Brussels Griffon dog breed, also known as Griffon Buxellosis after the city of its origin, belong to the Toy Group of dog breeds. This dog is known for its boldness and mischievous nature which is rather endearing in this tiny dog. They are very friendly, and easily befriend other pets. They have a knack of getting lost even within the house as they are good at climbing.
There would not be a dull moment when this vivacious little dog is around, seeking to be the center of attention with its many antics. This dog is quite vociferous for its size, and can function as a watch dog by the strength of its barking alone.
The Brussels Griffon toy breed originated in Belgium in the 1800s and is named after its place of origin. They were originally used for hunting vermin, and as companion dogs. They still make great companions for dog lovers all over the world.
Their origin is traced to the Affenpinscher dog breed and common Belgian street dog called Griffon d’ Ecurie. They were popular with cab drivers as they attracted the attention of customers, besides serving to keep away thieves.
They were later interbred with the Pug, a small breed from Holland. The typical pug-like head of this breed is the result of this association. The breed started its life in the dog show circles in 1880. With the growth of its popularity in Belgium, the dog found favor with the genteel folks by1900s. After a slump during the World War I and its aftermath, this breed steadily climbed the popularity charts all over again. American Kennel Club officially recognized this breed in 1910.
These dogs have a flat face covered with long fur, and large, expressive eyes set wide apart. They are often described as “monkey face.” Though measuring under a foot and weighing 8-10 pounds, Brussels Griffon dog breed has a big presence because of the way it carries itself.
The coat color varies, but it is generally red with highlights of black around the face and at the back. But darker and lighter coat colors occur. There are three distinct types within the breed based on the coat color and structure, namely Griffon Bruxellois, Griffon Belge and Petit Brabançon, the latter having smooth coat and face free of long hair unlike the Griffon Bruxellois. .
The Griffon Bruxellois is very affectionate, and show it by snuggling up to its owner. In fact they are known to be one-master dogs. They tolerate children, but not very patient with their rough play. They get along very well with house pets of all sizes and species, but with their air of self-importance they may try to dominate larger dogs and get into trouble because of it.
They are constantly alert, with a pretty good awareness of the immediate environment, and make good watch dogs. What they lack in size and aggressiveness is made up by their menacing barks.
Grooming and exercise
Even though these dogs appear to require quite a bit of grooming, all they need is, surprisingly, a weekly brushing of the coat.
Looking after this dog is an enjoyable pastime as they play the clown all the time. Their antics are quite entertaining, but they are very stubborn dogs. Being an active breed, they need quite a bit of exercise to avoid hyperactivity. The good thing is that, they would get most of their daily quota of exercise from running up and down the drawing room. This makes them excellent choice for apartment dwellers.
This toy breed is not for living outdoors, but they tremendously enjoy spending some time outside the house, preferably in a fenced in yard where they can roam around freely. However they should have protection from extremes of temperature.
Common health issues of Brussels Griffondog breed
The Brussels Griffon dog breed is considered one of the healthiest among Toy Group breeds. These dogs are generally free of any major problems, but occasionally some musculoskeletal disorders such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation may occur. Progressive retinal atrophy and cataract may affect their eyes. They may be troubled by a weak bladder too. Average life expectancy is 12 to15 years.