Brussels Griffon Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Brussels Griffon Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Brussels Griffons have their roots in Belgium, and they are often called Griffons for short. Traditionally, they served as vermin hunters keeping their masters’ stables rat and mouse free. However, their affectionate, cheerful and curious dispositions made them sought-after house pets, companion dogs, and lapdogs. 

Brussels Griffons tend to be sensitive and prone to anxiety and moodiness, and they are also demanding in their need for attention. You don’t have to hit or even yell at the Griffon for him to form this opinion. It can be something simple that sets him off and will cause him to give you the stink eye for a while. With an excellent, long-term memory like that of an elephant, the Brussels Griffon will keep on giving you dirty looks to remind you of an instance that your furry friend perceived as mistreatment.

Griffs are part of the toy group of dog breeds, seldom weighing over 10 pounds and typically no taller than 10 inches. They have up to three puppies per litter after about 60 days of pregnancy, and their lifespan is 13 to 15 years. Griffons come in two coat types: smooth short-haired coats or longer-shaggy-like coats. 

Brussels Griffons are excellent watchdogs, rulers of many households, and talented escape artists despite their pint-like size. They are known by many names, including Griffon Belge, Griffon Bruxellois, Brussels Griffon, Petit Brabancon, Belgian Griffon, Griffon, Griff, and Bruss.

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Brussels Griffons?

The Brussels Griffon is a petite dog, which is part of the appeal for owners in apartments or smaller homes. There are no discernable differences between the size of females and males, both ranging from 7-8 inches tall as adults, and they only weigh about 7-12 lbs. when fully grown.

Griffs are known for their loving demeanors. However, when it comes to children, they are not comfortable with young kids who have not yet learned how to interact and respect a dog. They won’t appreciate the unsolicited hugs, and they don’t like to stay in someone’s lap unless they decide to do. They especially don’t love being hit, chased, or cornered, resulting in growling or snapping. More of the Griffon breed’s traits and characteristics are listed in the table below.

Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Features

Brussels Griffon Dog Breed information

Height – Males and Females

7 to 8 inches 

Weight – Males and Females

7 to 12 pounds

Relation with family


Relation with children

High – older children

Low – young children

Relation with other dogs

Good, often too brave

Shedding level

Minimal both coat types

Drooling level

Low to medium

Coat type 

Type 1: Short and smooth

Type 2: Coarse and shaggy

Coat length

Short coat: Tight against the skin, smooth

Long coat: About 2 “ long wiry and scraggly

Coat grooming frequency

Short coat: weekly brushing

Long coat: Hand stripping 3 to 4 monthly

Relation with strangers

Shy and withdrawn at first

Playfulness level

High – followed by a nap on its owner’s lap

Adaptability level

High – to different living environments

Openness to strangers


Trainability level

High – due to intelligence and urge to please

Energy level

High – very energetic

Barking level

High – training can stop excessive barking

Mental stimulation needs level

High – to ease anxiety and sensitivity


13-15 years 

How Does the Brussels Griffon Interact with Family?

Brussels Griffons are very affectionate, and they bond most closely with one person in the family. They especially love to snuggle with their favorite person. Griffs are smart and tend to test their families’ limits with their bossiness. Without firm treatment, they will run the household whenever possible. 

However, that is an innate pack tendency to aim for the alpha status, but deep down, they are as soft as marshmallows, craving the attention and love of their human families. Although they enjoy moving from one lap to the next, they love playing and even hiking with their families. It is up to their owners to learn how to convince them to come out to play. 

How Does the Brussels Griffon Interact with Other Dogs?

Griffons are naturally shy in the company of strange people and dogs. However, their desire to be close to their owners can be used as an advantage during training. With exposure to different social settings with walks in the park, visits with other people, and interactions with other dogs, you may be able to break down their natural shyness around strangers.

Once they feel comfortable in the presence of the strange dogs, they tend to enjoy spending time with them. However, Griffs do not always realize how small they are and won’t hesitate to challenge dogs many times their size.

How are Brussels Griffons with Older People?

