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Griffon Bruxellois

With an adorable wire-haired face, how could one not fall in love with this inquisitive breed? Given appropriate training, the Griffon Bruxellois can easily assimilate into their owner’s lifestyle.

If you’re active and energetic, this little guy will be able to keep up with you. If, on the other hand, you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, the Griffon will just as easily adjust to a calm environment.

Where I'm From

The true origin of the Griffon Bruxellois remains a mystery. What we do know, is that in the Middle Ages, a breed similar to the bearded toy dog we know today used to roam the streets of Brussels.

During the 1800s, these shaggy, little creatures used to be kept in stables around Belgium to keep rats and other rodents away. Thanks to their charming and friendly personality, people quickly began adopting them as pets and taking them back to their houses and palaces.

The breed became extremely popular with hackney carriage drivers. At the time, it was not unusual to see a feisty Griffon Bruxellois alerting the coachman by barking at strangers on the street.

As the breed grew in popularity, more and more people wanted to own one of these charismatic dogs – including members of the royal family. It was then, around the 1880s, that the standards for the breed were finally established, and many dogs began making their way to the rest of Europe and America.

Numbers decreased as a result of the first World War, as was the case with many breeds. Breeders across Belgium were affected by the fighting and were unable to continue their practice.

Nowadays, pure breed Griffon Bruxellois are somewhat of a rare breed, and hopeful pet owners must often wait in line for their opportunity to own one of these adorable guys.

What I Look Like

Griffons are quite petite in size. Their compact frame is not as fragile as other toy dog breeds, however, these dogs have muscular, stout, and well-balanced bodies that allow them to play rough. A normal and healthy Griffon Bruxellois will weigh between 2.5-5 kg.

“Monkey-like” is a phrase often used to describe the expression of a Griffon Bruxellois. They have a square-like appearance, large eyes and a head that seems too big for their bodies. The skull of a Griffon Bruxellois is round, but not dome-shaped like with similar breeds.

Your little Griffon Bruxellois can be one of two varieties. There are either a rough-coat with very short, wiry hair, or a smooth-coat with longer, softer hair. A red-coloured coat will often be a distinguished feature on a Griffon Bruxellois and is the most common variety. Other colours include black, and black and tan.

How I Act

This breed is known to be highly alert, lively and friendly. Despite their tiny size, Griffons are confident dogs that will not hesitate to bark at strangers. They are extremely playful, cheeky and full of personality.

A Griffon will normally love being around people and other dogs. Their social nature makes them excellent companions for all pet owners. They are loving pets that will adapt to your behavior. Whether you enjoy relaxing on the couch, or prefer spending your time out in the backyard, these guys will always be there to keep you company.

The ease with which they adapt to their surroundings, make Griffons a perfect fit for a variety of households. They are happy to play around with children, or peacefully curl next to their elderly owner.

Looking After Me

Training a Griffon is usually a simple task. Although stubborn at times, these guys are quick to learn commands. They easily assimilate to their environment, which makes them excellent travellers.

These dogs are extremely social, and leaving them alone for long periods of time can have negative consequences on their wellbeing. This is why people who work all day might want to reconsider before adopting a Griffon Bruxellois.

They may be tough, but they also need to be treated with some amount of care. Your dog might become shy and fearful if it often handled roughly, or if it is not used to noise and commotion.

Griffons are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. The rough-coat variety will need to get their coats trimmed twice a year, while the smooth-coat will need far less looking after. It is also important to wash these guys regularly as their coats easily become filthy and mucky.

Their big round eyes make this breed especially vulnerable to eye problems. You can help prevent any serious complications by making sure your Griffon’s eyes are kept clear and clean, as well as taking them in for a regular check up.

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