Brussels Griffon pack a lot of personality into a petite and perky frame. This somewhat rare breed got its start hunting stable rats but has developed a star-studded reputation, appearing in films like As Good As It Gets, First Wives Club, and Gosford Park.
Originally from Belgium, this small and medium-energy breed can grow to between 8-10 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting, Companion
Breed Group: Toy
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 70
AREA OF ORIGIN Belgium
DATE OF ORIGIN 1800s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION small vermin hunting, companion
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 9-11 Weight: 8-10
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 9-11 Weight: 8-10
OTHER NAME griffon Belge, griffon Bruxellois, Belgian griffon
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BRUSSELS GRIFFON'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
The spunky, playful, and devoted Brussels Griffon is good for many types of families but should be supervised with kids — their small frames make them prone to injury. These are bright, affectionate, curious, and social dogs.
They can be somewhat shy with other dogs but are good with other pets and small animals.
WHAT IS BRUSSELS GRIFFON BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Brussels Griffons are active both indoors and outside. This is an alert breed that requires daily walks for health and stimulation. They are vigilant but not usually protective and can be somewhat prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BRUSSELS GRIFFON?
Brussels Griffons are biddable but might require some extra care while they're learning. Be sure to start while your pup is still young, particularly with house and crate training.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BRUSSELS GRIFFONS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Brussels Griffons are seasonal shedders. Their short double coats can be either smooth or rough. Rough-coated Brussels Griffons feel dense and wiry. In the smooth-coated variety, their hair is straight and shiny.
This breed has moderate grooming requirements. Brussels Griffons with rough coats should be brushed twice a week and hand-stripped by a professional groomer. The smooth coat variety is easier of the two varieties to groom; they require weekly brushing and seasonal shaping.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BRUSSELS GRIFFONS HAVE?
The Brussels Griffon is usually a healthy breed. However, some have been known to develop potentially fatal spinal cord cysts. They can also develop eye defects, heart problems, and orthopedic ailments like hip dysplasia or slipped knee caps.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE BRUSSELS GRIFFONS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Brussels Griffons among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers, though some owners report less severe allergic responses to the rough-coated variety of this breed than other kinds of dogs.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Brussels Griffon! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A BRUSSEL GRIFFON'S BEST DAY?
A long walk with a little break for a game or two with you would put a little pep in this pup's step. Finish the day cuddled on the couch and you're this Brussel Griffon's person forever.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BRUSSELS GRIFFON?
Brussels Griffons are expressive, affectionate, playful dogs who want nothing more than to be by your side; if you're away from home a lot, a Brussels Griffon is probably not for you. Their size makes them good apartment dogs, but remember—your Brussels Griffon is still a fairly active dog and will need long daily walks or active indoor games with you.
Despite their size, Brussels Griffons are not delicate-tempered dogs. If you're an active family who wants a spirited, travel-sized companion, the Brussels Griffon could be a good match for you. They're sensitive to heat and cold, so they'll do best in moderate climates.
Have you decided that a Brussels Griffon is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.