The Brussels Griffon is a breed of dog named for the city of their origin, Brussels, Belgium. There are two types in the United States: Brussels Griffon (Rough) and Brussels Griffon (Smooth). Despite their small size, they are hardly like a spoiled pooch. The Griffon was originally bred to take care of pests in the home, such as rats.
Griffons are proud, and walk with their head held high and with an air of self-importance. Because of their flat face, wide eyes and prominent chin, Griffons are often compared to the Wookie creatures in the popular Star Wars franchise.
And much like the Wookie, Griffons are very durable and athletic creatures. Some dog owners take their Griffon to sporting events where they compete in obedience, agility, and other athletic activities. If you have other pets in your household, the will likely form a tight bond with the Griffon.
- Belgium Griffon
- Griffon Belge
- Griffon Bruxellois
- Griffons d’ecurie
- Petit Brabancon
Body: Short, broad set body and deep chest
Coat: Wiry and dense in the Griffon Bruxellois and the Griffon Belge. Short, smooth, glossy, and flat in the Petit Brabancon
Color: Red or reddish-brown in the Griffon Bruxellois. Black, black and tan, black and red in the Griffon Belge. All colors for the Petit Brabancon.
Ears: Small, semi-erect, and carried high
Eyes: Large and wide set with long black eyelashes and with an almost human perception
Feet: Small, round, and compact with well-arched toes
Head: Large and round with domed forehead, a small black nose and profuse beard
Legs: Forelegs are straight, muscular and well-boned, hind legs are powerful with well-muscled thighs
Neck: Medium length and beautifully arched
Weight: 8 – 12 pounds (3.6 – 5.4kg)
Height: 7 – 8 inches (17 – 20cm)
Tail: Docked or natural and carried high
- Recommended for experienced dog handlers
- Not recommended as an outdoor dog
- Not easily housebroken
The Brussels Griffon is a snuggling, affectionate, and mischievous dog with an intense sense of curiosity and the ability to climb out of enclosures. This highly energized and sometimes clownish little dog can be a handful for a novice handler. He can be easily trained but may take a strong dislike to being controlled by a leash.
Most Griffs are well-behaved around other family dogs and animals but will try to be the boss. Though his “bark is much worse than his bite” he may appear to be very aggressive if other dogs approach his territory. Griffs are also good around older and respectful children. Because of their small size, young children could cause them injury.
He is a true and loyal breed with a need for his masters’ companionship and not suited to be an outdoor dog. Because this is a sensitive dog, gentle and reward-type training is recommended. He is not a breed that will respond well to teasing or harsh treatment.
The Complete Dog Book by The American Kennel Club says “In intelligence, Griffons are second to none. They are unusually sensitive, and demand much attention and love. The Brussels Griffon is strictly a house dog.”