The Griffon Bruxellois or Brussels Griffon is a breed of toy dog, named for their city of origin: Brussels, Belgium. The Griffon Bruxellois may refer to three different breeds, the Griffon Bruxellois, the Griffon Belge and the Petit Brabançon. Identical in standard except for coat and colour differences, in some standards they are considered varieties of the same breed, much like Belgian Sheepdogs.
The three variations of this dog, the Brussels Griffon (Griffon bruxellois), the Belgian Griffon (Griffon belge), and the Petit Brabançon, all descend from an old Dog type of dog called a Smousje, a rough coated, small terrier-like dog kept in stables to eliminate rodents,The Griffon Bruxellois grew in popularity in the late 19th century with both workers and noblemen in Belgium. The first Griffon Bruxellois was registered in 1883 in the first volume Belgium's kennel club studbook, the Livre des Origines Saint-Hubert (LOSH). and Brussels Griffon clubs in the U.S.A. (1945.)The First World War and Second World War proved to be a disastrous time for the breed. War time is difficult on any dog breed, and the recovering numbers after the First World War were set back by increased vigilance in breeding away from faults such as webbed toes. By the end of the Second World War, Belgium had almost no native Griffon Bruxellois left, and it was only through the vigilance of dedicated breeders (in the U.K. particularly) that the breed survived at all.The breed has never been numerous or popular, but had a brief vogue in the late 1950s, and now is generally an uncommon breed. There has been a recent increase in interest in the United States due to appearance of a Griffon in the movie, As Good as It Gets, and also because of a general increase in interest in toy dogs.
Griffons have relatively few inherited health issues, but should still be tested for congenital defects, the most serious of which are Syringomyelia (SM) and Canine Chiari-like malformation (CM). The typical life span of a Griffon is somewhere in the range of 10 to 15 years.
Griffons usually have no trouble whelping on their own, but sometimes complications can cause a Caesarean section to be needed. The size of a litter is typically 1-3 puppies. The size of the litter often determines the extent of these complications. Litters of six are not unheard of. When they are born, the puppies only weigh but a few ounces and are small enough to fit in the palm of an adult's hand.
It can get leg and heart problems from an early age.
One issue that is typically fatal for the puppies is having a cleft palate. It results in the puppy not receiving nourishment from the mother and eventually starvation. It is uncommon but, depending on the size of the cleft lip and palate it is possible for the puppy to survive where as it becomes older surgery can be done to close the hole.
Most have large eyes that may require rechecks from a veterinarian.
*Lacerations - Eye lacerations are a common issue amongst the breed. Because the Griffons have such large eyes and a short snout, there is very little there to protect their vision from foreign bodies. If a laceration is left untreated it can result in blindness.
*Cataracts - As with most breeds, cataracts are a common problem as the dog ages. For many breeders it is a disappointment that the cataracts typically develop long after the dog has already been bred.
*Lens Luxations - Lens luxations can be fairly common in the breed and result in Glaucoma
*In the film Gosford Park, as Rolf Liechti's dog Kiki (disambiguation)
*In the film Sweet November (2001 film), as Sara's dog Ernie
*In the sitcom Spin City, as Carter's suicidal dog Rags, played by a smooth-coated Petit Brabançon named Wesley
*In the film Teaching Mrs. Tingle, as Mrs. Tingle's dog.
*Monkey, owned by record label owner and deejay Sarah Lewitinn and named "Best Dog Owned by a Club Personality" by The Village Voice
*Tazzie owned by Stanley Dangerfield, appearing on the television show The Good Companions
*In the film First Wives Club owned by Diane Keaton's character.
*In the sitcom "Mike and Molly" Mikes mom's dog, Jim is a Brussels Griffon mixed with a Chihuahua.
*Benson, famous on Instagram, pet of Chondra Echert Sanchez, American writer #TeamBenson.
*The Southern California craft brewery "The Bruery" brewed a sour brown ale called Griffon Bruxellois.