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

The first thing you’ll notice about the Brussels Griffon is that he is adorable. So, sweet, you’ll probably not want to be “exposed” to a Brussels Griffon puppy if they are for sale because there’s a perfect chance that you’ll be adding one to your family if that’s the case. You see, this petite Belgian spaniel is not only adorable, but they can make you laugh with their almost human expressions.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet find them one of the funniest and sweetest toy dogs you can get, bar none! That does not mean that a Brussels Griffon puppy or rescue dog will 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 that if you do choose to make one your own, you won’t regret that decision six months from now.

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

Brussels Griffon Fast Facts

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 over 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 the cutest dogs in the world and “mixed” them 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 he was!

You see…

Initially, the Brussels Griffon wasn’t considered 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 wealthy homeowners of that time, the Brussels Griffon breed had to “prove” its usefulness to the local population. As luck would have it, these little guys are pretty proficient little hunters and entirely up to mixing it up with any local rodent population, making them quite popular with the local farmers throughout Belgium. Some might even say love.

And considering…

The fact that they have been depicted in some of the most significant pieces of art, including Renoir’s “Bather With Griffon” and other classical artwork by Van Dyck and Du Empoli, it’s 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) and already 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

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 more significant than the Brussels Griffon, considering they should only weigh up to about 12 pounds and 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 charming whether or not he has a rough or smooth, short coat, and is distinguishable by his sharp 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 eliminate all the dead hair. Otherwise, you’ll have a very unhappy Griffon and a messy house.

And even though…

He is light enough to carry; you should 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 it’s not like he won’t be able to keep up with you… at least on short walks or errands around town. Please don’t take him out when the temperature is high; he is sensitive to heat and could suffer from heat strokes.

Personality and Temperament

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

He is funny!

He has a delightful sense of humor and looks adorable when he does those little things that make you ROFL (Rolling on the floor laughing)! But don’t forget, this little guy will also be pretty active. And while he’ll be happy to hang out on your lap for a while, he won’t want to spend all day there. So, you’ll want to give him plenty of time to run and play, and don’t be surprised if you find him rummaging through the house looking for adventures; after all, this is what they were initially bred to do… right?

Did we mention that he loves kids yet?

Because if not, they do! It’s fair to say that the Brussels Griffon 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” sometimes, they make for a great playmate for kids about 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 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 in that respect!

Also, he is a bit of a Houdini and loves climbing over fences or digging through walls. He can make spectacular jumps and is very athletic. This 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 essential to start training the Brussels Griffons from a very young age. Start by teaching him dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking, and rally. This way, 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 it that he has no clue that he is a small dog? Left to himself, he will take on much bigger dogs– you should see him challenging a German Shepherd! He must be protected against this, or he will get hurt. He is just like a child in so many ways!

Potential Health Concerns

The Brussels Griffon is a purebred dog, which means there is always a chance he could pick up a hereditary condition. This is why you should always get him from a breeder who can provide you with a CHIC certification and show proof of DNA testing. The DNA testing will tell you whether or not the Griffon puppy’s parents are healthy.

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:

Do Brussel Griffons have a heightened risk of developing these medical conditions? No, not mainly, but like a dog, diseases and injuries can occur, so we always recommend any new dog owner take a moment and see what it might cost them to purchase a pet insurance policy for their new loved one.

This way…

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

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