Do you love that sweet bearded adorable face? Like the idea of having a confident and smart dog to train? The Brussels Griffon with the adorable monkey-face could be the dog you are looking for!
The Brussels Griffon originated from Brussels, Belgium. Their formal name is: Griffon Bruxellois. Considered an uncommon breed in the United States, this little breed made a popular comeback in the 1997 film "As Good As It Gets" with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt! The Brussels in the movie were extremely charismatic and played by six different Brussels.
This breed was bred to be ratters in the stables on farms. Their breed was crossed with Affenpinschers (where they get their monkey-like face), Pugs, and the English Toy Spaniels, and is now considered a companion dog.
The Brussels Griffon height is 8-10 inches and they can weigh between 8-12 pounds. The Brussels adorable bearded face is one of their main distinctive features! Their coat comes in two types: rough or smooth. The rough is the typical wiry and dense terrier type coat and the smooth is short and straight. The coloring can be black and reddish brown mixed, reddish brown, black with reddish brown markings, or solid black. Their eyes are big, black, and set far apart. They are a flat-nose breed and their ears should be semi-erect. Sadly, their tail is docked one-third of its length.
The Griffon's personality is one of the BEST! They are a very sweet and affectionate towards their pet-parent. They tend to gravitate towards one person in the family, becoming sometimes hyper-attached to that individual. With this personality trait, they do much better with a couple or a single person, families with small children should not consider the Brussels as a pet. They are known to be a confident and curious dog, but also have a very sensitive side to them. They are not considered shy or aggressive, and do very well around other animals. But, they have the small dog mentality of not understanding their little size, which can make them a little "bossy" around other dogs that are larger then them. They are very smart so early training and proper socialization is beneficial with this little dog that has a BIG personality.
Their activity level can be low to moderate. Depending on their energy levels, sometimes they only require a short 20-30 minute walk a day. Others that have the higher energy level will require more exercise throughout the day. Because of their quick learning, and for the active personality, they can make a great agility partner too! The Brussels doesn't like to be left alone for long periods, so consider doggy daycare for your best friend, if you work long hours. During extreme heat, care must be taken so your Brussels doesn't overheat due to their flat nose causing them to have difficulties with breathing. If you are looking to fly abroad with your Griffon, they might not be airline approved, meaning a majority of airlines are banning flat-nose breeds from flying due to their breathing issues.
A typical life span for the Brussels Griffon is 10-15 years. Health concerns are: Brachycephalic syndrome, cleft palate, eye problems (cataracts, lacerations and more), and reproductive issues.
As you begin looking for a Brussels Griffon, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe