Brussels Griffon Breed Information:
The Griffon Bruxellois, or Brussels Griffon, is a toy breed named after the city of their origin: Brussels, Belgium. The rough coated, short nosed Brussels Griffon originated in Belgium in the 1800's. Not in royal palaces, but in coach houses. Belgian coachmen used the Brussels Griffon to help keep rats away from their stables. These Affenpinscher-like dogs were friendly and became popular in the late 1800's with both workers and noblemen in Belgium. Queen Marie Henriette was a dog enthusiast who visited the annual dog shows in Belgium religiously. She became a breeder and booster of the Brussels Griffon, giving them international fame and popularity and indirectly leading to two Griffon Bruxellois clubs starting in England and America. The First World War and Second World War proved to be a disastrous time for the breed. War time is difficult on any dog breed, and the recovering numbers after the First World War were set back by increased vigilance in breeding faults such as webbed toes. By the end of the Second World War, Belgium had almost no native Griffon Bruxellois left, and it was only through the vigilance of dedicated breeders in England that the breed survived at all. The breed is generally uncommon in the United States of America, although there has been a recent increase in interest due to the appearance of a Brussels Griffon in the movie, As Good as It Gets, starring Jack Nicholson. The Brussels Griffon is known to have a huge heart, and a strong desire to be with their master. They are very emotionally sensitive, and should be socialized carefully at a young age. The Brussels Griffon is alert, inquisitive, and interested in its surroundings. They tend to get along well with other animals in the house, including cats, ferrets, and other dogs. However, they can get into trouble because they have no concept of their own relative size and may attempt to dominate dogs much larger than themselves. Some say that having a Brussels Griffon means having a true constant companion.
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