Smooth Coated Griffon Bruxellois
The Griffon Bruxellois comes in two types: rough- or smooth-coated. The distinctive feature of a Griffon dog is its Pug-like face. The nose is quite short and turned up. Large, prominent eyes are another Pug-like feature as is the undershot jaw. This has led some people to liken the Griffon dog face to a monkey. This dog comes in red, black, or black and tan. Adults measure 18-20cm and weigh 2-5kg.
- Category size: Toy
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Little
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy
- Alone: Less than 1 hour
- Other pets: Medium
- Stability as a guard: Medium
The Griffon Bruxellois dog breed is a Belgian breed that was created in the 19th century by crossing Affenpinschers, Pugs and Belgian stable dogs. Hansom cab drivers needed a small, intelligent dog to guard their cabs and dispense with vermin in the stables. The toughness of the street dogs, mixed with the cleverness of the Affenpinschers, proved useful to the cab drivers. Later English Toy Spaniels were bred in to create an almost human-like face for the Griffon and possibly some Yorkshire Terrier was added into the mix.
The Griffon dog is not suggested as a companion for children, as their sometimes rough play can be misconstrued and make the dog fearful and unpredictable around children. Griffon dogs can be stubborn but they are quick to learn and have been trained to do very well in various dog sports. They like to be close to their owner and can be destructive if left alone for long periods of time.
The breed does not have many specific health problems, but as with other breeds of dogs with a relatively flat face, they can be prone to breathing difficulties and eye problems. Like many small breeds, they can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas). An inherited spinal disorder is recognised in the breed and breeding dogs should therefore be screened for this.
Active and with a terrier streak, the Griffon dog does like a good run but will adapt happily to life in a flat. As a minimum, he needs about half an hour's daily exercise.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
In the rough coats, there is a bit more length at the cheeks, chin, nose and eyes. Care of the coat is not extensive. Rough coats should be plucked three times a year, except for the facial hair, which should be scissor-trimmed. Facial hair should be combed regularly to remove particles of food. Smooth-coated dogs shed a great deal and a grooming mitt should be used quite often to remove dead hairs. Both varieties can do with having the folds cleaned frequently.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
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What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information