Griffon Bruxellois Info & Griffon Bruxellois Breeders
The name Griffon Bruxellois (pronounced Griffon Broos-ell-wa) means a rough-coated dog from Brussels. They are a small cobby dog that developed in Belgium, originally bred to hunt and kill rats. Griffons are small, sturdy, and should weigh between 3.2 – 5.5 kg. They come in rough and smooth coats and in 3 colours- red, black and black & tan. Griffons can trace their ancestry back over 600 years with the modern Griffon going back for 200 years. This means that when you buy a purebred pedigreed dog you know the type of personality to expect.
Griffon Bruxellois Temperament
The Griffon is a well-balanced little dog, alert, proud, and watchful. They are neither timid nor aggressive. They do not bark excessively but will bark to alert the owner to visitors or intruders. While their temperament is described as “terrier like”, it does not mean they are as feisty as some terriers, but refers to their cheeky, mischievous nature. The Griffon is full of life, and a very loveable little dog.
Griffons are extremely affectionate, very loyal, and intensely devoted to their owner. They tend to select one person in a family to be their favourite. They want to be with the people they love and they follow you everywhere. Because of this, they are not a dog that can be left alone for hours in a yard. They love going out and about with their family and get on well with other animals.
The ideal owner for a Griffon
Griffons are a great pet for families, single people or older people. What's important is that they are a member of the family, and with the family. They are not a breed that can be treated as yard dogs and left outside. They are affectionate and love to play, but also happy to sit quietly and watch TV. They do best with older considerate children and being a small dog, young children need to be supervised to ensure that they do not hurt the dog.
They have very endearing personalities and Griffon owners have a saying- “you just can’t stop at one”.
Training and Socialisation for Griffon Bruxellois
Griffons are very intelligent and respond to positive training methods but can be stubborn if the owner tries to force them into something they don't' want. They are playful with other dogs and even cats.
Griffons are ideal as city dogs because they are small enough to take anywhere and some really do like to travel in a bag. They love to go to coffee shops and watch passers by.
How much space and exercise does a Griffon need?
Overall Griffons are wonderful house dogs and companions. While they are suitable for apartments, as they do not need a lot of space, they do like to run and Griffon owners are familiar with ‘zoomies’. They will be ok without a yard as long as they get some regular outdoor exercise.
Like all flat-faced breeds they should never be exercised in hot weather. It is important that they always have somewhere cool in summer with plenty of water so that they do not overheat. If the weather is cool they are active little dogs and can be walked for several kilometres easily if conditioned for it.
Griffon Bruxellois and Grooming
Rough coated Griffons do not shed coat which is why they are often popular as pets with people who have allergies. But like every single dog breed in existence, they do change coat. This is how a dog regulates their body from summer to winter. At the end of summer/beginning of Autumn they will change from their summer coat into the heavier winter coat. At the end of winter and early Spring, they will change from the heavy winter coat into a lighter summer coat. Rough coat Griffons will need maintenance to look smart with the correct harsh coat, therefore have to be hand stripped or clipped off. Their nose rolled trimmed and feet, nails, bottom, tail, and ears attended to.
Even after a clip it is important to give the dog some vigorous brushing to loosen any dead hairs remaining. Washing the Griffon and giving a vigorous massage as you lather can also be beneficial to loosen the dead coat and promote healthy new coat growth. Smooth coats take little grooming and need only a wash and feet, nails, tail, and ears attended to. Petit Brabancon, smooth coats, shed seasonally.
Show Griffons need to be hand stripped in order to maintain the correct coat texture and colour.
Potential Health Issues in Griffon Bruxellois
Griffons are mostly robust, healthy little dogs that will generally have a long and healthy life of around 14 years or more. An international Griffon health survey carried out by the Country Griffon Bruxellois Club of NSW found that the health issues Griffon owners or breeders most often faced were slipping patellas, cleft palates and undescended testicles.
The Griffon Bruxellois Club of Victoria provides detailed information about Griffon health testing and recommend that breeders and pet owners ensure that the following screening and tests are carried out:
Patella (kneecap) testing for medial patella luxation, HD (Hip Dysplasia) testing, and an Australasian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES) testing by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist.
Because these health tests are not compulsory, the best way to avoid purchasing a puppy that could grow up to suffer from any of these health problems is to make sure you buy your puppy from a breeder who screens their breeding stock for these exact disorders and gives you a copy of the official veterinary results of your potential puppy’s parents.
How much does a Griffon Bruxellois cost?
At the moment (mid 2020) a reputable ethical breeder in Australia is charging $4500 for a healthy, pedigree Griffon Bruxellois.
Griffon Bruxellois General Facts and Information
Griffons are in the Toy Group. The head is large in comparison to the body. The nose is black, set at the same level as the eyes. Nose leather is broad with wide-open nostrils. The muzzle is relatively short and wide, neat lips, with good turn-up. Chin is prominent, in roughs furnished with a beard. In Australia, the ears are not cropped, or tails docked.
Weight: 2.5-5.5 kg
Coat: Rough or Smooth coats( Petit Brabancon)
Colours: The UK standard recognises three colours – red, black and black and tan. The FCI and USA standards also recognise a colour known as belge - a sable colour with red and black hairs interspersed. Blue and liver are not recognised colours and not desirable.
Fun Facts about Griffon Bruxellois
- They can act like spoilt aristocrats being stubborn and then a complete about face displaying love and sensitivity.
- In terms of numbers, they are a rare breed and breeders receive far more enquiries than they have puppies. If you are lucky enough to find a puppy then you will not be sorry, they are a totally loveable dog with a character all of their own.
- Griffons are addictive almost everyone who starts with one ends up with 2 or 3 or.... They are As Good as it Gets!
- Petit Brabancon needs less grooming.
- Griffons make good watch dogs and can be taught to perform tricks.
- They have an almost human facial expression which has earned them the nickname “ monkey face.”
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