Brussels Griffon

Table of Contents

The Brussels Griffon, a captivating blend of charisma and charm, traces its origins back to the bustling streets of Brussels, Belgium. While its stature may be small, its presence is anything but, commanding attention wherever it goes.

Born in the 1800s as a stalwart ratter designed to protect stables from pesky rodents, the Brussels Griffon has since evolved into a beloved lapdog, prized for its companionship above all else. This evolution isn’t mere happenstance. The breed is believed to be the result of intentional crossings between the Pug, English Toy Spaniel, and possibly the Affenpinscher. These origins have given the Brussels Griffon its distinct appearance and endearing temperament.

One can’t discuss the Brussels Griffon without noting its most distinctive feature: its “monkey-like” face. This descriptor captures the essence of its large, soulful eyes, complemented by a pronounced chin and a nose that’s often described as “pug-like.” The breed’s coat can be of two varieties: a rough, wiry texture or a smoother, straighter one. Regardless of the coat type, their fur can come in a palette of colors, including red, beige, and a mix of black and tan.

Beyond its physical attributes, the Brussels Griffon’s character is a blend of alertness, intelligence, and sensitivity. Their size does little to deter their confidence, often behaving as if they’re unaware of their petite dimensions. Their loyalty and attachment to their human companions are legendary, making them excellent family pets and devoted friends.

Today, the Brussels Griffon is less of a worker and more of a companion. It’s not uncommon to find them participating in dog shows, or more often, comfortably lounging on the laps of their owners, enjoying the pampered life they so rightly deserve.

In essence, the Brussels Griffon stands as a testament to the versatility of dog breeds, transitioning seamlessly from a practical working role to a cherished family companion. Its blend of historical significance, unique appearance, and heartwarming personality makes it a breed that is as fascinating as it is lovable.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 15 years


Extr Small

Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Brussels Griffon, with its expressive eyes and endearing personality, is a breed that can easily find its way into anyone’s heart. However, certain environments and owners might be particularly well-suited for this small, affectionate canine:

  • Apartment Dwellers: Given their small size, Brussels Griffons adapt well to apartment living. Their moderate energy levels make them ideal for smaller spaces as long as they get regular exercise and playtime.

  • Singles and Seniors: This breed thrives on attention and can become a dedicated companion for single individuals or elderly folks looking for a loyal friend.

  • Families with Older Children: While they are amiable, Brussels Griffons can be somewhat sensitive. They’re best suited for families with older children who understand the need for gentle handling.

  • Allergy Sufferers: Especially the rough-coated variety, Brussels Griffons are often considered less allergenic, making them a potential match for individuals with pet allergies.

  • Companion Seekers: If you’re seeking a dog that will be a shadow, always by your side, the Brussels Griffon is an ideal match. They often form strong attachments to their humans.

  • Lap Dog Enthusiasts: This breed loves to snuggle and will happily spend hours curled up on your lap, making them perfect for those who cherish such bonding moments.

  • Novice Dog Owners: While they do have their quirks, with the right training and socialization, they can be a good fit for first-time dog owners, especially those committed to understanding and addressing the breed’s needs.

  • Active Individuals: While not overly energetic, they do enjoy walks, play sessions, and even some agility activities, making them suitable for moderately active individuals.

However, prospective owners should always research and spend time with the breed before making a commitment. While Brussels Griffons have many wonderful qualities, like all breeds, they require understanding, time, and dedication.

