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Brussels Griffons are recommended for families with older children. These dogs are easily trainable and love the challenge of learning something new. However, they can be stubborn and territorial at times and may feel threatened, unintentionally by younger children.
They love to make their family laugh, they love to be close to their owners, and they cannot tolerate being alone for long periods of time constantly. They like attention. They have been noted to have “human like eyes”, a trait many Brussels Griffon owners find endearing.
Brussels Griffon Life Style
These dogs can tolerate apartment living well with moderate daily exercise. They also do well in single family homes, but prefer to have family interactions and play while outdoors.
Brussels Griffons require moderate exercise. At least 2 short walks a day. They are very intelligent and trainable. Many Brussels Griffons really enjoy obedience work, even advanced obedience exercises such as agility and tracking. A family who is the best fit for this breed would be willing to engage their Brussels Griffon’s learning capacity through play, exercise and more advanced training or athletic skills.
Brussels Griffon Grooming Requirements
This breed has moderate grooming requirements. They can have either a soft-coat or rough-coat. They require brushing about 3 times a week to keep their coat free of loose hairs, knots and dirt. They need an occasional bath. They also require eye, ear and nail care the same as other dog breeds. Assess weekly, and see what maintenance frequency your dog needs.
Dogs with a European History
Griffon-like dogs were first documented in Europe as early as 1434. Since then, the breed has become much more refined. In the early 1800’s; in Brussels, Belgium, coachman used to use small terrier dogs in their stables to keep rats away. They continued to breed these small dogs with favorable rodent-hunting traits. The results were a wire-coated stable dog. There is no documented evidence of exactly what breeds finally contributed to the Brussels Griffon exactly, however, experts in linage tracing think that many breeds we know of today such as the Pug, Yorkshire terrier, English Toy Spaniels and the Brabancon may have all descended from the terriers used to create Brussels Griffons. The dedication of these early coachmen who refined the breed, forever changed the breeds reputation from rough-and-tumble rat dogs, to sophisticated lap-dog companion.
In the 1870’s the Queen of Belgians, Henrietta-Maria, had a Brussels Griffon. She had a major influence on the people, who really like her dogs. The breed become known as an upper class breed and the royal boost led to continued refining of the breed to the Brussels Griffon appearance we are familiar with today.
The Brussels Griffon was first registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1910. After both world wars the breed almost became extinct, however, as the economy recovered so did the popularity for this breed. In modern times; the Brussels Griffon is a popular family dog and an iconic movie legend.
Brussels Griffon Heath Issues
Most Brussels Griffon’s will be born healthy when purchased from a reputable breeder. However, some health issues to be aware of are:
- Brachycephaly - Or the short snout of the Brussels Griffon making them less tolerant of hot weather. They may become short of breath and over heat easily. Make sure to keep them cool in hot weather, and provide water on hot days. Brussels Griffon’s also snore more often when sleeping because of their short snout.
- Cataracts - This breed should get regular eye check ups to prevent and maintain optimum eye health. Many breeds are more prone to cataracts, especially with age. The Brussels Griffon is no exception, unfortunately.
- Hip Dysplasia - Common in many breeds. A painful condition in which the bones occasionally slip out of place. This condition is treatable with surgery and pain medication management. Usually corrected with gentle rehabilitation post-surgery.
- Ear and teeth checks. These are standard checks that most veterinarians will do on most dog breeds.
Some dog owners enjoy using the FitBark, wearable technology that syncs with your smart phone, watch and other devices for breed specific health and activity monitoring. Fitbark continuously monitors your dog's activity, sleep and nutrition and gives you the measurable results! You may find it helpful to have daily results to discuss at veterinary follow ups and to plan breed specific health and fitness goals.
All breeds are susceptible to specific disorders. Each breed can be affected to varying degrees. The idea of listing the common illnesses for each breed is not to discourage you from wanting a specific breed if you find it a perfect fit for your family; but to help you better prepare for the future health of your dog. As well as provide you with the knowledge necessary to get a dog in the best optimum health.
I encourage owners to develop a strong relationship with a consistent veterinarian with whom the owner and dog both build a strong rapport. Adequate medical care is a financial expense, but a necessity for being a responsible dog owner.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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