Brussels Griffon Breed Magazine - Showsight

Brussels Griffon Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners..


Let’s Talk Breed Education!


General Appearance: A toy dog, intelligent, alert, sturdy, with a thickset, short body, a smart carriage and set-up, attracting attention by an almost human expression. There are two distinct types of coat: rough or smooth. Except for coat, there is no differ- ence between the two. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - Weight usually 8 to 10 pounds, and should not exceed 12 pounds. Type and quality are of greater importance than weight, and a smaller dog that is sturdy and well pro- portioned should not be penalized. Proportion -

from the front. Pasterns short and strong. Feet round, small, and compact, turned neither in nor out. Toes well arched. Black pads and toenails preferred. Hind quarters: Hind legs set true, thighs strong and well muscled, stifles bent, hocks well let down, turn- ing neither in nor out. Coat: The rough coat is wiry and dense, the harder and more wiry the better. On no account should the dog look or feel woolly, and there should be no silky hair anywhere. The coat should not be so long as to

give a shaggy appearance, but should be distinctly different all over from the smooth coat. The head should be covered with wiry hair, slightly longer around the eyes, nose, cheeks, and chin, thus forming a fringe. The rough coat is hand-stripped and should never appear unkempt. Body coat of suffi- cient length to determine tex- ture. The coat may be tidied for neatness of appearance, but

Square, as measured from point of shoul- der to rearmost projection of upper thigh and from withers to ground. Substance - Thickset, compact with good balance. Well boned. Head: A very important feature. An almost human expression. Eyes set well apart, very large, black, prominent, and well open. The eyelashes long and black. Eyelids edged with black. Ears small and set rather high on the head. May be shown cropped or natural. If natural they are car-

coats prepared with scissors and/or clippers should be severely penalized. The smooth coat is straight, short, tight and glossy, with no trace of wiry hair. Color: Either 1) Red:reddish brown with a little black at the whiskers and chin allowable; 2) Belge: black and reddish brown mixed, usually with black mask and whiskers; 3) Black and Tan: black with uniform reddish brown markings, appearing under the chin, on the legs, above each eye, around the edges of the ears and around the vent; or 4) Black: solid black. Any white hairs are a serious fault, except for "frost" on the muzzle of a mature dog, which is natural. Disqualification - White spot or blaze anywhere on coat. Gait: Movement is a straightforward, purposeful trot, showing moderate reach and drive, and maintaining a steady topline. Temperament: Intelligent, alert and sensitive. Full of self-importance. >

ried semi-erect. Skull large and round, with a domed forehead. The stop deep. Nose very black, extremely short, its tip being set back deeply between the eyes so as to form a lay-back. The nostrils large. Disqualifications - Dudley or butterfly nose. Lips edged with black, not pendulous but well brought together, giving a clean finish to the mouth. Jaws must be undershot. The incisors of the lower jaw should protrude over the upper incisors. The lower jaw is prominent, rather broad with an upward sweep. Neither teeth nor tongue should show when the mouth is closed. A wry mouth is a serious fault. Disqualifications - Bite overshot. Hanging tongue. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck medium length, graceful- ly arched. Topline - Back level and short. Body - A thickset, short body. Brisket should be broad and deep, ribs well sprung. Short-coupled. Tail - set and held high, docked to about one-third. Forequarters: Forelegs medium length, straight in bone, well muscled, set moderately wide apart and straight from the point of the shoulders as viewed


Official Standard for the BRUSSELS GRIFFON CONTINUED

Scale of Points Head

Disqualifications: Dudley or butterfly nose. Bite over- shot. Hanging tongue. White spot or blaze anywhere on coat.

Skull . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Nose and stop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Bite, chin and jaw . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 35 Coat Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Texture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 25 Body and General Conformation Body (brisket and rib) . . . . . . . . . .15 Gait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Legs and feet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 General appearance (neck, topline and tail carriage) . . .10 40 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

Approved September 11, 1990 Effective October 30, 1990




BRIAN CORDOVA, National Sales Representative & Customer Relations 949-633-3093 TAMMY GINCEL, National Sales Representative & Customer Relations 201-747-8569




Griffon de Ecurie

Smous (Smoushund)

H istorically speaking, the Griffon is not an ancient breed. While owners of some breeds will argue that their breed is the one that Noah chose to board the Ark, Griffon fanciers generally take pride that their breed is completely man–made and highly cari- caturized. Though the term “griffon” has been widely used among canine enthusiasts since the 1500’s, we do not find Brussels Griffon, or more correctly, Griffon Bruxellois brought into descrip- tive terminology until the late 1870’s in Europe.

Some Dutch breeders have been working at re–creating the Smoush- und since the 1990’s by using street dogs and farm dogs that have a terrier look about them. These recent breed- ings have failed to produce a consis- tency in size and color that the old photographs show. The Pug breed also figures into the mix of the creation of the Brussels Grif- fon. The first recorded cross with the Pug came about in 1884 and was a pedi- greed black bitch named Mep. Several other recorded Pug crosses occurred between the mid–1880’s and 1926 and

were registered with the Societe Royale de St. Hubert in Belgium. Many of these progenitor stock dogs are listed as Grif- fon de Ecurie on their pedigrees, but upon recognition of the breed by the kennel club authorities, became known as Griffon Bruxellois, Griffon Belge or Petit Brabancon.

