FAQ’s

  • 1. Behavior
  • 2. Breed
  • 3. Finding a Brussels Griffon
  • 4. Grooming
  • 5. Health
  • 6. Personality & Temperament
  • 7. Puppy Mills
  • 8. Rescues
  • 9. Training
Questions and problems related to behavior. Answers are based on my 40+ years experience with dogs (18 years with Brussels Griffons) and any links to professionals I can find.
Questions about the breed, history, standards, colors, flaws and types.
Rescues, breeders and other links to locate a Brussels Griffin.
Grooming questions for both the smooth and rough coated griffon. Includes hand stripping and pet clipping.
Health ans Safety issues
Personality and temperament traits common to the Brussels Griffon.
Questions about puppy mills
Questions about Rescues based on my knowledge of running a rescue in South Carolina.
Griffs are very smart but get bored quickly. Here are some tips I've learned to make training easier. Includes housetraining, obedience and trick training.
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  • 1. What is Small Dog Syndrome?
     

    Small Dog Syndrome is very real, it refers to a set of undesirable behaviors mostly displayed by small dogs who want to show everyone who’s really the boss.  

    It is not genetic, not something some puppies are going to develop, it is most likely caused by how we view our "sweet little puppy" and what we allow them to get away with!

    Symptoms of Small Dog Syndrome:

    • Jumping up on people
    • Begging for food
    • Assuming the best and most comfortable place on the human’s bed
    • Growling or barking at anyone trying to get close to the dog’s owner
    • Demanding to get attention, affection, petting, treats, etc.
    • Insistence on going through a door way first
    • Pulling on a leash or refusing to walk on a leash at all
    • Nipping at people’s heels
    • Refusing stubbornly to listen to commands that have already been mastered
    • Barking or whining at a person
    • Finding and sleeping on the highest perch he can find
    • Separation anxiety symptoms
    • Jumping into a human’s lap uninvited
    • Growling or barking at other dogs
    • Growling or barking at people

    References:

    http://www.dogs-and-dog-advice.com/small-dog-syndrome/

    smalldogplace.com

    moderndogmagazine.com

     

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  • 2. What can I do to curb or prevent Small Dog Syndrome?
     
    • Change our thinking about our dog's behavior
    • Re-socialize our dogs
    • Spend time training each day
    • Add discipline to our repertoire of good canine owner skills

    References:

    http://www.dogs-and-dog-advice.com/small-dog-syndrome/

    smalldogplace.com

    moderndogmagazine.com

     

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  • 3. Why does my Brussels Griffon "kill" and demolish his squeak toys?
     
    It is generally accepted that small rough coated dogs existed in Europe in the middle ages and these little dogs which were generally kept as ratters and stable dogs, This is  the stock from which the Brussels Griffons developed .

    They were feisty little terrier types with a high prey drive.  Many modern day griffs still retain many or all of these traits.  To many the squeak from a toy resembles the cry from a mouse or other small prey.  Hunt on!

    When dogs hunt in the wild, they follow a predatory sequence that includes the following steps: searching, stalking, chasing, catching, biting, killing and eating.  When  your dog gets hold of a squeaky toy, he may vigorously shake his head to "kill" his prey. In the wild, this action would break the spine of a small animal. Your dog may then "dissect" his conquered squeaky toy by breaking it apart.

    Once the toy is eviscerated and silenced (squeaker out) most dogs lose interest.  If you have a high drive hunter it is important to not leave them unsupervised.  Many a dog has had to make an emergency visit to the vet's for removal of swallowed squeaker or stuffing!

    I am very fortunate with Remy.  He loves his squeaky toys.  His M.O. is to lay on his back biting the toy repeatedly, squeak, squeak, squeak!  He has never torn a toy or removed a squeaker.  He still has every toy, intact, since the day he arrived here.

    Sources:

    Cuteness.com

    The Dog Whisperer of MN

    Pet Place

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  • 4. Why does my dog eat poop (coprophagia)?
     
    Some veterinary nutritionists have suggested that dogs eat stool to replenish enzymes so that they are better prepared to digest their food. There is also evidence that dogs that aren't getting enough of certain nutrients will resort to eating poop. A lack of vitamin B is often said to be a cause of coprophagia.

    In the wild, during lean times, a dog would eat it's own feces to extract any traces of nutrients left.   A mother dog is hardwired to keep the nest clean.  She licks her puppies to encourage them to eliminate, then licks them to dispose of any sign and smell to avoid predators finding the nest.  A submissive member of the pack may eat the feces of the dominant member.  A dog harshly scolded for inappropriate elimination may try to clean the evidence.  Dogs may eat poop out of boredom.  Fresh cat poop is so stinky most dogs find it irresistible!

    Coprophagia was more common in multi-dog households. In single-dog homes, only 20 percent of dogs had the habit, while in homes with three dogs, that rose to 33 percent.

    • Poop eaters are no harder to house train than any other dogs.
    • Females are more likely to eat poop, and intact males were least likely.
    • 92 percent of poop eaters want fresh stuff, only one to two days old.
    • 85 percent of poop eaters will not eat their own feces, only that of other dogs.
    • Greedy eaters—dogs who steal food off tables—tend to also be poop eaters.
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  • 5. Is there anything I can do to stop my dog from eating poop?
     
