Brussels griffons originated in Belgium, where they were highly prized for their ability to catch mice. They were especially popular among the owners of stables, since these dogs, on some inexplicable, internal level, harmonize well with horses. They were kept both in private stables at households and in the stables of the city horse taxi (we called them cabbies).
In the creation of the dog, the Brussels griffin, the Affenpinscher breed, the toy English spaniel participated, and the pug was also used to create the smooth-haired type of griffin. Affenpinscher radically influenced the size and wavy texture of the coat, and the influence of toy spaniels is especially noticeable in the large and very expressive eyes, the rounded shape of the head and the peculiar lower jaw.
By the end of the 19th century, the Brussels griffin had become popular not only as a parasite hunting dog in a stable, but also as a pet with a very unusual appearance. Moreover, despite their working past, people from the nobility willingly got the dog.
Maria Henrietta, the Belgian queen and also a great lover of dogs, fell in love with the little griffon and began to breed them on her own, as well as contribute to the popularization of these dogs in other European countries. This happened after the Belgian breeders created the first written breed standard in 1883, after which the Belgian griffin began to take part in exhibitions. It was after one of the dog shows that Maria Henrietta wanted such a dog.
In Brussels in 1889, the Club du Griffon Brussels was created, Norton reflected only the smooth-haired type of this breed, which received the name Griffon Brabancon. Dogs of both types, with coarse and smooth coats, arrived in England around 1890. A few years later, several individuals were transported to the United States, where they also found a lot of fans.
There are two types of Brussels griffins in the United States: the coarse-haired griffin and the smooth-haired griffin called the Brabancon. In Belgium, three types are developed: small brabancon (with smooth hair, as in the USA), Brussels griffin with coarse red hair and Belgian griffin with coarse hair, of any color except red.
During the First and Second World Wars, the number of these dogs around the world was greatly reduced, and if it were not for American breeders, the very existence of the breed would be in question. Indeed, in Europe they are almost gone, and in England the small population that existed there also came under attack.
The Brussels Griffon is a small, robust dog with short limbs. The head is rounded, the ears are erect, the muzzle is slightly flattened, with a characteristic mustache and beard, which is why many say that the griffin looks like a “Wookiee” from Star Wars. The ears are erect. The tail is short, the coat can be smooth or coarse.
We can immediately say that this is a very cute and good-natured dog, which, at the same time, has a somewhat impudent and even arrogant disposition. But this is rather funny and not out of spite, and rarely brings trouble. Especially if the owner socializes his dog in the right way, loves it, then these qualities allow it to become the soul of any company, and fit into any environment. Although, in fairness, it is worth noting that not all griffons are alike, some of them are more shy, others, on the contrary, are impudent and daring.
The Brussels griffin always needs close contact with its owner and with his family, he loves his loved ones very much and is ready to spend all his free time with them. Often these dogs literally stick to their owners and need your attention. If they do not receive attention, their behavior may even be too provocative and a little strange. Also, the Brussels griffin does not like to stay at home alone for a long time, therefore such a dog is not suitable for everyone.
These are quite active animals that love various games, love walks, especially if there is somewhere to have fun with other dogs. But if your pet goes with you for a morning jog, he will also be immensely happy, and it is not known what he will like more – jogging with the owner or playing with other dogs. Perhaps the truth is that both the first and the second are present in the life of a pet.
They love children, probably primarily because they see them as friends and partners for games and entertainment. But the griffon cannot be called a full-fledged nanny, since he often behaves like a child himself. In addition, he has a limit of patience, and the child must be taught to communicate with the animal.
Conflicts with other dogs are rare. But they may try to hunt small animals, especially in the park. At the same time, they get along well with cats if they are taught from an early age. Strangers can be perceived in different ways, depending, firstly, on the attitude of the owner to the person, and secondly, on the type of character of the dog itself and its upbringing. However, in general, they do not show aggression, but can be both restrained and friendly open.
These dogs have a domineering character trait, which is why they can poke their beards everywhere and try to lead, but this, again, is rather funny, since in any case, first of all, next to you is an affectionate and kind friend. By the way, the Brussels griffin can often single out one person in the family as the most beloved and authoritative for himself.
The Brussels griffin accepts the training process well, and even needs it as it receives the necessary food for the mind. The learning process should be carried out consistently, with kindness and patience, as well as the necessary sense of humor. Rough treatment and physical punishment can only make the character more stubborn and withdrawn, therefore, you need to control yourself.
Training should be interesting, active, moreover, it is better that the activity gradually increases until the very end of the lesson, but here you do not need to go too far – see the dog’s reaction. The main thing is that she does not overwork and does not lose interest – look for a middle ground. You don’t need to force her too much. Be sure to use goodies and praise.
Griffons bark at every sound, making them good watchdogs, but sometimes they can make noise. It is recommended to train the command to be silent.
Regardless of the type of coat, the griffon can be brushed once a week. Eyes from attachments after sleep need to be cleaned daily or as needed, ears are cleaned three times a week, claws are trimmed three times a month. You need to bathe your dog once a week at least.
Some griffons can be voracious, so it is best to control how much food you eat.
The Brussels Griffon breed, like all dogs, has a tendency to some diseases, although in general these animals have good health and good immunity:
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- dislocation of the patella;
- eye problems – the eyes of the Brussels Griffon are prone to scratches and irritation;
- skin allergies – they are often prone to allergies. If you see itching or excessive licking on the paws, see your veterinarian.