This small dog, otherwise known as the Brussels Griffon, originated from Belgium and is identical to the Belgian Griffon and the Petit Brabancon except for coat and colour variations. In the United Kingdom, the three dogs are considered varieties of the same breed. The Griffon Bruxellois is similar in physical attributes to the early dogs featured in the portraits of the Old Masters from the 15th Century whose roles, besides being a watchdog, was to go after rodents. It is a smart little lass with the temperament of a terrier. This toy breed has a general appearance that portrays a stocky, well-balanced dog which is equal in height and in length (square profile). It is characterised by a fairly large head in proportion to the body, dark round eyes with a relatively short, wide muzzle. The coat comes in two varieties: rough and smooth. The rough coated is made of harsh and wiry rough hair with an undercoat while the smooth coated has short and tight smooth hair. Coat colours are red, black, and black and tan. The average size is between 3.6kg to 4.5kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
All three variations of this breed (including the Griffon Belge and the Petit Brabançon) descended from an old type of a small terrier-like dog called Smousje which was originally used in stables to hunt and kill rodents. During the 19th Century, this wiry-coated stable dog was crossed bred with the Pug and the King Charles Spaniel which resulted in today’s Griffon Bruxellois, but also brought the Petit Brabançon – the short black coat variety, which was originally considered as a fault in the breed. Cross-breeding with the spaniel also produced the rich red and the black and tan colour. The first Griffon Bruxellois was registered in Belgian studbook in 1883 and became popular not only locally but also abroad because of the interest of Queen Marie Henriette. The two World Wars proved disastrous to the breed but thanks to the dedicated effort of UK breeders, the Griffon Bruxellois survived. The breed is still considered rather uncommon, but slow rise in interest particularly in the United States is gaining ground because of the general attention to toy dogs.
The Griffon Bruxellois is described as alert, cheerful, friendly, and sweet. It is a small dog with a giant heart that loves to snuggle and be with its owner all the time. It is not shy nor aggressive but this feisty little lass is emotionally sensitive and should be socialised at a young age, particularly during the first few months as a puppy. It is very inquisitive and interested in its environment so it must require a home with a well-secured yard if left off-leash when it is at home. Its sensitive nature makes it an ideal pet for a home with a caring, mature human and it is not highly recommended to a household with small children. This little breed can adjust quite easily in any home environment, be it in a home in the rural countryside or an apartment/condominium in a busy urban setting. It is equally happy to walk for kilometres on end as it is snuggling with its owner on the couch or bed.
Training is on the easy side. The Griffon Bruxellois’ natural attitude to please its master (besides being a born follower) makes it generally easy to train. Lead training however, requires more patience but can be achieved in a very short time. Because of its natural attachment to its owner, it will always come back when off the lead, making the breed a joy to exercise off the lead.
Grooming the smooth variety requires daily brushings to remove dead hair and keep the coat shiny. The rough variety, besides daily brushing, needs to be stripped twice a year when the old coat is shed (except for the beard). A perfect new coat appears after a few weeks, making the Griffon Bruxellois looking good as new. Aside from the regular grooming routine of cutting nails and ear cleaning, the rough variety also needs its eyes free of hair so as not to obstruct its vision.
Griffons are generally healthy dogs and have relatively few inherited health issues. Among the more serious innate illnesses that are known to affect the breed are:
Puppy Griffons are prone to leg and heart problems as well as cleft palate and are more often born through a Caesarian section. Eye problems such as lacerations, cataracts, lens luxation, and glaucoma are also common issues with Griffons. Although the breed has a short muzzle, it is not typically prone to heat stroke, unlike other flat-faced dogs.
Exercise requirements are modest. The Griffon Bruxellois is very flexible and will be content with walking for a few kilometres as it is playing around within its territory. However, it will thrive best when given a good daily walk, particularly when it is cool outside. Walking also enables the dog to socialise with other dogs and other people as well.
The Griffon Bruxellois typically bond with one human (usually the one that feeds him) more than other members of the family. It is generally good with children provided that it is not teased. It lacks the patience of other toy dogs but nevertheless, loves to play. It generally goes well with other animal pets including felines and other dogs but it may sometimes display dominance against other dogs regardless of size.