Brussels Griffon

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Brussels Griffon

With human-like appearance, the Brussels Griffon has won hearts of people around the world. While included in the Toy Group, the breed has a load of energy, a big heart and a personality larger than life. Alert, sociable, and close to their special human, Griffs will provide years of love and laughter with low threshold for loneliness.

Other Names Belgischer Griffon, Belgium Griffon (Griffon Belge)
Color Belge, Black, Black & Tan, Red
Height Males: 7-8 inches. Females: 7-8 inches.
Weight Males: 7-13 pounds. Females: 7-13 pounds.
Life Span 12-15 years
Personality Loyal, Alert, Curious
Exercise Regular Exercise
Popularity #96
Groom Needs 2-3 Times a Week Brushing
Kids Friendly Yes with supervision
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog Yes
Family Dog
Litter Size 1-3 pups

Brussels Griffon Pictures

Brussels Griffon Video


This breed, also known as the Griffon Bruxellois is a breed of toy dog. It got its name from the city from which it originated: Brussels in Belgium. There are actually three different breeds that are linked to the Griffon Bruxellois; they are the Griffon Belge, the Petit Brabancon, and the Griffon Bruxellois itself.

The coat of the Brussels griffon comes in two varieties. There is a wiry or rough coat and the smooth coat and they have a variety of coat colors. Black, black and tan, blue, brown, belge, and red are the known varieties of coat colors of the Brussels griffon. Griffons with short hair require little grooming while those with a rough coat require weekly grooming. This breed of dog is small with a sturdy frame. They have short noses, domed heads, and an under-bite.

The average Brussels griffon weighs 8-10 pounds (4-5 kg) and has a height of 9-11 inches (230-280mm) at the shoulders. The Brussels griffon possesses a strong desire to be with its owner and snuggle. It is also known to have a large heart. They are known to be self-important as they portray such characteristics. They are an emotionally sensitive breed of dogs but are not necessarily aggressive or shy. Because of this particular temperament, they are supposed to be carefully socialized at a young age. They are also known to be interested in, and inquisitive of, their surroundings. They are also friendly with children as long as they are not teased by them. They are impatient and yet playful. They also get along with other animals including cats but because they do not realize their small size, sometimes they tend to dominate larger-sized dogs and get themselves into trouble for that.

The Brussels Griffon has an average life span of 10-15 years. The Brussels griffon has a few relatively inherited health problems but it is recommended that they are checked for congenital defects. Syringomyelia and Chiari-like malformation are some of the most serious congenital defects that affect the breed. Cleft palate is one health problem that is much fatal for the puppies. This is caused when the puppy doesn’t receive adequate nourishment from its mother, and finally starvation. This is rare but the puppy can survive, depending on the cleft size, and then surgery can be done to close the hole when it is older.

Living with Brussels Griffon

Griffons have rough coat, and they need specialized grooming twice a year. Weekly brushing with hound glove or a natural bristle brush is required, which can help remove dead hair. And then comb with a medium-tooth metal comb to keep their coats neat. Whether smooth-coated or rough, the Griffon sheds little hair. 

They need occasional bath with a shampoo made for dogs when they start to smell doggy or your Griffon play outdoors and then nap on your sofa or bed. Get your Griffon used to being brushed and examined from the puppyhood.

Also the coat must be “hand stripped” to keep the coat’s hard, wiry texture,   which involves gently plucking loose hairs out by hand to allow new coat growth with the help of your BG’s breeder or a professional groomer. Stripping also can help reduce scratching and shedding. 

Clipping the coat makes it feel softer, and the dog will shed more than he does with his wiry coat. 

And trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep the feet in good condition and prevent your legs from getting scratched when your Griffon enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.

Brush your Griffon’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing will help more to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Griffons don’t need a lot of exercise, even they can get enough exercise indoors if you live in a small apartment. At least a half-hour of moderate exercise a day can help him stay healthy and happy.

Griffons love to run obstacle courses, which highlights its natural ability as ratters.

They love to romp and play, and are happiest when doing activities together with their people. A game of chasing the ball is fun for both dog and owner. But they’ll do okay without a yard so long as they get walks or some other exercise every day.

Intelligent and trainable, Griffons excel in canine events such as obedience, agility, and tracking.

With short nosed, they can’t cool the air they breathe in, and can overheat on hot, humid days. So keep your Griffon someplace cool and accessible to plenty of fresh, cool water.

The Brussels Griffon requires high-quality dog food to satisfy his nutrition needs, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval.

How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. The quality of dog food also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.

You should watch out the calories consumption and weight level to keep your Griffon from obesity and in good shape, by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. 

Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any doubts about your dog’s weight or diet.

Griffons are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, syringomyelia, chiari-like malformation, patella luxation, birthing complications, cleft palate, eye injury and diseases. It’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed, while not all Griffons will get any or all of these diseases.

With a relatively long life expectancy, Griffons has developed significant reproductive problems. Bitches in this breed often do not conceive, and when they do they tend to have difficulty giving birth.

Cesarean deliveries are common, and litters are unusually small and newborn puppies are often delicate. And often there is only one puppy, with an average mortality rate of 60 percent in the first few weeks. 

Griffon’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often with a toothpaste designed for dogs.

Responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions regularly by some common health tests, such as ophthalmologist evaluation, patella evaluation and hips evaluation.

Total Annual Cost: $2139.2

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

With a high degree of intelligence and bond strongly with their owners, Griffs are easy to train. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended for all dogs and help to ensure that the Griffon grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion.

Remember that new experiences can be a bit overwhelming for the Brussels Griffon. If you’re planning to leash train your dog, start it young, between the ages of four to six weeks of age.

His intelligence and athletic ability make the Griffon a contender in dog sports such as agility, obedience, and even tracking, as long as you persuade him that it’s worthwhile.

They’re athletic and enjoy climbing and jumping—agility may be a good fit, but high-impact exercise may be difficult due to their tendency to overheat with too much exertion.

Griffons have a very sensitive nature, and they don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods. So training must be fun, and positive reinforcement, such as rewarding your dog for getting it right, rather than punishing him for mistakes, is the only way to get cooperation from a Griffon.

Brussels Griffons can be hard to housetrain, but crate training can make your dog eventually reliable in the house. It will take consistency, sensitivity, and dedication to do the job right.

A Griff may be able to put his hunting skills to use in Barn Hunt competitions.


The Brussels griffon descends from a Smousje, a small terrier-like dog with a rough coat. In the late 19th century, this breed of dogs grew in popularity among both the commons and noblemen of Belgium. In 1883, the first Brussels griffon was registered in the first volume of Belgium’s Kennel Club Studbook. The breed was exported to England in 1897 and, in 1945, to Brussels Griffon Club in the United States.

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc.

Breed Club Rescue Link: