Updated 22-05-2023

Brussels Griffon

The Belgian street dog, which was originally designed to hunt and kill rats, is a distinct and odd dog breed. Despite their diminutive stature, the Brussels Griffons aren't spoiled pets. Adorable and vivacious, their wits and self-importance keep them one step ahead of their owners, who adore their pups no matter how much they know and love them.

Griffons are well-suited to apartment life, but the neighbours may not like this little watchdog's habit to bark at any sign of trouble. As a result, these dogs require a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation. This pup may disappoint new pet parents who were expecting an amenable cuddle buddy. It is possible to have a loving and devoted family member if you can meet the breed's requirements and keep up with training.

Here is a complete list of Brussels Griffon characteristics and facts!


  • Some Brussels Griffons are greedy eaters, while others are more selective. In lieu of constantly leaving them food, it is preferable to measure it out and serve them at set times.
  • It is important to remember that griffons are stubborn and tough to housetrain.
  • They're excellent watchdogs, but they may also be a nuisance in the home. The "quiet" command should be taught to your dog to keep it from barking.
  • Griffons are prone to becoming fear biters if they are mistreated. This is because they are highly sensitive and can get fearful when they are mistreated.
  • Griffons are notoriously difficult to breed. In addition to having tiny litters and a high puppy mortality rate, they frequently require Caesarean sections.
  • Griffins are not the kind of dog you want to have around the house. They are susceptible to heat stroke, like are other dogs with short noses, and their short hair also renders them vulnerable to the cold. With the rest of the family, they must stay indoors.
  • As good as it gets, it boosted the popularity of the Griffon dog breed. Rising puppy demand caused reckless breeding. To preserve your puppy's health, never buy from an untrustworthy breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Respectable breeders assess their dogs' temperament and health before breeding them to prevent inherited illnesses. Griffons can be timid or aggressive depending on the breeder and whether the parents were temperament-tested.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a de-shedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


7 to 12 pounds


12 to 15 years


7 to 8 inches tall at the shoulder


It is likely that the Brussels Griffon's ancestors were the Affenpinscher and the Griffon d'Ecurie, which is a Belgian street dog (Stable Griffon). In Brussels, the breed became popular as a cab guard because of its brash, yet endearing, temperament, which attracted passengers more than it did burglars. Later, in the late 1800s, this mix was mated with the Pug, a famous breed in Holland at the time. Because of Pug mixtures, the breed's brachycephalic head type and its smooth-coated individuals, known then (and still in some countries) as the Petit Brabancon, are responsible for the breed. Because griffon refers to anything wiry, the smooths weren't immediately accepted.

The breed was recognised in Belgian dog exhibitions in 1880, when it was already well established. The Yorkshire Terrier and English Toy Spaniel may have been incorporated into the Brussels Griffon's genetic makeup at around the same period, according to certain theories. Belgium's nobility sought out the small street urchin when it reached its zenith in the early 1900s. Despite the fact that World War I destroyed the breed's numbers, the breed has since recovered and won admirers all over the world.

Dogs with red rough coats are known as the Brussels Griffon in some areas; black rough-coated canines are known as the Belgian Griffon, and smooth-coated dogs are known as the Petit Brabancon in other countries.

Personality and Temperament

As far as activity levels go, Brussels griffons are quite active. They don't perform well in kennels and would much rather be at home with their family. They have the potential to be both demanding and pushy. They're great for people who live in small apartments or houses without large yards, but they do necessitate daily activity.

They have a reputation for being tenacious and cunning. When training them, you'll need to have the patience of a saint.

He's a cocky little Brussels Griffon, full of swagger and swaggering confidence. Bold, playful, headstrong and naughty are just some of the adjectives used to describe these canines' personality traits. In general, they are friendly with other dogs and other animals. They're known for their barking and climbing prowess, and some of them have been known to pull off daring rescues. A Brussels Griffon is a great choice for a family looking for a fun pet that also has a lot of heart. Families with young children should avoid them because to their sensitivity and size. They can be tough to housetrain and may have a fear of being apart from their owners.


Brussels Griffons have a friendly, affable demeanour, and making sure they have plenty of opportunity to burn off their excess energy can benefit both the dog and the owner. Additionally, positive reinforcement training is a terrific way to stimulate both their brain and physical activity. If your Brussels Griffon has a smooth coat, you'll need to brush them on a regular basis even if grooming isn't something you do every day.


Health problems can occur in Griffons, although they're not uncommon among other dog breeds in general. If you're thinking of getting a Griffon, it's crucial to know about these diseases, even if you don't plan on getting one.

Hip Dysplasia

The thigh bone does not fit tightly into the hip joint due to a hereditary issue. There are some dogs that demonstrate pain and lameness on one or both of their hind legs, but a dog with hip dysplasia may show no symptoms at all. Osteoarthritis can develop in dogs as they get older. The Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program perform X-ray screenings for hip dysplasia in dogs and cats.

Healthy dogs should not be bred with those who have hip dysplasia. Inquire about the parents of any puppies you're considering purchasing, and be sure they've been checked for hip dysplasia and found to be healthy. It is possible to develop hip dysplasia as a result of environmental causes, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injuries sustained from jumping or falling on slippery floors. Veterinary treatment for your Griffon's arthritis may involve medications and vitamins, as well as surgery if the condition is severe.