Brussels Griffons are typically ideal companions for seniors. Griffs crave intense one-on-one time with their owners, making the breed a perfect option for older people living in apartment-style homes. Griffons’ clinginess has earned them the nickname “Velcro dogs” because they like to be right next to their one particular human.

How are Brussels Griffons with Children?

Although Griffons are known for their loving natures, they are not quite at ease in the company of small children. Sensitivity and the tendency to be anxious make them nervous when exposed to children too young to know how to treat dogs and respect them. Their only way to show their feelings when children pull their tail or ears or dish out unsolicited hugs is to growl or snap at the child.

However, socializing the Griffin and the child early could prevent unpleasant incidents when the Griffon feels the need to protect itself. Griff’s parents could help calm the dog after an unpleasant interaction with small children by giving him a few minutes away from the children.

How are Brussels Griffons with Neighbors or Guests?

Despite their diminutive size, Brussels Griffons are alert and effective watchdogs. Approaching or arriving guests will likely be announced by a lot of barking. Once guests are invited in, the Griff might be shy and choose to withdraw. However, if the guests are neighbors or others with whom the Griffon is familiar, it would show excitement and be ready to jump onto the lap of a favorite guest. 

What are the Physical Traits of the Brussels Griffon?

There are two types of Brussels Griffons in the U.S., the smooth-coated Griff, called the Petit Brabancon, and the rough-coated Griffon. However, in Belgium, the breed’s homeland, there are three types: the Petit Brabancon (which is smooth-coated, as in the U.S.), the rough red coat is the Brussels Griffon, and the Belgian Griffon, which has a rough skin that can be any color other than red.

The Brussels Griffon is a dog breed with a brachycephalic face, and Brachycephalic is a scientific word that vets use to describe short-nosed or flat-faced dogs. Despite their cuddly, small size, Griffs are surprisingly athletic and heavy. 

The Brussels Griffon’s physical traits are summarized in the table below: 


Trait information


Toy – Companion


7 to 12 pounds


7 to 8 Inches

Skull/ Head

Large, round head with a domed forehead and a deep stop.


Black eyes are wide-set and prominent with long, black eyelashes


Natural ears carried semi-erect

Cropped ears standing up coming to a point.


The muzzle is very short, appearing to be pushed back.


Very short black nose


Overbite with a hanging tongue. The lower jaw is prominent and the jaw itself is undershot. 


Requires plenty of exercises


13 to 15 years


Smooth coat: Short, tight, glossy and straight fur

Rough coat:  Dense and wiry shaggy hair

Coat color

Red: Reddish brown with black at the whiskers and chin

Belge: Red-brown and black mix with black mask and whiskers

Black and tan: Black with reddish-brown markings under the chin, legs, above each eye, the edges of the ears, and around the vent.

Solid Black 


The tail is set high and docked to about 1/3 of the length


Straight-boned legs, medium-length

** Cropping ears or docking tails is illegal in most of Europe.

How to Feed a Brussels Griffon?

Your dog’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Brussels Griffon’s diet on a toy breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Brussels Griffons fall in the toy breed class, and most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as your Griff grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Griffon from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

Despite the Griff’s pint-size, it is an active, athletic breed type, needing food that contains animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

However, your Brussels Griffon’s portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and of course, the brand and formula of food it eats. Feed your Brussels Griffon a food formulated for a toy breed and small to large working dog breeds, recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages.

The Brussels Griffon will require between ½  cup and ¾ cup of food per day, spreading the feeding times over 2 to 3 times per day. Because these dogs are so small, overfeeding is a common problem that leads to obesity and many other health problems associated with being overweight.

Feeding Brussels Griffons several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your little furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

 An example of premium food for Griffons and its benefits are listed below:

The best dog food for Brussels Griffons is Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food with Wholesome Grains, High Protein Dog Food.

It has a high protein content from turkey and chicken and fiber from healthy grains like barley, oatmeal, and quinoa. The poultry ingredients also function as excellent sources of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine for mobile joints, and there’s taurine for eye and heart health.