    Preventative Measures and Training.
    • Vitamin supplementation: There's been a long-standing theory that dogs eat feces because they are missing something in their diets. Vitamin-B deficiency,
    • Enzyme supplementation: The modern canine diet is higher in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based proteins and fats than the canine ancestral diet. Some people have had success with a meat tenderizer that contains papain, an enzyme.
    • Taste-aversion products: The theory is that certain tastes and smells are as disgusting to dogs as the idea of stool eating is to us and that spraying certain substances on poop will make it less appealing. Many of these products contain monosodium glutamate, chamomile, pepper-plant derivatives, yucca, garlic, and parsley.
    Training:
    • Feed you dog on a schedule to help regulate potty times.
    • Teach "leave it".  Reward when he does.
    • Take dog out on a leash.  Call him to you after he poops, reward when he comes.
    • Clean up immediately.
    • If you have multiple dogs take them out separately to keep an eye on them.
    • Keep cat box out of reach or blocked from dogs if you have cats.

    Sources:

    dogpoopdiet.com

    http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-stop-dog-eating-poop

    akc.org

     

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  • 1. Is the Brussels Griffon hypoallergenic?
     

    No.  The smooth coat sheds like any short hair.  the rough coat needs to have dead hair removed frequently.  Although there are dog products that may reduce dander and are advertised to help control allergic reactions, sensitivity usually grows with exposure.

    Some doctors prescribe shots and/or pills to reduce allergies, but it's up to your doctor to tell you if this will be effective with a dog in the house.

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  • 2. When was the Brussels Griffon recognized by the AKC?
     

    The Brussels Griffon was officially recognized by the AKC in 1910

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  • 3. What is a Brabancon?
     

    SMOOTH-COATED BRUSSELS GRIFFONS ARE TERMED "BRABANCONS".

       

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  • 4. When was the Brussels Griffon officially recognized by the AKC?
     

    1910

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  • 5. Are the rough and smooth coats 2 different breeds?
     

    Except for coat, there is no difference between the two.

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  • 6. What colors do Brussels Griffons come in?
     

    COLORS

    Description Standard Colors Registration Code
    BELGE 005
    BLACK 007
    BLACK & TAN 018
    RED 140
    BLUE   037
    BROWN   061
    CHOCOLATE   071
    TAN   195
    WHEATEN   224

    This affectionate breed comes in a variety of colors, including red, belge (black and reddish brown), black and tan, or black.  Blue, brown, chocolate, tan and wheaten are disqualifications as are white markings.

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  • 7. What breeds are the Brussels Griffon descended from?
     

    Although there is no complete record of the breeds crossed and recrossed to achieve the Griffon as we know it today, there is no doubt that the Affenpinscher, the English Toy Spaniel, and the Pug were the basic breeds used crossed with an old type of dog called a Smousje, a rough coated, small terrier-like dog kept in stables to eliminate rodents.

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  • 8. What is the difference between the Griffon Bruxellois, the Griffon Belge and the Petit Brabançon?
     

    The Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois) is a red, rough Griffon, the Belgian Griffon (Griffon Belge) is a black or black and tan rough coat, and the Petit Brabançon is smooth coated,

      

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  • 9. When is a Brussels Griffon considered "mature"?
     

    It is important to be aware that the Griffon is a very slow maturing breed and the head will not finish growing until 3 – 4 years of age. 

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  • 10. Does the Brussels Griffon shed?
     

    There are two coats in this breed - the rough and the smooth. The smooth coat, like any smooth coated dog, has a seasonal shed. That means that in the spring and fall, the dead hairs fall out. The shed lasts maybe two weeks and is encouraged with warm baths followed by brushing. Regular grooming for a smooth uses a "hound's glove" to give the coat gloss and catch the loose hairs. The rough coat does not have a seasonal shed. Each hair in the body coat grows to about 3-4 inches and then dies and a new hair grows in the follicle. But the hairs do not come out all at one time. Regular grooming and daily brushing keeps hair off furniture and floor. Rough-coated pets need to visit a groomer about every three months where clipping trims the body coat and a scissors trims the beard and legs.

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  • 11. Why are blue BG's undesireable?
     

    Dilution is a separate gene from color and needs to be viewed as a gene that dilutes any color that it is applied to. As a result, one should not look at chocolate or blue as “colors,” but as a gene removed from all others that rides along the color wave. The dilution factors could come into view in any color breeding scenario if both parents carry the recessive dilution gene.
    No known health anomalies present with dilution in chocolates, dilute belge, liver, or chocolate and tan. These dilutes will express their dilution in their nose pads, eye rims, and foot pads which will be liver, reddish brown or flesh colored.
    In regard to health issues, the blue, blue and tan and blue belge expressions of the dilution gene are entirely different matters. The blue expressions often carry a marker for alopecia or hair loss, occasional deafness or complete skin degeneration and blindness in extreme cases.  Should a blue occur within a litter that the breeding should not be repeated  within the breeding program to avoid future problems.

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  • 12. What is the color belge?
     

    from:   the official AKC Brussels Griffon Standard

    Belge: black and reddish brown mixed, usually with black mask and whiskers;

    AMPLIFICATION: The name Belge comes from the native standard. This color is rarely seen to perfection. It consists of a two-colored hair shaft (banded, or mixed with rich red and black). The result is a smoky or smutty overall appearance. The Belge is often enhanced by a black mask and ears. Since the Belge can carry recessive genes for black and tans, they may have tan points.

    Image result for belge brussels griffon pictures

    Image result for belge brussels griffon picturesImage result for belge brussels griffon pictures

    UNDESIRABLE: Pronounced shading or saddling in overall coat color.

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  • 13. What does Brachycephallic mean?
     

    Brachycephalic means "shortened head" and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. Other brachycephalic breeds include Chow Chows, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Bull Mastiffs, English Toy Spaniels and of course, our beloved Brussels Griffon.

