The Brussels Griffon breed belongs to a small but DEDICATED cluster of owners, exhibitors and breeders who have been captivated by this breed's undeniable charm. The Griffon's flat face, prominent chin and large appealing wide-set eyes remind people of a small monkey or an elf. His square body wears either a rough coat or smooth jacket and harbors a lively spirit and a heart large enough to encompass a whole family. Bred to be the ultimate companion and shadow of his beloved master, the Griffon is happy as long as he can be with YOU. He is not for those who have little time for a dog.

Should your first Brussels Griffon be a male? A female? A tiny puppy? An adolescent or an adult? A rough or a smooth? The proper one is the one that best fits your needs. Not every family wants a young lively pup in need of house training and manners, nor will every breeder sell a puppy less than 3-4 months old, especially if shipping is involved. The smooth coat requires little grooming, but like many smooth coated breeds, it has a seasonal shed. The rough coat does shed some and needs regular grooming. A Griffon headed for the show ring requires stripping to maintain texture, color, and that typical Brussels Griffon appearance. Pets that are not hand stripped need to be clipped 3-4 times a year to maintain a neat look.

But whatever you decide, the best way to set about purchasing a Brussels Griffon begins with learning as much as possible about the breed. Keep in mind he will be your constant companion for ten or more years (long life is common in this breed) so it's worth the effort to select the right one for you.

Try to obtain books on the breed or books on toy dogs which include a chapter on the Brussels Griffon. Read articles in various dog magazine. Become a member of one of the Griffons clubs which publishes a bulletin containing information on all aspects of the Griffon. Attend dog shows and meet the exhibitors. Introduce yourself (always wait until after the Griffons have been judged) and ask questions. You will find most Griffon people love to talk about their breed and will answer your queries.

Decide whether you want a Brussels Griffon strictly as a pet, or as a show dog. If your future plans include breeding, only top show quality will do as it's essential to insure the Griffon stays as close to the breed standard as possible. Show prospects command much higher prices then pet Griffons. Experienced breeders can usually assess the potential of their puppies and price them accordingly. The breeder of your Griffon becomes your best guide in raising your dog, so find someone who treats you in a professional manner spelling out the conditions of sale for this dog (many breeders insist on a written contract to protect the buyer and the seller) and guarantees a puppy who is healthy in mind and body. Beware of the breeder who offers a young puppy as "show quality—a certain champion"—even if the breeder backs it with a replacement dog. Chances are, if the youngster needs to be replaced, the replacement will be of the same quality. Puppies go through all sorts of changes before reaching maturity and may develop disqualifying faults or never develop into the type of Griffon that wins in the show ring. Be sure you have all your questions and concerns answered before you purchase your Griffon.




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