Below is a list of the benefits offered by the 4 Wellness CORE Small Breed Dry Dog Food recipes in this range:

  • Protein-Packed: With responsibly sourced real meat as the first ingredient, these recipes are packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles in small breed dogs.
  • Omegas 3 and 6: Naturally occurring omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids support skin and coat health.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits help support immune health.
  • Probiotics: Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics are included to support your dog’s digestive health.

When Brussels Griffons are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Wellness CORE is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a Brussels Griffon Puppy Eat? 

The Brussels Griffon is a toy-sized breed whose puppies up to 6 pounds should get ⅓  to ½  a cup of food per day. It is essential not to feed puppies all their food at once, and they should have it spread over the day. When Griff puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Brussels Griffon puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for toy-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Brussels Griffon should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • The exceptions are Brussels Griffons with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests that a Brussels Griffon Should Take?

Brussels Griffon breeders should have the following health tests done:

DNA Tests covering 7 main categories

  • Musculoskeletal and Dental

  • Haemolymphatic

  • Skin and Immune

  • Urogenital

  • Metabolic and Endocrine

  • Ophthalmological

  • Neurological

Other tests and Xrays: Hip and Elbow Evaluation, Patella Check

General Health Check, including Heart, Vaccines, Fleas, and Worms.

What are the common health problems of Brussels Griffons?

Brussels Griffons are widely recognized as a healthy and hardy breed. However, even healthy Griff should have regular veterinarian checkups. Owners should ensure the following list of health conditions are monitored throughout the dog’s life.

  • Brachycephalic Syndrome occurs due to the small noses and flat faces, the shortened muzzle of the Brussels Griffon can lead to respiratory issues, such as brachycephalic syndrome. This can restrict the ability to breathe—especially when exerted. However, it seems less of a problem than in other compacted-snout breeds—such as the Pug or Pekingese. Brachycephalic dogs are at severe risk if they overheat.
  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Brussels Griffon puppies grow. It results from joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Griff grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.
  • Elbow Dysplasia When the growth of the elbow is disturbed, a condition called elbow dysplasia may ensue. While this condition is generally inherited, other factors, such as nutrition and exercise, also play a role in its development. Most dogs will display symptoms before the age of one – though some may not show any signs until they are several years old.
  • Syringomyelia involves small fluid pockets within the spinal cord caused by a mismatch between skull size and brain size.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening disorder when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention.
  • Various other eye conditions, including
    • Lens Luxation (dislocation) In patients suffering from lens luxation (dislocation), the lens shifts out of position and moves either into the front or into the back of the eye. This condition can lead to Glaucoma and blindness.
    • Corneal ulceration– Ulcers caused by eye laceration may result from blunt trauma, such as a dog rubbing its eye on the carpet.
    • Distichiasis, or the presence of extra eyelashes, in dogs is a condition where hairs grow in an unusual area on the eyelid. The hairs will generally grow out of the meibomian glands at the lid of the eyelid.
    • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a progressive degenerative disease affecting the retina, leading to blindness.
    • Cataracts cause the eye(s) of the dog to have a cloudy appearance. Cataracts usually occur in old age and can be treated by surgically removing the cataract.

Are Brussels Griffons Hypoallergenic?

Yes, Brussels Griffons are hypoallergenic. These miniature dogs are exceptionally low on a dander-producing skin scale. All mammals shed dead skin cells, but Griffs have few dermatological issues. With a coat that imprisons wayward flakes, they’re unlikely to drop onto your furniture and spark an allergic reaction.

Furthermore, your Griffon won’t be dropping allergy-inducing hair around your home. All dogs lose a little hair, especially when the seasons change. However, compared to many equally-sized pups, Brussels Griffons’ coats are impressively non-shedding. The Brussels Griffon typically has a smooth or a wiry coat. Those highly sensitive to animal fur should opt for the wiry version since they shed even less than the Griffon with the smooth coat.

What is the Exercise Need of a Brussels Griffon?

For Brussels Griffons, exercise is vital. These doggies are inherently playful, and if they’re deprived of sufficient activity, they become bored, listless, and destructive. Your Griffon needs about 30-40 minutes of daily walking. For best results, you should break it into two excursions, at the beginning and end of the day, which are the times they have boundless energy. Unlike larger companion dogs, Griff’s legs are not designed for jogging, so walkies would have to do the trick. 

Regular exercise is a must if you want to keep your Brussels Griffon healthy. Unfortunately, with toy breeds who are happy to just snuggle on a lap, it may not be evident that they do want to get out and walk. Their owners should not be swayed to skip the daily walks because these cute little pups tend to become obese.

What are the nutritional needs of Brussels Griffons?

The nutritional needs of a Brussels Griffon include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Griff are listed below.

  • Protein: Brussels Griffons need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for Griffon’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Brussels Griffon’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Brussels Griffons need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Brussels Griffon sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, that too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Brussels Griffon puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Griffs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Brussels Griffon.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Brussels Griffons are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Brussels Griffon’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Griffs.

What is the Shedding Level of Brussels Griffons?

Luckily, Brussels Griffons shed very little, making them highly hypoallergenic. The wiry-coated types hardly drop any hairs at all. Although still low shedders, the smoother varieties will lose some hair in spring and fall.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of Brussels Griffons?

Grooming needs depend on the coat of your Griff. The smooth-coated Brussels Griffon requires weekly brushing and the occasional bath, and this routine would have to change to daily brushing during seasonal shedding. 

The rough-coated Brussels Griffon sheds minimally but has slightly higher grooming needs. Its shaggier hair needs clipping by the owner or a professional groomer, and more frequent brushing is required. Their coats are dense and tightly formed, and twice-weekly deep combing is essential to prevent trapped allergens that could cause fungal or other infections on the skin.

Coat grooming is essential for various reasons, as listed below.

  • Grooming gives your dog a healthy look and promotes hygiene. 
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of matting.
  • Your Brussels Griffon smells nice through grooming, thus raising the hygiene conditions.
  • Grooming promotes the growth and development of a lustrous and shiny coat that makes your dog attractive.
  • Grooming allows you to check for fleas and take early preventive and treatment measures.
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of ear infections since you can check the ears and wipe them dry after grooming regularly.
  • While grooming, you can check for any skin problems and alert the vet before they worsen.
  • Grooming boosts the bond between you and your Brussels Griffon Dog.

To lower the grooming frequencies, you should keep your dog’s surroundings clean and the coat short. Your dog should be calm during grooming. Short walks will calm your dog, thus ensuring they remain still during the grooming process. You can also give your Brussels Griffon their favorite treat to munch on while you groom them. Grooming must be enjoyable and a stress-free process for your Brussels Griffon.

What is the Drooling Level of Brussels Griffons?

The drooling level of Brussels Griffons is low, and they are not slobbery dogs at all. Just a quick heads-up. Brussels Griffons tend to show their love by licking, aimed mainly toward their primary pet parent. However, early training can discourage them from overwhelming you with doggie kisses if this is an issue.

However, drooling is a natural process, and if your canine companion drools more than usual, it might indicate a health problem to report to your vet. The primary triggers of drooling are listed below:

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus. Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva. Moreover, a foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling. Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling.
  • Stomach upsets.
  • Excessive heat, especially during summer
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling.
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes dogs pant and breathe with their mouths open, thus causing drooling.
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool.
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male Griffon spots a female Griff in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male.

What is the Coat Type of the Brussels Griffon?

There are two types of Brussels Griffon coats. The first type has short, smooth hair that is tight, straight and glossy, and other Griffs have shaggy fur that’s rough and wiry.

What is the Coat Lenght of the Brussels Griffon?  

The Brussels Griffon dogs with the smooth coat have short hair close and tightly against the skin. The wiry-coated Griffs have dense, scraggly hair that grows long if not properly groomed. However, hand stripping or professional clipping can keep the coat healthy to a length of about two inches. Some people choose to cut Griff’s facial hair right back to keep it clean.

What are the Social Traits of the Brussels Griffon Breed?

