Brussels Griffon

July 20, 2020 // 6 minute read

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Brussels Griffons are small-sized dogs with big personalities. Standing at the height of 10 inches, these adorable dogs feature a distinctive facial feature often called the “Monkey Face.” The Brussels Griffon dog has a square body covered by a rough or smooth coat that comes in various colors.

Brussels Griffon will make great house pets, especially with their cheerful personality. They get along well with anyone easily, including your other pets. They are also known for forming strong bonds with family members. If you are looking for a child-like dog to care for, the Brussels Griffon is definitely for you.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupToy
Breed SizeSmall
Height7-10 inches
Weight8-10 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years

Brussels Griffon Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Brussels Griffon History

Brussels Griffons are terrier-like dogs that originated from Brussels, Belgium, around the 17th century. They are believed to have been developed from a cross between a German affenpinscher and a Belgian street dog. The result was a griffon dog with a rough coat.

These dogs were bred to hunt and kill vermins in stables and horse-drawn cabs. They became popular in Europe as Griffon Bruxellois, and soon, they became more popular as housepets.

In 1883, a standard was created for the breed, and it started to join in dog shows. When Belgium’s queen, Marie Henriette, knew of the breed, breeding of the Brussels Griffon increased, and it reached abroad.

Around this time, the rough coat Brussels Griffons were crossed with the pug, creating a smooth-coated variety of the dog. This variety was called the Griffon Brabancon.

By the early 1890s, the two dog varieties were exported to England and the US. Not long after, in 1899, the first of the breed was registered with the American Kennel Club but was only officially recognized in 1900.

During the two World Wars, the number of Brussels Griffons started decreasing. Breeding the dogs became a luxury that a few can afford, and when the second world war ended, the breed almost went extinct.

Fortunately, due to some of the breed’s enthusiasts, the Brussels Griffon was saved. Now, the breed is known to be rare, but it currently ranks 98th as the most popular dog breed in the US.


Brussels Griffons are generally loyal, alert, and curious dogs. Their temperaments can range from being active to reserve to shy, depending on who they’re spending time with. Usually, they are described as dogs full of self-importance; bossiness is something you can expect.

These dogs have terrier-like personalities, so expect that they can be spirited and comical dogs who will surely brighten your day. They love climbing, which sometimes gets them into trouble, so it’s best to always keep a close eye on them.

These dogs are not made for cages. They need someone who will care for them and give them undivided love and attention. They need constant interaction, and sometimes they have one favorite person they follow around all day.

If you have other family pets, the Brussels Griffon wouldn’t have any problem getting along. However, this will not be the same when it comes to other strange dogs. Toddlers should also be supervised.

Brussels Griffons are also known to be friendly with guests. There are times when they would bark, be cautious, or act shy with strangers, but they are never aggressive. Socialization will help in making them more confident dogs. This will also help make them more well-rounded and stable.

You may also need lots of patience when training this dog breed. They can be demanding, so make sure to provide firm and consistent leadership. Don’t treat them harshly as they can be very sensitive.

Brussels Griffon Dog

Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Brussels Griffons don’t have any special dietary requirements, but they need a high-quality and well-balanced meal to keep them healthy. Like any other small dog breeds, these dogs are easy to overfeed, so make sure to take note of the number of calories you feed daily. You can ask for advice from your vet regarding this to ensure that you feed your dog right. As for the nutrients, one meal should contain a balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If you’re preparing a home-cooked meal, make sure that it should only consist of high-quality ingredients. If you’re feeding him dog food, make sure to buy only the premium quality ones. It’s best to ensure that what you feed your dog doesn’t contain any fillers, by-products, and harmful additives. Also, take note of the ingredients your dog is allergic to and stay away from those.
  • Grooming: Brussels Griffons come in two varieties – the smooth-coated and rough-coated. Smooth-coated Griffons shed seasonally and will need weekly brushing to keep their coat healthy. You may need to do this daily during the shedding season so you won’t have any problems with loose hair all over your furniture or floor. Rough-coated Griffons, on the other hand, do not shed, so very minimal brushing is needed. If you want, you may clip the Griffons hair shorter to make them look neat. You can have a professional groomer do this to ensure the safety of your dog. Give them baths occasionally too, or when they need it. Ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infection. Nails should be trimmed and kept short as well to avoid pain and discomfort.
  • Exercise: The Brussels Griffon is a playful dog breed. They are not very active, but they do need regular and moderate amounts of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This can be at least 30 minutes of exercise a day by romping around a secured and fenced yard. You can also create play sessions or activities that you can do together, which will make him happier. You can also make them participate in canine events like obedience, agility, and tracking.
  • Health: Brussels Griffons are generally healthy dogs. However, as dog owners, it’s best to know what diseases affect them the most. Hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems, and skin diseases are only some of the most common issues you need to watch out for. This is why it’s essential to provide them with the right care, nutrition, and exercise to keep them healthy. Take them to regular check-ups to monitor their behavior. You can also let them take some screening tests to detect some diseases at an early stage. If you can, meet at least one of your dog’s parents to know if there is any disease that your dog may inherit.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Brussel Griffons is 12-15 years.

Fun Facts about Brussel Griffons

  • Brussels Griffons were bred in the 17th century.
  • They are considered Royal Dogs in Belgium.
  • Their coat comes in two types: rough and smooth.
  • They are cat-friendly.
  • They are prone to separation anxiety; don’t leave them alone!
  • They look like the Chewbacca character from a famous movie film.
  • They were first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1910.

Check Out Other Toy Dog Breeds:
Affenpinscher, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, English Toy Spaniel, Havanese, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier

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