    These animals are short-headed, short-muzzled breeds. They are intentionally bred to look this way, with a normal lower jaw but a compressed upper jaw.  

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  • 1. I'd like to rescue a Brussels Griffon. Who can I contact?
     

    You can begin here.  These are the two best known rescues.

    National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization which maintains a national rescue league for Brussels Griffons which have been abandoned, lost, abused or for other reasons must be re-homed.

    American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance is a small, nation-wide, non-profit organization.  Their goal is to find permanent homes for Griffons and Affenpinschers in need.   Most have spent their lives in commercial breeding facilities.

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  • 2. Is Petfinder a good source to find a Brussels Griffon?
     

    For the past 20 years, Petfinder has helped 25 million pets find their families through adoption.

    You can narrow your search to breed, sex, age, and how far you want to travel.  You may even find smaller, less known rescues advertising Griffons needing forever homes.

    Be aware, there are not lots of Griffons available.  You may not find any fitting your needs or in your area for a long time.  Patience is necessary!

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  • 1. How can I eliminate "beard stink"?
     

    "Beard stink"   is normally due to the unusually large eyes of  your Brussels Griffon watering, building up in the warm furry spot between the nose and the cheek, and getting little bits of food stuff in there. 

    Some people use Angel Eyes for tears and tear staining,  Others may use  Eye Envy. This is a topical powder.  It helps maintain a dry area. There is an antibiotic component, but since it is topical and not ingested.

    This is an industrial level mess and you need to apply a magic mix directly to the beard. A BGs eyes could be damaged in the direct application of the mix, therefore use this method to apply.  It is difficult but necessary for safety.

    ,Things you will need:

    1. Hydrogen Peroxide 3%
    2. Baking soda
    3. Syringe (no, not one with a needle)
    4. A soft bristle tooth brush

    Use a simple syringe to direct the mix into the crevice down and away from his eye. Then used a soft bristle tooth brush to carefully rake the mixture down the beard. If your dog squirms, this process might not be for you. The peroxide on the tooth brush could find its way to the eye if the pup jerks his/her head too suddenly. Use a finger on your free hand to keep the eye lid closed.Once you have applied the mix, let it sit for about two minutes or so. Then carefully rinse out the beard with cool water.. Thoroughly rinse out the beard and use a white or light colored towel to dry (or hair dryer). The hydro peroxide can stain colored towels.

     

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  • 2. How often should I bathe my BG?
     

    A smooth griffy only needs a bath when they get into something stinky.  A damp cloth can be used occasionally to freshen them up.

    A rough coat collects debris and gets stinky much more quickly. Use a gentle shampoo and they can be bathed as often as once a week.

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  • 3. What's the best shampoo to use?
     

    Any gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo works, tearless even better.  I prefer texturizing shampoo for harsh coats.  There are many brands, I've been using Davis and I am very pleased with the results.

    Davis-Texturizing-Shampoo-12-oz-Grooming-Products-Dogs-Cats-Kittens-Puppy

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  • 4. How often does a rough coat need to be clipped?
     

    Depending on the rate of growth, density of undercoat and how short you want length to stay, anywhere from 4 times a year to every 4 weeks.

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  • 5. Does the Brussels Griffon shed?
     

    There are two coats in this breed - the rough and the smooth. The smooth coat, like any smooth coated dog, has a seasonal shed. That means that in the spring and fall, the dead hairs fall out. The shed lasts maybe two weeks and is encouraged with warm baths followed by brushing. Regular grooming for a smooth uses a "hound's glove" to give the coat gloss and catch the loose hairs. The rough coat does not have a seasonal shed. Each hair in the body coat grows to about 3-4 inches and then dies and a new hair grows in the follicle. But the hairs do not come out all at one time. Regular grooming and daily brushing keeps hair off furniture and floor. Rough-coated pets need to visit a groomer about every three months where clipping trims the body coat and a scissors trims the beard and legs.

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  • 6. Does clipping cause the coat to lose color?
     

    A griffon's hair grows to a predetermined length then falls out to be replaced by a new hair.  The only way the color will change is if:

    1. The coat is clipped very short.  That removes most of the top coat and leaves lighter undercoat showing.
    2. The dead undercoat is not removed frequently, sometimes as often as every other day.
    2 days dead undercoat

    I put it next to the phone receiver to show size.

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  • 7. How often should I finger pluck my Griffon?
     

     I test pluck every few days, if it comes out easily, it's ready.  If not I wait a few more days.  Finger plucking should not hurt, a dog should be able to tolerate 15-30 minute sessions with no problem.

    Depending on you dog's coat and the time of year it should be done every week or so, sometimesas often as every day.

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  • 8. What is finger plucking?
     

    Finger plucking, done after carding, is gripping a few hairs at a time and pulling with the grain to remove loose topcoat.

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  • 1. Why are blue BG's undesireable?
     

    Dilution is a separate gene from color and needs to be viewed as a gene that dilutes any color that it is applied to. As a result, one should not look at chocolate or blue as “colors,” but as a gene removed from all others that rides along the color wave. The dilution factors could come into view in any color breeding scenario if both parents carry the recessive dilution gene.
    No known health anomalies present with dilution in chocolates, dilute belge, liver, or chocolate and tan. These dilutes will express their dilution in their nose pads, eye rims, and foot pads which will be liver, reddish brown or flesh colored.
    In regard to health issues, the blue, blue and tan and blue belge expressions of the dilution gene are entirely different matters. The blue expressions often carry a marker for alopecia or hair loss, occasional deafness or complete skin degeneration and blindness in extreme cases.  Should a blue occur within a litter that the breeding should not be repeated  within the breeding program to avoid future problems.