Victorian Era Pug Dog



The earliest mention of these dogs is in Societe records dating to 1886 and state clearly that these “Belge” dogs are darkly grizzled with markings or black. Petit Brabancon translates literally to Little Brabant. Brabant was a region of central Belgium where the smooths were favored, especially among pros- titutes and street performers who acquired them from breeders, dispos- ing of them as “throwbacks” to the Pug. lar from hock to ground. Feet are as in front. Except that they must point straight ahead.

Though we may find their actions strange, we need to keep in mind that many of these types of thoughts are car- ried forth among today’s breeders. After over 30 years of working very closely with Griffons, I have come to associate the breed more closely with their King Charles Spaniel relatives than either of the two other contributing breeds. Many of the features that breeders seek, and that is stated in all standards worldwide, are attributes that were contributed by the early breedings with Toy Spaniels. The facial arrangement, upsweep of under jaw, finish of face, bombe’ or crest of the cranial ridges, density and quality of bone and cobbi- ness of body are all features that were contributed by these King Charles or Toy Spaniel crosses.


Color : White with any combination of lemon, orange, black, sable, tricolor or grizzle markings, providing easy visibility in the field.

Petit Brabancon, c. 1907 Coat : The coat is rough, long without exaggeration and harsh to the touch, with a thick shorter undercoat. It is never silky or woolly. The eyes are surmounted by long eyebrows, standing forward but not obscuring the eyes. The ears are covered by long hair. The lips are covered by long hair forming a beard and moustache. The tail is well furnished with hair. The overall appearance is casual and tousled.

Griffon Bruxellois, c. 1898 Gait : The movement should be free at all speeds. Front action is straight and reach- ing well forward. Going away, the hind legs are parallel and have great drive. Convergence of the front and rear legs towards his center of gravity is proportion- al to the speed of his movement. Gives the appearance of an active hound, capable of a full day's hunting.

“THOUGH WE MAY FIND THEIR ACTIONS STRANGE, WE NEED TO KEEP IN MIND THAT MANY OF THESE TYPES OF THOUGHTS ARE CARRIED FORTH AMONG TODAY’S BREEDERS.” The rough, unrefined outline and tousled appearance of this rustic hunting hound is essential. Any sculpting, clip- ping, scissoring or shaping of the coat is contrary to PBGV breed type. The PBGV coat should be clean, neatened as necessary, but always remain casually disarrayed. Any deviation from the ideal described here and in the General Appearance Section of the official standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Temperament: Confident, happy, extroverted, indepen- dent yet willing to please, never timid nor aggressive. Disqualification: Height over 15 inches is a disqualifica- tion. Height under 13 inches is a disqualification at one year of age or older. Approved April 22, 2014 Effective July 1, 2014




BRIAN CORDOVA, National Sales Representative & Customer Relations 949-633-3093 TAMMY GINCEL, National Sales Representative & Customer Relations 201-747-8569



W hen talking to people about what the judges are looking for in the Brussels Griffon ring the most common answer will be “it is a head breed”. They are commonly referred to as such because the head probably is the most endearing feature the Brussels Griffon has. The head rep- resents 35 points out of 100 on the point scale. To quote Jeffery Bazell (breeder judge), “A Brussels Griffon’s head is its crowning glory”. Jeff goes on to say, “But only when found in combination with a well-balanced, cobby body.” That statement could not be truer. It is so important for a judge to judge the “full package”. The head, body and move- ment make up the “full package”. The AKC standard calls for a head with an almost human like expression. The head is a very important feature. Eyes set well apart, very large, black, prominent and well opened. Eyelash- es are long and black. Eyes should be edged in black. We are seeing Griffons in the ring with very little or no “eyelin- er”. We are seeing a lot of small eyes in the breed and that is incorrect. Breed- ers should be breeding for proper eyes and judges should be looking for them. Ears should be small and set rather high on the head. Ears may be shown cropped or natural. If natural they should be semi erect. Some will say there are “rose ears”. Rose ears are not part of the Brussels Griffon Breed Stan- dard in the United States. The jaw must be undershot. The inci- sors of the lower jaw should protrude the upper incisors. Brussels Griffons should have black lips. I say they should look like they are pouting. Neither teeth nor tongue should show when the mouth is closed. Judges should carefully


examine the mouth. The undershot jaw can be checked without prying the mouth open. I prefer to have the judge ask me to “show them the bite”. If the judge prefers to examine the bite they should be very careful not to close off the dog’s airways by covering or push- ing against the nose. They can actually check the bite visually and, with just the fingertip, lift the lip. The lower jaw is prominent, rather broad with an upward sweep. A wry mouth is a seri- ous fault. Disqualifications are an over- shot bite or a hanging tongue. The heads usually get broader by the time the dog is mature and the under jaw will tilt up to its maximum poten- tial which should place the nose higher and in deeply between the eyes form- ing a layback. The skull shall be large and round, with a domed forehead. The forehead shall not be flat. The judges should examine the head to be sure the groomer didn’t leave a lot of hair on the dog’s skull to make it look like it is domed. A smooth Griffon shows every- thing it has, no cover–ups. What you see is what it is. A rough-coated Griffon with a good groomer can cover a lot of faults. I have seen pin heads look like they had large heads with domes when in fact it was just hair left longer and left in the shape of a dome. Nose is very black and extremely short. When I bred my first two litters I got “button noses”. I thought they were so cute. Then I really started studying other dogs in the ring and the breed standard and learned that the nostrils should be large. I like to see a nice sized nose pad now rather than the “button noses” I used to get. A Dudley or butterfly nose is a disqualification.