Brussels Griffon Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Brussels Griffon is distinguished by its endearing “monkey-like” facial expression, a hallmark of the breed that captures hearts worldwide. Beyond their appearance, they are fiercely loyal companions, sticking close to their beloved owners and showcasing an unwavering devotion. Their zest for life is evident in their playful and spirited demeanor, making them delightful playmates. Despite their petite stature, they possess an innate alertness, often acting as natural watchdogs, always vigilant and ready to announce any unfamiliar presence or sound in their environment. In essence, the Brussels Griffon melds charm, loyalty, and energy into a compact yet dynamic package.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Brussels Griffon is not just another cute face in the canine world. This breed possesses a range of characteristics that make it stand out, both in physical attributes and personality traits. Here’s a comprehensive overview of its defining characteristics:

1. Ears
They can have either semi-erect or fully erect ears, both of which contribute to their alert appearance.
2. Eyes
Dark, round, and large, their eyes give them an alert and curious expression.
3. Nose
Small in stature, a typical adult Brussels Griffon stands between 7-10 inches at the shoulder and weighs approximately 7-12 pounds.
4. Height
Male: 9-11.5 inches
Female: 9-11.5 inches
5. Coat

They come in two distinct coat varieties:

  • Rough: A wiry, dense texture that stands off from the body.
  • Smooth: Straight, short, and glossy, also known as the “Brabancon” variety.
6. Coat Color
Their coat can be red, black and tan, solid black, or belge (mix of black, red, and brown hairs).
7. Tail
Often docked, though natural tails are becoming more accepted in many regions.
8. Size and Weight
Small in stature, a typical adult Brussels Griffon stands between 7-10 inches at the shoulder and weighs approximately 7-12 pounds.

Brussels Griffon Temperament

The temperament of the Brussels Griffon is as distinctive as its appearance. Here’s a deeper dive into what you can expect from this breed’s personality:

  • Loyal and Affectionate: At the heart of the Brussels Griffon is an undying loyalty to its family. They form profound bonds with their human companions and often attach themselves to one particular family member, following them everywhere.

  • Alert and Observant: Despite their small size, Brussels Griffons are highly alert and make excellent watchdogs. They’re quick to notify their family of any unfamiliar presence, making them surprisingly effective as an early warning system.

  • Intelligent and Curious: Brussels Griffons are bright and inquisitive by nature. This intelligence can sometimes be accompanied by a bit of stubbornness, which means they might have their own ideas about things at times.

  • Playful Yet Sensitive: They love to play and can be quite spirited, but they’re also sensitive dogs. They thrive in calm and consistent environments and can be somewhat reserved or timid in unfamiliar situations or with unfamiliar people.

  • Sociable: With proper socialization, Brussels Griffons generally get along with other animals and humans. However, due to their small size, they can be wary of larger dogs and might be better suited to homes with smaller pets or gentle, older children.

  • Clingy: Often referred to as “Velcro dogs”, they like to stay close to their human companions, sometimes to the point of being clingy. This means they’re not a breed that does well when left alone for extended periods.

  • Confident: Despite their diminutive size, they possess a level of self-confidence that often leads them to be blissfully unaware of their small stature.

Hence, the Brussels Griffon is a dog with a big heart and an even bigger personality, all packed into a small frame. Their loyalty, intelligence, and spirited nature make them cherished companions for those lucky enough to have them as part of their families.

How to Care for a Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon, with its captivating expression and endearing personality, is a delightful companion that requires special attention in certain areas of care. If you’re considering adding a Brussels Griffon to your family or are a proud owner already, here’s a guide on how to care for this unique breed:

Proper grooming is crucial for the Brussels Griffon, not just for aesthetics but also for health and comfort. Here’s a detailed guide on how to groom this charming breed:

  1. Coat Types & Care:

    • Rough-Coated Griffons: Their wiry, dense coat requires regular brushing, at least 2-3 times a week, to prevent tangles and matting. A pin brush or a slicker brush is ideal. This coat type doesn’t shed much, which can be beneficial for allergy sufferers.
    • Smooth-Coated Griffons: They possess a shorter, sleeker coat which tends to shed more frequently. Weekly brushing with a bristle brush or hound glove is sufficient to remove dead hairs and maintain coat sheen.
  2. Bathing:

    • A monthly bath is typically adequate for the Brussels Griffon unless they get particularly dirty. Use a mild dog-specific shampoo to prevent skin irritation. Ensure you rinse thoroughly to eliminate any shampoo residue.
  3. Eyes & Face:

    • The Brussels Griffon’s expressive eyes can be prone to tear staining. Gently wipe the area under the eyes with a soft, damp cloth daily to reduce staining.
    • Check their facial folds (if present) and clean them gently to prevent bacterial buildup.
  4. Ears:

    • Check their ears weekly for any signs of dirt, wax buildup, or infection. Use a vet-recommended ear cleaner and a cotton ball to clean. Avoid using cotton swabs deep inside the ear canal.
  5. Nails:

    • Regularly trim their nails, ideally every 2-4 weeks. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Use a dog nail clipper or grinder, and be cautious of the quick to avoid bleeding.
  6. Dental Care:

    • Oral hygiene is paramount. Brush their teeth several times a week using a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are also advised.
  7. Professional Grooming:

    • Depending on the specific coat and your personal preference, you might choose to have your rough-coated Brussels Griffon professionally groomed every few months. This ensures that their coat remains in top condition and is free of any potential mats or tangles.

By maintaining a consistent grooming routine, not only will your Brussels Griffon look their best, but they’ll also be healthier and more comfortable. Remember, grooming is also an excellent opportunity to check for signs of health issues, such as skin problems, ear infections, or dental disease.

Brussels Griffons, like many toy breeds, have big personalities packed into small bodies. Training is essential not only for instilling good manners but also for keeping their intelligent minds engaged and stimulated. Here’s how you can effectively train your Brussels Griffon:

  • Start Early: Begin training your Brussels Griffon as soon as you bring them home. These dogs are quick learners, and starting early helps instill positive behaviors.

  • Positive Reinforcement: Brussels Griffons respond best to positive reinforcement techniques. Praise them generously, offer treats, or provide playtime when they follow commands. Avoid harsh corrections, as this can cause them to become defensive or fearful.

  • Consistency is Key: Ensure that everyone in the household adheres to the same rules and commands. Consistency helps prevent confusion and reinforces desired behaviors.

  • Socialization: Exposing your Brussels Griffon to various people, places, sounds, and experiences during their early life helps them grow into well-rounded adults. Enroll them in puppy socialization classes or take them on regular outings to parks, pet stores, or other dog-friendly locations.

  • Obedience Training: Basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “down,” and “leave it” are essential. Obedience training can also provide mental stimulation, which Brussels Griffons crave.

  • House Training: As with many small breeds, house training a Brussels Griffon can be a challenge. Establish a regular routine, take them out frequently, and be patient. Celebrate successes with treats and praise.

  • Avoid Small Dog Syndrome: Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they should be allowed to develop undesirable behaviors. Address unwanted behaviors like excessive barking, nipping, or guarding immediately.

  • Mental Stimulation: Incorporate puzzle toys, trick training, and interactive play sessions. Keeping their mind active prevents boredom and associated destructive behaviors.

  • Enroll in Classes: Dog training classes can be beneficial, providing structured learning environments and opportunities for social interaction.

  • Adapt Training to Their Sensitivity: Brussels Griffons can be sensitive, so adapt your training methods to their personality. Use a gentle voice, and if they seem overwhelmed, break the training sessions into shorter, more manageable periods.

In conclusion, while the Brussels Griffon can occasionally exhibit a streak of stubbornness, their desire to please, combined with proper training techniques, can make them obedient and delightful companions. Celebrate small successes and ensure that training remains a positive and enriching experience for both of you.