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  • 2. Are Dog Parks Safe?
     
    My thoughts on Dog Parks was "Confined area to run and play, socialize with other dog lovers, my dogs could make friends and burn off excess energy, what could be better?"

    My view has changed in the past year.  Almost daily I see on the news or social media how dogs are hurt or killed, especially small dogs like chihuahuas or other small breeds or mixes.  I personally own an 8.5 lb Brussels Griffons (a cocky, in your face pooch that can try the patience of saints, never mind a large, dominant dog!)  He is a boisterous, bouncy 2 years.  

    7 Pound Chihuahua Mauled To Death at Local Dog Park

    Excitement turned to dismay, a new dog park opened locally last year after much campaigning by residents.  It wound up being closed for quite a while due to parasite infestation.  That can be controlled, if not prevented, by visitors doing their duty and disposing of any waste their dog leaves.  I became paranoid that dog haters would visit the park leaving poisoned treats, the same fear people have for their children Trick or Treating on Halloween.

    A responsible pet owner will make sure their pet is vaccinated, not sick with something contagious and socialized.  Many feel their dog is socialized because he/she's friendly  and romps well with a neighbor dog but in a group situation everything can change in a blink of an eye.  On the surface my BG is friendly and loves to play with other dogs.  In reality he is pushy, lacking in group manners and will bully a submissive dog unless supervised.   My fault, he needs more training, for now he would not be a good candidate to run at the dog park.

    There should be a park attendant.

    Someone to monitor that all follow rules, help with fights or emergencies and get help when needed.

    There should be parks for small dogs and parks for large dogs. 

    Allowing very small dogs to run with large dogs can be a very dangerous situation for the small dog. The average pet owner has no idea how to break up a dog fight. They also can't comprehend how quickly a large dog can kill or seriously injure a small dog.

    There are some basic common sense rules that good owners should follow when they use a park.

    • When at the park and a dangerous or out of control dog shows up, leave the park. While you may feel you have the right to be there you gain nothing by pushing your limit and risking a dog fight.
    • Go to the park at off-peak hours. You will learn when the quiet times are, those are the times to be there with your dog. If you dress for the wind and rain there is nothing wrong with having the entire park to yourself.
    • When your dog is off leash at the park, 100% of your of your focus should be on your dog.
    • If you wish to socialize with other dogs owners that fine, just do it when you have your dog on a leash.

    Watch This Video Before Going to a Dog Park

     

     

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  • 3. What are the risks of giving my dog rawhide?
     

    Dogs certainly love rawhide, but vets and pet owners alike seem divided about whether these chew treats are really a good choice for pets.  In my own experience they get soft after chewing.  They can stain furniture and they become slimy, they smell, and probably harbor a multitude of harmful bacteria.

    Pet nutrition blogger Rodney Habib outlines the manufacturing process of many commercially-available rawhide chews.

    A more accurate name for rawhide would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all.  Read more about how it is processed.  When tested  lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Chromium salts, Formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals have been detected in raw hides.  Rawhide chews from China and Thailand are the most likely to contain dangerous levels of chemicals.

    Dr. Mahaney suggests looking for labels that say “preservative-free,” or otherwise indicate no chemical preservatives were used to manufacture the rawhides. He says family farms who slaughter their own cows and dry their hides naturally in the sun are ideal.  Read more of his views and alternatives.

    Other hazards associated with rawhide:

    • The hide can actually become lodged in a dog's teeth and require an owner's assistance to remove it.
    • Large chunks may be too big to swallow and cause a dog to choke.
    • Intestinal blockage can also occur if the chunk of hide becomes lodged somewhere along the intestinal tract, and surgery may be required to remove it.
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  • 4. What does Brachycephallic mean?
     

    Brachycephalic means "shortened head" and refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. Other brachycephalic breeds include Chow Chows, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Bull Mastiffs, English Toy Spaniels and of course, our beloved Brussels Griffon.

    These animals are short-headed, short-muzzled breeds. They are intentionally bred to look this way, with a normal lower jaw but a compressed upper jaw.  

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  • 5. What issues does a Brachycephallic dog face?
     

    Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome

    "Brachys" have abnormally narrowed or small nostrils; the narrowing restricts the amount of air that can flow into the nostrils.  They have a soft palate that is too long for the length of the mouth; the excess length partially blocks the entrance to the trachea at the back of the throat.  

    Brachy dogs have 42 teeth like every other breed of dog, but because of the pushed in nature of the upper jaw, those teeth get crammed into a relatively small area.  Brachys can end up with teeth at a lot of odd angles as well as overlapping teeth. 

    Then there is an elongated soft palate, which involves a big flap of skin at the back of the throat that causes a lot of the characteristic snorting and other respiratory sounds often heard in brachy breeds.

    Often the windpipe in these pets is very narrow in places, which leads to a condition called tracheal stenosis, or narrowing of the trachea. This problem can lead to tracheal collapse, as well as problems with anesthesia.

    Dogs with elongated soft palates generally have a history of noisy breathing, especially upon breathing inward. Some dogs will retch or gag, especially while swallowing.  Many will exhibit exercise intolerance, most cannot tolerate extreme heat or cold as their air passage ways are too short to warm their breath or cool them by panting.  Brachys prime candidates for heat stroke.

