The intelligent and cheerful Brussels Griffon has a terrier-like disposition and is known for his almost human expression. This affectionate breed comes in a variety of colors, including red, belge (black and reddish brown), black and tan, or black. This breed makes a good watchdog and can be taught to perform a variety of tricks. A Brussels Griffon was featured in 1997’s hit, “As Good As It Gets”, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
Developed in Belgium, the Brussels was developed from primarily the Affenpinscher and the Belgian street dog a dog similar to the Fox Terrier, except heavier. Brussels Griffons were often kept in stables as rat catchers. Gradually they became regular members of most Belgian households. Old folk songs and tales of the period mention “bearded dogs” in reference to the spunky Brussels Griffon.
The First World War and Second World War proved to be a disastrous time for the breed. Wartime is difficult on any dog breed, and the recovering numbers after the First World War were set back by increased vigilance in breeding away from faults such as webbed toes. By the end of the Second World War, Belgium had almost no native Griffon Bruxellois left, and it was only through the vigilance of dedicated breeders (in the U.K. particularly) that the breed survived at all.
The affectionate, charming and curious personality of the Brussels Griffon makes it a good companion dog. However, this breed is not typical of the “pampered pet” stereotype of Toy breeds. Their active indoor lifestyle and small size make them ideal for apartment life, but they still need to be taken for daily walks. The breed can have either a rough or smooth coat. Each coat needs twice-weekly brushing and shaping every three months.
- Toy Group; AKC recognized in 1910.
- Ranging in size from 8 to 10 pounds; not to exceed 12 pounds.
- A companion dog, watchdog.
- Apartment is fine.
- Moderate to high indoor activity.
- Moderate daily exercise.
- Regular grooming recommended.
- Little to no shedding.