This pert, wide-awake and amusing breed the Brussels Griffon originated, as their name indicates, at the Belgian capital. It is said, however, that English dogs, the Yorkshire, the Ruby Spaniel, and the Irish Terrier were associated in the manufacture, while some authorities claim that as far back as the 70’s the miners of Yorkshire possessed a little, wiry, red coated dog similar in appearance and disposition to the Belgian dog, that accompanied them to their work stowed away in a roomy pocket.
The Belgian Griffon gets his short, turned-up nose from the Toy Spaniel; his light-colored topknot can be attributed to the Yorkshire; while his independence, the character of his coat and color must be credited to the Irish Terrier. By careful selection the type of these dogs is well fixed, and they breed remarkably true considering their recent origin. All breeders find themselves confronted from time to time with litters containing long faces, fluffy coats, and over sized.
In Belgium there are two varieties, the rough and the smooth coated. It is, however, a misnomer to apply the term griffon to the smooths, as the word means rough. The rough coats are by far the most popular in Belgium, as well as elsewhere, and the breed has caught on rapidly wherever introduced, for they are bright, entertaining pets and companions, and their dignity in relation to their size is most amusing.
In Belgium the breed is cropped as well as docked, but in this country, as will be seen from the accompanying standard, the mutilation is not permissible.
The chief points to look for in the selection of puppies at from two to four months old and after are: Extreme shortness of face, short, compact bodies, crisp coats, good sound red color, and diminutiveness.
The following are the standard description and code of points laid down by the Griffon Bruxellois Club, as revised at the general meeting in Brussels:
GENERAL APPEARANCE.-A lady’s pet dog, intelligent, sprightly, robust, of compact appearance, reminding one of a cob, and captivating the attention by a quasi-human expression.
HEAD.-Large and rounded, covered with rather coarse hair, rough, somewhat longer around the eyes, nose, and cheeks.
EARS.-Semi-erect when not clipped, erect when clipped.
EYES.-Very large, black or nearly black; eyelashes long and black; eyelids often edged with black; eyebrows furnished with hair, leaving the eye perfectly uncovered.
NOSE.-Always black, short, surrounded with hair, converging upwards and going to meet those that surround the eyes; the break or stop in the nose well pronounced.
LIPS.-Edged with black, furnished with a moustache; a little black in the moustache is not a fault.
CHIN.-Prominent, without showing the teeth, and furnished with a small beard.
CHEST.-Rather wide and deep.
LEGS.-As straight as possible; of medium length.
TAIL.-Upwards, and cut to the two-thirds.
TEXTURE OF COAT.-Harsh and wiry, rather long
WEIGHT.-Small dogs, male and female, 5 pounds, maximum. Big dogs, 9 pounds, maximum. Large bitches, 10 pounds.
FAULTS.-Pale eyes; silky tuft on head; brown toenails; showing teeth.
DISQUALIFICATION.-Brown nose; white marks; tongue protruding.