The social traits of the Brussels Griffon are affection, playfulness, friendliness, and possessive nature. The Brussels Griffons are intelligent and learn fast, but they can be bored with long training sessions. Griffs are fun-loving and have the charm to lighten you up when you are not in a happy mood. Their playfulness and desire to please make them fun to be with. You can enjoy their antics wherever you go as they are small and easy to carry around. Clowns used Brussels Griffon Dogs to entertain people, and they still possess the ability to make people laugh. Other social traits of Brussels Griffons include the following:

  • Elderly-friendly: Brussels Griffons love playing with the elderly. However, they are highly energetic and may exhaust the seniors if playtime is long. In addition, Griffs enjoy playing rough and can easily hurt the elderly hence constant supervision is vital.
  • Children-friendly: Brussels Griffons enjoy running around or chasing after children. Caution should be taken for younger children as Griffs play rough and injure younger children. In addition, Brussels Griffons are fragile, and younger children might easily hurt them as they may not know how to handle them gently, and your Griff might bite to protect itself.
  • Family-friendly: Brussels Griffons tend to be “one-person” dogs, making them great for single people or couples. They are known as “Velcro-dogs” because of their urge to be close to and touch their favorite humans. Brussels Griffons are the perfect canine for people looking for a constant companion. 

The Griffon is possessive when it comes to their family or owners. They enjoy the company of family, and you will occasionally find them cuddling on your lap. They love getting involved in everything the family members are doing. Their intense loyalty to family and possessive nature makes it easy for owners to command them.

  • Cat-friendly: Brussels Griffons get along great with other animals, including cats. Of course, each dog and cat has its own preferences and temperament. Still, you can feel reasonably confident your Griffon and other pets will get on just fine, especially if they were all raised together or socialized at a young age.
  • Cautious with strangers: Brussels Griffons tend to be suspicious of strangers. They will show their suspicion by barking whenever they see an unfamiliar person. Their strong bond with family makes them aloof towards strangers, but you can reduce this through training on proper socialization behavior. Taking your Griff with you whenever you visit other people’s houses also helps in lowering their aggression towards strangers. Your Griffon will learn to interact with new people and become less suspicious of strangers. 
  • Cautious with new dogs: New dog additions to the family will be treated with fierce barking from your Griffon. This is their way of protecting their territories. To lower this reactive behavior, you should introduce the new dogs earlier when your Brussels Griffon Dog is still a puppy so that they can bond at a young age. This creates a feeling that they are members of the same family. Griffs get on best with other toy sie dogs.

How Do Brussels Griffons Interact with Strangers?

Brussels Griffons are wary and standoffish when they encounter strangers. Griffs typically bark excessively upon noticing strangers, but if their owners invite those strangers into their homes, Griffons would likely withdraw until they feel comfortable in the strangers’ presence. They would then approach the stranger and start smelling wherever it can reach. Griffons are not likely to bite unless they feel threatened.

Is the Brussels Griffon Playful?

Yes, Griffons are playful, and if there are no human playmates, they will be quite pleased playing with other dogs in the family, preferably toy-sized canines. When a Griffon is happy, though, he loves to romp and play and will amuse his family by tearing through the house or running in circles around the yard for the sheer joy of it. Griffs usually get along well with other pets.

Are Brussels Griffons Protective?

Yes, Brussels Griffons are highly protective of their property and human family members. They make excellent watchdogs, but as small as they are, they make poor guard dogs. They can bark excessively if not properly trained. Regardless of the size discrepancy, they can become aggressive if threatened by either a stranger or another dog and are fearless.

What is the Adaptability Level of Brussels Griffons?

Brussels Griffons are highly adaptable. Even if they are relocated from a farm or a ranch to an apartment in the city, they will quickly adapt if the move does not separate them from their human families. 

Apartments are suitable accommodation for Griffons because they can make their own playground indoors. If you take your Griff out for a couple of 30-minute walks per day, it would be sufficient to keep your furry friend stimulated, in shape, and happy. Part of the exercise time could be spent playing indoor games or taking the play to a nearby park.

What are the Personality Traits of Brussels Griffon?

Their naturally affectionate personality makes Brussels Griffons incredibly appealing, though that affection will likely be dependent. They like to be as physically close to their owner as possible, which means separation anxiety is a given. If it is possible to bring them where you go, you should, they will not be happy at home.

