The Brussels Griffon!

The Brussels Griffon, named for the city of his origin, Brussels, Belgium, is a lively, sturdy toy dog who is intelligent, alert and has a terrier like disposition. Also known as the Griffon Bruxellois, he attracts attention by his almost humanlike, quizzical expressions. Even though he requires the protections need by any toy breed, the Brussels Griffon is a bright and alert companion.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
15-17 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Perfect for apartment and city living.


Exercise Needs:
Either lots of indoor play or 15 minutes walk.

Breed Group:


7-8 inches

8-10 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Red, beige (mixed reddish brown and black), black and tan, or black

National breed club:
The American Brussels Griffon Association

Brussels Griffon Skills

During the early 1800’s, it was the custom for coachmen to keep small terrier types as ratters in the stables. The Pug and English Toy Spaniels were crossed with the Belgian dogs, conjuring the wonderful "pout", which gives the Griffon an almost human expression. No longer serving his original function (in itself obsolete) the Brussels Griffon has evolved into a most intriguing looking, alert and active small companion dog with a strong, broad, up-swept underjaw, and a very short, up-tilted nose placed high between very dark, lustrous eyes.

Brussels Griffon Personality

The Brussels Griffon gets along well with children, other dogs, and any household pets. It always enjoys company. Curious, mischievous, and playful, the Brussels Griffon is eager to learn.

Exercise Needs

Although the Brussels Griffon is perfectly happy with apartment life, it enjoys the occasional country outing. A concerted effort must be made to keep him moving - a daily walk is ideal - to prevent weight gain. Once a dog has become obese bones and joints are stressed by carrying around the additional weight, impacting agility and speed, and further reducing movement.

Living Conditions

The Brussels Griffon breed to be the ultimate companion and shadow of his beloved master. Toy dogs will always be popular with city dwellers and people without much living space. Brussels Griffon make ideal apartment dogs and terrific lap warmers on nippy nights.

Grooming Requirements

There are two types of coats for the Brussels Griffon, the rough coat, and the smooth coat. The rough coat is hand-stripped and should never appear unkempt. The smooth coat is straight, short, tight and glossy, with no trace of wiry hair. The smooth coat requires little grooming, but like many smooth coated breeds, it has a seasonal shed. The rough coat does shed some and needs regular grooming.

Health Issues

Although Patella Luxation is a problem that Brussels Griffon pet owners are faced with, it can be surgically corrected. A health survey conducted in 2004 by the ABGA committee also revealed that eye problems like cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy occur in the breed.

If you liked this dog… may also want to consider getting a small breed like the Chihuahua or the Affenpinscher. These toy dogs belong to a cluster of owners, exhibitors and breeders who have been captivated by this breed's undeniable charm. These toy dogs have little problems inherent in most canines such as shedding, creating messes and cost of care. And training aside, it's still easier to control a ten-pound dog than it is one ten times that size.


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