Brussels griffins appeared in Belgium, where they were very much appreciated for their ability to catch mice. They were especially popular among the owners of stables, since these dogs at some inexplicable, internal level are in good harmony with horses. They were kept both in private stables for home ownership and in the stables of city horse taxis (they called us cabbies).
In the creation of the dog, the Brussels Griffin was attended by the Affenpincher breed, a toy English spaniel, and a pug was also used to create a smooth-haired type of griffin. Affenpincher radically influenced the size and wavy texture of the coat, and the influence of toy spaniels is especially noticeable in large and very expressive eyes, the rounded shape of the head and the peculiar lower jaw.
By the end of the 19th century, the Brussels griffin became popular not only as a dog for hunting parasites in the stable, but also as a pet with a very unusual appearance. Moreover, despite its working past, the dog was willingly brought in by people from the nobility.
Maria Henrietta, the Belgian queen and concurrently a big dog lover, fell in love with the little griffon and began to breed them herself, as well as to promote the popularity of these dogs in other European countries. This happened after in 1883 the Belgian breeders created the first written breed standard, after which the Belgian griffin began to take part in exhibitions. It was after one of the dog shows that Maria Henrietta wanted herself such a dog.
The Club du Griffon Brussels was created in Brussels in 1889, Norton reflected only the smooth-haired type of this breed, named Griffin Brabanson. Dogs of both types with coarse and smooth hair, came to England around 1890. A few years later, several individuals were transported to the United States, where they also found a lot of fans.
In the United States, there are two types of Brussels griffins: a griffin with coarse wool and a griffin with smooth wool, called Brabanson. In Belgium, three types are developed: small brabancon (with smooth hair, as in the USA), Brussels griffin with coarse red hair and Belgian griffin with coarse wool, any color other than red.
During the years of the First and Second World Wars, the number of these dogs around the world was greatly reduced, and if not for the American breeders, the very existence of the breed would be in question. Indeed, in Europe they were almost gone, and in England the small population that existed there also came under attack.
The Brussels Griffon is a small dog with a strong physique, limbs are short. The head is round, ears are erect, the muzzle is slightly flattened, with a characteristic mustache and beard, which is why many say that the griffin is similar to the “wookiees” from Star Wars. Ears are erect. The tail is short, the coat can be smooth or stiff.
You can immediately say that this is a very sweet and good-natured dog, which, at the same time, has a somewhat daring and even arrogant disposition. But this is rather funny and not out of spite, and rarely brings trouble. Especially, if the owner properly socializes his dog, loves it, then these qualities allow it to become the soul of any company, and integrate into any environment. Although, in fairness, it is worth noting that not all griffins are similar to each other, some of them are more shy, others, on the contrary, are arrogant and bold.
The Brussels griffin always needs close contact with its owner and with his family, he loves his close people very much and is ready to spend all his free time with them. Often these dogs literally stick to their owners, and need your attention. If they don’t get attention, their behavior can even be too defiant and a little strange. Also, the Brussels griffin does not like to stay at home alone for a long time, because such a dog is not suitable for everyone.
These are quite active animals that love various games, love walks, especially if there is where to have fun with other dogs. But if your pet goes for a morning run with you, he will also be immensely happy, and it is not known what he will like more – a run with the owner or a game with other dogs. Perhaps the truth is that both the first and the second are present in the pet’s life.
They love children, probably primarily because they see them as friends and partners for games and entertainment. But you can’t name a full-fledged nanny of the griffon, since often he himself behaves like a child. In addition, he has a border of patience, and the child must be taught to communicate with the animal.
Conflicts with other dogs are rare. But they can try to hunt small animals, especially in the park. At the same time, they get along well with cats, if they are trained from an early age. Strangers can be perceived differently, depending, firstly, on the owner’s attitude to the person, and secondly, on the type of character of the dog itself and its upbringing. However, in general, they do not show aggression, but can be either restrained or friendly open.