Their overall temperament can range from cautiously shy to incredibly outgoing. However, Griffs will be bossy and run the show in the house if allowed. If Griffons feel ignored at any point, bad behavior will be your Griff’s way to seek attention. However, most of their personality has to do with several factors, like how socialized they are, their training, and the genetics that made them. Remember to be patient as you raise this pup to be a well-balanced pet.

Since the Brussels Griffon is more sensitive than most breeds, they pay precise attention to their surroundings. If they become fearful, their behavior may become prematurely aggressive, biting out of the fear that someone will handle them roughly. With gentle care, it is easy to avoid this issue entirely.

Can Brussels Griffons be Aggressive?

Brussels Griffons are not typically aggressive. However, they can become aggressive if threatened by a stranger or another dog and are fearless, regardless of the size discrepancy, sometimes with devastating consequences. Proper socialization can prevent tragedies.

Can Brussels Griffons be Dangerous?

The Brussels Griffon is not a dangerous dog, and they are friendly dogs but are not suitable for inexperienced owners owing to their obstinate nature.

Do Brussels Griffons Ever Attack?

Brussels Griffins often display small-dog syndrome. They are not shy to show aggression toward other dogs, even several times their size. However, it would be mostly a show of teeth and lots of barking, but they are not likely to attack.

Can Brussels Griffons Kill Humans?

No, Brussels Griffons are not likely to kill a human. Although their innate skills are to hunt, the most significant kill would likely be a fat rat or mouse. However, parents should never allow very young children to play with Griffons without supervision. Small dogs will typically fear injuries caused by young kids who are too small to know that ear, tail, or hair-pulling is disrespectful. If no one is around to save the puppy from being hurt, the Griff might launch a fear attack.

Do Brussels Griffons cope with being left alone?

Brussels Griffons form strong bonds with their human families, but they typically become closer to one person than others. They develop “Velcro” relationships, and their happiness depends on their favorite human’s presence. If that person has to run an errand, leaving the pup with other members of the family at home, it might sulk and withdraw. However, if the isolation does not last for hours, the Griff will likely punish its beloved owner with a couple of powerful dirty looks, soon to be forgotten after cuddles, kisses and some lap time. 

Can Brussels Griffons be left alone for 8 hours?

Griffons are known as “Velcro dogs” because they are so dependent on their favorite family members. Therefore, leaving them alone for extended periods could be traumatizing for the tiny canine. Griffs are known to suffer separation anxiety, and people who spend long hours away from home might want to choose a puppy from a different breed.

How to Train a Brussels Griffon?

While intelligent, the Griffon is manipulative and stubborn. It has a mind of its own and isn’t afraid to use it. Positive reinforcement methods are ideal for this sensitive breed. Though they pick up on basic training quickly, they aren’t often willing to perform for you unless it was their idea. They can be dramatic when leash training, so start early. Griffs may be slow to housebreak like most small breeds because they can’t hold it as long as larger breeds can. Crate training may help with housetraining. Socialization should be a top priority to help curb extreme shyness.

How Frequently does a Brussels Griffon Bark?

Brussels Griffons are vocal dogs and bark whenever they see unfamiliar people or pets. Their barking levels are, however, moderate. For many dogs, the triggers for barking include loneliness, threats, excitement, being territorial, attention-seeking, and even frustrations. There are different bark types based on the situation.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • Brussels Griffons hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • A lack of exercise and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your Griffon is barking as a way of alerting you of approaching danger. Alarm barking can save you from danger; however, Griffons may bark before ascertaining that there is a real danger.  
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a Griffon feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The Brussels Griffon uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your Brussels Griffon is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercises. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 

You can train your Griffon to stop barking by using positive and negative motivators.

  • Whenever they start barking, command them to be quiet and if they obey, reward them with their favorite treat or toy. If they disobey your command, you can withdraw some benefits like not giving them their best toy.
  • Engage your dog in their favorite activity or exercise. Tired Griffs might sleep while you are away
  • Look for attractive toys that would keep your Brussels Griffon busy while you are away
  • Continuous barking might call for a visit to the vet.

