Griffon Bruxellois (Wire)
3-5 Kg (Approx)
12-14 years (Approx)
The Griffon Bruxellois is a small (3.2-5kg), square, cobby little dog with a distinctive face and monkey like expression, which is almost human.
The breed comes in two coat types – rough and smooth and in the UK standard three colours are recognised – red, black and black and tan. The FCI and USA standards also recognise a colour known as belge - a sable colour with red and black hairs interspersed. When shown, the rough coat is hand stripped.
Known as the ‘The Connoisseurs Dog’, the Griffon Bruxellois developed from small, rough coated stable dogs that existed in the Middle Ages. Over the centuries as the breed developed, they moved from the stable to become alert dogs for Brussels coach men, finally graduating as the spoilt companions of Belgian aristocracy.
They were a recognised breed by the mid to late 19th century and by this time they had become so popular with the aristocracy that they were bred by the Queen of the Belgians herself. Large numbers were also imported by English upper classes during this halcyon period and prior to World War I there were known to be over 5000 Griffon bitches in Belgium.
World War I and World War II saw the breed virtually wiped out in Belgium. It was saved from extinction by the English breeders, who had imported earlier stock and, in fact, we owe the modern Griffon to those English breeders. Today they remain popular but not common. George Lucas was said to have owned five Griffons, who became an inspiration for Star Wars.
The Griffon Bruxellois has a lively and alert temperament that is described as “terrier like”. This does not mean it is as feisty as some terriers, but means that it is cheeky, sparky and full of life and mischief. They do not bark excessively, but will bark to alert the owner to visitors or intruders.
Griffons are extremely affectionate and they are intensely devoted to their owners and love to be with them. A Griffon owner is often like the Pied Piper with a posse of Griffons following wherever they go, even to the bathroom!
Griffons are mostly a robust breed. The Wire Coat requires brushing at least a couple of times a week.