Brussels Griffons, though small in stature, need a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and vitality. Understanding their dietary needs is crucial to their overall well-being. Below is a comprehensive guide on feeding your Brussels Griffon:

  1. High-Quality Dog Food:

    • Opt for high-quality, commercial dog food formulated for small breed dogs. These formulas have the right balance of nutrients to meet their dietary needs.
    • Ensure the first ingredient is a high-quality source of animal protein (chicken, turkey, lamb, or fish).
  2. Proper Portion Sizes:

    • Because of their small size, Brussels Griffons require relatively little food. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, a problem that can exacerbate health issues.
    • Consult your veterinarian to determine the right portion size for your Brussels Griffon based on their age, weight, and activity level.
  3. Feeding Schedule:

    • Establish a regular feeding schedule. Generally, adult Brussels Griffons should be fed twice a day.
    • For puppies, follow the feeding recommendations provided by your veterinarian or the puppy food manufacturer.
  4. Healthy Treats:

    • Treats should be given in moderation and should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
    • Opt for healthy treats like fresh vegetables (carrots, green beans) or dog-specific treats that contribute to their nutritional intake.
  5. Hydration:

    • Ensure your Brussels Griffon has constant access to fresh and clean water.
  6. Special Dietary Considerations:

    • Be aware of any allergies or food sensitivities your Brussels Griffon may have and avoid foods that trigger reactions.
    • Senior dogs, puppies, and pregnant or lactating females may have different nutritional requirements. Consult your vet for a suitable diet plan.
  7. Home-Cooked or Raw Diet:

    • If considering a home-cooked or raw diet, discuss this with your vet to ensure your dog is getting all the essential nutrients in the right amounts.
  8. Avoid Toxic Foods:

    • Keep foods like chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and alcoholic beverages out of your dog’s reach as these are toxic to all dog breeds.

In conclusion, providing a balanced diet with the right amount of nutrients plays an indispensable role in keeping your Brussels Griffon healthy and happy. Regular check-ups with the vet and keeping an eye on their weight will help you make necessary adjustments to their diet, ensuring they live a long, healthy life.

Brussels Griffons are lively and spirited dogs that, despite their small size, still need regular exercise to keep them healthy and content. While they might not require the intense activity levels of some larger breeds, neglecting their exercise needs can lead to behavioral issues and health problems. Here’s a comprehensive guide on exercising your Brussels Griffon:

  1. Daily Walks:

    • At least one moderate-length walk every day is essential. A 20 to 30-minute stroll around the neighborhood will often suffice.
    • Remember, their shorter legs mean they might not cover as much ground as quickly, so adjust your pace accordingly.
  2. Playtime:

    • Brussels Griffons love to play. Regular play sessions in a securely fenced yard or indoor play with toys can be a great way for them to expend energy.
    • Engage them in games like fetch, tug-of-war, or chase (with toys).
  3. Mental Stimulation:

    • Brussels Griffons are intelligent dogs. Alongside physical exercise, they benefit significantly from mental stimulation.
    • Use puzzle toys, interactive toys, or teach them new tricks to keep their minds sharp.
  4. Socialization:

    • Dog parks or playdates with familiar dogs can be a great way for them to socialize and exercise simultaneously. However, always supervise to ensure larger dogs don’t play too roughly with them.
  5. Limit Exercise in Extreme Weather:

    • Because of their flat faces, Brussels Griffons can be prone to breathing difficulties in extreme heat. On hot days, limit their exercise and ensure they have a cool place to rest.
    • In cold weather, their small size means they can get chilled easily. Consider a doggy sweater and limit time outdoors.
  6. Training Sessions:

    • Incorporate training sessions into their exercise routine. Short, regular training intervals can work both their body and mind.
  7. Watch for Signs of Overexertion:

    • Being a brachycephalic breed, Brussels Griffons might have respiratory challenges. Ensure they don’t get overly tired, and always have water available for them.
  8. Safe Environment:

    • When off-leash, make sure they are in a secure area. Their curious nature can lead them into trouble, and their small size makes them vulnerable to potential threats like larger animals.
  9. Regular Vet Check-ups:

    • Regular check-ups can ensure that your Brussels Griffon is in good physical shape and can handle their exercise routine. Adjust activity levels based on the vet’s recommendations, especially as your dog ages or if health issues arise.

