Showsight Presents The Brussels Griffon

HISTORY OF THE BRUSSELS GRIFFON

BY JEFFREY BAZELL

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

“SOME DUTCH BREEDERS HAVE BEEN WORKING AT RE–CREATING THE SMOUSHUND SINCE THE 1990’S BY USING STREET DOGS AND FARM DOGS THAT HAVE A TERRIER LOOK ABOUT THEM.”

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2017 • 233

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