Named after their origin, The Griffon Bruxellois is a toy dog breed known as Brussels Griffon. They were trained to hunt down rats initially and were no more than a street dog a while ago in Belgium. They are typically a small breed who love cuddling their human friends. Their intelligence, affection, sense of humor, and self-importance are some of the many essential characteristics that make them unique and adorable.
Griffon Bruxellois have a distinctive face that carries a lively and sharp look, due to which they have been described as 'Monkey Face.’
The origin of Griffon Bruxellois is in Belgium, where they were skilled in killing rats. Ultimately, because of their affection and intelligence, they became great family pets. They are moody, sensitive, and loving breeds who love being the apple of everyone's eyes.
If you are looking for a social, lively, and low-maintenance breed, you should consider getting a Griffon Bruxellois.
This article contains the details about Griffon Bruxellois - their personality, temperament, characteristics, needs, and everything that you might want to know before welcoming this breed.
Griffon Brxellois can live in apartments comfortably. But you should be able to provide them with sufficient physical activities as they have a tremendous amount of energy. They are also very protective and would go out of their way to keep the family safe. For the same reason, they tend to bark even at the slightest suspicious or unusual sign.
For inexperienced dog owners, this breed might not be as obedient as they expected it to be, but with consistent training, Griffon Bruxellois turn out to be very well-behaved and docile dogs.
The following are the main characteristics of Griffon Bruxellois.
Griffon Bruxelois are very adaptive. They can accept new changes with no trouble and happily start a new chapter of their life with new humans. They crave love and attention, though. If you are willing to provide a loving, healthy lifestyle where they can feel loved, safe, and fed, they will treat your family as their own and live happily contentedly in your house. For adaptability, griffon Bruxellois have scored 3 out of 5 stars.
Here is a complete breakdown of the score:
Are you searching for a devoted companion for you and a playful partner for your kids? Griffon Bruxellois are an ideal choice. They have a heart full of love for their family. Whether it is about the adults, they can curl up to any time or children who can spend the entire day with their dog; Griffon Bruxellois adores every family member differently. Their overall score for friendliness 4 out of 5 stars.
Here are some reasons behind it:
Griffon Bruxellois are considered healthy, but not all of them are safe from genetic diseases. They can be vulnerable to some health issues. Even though not all of them will get affected by genetic disorders, they are at a higher risk than other breeds. Their overall score for general health is 3 out of 5 stars.
Here are some reasons behind it:
Typically, dogs are intelligent; but intelligence does not guarantee trainability. Some dogs are moody, some are aloof, and some only work to seek reward (treat). Some breeds are comfortable working alone, while others need their humans to accompany them. Concerning their lovable nature combined with a smart mind, Griffon Bruxellois are very trainable breeds. Their score for trainability is 3 out of 5 stars.
Here is how:
Before getting a dog, you must be aware of their basics. After grooming and dietary needs, physical needs are the most essential for breeds. If they are not provided with the required physical simulations, they’ll end up having long-term health issues that would be painful for them and you. Griffon Bruxellois are one of the breeds with high physical needs due to which their overall score is 4 out of 5 stars.
Here are some factors behind such score:
Griffon Bruxellois have been around for a long time. In his famous painting, “Arnolfini Couple,” Van Eyck portrayed a family picture in which we can see a dog looking precisely like a Griffon Bruxellois.
The origin of Griffon Bruxellois is Belgium’s capital, i.e., Brussels, where their story began in the early 1800s. Initially, they were observed to be useful for killing rats and hence began to be regarded as rat dogs and later on turned into affectionate family pets.
Due to their ability to hunt down the rats, coachmen often used Griffon Bruxellois to prevent rat population in the stables. The breed of that time resembled Affenpinscher breeds called “wire-coated stable dogs” or “Griffon d’ecurie”. They were also crossbred with multiple other breeds to get the desired result.
According to the experts, this breed is a result of multiple cross breedings, and their ancestors included English Toy Spaniels, Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, and even Belgian breed known as Brabancon.
Griffon Bruxellois witnessed the peak of their popularity when the Belgium Queen began showing her interest in this breed. Thus, their future remained secured with the support of the Queen. The best of the breeders started breeding them and refined them even more. These breeders structured Griffon’s bodies smaller with a human-like face.