In conclusion, while Brussels Griffons might not need marathon runs, they still thrive on regular, moderate exercise. Balancing physical activity with mental stimulation will keep your Brussels Griffon happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

The Brussels Griffon, a toy breed characterized by its charming and spirited nature, has specific environmental needs to keep it comfortable, healthy, and content. Understanding the best living conditions for this breed will ensure its happiness and well-being. Here’s a look at the ideal environment for the Brussels Griffon:

  1. Indoor Living:

    • Brussels Griffons are primarily indoor dogs. Their small size and sensitivity to extreme temperatures make them best suited for living inside a home rather than outdoors.
  2. Climate Considerations:

    • Being brachycephalic (short-nosed), Brussels Griffons can have difficulty regulating their body temperature. They’re susceptible to heat stroke in hot and humid weather and need to be kept in a cool environment during summer months.
    • In cold weather, their compact size means they can quickly get chilled. Keeping them warm and even using dog sweaters can help.
  3. Safe Play Area:

    • If you have a yard or garden, ensure it’s securely fenced. Their inquisitive nature might lead them to explore, and a secure area will prevent them from wandering off.
    • They love play sessions, so an open space, either inside the house or a yard, where they can play with toys is beneficial.
  4. Social Environment:

    • Brussels Griffons are known for their sociable nature. They thrive in environments where they can interact with their human family regularly.
    • They tend to get along well with other pets, especially if introduced properly. However, supervision is necessary, especially with larger dogs or pets that might be overly playful or aggressive.
  5. Quiet Spaces:

    • While they enjoy social interaction, Brussels Griffons also appreciate having a quiet spot to retreat to. Providing them with a cozy bed or crate in a calm corner can be their safe haven.
  6. Stimulating Environment:

    • As intelligent dogs, they benefit from an environment filled with stimulating toys, puzzle feeders, and interactive games.
  7. Urban vs. Rural:

    • Brussels Griffons can adapt well to both city and countryside living. In urban settings, regular walks and trips to the dog park can provide necessary exercise. In rural settings, they’ll appreciate the chance to explore, but always under supervision.
  8. Safe from Hazards:

    • Ensure the environment is free from potential hazards like toxic plants, chemicals, or small objects they might ingest. Their curious nature means they often explore with their mouths.
  9. Routine and Consistency:

    • While adaptable, Brussels Griffons appreciate a consistent routine. Predictable meal times, play sessions, and bedtime can make them feel more secure.

In conclusion, the ideal environment for a Brussels Griffon is one that caters to its physical and emotional needs. A balance of social interaction, playtime, safety, and comfort will ensure your Brussels Griffon leads a happy and healthy life.

Socialization is an integral aspect of dog ownership, ensuring your canine companion is well-adjusted, confident, and less likely to show aggressive or fearful behavior. For breeds like the Brussels Griffon, with their spirited and sometimes strong-willed nature, early and consistent socialization is particularly crucial. Here’s a guide to effectively socializing your Brussels Griffon:

  1. Start Early:

    • The most formative period for socialization in dogs is between 3 and 14 weeks of age, but it shouldn’t stop there. While it’s ideal to start young, older dogs can also benefit from structured socialization.
  2. Diverse Experiences:

    • Expose your Brussels Griffon to a variety of people, environments, sounds, and other animals. From walking on different surfaces to hearing the sounds of traffic or household appliances, these experiences will help them become well-rounded adults.
  3. Positive Reinforcement:

    • Use treats, praise, and toys to make new experiences positive. If your dog reacts calmly and confidently to a new stimulus, reward that behavior.
  4. Gradual Introduction:

    • Don’t overwhelm your Brussels Griffon. Introduce new experiences gradually. For instance, if introducing them to a new animal, ensure both are on leashes and kept at a distance initially, gradually allowing them to sniff and interact as they show comfort.
  5. Puppy Classes:

