The Brussels Griffon seems to have descended from the pages of fairy tales about good housewives! This charming and slightly awkward bearded man will easily win the love of all family members.
- Brief information
- Breed characteristics
- History of the Brussels Griffon breed
- Appearance of the Brussels Griffon
- The character of the Brussels Griffon
- Education and training
- Care and maintenance
- Health and diseases of Brussels griffons
- How to choose a puppy
- The price of the Brussels griffon
- Breed name: Brussels Griffon
- Country of Origin: Belgium
- Weight: 3-6 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 18-20 cm
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years old
- Sociability and activity are the main features of the breed representatives. It's hard to get bored with the Brussels griffon.
- "Bruxelles" are satellites in every sense of the word: it is difficult for the owners to avoid persecution and constant control from these bearded men.
- Of all the family members, the dog allocates only one person, while the rest are initially cool and distrustful.
- Despite their small size, Brussels griffons become good guards. The animal will definitely notify the owner of the approach of a stranger with a ringing bark.
- This breed is not suitable for families with children, because its representatives will not tolerate familiarity and careless treatment.
- Socialized griffons easily get along with both their relatives and other pets.
- "Bruxelles" are famous for their developed intelligence, so they are easily trained in teams, of course, if they are not stubborn.
- Beginners and people with a gentle nature are better off thinking about buying another pet.
Brussels Griffon is a decorative dog breed. At the sight of these babies, an association involuntarily arises with Hercule Poirot, the hero of A. Christie's novels. Firstly, both the legendary detective and the Griffons share a common homeland – Belgium. Secondly, the animals are notable for the same funny "moustaches" as Monsieur Poirot. Brussels griffons are distinguished by a cheerful and good–natured character - a universal key to the heart of most people. These dogs have an inquisitive and lively mind, do not like to sit in one place and always follow the owner on the heels. Surround a lively baby with care and attention, and he will become the most devoted friend you can only dream of!
History of the Brussels Griffon breed
Brussels griffons appeared in Belgium about two centuries ago, although indirect mentions of the breed date back to the first half of the XV century. Thus, the "Portrait of the Arnolfini Couple" by the early Dutch painter Jan van Eyck depicts a small shaggy dog that looks like a Brussels griffon. The similarity of the animal with a modern representative of the breed can be traced in a later painting by the German artist Johann Zoffani. On it, the children of the British King George III play with dogs of light beige color, similar to griffons. Frenchman Pierre Auguste Renoir created a masterpiece called "Nude with a griffon", where there was also a place for this amazing animal.
Contrary to popular misconception, the name of the breed did not come from a mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. The word "griffon" is of French origin and translates as "wire-haired".
Favorable climatic conditions of Belgium obliged its inhabitants to actively engage in agriculture. Wild rodents, distinguished by their amazing voracity, became frequent visitors to the barns where grain was stored. After a dozen of their barbaric raids, the Belgians could lose their crops before the onset of winter cold. For successful pest control, a new breed was bred – small shaggy dogs that easily penetrated into hard-to-reach places and expelled uninvited guests. Outwardly they differed from modern animals, but the similarity was obvious.
It is worth noting that the breeding program has become quite fruitful, giving the world three varieties of griffons:
- Belgian – direct descendants affenpinchers ;
- Brussels – a cross between affenpinchers and cavalier-King Charles spaniels ;
- Brabant ( petit brabanson ) – the result of mating cavalier-king Charles spaniels and pugs .
Breeders allow crossing of three lines among themselves. Adult dogs differ only in color and type of coat. This is indirectly confirmed by the cases of the birth of representatives of all types of griffons within the same litter.
The fate of the little rat catchers changed dramatically in the second half of the XIX century. Then the griffons attracted the attention of representatives of the nobility. Even the Belgian Queen Marie Henriette admired these dogs. She supported the breeding of animals and played an important role in the spread of the breed throughout Europe. More and more often, noble ladies appeared at dinners and balls, accompanied by griffons. Some used these dogs to guard the carriages: the ringing barking of the kids immediately attracted attention.
