Meet The Adorable Brussels Griffon: Compact And Confident Toy Breed

June 13, 2023
Annette Thompson

Are you looking for a small dog breed full of character and charm? Look no further than the Brussels Griffon! This pint-sized pup may be small in stature, but it more than makes up for it with its larger-than-life personality. In this article, we will delve into the world of the Brussels Griffon, exploring its history, characteristics, care needs, and more. So get yourself a cup of coffee, settle in, and prepare to fall in love with the endearing Brussels Griffon.

dog, puppy, brussels griffon

History and Origin

The Brussels Griffon is a small dog breed originating in Brussels, Belgium. It has a history dating back to the early 19th century. The breed was developed by crossing various toy-sized dogs, including the Affenpinscher and the English Toy Spaniel.

They were initially bred as ratting dogs, used to control vermin in stables. Over time, they gained popularity as companion dogs and were favored by the Belgian upper class. The breed’s distinctive facial features, including a short nose and expressive eyes, became its trademark.

During the late 19th century, This breed was further refined through selective breeding. The breed standard was established, and their appearance and temperament were solidified. They were often seen in the company of nobility and featured in works of art.

This breed’s popularity spread beyond Belgium, particularly in Europe and the United States. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1910. Despite experiencing a decline in numbers during the World Wars, the breed managed to survive and regain its following in the post-war years.

Today, they are known for their lively and affectionate nature. It remains a sought-after companion dog, prized for its unique appearance and charming personality.


With their unique and distinctive appearance, Brussels Griffons are hard to miss. They have a compact, sturdy build and stand about 7 to 8 inches tall at the shoulder. Their heads are large and round, with expressive eyes and a short muzzle. One of their most notable features is their adorable beard and mustache, which adds to their endearing charm.


Despite their small size, Brussels Griffons are confident, spirited, and full of personality. They are known to be affectionate and loyal to their owners, forming strong bonds with their human companions. These dogs thrive on attention and enjoy being the center of their family’s world. Brussels Griffons are often described as “velcro dogs” because they tend to stick close to their loved ones.

Brussels Griffon: Key Characteristics

Before introducing a Brussels Griffon into your life, learning its distinct features and what distinguishes them from other breeds is critical.

Intelligence and Trainability

They are intelligent dogs that possess a quick wit. They are highly trainable and enjoy mental stimulation. However, they can sometimes be independent, so consistent and positive reinforcement-based training methods work best with this breed. Early socialization is also crucial to help them develop into well-rounded and well-behaved companions.

Affectionate Nature

If you’re looking for a cuddly lap dog, the Brussels Griffon fits the bill perfectly. These little charmers thrive on human companionship and are happiest when snuggled beside their favorite person. Their loving and affectionate nature makes them excellent therapy dogs and companions for seniors or individuals with special needs.

Alertness and Watchfulness

Don’t let their small size fool you! Brussels Griffons are natural watchdogs and take their job of seriously alerting their family to potential dangers. They have keen senses and readily sound the alarm if they sense anything amiss. This watchful nature makes them great little guardians for your home.

Brussels griffon in Smygehuk, Sweden

Playful and Energetic

While Brussels Griffons enjoy lounging on the couch with their loved ones and have a playful and energetic side, regular exercise is necessary to stimulate them physically and mentally. Daily walks, interactive play sessions, and puzzle toys are all great ways to keep your Brussels Griffon happy and healthy.


Brussels Griffons can adapt well to various living situations despite their small size. Whether you live in a small apartment or a spacious house, these adaptable dogs can thrive as long as they receive ample love, attention, and exercise. However, it’s important to note that Brussels Griffons can be sensitive to extreme temperatures and should be protected from excessive heat or cold.

Caring for Your Brussels Griffon

Owning a Brussels Griffon involves specific responsibilities to ensure their health, happiness, and overall well-being. Let’s explore some essential aspects of caring for your beloved Brussels Griffon.

Grooming Needs

Brussels Griffons have a double coat consisting of a soft, dense undercoat and a harsher outer coat. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coats in good condition and to prevent matting. Brushing their coat two to three times per week will help minimize shedding. Additionally, expert grooming services regularly will guarantee they look their best.

Dental Care

Brussels Griffons require proper dental care to maintain good oral health, like all dogs. Regular brushing with dog-specific toothpaste and providing dental chews or toys will help prevent tartar buildup and keep their teeth clean and strong. Regular dental check-ups with a veterinarian are also advised to address potential tooth concerns.

Balanced Diet

A balanced and nutritious food is critical for your Brussels Griffon’s overall health and vitality. Consult your veterinarian about the best type and amount of food for your dog based on age, activity level, and special dietary needs. Obesity may lead to several health problems, so they must maintain a healthy weight.

Mental Stimulation

Keeping your Brussels Griffon mentally stimulated is crucial to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Interactive toys, puzzle games, and obedience training sessions are excellent ways to engage their minds and provide the mental exercise they need. These activities also strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

person holding a brussels griffon

FAQs about Brussels Griffons

Is a Brussels Griffon a good pet?

Absolutely! Brussels Griffons make lovely pets for the right family. Their affectionate nature, intelligence, and adaptability make them an excellent choice for individuals or families looking for a small, loyal companion.

Can Brussels Griffon be left alone?

While they thrive on human companionship, they can be left alone for reasonable periods. However, it’s important to note that they are social dogs and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Providing them with interactive toys and ensuring they have a comfortable space can help alleviate any distress.

How rare are Brussels Griffons?

This breed is considered a relatively rare breed. However, their popularity has steadily increased, making them more accessible to those interested in adding one to their family. It’s always advisable to research reputable breeders or consider adopting from a rescue organization when looking for a Brussels Griffon.

Can Brussels Griffon fly?

While this breed may not have wings, they can undoubtedly accompany their owners on flights. These small dogs are typically allowed in an airplane cabin if they meet the airline’s specific requirements regarding size, weight, and carrier regulations. It’s essential to check with the airline and make necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth travel experience for you and your furry friend.

Why do Brussels Griffons lick so much?

Licking is a natural activity in dogs, including Brussels Griffons. Licking can serve a variety of functions for them, including displaying affection, investigating their surroundings, and even attracting attention. Excessive licking, however, can indicate underlying health problems or anxiety. You should see a veterinarian to rule out any potential issues if you detect persistent and excessive licking.

Are Brussels Griffons smart?

Absolutely! This breed is known for their intelligence and quick learning abilities. They are highly trainable and enjoy mental challenges. You can teach your Brussels Griffon many commands and tricks with consistent and positive reinforcement-based training methods.

Are Brussels Griffons hypoallergenic?

While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, They are an excellent choice for individuals with allergies. They have a wiry and non-shedding coat, which reduces the amount of allergens, such as dander, in the environment. However, it’s important to note that individual reactions to allergens can vary, so spending time with a Brussels Griffon before bringing one into your home is advisable.


In conclusion, the Brussels Griffon is a small dog breed with enormous personality and charm. Their loving nature, intelligence, and adaptability make them a joy to have as a companion. Whether you’re looking for a lap dog to snuggle with or a lively playmate, the Brussels Griffon can fit the bill. Responsible pet ownership involves providing them with love, care, and attention, ensuring they lead a happy and fulfilling life. So, if you’re ready to embark on a delightful journey with a Brussels Griffon, get prepared to be smitten by their irresistible charisma!

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