- Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
- Basic training required
- Need to be aware of potential health issues
- Enjoys gentle walks
- Needs under an hour of walking a day
- Small dog
- Some drool
- Requires grooming every other day
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
- Generally friendly with other dogs
- Gets along with other pets with training
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Can live without a garden
- Can happily live in the city
- Can be left occasionally with training
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. Griffons 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.
History and Origins
The Griffon Bruxellois 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 dog and possibly some Yorkshire Terrier was added into the mix.
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 breed 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.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.