A well-known story with a sad ending is connected with the Brussels griffons. So, Queen Draga of Serbia was obsessed with the idea of poisoning, so before each meal she shared a portion of food with her pet. One day, after another bite, griffon fell to the floor dead. The queen's suspicions were confirmed, but at the same time she lost her faithful pet.
The Brussels Griffons were not distinguished by their comely appearance. Their popularity was due to the enthusiasm of the owners, who appeared at various shows and exhibitions with their shaggy pets. The griffons' first appearance took place in 1880 at an exhibition organized in Brussels. Noticing the public's interest in charming "bearded men", dog lovers united and founded the Royal Society of St. Hubert in 1882. Soon its members began to maintain a breeding book of the breed, which at that time had a different name – a small Belgian wire-haired terrier.
Such an active strategy was crowned with success: already in 1904, the first breed standard was adopted. Six years later, the Brussels griffons were included in the official register of the American Kennel Club (AKC). In 1920, the Orleans Volcano kennel, owned by Miss Ionides, had about 40 representatives of the breed. Most of the dogs were brought from France and Belgium. Ten years later, the woman got new griffons from the Nunsoe nursery. With the beginning of the military events of the XX century, Ionides took care of the export of her wards to the UK.
In 1926, the first alarm sounded: representatives of the breed were exported less and less from the territory of Belgium. After the end of the Second World War, the number of dogs decreased altogether. They mostly lived in the United States and Great Britain, but they were much less common at home. In 1945, the first American breed association appeared. After 11 years, the Brussels Griffons were recognized by members of the United Kennel Club (UKC). In 1963, breeders finalized the previous standard. This version is valid to this day.
Despite the efforts of dog breeders, the breed remained small. So, during 1993, the breeding book of France registered only 25 cases of griffons being born. And even now it is a rare luck to meet a representative of this breed. The Brussels "bearded men" did not receive significant distribution, but still won the love and admiration of dog handlers around the world due to their outstanding appearance and good-natured character.
Video: Brussels Griffon
Appearance of the Brussels Griffon
The Brussels Griffon belongs to decorative breeds. He cannot be called a lap dog, meaning a pretty and accommodating pet. Griffons are known in Belgium as street urchins: rough and stocky, with an unruly stiff coat and a "human" expression of the eyes.
The breed standard defines the following parameters: height at the withers – 27-32 cm (for males) and 25-30 cm (for females); body weight – from 3.5 to 6 kg. "Boys" look stronger and stronger: the sexual type is well expressed.
Head and skull
The head of the Brussels griffon has rounded outlines, looks large in relation to the body. In comparison with a convex forehead, the brow ridges and occipital protuberance are inconspicuous. The skull is round and large.
Brussels griffons are owners of a very short and upturned muzzle. Its length usually does not exceed 1.5-2 cm. The stop is deep: the frontal part abruptly turns into a small bridge of the nose. The short nose lobe is notable for wide nostrils, divided by a furrow, pigmented in black. When examining the dog in profile, the tip of the nose and forehead form a line. When viewed from the front, it is clear that the eyes and nose of the animal are located at the same level. Dry and tight-fitting lips have a dark border. Despite the fact that the upper lip completely hides the lower jaw, there are no so-called pockets in the corners of the mouth. Teeth and tongue are not visible when the dog's mouth is closed. The chin protrudes forward, slightly raised. On the fur of the muzzle, a "mask" is distinguished by a tone or two darker than the main color of the wool.
The ears of the Brussels griffon are small, set high on top of the head and at a considerable distance from each other. They are located in a semi-upright position with a slight forward tilt. The standard allows cupping of the ears: at the same time they become pointed and slightly raised.
The eyes are set wide and on the same line. They are quite large in size; rounded, but not convex. Griffon's look is characterized by "humanity", which is why even puppies seem to be wise with life experience. The eyelids fit tightly, completely hiding the whites of the eyes and the so-called third eyelid. "Decorated" with long eyelashes, which creates the effect of black edging. The preferred color of the iris is brown; the darker the shade, the better. The look is expressive and lively.