    • Enrolling your Brussels Griffon in a puppy socialization class can be beneficial. It not only provides a structured environment for interaction but also helps them learn basic obedience.
  6. Meeting Other Dogs:

    • Dog parks or playdates can be a great way to socialize, but always supervise interactions. Ensure the other dogs are not too boisterous or aggressive, which could lead to negative experiences.
  7. Handling and Touch:

    • Regularly handle your Brussels Griffon, touching their paws, ears, and mouth. This prepares them for vet visits, grooming sessions, and interactions with people.
  8. People of All Ages:

    • Let your dog interact with people of various ages, from children to the elderly. Ensure children know how to approach and touch dogs gently.
  9. Reacting to Fearful Behaviors:

    • If your Brussels Griffon shows signs of fear or anxiety, don’t force the situation. Remove them from the stressful environment and try again another day, perhaps more gradually.
  10. Consistency:

  • Socialization isn’t a one-time event. It should be a consistent part of your dog’s life. Regularly exposing them to diverse experiences ensures they remain adaptable and confident.

In conclusion, successful socialization of your Brussels Griffon results in a confident, well-adjusted, and friendly dog. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always prioritize your dog’s safety and comfort during the process.

The Brussels Griffon, with its expressive eyes and spirited demeanor, is not just a pet; it’s a companion in the truest sense. These dogs are known for their deep attachment to their human families. Here’s how to cultivate and nurture that bond of affection with your Brussels Griffon:

  1. Start Early:

    • If you have a Brussels Griffon puppy, use this time to build the foundation for a strong bond. Gentle handling, play, and regular interaction will establish trust and attachment.
  2. Physical Touch:

    • Brussels Griffons love cuddles, strokes, and being close to their owners. Regular physical contact, like petting or having them sit on your lap, can strengthen your bond.
  3. Quality Time:

    • Spend time with your dog beyond just the necessities of feeding and walking. Play games, teach tricks, or simply relax together. This breed thrives on companionship.
  4. Consistent Training:

    • Training isn’t just about commands; it’s also a bonding activity. Use positive reinforcement techniques. Your Brussels Griffon will not only learn desired behaviors but will also associate you with positive experiences.
  5. Listen to Their Needs:

    • Pay attention to your Brussels Griffon’s signals. If they seek attention, give them a few minutes of petting or play. If they show signs of stress or discomfort, address their needs promptly.
  6. Establish Trust:

    • Never resort to negative or punitive measures. Always ensure that your dog sees you as their protector and provider.
  7. Routine:

    • Dogs, including Brussels Griffons, find comfort in routine. Consistent feeding times, walk schedules, and playtimes make them feel secure in their environment and with you.
  8. Shared Activities:

    • Find activities that both you and your Brussels Griffon enjoy. It could be a daily walk, play sessions with toys, or even traveling together.
  9. Respect Their Space:

    • While Brussels Griffons love being close, they also appreciate having a space of their own. Providing them with a comfortable bed or crate can give them a sense of security.
  10. Health and Well-being:

  • Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and timely grooming show your Brussels Griffon that you care for their well-being. They’ll associate you with feelings of comfort and safety.

In conclusion, building a bond of affection with your Brussels Griffon takes time, patience, and consistent effort. This breed, known for its loyalty and deep attachment, will reward your efforts with a companionship that’s full of warmth, love, and countless memorable moments.