Soon, the popularity of this breed reached the global level, and breeders of England and America started importing them. In 1910, the first Griffon Bruxellois was recognized and registered by the American Kennel Club.
Griffon Bruxellois experienced extinction during both of the world wars. They would have never been able to survive and exist today if passionate breeders and enthusiasts of the UK and USA didn't put extraordinary efforts to save them.
The fame of Griffon Bruxellois increased drastically after a 1997 movie “As Good As It Gets” featured an adorable Griffon named Jill.
There are many personality traits found in Griffon Bruxellois that make this breed a spectacular addition to the family. As you read earlier, they are highly energetic, fun-loving, playful, and social dogs who make adventures and family vacations unforgettable.
Besides their friendly nature, sensitivity is also a dominant trait in Griffon Bruxellois that can help people who need a dog for security purposes. They are very alert, watchful, and defensive if they need to be. Constant barking might disturb the strangers which can be controlled by teaching them “quiet” command to explain that everything is alright.
You may find some dogs to be enthusiastic, lively, and outgoing while others seem shy and reserved. All these traits are part of their diverse personality and can be found in any Griff.
At times, they may act dominantly and seem bossy, but take it as a sign that your fur baby is responsible who would even run your house if allowed to.
As a stranger, you may find Griffon Bruxellois defensive and aggressive at first, but when you get to know them and understand you, you’ll just see a cute little creature who would do anything to have your attention. They don't mind being with their humans all day, and that's why they are named as “Velcro dogs.”
Leaving a Griff alone means making them feel miserable. They are not suitable for busy people who are always away or cannot spend quality time with their dog. If you have a busy schedule, getting a Griff may not be the right option for you. They are an extremely sensitive and caring breed. They can easily get hurt if left ignored for a while.
Early socialization plays an important role in Griff’s temperament, just like every breed. The more you expose them to people, places, children, sounds, and sights, the easier they will be in public. Socialization helps them understand the good behavior of people who should not be seen as a threat. Your fur baby will eventually become approachable and friendly. If not socialized, griffon Bruxellois can become more reserved and shy over time.
Even though they will love you, Griffs like to be independent thinkers too. They value their mind and listen to themselves. This trait can make training a challenge for some people. If you find yourself in similar circumstances after getting a Griffon Bruxellois, remember to treat your Griff with compassion and kindness. Being harsh should not be an option as they are already a highly sensitive breed.
Like every other breed, Griffs are prone to some genetic diseases. It means that they might be at a higher risk of several health conditions, but with proper care, you can avoid such problems. Being aware of the problems will improve your future plans, and the probability of their healthy life will increase.
Don't make the mistake of buying a Griffon Bruxellois without asking for its health certificate from the breeder. And if he seems reluctant to show you, you know something is wrong. In such a case, no need to proceed with the deal further.
The following are some serious health issues that a Griffon Bruxellois can develop, and you need to watch out.
Many breeds are prone to hip dysplasia, including Griffon Bruxellois. In this condition, the thigh bone and hip joint of a Griff fail to fit properly, which leads to pain and discomfort. In some cases, discomfort can be observed in one rear leg or even both. Sometimes, early diagnosis is impossible, but over time, your Griff may develop arthritis.
The breeds suffering from hip dysplasia should not be allowed to breed. The breeder should also provide proof such as a health certificate to ensure that the dog’s parents were tested and that this condition was not found in either of them or their litter.
Hip dysplasia is not only a genetic disease. Several breeds develop it despite their parents' health. The main factors that can cause this disease include excessive calorie intake or injuries resulting from falling, etc.
This health condition is widespread among small dogs, especially the breeds like Griffon Bruxellois. When all three parts of the patella (thigh bone, knee cap, and calf) are unable to arrange in a line correctly, Patella Luxation occurs. The dogs that are suffering from this condition experience lameness in the legs, along with unusual walking gestures. Many breeds are born with Patella Luxation but don’t show any symptoms of it until they grow up. With respect to its severity, this condition has four grades. The first is the mildest in which the dog experiences temporary lameness. The severity keeps on increasing in every grade. Severe conditions may also require surgery.
