Brussels Griffon Dog – A Rare and Exciting Breed


Cathegory Winner Brussels Griffon

I was lucky to meet the Brussels Griffon dog breed in agility competitions and dog shows on abroad several times. These events are great occasions to observe the different canines and to talk to their breeders as well. This breed belongs to the Toy Dog Group according to the AKC classification. In their small and stocky stature, you’ll find a cheerful – and sometimes mischievous – specialties. But, more about that later, now let’s get to know their history.

Origin of the Brussels Griffon

The past of these canines goes back to Belgium in the 1800s. From the little information available in Europe about the premature Griffons, it seems that some European royal family held Griffon as lapdog.

But, but rather these doggies were found on waterfront and in the stables.The primary purpose of the developing of Brussels Griffon has been as little rodent hunters plus companions.

This was particularly so in the field of Brussels, Belgium, where people – having hackney carriages – kept them as rat-catchers and watchdogs. They sat on the carriage and were well known due to their cheeky monkey-like facial expression.

Their researchers think that the breed’s bloodline most likely was taken from the Belgian street dog (referred as Griffon d’ Ecurie) as well as the Affenpinscher.

Progress Towards Registering and Popularity

These canines have been hybridized with the Pug, someday throughout the latter period of 1800s. The Pug was certainly one of Holland’s popular small breeds back then.

The attentive eye can discover Pug traits in at present’s Brussels Griffon by observing their head’s shape.

1880 was the year when they formally introduced the breed in a Brussels dog exhibition. They gave the breed the title of “The Exhibition’s Best Dog,” which made them popular in afterwards.

By the turning of the 1900s, this dog has achieved an extraordinary reputation in Belgium. And it became favorite in the circle of aristocracy, too. The AKC has registered the Brussels Griffon formally in 1910.

The first World War brought on a big reduction in the number of flocks. Nevertheless, following the conflict, the breed slowly approached their earlier popularity globally during decades. And it is still going on.

Just for one example, you may remember the “As Good As It Gets” (1997’s hit). Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt was the two main characters, and a Brussels Griffon (called Verdell) featured in it as well.



This is a powerful, stocky breed doggie. Their head is large and round, eyes are far apart. A black nose is short, set high, and equipped with wide nostrils.

The muzzle is broad, protruding, with slightly undershot jaws. The teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed. The neck has medium length. The chest is deep and wide. The back is short and straight.

The limbs are straight and parallel lines. The tail is generally shortened by two-thirds. This breed has a medium-length coat, which is thick and fuzzy. Coat color can be russet or reddish brown, without a mask.

Their shoulder height is between 9.5 – 11 inches (24 – 28 centimeters). Their weight could be around 6.6 – 11 pounds (3 – 5 kilograms).

Upkeep Requirements for the Breed

Possessing and caring for this Griffon means having fun with a clownish, lively and sociable toy dog. They are often cussed and extremely energetic so day by day train and mental stimulation are a requirement definitively.

This breed does not prefer to dwell on outdoors. Nevertheless, it enjoys the possibility to having fun exteriors under mild temperatures. You just provide a fenced-in yard where s/he will have chance to play and exercise enough.

Grooming the Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon grooming

Grooming necessities of the breed encompass a periodic brushing, maybe just twice weekly to get rid of lifeless hair. Of course, you need to bushing it daily if your Griffon is participating on a dog show.

NOTE: I’d recommend you to wash their cheek beard with lukewarm water after eating to prevent discoloration. Then you apply a cream on it to prevent the beard to become broken.

Furthermore, I advise you to bush the long hair formations on their heads regularly and thoroughly. The grooving hairs in the eye socket – that may irritate the eyeball – also must be removed. The nails should be kept short.

I heard on a dog show; the fur trim is advisable in 2 – 3 month of frequency. This is the manual extraction of dead hairs, but this doesn’t cause pain for the dog. Namely, the dead hairs reside in the hair follicle already very loosely.


The Brussels Griffon is a very curious doggie, so they are watching alert everything is happening around them. They are very nice and bond to their host and family quite strongly.

They prefer to be close to family members, sometimes they are at your heels in the whole house. Due to their affection for you, these canines endure difficultly if you leave them alone.

And… this is usually not needed, because their small size and high adaptability, you can take them anywhere. And this breed loves to move.

These dogs are agile and playful, if they detect anything unusual, indicating that with barking. They are entertaining and eager to learn tricks.

Behaving With Kids and Other Pets

They are extremely sociable animals, love to be around people and usually get along very well with the kids. With cats and other domestic animals, they behave trouble-free generally.

These canines continue their life with full confidence. And – in contrast to other too distrustful toy breeds – they are inclined to make friendship with another dog fairly easily.

Aggressiveness is totally alien to them. They indicate the arrival of strangers with barking, but do not do more than that.

Education and Moving Demand

Teaching these canines doesn’t cause problems in general. They are clever and love to please their owner always. However, they are sensitive to the tone of their owner’s voice.

Being mischievous isn’t alien from them sometimes, too. Some of them can be even an escape artist, due to their climbing passion. But, that will be ceased by proper physical and mental stimulation.

Their moving demand can be satisfied in the apartment or in the garden equally. But, they would like to go for walks with their owners as well. They are just as happy with a leash walk, or an unleashed romp in the woods.

Both you and your household is going to have blast keeping this Griffon. You get pleasure from a tiny, amusing and interactive canine, that makes a vigilant watchdog as well.

Health Aspects

The typical lifetime of this breed spreads from twelve to fifteen years. They are one of the healthiest type among the Toy Group class. According to our vet, no main health issues known related to them.

On uncommon circumstances cataract, CHD, distichiasis, patellar luxation, stichiasis and weak bladder may occur. In any case, he recommended that Brussels Griffon canines get undergo test for accidental eye and hip issues.

Until next time,

Alex Sparrow

Alex Sparrow

Alex Sparrow

Alex Sparrow is a nature enthusiastic for more than seven decades. He was writing nearly 400 articles, reports so far about how to live with your dogs harmoniously.
Alex Sparrow