     

    The Eyes

    Unfortunately, brachycephalic pets also have their share of eye problems. The way their heads are constructed means their eyes often don't fit properly in their heads. The eye sockets are shallow, which makes the eyes more pronounced, giving these breeds their sort of bug-eyed or bulgy eyed appearance.

    But if a brachy pet gets a blow to the back of the head, or really any kind of head trauma, it can dislodge an eye. These breeds are at high risk of having an eye pop out of the socket.  Obviously if this happens, you need to call your vet or an emergency clinic right away because immediate surgery will be required.

    The Face

    Special attention should be paid to the face.  Tears can collect in the eye folds and wrinkles leading to yeast infections.  Gently wash the folds and wrinkles frequently.  Witch hazel can be used.  Be careful not to get it in to eyes.

    For more detailed information including treatments and surgeries for these conditions please view the sources below.

    Sources:

    Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Dogs  By Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

    Healthy Pets with Dr. Karen Becker

    ACVS     ( American College of Veterinary Surgeons)

     

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  • 6. What isthe best way to give my Brussels Griffon a pill?
     

    I've been working with dogs for over 40 years, owning, medicating and grooming.  Even when I downsized and got my first toy dog (chihuahua) I never had a problem giving a pill.

    Squeeze between the gaps of their teeth(on the side), place 1 or 2 fingers on the tongue and press gently.  Voila!  Mouth pops open by reflex.  Put the pill as far back on tongue as possible.  Hold mouth closed, stroke throat until you think they have swallowed.   If the dog licks his lips with his tongue, you can be confident that your dog took the pill.  For the more stubborn who seem to hold pill in throat indefinitely, a small puff of air in face caused a reflexive gasp and down went pill!

    And then I got my first Brussels Griffon!

       Farfel was my 1st BG     
    Remy is my 2nd BG

    You can grab the beard or whiskers but there is no way to open that mouth when they clamp their little jaws!  This video covers hiding pills in treats, pill pockets, crushing pills into powder and adding crushed pills to liquid to administer by syringe.  When using food do not mix in bowl, clever griffs will eat all around the pill.  Use a treat with a strong smell (liverwurst, dog food, even cat food) a jackpot treat.  Keep pieces small, even if you have to cut pill, so that they gulp it all down.  I found, by experimentation, that Remy's jackpot treat is a little gob of butter.  He will gobble the largest capsule if it's in butter!

    Sources:

    Miracle Shih Tzu.com

     

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  • 7. What is a reverse sneeze?
     
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     Reverse sneezing (also called backwards sneezing or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration) is a phenomenon observed in dogs, particularly in those with brachycephalic skulls.  During a reverse sneeze, the dog will make rapid and long inspirations, stand still, and extend his head. A loud snorting sound is produced, which may make you think the dog has something caught in his nose. The most common cause of a reverse sneeze is irritation of the soft palate, which results in a spasm.

     

    Brachycephalic breeds, like pugs, bulldogs, and of course Brussels Griffons with elongated soft palates, occasionally suck the palate into the throat, which can cause an episode of reverse sneezing.

    "A reverse sneeze, like a [regular] sneeze, is a reflex, but instead of a rapid expulsion of air through the nostrils, it is a rapid . . . inhalation. It is loud, so people often think that their dogs are having an asthma attack. Dogs don't have asthma attacks, so it's usually suggestive of reverse sneezing." Quoted by  Dr. Mark Hiebert, medical director of the VCA TLC Animal Hospital in Los Angeles.

    Most episodes of reverse sneeze last less than a minute, although longer durations have been reported. It rarely needs treatment, although some dogs will get anxious, especially if the owner panics.  It is best to remain calm and stroke their throat.  When I do that with Remy he focuses on me and the episode ends.  It is like it never happened!

    In certain cases, your veterinarian may choose to prescribe anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine or decongestant medications to help with your dog's condition.

    Sources:

    Healthy Petsith Dr. Karen Becker

    Reverse Sneeze in Dogs  By Ernest Ward, DVM

    vetStreet

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  • 8. What is Syringomyelia (SM)
     
    Syringomyelia (SM)  is an extremely serious condition in which fluid-filled cavities develop within the spinal cord near the brain. It is also known as "neck scratcher's disease", because one of its common signs is scratching in the air near the neck.  

    It is usually congenital but can be caused by trauma.

    Originally publicized to be a condition specific to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel SM is seen more often in small breed dogs such as Brussel Griffons, Pomeranians, Maltese, Poodles (toy and minis), Chihuahua, Mini Dachshund, Bichon Frise, and Shih Tzu.

    • Symptoms include pain or sensitivity to touch around the neck region including ears and shoulders.
    • Scratching in the air without body contact or scratching around the regions of neck, shoulders, head, face and ears .
    • Biting hind quarters or chewing front paws. Sudden yelping or crying out for no obvious reason.
    • Limb weakness, particularly hind legs.
    • Rubbing of eyes, ears, face on to the ground or rubbing on to paws.
    • Slowing down of movement or reluctance to walk due to pain.
    • Reluctance or hesitation to jump on to furniture or climb stairs.
    • Random screaming because of pain which may lead to aggressive behavior particularly to other dogs.
    • Curving of the spine leading to scoliosis.
    • Seizures.

    All symptoms need thorough investigations by an expert (neurologist ) to rule out other causes. Some symptoms are common to other diseases and conditions. A MRI scan is the only conclusive way of confirming a diagnosis of syringomyelia and chiari-like malformation.

     

    Medications may be used including anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids and drugs that reduce the production of fluid in the brain and spinal cord.

