Griffons - Rough & Smooth
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The Griffon is an attractive, happy little dog with terrier instincts, and an inflated sense of self worth. He is a square, solid looking dog with a large rounded head and a short snout. The whiskers and beard of the Rough-Coated Griffon variety give an almost human expression. The Smooth-Coated Griffon looks a little less solid and his arrogant expression belies his loving and amiable disposition.
Various breeds are mentioned as having been used to obtain the Griffon of today. It is possible that it is derived from the Affenpinscher, to which it bears a facial resemblance, and the Pug may be responsible for the smooth coat. He was originally the rodent catcher of the stables in Brussels and rode on the handsome cabs as the driver’s friend. However, it took the fancy of royalty, and Queen Astrid became an enthusiastic Griffon owner, thereby increasing the popularity of the breed.
The Griffon comes in three colours; Red, Black, and Black & Tan. There are two very distinct coat types, the ‘Rough’ - Griffon Bruxellois (pronounced Bruce ell waa), and the ‘Smooth’ – Petit Brabancon (pronounced Brab an son).
The Griffon is very much what you make him. If you have children, the dog will enjoy their games and going for energetic walks. If you are older and your daily pursuits are more leisurely, the dog will grow up more sedate and become a close and loving friend. Griffons are very easily trained and many Griffons have Obedience and Agility titles.
The Rough-Coated Griffon requires regular grooming with a brush and comb. Twice a year he will need his coat stripped (if you are showing), or perhaps clipped, if he is a pet. The Smooth-Coated Griffon need a minimum of brushing but this does not mean that they can be left without any care. Be careful about using flea collars on your Griffon; always air well before use. There are a number of alternatives available on the market, such as Frontline or Advantage, which are very effective in controlling fleas & ticks.
Fussy feeders are generally made that way by their owners!! Decide what you want the dog to eat (remembering to make sure it is a well balanced diet) and do not give in to pleading looks. Do remember that he will NOT starve if he does not eat for a few days. A good small sized dry food and either meat, canned food, or meat & veggie scraps will be fine. They also love RAW chicken necks, which are very good for their teeth. Most Griffons do best with dry food left for feeding ad lib. Of course, all puppies will need extra, and your veterinarian will advise when you take the puppy for those most important vaccinations.
Griffons will take just about as much exercise as most owners are willing to give, however, are just as content to be couch potatoes if it suits you.
Griffons usually live from 10 to 16 years
Breeding is often an expensive hobby!! From one to three puppies is average, however, litters of six or more have been known. As they are a small breed there can be complications in whelping, requiring a caesarean to be performed. Rearing Griffon puppies is often not easy, but once they reach six - eight weeks of age, they develop into tough little dogs, that as a breed have very few major problems.
Griffons are prices vary anywhere from $1200 - $2000 approx. An exceptional puppy may be more; it will depend on the breeding and show potential of your puppy. If you “only want a pet”, remember that this breed is often expensive to produce, and that you are buying a very special little dog. Keeping in mind that it costs the breeder the same to produce your “pet” as it did a show potential puppy. Older dogs are sometimes available to the Right homes. If you feel that you qualify, and would prefer an older dog, please contact the club and you will be placed on a waiting list.
Griffons are very adaptable little dogs, however, they are a small breed, even though they are sturdy for their size. They will fit very well into considerate families with young children, as well as being ideal companions for older people. The Smooth-Coated Griffons do not need the same coat care, as do the Rough-Coated Griffons, so if you are taken with the Griffon character, but could not manage the longer coat, then a Smooth-Coated Griffon is the right dog for you.
Before you decide on a dog of any breed, please ask yourself just what it is that you expect of that dog. Remember that you are taking on a commitment that will possibly last between ten and sixteen years. Are you prepared for the cost of caring for the dog? Housing, veterinary care, boarding fees, and food are not cheap. If you are, and you decide on a Griffon, we welcome you to the select band of owners of the “Greatest Little Dog in the World”