Species group: Toy Group dogs
Other name(s): Griffon Bruxellois; Brüsseler Griffon
The Brussels Griffon is a spunky, spirited little monkey of a dog. The breed began as ratters and guards for Brussels cabbies in the 1800's but soon became more of a companion dog. Nicknamed “monkey face” because their expressions are so similar to primates, these toy terriers are curious, agile, intelligent, and able to climb. Despite their small size, they aren't necessarily a dog for beginners. You will need to know how to provide kind and respectful training to a pet that has a mind of its own.
If you're interesting in showing your dog, pay attention to the classifications for your region. Member clubs of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognize three separate breeds with similar standards. Other kennel clubs register it as one breed with three variations. The Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois) is the only Griffon which is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Appearance / health:
The Brussels Griffon is a toy sized breed, but built sturdily. Physical attributes include: domed head with short nose, bright prominent eyes, undershot jaw, human-like expressions, thick body, usually the breed has cropped ears and a docked tail.
Although it sheds very little, the rougher coated dogs may need more grooming attention than some others. The hair can be “hand stripped” and clipped to soften the coat up a bit.
Given their good activity level indoors the breed doesn’t need a specific exercise schedule, however it does enjoy daily walks. Mental stimulation is important for this breed, as well, so games are a suggested avenue for both mental and physical exercise.
Brussels Griffons have an increased presence of several health anomalies including but not limited to: slipped stifle (similar to a knee joint); eye and respiratory problems; weak bladders, distichiasis (eyelash growth anomalies); hydrocephalus (more prominent in the smaller among the breed); an elongated palate; narrowed nostrils; and webbed feet. Due to the breed’s small size, sometimes a litter needs to be whelped via cesarean-section.
Behavior / temperament:
Brussels Griffons have an affable personality, and are quite charming, but have been known to be willful as well. They can be moody at times, and the breed thrives off of attention. Typically the Griffon will take to one person within its family unit, and want to be with that person at all times. They need human companionship and tend to be upset if left alone for large portions of the day.
Griffons are trained relatively easily, but it is important that training be consistent to see good results. They are stubborn, and don’t do well without a patient trainer. Some Griffons are difficult to housebreak, however they do make good watchdogs.
Brussels Griffons are known to be frequent barkers.
cuddling, funny, sweet, small families, ideal toy dog, joyful attitude, smart little dog
barking, great groomer
faces, true toy breeds, Positive training techniques, sad puppy eyes, monkey dogs, Velcro Griff
Velcro Griff: Small, mighty, and lovely!
I've been lucky enough to have Ayla Jane with me since July 2009, and she's a teacup Brussels Griffon, so she's a mite bit smaller than most, weighing in usually around just about 5.5-6 pounds. She has the typical "Chewbacca"/"Ewok" face that Griffs are known for, but it instantly endears her to people whenever she's out for a walk, especially around town. As a (very) wee puppy, she basically had a fan club that would greet her when we'd go out! She continues to lap up the attention, with her little nubbin of a tail wagging as fast as it can, and Ayla giving out licks in gratitude for all the happy attention.
Griffs are somewhat notorious for two things: stubbornness and their "Velcro" qualities; I can vouch for both. Ayla was an "only dog" for the first 1.5 years with me and my son (then about 8), and she was a bit slower than our first dog, a pug named Bee, to potty train and basically puppy train, but once she got the hang on things, she has not forgotten anything. Ayla was paper trained and has remained so, due to our living arrangements, and it's worked out fine: she produces a tiny amount of waste and is very easy to clean up with very few mistakes.
I thought she didn't have a voice and was concerned: she was a silent pup for nearly the first 6 months with me--until one day when her water dish was empty, and up piped a very persistent and short-lived, "Ark! Ark! Ark!" to let me know. I know that something is amiss when Ayla barks: it's either water missing or something/one in our yard--she never EVER barks for no reason.
With respect to the Velcro aspect, she has a strong desire to be with me, but I've found her wanting to more near me, as she's grown older. As a puppy, she wanted to be ON me--almost draping herself around my neck like a living shawl! Since I was recovering from a nasty bout of pneumonia, I was happy to oblige and glad for the loving attention and so was she. But as she's grown older, Ayla is less of a lap dog and more of an "area" dog: at my feet or right up next to me, but not on me. The same is true for my son. This may be a bit of an anomaly for the breed, but it seems to suit her and us just fine. She WILL follow very near your heels, so care MUST be taken, especially with such a tiny pup, as when walking around in a kitchen area--it's easy to mistakenly step on teency paws by mistake, but you both learn your ways around each other and a harmonious home is soon made.
Ayla does need a good deal of grooming by a professional groomer and I do not recommend doing it by one's self, as the very delicate facial area is challenging and the ears require their own help. Finding a great groomer is wonderful and very highly recommended. Bonus: these are small dogs who take up little time. Downside: groomers unfamiliar with this breed may have your Brussels Griff ending up like a Maltese (nope!) or Yorkie (also no). . .it is up to you whether you prefer the Griffy beard or a more traditional "lady-like" (if yours is a gal) trim, but please don't be afraid to speak up about what you want. Remember, this breed is not as familiar as others and don't assume groomers know what you want; it's just like you would want to be treated--the more sharing of info about expectations? The better the outcomes!
I would highly recommend the Brussels Griffon breed to someone looking for a very loving dog who will be attached to that person (even one person more than others within a family setting); a dog that packs a good deal of energy but is content to match your level (if it's a down day for you, your Griff will be down, too--and be ok with that!); and a fairly quiet dog, good for apartment or condo living..
From Editorgirrrl Jan 24 2015 1:18PM
Helps dogs with sensitive skin
Dogs that have minor itching or dry skin can really benefit from oatmeal shampoo. It's gentle so you can usually use it even on young dogs (check the label first if you're unsure). It's not a good idea to bathe dogs too often, and if you notice your dog scratching a lot after a bath, switching to an oatmeal shampoo might help. .
From L Sand CVT 70 days ago
Choke collars are not the best tools to use for dogs who pull. How many times have you seen people walking their dogs on a choke collar and the dog pulling?! This is because to properly use a punishment device, which is what a choke collar is, you should only have to give 3 or 4 firm, appropriate corrections and then your dog should never repeat the behavior again. People do not have the stomach to give their dogs a stiff enough correction to work in 3 or 4 trials. Further, weaker handlers do not have the strength to give their (large) dogs a strong enough correction for them to understand. Hence, while the correction will work in the short term, all too soon, the dog is back to pulling again and that level of correction has become simply a nag. Then the correction will need to be stronger to get them to attend to it.
For a dog who outweighs or out-muscles its handler, the use of a head halter is a better choice, as it gives one greater control of the weakest part of the dog's body, their head. Just as we can use a halter to guide a horse, so can we use the same technique to guide a dog.
Laura Garber, CPDT-KA, CC, FFCP
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