Showsight Presents The Brussels Griffon

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.

“THIS IS A VERY SENSITIVE BREED...”

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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