11 Things To Consider Before Getting A Brussels Griffon
The small and funky-looking Brussels Griffon comes from Belgium. The breed is best known for its lively temperament and affectionate nature, as well as being loyal and courageous despite its miniature size.
If fascinated by this dog’s adorable appearance and character, read this article as we will explain the 11 things to consider before getting a Brussels Griffon.
Brussels Griffons are tiny dogs with strong personalities. They are said to be “big dogs in small bodies.” True to this description, breed members are overly confident, bossy, and assertive.
They are lively, spirited, and often even quirky. However, they are also loyal and affectionate. Brussels Griffons bond closely with their human families and are known to become attached.
The Brussels Griffon is playful and loves participating in a variety of activities. It is also energetic and needs to burn pent-up energy. Also, it can be quite vocal, especially if bored.
The Brussels Griffon is a small dog that usually weighs between 6 and 12 pounds and stands between 7 and 10 inches tall at the withers.
It has a sturdy, square, and compact build with a strikingly large head (compared to the rest of the body).
The Brussels Griffon’s small size makes it perfect if you live in an apartment or have limited living space.
However, the size also makes the breed fragile and unfit for small children, especially if they do not know how to behave around dogs. Simply put, they can accidentally hurt Brussels Griffons.
Do not be confused by the small size - the Brussels Griffon is a lively and active dog that loves having a job to do.
The Brussels Griffon is playful and enjoys spending quality time with the owner both indoors and outdoors. It likes playing fetch & tug-of-war, as well as hiking which will help it burn excess energy.
Before getting this breed, ensure you have time for daily walks and exercise. Ideally, the Brussels Griffon needs two short walks per day.
If not exercised enough, the Brussels Griffon gets bored and shows destructive behaviors, such as:
The Brussels Griffon requires regular grooming to keep its coat healthy and free from mats and tangles.
The exact grooming requirements depend on the coat. Namely, there are two coat types in this breed:
- Rough (features thick, wiry topcoat and smooth undercoat)
- Smooth (features a short and sleek coat)
Rough-coated Brussels Griffons are more high maintenance - they need to be brushed once per week, and twice a year, during shedding seasons, deshed using a special tool.
Other vital grooming elements are bathing, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail clipping, and paw & pad care.
The average lifespan of the Brussels Griffon is between 10 and 15 years. The breed is long-lived but still prone to certain health problems, including:
- Brachycephalic Syndrome: Breathing difficulties and snoring in breeds with short noses and flat faces.
- Patellar Luxation: An orthopedic condition in which the kneecap moves from its normal position triggering pain and lameness.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: A serious condition in which the thigh bone top (femoral head) does not get proper blood supply which causes tissue damage and eventually joint collapse.
- Dental Issues: Small breeds are prone to gum disease and tooth decay because they have small jaws with crowded teeth.
- Eye Problems: Cataracts, cherry eye, and corneal ulcers are the three top common eye problems in this breed.
The Brussels Griffon is an intelligent dog that also likes pleasing its owner. This combination makes it easy to train.
However, some breed members are stubborn and independent. Therefore, for successful training, you must be consistent and patient. It is also essential that you use positive reinforcement.
Use treats, praises, and playtime to reward your Brussels Griffon’s obedience. Never use punishment or harsh treatment - if there is unwanted behavior, try to redirect it.
An important aspect of training a Brussels Griffon is socialization. This is vital to ensure your dog gets along well with others pets. It also helps prevent social anxiety and shyness.
When not properly trained and socialized, the Brussels Griffon is a very vocal dog. In simple words, this means it is prone to excessive barking.
Barking is a normal canine behavior. However, when frequent and unreasonable, it is a nuisance, especially if you live in an apartment and have neighbors.
Boredom and anxiety are the most common reasons for excessive barking in this breed. Mentally stimulate your Brussels Griffon and invest time and effort into training and socialization.
Also, keep in mind that it is expected for dogs to bark in certain situations, like when to doorbell rings or someone suspicious is approaching.
Compatibility With Other Pets
The Brussels Griffon can learn to get along well and cohabitate with other pets when socialized properly and from an early age.
If not socialized, it is can be dominant and very territorial. Plus, due to the small size and terrier ancestry, the Brussels Griffon has a high prey drive.
The high prey drive means Brussels Griffon dogs are naturally inclined to chase and attack smaller animals, such as cats and rodents.
Therefore, if living in a multi-pet household, before getting a Brussels Griffon, think about whether you have time for proper socialization and organize a correct first introduction between the pets.
The Brussels Griffon is a relatively adaptable dog and can adjust to different living conditions. However, there are still several factors you must consider:
- Size: As a small dog, the Brussels Griffon is suitable for both apartments and houses. Anyway, a house with yard access is the preferable option.
- Vocal Tendencies: The breed can be quite vocal, which may not be ideal if you live in a crowded city area with lots of neighbors.
- Prey Drive: Because of the high prey drive, a Brussels Griffon needs early socialization, especially if you live in a multi-pet household.
The Brussels Griffon is a social dog that requires tons of attention. Here is a close look at the time-consuming aspects of owning a Brussels Griffon:
- Exercise: Despite the small size, this breed is active and requires physical activity (both indoor and outdoor).
- Grooming: The high-maintenance coat of the Brussels Griffon requires at least weekly brushing to stay healthy and tangle-free.
- Training: Training this breed is relatively easy but requires daily sessions, which can be a significant time commitment.
- Socialization: As explained, socialization is vital to manage the dog’s prey drive and ensure safe cohabitation and interaction with other pets.
- Alone Time: Breed members thrive on human attention and affection and do not do well when left alone for too long.
- Vet Care: Like all dogs, the Brussels Griffon requires regular veterinary care to ensure optimal health and well-being.
Last but not least, remember that owning a dog can be a financial burden. The purchase cost is the initial expense - down the road, there will be additional expenses for:
- Food: For optimal health, feed your Brussels Griffon a high-quality diet appropriate for its size, age, and overall health.
- Dog Supplies: This includes a variety of essential items, such as food and water bowls, crates, beds, leashes, collars, toys, etc.
- Grooming: Occasionally, you can have your Brussels Griffon groomed by a professional to make the in-between sessions easier for you.
- Vet Care: The regular veterinary care a Brussels Griffon requires can be expensive.
Overall, before getting a Brussels Griffon, consider the breed’s temperament and basic needs. Ensure you have time for exercise and quality time together, and also, if with kids, teach them how to handle a small dog.
If these factors are acceptable and you can fit the Brussels Griffon's needs into your daily schedule, this dog will make an excellent and rewarding companion.