Jaws and teeth
The lower jaw of the Brussels griffon has a U-shaped shape, slightly curved upwards, forms a snack. The incisors are located on two parallel lines, the canines are spaced quite widely. The presence of a complete dental formula is mandatory. With the dog's mouth closed, the tongue and teeth should be hidden.
The strong neck of the animal does not look weighted, despite the high postage and "bulge". Medium length, characterized by dry musculature.
Brussels griffons have a square body format: the height of the dog at the withers coincides with the length of the trunk. Due to the developed bone, it seems that the chest of the animal protrudes forward, like a hussar proudly wearing his uniform. Rounded edges do not create a "barrel-like" effect. The withers of the dog is moderately pronounced. The long shoulder blades are tightly pressed. The back of the griffons is muscular and strong, passes into the lower back (its line is slightly raised up). The croup is sloped downwards. The stomach is taut, the groin is outlined.
The tail of the Brussels griffon is characterized by a high delivery. It is carried raised, the tip "looks" at the back, but does not twist and does not touch it. It is permissible to stop the tail by 2/3 of its original length.
Are distinguished by their prominent musculature and strong developed bones. "Taken out" under the body of the animal, placed parallel and at a considerable distance from each other. Tightly pressed elbows are located under the withers. The sheer forearms turn into short pasterns. The limbs of the griffon end in small round paws with gathered fingers. The pads and claws are pigmented in black.
Are placed in such a way that they slightly protrude beyond the sciatic tubercles; the angles of articulation are moderately developed. Strong thighs are notable for their prominent musculature. The hock joints are located low above ground level, turning into strong metatarsals. The paws are rounded and arched, ending in stiff pads and claws painted black.
Manner of movement
Brussels griffons move at a trot. The hind limbs provide a powerful push, while the front ones are moderately thrown forward. When moving, the back remains straight and even.
Medium–length hair, thick and wire-like - the rougher it feels, the better. Around the dog's eyes, near the nose, on the cheeks and chin, the hair is longer, forms "vegetation" on the muzzle: eyebrows, sideburns, mustache and beard. Needs manual trimming.
The standard of the Brussels Griffon breed provides the following color options:
- red with a brownish "mask" and dark adorning fur;
- beige with a brownish-red or black "mask" and dark adorning fur;
- solid black (gray hair appears in adult dogs).
The slightest deviations from the standard are considered defects. Among the most common are:
- stretched or shortened case format;
- silky and soft coat;
- obliquely set and/or light eyes;
- lightweight or rough build;
- pointed and/or lowered muzzle;
- aggressive or cowardly behavior;
- sloppily trimmed wool;
- sharply sharp or right angle of the croup;
- a hunchbacked or sagging lower back;
- brown pigmentation of the claws;
- barrel chest;
- flat and/or narrow head;
- the presence of dewclaws;
- low-set neck;
- undeveloped musculature;
- white guard hair;
- narrow withers and back;
- direct bite.
Disqualifying breed defects are as follows:
- partial or absent pigmentation of the eyelids, nose and lips;
- white spots or "holes";
- brown color of the nose lobe;
- light pigmentation of claws;
- loosely closed mouth;
- dislocated joints;
- undescended testicles;
Photo of the Brussels griffon
The character of the Brussels Griffon
Representatives of the breed look like harsh and unsociable bearded men, but with closer communication with them it is easy to understand that the first impression is still deceptive. Brussels Griffons are energetic and sociable dogs who love to be the center of attention. With the latter, you should be careful: it is easy to grow capricious and demanding pets from these babies, who will not leave you alone until they get what they want.
Griffon owners refer to their pets as "tails". And really: animals are used to following the owner on the heels and at the first opportunity "kiss" him half to death. Four-legged people from Brussels tend to support any, even the most crazy idea. A spontaneous trip to the riverbank in the early morning? With all paws for! An unexpected trip to the end of the world? Even better! No matter how tired and sleepy the "Bruxelander" may be, he will not grumble in response to an offer to actively spend time and will find the strength for a long-awaited walk.