The body should be a thickset, short body. Brisket should be broad and deep, ribs well sprung. The Brussels Griffon is a slow maturing breed. It usually takes the breed 2 ½ years for the head to be fully developed and the ribs to spring and the chest to drop to the maximum. The body a judge sees in a youngster will be quite a different body in the same dog at maturity. The weight is usually 8 to 10 pounds and should not exceed 12 pounds. There are larger dogs being shown and the standard says type and quality are of greater impor- tance than weight. There are also small- er dogs being shown and the standard states a smaller dog that is sturdy and well proportioned should not be penal- ized. Let me make emphasis on the fact that the smaller dog should not have spindly legs and be stringy in appear- ance nor shall the larger dog be built like a Border Terrier. Their bodies must be thickset, compact and with good substance. They must be well boned however they must not be Terrier–type. The neck should be of medium length with a graceful arch. The back should be level and short. The tail should be set high and held high. Our standard states that the tail shall be docked to about one third. There are dogs being shown with undocked tails. It is up to the judge’s discretion whether to use the dog or not. On the scale of points the tail is grouped with general appear- ance (neck, topline and tail carriage). They count for ten points. The forelegs are of medium length, straight in bone, well muscled, set moderately wide apart. The toes shall be well arched and the feet round and small (almost cat like in appearance).

There should be balance between the front assembly and the width of the rear and the shoulders should not look front loaded and the overall picture should not be a pear shaped body. The hind legs should be set true with strong thighs that are well muscled. Sti- fles bent and hocks well let down. Both front legs and rear legs should not turn in or turn out. There are two types of coat. The rough coat is a wiry and dense coat. We are seeing very short coats in the ring. The rough coat should be long enough for the judge to be able to examine the texture. Sometimes the beards and leg furnishings look sparse on a very harsh coated Griffon. This is a proper coat. The soft coats will have what appears to be beautiful and full. This is improper. The harsher the coat, the better it is. The rough coat is hand stripped and there should never be scissor marks. The smooth coat is straight, short, tight and glossy, with no trace of wiry hair. White hairs are a serious fault except for frost on the muzzle of a mature dog. White spot or blaze anywhere on the coat is a disqualification. The movement is a straightfor- ward, purposeful trot, showing mod- erate reach and drive and maintain- ing a steady topline. I would end with ‘please judge dogs by the standard’ and not what the current trend is. Some breeders have several dogs in the ring that are of similar type. A judge might look at the quantity of dogs that look alike and discount the dog that is proper according to the standard. If judges would judge by the standard it would force breeders to breed to the standard.





I will endeavor to write about the Brussels Griffon’s “almost human expression.” I have searched out mention of this in our American Brussels Griffon Association’s AKC STAN- DARD and our ABGA ILLUSTRATED STANDARD . As I look over photos for this article, I must admit I am having trouble finding any that physically LOOK like a human person. Yet, I completely under- stand what the writers of our STANDARD meant. Our Griffons DO look like little people. Don’t they?? The STANDARD of the Brussels Griffon states: “ HEAD: A VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE. AN ALMOST HUMAN EXPRESSION. ABGA ILLUSTRATED STANDARD: The proper placement of eyes, nose, and upswept jaw characterizes what some call the Griffon ‘pout.’ When you look deep into the large soft eyes, you will see look- ing back an enchanted little being with startling intelligence. All of these features give him that ‘almost human’ expression. This is a little dog with a lot of personality.” Also, from our ILLUSTRATED STANDARD: “The very essence of breed type is found in the unique head of the Brussels Griffon. The almost human expression evolves from the proper placement and relationship of eyes, skull, nose, lips and jaw. Our standard is very clear in the paragraphs on the Griffon head and leaves no room for the exercise of personal preference by breeders or judges. The head is to be evaluated as a whole. It is the responsibility of all who breed and judge to see that the Brussels Griffon does not lose that which makes him unique.”



The eyes must be set well apart to allow room for the extremely short, well laid back nose to fit deep in line between them. The very large prominent eyes are a part of what gives the Griffon that “almost human” expression so important to breed type. The eyes are not really black but very dark brown, appearing almost black. Eye rims should be edged with black adding to the intensity of the dark eye. Well opened eyes are essential for correct expression. From studying other breed standards, I know that some also mention the resemblance to humans. Most always these are brachycephalic breed standards. I think, for starters, that the lack of foreface sticking out puts them in more of a human category. It probably would be more difficult to see the “human expression” in a dolichocephalic or mesaticephalic canine. The level of intel- ligence of some of the breeds with “noses” may arguably be higher, but Griffons are EXTREMELY intelligent in their own right. While looking into a brachycephalic face, it is probably easier to see a little person looking back at you. When judging our breed, it is important to recognize that because of this high intelligence and ability to show their feel- ings, you must approach and handle table exams carefully. Any wrong move that you make that could be interpreted by the Griff as threatening, could forever ruin a future show dog.

