Brussels Griffon dog: characteristics and photos

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

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The Brussels Griffon, the Belgian Griffon and the Petit Brabançon are companion dogs from the Belgian city of Brussels. You could say that there are three races in one, because 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 Brussels Griffon.

If you are considering adopting one of these three breeds of dogs, we will explain to you in this PlanetAnimal tab everything you need to know about the Brussels Griffon.


  • 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 Brussels Griffon

" The Brussels Griffon, like the Belgian Griffon and the Petit Brabançon, are three dog breeds descended from the Smousje, an old wire-haired terrier that lived in Brussels and was used to eliminate rats and mice in stables in the 19th century, these Belgian dogs were crossed with pugs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, giving rise to the Griffons bruxellois, belges and les petit brabançons."

The popularity of all three breeds suddenly increased in Belgium and throughout Europe when Queen Maria Enriqueta began to keep and breed them.However, the two world wars that followed practically brought the Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Brabançon to extinction. Fortunately for European dog lovers, some English breeders managed to save the breeds, although they never regained their former popularity.

Today, the three Belgian companion dogs are used as pets and in dog shows. Even they are little known in the world, they are no longer in danger of disappearing.

Physical characteristics of the Brussels Griffon

The height at the withers is not indicated in any of the FCI standards for these three dog breeds. However, Brussels, Belgian and Petit Brabançon Griffons generally measure between 18 and 20 centimeters and ideally weigh between 3.5 and 6 kilograms. These dogs are small, sturdy and almost square. But despite their small size and large chest, they have elegant movements.

The head is what most characterizes the Brussels Griffon. In all three cases, the head is large, wide and round. The muzzle is very short, the stop is very marked and the nose is black. The eyes are large, round and dark. According to the FCI standard, they should not be prominent, but this is apparently a subjective assessment or a criterion that is not 100% fulfilled in these three breeds of dogs. The ears are small, well inserted and well separated from each other. Unfortunately, the FCI continues to accept amputated ears, even if this practice only harms the animal.

" The tail is of high insertion and the dog usually carries it high. Unfortunately, in this case, the FCI standard does not promote animal welfare either, as it accepts tail docking even if there is no reason to do so. Fortunately, the custom of amputating the tail and the ears for aesthetic reasons is disappearing all over the world and is already illegal in more and more countries."

Fur is what sets the three breeds apart. For the Brussels Griffon, the hair is hard, long, slightly wavy and with an inner layer of hair. Accepted colors are red and reddish, but some black is also allowed on the head.

Character of the Brussels Griffon

These three little dogs are so close to each other that they share the same behavioral characteristics. In general, they are active, alert and courageous dogs who tend to be very attached to one person, whom they accompany all the time. Many of these dogs are a little nervous, but not overly nervous.

Although Brussels Griffons, Belgians and Petits Brabançons can be friendly and playful, they can also be shy or aggressive if they haven't been socialized properly. These breeds can be more difficult to socialize than other companion dogs, as their character is strong and reckless and can clash with other dogs and with people trying to dominate them.However, when these dogs are properly socialized from an early age, they can happily tolerate other dogs, animals, and strange people.

As these dogs need a lot of company, they tend to stick with the same person for a long time and since they have a strong personality, they can easily develop behavior problems when they live in the wrong environment. . These dogs can develop destructive behaviors, become barkers or even suffer from separation anxiety when they spend a lot of time alone.

Despite these potential issues, the Brussels Griffon and its canine cousins make great pets for adults who have enough time to devote to them. They do not make good pets for people for whom he is the first dog because they demand a lot of attention. They are also not good pets for families with children, as these dogs can react badly to noises and sudden movements.

Brussels griffon care

Coat care is different for the two griffins and the petit brabançon. For Belgian and Brussels Griffons, it is necessary to brush their hair two to three times a week and to strip (manually remove dead hair) about three times a year.

All three breeds are very active and require a good dose of physical exercise. However, due to their size, they can perform this exercise indoors. Despite everything, it is important to walk the dogs every day and to give them a little play time. It must be taken into account that these are dogs whose flattened muzzles are susceptible to thermal shock. . You should therefore not exercise it too much in very cold weather and in very humid environments.

The needs for companionship and attention are very high in these dogs.The Brussels Griffon, the Belgian Griffon and the Petit Brabançon must spend most of their time with their family and the person to whom they are most attached. They are not dogs that live in a garden or patio, but they love to be outside when accompanied. They adapt well to apartment living, but it's best to live in a quiet area and not downtown.

Raising the Brussels Griffon

In addition to proper socialization, canine training is very important for these three breeds because it is necessary to control these small dogs with strong personalities. Traditional training based on dominance and punishment generally does not work well with these breeds. On the contrary, it generally generates more conflicts than advantages. In contrast, positive training styles, such as clicker training or positive reinforcement generally work very well with these three dogs.

He alth of the Brussels Griffon

In general, these two griffons and the petit brabançon are generally he althy animals, and they are not necessarily sicker than another breed of dog. However, it is useful to know some of the most common he alth problems in these three breeds to prevent them. Some of these problems include: stenotic nostrils, exophthalmos (protrusion of the eyeball), eye damage, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation and distichiasis.

Photos of Brussels Griffon

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