Living in a large family, Griffon considers only one person equal to himself. The rest will have to try pretty hard to earn at least minimal trust from the dog. And it's not worth talking about selfless love: it can take more than one month to win the heart of a stubborn baby.
Although Brussels griffons are distinguished by self-confidence, they need the company of the owner and do not put up with loneliness well. This breed is not suitable for people who spend a significant part of their time in the workplace. The "Brusselets" will not become the best friend of anyone who is not used to obligations to a living being. The animal tends to impose its company, which not everyone will like.
There is an opinion among beginners that decorative dogs do not need long walks. In the case of the Brussels Griffon, this is not the case: representatives of the breed like to explore the surroundings under the close supervision of the owner. Of course, a half-hour promenade is enough for animals, but if you manage to stay on the street as long as possible, there will be no limits to the happiness of a pet! It seems that a small motor is hidden under the rough-to-the-touch fur, which sets the dog in motion, forcing it to frolic in the fresh air.
Despite its modest size, this breed is famous for its protective qualities. A small "bell" will notify the owner of the approach of an uninvited guest. Of course, you should not expect zealous protection of property from griffon, but still be sure: a fly will not fly past the vigilant "bearded man" unnoticed.
"Bruxelles" need early socialization, otherwise at the sight of strangers the dog will show fright or aggression. Even properly educated griffons are wary of strangers. A typical representative of the breed will not wag his tail in vain if others sincerely admire him. Instead of a loud and joyful bark, the animal will growl and take a step back. A stranger is unlikely to be able to stroke the baby.
Families with children should think about other breeds. Brussels griffons are not very patient with childish games, will not put up with rough pushes and may even bare their fangs if they see danger in the actions of a child. In addition, these small dogs are quite fragile and require appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, not all children are careful with pets.
Representatives of this breed easily find a common language with their relatives. If you already had a dog in your house before the griffon appeared, the Brussels "bearded man" will gladly recognize the authority of an older friend and will even copy his habits. However, some kids will still try to take the alpha's place. The task of the owner is to prevent possible aggression. This rule also applies to other pets: cats, decorative rodents and birds. The socialized griffon tolerates animals, but in any case will jealously protect its toys and treats.
Brussels griffons are not suitable for keeping in an aviary – this is a fact. Small pets like a cozy apartment without drafts. Arrange a secluded place for the dog, allocate about an hour and a half for a walk every day, get out of the city more often – and the Brussels griffon will be the happiest!
Education and training
In addition to the appearance of a wise old man, the Brussels griffon is also notable for an inquisitive mind. Even two-month-old puppies easily understand what they want from them, so their upbringing should begin as early as possible. First, clearly define the position of the leader: griffon should not allow the idea that he is the main one in the family. "Bruxelians" tend to dominate, so this breed is not suitable for people with a soft character.
Although griffons are reputed to be quite smart dogs, their training can become difficult. The animal often shows stubbornness and waywardness, so training will take a lot of time and effort. At the same time, the Brussels Griffon is one of the most trained miniature breeds. It is worth starting with the study of basic commands: "Sit!", "Lie down!", "Voice!", "To me!", "Give me a paw!", "Nearby!", "Impossible!". If necessary, you should turn to the services of a professional dog handler.
In the process of training, use the main weapon – consistency and patience. Resort only to positive methods: a treat, encouragement or affectionate stroking behind the ear. It is not recommended to raise your voice to the dog: after such humiliation, the griffon will not soon tune in to the educational mood.
In addition to teams, it is worth using the Brussels griffon in certain sports – in particular, agility. While running with obstacles, the animal will not only repeat the commands already studied, but also stretch its paws a lot. In addition, communication with the owner and four-legged relatives will only benefit.
