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About Brussels Griffons

Updated on August 8, 2016
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Hope Saidel is co-owner of Golly Gear, a bricks-and-mortar and online shop featuring fun, affordable and practical small dog products

Griffs or Griffies - never "Brussels"

Our family has owned Brussels Griffons for over 30 years. Each has been a joy, a character, and a challenge. The picture here is Golly, a black smooth. She is the namesake of our dog boutique, Golly Gear.

Brussels Griffons are members of the American Kennel Club's Toy Group. The standard says they should be between 8 and 12 pounds and every ounce of that is packed with personality. Those "in the know" always refer to them as Griffs or Griffies - never, ever "Brussels."

Griffs are not necessarily a good breed for beginning dog owners. They are stubborn, willful, and not the easiest breed to housetrain. Some dogs ask "what can I do for you now?" Griffs are more likely to ask "You want me to do what?"

Learn about Brussels Griffons

Griffs come in two types of coats - rough or smooth. The Rough coats are the fellows with the moustaches and beards, Smooths are often mistaken, at first glance, for Pugs.

Red (which can range from deep red-brown to a light tan) is the most common color for Brussels Griffons. Other colors are black, black & tan, and belge, which is described as red tipped in black.

Rough and Smooth can be born in the same litter of pups although the Rough are seen more often. In the United States both types, rough and smooth, compete in the show ring together and all are known as "Brussels Griffons." In other parts of the world, Brussels Griffon refers only to the rough-coated variety, and the smooths are called "Petit Brabancon."


Brussels Griffons are versatile companions

We've had several Griffies in the family, both rough- and smooth-coated, but all black! We did foster a "red" Brussels Griffon boy who came into rescue - Spike!

Griffies are very opinionated dogs and Spike let us know from the start that while our family was okay for a while, it wasn't his "forever" home. We got him healthy and trained and he found a wonderful family to live with.

With our own dogs we enjoy competing in dog performance events - obedience, rally obedience, and agility. Griffs can be very agile - we sometimes call Tango a "Gumby dog" because he's able to bend in half!

Obedience and Rally are a bit more challenging - Griffies have to be convinced that what you want them to do is also what they want to do. These wonderful, stubborn little dogs are happiest when they think they rule the roost!

Griffs we know and love

© 2009 Hope


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