The Brussels griffon, the Belgian griffon and the petit brabançon, are companion dogs originating from the Belgian city of Brussels. It can well be said that there are three dog breeds in one, since they only differ in color and hair type.
This small elegant dog can become a loyal companion for its owner, and a cheerful, loyal friend for the child, and it cannot be called an exclusively ladies’ decorative pet.
Representatives of this breed cannot but attract attention, all because of a pretty face with an almost human expression.
Brussels griffon features a dapper posture, fur that puffs, a lush beard with a mustache. This dog looks hooligan, and sometimes behaves the same.
But in general, these dogs are not evil, they are not picky in food. They quickly become attached to the house, to all households.
In fact, while the International Cynological Federation (FCI) considers these dogs as three separate breeds, other organizations such as the American Kennel Club and the English Kennel Club recognize three varieties of a single breed called the Brussels griffon.
Other names: Griffon Bruxellois, Belgium Griffon, Petit Brabançon, Griffon Belge, Brabançon Griffon
If you are thinking of adopting one of these dogs, in this Pets Feed breed sheet we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Brussels griffon.
The birthplace of the Brussels griffon is Belgium. The time of appearance is 1800. As a separate breed, Griffon Belge is registered in the first half of the twentieth century. Refers to decorative species. The standard was approved in 1904.
At all times, this breed was popular. Miniature dogs with a “human” expression on their faces were appreciated for their loyalty, intelligence and quick wit.
The original purpose of the Brussels griffon was to catch small rodents. Mostly representatives of the breed lived in the homes of aristocrats, and riches.
During the world wars, the Brussels griffon population has declined dramatically. After the war with fascist Germany, these dogs were on the verge of complete extinction. Through the efforts of Belgian breeders, the breed was restored. But today, the Brussels griffon is still a small and rare species.
Physical characteristics of the Brussels griffon
In the group of small Belgian dogs, there are three very similar breeds: Brussels Griffon, petit brabancon and Belgian Griffon. They are distinguished by color and type of coat. Each species has its own standard, purebred individuals must comply with it.
According to the standard, a Brussels Griffon should look like this:
The physique is compact, proportional. The dog looks elegant, harmonious.
The weight of adults is 3-5 kg., Height is about 22-24 cm. The height at the withers should not exceed 25 cm.
A broad, round head rests on a strong, not too long neck. The ears are hanging, raised on the cartilage. In cases of stopping – standing, with sharp tips.
The eyes are black, round, widely spaced, very large, convex.
The forehead is convex. The stop is very pronounced. The muzzle is very short. The nose is black, large for any coat color.
The chin is wide, protruding markedly forward, protruding beyond the upper jaw. Bite – a snack with a waste. The lower row of teeth is in front of the upper row.
Loin, back strong, fairly broad. The chest is deep, voluminous.
Legs are straight, not too long, parallel. Paws rounded, short. Claws and paw pads in black.
The tail is docked by two-thirds. A Brussels Griffon keeps it raised to the top.
Coat of medium length, tight fitting, thick. The hair is tousled, on the face forms a beard and mustache. To the touch hard, wire-like.
The color of the Brussels Griffon is reddish brown, all shades of red, black, black and tan.
The Brussels griffon with white marks are not allowed to participate in exhibitions, as they do not meet the established standard.
Character and temperament of the Brussels griffon
The Brussels griffon is characterized by a balanced, friendly character. This is a very curious, positive and energetic dog.
This dog is smart and understanding, he needs the attention of the owner, but he will never bother him if he feels that he is busy or not in the mood.
The Brussels griffon is the perfect companion, smart and kind. Without need, it does not give a voice. It gets along well with kids; it is considered a family dog.
This Belgian small dog always strives to be in the spotlight. It loves to sleep in the master’s bed, on a cushion or just on the owner’s lap. In active games, tireless, ready to frolic for days on end with the children.
Aggressiveness is not observed either in puppies or in mature individuals. It is not in the character of the Belgian griffon to rush at strangers, at guests at home.
The dog behaves with strangers wary, but only at first. A little acquainted, the Brussels griffon will show his good nature and can start a game.
Representatives of the Belgian breed show other either indifference or friendliness.
The greatest grief for the Brussels griffon is to remain alone for a long time, separation from the owner.
The average life expectancy of a Brussels griffon is 12-15 years.
The breed is distinguished by good health.
A healthy dog should look like this:
- Clean ears
- Shiny eyes
- Open wide
- The belly is not swollen
- Cold nose
- Not dry
- Shiny and bright coat
Maintaining a dog’s health is the responsibility of its owner. It is he who must annually visit with a Brussels griffon a veterinary clinic for preventive examinations. It is important to regularly conduct deworming, vaccination and treatment against skin parasites.
Regarding the diseases inherent in the Brussels griffon, the main problems occur due to the unusual shape of the muzzle:
- Narrowing of the nostrils – narrowing of the lumen of the nostrils due to deformation, dysplasia of the cartilage of the nose.
- Distichiasis – abundance of eyelashes.
- Retinal atrophy is a hereditary disease characterized by the presence of multiple retinal disorders, which leads to complete loss of vision.
- Cataract – a violation of the transparency of the lens, leading to decreased vision.
- Eyeball prolapse is the exit of the eyeball beyond the bone orbit.
In addition to the above problems, the Brussels griffon is also prone to the following diseases:
- Dislocation of the calyx on the knee – can be congenital and acquired, leading to lameness.
- Joint dysplasia – accompanied by severe pain, lameness. If untreated, the dog loses its ability to move.