Care and maintenance
Due to the specific coat, Brussels griffons need constant and careful care. The dog should be combed at least once a week (preferably more often), using a comb with thick teeth or a furminator. A special "studded" glove is also suitable: these are sold in pet stores. Sideburns, mustaches and beards should be combed daily so that the wool does not get tangled and looks neat. Representatives of the breed also need regular trimming – plucking of hairs. It is advisable to entrust this procedure to a specialist, especially if your pet plans to participate in the exhibition.
Representatives of the breed do not need regular water procedures: this negatively affects the condition of the coat. It is enough to bathe the dog as needed, but no more than twice a month. Pay attention to the composition of the pet shampoo: it should not contain aggressive substances. Before bathing, dilute the hygiene product with water in a ratio of 1:3. Rinse the shampoo thoroughly, especially from the adorning hairs on the animal's muzzle. After bathing, it is enough to wipe the griffon's wool with a towel made of natural material that absorbs moisture well. Take care of the absence of drafts, otherwise the dog may catch a cold. The ideal place to relax after taking a bath is a dry and warm room.
Important to know: small skin folds on the muzzle of the Brussels griffon are a favorable place for the reproduction of pathogenic bacteria. Be sure to inspect them after each walk or meal. This way you will avoid forced visits to the veterinary clinic.
The trimming procedure is also necessary for the ears of the griffon: the thick coat in the shells prevents good ventilation. To soften the sulfur and carefully remove it, it is recommended to use means with a drying effect.
The dog's eyes should also be subjected to regular inspection. Their convex shape contributes to irritation due to long hairs, so that the areas of the body above the nose must be carefully trimmed. The hairs are removed towards the inner corner of the eyes. Remember that copious discharge is an alarming signal: you need to eliminate the problem as soon as possible, otherwise you will need the intervention of a veterinarian.
The oral cavity is another favorable environment for the reproduction of bacteria. The owner of the Brussels griffon should take care of the regular removal of plaque from the teeth of the pet. The frequency of the procedure can be reduced if the dog eats dry food: in this case, cleaning is carried out involuntarily. The intervention of the owner will be required only once a month. Animals that eat natural food will have to clean their dentition from the age of a puppy. To do this, you need to purchase a special paste at a pet store. You can "please" the griffon with a hygienic product with the taste of fish or meat. Some dog owners recommend rubbing their pets' teeth with activated charcoal, which slows down the formation of plaque.
The Brussels Griffon is a very active breed, the claws of its representatives are most often worn off on their own. Sometimes this does not happen, and the animal begins to experience discomfort. Here a special claw cutter for small dogs will come to the rescue. Trim the griffon's claws carefully, without touching areas with blood vessels. Do not hurt your pet, otherwise next time he will do anything, just not to be given into your hands.
Nutrition is an important point in the maintenance of Brussels griffons. When acquiring a new friend, it is worth consulting with the breeder regarding the dog's previous diet: it is categorically not recommended to change it abruptly. It is necessary to transfer the pet to a new type of nutrition gradually, observing the well-being of the griffon. Representatives of the breed often have allergies.
There are two variants of the diet: dry food and natural food. When choosing the first one, it is necessary to consult with a veterinarian and carefully read the recommendations on the package. Super premium or holistic food is ideal. This way of eating will save a lot of time.
The natural diet of the Brussels griffon should include raw or scalded meat, boiled boneless sea fish and cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat, rice). Dog handlers recommend supplementing the dog menu with seasonal fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and quail eggs. Once a day, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the main "dish".
It is worth excluding:
- spicy, salty, pickled food with spices;
- "human" drinks (tea, coffee);
- fatty meat (pork, lamb);
- river fish in any form;
- cow and mare's milk;
- carbohydrate foods;
- smoked delicacies;
- berries with pits;
- tubular bones;
It is necessary to provide the dog with constant access to clean water. The owners advise using bottled water. Infused tap water is also suitable.
In general, Brussels griffons are unpretentious. Although they require three walks a day, you can teach the animal to relieve itself in a specially designated place (for example, on a diaper) and thereby reduce the time of the promenade. Some owners of bearded men like to dress them in beautiful clothes, but in general this cannot be called a necessity. The exception is slush: due to his low stature, the griffon can get pretty dirty, so he will need a waterproof jumpsuit.
