Brussels Griffon - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Brussels Griffon breed was initially developed in Belgium to help control vermin in stables. Despite its humble origins, this breed quickly gained popularity, and it’s hard to say whether people were more drawn to the Griff or the cab drivers who owned them. Eventually, the Griff was crossbred with a Pug, resulting in an adorable little companion for cab drivers. This breed, often referred to as the “velcro dog,” has a Pug-like expressive face and can have either a smooth or wire-haired coat. They are incredibly devoted, affectionate, lively, curious, and protective. However, they do not enjoy being left alone.

Occasionally, the Brussels Griffon breed may experience health issues such as the Chiari-like malformation (CM) or syringomyelia (SM), which is a bony abnormality at the base of the rear of the skull. They may also be prone to corneal dystrophy and hip dysplasia.

Ahead, we look at Brussels Griffon dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Brussels Griffon, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and a lot more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Brussels Griffons!

Dog Breed Brussels Griffon
Size Small
Weight 6-12 lbs (average)
Height 7-8″ (average)
Location Belgium
Ancestry griffons d’ecurie, affenpinscher, pug, english toy spaniel
Date of Origin 1800s
Group small vermin hunting, companion
Life Expectancy 13-15 years
Price $600 – $1200
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The Brussels Griffon breed originated in Belgium over 200 years ago, specifically in the city of Brussels. It started when the Griffon d’Ecurie, a wire-haired stable dog, became a popular choice for cab drivers, farmers, and peasants. It served as both a deterrent against theft and a vermin exterminator. In the 1800s, the Griffon d’Ecurie was crossbred with the Pug, resulting in its distinctive feature – a magnificent head that is highly expressive. Over time, the Brussels Griffon was further bred with the Affenpinscher, English Toy Spaniel, and possibly the Yorkshire Terrier to create the compact and robust toy breed we know today. While their ratting abilities have diminished, the Brussels Griffon still retains its fearless, courageous, and adventurous nature. They are known for being loyal, loving, spunky, playful, and protective dogs, often staying close to their loved ones even during sleep. Regardless of whether they have a rough or smooth coat and whether their coat color is red, black, black and tan, or beige, they possess a high level of intelligence, adaptability, and a loving nature, making them the ultimate companions.

Despite their wonderful characteristics, the Brussels Griffon is still considered relatively rare and not as popular as other toy breeds. The breed is classified into three varieties: Brussels Griffon, Belgium Griffon, and Petit Brabancon. However, the American Kennel Club only recognizes the Brussels Griffon in both rough and smooth coat varieties. The breed gained some popularity after appearing in several movies, but it still lags behind other small breeds as a companion dog. Nonetheless, the Brussels Griffon is recognized by many associations, including the AKC, ANKC, APRI, CKC, FCI, NAPR, and UKC.

🐕 Brussels Griffon Appearance

The Brussels Griffon is a toy dog breed that is squarely proportioned, compact, and has medium-length, well-muscled front legs. This spirited little urchin has tiny, round feet with black pads and arched toes. The extraordinarily huge eyes of this breed, which are distinguished by long black lashes, are its most distinctive trait. These striking eyes give the Griffon a face that is nearly human and equally expressive. The short, high-set ears of the Brussels Griffon can be kept natural or clipped. The breed has a broad, rounded head with a forehead that resembles a dome. They have short, black noses with wide nostrils. The jaw is often undershot. The breed has a medium-length, beautifully arched neck that joins to a short, flat back. A third of the original length is often cut off the tail, which has a high tailset. The Brussels moves with deliberate trot on its powerful legs. The Brussels can have a rough or smooth coat, with the rough having wiry and thick hair that covers the head and causes the face to have wiry hair fringes, giving the breed its characteristic appearance. The smooth coat features straight, shiny hair rather than wiry hair. Brussels come in a variety of colors, including red (which is more of a reddish-brown with a few black whiskers at the chin), beige (which is primarily black with a reddish-brown mask), black and tan (which is typically black all over with uniform reddish-brown markings that are typically on the head and legs), and solid black.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Black, Brown, Fawn, Red, Cream

Fun Fact: Brussels Griffon dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is an exceptionally affectionate dog who is dedicated to his human family and will become fiercely protective when called upon. They don’t treat kids with the same loyalty and love that he wants to receive. For the greatest outcomes, it is ideal to raise children together when there are any. Once he is made aware that visitors are welcome, your Brussels Griffon will be rather amiable. He will get along well with other creatures, but when associating with animals that are much larger than himself, he is unaware of his own size. Although he could be a little more challenging, your Brussels Griffon is best trained via positive reinforcement. Although clever, he gets bored fast. His exuberance and antics will keep you amused for a very long time.

🤝 Are Brussels Griffons Friendly or Aggressive?

