History and Origins
Country of Origin: Belgium
Originating in Belgium, the Griffon Bruxellois was created in the 19th Century by crossing Pugs, Affenpinschers and Belgian stable dogs. Their role was to ride alongside the hansom cab driver and act as a watch and guard dog when the driver had to leave the cab and horses. In the stables they also provided vermin control, and so while small, they can be considered a tough little dog.
Later, the addition of the English Toy Spaniel and possibly the Yorkshire Terrier added larger, rounder eyes and a more appealing baby-like face.
In the late 1800’s it was very much the fashion for sporting young gentlemen of the upper classes to own a smart but game little terrier type dog, so it is not surprising that the Griffon Bruxellois was first shown at Crufts in 1896, and the first UK breed club founded in 1897.