Having got a little friend, it is necessary to allocate a secluded corner. Otherwise, the griffon will hide from prying eyes under the bathroom or bed, on the lower shelves of cabinets and even in open nightstands. In the same place, the animal will hide its "treasures": slippers, toys, socks, pencils, pens and other items that, in his opinion, have lost their value for the owner. Taking a little fuzzy into the house, you will have to accustom yourself to order, if you do not want to lose many things. By the way, for such a funny habit, Brussels griffons are often called housekeepers.
Despite its modest size, griffon snoring can be compared to snoring english mastiff . This is due to the flattened muzzle, which makes the breathing too loud. For a good night's sleep and feeling great in the morning, it is recommended to organize a personal pet place far from your bedroom.
Health and diseases of Brussels griffons
Representatives of the breed are distinguished by strong immunity against viral and colds. However, dogs are characterized by common pathologies:
- hydrocephalus (dropsy of the brain);
- distichiasis (the presence of extra eyelashes);
- loss of eyeballs;
- complications during childbirth;
- cyst in the spinal cord;
- retinal atrophy;
- Perthes disease;
- narrow nostrils;
Daily walks, age–related feeding regimen, timely vaccination, treatment from parasites - these are the keys to longevity and health of your pet. If suspicious symptoms are detected, it is necessary to make an appointment for a consultation at a veterinary clinic.
How to choose a puppy
Before buying a Brussels griffon, it is important to create suitable conditions for the maintenance of a future friend. A lounger, bowls, toys, harness, dog hygiene products – only after purchasing these necessary things should you start looking for a kennel. Breeders who specialize in the breed are mainly located in large cities. If you live on the periphery, carefully consider the way back – already in the company of a four-legged friend.
As soon as a suitable kennel of Brussels griffons is found, you can start choosing the sex of the puppy. Remember that males are distinguished by independence and a tendency to aggression, while bitches are distinguished by obedience and devotion. The latter can create additional discomfort during estrus: during a walk with a pet, it is unlikely that it will be possible to hide from the crowd of four-legged "grooms".
If you have already decided on the gender of the future pet, it's time to look at the candidates! The optimal age of a puppy for purchase is 6-8 weeks. Babies who were torn away from their mother early in most cases grow up weak and unfit. In addition, the mental state of such a griffon leaves much to be desired: the puppy lacks primary socialization skills.
When choosing a Brussels griffon, take a close look at the entire litter. If the kids are mostly shy or even aggressive, ask the breeder to introduce you to another dog family. Healthy "Bruxelles" should be curious, playful and cheerful. It's easy to check it: take a bunch of keys or a rattle in your hand and stretch it towards the puppies. Babies with excellent health will immediately be attracted by a new sound and smell.
Pay attention to the griffon's complexion. You should not choose the most well-fed puppy, but the excessive thinness of the animal should also alert you. Give preference to a medium-sized baby, carefully examine it from all sides. The coat should be thick, without bald spots; eyes and ears – clean; paws – intact. A healthy "Brussels" should not cough and sneeze.
The last step on the way to selfless friendship with griffon is getting documents. A conscientious breeder must provide the buyer with a certificate of vaccination of the puppy, his passport and proof of pedigree. It is worth asking him in more detail about the contents of the Brussels griffons, and especially about the diet of the selected baby. For positive adaptation, it is not recommended to drastically change the puppy's diet.
Brussels Griffon Puppies
The price of the Brussels griffon
Brussels griffon with elite origin and good health will cost the future owner $400. The price can change in any direction, based on some factors: the location and popularity of the kennel, the age and sex of the dog, titles and awards of his parents. For a lower cost – about $150 – you can buy a "Brussels" with your hands, but in this case no one guarantees the health and good immunity of the dog.
No matter how much you have to pay for a griffon, it's nothing compared to what a loyal and cheerful friend you will get! A representative of this breed will bring a share of fun even in the most monotonous everyday life.