Due to their structure, Griffon Bruxellois are at a higher risk of complications during the process of childbirth in which Caesarean section is required. The probability of experiencing complications also depends on the size of their litter, which ranges from 1 to 3 pups. At the time of birth, Griffon pups are tiny, weighing no more than some ounces. You can even fit the entire pup in your palm.
Cleft Palate is a birth defect that develops if the pups are not provided with sufficient nourishment that causes starvation. As a result, a hole occurs between the nose and mouth of the pup. Although it is fatal for pups, some can survive as the gap can be closed through surgery.
Cleft Palate is genetic, but it can also develop in mothers during pregnancy for several reasons such as viruses, nutritional deficiencies, and even poisons.
Bringing a pet home is somewhat similar to welcoming a baby - you have to be fully responsible for their well-being. As a parent, you are responsible for socializing and housetrain your fur baby. Your pet relies on you for a number of things, other than training, such as feeding, grooming, exercising, etc.
We have explained below how should you look after a griffon Bruxellois and meet their necessities:
Griffon Bruxellois are classified into two types; the Smooth Griffon Bruxellois and the Rough Griffon Bruxellois. Concerning their color, Griffon Bruxellois come in three adorable colors, i.e.,
black, black and tan, and red). The ones with a smoother coat can be easily groomed; regular brushing and hair trimming is all they need. However, the grooming of the rough coat Griffs required more time and dedication.
Never over trim a Griffon Bruxellois, it will change their naturally sturdy and compact appearance. Otherwise, they will look more like a terrier.
To maintain his gentleman look, you should comb your Griff’s beard regularly using a metal comb. Regular brushing is essential to keep their hair smooth and tangle-free. Leaving them without brushing will result in rough hair. Metal comb and bristle brush are recommended for brushing a Griffon Bruxellois. You would also need to get them stripped by professional groomers for dead hair removal and maintenance of a healthy coat.
Bathing is essential for Griffon Bruxellois to keep them safe from infections and diseases. They may not like it first, would even try to resist bathing because of their stubborn nature, but as a parent, your consistency and patience will play a key role in turning bath time into fun.
Before bathing, brush their hair thoroughly and make sure shed hairs are removed. Being a wire-coated dog, griffon Bruxellois would need a bath after every 4 to 6 weeks. Dry their hair afterward, and you’ll see how shiny and fresh they’ll turn out to be!
Hair clipping might sound challenging, but with the right tools in your hand, it’s not a big deal. You would need a trimmer, scissor, and clippers for clipping.
To reduce the risk of pests (especially fleas) and get rid of tangles and matting, your griffon Bruxellois requires their hair to be clipped regularly. Before grooming,, you can take your Griff for a little walk as it will calm him down. Begin with clipping shoulder hair and continue progressing all the way to their tails.
Numerous dog owners are unaware of the importance of dental care, particularly for small dogs having small teeth. They are prone to sensitive teeth and other dental problems. To avoid such issues, you should brush you Griff’s teeth regularly.
Gum diseases are widespread among dogs that are caused if tartar gets built up in their teeth. For brushing, only use good quality brushes and toothpaste for dogs. Weekly brushing will be sufficient, but daily brushing is ideal for them.
The best quality dog food contains optimum amounts of proteins, amino acids, and minerals to meet your dog’s daily dietary needs. Along with the quality, affordability is also an important factor to determine the best dog food.
The following are our top pick for the high-quality dog foods that your Griffon Bruxellois will surely rejoice in!
It is a wholesome combination of deboned salmon that is rich in flavor and protein. Peas and sweet potatoes are used to supply carbohydrates with the addition of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Satisfy your Griff’s cravings for wild and adventure with this amazing dog food, which is completely free of grain, corn, wheat, and artificial preservatives.
It is another perfect dog food for your Griffon Bruxellois that contains duck meat that is free from hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. Not only your Griff will enjoy this delicious diet, his desires for wild food will also be satisfied. This dog food is full of protein, minerals, and vitamins, which will boost your baby’s overall health.