I’ll conclude by leaving the conformation ring and talking about living with our breed. I believe that every canine, wheth- er used for breeding, performance, conformation, field or whatever, deserves to be a family member under their human’s care. This unique bond with humans is what sets domesticated dogs apart from their wild ancestors. When people form an intimate connection with their pets, they are more closely “in tune” with their pet’s feelings and desires. It has been writ- ten about for ages that many domesticated dogs have become pseudo children for their humans; fur kids, fur babies, etc. Many people easily transfer their own feelings and needs to their dogs. Perhaps this is the case with our breed in particular because of its large, expressive eyes. The Griffon’s eyes defi- nitely are the “windows” to their soul! The Brussels Griffon’s eyes can convey hurt, loss, anger, disgust, need, comfort, and practically the whole spectrum of human emotion. I think that because of the Brussels Griffon’s extreme intelligence, it is possible that this “human likeness” is in the owner’s mind more than in the actual physical features of the dog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lorene Vickers-Smith, Wisselwood, Reg.

Lorene has been “in dogs” all her life. Her parents and paternal grandparents bred and showed Boston Terriers. Lorene established the Wisselwood, Reg. line of Pugs in 1964, and added Brussels Griffons about 15 years later. She dedicated her life to establishing and improving the black color in both breeds. Lorene became an AKC judge in 1980. She is Judges’ Education Chairman for the American Brussels Griffon Assoc. and she served on that same committee over many years for the Pug Dog Club of America, and formulated the Illustrated Standard for both clubs. Lorene has the honor of being Life Member of both parent clubs. She was longtime President of the National Brussels Griffon Club. She founded the Mid Michigan Pug Club in 1979. Lorene is past President of Ingham County K.C. and was a longtime member of both her breed clubs in England. When Lorene is not doing judges education, her time is divided between public education and breed rescue.



B russels Griffon fanciers from all over the world travel to Louisville, Kentucky, in March to take part, in some way, in the National Specialty. Exhibi- tors come to exhibit, judges and own- ers come to learn, and fanciers come to

admire the best of the best Brussels Grif- fons. There is something for everyone, not the least of which is the camarade- rie that exists when we see our friends and colleagues that, in many cases, we only see once a year. The hospital- ity suite is usually teeming with Griff

lovers reconnecting and enjoying the company of others who share the love of the Brussels Griffon. The many activities planned for the specialty are literally crammed into four days, Monday, March 11, through Thursday, March 14, at the Crowne


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Plaza Hotel. The unsung heroes of this specialty are the small handful of mem- bers who arrive on Sunday to begin set- ting up the various venues. They set up the ring, arrange grooming areas, pre- pare hospitality, and arrange the meet- ing rooms that will be used for various functions throughout the week. Monday features include the ABGA Board meeting and an Obedience/Rally “C” match overseen by the ABGA Per- formance Chair, Lew Olson. It is a great opportunity for the participating dogs to loosen up after travel and get used to the surroundings. Ms. Olson will give an informal presentation regarding Per- formance Events, training, etc. ringside. The hospitality suite, dubbed “Yappy Hour” opens at 5pm, so owners can also loosen up after their travels. In the evening the ABGA Board convenes for their annual meeting, presided over by ABGA President Raul Peralta, of North Carolina. It is a mini- version of the General Meeting to be held on Thursday. Reports from various committees, new ideas, projects and directives are discussed. All members are welcome to observe, but few do so. They are just arriving, walking dogs, checking in and then head for Yappy hour to find old friends. Tuesday and Wednesday are jam- packed with Obedience, Rally and

seminars, including Judges Educa- tion with hands on. Those interested in attending Judges Ed, should email Lorene Vickers-Smith ( smithbros@aol. com ) or Anne Catterson ( annecatt@ ). Associate (non-voting) members who desire to upgrade their membership, and those wanting to join ABGA and have voting privileges also attend this seminar, as it is a require- ment for regular members. These indi- viduals do not attend the hands-on por- tion, which is for judges only. The highly-anticipated seminar, Form and Function: How to Assess Movement and Structure in Brussels Griffons, sponsored by the Health, Research and Breeder’s Education Com- mittee, which is headed by Meg Prior, will be held at 4pm on Tuesday, in a yet- to-be-determined meeting room at the Crowne Plaza. Mr. James Moses is the presenter. Mr. Moses is a talented “dog man,” handler, breeder and judge. He will be using a Power Point presenta- tion created by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, to discuss structure as it relates to proper gait and movement faults. Everyone is welcome but it is necessary to sign up at . The fee for non- members is $10. Wednesday is the big day. The room will be festive, made colorful by the wares of some of our vendors,

including the impressive artwork of Dayne Thomas and Dorothy Edge, both long-time ABGA members. All of the reg- ular conformation classes of the Nation- al Specialty, as well as Owner-Handled, Jr. Showmanship, Stud Dog and Brood Bitch will be judged by ABGA member Darryl Vice. It all starts at 8am with Sweepstakes, to be judged by ABGA member Carole Ross. Some lucky raffle ticket buyer will win box seats with the perfect view of the rings, and even better, right next to the snacks! Donna Johnston, Show Chair, and Greg Smith, Show Secretary, are the driving forces that keep this event running smoothly, aided by the expertise of Henry Odum, ABGA Board of Governors. Box lunches are available for pre-order, so as not to miss any of the judging. While it would seem that the whole week has been laid out herein, the big mysteries remain! What will the weath- er be? In the past it has run the gamut from blizzard, or torrential rains with flooding to beautiful, sunny 70 degrees, no coats required. And the most excit- ing mysteries—who will win? There are four major wins available for class animals, as reserve to the major gets a three pt. major. And what about Best of Breed? Will it be one of the big winners of ’18, or an exciting newcomer? Come to Louisville and find out!