    Occasionally medical management is unsuccessful and surgery needs to be considered. The aim of surgery is to improve the shape of the back of the skull and reduce the flow of fluid down the center of the spinal cord. Many dogs will improve following surgery, although some patients will have persistent signs despite surgery. Some may show improvement initially but then develop recurrence of their symptoms.

    Sources:

     

     

    The Griffon Bruxellois Club

    An Excellent Choice-Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

     Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service

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  • 9. What is Chiari-like malformation (CM)
     

    Chiari-like malformation (CM).

    Chiari-like malformation is an inherited disorder characterized by a mismatch between brain and skull volume. It is mostly commonly seen in toy breeds, in particular the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, King Charles spaniel and Griffon Bruxellois

    In CM the skull is too small and the brain is too big, which leads to the brain being squashed and pushed out the back of the dog’s skull (foramen magnum) into the vertebral canal. This obstructs the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in and out of the brain. CM can be extremely painful and surgery may be an option to relieve pain and suffering and improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Chiari-like malformation is a birth defect where the dog is born with the condition.

    • Signs: pain; behavioral changes; cervical scoliosis; weakness and muscle atrophy; pelvic limb weakness and ataxia.
    • Diagnosis: clinical signs; MRI.
    • Treatment: medical management; surgery (cranial - cervical decompressions).
    • Prognosis: guarded.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    The type of treatment needed for dogs diagnosed with CM/SM depends on the severity of the condition and the age of the dog. Young dogs with clinical signs should be considered for surgical removal to minimize the progression of the disease as the dog ages. Older dogs with little or no clinical signs may be treated medically, rather than surgically. However, severe cases of CM/SM may require surgery regardless of age. The goal of surgery is syrynx decompression through restoration of normal cerebrospinal fluid circulation.[15]

    Dr. Dominic Marino and Dr. Curtis Dewey (both board-certified surgeons) developed a procedure for the surgical treatment of CM in dogs, described as “foramen magnum decompression (FMD).[16] Despite an approximately 80% success rate with this surgical technique, there is a 25% to 50% relapse, primarily due to excessive scar tissue formation at the decompression site.[17] Subsequently they adapted a procedure used in people called cranioplasty, in which a plate, constructed using titanium mesh and bone cement is fixed to the back of the skull following a standard FMD procedure. The procedure had been effective in humans. The postoperative relapse rate associated with the titanium cranioplasty procedure is less than 7%.

    Sources:

    Wikipedia

    veterinary-neurologist.co.uk

    chiarimedicine.com/blog

    ke-malfvetstream.com

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  • 10. Why does my dog eat poop (coprophagia)?
     
    Some veterinary nutritionists have suggested that dogs eat stool to replenish enzymes so that they are better prepared to digest their food. There is also evidence that dogs that aren't getting enough of certain nutrients will resort to eating poop. A lack of vitamin B is often said to be a cause of coprophagia.

    In the wild, during lean times, a dog would eat it's own feces to extract any traces of nutrients left.   A mother dog is hardwired to keep the nest clean.  She licks her puppies to encourage them to eliminate, then licks them to dispose of any sign and smell to avoid predators finding the nest.  A submissive member of the pack may eat the feces of the dominant member.  A dog harshly scolded for inappropriate elimination may try to clean the evidence.  Dogs may eat poop out of boredom.  Fresh cat poop is so stinky most dogs find it irresistible!

    Coprophagia was more common in multi-dog households. In single-dog homes, only 20 percent of dogs had the habit, while in homes with three dogs, that rose to 33 percent.

    • Poop eaters are no harder to house train than any other dogs.
    • Females are more likely to eat poop, and intact males were least likely.
    • 92 percent of poop eaters want fresh stuff, only one to two days old.
    • 85 percent of poop eaters will not eat their own feces, only that of other dogs.
    • Greedy eaters—dogs who steal food off tables—tend to also be poop eaters.
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  • 11. Is there anything I can do to stop my dog from eating poop?
     
    Preventative Measures and Training.
    • Vitamin supplementation: There's been a long-standing theory that dogs eat feces because they are missing something in their diets. Vitamin-B deficiency,
    • Enzyme supplementation: The modern canine diet is higher in carbohydrates and lower in meat-based proteins and fats than the canine ancestral diet. Some people have had success with a meat tenderizer that contains papain, an enzyme.
    • Taste-aversion products: The theory is that certain tastes and smells are as disgusting to dogs as the idea of stool eating is to us and that spraying certain substances on poop will make it less appealing. Many of these products contain monosodium glutamate, chamomile, pepper-plant derivatives, yucca, garlic, and parsley.
    Training:
    • Feed you dog on a schedule to help regulate potty times.
    • Teach "leave it".  Reward when he does.
    • Take dog out on a leash.  Call him to you after he poops, reward when he comes.
    • Clean up immediately.
    • If you have multiple dogs take them out separately to keep an eye on them.
    • Keep cat box out of reach or blocked from dogs if you have cats.

    Sources:

    dogpoopdiet.com

    http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-stop-dog-eating-poop

    akc.org

     

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  • 12. Are we over-vaccinating our dogs?
     

    Could yearly vaccines not only be unnecessary, but actually harmful to your pet’s health?

    Absolutely.