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Brussels Griffon?

The need for mental stimulation of a Brussels Griffon is essential as it lowers the risks of destructive behaviors resulting from boredom. Griffons are smart and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. The playful and intelligent nature of Griffons further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your Griffon, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for more extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. Brussels Griffons who are eight years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety.
  • Frequent accidents.
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands.
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns.
  • Low interest in physical activities.
  • Poor social skills.

What are the Breed Standards of Brussels Griffon?

Many people have said starring into the face of a Brussels Griffon feels like you’re looking at a tiny human with an overly-hairy face and body. With its large dark, almond-shaped eyes and long eyelashes looking directly back at you. The beard and mustache sported by many Griffs, and the black button of a nose on its flat muzzle completes the picture. They have a muscular, sturdy frame to support their tiny, but agile bodies. The coat of the Brussels Griffon is either rough and wiry or entirely glossy and smooth. 

Some of the breed standards of Brussels Griffons are given in the table below.

Breed Standards 

Brussels Griffon Breed Information 


Red: Reddish-brown with black at the whiskers and chin

Belge: Red-brown and black mix with black mask and whiskers

Black and tan: Black with reddish-brown markings under the chin, legs, above each eye, the edges of the ears and around the vent.

Black: Solid Black 


Brussels Griffons are very small, which is why they are classified as a Toy 

Eye Color 

The color of the Brussels Griffons’ eyes is black, set wide apart and prominent with long black eyelashes.

Average Weight 

Brussels Griffon Dogs weigh between 7 and 12 pounds 

Average Height

Brussels Griffon Dogs height ranges between 7 and 8 inches

Average lifespan 

Brussels Griffon Dogs have a lifespan of 13-15 years. 

What is the General Information about Brussels Griffon?

In French, “griffon” means “wire-haired,” which indicates what this breed’s coat looks like.

Many breeds created the Brussels Griffon, among which the Dutch Smoushond called a Smousje, the French Barbet, the Yorkshire Terrier, and the German Affenpinscher.

The Brussels Griffon was developed in Belgium to hunt rodents in stables, where they earned the affections of coachmen who called them Griffons d’Ecurie, or wiry coated stable dogs. In the 19th century, the stable dogs were bred with the Pug and King Charles Spaniel to create the Brussels Griffon. The queen of Belgium took a liking to the Griffon and began to breed them.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Brussels Griffon in 1900. World Wars I and II saw a decline in populations, but fanciers worked to keep the breed from extinction. Their population is on the rise, but the breed remains relatively uncommon.

For those who consider bringing a Brussels Griffon home, first ensure your backyard is secure. Griffs are Houdini-like escape artists, and Griffons can climb and dig better than most dogs, so you should be sure your fence is high and deep. If you need to expel any additional energy, dog sports and agility competitions are well suited to this toy breed.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Brussels Griffon?

If you are looking to bring a Brussels Griffon home, you should not be in a rush. The only “purebreds” available upon request are not the real thing and are likely bred on a puppy farm. The more realistic way is to put your name on a waiting list, and while you’re waiting, learn as much as you can about this giant dog in the cutest little body.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or who promote the dogs as being “good with kids.” Brussels Griffon puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, and that makes the Griffon a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a wonderfully funny dog.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Brussels Griffon puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. Although this breed is reasonably rare, the Brussels Griffon is recognized by the AKC, UKC and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential Griffon owners in touch with reputable breeders 

  • Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International)
  • United Kennel Club (International)
  • The Kennel Club (United Kingdom)
  • American Kennel Club
  • American Brussels Griffon Association
  • Belgian Kennel Club SRSH-KMSH
  • Europetnet
  • Canadian Kennel Club
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • United All Breed Registry
  • International Canine Association

If you manage to track down Brussels Griffon breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Brussels Griffon puppies are often peppy and playful—all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you might find a Brussels Griffon puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of Brussels Griffons may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Brussels Griffon is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Brussels Griffons?

