Belgian Griffon - Origin, Characteristics and Character

Belgian Griffon: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Belgian Griffon, the Brussels Griffon and the Petit Brabançon are three...

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The Belgian Griffon, Brussels Griffon and Petit Brabançon are three companion dog breeds that share a common history and originate from the same place, the European city of Brussels, Belgium. You could almost say that they are three breeds in one, since they only differ in color and type of hair. In fact, while the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) considers these dogs to be three separate breeds, other organizations such as the American Kennel Club and the English Kennel Club recognize three varieties of the same breed called the Brussels Griffon.

In this PlanèteAnimal file we will tell you everything about the Belgian Griffon so that you can adopt one in peace! Find out all about its origin, its physical characteristics, its character and the care it needs to be happy and he althy!

Happy reading!


  • Europe
  • Belgium

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group IX

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic


  • Little


  • 15-35

Adult Weight

  • 3-10

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Society
  • Very loyal
  • Active

Ideal for

  • Apartment
  • House

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Medium
  • Smooth
  • Hard

Origin of the Belgian Griffon

" The Belgian Griffon, like the Brussels Griffon and the Petit Brabançon, are three breeds that descend from the Smousje, an old wire-haired terrier-type dog that lived in Brussels and was used to hunt rats and mice stables. During the 19th century, these Belgian dogs were crossed with pugs and with King Charles, which gave rise to the Belgian and Brussels Griffons and Petit Brabançon that we all know today."

The popularity of this breed, along with the other two, suddenly increased in Belgium and throughout Europe when Queen Maria Henrietta took up dog breeding. However, the following two world wars almost completely extinguished the three breeds, but fortunately for the European dog breed, English breeders managed to save them, but they never regained their former popularity.

Today, all three breeds of Belgian companion dogs are used as pets and in dog shows, and although they are little-known dogs around the world, they are fortunately not in danger of extinction.

Physical characteristics of the Belgian Griffon

Belgian Griffons are distinguished from the two other breeds mentioned only by their coat. Indeed, their hair is hard, long, slightly wavy and has an undercoat. They are black or black and tan, but it is also possible to find mixtures of black and red-brown.

On the other hand, the three races have similar physical characteristics. Their size is not specified in the FCI standard, but in general they stand between 18 and 20 centimeters in height at the withers and weigh between 3.5 and 6 kilograms. Although they are short and stocky, they look graceful. Their head is their most notable feature, as it is large, broad and round with a very short muzzle, a very marked stop and a black nose. Their eyes are large, round and dark, and their ears are small, set high and set wide apart. However, the FCI continues to accept the cruel practice of cutting off dogs' ears and tails, even if it is not necessary for their well-being. Fortunately, this practice is disappearing worldwide and is already banned in some countries.

Character of the Belgian Griffon

These three dog breeds are so close to each other that they even share temperament characteristics.Many of these dogs are a bit skittish, but they never will be. In general, Belgian Griffons are active, alert, and courageous dogs; and they tend to form a very special relationship with just one person.

Although Belgian, Brussels and Petit Brabançon Griffons can be friendly and playful, they can also be shy or aggressive when not properly socialized. Because of their marked temperament, these three breeds can be more difficult to socialize than other companion dogs. But when these dogs are socialized properly and from a young age, they can tolerate the presence of other dogs, other animals, and strange people with no problem.

As these dogs need a lot of companionship, have strong personalities, and tend to follow the same person, they can easily develop behavioral issues when living in a bad environment.These dogs can exhibit destructive behavior, barking, or even suffer from separation anxiety when they spend a lot of time alone.

But despite all of these potential issues, the Belgian Griffon and its canine cousins make excellent pets for adults who have plenty of time to spend with their canines. They are not good pets for people who are new to this and for people who spend a lot of time away from home.

Caring for a Belgian Griffon

The Belgian Griffon, the Brussels Griffon and the Petit Brabançon both have great needs for companionship and attention. All three races should spend most of their time with the person they are most attached to and with their family. Even if they appreciate being outside if they are accompanied, Belgian Griffons are not made to live 24 hours a day on a terrace or in a garden. They adapt well to apartment living, but it is better if they live in a calm and quiet area and not in the center of large cities.

All three breeds are very active and need a lot of physical activity, and thanks to their small size, they can get active in your home. Nevertheless, it is important to walk the dogs daily and take the time to play with them. It should be taken into account that they are dogs with a flattened muzzle that are sensitive to thermal shocks and very humid environments.

When it comes to coat care, there are a few small differences between the three breed classes. Thus, Belgian and Brussels Griffons need their hair brushed two to three times a week and stripping (manually removing dead hair) about three times a year. And you only have to bathe them when they are really dirty.

Education and training of the Belgian Griffon

Apart from proper socialization, for these three breeds, canine education is very important, since it is necessary to be able to control these small dogs with strong personalities.Traditional training, based on punishment and domination of the dog, generally does not work well with the Belgian Griffon or with its cousins. On the contrary, it generally generates more problems than benefits. On the other hand, positive education, such as clicker training, often works very well with them.

Belgian Griffon He alth

Generally, the Belgian Griffon, or the Brussels Griffon and the Petit Brabançon are generally animals that enjoy a good state of he alth and do not really suffer from the typical canine diseases that can appear in other breeds of dog. Nevertheless, it is very important to know some of the most common he alth problems that these dog breeds can sometimes suffer from.

Among these diseases, we find: stenotic nostrils, exophthalmos (protrusion of the eyeball), lesions of the eyeball, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation and distichiasis.

Photos of Belgian Griffon

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