Griffon is a type of dog, a collection of breeds of originally hunting dogs. There are three recognized lines of the griffon type (FCI), the griffon vendéens, the wirehaired pointers, and the smousje (Belgian companion dogs or Dutch Smoushond). The griffon type is characterized by rough- or wire-hair.
The griffon is mentioned as early as Xenophon. The hounds, Canis Segusius, used by the Gauls were griffons. Among the oldest breeds are the Italian Wire-haired Pointing Dog or Spinone Italiano (FCI #165) and the breeds bred by Eduard Karel Korthals originating in the Low Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, northern France) which have a short, bearded muzzle. The smousje, a small dog mentioned since the Middle Ages in the Low Countries known for its firm, even temperament and rough coat, was the initial breeding stock for the Griffon Bruxellois.
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