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What you should know about the Brussels Griffon!

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

Are you looking for a small addition to your family? You came to the right place!

Take into consideration the Brussels Griffon. This dog was used as a standard to judge dogs in shows. The Brussels Griffon is considered the ideal pet!

Wherever you live, this toy dog is the ideal size for any environment. Their small size could suit an apartment lifestyle or a big house with many children!

The Brussels Griffon is ideal for a household with children and they get along well with any other dogs you may have in your home!

This breed is very affectionate and comforting. A very loyal and loving dog!


So what things should you know about the Brussels Griffon?

Everything from his outward appearance to his wonderful personality will be discussed! The article will answer questions like:

What type of exercise and training does the Brussels Griffon require?

Is the grooming process complicated?

How does this pup react in different social environments?

And even where did this breed originate?

All of these questions and many more will be answered as we explore the Brussels Griffon!


So are you ready to get to know these pups? 

Let’s get started!



Brussels Griffon Appearance

Brussels Griffons are commonly referred to by their nickname Griffs!

Griffs are measured anywhere from 7 to 10 inches tall! They can come in a 5 to 15-pound package. 

These furballs’ small size makes them a perfect fit for many different living situations.

Many outlive their expected lifespan of 12-15 years.

This lifespan makes the Brussels Griffon a great companion for children growing up!


Coat colors vary, typically they’re one of these four: red, black, and reddish-brown(called belge), black and tan, and black in smooth coats and also in rough coats.

Old folk songs gave Griffs the nickname ‘bearded dogs’ for their trademark black muzzle and whiskers.

One glance into Griff’s dark human-like eyes will have you smitten!

Griff’s eyes coupled with his fringed beard and mustache covering his muzzle gives the dog the look of a sophisticated, French-speaking philosopher.


Their thick and sturdy build causes a purposeful trot when they walk. This walk matches their independent and alert attitude.

Fur lengths vary from medium to short. 

Depending on what type of pup you get, you can expect some shedding but nothing extreme.

 Their grooming habits will be discussed in another section.



Brussels Griffon Personality

Griffs typically have higher energy levels. They have a very playful and busy lifestyle!

A house of high-energy children suits them very well!

While most dogs of this breed are happy to socialize, others are rather standoffish when it comes to strangers!

The Griffs adapt very well to new environments, routines, and people.


Brussel Griffons tend to be vocal, however, it depends on the dog. Some will bark at a bird or a passerby others are not as expressive.

Mental stimulation is something that Griff needs to stay busy. This need can be satisfied by being included in family activities.

However, if the pup’s human is taking a break on the couch, he will be happy to accompany him!

Griffs are very smart and comically self-absorbed. They also tend to be independent if need be.


The Griff is a jack of all trades.

He is a great playmate for your children. However not recommended for very young children as the Griff is very energetic and rambunctious. 

He also is very sensitive to the needs of his human. He has a small threshold for loneliness so he’s content to stick to his owner’s side!

This pup makes for a great companion, leading to many years of memories and laughter!



Brussels Griffon Exercise

Griff’s energy levels can give you a run for your money sometimes!

They like to stay active. In order to be healthy and happy they require at least 30 minutes of exercise.


Griffs enjoy a variety of activities.

A simple game of chasing the ball is enjoyable for both the dog and the owner!

Setting up an obstacle course would be a great way to expand the Griff’s training.

These pups are easily entertained, they’ll take any attention they can get!

A short walk is an easy but very fun form of exercise for the Griff.


It is ideal to find exercises that burn off the Griff’s energy fast. 

Toys are a simple solution to this, the pup can play by himself while getting the exercise required.

Because of his small size, he can get his daily exercise indoors.

These dogs are very intelligent and can easily be taught new games!

Griffs will be content doing any sort of activity with their owner!



Brussels Griffon Grooming

When it comes to their fur, there are two types of Griffs. There are smooth coats and rough coats.

Smooth-coated Griffons require weekly brushing; daily over-shedding season. Their shedding season is usually a week or two in the spring and then again in the fall.

Rough-coated Griffons do not shed, but they do have their hair; except for the distinctive beard, clipped short.

Both types of Griffons require the occasional bath to keep their coat looking healthy. Don’t forget to get a 

recommendation from your vet for shampoo!


As with all dog breeds the dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly.

Overly long nails can result in discomfort for the pup and trouble walking and running.

Don’t forget to check in on his pearly whites. Brushing with a vet-approved toothpaste is a must!


Griff’s grooming process doesn’t have to be complicated.

With a little learning, all of this can be done by the owner; or you can take them to a professional.

Keeping your Griff groomed and healthy is important to a happy life for the pup and for you!



Brussels Griffon Training

This breed has a high level of intelligence and they bond well with their owners.

These traits make them very easy to train.

As with many toy breeds, housebreaking will take special time and effort.

Because of their sensitive natures, Griffs don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods.