Patella Luxation

Slipped stifles, a common condition in tiny dogs, is also known as "stifle slide." As a result of a misalignment in patella femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf) alignment, the patella syndrome occurs. This results in lameness or an irregular gait, such a skip or a hop, in the animal's leg. Misalignment or luxation does not always develop until much later in life, however the problem itself is present from birth.

Patellar luxation can develop arthritis, a degenerative joint disease, as a result of the constant rubbing. Patellar luxation can be classified into four levels, with grade I being a minor luxation that causes brief joint pain, and grade IV being a severe luxation in which the tibia is severely turned and the patella is unable to be straightened manually. They look like they have bowlegged legs. Patellar luxation that is too severe may necessitate surgery.

Eye Problems 

The Brussels Griffon's eyes are vulnerable to scratching and irritation because of their large size. As a rule of thumb, you should seek the advice of your veterinarian whenever your dog's eyes are red or abnormally red.

Skin Allergies

Allergic reactions can occur in Brussels Griffons. Consult your veterinarian if your dog is scratching or licking his paws excessively.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Patella Evaluation
  2. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  3. Hips Evaluation


Like most dogs, Brussels Griffons require a well-balanced diet to remain in peak physical condition. As a pet owner, you should consider your dog's age and choose a formula that is appropriate for their stage of life when selecting a commercial dog food (puppy, adult, senior). Although teaching griffons using treats can be effective, keep in mind that the calories in the goodies should be included as part of the animal's daily calorie intake. Ask your veterinarian for advice if you're unsure about what food is best for your Brussels Griffon dog. Only your vet can assess your dog's specific nutritional requirements and provide the best food to meet those needs.


Brussels Griffons need regular grooming, whether they are rough- or smooth-coated, to ensure they are ready for the dog show. It is recommended that Rough-coated Griffons be hand-stripped every three months in order to preserve their coat in good condition. Using a stripping tool or your hands, you can perform a hand stripping procedure. Use a pin brush to give them an once-over every couple of weeks.

Brushing twice a week is recommended for those with fine hair coats. Brushing the Brussels griffon daily, preferably with a slicker brush or bristle brush, is necessary throughout the shedding season (spring and fall). Use a comb to gently untangle any knots or remove any debris that might get caught in their beard. A bath every two months is all that is required because of their coats. The only exception to this is if they've been playing in the mud.

Maintaining a nutritious diet and cleaning your teeth at least twice a week is essential to avoiding health issues, such as dental disease, in the long run. Make sure to have your pet's teeth cleaned at least once a year by your veterinarian. Training your Brussels Griffon puppy will be a breeze if you remember to include regular dental cleanings in your regimen.


Brussels Griffon puppies are anything but tame little lap dogs, despite their petite size. As a result of their high activity level and deceiving speed, they require at least 30 minutes of playtime each day to properly stretch their legs. Griffons can walk quickly or slowly, depending on their mood, and both types of walks are enjoyable to them. If you and your dog have a competitive nature, you can consider participating in dog sports like agility or tracking with each other.

Because they were initially developed to hunt mice and vermin, your toy dog will enjoy any activity that allows him to track or hunt. Use an old Chewy box to hide treats and let them seek them. Consider putting a few puzzle toys about the house for your dog to play with during the day as a distraction.


The Brussels Griffon's dynamic and active character necessitates a positive reinforcement training method. It's important to reward your dog for doing a good job with positive reinforcement (treats, praise, and playtime). The usage of formal training classes is something to consider in the training process. Harsh remarks and high-pitched voices, which might be counterproductive because of their sensitive nature, will not work. An alternative is to use methods such as clicker or treat training to increase their eagerness to please Sensitivity and praise will connect deeply with this keen and perceptive breed.

You should begin socialising your Griffon as soon as possible in order to help him develop into a more approachable canine adult. Take them out for a walk and allow them to see and experience new things. Puppy kindergarten might be an option for your furry friend(s). If you want your Brussels griffon puppy to learn how to get along with other dogs and adults, here is the place for him.

Children and Other Pets

Griffons despise being hit, smothered, chased, or made to sit on a lap. They'll growl or snap if they can't get away from someone. Griffons are not a good fit for families with small children, who often don't understand why a cute little Griffon would not want their "love and kiss."

It's perfectly acceptable to let your Griffon play with young children, and in fact, it's a good idea to do so when he's still a puppy. Never allow your Griffon to be picked up by a young child, and have the child sit on the floor with the dog in his lap while children are present. Put the dog in his box if he shows any signs of distress or discomfort at the child's presence.

Griffons, like other little breeds, are utterly ignorant of their size and can happily take on dogs that are considerably larger than themselves, just like most small breeds. Be ready to keep them safe from themselves if necessary.


Puppies of the Brussels Griffon breed behave much like their parents do as adults. When you bring a puppy into your home, you need to make sure that they are able to socialise with other animals and members of your family as soon as possible. Only eat a quarter cup of food twice a day, but buy dry food specifically formulated for this period of life for the correct nutrition.

Dogs similar to Brussels Griffon

If a Brussels Griffon isn't right for you and your family, consider one of these other breeds:


The Pekingese breed also has a human-like face, but it requires a lot more maintenance.

Chinese Crested 

The face hair of the Brussels Griffon will still be present in the Chinese Crested, despite the smaller coat.

Scottish terrier 

This sleek and fluffy dog may provide you the same small figure you like if you like the prominent beard.