You won’t need to mix, measure, grind or chop it either. Just add some water in it and serve to your dog!
Let your fur buddy indulge in the healthy, nourishing, and organic ingredients that are packed in Zignature dog food. Your Griff will love the tasty meal that contains Salmon, Trout, peas, flaxseed, and chickpeas.
It offers every essential nutrition that your Griffon Bruxellois needs and excludes unhealthy ingredients like wheat, corn, soy, chicken, and potatoes, etc.
Before welcoming a Griffin your life, you should know how challenging it can be during training time. You must be extremely gentle with your dogs for better and fast training. If you want to want them to listen to you, you have to be careful with them as they are brilliant, they can sense when you’re impatient.
Housetraining your Griff can be pretty exhausting, but you will be delighted to see how hard they’ll try to comply with and listen to your commands. Your lovely Griff will not stop trying until you are pleased with them.
Being highly sensitive, Griffon Bruxellois cannot deal with aggressive or harsh behavior. Treat them with kindness and care to train them properly.
As far as exercise is concerned, Griffs are agile, playful, and energetic. You can take them out for a walk and play with them to provide them with the required exercise needs.
Even though they will stay happy inside your house, daily exercise is necessary to keep them happy and healthy.
Walking will also make them familiar with various smells and noises that they’ll encounter. Exercise sessions can also include games such as tug of war, fetch, Frisbee, or you can use toys in their playtime too.
For families with children, getting a dog requires some serious research to find out whether or not the dog will be friendly towards their toddlers.
While Griffs are considered one of the most friendly breeds, they might not want to compromise on their personal space and tend to defend themselves if they sense harsh behavior or unwanted fondness.
Young children are often affectionate towards pets, but they cannot be taught the manners of being around the dogs. They love cuddling, hugging, and kissing their pets all the time. Many dogs are comfortable with such behavior, but not all.
Griffon Bruxellois are not the breed that can handle young children. Therefore, we do not recommend them to families having young children.
Getting your fur baby from a reliable breeder is always the best approach. A responsible breeder will give you sufficient information about their breeds and won’t try to hide anything.
However, you should only approach the breeder when you are capable enough to afford your pet’s finances, including food, exercise, training, and medical expenses.
Here are some Australian-based breeder organizations that you can connect with to get a Griffon Bruxellois:
Owned by two passionate and loving Griffon Bruxellois breeders, Tablinis has been running for almost thirty years. It is located in Victoria and offers a wide range of Griffons in 3 colors. You can find good-quality Griffon Bruxellois for your family.
It is relatively a smaller kennel, but their breeds are smooth and healthy. Instead of breeding to generate profit, they believe in producing Griffs according to the standard. They treat every Griffon, just like their family.
The dogs produced by BALLIOL have been competitive enough to win numerous competitions under credible judges.
Inspired by their first Griffon Bruxellois’s beautiful personality in 1986, the owner of ROSNDAE decided to start breeding professionally. Today, their Griffon Bruxellois are competitive and are considered to be one of the best dogs with over fifteen declared as champions in various competitions.
Having prior knowledge about rescue groups is necessary, our future is unpredictable; if you think you cannot look after your Griffon Bruxellois anymore, you would know whom to contact.
Here are some Australian-based rescue groups that you can contact to rehome or rescue a Griffon Bruxellois:
It is a reliable rescue group located in Western Australia. You can trust them for rehoming your fur baby. In case you come across a Griffon Bruxellois that seems to be lost or abandoned, you can take it to Griffon Rescue and rehoming the rescue group.
This group consists of friendly and hardworking members who look after all Griffons with love, compassion, and responsibility. They aim to provide their Griffs with the best lifestyle and fulfill all of their necessary needs.
National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that intends to provide shelter to the Griffs who have been lost, abandoned, or abused and need to be rehomed. Due to their concerns and love for Griffs, they have very strict policies for people who want to get a Griff to form their rescue group. They only trust responsible people to raise their Griffs.
Griffon Bruxellois are friendly, smart, and caring. They love spending their days with their owners. Griffs are full of personality that makes them an ideal family dog. For everyone looking for an inactive, energetic, and people-loving dog, Griffon Bruxellois should be your first preference!