The tiny toy breed Brussels Griffon is known for his human expressions. Often he is seen looking inquisitive, with his head cocked to one side. This is in fact exactly what the look means to communicate: the dog is curious about something. Because of his expressiveness, the Brussels Griffon is a well known and widely used dog in the world of art and cinema. Though not as popular as an actual pet, the Brussels Griffon can easily be recognized by his most famous movie role: the dog in the movie As Good As It Gets.
It was the inquisitive face of the Brussels Griffon and his nervous and shy mannerisms that made him the perfect companion to Jack Nicholson's quirky character in the 1997 movie As Good As It Gets. The dog was the main feature of several shots in the film, and his personality really shown through the film when he was "conversing" with Nicholson's character. Even Nicholson's grouchy character was sad and concerned about the dog's well being, and his relationship with his Brussels Griffon was really the only link the audience had to the heart of the character.
Interestingly enough, the popularity of the Brussels Griffon as a breed and as a companion animal grew considerably following the release of the film. American people were especially drawn to the dog's facial expressions. Of course, the recent popularity of toy breeds also has a lot to do with the resurgence of interest in the Brussels Griffon, but the boost in Brussels Griffon adoptions in 1997 and 1998 are definitely attributed to the personality of the Brussels Griffon in As Good As It Gets.
As Good As It Gets is not the only cinematic feature that has featured the Brussels Griffon. He also gained some popularity with the release of the film Gosford Park, though not as much as with As Good As It Gets. Another popular appearance of a Brussels Griffon was in the television show, Spin City. Here the Brussels Griffon played a "suicidal" dog. This is another terrific example of what can be accomplished with the Brussels Griffon when he is properly bred, trained, and socialized.
One of the most interesting aspects about the Brussels Griffon is his tendency to "talk" to his owners. He will bark to tell you something, and after a while, the astute owner can actually determine what it is that the dog wants or needs. Many Brussels Griffons will answer back to their owners, carrying on a "conversation" of sorts.
The Brussels Griffon is very difficult to breed, and this is something that is unknown and not common with dogs. The female Brussels Griffon will often need a cesarean section to deliver puppies, so if you have a pregnant female Brussels Griffon, seek veterinary help for the safe delivery of the puppies and health of the mother.