Brussels Griffon dogs are known for being highly friendly and sociable. While they are generally friendly towards strangers, they may not be the best choice for families with young children. However, they tend to get along well with cats and are fairly friendly towards other dogs. It is worth noting that Brussels Griffons may not be the most suitable option for elderly individuals.

This breed is known for being:

  • Alert
  • Sensitive
  • Inquisitive
  • Selfish
  • Watchful
  • Companionable

🐩 Brussels Griffon Care & Maintenance

Based on the sort of coat they have, Brussels Griffons require some care. To preserve the hard, wiry coat, the rough coat has to be brushed several times each week and stripped every three months. Approximately once every week, the smooth coat has to be brushed. As needed, bathing and shampooing are necessary. Both the smooth and rough coats don’t shed any hair at all, yet neither one is hypoallergenic. This particular type of dog is tiny, and many small dog breeds are susceptible to periodontal disease. As a result, frequent teeth cleaning will be required to preserve good dental health and fresh breath. They have little scent concerns and are generally a clean breed. The Brussels is not particularly hyperactive, but it is active. They enjoy taking regular walks and are often busy and energetic at home. If given their regular walks, the Brussels may live well in an apartment or a home with a little yard. The breed of Brussels Griffon is incredibly affectionate and devoted. Because they are constantly close to the people they adore, they have the unfortunate honor of being called “velcro” dogs. They are suitable for living in any size home or apartment, whether or not it has a yard. They are not outdoor dogs since they do not thrive when kept apart from their human families. They don’t have to worry about the weather because they aren’t outdoor dogs, so they may live in either urban or rural regions. Although they will eagerly accept any table scraps supplied, their nutritional regimens work best when offered a well-balanced commercially prepared or home cooked meal.

Brussels Griffon dogs are ideal for those who can’t stand dog hair, as they shed very little to none at all. This means you won’t have to worry about finding dog hair all over your furniture or car if you have a puppy from this breed. Additionally, Brussels Griffon dogs are a great choice for people who don’t want to deal with frequent bathing, as they only need to be bathed every 4-6 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 1.5 cups daily, costing you about $1.20 – $1.40 daily, or approximately $30.00 – $40.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Brussels Griffon dogs exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 6 miles per week, which equates to about 45 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Brussels Griffon dogs have a lower energy level than other dogs. If you live a chilled life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

❤️‍🩹 Brussels Griffon Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Brussels Griffon Dog Breed can be:

  • Bone And Joint Problems
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Problems

While minor concerns include:

  • Allergies
  • Difficulty In Breeding
  • Kidney Problems

🤧 Important: Is Brussels Griffon hypoallergenic? Yes.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Brussels Griffon.

⚡ Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Brussels Griffon a great choice for families with young children?
The Brussels Griffon is not considered a great choice for families with young children because they may not be as loving and loyal to children as they desire to be the center of attention. It is best to raise them together for the best results.

Is the Brussels Griffon breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
Yes, the Brussels Griffon breed is considered suitable for apartment living as they are small in size and do not require a large living space.

How much exercise does a Brussels Griffon require compared to other breeds?
The Brussels Griffon requires moderate exercise compared to other breeds. Daily walks and playtime should be sufficient to meet their exercise needs.

Is the Brussels Griffon breed known for being good with other pets?
The Brussels Griffon breed is generally good with other pets, though they may not realize their own size when interacting with larger animals.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Brussels Griffon?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Brussels Griffon include the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, French Bulldog, and the Shih Tzu.

What are the common health issues that Brussels Griffons are prone to?
Brussels Griffons are prone to health issues such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, Chiari-like malformation (CM) or syringomyelia (SM), corneal dystrophy, and hip dysplasia.

Are Brussels Griffons known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Brussels Griffons are intelligent but may be a little more difficult to train. Positive reinforcement is recommended for training.

Are Brussels Griffons more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Brussels Griffons are known to be prone to separation anxiety, so they may be more prone to it compared to other breeds.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Brussels Griffon that are suitable for people with allergies?
Some dog breeds similar to the Brussels Griffon that are suitable for people with allergies include the Bichon Frise, Maltese, and the Yorkshire Terrier.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Brussels Griffon are best for individuals or families with limited space?
Small-sized dogs similar to the Brussels Griffon, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, French Bulldog, and the Shih Tzu, are best for individuals or families with limited space.

Is the Brussels Griffon breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Brussels Griffon breed can be good with children with special needs, but it is important to introduce them properly and supervise interactions.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Brussels Griffon?
The grooming and shedding needs of the Brussels Griffon are moderate. They have either a smooth or wire-haired coat, and regular brushing and occasional grooming may be required to maintain their coat’s condition. They are considered to be a low to moderate shedding breed.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Brussels Griffon dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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