- Difficult birth – often a dog cannot give birth on its own, the help of a veterinarian and cesarean section are required.
- Hydrocephalus is a dropsy of the brain.
- Allergy – more often there is food for feed or additives.
- Gastrointestinal diseases – intestinal torsion, diarrhea, bloating.
A Brussels griffon can be kept in an apartment or in a house; a decorative dog is not suitable for life on the outside. But this does not mean that the pet cannot leave the house around the clock every day.
It is extremely important for representatives of the breed to walk every day, and not just to walk, but to spend time in the open space, in active games.
It is recommended from puppyhood, as soon as the first vaccination is given, to train the pet for daily morning and evening walks. The total walking time is at least 2 hours.
In this case, usually in the evening, especially in the warm season, we walk longer than in the morning.
Brussels griffon dogs love to sleep in armchairs, on sofas, on pillows … Therefore, it’s worth installing a soft couch for a dog or a comfortable house, a basket. The pet will quickly get used to its place where no one will disturb him during the rest.
For having a Brussels griffon in a new home, the owner should know that representatives of this breed tolerate heat very poorly. It is important to determine the place of the pet away from heating appliances. Make sure that the house is not too hot.
In the summer, in extreme heat, reduce your walks and exclude the animal from being in the scorching sun.
It is also important to consider that the Brussels griffon does not tolerate loneliness. From a long separation from the owners, the dog can even get sick. Before leaving the house, be sure to caress the dog, talk to it, say that you will be back soon.
Believe it, over the years the pet will understand the meaning of your words, and more easily tolerate separation.
The beauty and health of this dog mainly depends on the actions of the owner. Therefore, it is important in time, according to all the rules, to carry out the following procedures:
- The coat of the Belgian Griffon requires special care. For a weekly combing you will need a special brush. Once every three months we trim, plucking the hairs in the direction of their growth. For lack of experience, such a procedure is best left to the groomer.
- Periodically, a hygienic haircut is required. Particular attention is paid to the lush beard and mustache. Special scissors give the required shape.
- Once every 2 months, the Brussels griffon needs to be bathed. Representatives of this breed do not really like water, they need to be accustomed to water procedures from a puppy’s age. For bathing, you should purchase special detergents designed for wire-haired dogs. After a walk, wash the paws. In the summer, in extreme heat, it is recommended that the Brussels griffon takes a shower to refresh.
- Daily attention requires creases near the muzzle. If they are not examined and not washed out, foci of infection are formed.
- We wipe the beard and mustache after each feeding and clean it after each walking. In the first case, we remove the remnants of food, in the second grass, particles of branches and other garbage that a curious griffon necessarily picks up during a walk.
- Basically, an energetic Brussels griffon grinds its claws independently on the road surface. But you still need to trim them in order to give a certain shape.
- Brush your dog’s teeth once a week. This procedure will prevent dental diseases, the appearance of tartar. It will also remove the unpleasant odor from the dog’s mouth. To do this, in a veterinary pharmacy we purchase special non-foaming pastes and a brush that can be put on your finger, thus simplifying cleaning.
- Once a week we inspect and clean our dog’s ears. To do this, you need a special spray or healing oil. It is important to clean each ear with a new cotton swab. You cannot use one fleece, so as not to bring a possible infection from one ear to another.
- The mucus accumulated in the corners of the eyes is carefully removed as it accumulates. Use for this should be a shred of moist gauze. We rub our dog’s eyes from the eyelid to the nose, and not vice versa.
You need to feed puppies up to four months of age 5-6 times a day. Then, as they grow older, the number of feedings is gradually reduced. It is enough for sexually mature individuals to eat 2 times a day.
An artificial way of feeding is recommended for Brussels griffon dogs. We buy only premium food. It should be intended for small dogs that are energetic.
Natural feeding is also not prohibited. The main thing is to provide the pet with a balanced diet. It is better to draw up a diet and determine daily norms with the help of a veterinarian, since Brussels griffon dogs have a rather weak stomach. An improper diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Training and education
The Belgian Griffon is happy to learn everything new, he is always ready to serve his master. But, in order to raise an obedient, adequate, socialized pet, you need to devote enough time to his education, training.
This decorative breed does not require special training, but the Brussels griffon must learn the basic commands. During the lessons, show persistence, firmness.
Important consistency, regularity of classes. Never behave rudely, cruelly with a dog; this will make it only embittered or cowardly.
Use rewards, strokes, and goodies as rewards for success. After training, play active games with the dog, during which reinforce the learned commands.
Brussels Griffon Dog Fun Facts
- The Brussels griffon is remarkable for its cleanliness. Some dogs take a napkin and bring it to the owner, so that he wiped his face.
- Griffon is the mascot of Belgian drivers.
- The owner of the dog spends 66% more time in movement than the person who does not have such a pet.
- Belgian Griffon is considered a favorite of women’s companies.
- The first images of the Brussels griffon appeared on the paintings of the fifteenth century.
- The features of the Ewok race (Star Wars) are copied from the griffon.
Brussels griffon dog highlights
If you liked the Belgian Griffon breed, do not rush to immediately buy a puppy. To get started, visit the exhibition, get closer, “live”, get acquainted with the representatives of the breed and chat with their owners.
The Belgian is a universal breed that is perfect for single people, couples of different ages, as well as large families. Below are the main pros and cons of the Belgian Griffon.
- Exotic appearance.
- Suitable for families with children.
- Peacefully gets along with pets.
- Does not tolerate heat.
- Difficult care.
- Does not tolerate loneliness.