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Indiana and build a house on the Smith Family Farm. I am still breeding and showing Apogee Baliwick Toy Poodles. I showed the Baliwick family of Ianthe Bloomquist with her black and brown Toy Poodles starting in 1985 and we have been friends since. Today, I co-own with her and she has been my win- ter home in Florida. I bred Miniature Poodles with a partner, A. Monroe McIntyre of Daktari of Apogee Daktari Poodles, from 1972 through mid 1990s while owning and operating Piccadilly Kennels in Nashville, Tennessee. When I moved to Tuscumbia, our home didn’t have the space to continue to breed Miniatures. So, as they all went to over the rainbow bridge, I only bred black and brown Toy Poodles. Today, I am still a breeder/owner/handler. I also love traveling with friends and family, but I love raising Toy Poodles most of all! From 1969 to present, I am still going strong on a limited basis. I was top breeder in Miniatures Poodles from 1972 through the 90s. I am a Breeder of Merit in Toy Poodles, totaling 77 Miniature Champions and over 100 Toy Champions. I’ve been judging since 1998 for my one breed, Poodles. As for today, I judge the Toy, Non-Sporting, Terrier breeds, Groups and Best in Show. DARRYL VICE ing breeding Miniature Pinschers in the early 70s and late 70s got into the Brussels Griffons. I started showing in 1973 and starting judging 1994. 1. Describe the breed in three words. JB: Well, actually, 3 phrases: thick-set, pout and human-like expression. AC: Self-important, devoted and intelligent. PD: Square, thickset and alert. NH: Head: an almost human-like expression; body: compact, square, thickset and well boned; temperament: full of self-importance! DV: Thickset, square and alert. I live in Palm Springs, California; though I’m originally from upstate New York. I’ve managed a Styling Salon for JCPenney for the last 33 years. Outside of dogs, I enjoy things with my wife, daughter and granddaughter. I start- 2. How do you judge the Griffon’s mouth? Can you see from the outside whether or not it is wry, undershot? JB: I judge their mouths very carefully. There is no need to pry the mouth open thereby constricting airways.

Jeff Kestner and I live in Bremen, Ohio about 45 minutes southeast of Colum- bus. Long-time friend and fellow judge,

Michael Faulkner married Jeff and I on January 30th of this year, our 12th anniversary of being together. Outside of the dog world, I am a garden and floral designer and have owned my businesses since 1982. I have been involved in the sport of dogs since the age of nine and have bred many champion Newfoundland, Schipperkes and Brussels Griffon under the St Johns reg’d kennel prefix. I have been honored to judge dog shows around the world for 25 years. Jeff K was recently approved to judge Griffons as well. I received my first Griffon in 1977 and have judged them since 1992. I have judged spe- cialty entries around the world. Our dogs are all co-bred with Evelyn Hole of Homestead Kennels. Our dear friend does a marvelous job at conditioning our show dogs by hand strip- ping and maintaining show coats. She is truly a rare gem. We all use our separate strengths to build a strong family of dogs. I finished my first champion, a Pekingese, at age nine. ANNE K. CATTERSON I live in Southern California. I retired after 42 years as an Operating Room nurse and manager. I have 27 years exhibit- ing and 15 years in judging. PAMELA DEHETRE

I live in Loganville, Georgia and I have a boarding kennel as well as a bookstore. I’ve been in dogs since the early 60s. I started showing in the 60s and have been judging for eight years this February.

NANCY HAFNER I moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Tuscumbia, Ala- bama in 1987 as the plan was we would stay here for 10 years until my late husband was to retire. Things don’t always work out as planned. As we were then to move home to

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Visually thumb the mouth to determine if the dog is undershot and line up the midline in the nose with the cleft in the upper jaw and the dimple in the prominent chin. If it is within a vertical line, then the dog is not wry. If a dog appears wry then a closer examination of the mouth is required to see if the jaws align properly or if indeed the dog has a wry mouth. AC: I look very carefully at the face straight on, looking for symmetry, as well as a wide underjaw and pout. I feel with my thumb for underbite. If anything seems ques- tionable, I ask the exhibitor to show me the bite. PD: I judge by looking at the bite. I can only discern a wry bite from the outside if the teeth show. NH: If rough coated, I can lift gently the hair and look at bite. If a smooth, I can lift the lip softly to check. You can see it from the outside. If it’s wry, the lower jaw is out of line as it should be straight across. I always use soft hand or ask exhibitor to show the bite. Do not fight with the dog ever to check the bite! One bad experience isn’t good with these dogs—or any dog—as they never forget it! DV: I first look at the way the lips meet, then lift the corner of the mouth. Yes, you should be able to see if the month is wry while the mouth is shut. The lips do not line up correctly. Also the undershot will show because of the extreme upturn to the lower jaw. 3. Is movement in the Brussels Griffon important? Tail set? How do you deal with natural tails in the ring? JB: I feel movement is very important, it should be balanced front to rear. So called two-piece dogs are very prevalent in the breed at this time…dogs with very short upper arms resulting in the dog standing with the front legs forward of the shoulders. The standard calls for the tail to be set and held high, enough said. The only time I discount this is when a far superior dog in every other respect will not carry its tail in the ring. This is a bit common within the breed, but atti- tude should always be rewarded. The topline should be level and short between the neck and tail; a thick set and cobby body is called for. The world is changing and eventually we will follow suit and not allow cropping and docking any longer. I have judged abroad and placed dogs with natural tails. Jeff K finished the second natural tailed Griffon in the US. I am not opposed to natural tails, but judge it as any other fault, because the standard says the breed is docked. We crop all of our puppies unless one has been previous- ly arranged to be exported. As a judge, I also put up the first natural tailed bitch to be exhibited in the breed here in the US. As a senior judge and known breeder of the Griffon, I would draw the line at a dog being specialed with a natural tail, though I have put up natural tailed dogs in other breeds that are traditionally docked.

