Search 1000s of Fact Sheets
Gardens
Pets
Lifestyle

Keywords

Subcategory

Keywords

Exact matches only

Subcategory

Keywords

Exact matches only

Subcategory

Backyard Blitz Factsheets
ADVERTISEMENT.
ADVERTISEMENT.
In the Magazine

Griffon Bruxellois

Pet Road Tests > Dogs

Griffon Bruxellois

BREED: Griffon Bruxellois (pronounced bruce-ell-waa)
TEMPERAMENT: Friendly & outgoing
LIFESPAN: 13 years
RECOMMENDED FOR: Families, older people
MAINTENANCE: Low-medium

Following this year's Academy Awards, the US movie industry has swept a relatively unknown dog breed into the spotlight. The success of "As Good As It Gets", starring Jack Nicholson and a small whiskery dog named Verdell, has ensured a higher profile for the Griffon Bruxellois.

Appearance

The Griffon is a small, sturdy dog standing 25-30cm (10-12") tall and weighing 2-5kg (5-11lb). There are two types of Griffon; a smooth and a rough. The smooth has a coat like that of a Boxer, while the rough has a coat like that of an Australian Silky Terrier. They come in red, black, and black and tan. While Europeans judge their Griffons separately, Australia puts them together under the Griffon Bruxellois heading.

Temperament

Longtime owners say the Griffon is an adaptable dog, willing to play rough and tumble with children or be a couch potato with a less mobile or older person. However, they can be stubborn and may resist lead training, for example. A dog used to a quiet, retired person's lifestyle may be intimidated by loud children.

Health & lifespan

Health problems and areas to watch include: luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) which are known but not common; and narrow jaws which need to be kept strong and exercised by chewing bones.

They can snuffle and snort if excited or agitated. A lifespan of 13-16 years is normal.

Feeding

Jack Nicholson's character kept Verdell the Griffon happy by keeping a store of bacon in his pocket, and a breeder we interviewed said Griffons would sell their soul for a piece of bacon! They should not be fussy eaters unless indulged.

Breeding & cost

Breeding Griffons is a challenge as single-pup litters are not uncommon and about 40% of births are by caesarean section. Expect to pay $400 for pets, more for show dogs.

Housepet potential

The Griffon is said to be an ideal house dog and most will happily spend their lives more or less indoors. They will shed their coat twice a year.

They are not an excitable breed such as a Terrier, but individuals can be disturbed by loud children if unused to them. Most are good with other family pets but unfamiliar cats could be teased.

Grooming

Smooth-coated Griffons need only a rub with a hound glove occasionally but the rough-coated dogs need to be clipped or stripped twice a year. Pet owners can do this themselves but should ask the breeder to demonstrate the correct technique. Rough-coated dogs should be brushed twice weekly at least and facial whiskers need to be kept clean.

Training

Owners say Griffons can resist accepting the leash but persistence and rewards should pay off.

Uses

Nowadays Griffons are primarily a companion dog. Griffons can make good watchdogs as they bark and will alert you.

History

According to breeders, the name Griffon Bruxellois simply means the rough-coated dog from Brussels. It is said to have been developed from the Yorkshire Terrier, King Charles Spaniel, Affenpinscher and Pug.

Last century it was a typical Belgium street dog, proving useful in stables when its rat catching abilities were recognised. They were popular with European royalty and with what passes as American royalty - Jack Nicholson - who also owns a Griffon.

While never a numerous breed in Australia (less than 100 pups are registered annually) breeders say there is always a waiting list of buyers.

National contacts

To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
www.ankc.org.au

Dogs NSW
http://www.dogsnsw.org.au/breeders-directory
Email: info@dogsnsw.org.au
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
http://www.vca.org.au
Email: office@dogsvictoria.org.au
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
http://www.actca.asn.au
Email: info@dogsact.org.au
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 - Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
http://www.cawa.asn.au
Email: k9@dogswest.com
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
http://dogssa.com.au
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
http://www.cccq.org.au
Email: dogsqld@powerup.com.au
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
http://www.tasdogs.com
Email: tca@iprimus.com.au
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
http://www.territorydogworld.com
Email: naca3@bigpond.com
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)
www.ankc.org.au

Copyright CTC Productions 2006


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
The Message Board

Get help, share your knowledge

5042 posts
1742 users
3260 posts
1102 users
1872 posts
882 users
1512 posts
603 users
626 posts
316 users

View all forums

Members
The Lazy Gardener
The Lazy Gardener
Don Burke's all new The Lazy Gardener is out now.
buy now
Organic
Organic
Don's guide to growing organic food for your family.
buy now
Indigenous
Indigenous
Don's story, his own stunnning native garden, plus expert advice and tips
buy now
Kid's gardening kit
Kid's Gardening Kit
A great kids gardening kit with tools and fun activities.
buy now
© 2007-2014 CTC Productions, All Rights Reserved
Home | Message Board | Fact Sheets | Members | Magazine | CTC Facilities | About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us