The Brussels Griffon, named for the city in Belgium from which it originated, is a toy breed which is broken down into three sub-categories. The term Brussels Griffon can refer to three different breeds, the Griffon Bruxellois, the Griffon Belge, and the Petit BrabanÃ§on. These are typically considered varieties in the same breed; only their coats differ. The Brussels Griffon is a fairly uncommon breed, once bred to deter rodents, and now it is bred generally as a family pet or show dog.
The Brussels Griffon is generally flat-faced and small with large eyes. The forehead of the Brussels Griffon is rounded, its nose is broad, its eyes are wide-set, and its muzzle short. The breed general appearance is often compared to that of an Ewok (from Star Wars). It generally weighs about 8 to 10 pounds and has a square proportion.
The coat of the Griffon Bruxellois and the Griffon Belge is dense, stiff, wiry, and should never look wooly. The Petit BrabanÃ§on has a short, smooth and glossy coat. The Griffon Bruxellois generally has a red or reddish-brown coat, the Belge has a black, black and tan, or black and red coat, and the Petit BrabanÃ§on can have any color.
The Brussels Griffon is a wonderful companion pet and tends to bond and remain loyal to one human in particular. It is an emotionally sensitive breed which should be socialized at a young age. It might not be a suitable breed as a family pet because of its dependence on just one family member over the others, but it can get along well with other animals in a household.
The Brussels Griffon usually lives 12 to 15 years. The breed generally has small litters and can be difficult to breed. There are several health issues that plague the Brussels Griffon. One health issue that is typically fatal is having a cleft palate. I results in a puppy not feeding from its mother properly and therefore not receiving the proper nutrients. Other common health issues include lacerations, cataracts, lens luxations and glaucoma. Heat stroke is also a danger for the Brussels Griffon because of its shortened snout which can cause respiratory issues in extreme heat.