Brussels Griffons are sturdy and energetic breeds that originated from Belgium. These compact and affectionate dogs originated in the 1800s, and their faces are described as having the same features as humans.
Owners are delighted to discover that these breeds are alert and lively. They are a pleasure to live with, and they have the characteristics of being mischievous while playing. Most of them have earned their reputations as natural entertainers and loyal companions. They have a joyful nature, and they are close to older children and adults. They are simply called griffs or griffon bruxellois.
History of the Breeds
Brussels Griffon originated, as their names indicate, originated in Brussels, Belgium. Some of their ancestors accompanied coachmen in the 19th century, where they hunted and killed rats in the stables. Most of them are compared to Affenpinschers, but the development was not exactly clear. Breeders believe that they are a cross between English toy spaniels and pugs, and they eventually result in smooth or wiry coats.
They became famous when Belgium’s Queen Marie Henriette brought them into the limelight. They were bred and shown by the Queen to her guests. They were exported to several countries, including the United States and England, and the American Kennel Club recognized them in the early 1900s. However, during World Wars I and II, the breed almost disappeared as they were no longer needed as workers. They remained rare, but owners discovered they were wonderful companions and movie stars, so efforts were made to breed them.
Caring for this Breed
The smooth coat of the Brussels Griffon requires little maintenance and expert grooming. They just need some brushing once or twice a week, and you can expect them to shed their short hair at some point. You may need to strip the rough coats once every three months. If you have the rough types, you may want to keep the hairs on a schnauzer clip so you can avoid stripping them. Most of the groomers are not recommending stripping any longer because they can be uncomfortable for your pets.
Brussels Griffons are brilliant in their own way, but they are not wilful. They might have some streak of stubbornness, but they are more receptive to training compared to others. A trainer that’s patient, consistent, and firm will help them become more attentive and obedient. Another aspect that needs to improve with them is their barking sprees.
If you live in an apartment and your neighbors are close, they will not appreciate your pet barking at the slightest noise every night. You need to train them to stop barking upon command, so these will not become an issue. Learn more about pet training on this web address.
Housebreaking can be another challenging training for Griffons. Most experts may recommend crate training to prevent them from learning to sneak under the tables and chairs to do their business. You may need to be diligent when it comes to them using the crate, but some are never completely into housebreaking.
They have features that include a flat face so they can be susceptible to cold and heat. Know that they should live inside the house because they are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and overheating. Most of them needed to be exercised outside in the early mornings when it’s the coolest. You should never leave them alone in your car, unattended, even for a minute, because they don’t tolerate cold. They may also require a sweater during winters.
Brussels Griffon needs socialization, and they can be suspicious of new people. It’s best to be exposed to other pets and people while they are still puppies to prevent them from biting. They can be biters when they feel fearful, but they are not necessarily aggressive.
Early exposures with other pets can help them combat their fears. Most of them may challenge older dogs since they are territorial in nature, resulting in tragedies. Know that they can do very well when around cats and may even become playful with them.
This pet is not ideal for families with toddlers and smaller children. When they are picked, chased, or hit, they can growl or snap. It’s best to coach them to interact with children and teach others to recognize signs of discomfort on a Griffon so they can prevent getting bitten.
Health Concerns of this Breed Type
Some of the breeders follow the highest standards when it comes to breeding Brussels Griffon. These regulations and standards are usually put in place by kennel clubs like the AKC. Most of the puppies that were bred carefully in suitable environments are unlikely to inherit the medical conditions of their parents. However, there’s still a lot of medical issues that you need to watch out for, including the following:
- Patellar luxation is a medical condition where the dislocation of the kneecap occurs or when it’s moved out of its normal location. Know more info about this condition on this site here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055913/.
- Brachycephalic syndrome is a respiratory condition that is usually common with canines that have flat faces.
- Corneal ulcers are eye abrasions that can occur in pets that have pushed-in noses and bigger eyes.
Nutrition and Diet
It’s best to consult with a veterinarian if you’re unsure of what to feed your pet. Most of the Griffons are fined with two meals every day to get about a half cup of dry dog food. Watch out for their calorie consumption, and treats should only be given while they are training. There are various causes of obesity in these breeds, so check their weight levels. Clean and fresh water should also be available anytime.