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Brussels Griffon Dog

Brussels Griffon Dog


Brussels Griffon Dog

  • Brussels Griffons trace their roots back to Belgium, where small, terrier-like dogs were bred to hunt and kill vermin in stables, especially those of horse-drawn hansom cabs–the equivalent of today’s taxi — in the cities.The Brussels Griffon as we know it today was created from several breeds, including the Affenpinscher, Pug, and English Toy Spaniel. The Affenpinscher contributed the size and wiry coat texture, while the Toy Spaniel influence is seen in the large, expressive eyes, rounded head, and upturned underjaw. In the smooth-coated variety of the Brussels Griffon, the Pug influence is seen.

    These crosses eventually created a small dog with great rat-hunting abilities and an almost human-looking face — the Brussels Griffon or, as they are called in Europe, the Griffon Bruxellois.

    Over time, these cocky little dogs became popular as house pets for both noblemen and workers. By 1883, Belgian breeders created a standard for the breed — a written description of how the breed should look–and started entering them in dog shows. Marie Henriette, Belgium’s queen and a dog enthusiast, fell in love with the little Griffon Bruxellois and began breeding them and promoting them in Europe and abroad. In 1889, the Club du Griffon Bruxellois was formed in Brussels with the smooth-coated variety being called the Griffon Brabancon.

    Both rough-coated and smooth-coated Brussels Griffon were exported to England in the early 1890s. In 1898, the breed was admitted to the English Stud Book, and clubs formed to develop the breed.

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