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History The Brussels Griffon is a dog breed that originated in Belgium. The three variations of this breed are the Belgian Griffon (Griffon Belge), the Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois), and the Petit Brabançon. All three descended from Smousje, an old kind of dog that has a rough coat, is small, and bears similarity to terriers. These dogs were used in stables to get rid of rodents.
In Beligium, coachmen were keen on their Griffons d'Ecurie, which were wiry coated stable dogs. During the 1800s, they bred imported toy dogs with their Griffons. The Griffon was bred with the King Charles Spaniel and the Pug, which resulted in the current breed type. This also led to the Griffons having a short black coat that is present in the Petit Brabançon. Breeding with the spaniels also brought about the black, tan, and rich red colouring of the modern Griffon Belge and Griffon Bruxellois.
Appearance All three variations of this breed have a small, flat face, a prominent chin, and a pair of large eyes that are wide-set and give the dogs a human-like expression. These dogs are sturdy toy dogs with well-balanced, thick-set bodies. They are compact, well-boned, and muscular. They do not appear to be racy or delicate. Although these dogs look small, they are quite heavy. Brussels Griffons are judged by weight and not by shoulder height, so proper proportioning is necessary to determine whether a dog of this breed is too slim, too tall, or too fat for its size.
Colours The Brussels Griffon has a coat that can be red, black, or black and tan.
Temperament Brussels Griffons are lively, tough, energetic dogs. They form strong bonds with their owner and can make good family companions when trained properly. Although these dogs rarely bark, they make great watchdogs. They are tough and vigorous, and they can be used to get rid of pests. Dogs of this breed need human companionship and will not do well when left on their own for long periods of time.
Weight Dogs of this breed are around seven to eight inches high. These dogs have a weight that ranges from six to twelve pounds.
Problems Brussels Griffons can be affected by a handful of health problems. The health concerns of this breed include eyeball lacerations, cataracts, protopsis or the expulsion/prolapse of the eyeball, distichiasis, stenotic nares, progressive retinal atrophy, and difficult whelping.
Living Conditions These dogs can be kept inside apartments. They will do well even without a yard. Owners, however, should not leave these dogs alone for long periods of time.
Requirements Although these dogs can be very active even when indoors, they still need to be taken out on long walks daily.
Training Requirements Dogs of this breed can become willful and dominating sometimes, so it's important for owners to have strong leadership skills. These dogs need to undergo obedience training, and owners should be patient with these dogs because they can sometimes seem moody. It's also important for these dogs to be socialized extensively at an early age.
Life Expectancy Despite the many health concerns associated with Brussels Griffons, these dogs can live for around 12 to 15 years.
Grooming The Brussels Griffon may come in a smooth coat or rough coat, and each one has different grooming needs. The rough coat requires hand stripping, a process of removing blown or dead grown out hair by holding hairs between the thumb and forefinger and gently taking off the hairs following the direction of the hair growth. If the coat is left to grow naturally, it will look woolly. For Brussels Griffons with smooth coats, a grooming mitt should be used regularly to aid the shedding process. The folds in the face of smooth-coated dogs should also be checked and cleaned on a regular basis to prevent foul odors and infections from forming.
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More Brussels Griffon Information: Check out our Brussels Griffon Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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