This breed is very versatile and accommodating. The Griffon will let you know when someone has come to the door and they can be vocal at times, but they are easily trained to fit in with your household.
Griffons are suited to a variety of dog sports, such as obedience, agility or rally-o, or they can be simply a couch potato/companion. Griffons are square, well balanced little dogs with a cheeky monkey-face expression.
There are two varieties of coat: the rough coated Griffon Bruxellois, or the smooth coated Petit Brabancon. Although they may look like separate breeds, it is only the overcoat that is different.
They range in weight from 3 1/2 kgs – 5 1/2 kgs approx. Usual colours are red (often with a black mask), black, or black and tan.
The temperament should be cheeky and out-going, but they can also have a softer side, and do not appreciate rough handling. They are true companion dogs, expecting to share their lives with their people. Most live as inside-outside dogs, and are very responsive to good training.
The Griffon Bruxellois originates from Belgium, where it hunted rodents in the stables. Its origins prior to the late 1800’s remain vague, but there is evidence of a very similar type of dog, without the flat face long before the 19th century. This breed may then have been crossed with Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Toy Pinschers and Toy King Charles Spaniels to develop the Griffon as we know it.
The first breed standard was drawn up around 1880, and it was first shown in Belgium in 1883. The first Griffon came to Australia in 1909 and has steadily increased in popularity ever since.
CARE OF A GRIFFON
Griffons are usually healthy with few issues. While the newborn puppies can be fragile, the older puppies and adults are very robust. Although they have a flat face, it is usually not over exaggerated enough to cause issues. Other problems can include slipping kneecaps, dental issues, potential for eye injuries (like many flat-faced and toy breeds), and SM (a rare neurological disease). Good breeders breed to minimise issues and carefully assess each puppy prior to sale, and owners can do much to limit potential problems through good management. The smooth coated Griffons are “wash-n-wear” with a brush now and then. The rough coated ones are stripped regularly for the show ring. Pets can also be clipped, but this will soften the coat, or left ‘au naturel’ for a more untidy look. The excess hair around the eyes must be removed regularly, and any discharge removed.
Consider joining the Griffon Bruxellois Club of Victoria, which caters for anyone who owns a Griffon or would like to own a Griffon and regularly holds social functions, grooming days and shows.
The preservation of the breed now and into the future is the main aim of the club so by joining up as a member you are helping to ensure the future of this wonderful pure breed of dog.
Stand Number: 842