Brussels Griffon Health

The Brussels Griffon, while a charming and delightful companion, has specific health considerations due to its size, breed traits, and genetic predispositions. Being aware of these considerations and proactive in your dog’s health care can ensure a longer, happier life for your furry friend. Here’s an overview of the health aspects related to the Brussels Griffon:

  1. Brachycephalic Syndrome:

    • As a short-faced breed, Brussels Griffons can suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, which can cause breathing difficulties. Symptoms include snorting, wheezing, or labored breathing. Keeping them cool in hot weather and avoiding over-exertion is essential. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.
  2. Eye Issues:

    • Their prominent eyes make them susceptible to eye injuries and conditions like cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, or dry eye. Regular eye check-ups and keeping their face clean can help prevent issues.
  3. Dental Concerns:

    • Smaller breeds often face dental problems due to the crowding of teeth in a small mouth. Regular brushing, dental check-ups, and professional cleanings can keep dental diseases at bay.
  4. Patellar Luxation:

    • This condition, where the kneecap pops out of place, is common in smaller dog breeds. It can range from mild to severe and might require surgical correction in extreme cases.
  5. Hip Dysplasia:

    • While less common than in larger breeds, Brussels Griffons can still suffer from hip dysplasia, a genetic malformation of the hip joint.
  6. Heart Issues:

    • Mitral valve disease, a heart condition, can be seen in older Brussels Griffons. Regular veterinary check-ups can help in early detection and management.
  7. Diet and Weight:

    • Obesity can exacerbate many of the above health issues. A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential, as is monitoring their weight.
  8. Skin Issues:

    • Some Brussels Griffons can suffer from skin allergies or infections. Regular grooming, a balanced diet, and immediate attention to any skin abnormalities can help.
  9. Regular Vet Check-ups:

    • Regular veterinary visits can help in early detection of potential health issues. This is crucial as early intervention can lead to better outcomes.
  10. Genetic Testing:

  • If you’re getting a Brussels Griffon puppy, ensure the breeder conducts genetic tests to rule out inheritable conditions. This can give you an idea of potential health risks.
  1. Vaccinations and Parasite Prevention:
  • Keeping up-to-date with vaccinations and regular treatments for fleas, ticks, and worms is fundamental for their health.

In conclusion, while Brussels Griffons have some breed-specific health concerns, many of these can be managed or mitigated with proactive care, regular check-ups, and a healthy lifestyle. Being knowledgeable and vigilant about their health ensures that you’ll enjoy many happy years with your Brussels Griffon.

Preventive care is the cornerstone of ensuring a long, healthy life for any pet, and the Brussels Griffon is no exception. By addressing potential health issues before they become severe problems, you can save both emotional distress and veterinary expenses.

Brussels Griffon History

When considering a Brussels Griffon, it’s helpful to compare the breed to others to make an informed decision. Here’s a comparison of the Brussels Griffon with other small dog breeds:

  1. Brussels Griffon vs. Pug:

    • Both breeds have a distinct facial appearance. While Pugs have a pushed-in snout and curled tail, Brussels Griffons have a more protruding jaw and expressive eyes.
    • Pugs tend to be more laid back, while Brussels Griffons can be more alert and lively.
    • Pugs may be more prone to certain health issues due to their very short snout.
  2. Brussels Griffon vs. Chihuahua:

    • Chihuahuas are generally smaller in size compared to Brussels Griffons.
    • While both breeds are known for their strong personalities and bold attitudes, Chihuahuas might be more assertive.
    • Chihuahuas have a more varied coat type and color range.
  3. Brussels Griffon vs. Shih Tzu:

    • Shih Tzus typically have a longer, flowing coat compared to the Brussels Griffon.
    • Both breeds can be affectionate and crave human attention, but Shih Tzus might be more adaptable to a relaxed lifestyle.
    • Shih Tzus can be a bit more tolerant with children, given proper socialization.
  4. Brussels Griffon vs. Yorkshire Terrier:

    • Both breeds can be feisty and have a terrier-like attitude.
    • Yorkies typically have a long, silky coat requiring more grooming compared to some Brussels Griffons.
    • Both breeds are known for their intelligence and can be stubborn at times.
  5. Brussels Griffon vs. Maltese:

    • Maltese have a long, flowing white coat, whereas Brussels Griffons have a rough or smooth coat in various colors.
    • Both breeds are companion dogs but Maltese might be more sensitive and less tolerant to rough play.
    • Maltese might require more consistent grooming due to their white, silky fur.

