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Brussels Griffon… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Probably the first thing that you’re going to notice about the Brussels Griffon is that he is totally adorable.  So, adorable you’re probably not going to want to be “exposed” to a Brussels Griffon puppy if he or she is for sale because there’s a very good chance that you’ll be adding one to your family if that’s the case.

You see…

This petite Belgian spaniel is not only really cute they have a natural ability to make you laugh with their almost human expressions.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet, find them to be one of the funniest and sweetest toy dogs you can get bar none!

That that does not…

Mean that a Brussels Griffon puppy or rescue dog is going to be “right” for everyone.  This is why in this article, we wanted to take the time and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Brussel Griffon so if you do chose to make one your own, you won’t be regretting that decision six months from now.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Country of Origin: Belgium

Original Purpose:  Toy Dog, Companion Dog

Height:  Not Specified

Weight:  8 to 12 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy Dog

Origins of the Brussels Griffons

The Brussels Griffon was first developed in Belgium more than 200 years ago from the union of several different breeds including: Pugs, the English Toy Spaniel and the Affenpinscher (a German breed).  It’s almost like someone intentionally took all of the cutest dogs in the world and just “mixed” them all together.

And while…

This approach rarely works out well, in this case who can argue that it wasn’t a great idea!  Ironically though, the Brussels Griffon wasn’t initially appreciated for all that he was!

You see…

Initially, the Brussels Griffon wasn’t consider much more than a “street dog” or “mutt”.  Early on, just about every day was a struggle for survival for him. Not embraced by the wealth land owners of that time, the Brussels Griffon breed had to “prove” his usefulness to the local population.

And as luck would have it…

These little guys are actually quite proficient little hunters and quite up to the task to mix it up with any local rodent population making them quite popular with the local farmers throughout Belgium.  Some might even say loved.

And considering…

The fact that they have depicted in some of the greatest pieces of art including Renoir’s “Bather With Griffon,” and other classical artwork by Van Dyck and Du Empoli its difficult to argue that even folks 200 years ago found them tough to resist.

In 1910…

The Brussels Griffon was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in addition to already being recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale.

The Federation Cynologique is an organization that represents all Kennel Clubs outside of the United States and the UK.

Physical characteristics of the Brussels Griffon

It’s fair to say that the Brussels Griffon is similar in general appearance to several other dog breeds including the:

  • Dutch Smoushond,
  • Brabancon Griffon.
  • And the Schnauzer.

But those other dog breeds are generally larger than the Brussels Griffon considering they should only weight up to about 12 pounds and is will “feel” like a very “light” 12 pounds because they aren’t going to be “packed” with muscle (if that makes sense).

He is tiny in size, and so very cute.

He has a rough or smooth, short coat, and is distinguishable by his short nose, brachycephalic head and wiry hair with a hard texture and black tips.

But be warned…

This Belgian dog will require a lot of grooming. He has to be brushed regularly, at least twice a week, to get rid of all the dead hair.  Otherwise you’re going to have a very unhappy Griffon, and a very messy house.

While this little dog is light enough to be carried around..

You should definitely let this little terrier walk as much as possible on a leash when going out. He should get sufficient exercise.  Because remember, he’s used to having to earn his keep so its not like he won’t be able to keep up with you… at least on short walks or errands around town.

Just don’t take him out…

When the temperature is high as he is sensitive to heat and could suffer from heat strokes.

Brussels Griffons Temperament

The Brussels Griffon is a very funny dog, and is always up to something. He’s also a crowd pleaser and is always looking to delight people with his antics.

He is funny!

He has a delightful sense of humor and looks so adorable when he does those little things that make you ROFL (Rolling on the floor laughing)!

But don’t forget…

This little guy is also going to be pretty active.  And while he’ll be more than happy to hang out on your lap for a while, he’s not going to want to spend all day there.

So, you’ll want to…

Give him plenty of time to run and play, and don’t be surprise if you find him rummaging though the house looking for adventures, after all, this is what they were originally bred to do… right?

Did we mention that he love kids yet?

Because if not, they really do! In fact, it’s fair to say that the Brussels Griffon REALLY loves children and can get very attached to them. He wants to be with kids all the time. And because he tends to be a bit  “mischievous” at times, they make for a great playmates for kids of just about an age.

He is a bit of a snowflake though…

The only thing is he craves attention and can get upset when you ignore him.  When he gets bored or feels that nobody is giving him any attention, he will start overturning the trash bin, chewing on shoes or doing things that make you tear out your hair in frustration!

No different from a child then!

Also, he is bit of a Houdini and loves climbing over fences or digging through fences. He can make spectacular jumps and is very athletic.  Which is a bit surprising but certainly adds to their appeal in our opinion (boring dogs are just that… boring)!

Training the Brussels Griffon…

It is important to start training the Brussels Griffons from a very young age. Start by training him in dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking and rally this way both you and he will learn what works and what your Griffon excels at.

The training should be interesting for him, never put him under pressure and use positive reinforcement… ALWAYS! Your Griffon lives for your approval, give it to him and he’ll become an excellent student for you!

The Funny Thing About the Griffon…

 Is that he has no clue that he is a small dog. Left to himself, he will take on a much bigger dogs – you should see him challenging a German Shepherd! He has to be protected against this; else he will end up getting hurt.

He is just like a child in so many ways!

Are there any health issues to worry about?

The Brussels Griffon is a purebred dog, which means there is always a chance that he could pick up a hereditary condition.

This is why you should…

Always get him from a breeder who is able to provide you with a CHIC certification, and shows proof of DNA testing. The DNA testing will tell you if the Griffon puppy’s parents are healthy or not.

And while the Brussels Griffon…

As a whole is one of the healthiest purebred breeds out there, they may still run the risk of developing some medical conditions such as:

Now do Brussel Griffons…

Have a heighten risk for developing any of these medical conditions?  No, not particularly but like an dog, diseases and injuries can occur which is why we always recommend any new dog owner take a moment and see what it might cost them to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one.

This way…

If anything should happen in the future, you won’t be on the hook for the full cost of his or her medical care.  For more information about pet insurance policies, we would invite you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article where we highlight some of the pros and cons of owning such an insurance policy.

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