There are millions of homeless dogs across the country; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a Brussels Griffon can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter. 

If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the National Brussels Griffon Rescue website. A Brussels Griffon rescue group is an excellent idea if you want to adopt an older dog or even a Brussels Griffon mix.

If you are looking for a purebred (or almost purebred) Brussels Griffon, try a dedicated Brussels Griffon rescue instead because they will, hands down, have the most varied selection.

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any Brussels Griffons or related mixes available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a list of registered rescue centers and kennel clubs

  • Canada Guide To Dogs (National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc.)
  • Canada Brussels Griffon Dog Rescue Group
  • Belgian Kennel Club SRSH-KMSH
  • Brussels Griffon RescueMe Germany
  • American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance (ABGRA) 

What is the History of the Brussels Griffon?

Griffons got their start as rat-catchers, according to the American Brussels Griffon Association (ABGA). The Brussels Griffon as we know it was first bred in Belgium in the mid-1800s when the local terrier-type dogs were bred with various other breeds. Out of this came the flat-faced and bearded Bru

The Belgian court favored the breed in the 1870s, and that royal stamp of approval led to a surge in popularity. The dogs were exported around Europe and to the U.S., where the Brussels Griffon received AKC recognition in 1910. By the end of World War ll, the breed was nearly decimated in its native Belgium, but luckily, dedicated dog-lovers revitalized the breed.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Brussels Griffons?

Brussels Griffons are reasonably rare, even in their home country. The prices of Brussels Griffons range between $800 to $5,000. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. 

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $300 to $400, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Brussels Griffon.

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Brussels Griffon and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $4,500 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,300 a year.  

The typical annual costs of having a toy-sized canine such as a Brussels Griffon will not necessarily be much less than a larger dog. In fact, medical expenses throughout the Griffs life could be more than average because Brachycephalic breeds are predisposed to many health problems. 

Except for the lower food volumes, vaccinations, microchips and other expenses are the same, regardless of the dog’s size. Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $650. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Brussels Griffon are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming would only affect the maintenance costs of long-haired Brussels Griffons,  and the weekly grooming of both types of Griffons is minimal. The Brussels Griffon does not tend to drool excessively; in fact, the breed hardly ever drools. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. The Brussels Griffon has a moderate risk of obesity, especially if working dogs become house pets with insufficient exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with premium quality dry dog food and live an active life together.

How to Name a Brussels Griffon?

Choosing a name for your Brussels Griffon involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Griffon’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. Brussels Griffons respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Griffon pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name-ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Griffon will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction and yelling or calling your Brussels Griffon. Below is a list of suggestions of names inspired by your Griffon’s country of origin. 

Names to honor Brussels Griffons Roots

Brussels Griffon Boys

Brussels Griffon Girls



Mostacho (Mustache)


Baardman (Man with beard)








Are Ewoks in Star Wars Inspired by Brussel Griffons?

George Lucas used the Brussels Griffon as inspiration to create the Ewoks in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Everyone who remembers the adorable Ewoks in the Star Wars series would likely look at the cute Brussels Griffon face thinking they have seen that somewhere before. There is a good reason for Brussels Griffons to be the spitting image of the EWOKS. George Lucas actually had a Brussels Griffon on set to inspire these little creatures. No wonder Ewoks are so cute.

What are the Different Types of Brussels Griffons?

Listed below are the three types of Griffons recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI): 

The Griffon Vendéens

The Wirehaired Pointers

The Smousje (Belgian companion dogs or Dutch Smoushond). 

The Griffon types are characterized by rough- or wire-hair. 

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Brussels Griffon?

Brussels Griffons are not easy to find. Purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a Griff at a rescue center might be an equally challenging process. However, below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Pekingese: The human-like face is also found in the Pekingese breed, though there is a lot more grooming involved.
  • Chinese Crested: The Chinese Crested has significantly less fur, but you’ll still have the unique facial hair of the Brussels Griffon. more about Chinese Crested.
  • Scottish Terrier: If you like the distinct beard, this sleek and fluffy dog may give the same compact figure you want as well. more about Scottish Terrier.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.