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The Brussels Griffon is not a dog of beauty as measured by accepted standards, but one teeming with personality, hence it is not surprising that he makes lasting friends wherever he is known. He comes of neither exalted nor ancient lineage, yet is one of the most distinctive and unusual of all dogs, Although classified as a Toy, there is nothing of the pampered pet in this bundle of jaunty good nature whose keynote is insouciance from his very turned up nose to the tip of his high carried tail. No matter what change of fortune the years may bring, he promises to remain the delightful little Belgian street urchin to the end of time.

The German Affenpinscher and the Belgian street dog, combined, were the true foundation from which our Griffons emanated, and there is only meager data available on both of these 17th-century breeds. To all accounts, in Belgium there was a strong conformity to a distinct type in peasants' dogs of that epoch. These dogs were nearly as large as our Fox Terriers, but heavily built, as are most Belgian animals. Covered with a shaggy, rough, muddy-colored cat and unlovely of feature, but intelligent and interesting in disposition, they were popularly termed griffons D'Ecurie, Stable Griffons, and they paid for their keep by killing the stable vermin. It is not uncommon to run across mention of these loyal companions as "chiens barbus" in the old folk songs and tales of the period, for they were to be found in nearly every household.

On the other hand, the Affenpinscher may be said to resemble the Yorkshire Terrier in many particulars, the likeness being particularly noticeable in head properties as well as in length of body and leg. Doubtless it was felt that the injection of Affenpinscher into the then Griffons would serve to further increase the ratting ability of the Belgian dogs, although for lack of definite proof, this last must remain a conjecture.

At some later date, the smooth-coated Pug, already established in neighboring Holland, was used as a cross with the Griffon. This cross-breeding was responsible for the two types of coat which we have even in our present-day litters.

Whether there was any definite reason for adding the Ruby Spaniel to this combination, we cannot say. At any rate this breed was also brought into the picture and is largely responsible for the facial characteristics and impression which are so much a part of our present-day dog, but which have made it impossible for him to do the work to which he was once well suited,
And so we come to the 20th-century Brussels griffon, a small compact dog with a harsh coat similar to that of the Irish Terrier or else a smooth coat traceable to the Pug and termed Brabancon, with a short upturned face best described as a "speaking countenance" and a gay carriage.
The Griffon's super intelligence causes him to be sensitive, and it is not uncommon for a young dog, when in the presence of strangers, to display the same self-consciousness as a child in its awkward teens.

As a young puppy, the Griffon must be given the same intelligent care necessary for a puppy of any of the smaller breeds, The average sized Griffon becomes very sturdy as he matures, and he develops into a real comrade, capable of holding his own on hikes and in swimming.