     

     

    There are too many dogs suffering from vaccine-induced diseases.  Here is the list of adverse events known to be induced by vaccines (Schultz, 2007):

     

    Common Reactions
    :.    Lethargy
    .    Hair loss, hair color change at injection site
    .    Fever
    .    Soreness, stiffness
    .    Refusal to eat
    .    Conjunctivitis
    .    Sneezing
    .    Oral ulcersModerate Reactions .    Immunosuppression
    .    Behavioural changes
    .    Vitiligo (skin reactions)
    .    Weight loss (Cachexia)
    .    Reduced milk production
    .    Lameness
    .    Granulomas/abscesses
    .    Hives
    .    Facial edema (swelling)
    .    Atopy (hereditary allergies)
    .    Respiratory disease
    .    Allergic uveitis (Blue Eye)
     Severe Reactions triggered by Vaccines: 

    .    Vaccine injection site sarcomas
    .    Anaphylaxis (rapidly progressing life-threatening allergic reaction)
    .    Arthritis, polyarthritis
    .    HOD hypertrophy osteodystrophy
    .    Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
    .    Immune mediated thrombocytopenia (IMTP)
    .    Hemolytic disease of the newborn (Neonatal Isoerythrolysis)
    .    Thyroiditis
    .    Glomerulonephritis
    .    Disease or enhanced disease which the vaccine was designed 
         to prevent
    .    Myocarditis
    .    Post vaccinal encephalitis or polyneuritis
    .    Seizures
    .    Abortion, congential anomalies, embryonic/fetal death, 
         failure to conceive

    Over-vaccination can cause autoimmune diseases, cancer, cataracts, allergies, asthma, atopy, arthritis, anaphylaxis, diabetes, eczema and many lifelong, incurable conditions – as well as death.

    Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines
    Vaccine
    Minimum Duration of Immunity
    Methods Used to Determine Immunity
    CORE VACCINES
    Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)    
    Rockbom Strain 7 yrs / 15 yrs challenge / serology
    Onderstepoort Strain 5 yrs / 9 yrs challenge / serology
    Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) 7 yrs / 9 yrs challenge-CAV-1 / serology
    Canine Parvovirus-2 (CAV-2) 7 yrs challenge / serology

    Annual vaccinations and boosters are BIG BUSINESS for vets.  Make sure you understand all the risks and that you and your vet are on the same page!

    Sources:

    Healthy Pets with Dr. Karen Becker

    Pet Welfare Alliance

    dogs naturally magazine

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  • 13. Should a small dog get a smaller vaccine?
     

    Every time your pet is given medication your vet weighs them and carefully calculates the dose to avoid overdosing them.  Yet a 160 pound Mastiff and a 10 pound Chihuahua both get the same amount of vaccine? Unlike every other veterinary drug, 1 ml of vaccine is given to every dog, regardless of his size.  Why?

    …because everyone knows that the drug companies perform extensive tests on Great Danes and Chihuahuas and everything in between so that it’s crystal clear who needs what and why. Right?

    Well … not exactly…

     

     

    If you have a small guy, ask your vet to give a smaller dose of the vaccine.  it’s a very good idea to run a titer test two to three weeks after the vaccination to make sure they are protected.   Rabies-the law requires them to give a full dose of the rabies vaccine. Make sure you give the vaccine no more often than necessary.

    "I can just give my little dog a half vaccine, right?"

    No.  Vaccines are used to stimulate the animal's immune system, which is not something measured by weight..The vaccine manufacturer will not 'guarantee' the protection level of a vaccine that has not been administered according to established guidelines.

    Sources:

    dogsnaturallymagazine.com

    petmd.com

    thespruce.com

     

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  • 14. "I can just give my little dog a half vaccine, right?"
     

    No.  Vaccines are used to stimulate the animal's immune system, which is not something measured by weight..The vaccine manufacturer will not 'guarantee' the protection level of a vaccine that has not been administered according to established guidelines.

    Sources:

    dogsnaturallymagazine.com

    petmd.com

    thespruce.com

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  • 15. What is a titer test?
     
    A titer test (pronounced TIGHT er) is a laboratory test measuring the existence and level of antibodies to disease in blood. Antibodies are produced when an antigen (like a virus or bacteria) provokes a response from the immune system. This response can come from natural exposure or from vaccination.

    It is a simple blood test but is expensive when sent out to a lab.  Cost can run from $70 to $120 and up. (click HERE to read of less expensive in-house tests)

    It is still controversial, test results are felt to be open to interpretation and not always accurate.   Do not expect that everyone will accept test results in place of proof of vaccination.  Test results will NOT be accepted by Animal Control and most others as a substitute for vaccination of healthy dogs as required by law.

    AAHA vaccine guidelines say that titer testing is an appropriate way to check for immunity to parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus. However, it is not recommended for canine leptospirosis, bordetella or Lyme disease, because these vaccines only provide short-term protection.

    Do your own research, consult with your vet and advocate for your dog!

    Sources:

    dogsnaturallymagazine.com

    thebark.com

    vaccicheck.com

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  • 1. Do Griffons get along with other pets?
     

    Most Griffs do quite well in multi-pet households.  Of course, you will need to supervise to make sure no one gets too overexcited or too rough.

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  • 2. How do Brussels Griffons do with cats?
     

    If your cat is used to dogs your Griff should be fine.  Be careful, your pup may chase the cat, if cornered your cat may strike out.  That could lead to scratching, which could be quite serious if it happened to an eye.

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  • 3. How are Brussels Griffons with children?
     

    Griffons are very good with children provided they are not teased.  Supervise with younger children to make sure they are not handled roughly.

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  • 4. How would you describe the Brussels Griffon's temperament?
     

    They are devoted, loving, loyal, cheeky, intelligent and full of mischief.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    The Griffon  is known to have a huge heart, and a strong desire to snuggle and be with his or her master. They display a visible air of self-importance. A Griffon should not be shy or aggressive; however, they are very emotionally sensitive, and because of this, should be socialized carefully at a young age. Griffons should also be alert, inquisitive and interested in their surroundings.

