This section is from the book "British Dogs, Their Points, Selection, And Show Preparation", by W. D. Drury. Also available from Amazon: British Dogs: Their Points, Selection And Show Preparation.
To Belgium the country that gave us the coal-black little Schipperke, we are indebted for yet another variety of pet-dog in the Griffon Bruxellois, and one that promises to out-distance in the race for popularity several other breeds that have been much longer naturalised here. The actual constituents from which it has been made are not known, though Continental and English fanciers alike have given their opinions upon the origin of the breed. Certain it is that the Griffon Bruxellois approaches the Terriers, and, in the writer's opinion, partakes somewhat of the Yorkshire Terrier, though much smaller in the skull and shorter in the face than is associated with that breed; added to which he has a protruding chin, a very harsh coat, and an altogether quaint expression.
Though the breed, so far as this country is concerned, has not been long with us, it has made rapid headway, and if the "faddists" will but keep it of a respectable size and not sacrifice all that is typical to diminutiveness, we shall have in the breed one of the most popular of all pet-dogs. Again, it will be a mistake to recognise as Griffons either the smooth-coated or silky-coated specimens that are found in litters. If the former, as is supposed, is necessary for the production of the coats of the Griffon Bruxellois proper, then for show a classification should be found for them under some other name than "Griffon," irrespective of what is done in other countries. As showing the rapid strides that the breed has made here, it may be instanced that within three years of separate classes being provided for it at shows, the Kennel Club authorities thought fit to give it a place in their Stud Book. Two clubs have been formed to watch over the interests of the breed; while Mrs. Handley Spicer has to all intents and purposes published a monograph thereon,
From whatever constituents it was originally evolved, the variety breeds fairly true to type, though in the same litter coats differ considerably in texture and length. There is, however, one blotch upon its escutcheon - namely, the practice that now and again is resorted to in order to give an unorthodox coat the orthodox colour, as was disclosed in the Law Courts a few years since. The Griffon Bruxellois is a vivacious, hardy, active animal, and an excellent breed for those in search of a small dog, and who do not like the trouble inseparable from such purely pet-dogs as Maltese, Yorkshire, and Black-and-Tan Terriers (Miniature). On the Continent the variety is mutilated at both ends - the ears being cut to a point and the tail docked. The latter obtains here; but the cropping is dispensed with, and the ear is a semi-erect one. As suggested above, there are short-coated and long silky-coated specimens from the same litter, and not a little colour-variation is exhibited. The former are kept, if otherwise typical, for coat-improvers.
Amongst those who have gained fame as breeders and exhibitors may be mentioned Mrs. Handley Spicer (two of whose dogs are illustrated at Fig. 127), Mrs. Mose-ley, Mrs. H. Levy, the Hon. Mrs. Maclaren Morrison, Mrs. B. Gill, Mrs. Cochran, Mrs. Wimbush, Mrs. E. Baxter, Mrs. C. Allen, Mrs. Whaley, Mrs. E. Scott, and Miss E. Lewis, Miss G. Heworth, Miss Adela Gordon, and Miss Fielding.
The following description of the Griffon Bruxellois is that of the Griffon Bruxellois Club: -
A lady's pet-dog, intelligent, sprightly, robust, of compact appearance, reminding one of a cob, and captivating the attention by a quasi-human expression.
Large and rounded, covered with rather coarse hair, rough, somewhat longer round the eyes, nose, and cheeks.
Semi-erect when not clipped, erect when clipped.
Very large, black, or nearly black, eyelashes long and black, eyelids often edged with black, eyebrows furnished with hair, leaving the eye perfectly uncovered.
Fig. 127. - Mrs. Handley Spicer's Griffon Bruxellois Champion Top-o'-the-Tree and Copthorne Pasha.
Always black, short, surrounded with hair, converging upwards and going to meet those that surround the eyes; the break or stop in the nose is well pronounced.
Edged with black, furnished with a moustache; a little black in the moustache is not a fault.
Prominent without showing the teeth, and furnished with a small beard.
Rather wide and deep.
As straight as possible, of medium length.
With an upward carriage, and docked to two-thirds its length.
Harsh and wiry, rather long and thick.
Small dog, male and female, 5lb. maximum; big dogs, 9lb. maximum; large bitches, 10lb.
Pale eyes ; silky tuft on head; brown toe-nails; showing teeth.
Brown nose; white marks; tongue protruding.
No standard of excellence has been published. The following is therefore suggested by the writer:
STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE
Neck and Shoulders ........
Legs and Feet ..
Body and Hindquarters ..
Colour .. ..
General Appearance .......