A wise man’s beard, two coat varieties—smooth or rough, and plenty of moxie distinguishes the Brussels Griffon from other members of AKC’s Toy Group. Developed in Brussels, Belgium from local dogs and other breeds, including the English Toy Spaniel, Pug, and a small German terrier about 200 years ago, the Brussels Griffon mixes curiosity and arrogance with a naughty sense of humor.
The intelligent imp’s personality ranges from reserved and sheepish, to outgoing and bossy, and he likes to get up close and personal with a family member. The Griff usually gets along with other pets but doesn’t hesitate to challenge much bigger dogs.
The Brussels Griffon’s unique appearance attracted several artists, including French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who painted Bather with a Griffon, and Flemish artist Jan van Eyck, who represented a Griff in The Arnolfini Portrait.
As a movie star, Verdel, a Brussels Griffon, appeared in the 1997 film, As Good As It Gets with actor Jack Nicholson and Greg Kinnear.~EWG
Official Standard of the Brussels Griffon
American Brussels Griffon Association
General Appearance: A toy dog, intelligent, alert, sturdy, with a thickset, short body, a smart carriage and set-up, attracting attention by an almost human expression. There are two distinct types of coat: rough or smooth. Except for coat, there is no difference between the two.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Size – Weight usually 8 to 10 pounds, and should not exceed 12 pounds. Type and quality are of greater importance than weight, and a smaller dog that is sturdy and well proportioned should not be penalized. Proportion – Square, as measured from point of shoulder to rearmost projection of upper thigh and from withers to ground. Substance – Thickset, compact with good balance. Well boned.
Head: A very important feature. An almost human expression. Eyes set well apart, very large, black, prominent, and well open. The eyelashes long and black. Eyelids edged with black. Ears small and set rather high on the head. May be shown cropped or natural. If natural they are carried semi-erect. Skull large and round, with a domed forehead. The stop deep. Nose very black, extremely short, its tip being set back deeply between the eyes so as to form a lay-back. The nostrils large. Disqualifications – Dudley or butterfly nose. Lips edged with black, not pendulous but well brought together, giving a clean finish to the mouth. Jaws must be undershot. The incisors of the lower jaw should protrude over the upper incisors. The lower jaw is prominent, rather broad with an upward sweep. Neither teeth nor tongue should show when the mouth is closed. A wry mouth is a serious fault. Disqualifications – Bite overshot. Hanging tongue.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck medium length, gracefully arched. Topline – Back level and short. Body – A thickset, short body. Brisket should be broad and deep, ribs well sprung. Short- coupled. Tail – set and held high, docked to about one-third.
Forequarters: Forelegs medium length, straight in bone, well muscled, set moderately wide apart and straight from the point of the shoulders as viewed from the front. Pasterns short and strong. Feet round, small, and compact, turned neither in nor out. Toes well arched. Black pads and toenails preferred.
Hindquarters: Hind legs set true, thighs strong and well muscled, stifles bent, hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out.
Coat: The rough coat is wiry and dense, the harder and more wiry the better. On no account should the dog look or feel woolly, and there should be no silky hair anywhere. The coat should not be so long as to give a shaggy appearance, but should be distinctly different all over from the smooth coat. The head should be covered with wiry hair, slightly longer around the eyes, nose, cheeks, and chin, thus forming a fringe. The rough coat is hand-stripped and should never appear unkempt. Body coat of sufficient length to determine texture. The coat may be tidied for neatness of appearance, but coats prepared with scissors and/or clippers should be severely penalized.
The smooth coat is straight, short, tight and glossy, with no trace of wiry hair.
Color: Either 1) Red: reddish brown with a little black at the whiskers and chin allowable; 2) Belge: black and reddish brown mixed, usually with black mask and whiskers; 3) Black and Tan: black with uniform reddish brown markings, appearing under the chin, on the legs, above each eye, around the edges of the ears and around the vent; or 4) Black: solid black.
Any white hairs are a serious fault, except for “frost” on the muzzle of a mature dog, which is natural. Disqualification – White spot or blaze anywhere on coat.
Gait: Movement is a straightforward, purposeful trot, showing moderate reach and drive, and maintaining a steady topline.
Temperament: Intelligent, alert and sensitive. Full of self-importance.
Scale of Points
Nose and stop 10
Bite, chin and jaw 10
Ears 5 – 35
Texture 13 – 25
Body and General Conformation
Body (brisket and rib) 15
Legs and feet 5
General appearance (neck,
topline and tail carriage) 10 – 40
Disqualifications: Dudley or butterfly nose. Bite overshot. Hanging tongue. White spot or blaze anywhere on coat.
Approved September 11, 1990 Effective October 30, 1990
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