    Griffons tend to bond with one human more than others. In fact, Griffons are very good with children provided they are not teased. They are not very patient but do love to play. Griffons tend to get along well with other animals in the house, including cats, ferrets, and other dogs. However, they can get into trouble because they have no concept of their own relative size and may attempt to dominate dogs much larger than themselves.

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  • 1. Isn't it encouraging puppy mills to buy discarded breeders from auction?
     

    It has become a touchy subject with past supporters.  Many feel it is wrong to give money to a puppy mill breeder even though it saves one dog (and any puppies she may have in the next few years) from a life of misery.

    Unfortunately, the almighty buck rules.  Little is free.  Shall we stand on principal?  Close our eyes while some other puppy mill owner jumps at the chance to buy a proven breeder?  Or should we spend the money to give 1 or more of these precious souls a chance to be loved and cared for?

    Think of it this way;  each dog rescued, every dollar spent deprives another unscrupulous breeder of thousands of dollars.

    Other rescues who specialize in puppy mill dogs:

    Does anyone have a better way?

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  • 1. How can I tell if a rescue is reputable?
     

    All rescues should have all their legal paperwork in order, registered with the state they operate in, tax exempt, a 501c3 so they are tax deductible and listed with the IRS, Guidestar and any other charitable listings.

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  • 2. What is the difference with a tax exempt or tax deductible rescue?
     

    A rescue can be a registered charity and tax exempt in the state they operate from  but donations are only tax deductible if they are a registered 501c3 with the IRS.

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  • 3. What is "transparency" in rescues mean?
     

    Transparency in a rescue means the books are available to anyone who questions what we spend donated money on.  When I founded and ran Friends Animal Rescue we did everything by the book according to the laws of South Carolina.  We kept our tax number posted clearly on our website and our Facebook page.  A copy of our 501(c)3, state tax exemption, tax information and past filings could be found on the download page or our credentials on the website.  A copy of our  ledger was available upon request at any time.

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  • 1. How hard are Brussels Griffons to train?
     

    Griffs are very smart, very sensitive and sometimes very stubborn!  If the training session becomes too repetitious they become bored quickly. Same when you give commands in the same order each time.  They will then anticipate and do something before you ask.

    Try making a game out of it, with plenty of positive reinforcement.  When they anticipate I change direction and ask for something different.  I ignore anything they do that I haven't asked for.

    Following this pattern most griffs are quite easy to train as long as I kept sessions short and frequent.  Some are more difficult than others, depending on the individual.

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  • 2. What is a "jackpot" treat or toy?
     

    A “jackpot” treat is a food, toy or any other reward your Griffy will find irresistible.   Something they will drop anything to get.  It should not be available to them at all times but saved for special circumstances.  It can be a perfect distraction!

    In the case of mild separation anxiety (or the classic escape artist when you try to leave your house) you can give them a stuffed Kong or other jackpot toy.  When they take it from you and head for a spot to enjoy it, quietly leave.  Remember to pick up toy when you return so they associate you leaving with something good.

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  • 3. What is "the exchange"?
     

    When your pup has grabbed something forbidden, rather than chasing or disciplining you will convince him/her to exchange it for something they think is better.

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  • 4. How do I do "the exchange"?
     

    Get something your dog considers a "jack-pot" toy or treat, something better than what he/she has.  Show it to the dog, let him sniff then walk away.  If all goes well dog should drop stolen booty and follow you.  Give him the jackpot.  While he's busy go pick up what he dropped.  Don't scold-he has already forgotten what he did.  He won't see it as a reward either.  Just he now has something better!

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  • 5. Why doesn't my dog respond well to commands?
     

    I've based this on my own 35+ years of working with and training dogs, and years of Following Victoria Stillwell's "It's Me or the Dog"!

    Image result

    Situation One:   Dog escapes you and is running free.  You panic and chase screaming "COME! come here, come NOW,  come here or I will paddle you" etc.

    Dog's POV:  this is great! mom is chasing me "barking" her head off!  What fun! UH-oh, she sounds really mad.  I don't think I want to go to her right now!

    Possible Solution:  Run AWAY from dog, making loud sounds.  Dog will most likely realize game is over, you found something more interesting and will come to investigate.  Note-do not scold or discipline dog then.  He will not understand it is because he ran away, that is in the past.  He will think it is because he came to you!

    Situation Two:  "Sit, sweetie", dog looks at you.  "Sit!" a bit louder and firmer.  Dog stands there, looking at you intently, wagging tail.  " "SIT!!" Dog sits.

    Dog's POV:  First command-Are you talking to me? Second time-I don't think you are serious yet. Third time-yep, you're serious!  Congratulations!  You've taught your dog not to obey until the third repetition!

    Possible Solution:   If dog doesn't sit on first command silently turn your back on him and count to 10.    When you turn to face your dog he should be confused but focused on you.  You changed the rules!  Repeat command.  If he don't respond repeat steps until he responds the first time.

    Situation Three: You taught your dog to lay down.  He's a little slow because many times you just say down.  In the meantime every time he tries to jump up you sternly say "down' and push him away.

    Dog's POV: Lay down? Down? Which is it? Down? Don't jump up? Now I'm really confused.  I don't know which to do so I do nothing!

    Possible Solution:  Be consistent!  Use lay down or down every time. Try substituting "off" or another word that sounds different to mean don't jump.  Use the same word each time and you will see a difference. 

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Any question asked will be answered asap and added into the database.  Thank you for your interest!

 

It's a Griffy thing!