The AKC only recognize the Brussels Griffon in both – short and long haired version, but in their homeland, Belgium, there are three types. The Petit Brabancon, which is the smooth coated type, the Brussels Griffon, which has rough red coat and the Belgian Griffon, which has rough coat in any other color then red. The situation is the same as with Belgian Shepherds – in some countries and by some kennel clubs they are separate dog breeds, while other kennel clubs view them as varieties of the same breed.
The Brussels Griffon is a descendant of a dog named Smousje. They were later crossbred with some other dog breeds, most likely with Affenpinschers, Pugs, English Toy Spaniels. They were first bred as vermin hunters and they were mostly used by farmers and horse drawn cab drivers. Later, these cute dogs became popular household companions for both – nobelman and ordinary people.
The monkey like face of the Brussels Griffon is the reason why they are so unique and easily recognizable. They do reminds us some fictional characters like Ewoks or Chewbaca. They have very distinctive extremely large eyes with long black lashes. I think it is because of these eyes they have the monkey or i would say almost human like look. The head is large with small ears and short nose.
Brussels Griffons are enthusiastic barkers, which actually makes them good watchdogs. They will most likely alert you when something suspicious is going on around your house. Of course, because of their small size, they are not the best guards. It is recomended to teach them quiet command, sometimes they can be very noisy.
Griffs are extremely loyal and loving social animals. They are also extremely protective over their family when necessary. On the other hand, most of them are not enjoying companionship of younger children. They do not like unwanted hugs, pinching or being chased and if they are for example unable to escape from someones grasp, they might growl or snap. That is why they are much better companions for adults than young children.
6) Living with
If you are looking for a small, but active and social companion, the Brussels Griffon might be the best choice for you. This dog needs regular daily exercise to stay healthy and happy, they enjoy longer walks or playing fetch. They are also very social and they want to be part of the family and do everything with you. Brussels Griffon do not like to be left alone for long periods of time and they tend to bark excessively if that happens.
This is intelligent, but stubborn dog, which makes it quiet hard to train them. Of course, they can be trained all the basic commands like stay, come or heel, but they requiere very patient and consistent trainer. The housetraining can be little bit challanging as well. Brussels Griffon do not respond well to harsh and rough handling, they are pretty sensitive dogs.
The Brussels Griffon is a small, but sturdy dog breed with squared body and average height between 9-11 inches which is 23-28 cm and weight between 8-10 pounds, which is 4-5 kg.
If you have the rough coated Brussels Griffon, than it is important to clip and strip the coat. They require brushing and combing twice a week. The smooth coated version is easier to maintain, only ocassional brush is needed. Other than that, you should regularly check their large eyes, ears and nails and clean them or clip them if needed.
Griffons are generally healthy dogs with average lifespan between 10-15 years. Just like all dogs, they do suffer from some health issues, most commonly from hip dysplasia, bone and joint problems, heart problems and allergies.