Brussels Griffon Dog Breed

By: Chewy EditorialPublished:


Brussels Griffon Dog Breed

About the Brussels Griffon Dog Breed

The Brussels Griffon was probably bred from the Pug and Affenpinscher in Belgium around the 19th century. This breed’s primary use was to be a “rat dog.”

Brussels Griffon Physical Characteristics

The Brussels Griffon is a small dog that looks very much like a Pug. Its head is very small with round eyes, a short nose and ears that fold over the forehead.


The Brussels Griffon can be reddish-brown or black.


The coat of the Brussels Griffon is short and wiry.

Brussels Griffon Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The spirited Brussels Griffon is brimming with self-confidence, life and enthusiasm. A family that wants a sensitive but entertaining pet will find a smart companion in the Brussels.

Things to Consider

Some Brussels may be stricken with separation anxiety. It has a tendency to climb, bark, and certain dogs may wander, but overall it is playful, mischievous, bold and stubborn. Families with small children may not find the dog to be sensitive enough.

Brussels Griffon Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Brussels Griffon would do well in the country or city. Even though the Brussels Griffon cannot live outdoors, it likes to spend sufficient time in the yard.

Special Requirements

The Brussels Griffon needs daily exercise, and training. Its rough coat requires combing every week and shaping by stripping once every three months. For the smooth-coated variety, grooming is minimal, comprising only occasional brushing to get rid of dead hair.

Brussels Griffon Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Brussels Griffons:


Brussels Griffon History and Background

The Brussels Griffon is a Belgian breed related to the Griffon d’Ecurie — or Stable Griffon, a Belgian street dog — and the Affenpinscher. In Brussels, the breed worked as a guard of cabs, but its overconfident and comic nature attracted riders more than it chased away robbers. In the late 19th century, the dog was interbred with the Pug, a very popular breed in Holland at that time. This resulted in the smooth-coated variety — the Petit Brabançon — along with the brachycephalic head strain. Even though the smooth coated varieties were destroyed initially, people soon accepted them.

The dog was established enough to gain recognition at Belgian dog shows by 1880. At this time, some people suggested that additional inter-breeding should be done with English Toy Spaniels and Yorkshire Terriers; the former played a role in improving the shape of the Griffon’s head. The Griffon became immensely popular by the early 20th century and was favored by the nobility.

By the end of the First World War, the breed’s numbers had diminished greatly, but they soon recovered. Since then it has gained countless fans across the world. Some countries classify only the red, rough-coated varieties as Brussels Griffons; the black rough-coats are referred to as Belgian Griffon, while the smooth-coated variety is named the Petit Brabançon.

By: Chewy Editorial


By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

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