If you can't decide between getting a rough or smooth-haired Brussels griffon, you don't have to take temperament into consideration. That doesn't vary between the two types. Think about how much work you want to put into grooming and whether anyone in your family has allergies.
Brussels Griffon Basics
These toy companion dogs range in weight from 8 to 10 pounds, and the American Kennel Club doesn't allow Brussels griffons over 12 pounds in the show ring. Mature dogs range between 7 and 8 inches tall. Coat colors include black, black and tan, red and beige. Originally bred to catch rats, this active little dog is self-confident, smart and sassy.
The smooth-coated Brussels griffon doesn't shed much. His hair falls out in fall and spring, like many other breeds. Of the two types of Brussels griffon, he requires far less coat care. Brush him every week and he should be just fine. You also may want to "polish" him occasionally with a soft cloth to bring out his coat's shine.
The rough-coated Brussels griffon requires a fairly substantial grooming commitment. He doesn't shed seasonally. According to the American Brussels Griffon Association, each hair in his coat grows between 3 and 4 inches, then dies off, replaced by a new hair from the follicle. These hairs don't all shed at once. He needs frequent grooming to keep his hair from ending up all over the house. If he's a show dog, his coat must be hand-stripped every few months, or he becomes a scraggly mess rather than having the exhibition standard of wiry hair. If you don't show, visit the groomer about every three months to have him clipped.
If you or anyone in your household suffer from allergies, the rough-coated Brussels griffon is the better choice. No dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, and before purchasing a dog you should find out exactly what triggers the allergic reaction. In some people, it's the hair, while others react to the dander or the saliva when the dog licks himself. If there is an allergy issue and you want a Brussels griffon, you must have the rough-coated dog hand-stripped regularly rather than just clipped by the groomer.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.