I think this is a case where one is a harder judge on his own breed because he has such passion for it. AC: Yes, movement is important for what it tells us about structure. A dog that doesn’t move correctly most likely has some anatomical variances that, at the very least, are undesirable in a breeding program and more seriously portend future health issues related to joint disease, lung capacity or even SM (syringomyelia). PD: Movement is straightforward. Tail set should be high and topline, level and short. Since the standard calls for a docked tail, an undocked tail is a fault. NH: Yes, the breed standard states, “Movement is a straight- forward, purposeful trot with moderate reach and drive and maintaining a steady topline.” Carriage not only down and back but in the side gate, head up and tail up. Tail set carried high and docked. The back level and short, brisket should be broad and deep, ribs well sprung, short coupled, body thickset, neck medium length and gracefully arched. I deal with natural tails by judging it. DV: Our standard asks for a docked tail to about one third, so with a natural tail it starts looking like an Affenpin- scher. Also our standard has no description of how the tail should look like if natural. So if I judge it, it is a fault and how much it takes away from the look of the dog. The Affenpinscher is very different from our breed, along with the carriage and set of the tail. The Griffon tail is high set off a level croup, carried straight up. This with the level top line is very important for the type of the Griffon. As far as movement, good movement is connect- ed to good structure. It is important, but not as important as type to me. I have to have type, then movement. 4. How do you see the look of natural and cropped ears affecting the expression of a Brussels Griffon? JB: One should know when ears are too big. The natural ear is described quite well in the ABGA Illustrated Standard. If the first thing you notice is a very large natural ear, then it is not in accord with the standard and should be noted. AC: I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the expres- sion of a dog with a cropped ear versus a dog with a cor- rect, uncropped ear. Where I see the difference is a dog with an improper ear that has been left natural. Then it makes the dog look clownish, undignified and unable to be taken seriously. PD: The standard calls for the breed to be alert, so I prefer cropped ears, as the dog looks more alert. NH: A cropped ear and a natural ear does give a different expression of the head. It’s always about the picture of balance, movement and the whole dog. We are not just judging ears or tails! DV: The ears make a very big part of the head of the Griffon and its expressions. Natural ears are very beautiful

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if correct. This means small and semi-erect, set high with the fold over the front of the ear. Unfortunately, a lot of the natural ears do not fit this description. Some are set low or come off the top of head, without being semi erect. Some are too big and fly off to the side. If this were the case, a cropped ear would give a better finish to the head and expression. 5. Has the breed lost its breed type? JB: The best are still as good as anywhere on the planet that I have seen and I have seen thousands of Griffons. Bad fronts are quite common. So many dogs are very long in body. Heads tend to be about the same year after year within differing family groups, some very good and some plain. I feel that more attention should go to body type. The breed is losing upsweep to the under jaw that is nec- essary for the human-like expression, many are vertically flat like a Peke, Pug or Japanese Chin; this is incorrect regardless of cute factor. AC: Not for the most part, but over the years we have gone through phases where a certain feature that is a part of breed type is being sacrificed for whatever reason. A few years ago it was eye size. Breeders have done a good job of bringing back the large, dark eye. Now it is lack of pout. The pout is paramount to breed type. That lower lip should be the most prominent part of the face when seen in profile and for many in the ring right now, that is not the case. I have every faith breeders will bring that back, too. PD: No. NH: This is a slow-to-mature breed, the entire finish of the face lower jaw and head, which is the total look for the breed takes up to two years. So, one judges the dog in front of you not what you think it might be later. In parts of the country, some lack type and some lack sound- ness—just like any other breed. It has to do with the ages and the condition the folks have their dog in as they enter the dog shows. I understand they have to get pups out early, ready or not. If they don’t, they will be mature to win, but they will not want to be at the dog show. So, it’s always important in making those first shows fun for pups and their new owners. A soft hand on the table to examine always! DV: I feel that head type has been compromised by the lack of upsweep to the lower jaw, to form the pout we are looking for to give us that human-like expression. We don’t have the domed forehead we used to have. It does give a different look. I see more and more Griffons that are not as large in bone or as thickset as they should be. 6. How is the balance different between the Griffon and the Affenpinscher? JB: The Affenpinscher and Griffon should be moderate in angulation. The verbiage of the standards are nearly the

