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Brussels Griffon

Tags: toy, Small-sized, Kid-friendly

Back in 19th Century Brussels, when horses pulled hansom cabs and stablemen needed good ratters to handle the vermin, an Affenpinscher was crossed with a terrier-like Belgian street dog. While we loved to ride along, our nightshift job was guarding the cabs and ridding the grain bins of rats. Later, to turn us into house pets, English toy spaniels and Yorkies joined the Griffon gene pool and we got a little smaller. Let's not go overboard with the downsizing, however. Something like 8-10 pounds is a perfect size for a Brussels Griffon, according to the AKC, which recognized our breed in 1910, as a companion dog and watchdog, and placed the Brussels Griffon in the club's Toy Group.

Rave review

  • Ideal for apartment life -- with appropriate exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Willing watchdog

What to expect

Please be mindful of my sensitive nature when you start my training early -- and puppy kindergarten is not to soon for a bright little Griffie pup. Learn the difference between positive reinforcement (the kind I like, and thanks for the reward) versus negative correction. An experienced instructor can help us both learn. Another mutual learning moment will come when the Griffon pup first encounters human pup and vice-versa. We're both little, we're both a little nervous, and together we can both learn a lot about respect.

Watch for

Possible tracheal (windpipe) collapse, vision disorders (including PRA), hydrocephalus ("water" on the brain), as well as slipped kneecaps, cardiopulmonary disorders, and breathing difficulties.

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