Belgian Griffons
(Griffon Belge)  (Griffon Bruxellois)
(Brussels Griffon)
(Petit Brabancon) (Belgian Griffon)

Description

The Griffon is a sturdy toy dog of square proportions with a domed head, undershot jaw, very short nose and lustrous eyes. The head is large in comparison to the body. The Brussels Griffon's pout gives him an almost human expression. To some viewers he resembles a miniature Boxer. There are two types: Rough-Coated (harsh wiry and dense), and Smooth-Coated or Petit Brabancon variety (short, straight, glossy). The Brabancon needs less grooming. Griffons come in red, a mixture of red-brown & black, black & tan, and solid black. Ears are generally cropped and the tail is docked and carried high, though cropping the ears is optional.

Temperament

The Griffon is an intelligent cheerful dog with a terrier-like disposition. They make a fine companion dog. It is affectionate, willful and high-strung, but charming. Lively and curious, they love everyone, but can get quite moody. Unusually sensitive and quite demanding, this breed loves to be spoiled. It must be raised in the house with the family. The Griffon is good with other dogs and even with cats. These dogs may be gluttonous or picky eaters and may be difficult to housebreak. They make good watchdogs and can be taught to perform tricks. Griffons like to bark. They do best with older considerate children.

Origin

There are three varieties of Griffon. The Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Griffon. The Belgian Griffon has a long, wiry coat with fringe around the face. The Brussels Griffon has a wiry coat that is longer than the Belgian Griffon. The Petit Brabancon has a short, smooth coat. The Brussels Griffon was first shown at the Brussels Exhibition of 1880. An early example of the breed is depicted in a Van Eyck, the Flemish painter. Once kept by cab drivers of 17th-century Brussels to rid their stables of vermin, the Brussels Griffon became a companion breed by virtue of its appealing character. The Smooth coated Petit Brabancon probably owes its existence to the introduction of pug blood. Other breeds including the Yorkshire and Irish Terriers have undoubtedly contributed to the modern Griffons, as well as the English Toy Spaniel. The descriptions of these little terriers from Belgium are analogous. In fact, AKC recognizes only the breed known as the Brussels Griffon. Its American standard allows all of the color varieties, black through red, as well as the smooth variety (Brabancon). FCI, conversely, divided them into three breeds: smooth (Petit Brabancon), rough reds (Brussels Griffon) and roughs of other colors (Belgian Griffon). Therefore, in Europe they are shown separately with no interbreeding between the varieties. In America, although the same parameters exist, they are combined into one breed with different colors and coat varieties. The history of all three is indistinguishable. Griffons may be very difficult to find. It was the Brussels Griffon that appeared in the movie "As Good as it Gets".