same with many of the same words to describe the body and angles. AC: The Affen is more moderate and the Griff is more extreme. This applies to most aspects including groom- ing, coat, angulation, facial structure and reach and drive. NH: Each is a low entry, square breed—and I love them both. Affs have their monkey-like Terrier expressions and Griffs have almost human-like expressions— how different that can be? Griffs are well-boned, thickset, compact, square, short bodied, shown in a full trot with reach and drive. While Affs have a job to do—rid the kitchen and stables of rodents, square, sturdy compact dog of medium bone, wired-haired Terrier with an alert and inquisitive towards its master and friends. It moves in a trot and has the monkey-like expression. DV: Even though the breeds look a lot alike, they are differ- ent. Everything with the Affenpinscher is more moder- ate. Medium bone, medium angles, medium size eyes, etc. We are thickset, larger bone, higher set tail and more angle, large eyes. The rear of the Affenpinscher is set more under them because of their perceptible curve of their croup. Which also gives a little lower set of their tail than the Griffon. The Griffon coat is harder in texture all over the body and the Affenpinschers has softer coat in their cape and on their heads. The Affenpinscher has a level nose set with no turn up and very slightly longer than the Griffon. They have a monkey like expression because of their protruding lip, we have a human like expression because of the larger eye and upturned jaw and pout formed by the bottom lip coming up over the upper lip. The Affen- pinscher is also allowed a full natural tail. Ours should be cropped. 7. Which is more difficult to judge: smooth or rough? JB: If you really want to do the breed justice, then don’t look at them as two varieties, just judge the breed. You should look at the roughs more closely as some critical points are covered with furnishings, i.e.: the head, jaw width and amount of bone. AC: To me, they are equal. PD: It seems that there are not as many good smooths com- pared to the number of quality roughs. NH: They have a different look, but both the same. The rough can make you think from ringside that it is what you are looking for; however, once you get your hands on it, hair can fill in where it might not be! (Ringside judg- ing is easy, we have all done it, right?) DV: Judges coming from a different group always have trouble judging the smooth Griffon. However, the rough Griffon is really the harder one to judge because of being able to hide everything with good grooming. The smooth coat shows everything. The smooth always looks like it has a longer nose, lesser bone and less width to

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10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? JB: This is a very sensitive breed, please remember that, a Griff certainly would and will remember what they perceive as harsh treatment. This breed is being colored so heavily that I am appalled at times. I have seen many coats prepared with clippers/scissors. Both of these things are very discouraging to the old timers like me. PD: They usually love everything and everyone. NH: I think it makes a great breed to live with as a family pet with their self-important attitude! DV: The breed is a lovely breed to own—or should I say be owned by. They are so sweet and loving. They are very content to be in your lap all the time. However, they don’t forget anything. They are very smart and do well in obedience. 11. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? JB: I was judging a Toy breed with a major entry and several nice specials. A sweet lady enters with the single dog entry. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and I spoke gently to her and asked if she was okay. “I’m so scared; I am ready to pee my pants.” I hugged her and she and her beautiful little dog ended up winning the breed. AC: My son, Paul, two of my friends and I went to Kansas City for our National Specialty. We would stay with my brother, not a dog person, but he lived in Kansas City and generously offered his home. He came to meet us at the airport in the pouring rain with his daughter in order to help transport all the luggage, dogs, etc. while I went to get a rental car. I met him outside the airport as we arranged and fol- lowed him home—a 45-minute drive. When we got to his house we realized neither of us had picked up the people and dogs, including his daughter, that were waiting at the curb at the terminal and they were still there. Following him, I could not see in the windows of his tall SUV in the rain and assumed he had them. He assumed I had picked them up. They have never let me forget this. NH: I was showing a pair of Black Miniature Poodle pups that were littermates, one dog and one bitch—they looked so much alike. We always tried to find outdoor shows before the National to give our dogs the experi- ence of walking on grass so we showed the Puppy Dog through WD and rushed back to get the puppy bitch into the 9-12 class. We got her off the table and ran to the ring, went in and onto the examine table only to find the two had changed tables in our groom area and I had the Puppy Dog in the Puppy Bitch Classes. So, I asked to go get the bitch puppy while everyone waited. That’s life at a dog show! Everyone, me as well, had a good laugh!

the muzzle. In reality some of the roughs have less muz- zle and bone but because of the coat they appear larger.

8. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? JB: I have known many of the great ones closely and hope that all breeders are allowed to carry on with the breed we love. There have always been remarkable Griffons and hope this will always be true. AC: The conformation is equal, but attitude is much better. The majority of dogs in the ring have show presence. When I started, there were a lot of shy dogs that didn’t want to be there and showed poorly. PD: Yes, there are more with better toplines and tail sets. NH: No, I think there have been outstanding ones around the country for years. DV: I think all breeds go through valleys of being good and bad—just as some breeders with their programs. Some breeders are having better breeding programs now than before and some not so much. I believe the smooth Griffons are in a much better place than years ago. Breed- ers started to concentrate on them more, where in the past they placed them. We have had some lovely smooths over the last 10 years. I will say the attitudes of the Griffons are much better now than when I first starting breeding them. I remember when I first asked a handler that showed a lot of them, that I was looking for a show Griffon. His answer to me was a live Griffon is a show Griffon. Back then it was really hard to keep them alive. So as long as you had one with a great head, the rest didn’t matter. So from that aspect, the Griffon has come a long way.


9. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? JB: I feel that they do not evaluate the head properly, it should be looked at from every angle and the best judges do this. I think many new judges shy away from smooths, the two varieties are to be evaluated and treated equally. AC: That the dog that is groomed to the extreme is not necessarily the best dog in the ring. In fact, a dog with a lavish beard and Terrier furnishings probably does not have a correct coat. PD: Heads. NH: The head. The eyes set well apart, very large, black, prominent and well open with the nose very black and extremely short, its tip being set back deeply between the eyes so as to form a lay-back. DV: The smooth Griffons, they just have trouble judging one against the roughs.

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1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. In popularity, The Brussels Griffon is currently ranked #98 out of 192 AKC-recognized breeds. Do you hope this will change or are you comfortable with his placement? Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? 3. Although he’s a tremendously hard-working dog with great power and stamina, he’s highly valued as a companion. What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? 4. An energetic dog—of any size—requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? Drawbacks? 5. Are there any misconceptions about the breed you’d like to dispel? 6. What special challenges do Brussels Griffon breeders face in our current economic and social climate? 7. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 8. You have many choices equally valid under the Standard: rough, smooth, red, belge, black & tan, black. Any preference? 9. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? 10. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to your breed and to the sport? 11. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 12. What is your favorite dog show memory? 13. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. JEFF BAZELL & JEFF KESTNER

Together the Jeffs have bred and/or owned 108 AKC champions as of October 2019, bred another 68 champions in the United States and Canada, and owned or sold another 90 champions internation- ally. There are 1048 first generation St Johns titlists worldwide. St Johns exported the first American Griffons to Australia, where they earned multiple group and BISS placements. The Jeffs also helped reestablish the breed in its homeland during the mid-1980s. The breed had nearly died out in Belgium and the Netherlands before St. Johns Griffons revitalized the breed on the European continent. Dogs of St. Johns breeding have sired many champions internation- ally, and St. Johns is behind many of the world’s successful breeding programs. Performance titlists are important to St. Johns, with 20 AKC-titled dogs and an additional 18 internationally. Bazell and Kestner are proud AKC Breeders of Merit whose stock is fully health tested on a generational basis. St. Johns has been an AKC-registered kennel for many years. “The Jeffs” live in a small Ohio village named Bremen in the south central portion of the state. Bazell is a well recognized garden designer having won many national and international awards for his work. Kestner, a former elementary teachers, works for the Ohio Education Association in labor relations. We are also in the middle of writing the definitive book about the Brussels Griffon. Popularity of a breed has so much to do with “product place- ment” and other factors in today’s world. If a breed is featured in a popular movie or television series, away it goes in a rush. Humans are fickle and typically do as little research as possible to find if a breed is a good fit for them or their family. In turn, this leads to a high turn in rate at shelters and rescue organizations. Being in the middle of the pack in ratings is a good place for a breed to maintain. Popular enough for ease of recognition yet, not in demand. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? Grif- fons are an equally good fit in an apartment or a large family home with large yard. They do need regular exercise though, as much for mind as for body. An unattended Griffon, especially a puppy, is a Griffon looking for mischief. Young Griffons are exactly like living with a houseful of 3 year old children. Some will sit and play and entertain themselves peacefully and some will be planning the destruction of life as we know two are alike. Are there any misconceptions about the breed we’d like to dis- pel? Though Griffons are included in the toy group they grow out and mature much like a working dog. Having been bred down from much larger dogs that had to fend for themselves in barn lots and carriage houses they are generally stoic and hardy. They are disas- ters as “purse dogs” and become as neurotic and self-challenged as their owners want them to be. A Griffon’s temperament needs to be developed and allowed to bloom over time with maturity, just like raising a happy, healthy child. What special challenges do Brussels Griffon breeders face in our current economic and social climate? The health of the breed is in bad shape. Very few breeders are properly health testing their stock and the breed is oftentimes over bred and bred way too young. Min- imally, all breeding stock should have their eyes tested bi-annually by a board certified ophthamologist, a heart certification should be in place before breeding and this should be done by ausculta- tion and EKG, radiology checks of hips/elbows and patellas must be done prior to breeding and be within normal ranges and at least every other generation of bitches must have their brains scanned by MRI to guard against sryingomyelia and chiari malformation. This is expensive and the costs will never be covered by puppy sales

Mr. Jeff Bazell obtained his first Griffon in the mid- 1970s with a Brussels Grif- fon from Nigel Aubrey- Jones. He became a parent club member in 1979, dur- ing the Iris de la Torre Bue- no years. Bazell has served the club as president, show chair, and specialty coor- dinator, and for 16 years

he was publisher of the national breed magazine. He currently serves as the parent club historian and archivist and has amassed one of the largest collections of breed-specific items known among all breeds. He has judged parent club specialties on four occasions including the national and has judged Griffon specialties and club shows worldwide and is an AKC multi-group judge. He has been an approved breed mentor since the program’s inception and has presented the breed both here and abroad on many occasions. Mr. Jeff Kestner has been active in the breed for the last 15 years and maintains a vast Griffon breeding-record collection and data- base worldwide. He is approved to judge the breed along with half the Toy Group. As an active parent club member, he has served on constitutional revision committees and is a parent club–approved mentor and presenter. He has also judged sweepstakes at the national specialty.


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