Considerations When Choosing a Brussels Griffon:

  1. Temperament: Brussels Griffons are affectionate, alert, and can be a bit stubborn. Ensure their personality fits with your lifestyle.

  2. Grooming Needs: Depending on whether you choose a rough or smooth-coated Brussels Griffon, grooming needs might vary. Regular brushing and occasional professional grooming are often needed.

  3. Size: Brussels Griffons are small, making them ideal for apartment living. However, their small size means they can be fragile, so they might not be the best choice for families with very young children.

  4. Health Issues: Like all breeds, Brussels Griffons have specific health concerns. Awareness and preventive care are crucial.

  5. Exercise Needs: While they are small, they are lively and need regular exercise. A combination of play and daily walks will keep them happy.

  6. Socialization: Early and consistent socialization is key to having a well-rounded, sociable dog.

  7. Training: Their intelligence and sometimes stubborn nature mean they need consistent, positive reinforcement training methods.

In conclusion, while Brussels Griffons are fantastic companions with a lot of personality packed into a small package, they might not be the breed for everyone. It’s essential to evaluate your lifestyle, time commitment, and preferences when considering adding a Brussels Griffon – or any breed – to your family.


While Brussels Griffons can be affectionate and loving, their small size makes them fragile. They might not be ideal for households with very young children who don’t understand how to handle them gently. However, with proper supervision and training, they can coexist happily with older kids.

This depends on the type of coat. Rough-coated Brussels Griffons need brushing several times a week to prevent matting and tangling, while smooth-coated ones require less frequent grooming. Regular nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care are also essential.

Brussels Griffons are considered a low-shedding breed. However, like all dogs, they do shed some amount, especially the smooth-coated variety.

While they are lively and energetic, their small size means they don’t require as much exercise as larger breeds. Daily walks combined with playtime are generally sufficient.

Brussels Griffons are intelligent and can learn quickly. However, they can also be a bit stubborn, so consistent, positive reinforcement training methods work best.

They can be prone to certain conditions like patellar luxation, respiratory issues because of their short nose, and dental problems due to their small mouths.

With proper care, the average lifespan of a Brussels Griffon is 12-15 years.

Yes, their small size and moderate exercise needs make them well-suited for apartment living. However, they thrive on human companionship, so they shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods.

They can be quite vocal, especially if they hear unfamiliar noises or if they’re seeking attention. Training and socialization can help manage excessive barking.

A balanced diet formulated for small breed dogs is ideal. It’s essential to monitor their food intake to prevent obesity, which can lead to various health issues.

No breed is truly hypoallergenic, but Brussels Griffons produce fewer allergens than many other breeds, making them a better choice for those with mild allergies. It’s always recommended to spend time with the breed before bringing one home if you have allergies.

With proper socialization, Brussels Griffons generally get along well with other dogs and even cats. However, because of their small size, they might feel threatened by much larger dogs.

Yes, they are known to be very attached to their owners and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. It’s crucial to train them from a young age to be comfortable alone for short durations.

The breed originated in Brussels, Belgium. They were initially bred to catch rats in stables and later became popular as companion dogs, especially among Belgian nobility.

While they are affectionate and lovable, their stubbornness and specific grooming needs might pose challenges for first-time dog owners. It’s essential to do thorough research and be prepared for the commitment.

Top Takeaways

The Brussels Griffon is a petite yet sturdy companion dog known for its unique facial features and deep bond with its owners. Their moderate energy levels make them well-suited for apartment living, but they require regular social interaction to prevent separation anxiety. Early socialization, consistent training, and a balanced diet are essential for their well-being. Although they generally have a pleasant temperament and can coexist peacefully with other pets, potential owners should be mindful of their specific health concerns, grooming needs based on their coat type, and their occasional stubborn streak.

Top Brussels Griffon Names

These are the top Brussels Griffon names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names


Ginger Adam









Male Names











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