training sessions interesting and short. Rewards are always the key.
- Non-shedding, hypoallergenic coats
- Three different coat colors
- Two different types of coats
The rough-coated ones have a dense coat and have no silky hair over their body. The hair on their head is a little longer compared to the rest of their body, especially around the eyes, cheeks, and chin. Though, this rough coat of theirs shall never be confused with untidiness.
The smooth-coated ones have a short and shiny coat. Their hair is straight which is close to their body.
The coat of a Brussels Griffon dog comes in three colors-
- Red – A red with a tint of brown, has black spots on the chin.
- Beige – Primarily beige with a mix of black or brown.
- Black/Tan – They are black with uniform tints of red and brown.
To ensure their coat remains in good condition, brush them regularly, usually once a week, with a natural bristle brush or a brushing glove. It helps in removing dead hair and decreases shedding. Twice a year, take them to a professional grooming center.
Their coat won’t be a problem in the case of people who are allergic to dogs. Yes, they are hypoallergenic non-shedding pups!
- Make them bathe regularly
- Brush their teeth
- Trim their hair and nails whenever needed
- Regular groomer visits
If your dog is too much into outdoor sports, make them bathe weekly. Use a shampoo that is dog-specific which ensures that the moisture is locked into their hair and skin.
Another aspect of grooming is brushing their teeth. Brush their teeth twice to thrice a week. It saves them from future oral diseases like plaque. For emergencies, buy dental gums and dental wipes. Always use dog-specific toothpaste as human toothpaste is dangerous to them.
Always ensure that you trim their nails whenever you hear the sound of tapping nails on the floor while they are walking. Be extremely careful as nails have veins, if you cut them too deep, they might end up bleeding and that would be extremely painful. You take professional help for the first few sessions.
Keep an eye on sores and rashes on the body, signs of infections, tongue color, inflammation, etc. These checks ensure that you spot any potential health problem at an early stage.
Feeding and Nutrition
The Diet of any dog depends upon a lot of things, for eg. their age, size, level of physical activity, metabolism, build, etc. Still, if we are supposed to make one measurement that is obviously not fit for all, it is ¼ to ½ cup of high-quality dry food every day divided into two meals.
Just like humans, every dog is an individual. Their needs differ from individual to individual.
Besides, the quantity of food depends upon the quality of food as well. High-quality food is sufficient even in low amounts while vice versa is true for the not-so-good quality food.
While feeding your Brussels Griffon, ensure that you do not leave food in their bowl all the time. It might lead to obesity and health complications. Feed them only twice a day.
- Love human company
- Finds a special ‘the one’ and then sticks with them
- Loves barking, sometimes unnecessarily
If you live with your family, your dog will bond the most with one particular member. They will love all, but the bond with one will be more than the rest.
Griffons love snuggling with the person they love the most. Since they bark a lot whenever they hear any barking sound, they need good training to avoid this chaos. It might be troublesome for your neighbors but worry not, they can be trained in a suitable manner.
Are They Fit to Be in a House with Children and Pets?
- Rough treatment? A big no.
- Friendly with other pets
- Friendly when treated with kindly
- Teach your kids to behave well with the dog
Griffons do not like to be controlled. They do not like it when humans touch them without their choice, unnecessarily. Being chased or forced to do anything is sure to trigger them. Planning to make the pup sit on your lap forcefully? Bad idea.
These few traits can be a little problem if you have children at home. Children sometimes do not care about what the dog desires. They tug and pull at the dog’s tail, resorting to rough treatment and playfully pushing them to their limits.
There is no threat to leaving your children with a griffon but it is always advisable that little children should not be left alone with any dog. Always supervise such interactions.
Griffons are pretty comfortable in the presence of other pets. If you already have pets, worry not, bring a griffon home, he will make friends with all other pets.
A Brussels griffon costs somewhere between $800-$4000. The price varies highly depending upon the source of adoption and the quality and credibility of the breeder.
Overall, you won’t regret bringing a griffon home. You are going to have an amazing company for a huge part of your life as they live longer than other breeds. Griffons are not a breed for everyone. They will fit with people having special abilities. They are comfortable with people who appreciate a dog that is up-close rather than independent and they would need time from their human companions.