A Griffon wants to be with his family as often as he can, and this causes the pup to follow his owners around from room to room.

Undesirable traits will be developed if the Griff is ignored or not given enough attention.

Teaching the Griff new commands is very mentally enriching.

If not properly trained Griffs have a tendency to bark excessively.

An easy game to help the Griff expand his mind is teaching him the names of his toys.

Yes, the Griffon is able to earn hundreds of names and words!


The Griff’s intelligence and trainability cause them to excel in canine events such as obedience, agility, and tracking.

Brussel Griffons make great watchdogs!

Training is as essential for the pup as for the owner, it nurtures a wonderful relationship between you and your furry friend!

With a little training and a lot of love and attention, Griffs make wonderful pets!



Brussels Griffon Health

Griffs are generally very healthy dogs.

Responsible breeders screen their stock for health problems but there are some things to look out for.

As with many flat-faced breeds, Brussels Griffons can experience breathing problems in sunny, hot, or humid weather.

Griffs are usually mild snorers.


Patella evaluation is necessary when your Griff is displaying lameness, or abnormal gait usually caused by kneecap dislocation.

Hip problems are another common issue in Griffs. It is usually caused by a degenerative joint disease that can lead to pain and dehabilitation. 

These are the most common problems for this breed but are still rarely heard of.


A Griff’s nutrition, like any other dog, is important. 

High-quality dog food should be in their daily consumption, along with clean fresh water.

The amount of food consumed should be measured according to age; puppy, adult, or senior.

Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so calorie consumption and weight level should be monitored to avoid this problem.

Treats are important tools in training but be careful not to overuse them. There’s a reason they’re called treats!


Learn which human foods are safe for your Griffon, and which are not.

Finally, be sure to have your Griff examined by a veterinarian regularly to ensure their happiness as well as yours!



Brussels Griffon History

Now let’s learn where these pups came from! 

Griffon-type dogs were known in Europe for centuries. In fact, many early photographs pictured the Brussel Griffon’s ancestors.

However, the story really begins in the 1800s in the capital city of Belgium, Brussels. Now you begin to see where the name came from!


The most popular use of the small pup was vermin control, but it was soon recognized as a lovable pet!

Now even though no written record of the breeding has been found, it is surmised that the Pug, English Toy Spaniels, and perhaps even the Yorkshire Terrier were all part of the genetic mix that created the Brussels Griffon.

The turning point in Griff’s history happened when Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Belgians, took a liking to the loveable breed. 

The Griff’s future was then sealed by this royal recognition!


Over the years the breed was refined to make the body smaller and the face more human-like.

However, as with many European breeds, the two world wars decimated the Griff population.

If not for the dedication of the U.S. and British enthusiasts this breed may not be here today! 

Griffs were soon internationally recognized and were then exported to England and America.

Then in 1910, the AKC registered its first Griff!

And that is the summarized history of the Brussels Griffon!


Where Can I Find the Brussels Griffon?

Where Can I Find Brussels Griffon

The most important thing in finding any puppy is to find a reliable breeder. Someone that you feel is responsible and that cares about these puppies.

A reliable breeder should be willing to answer any questions concerning their dogs.

Some things to ask about are their breeding practices, medical documentation, and possible risks with this certain breed.

Get to know your breeder so you can match with the right doggo!

Looking for a pup can be a tricky process. Avoiding scams and puppy mills is hard.

So take your time and make sure you can trust your breeder!


Each puppy is different, so remember that what may work for one might not work for another.

 Be patient when searching for a puppy, you want to be sure this is what you want!

The breeder should know their dogs and their personalities.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Spend some time with your puppy to get to know him before you decide to take it home!

Finally, if you’re looking to adopt one of these fun Griffs, look no further! There are some doggos right here at Vip puppies that would love to be adopted!

You won’t regret adopting a Brussels Griffon!



Q: Are Brussels Griffons friendly with people?

A: It varies a lot. Some Griffons are friendly with everyone, but many individuals are more standoffish, though still polite. Some Griffons are timid, while others are overly suspicious(which you must stop immediately, lest it worsens).


Q: Are Brussels Griffons good with children?

A: Brussels Griffon isn’t recommended for children younger than about age 10. This proud and sensitive little breed can be slightly high-strung and defensive around young children.


Q: How much exercise do Brussels Griffons need?

A: Just a few walks, plus a few games of tug and fetch in the yard. Many Griffons become obsessed with chasing small balls and toys. Also, teach tricks to help their mind grow! 


In Closing

Brussels Griffon In Closing

Now that you know a little more about this fun breed, what do you think?

Could a Brussels Griffon be the pup for you?

If their fun look and bubbly personality appealed to you, consider adopting one of these doggos.

Even if you live alone or with your family, in the city or the country, the Griffon can adapt to any environment!

Its low-maintenance lifestyle is perfect for a calm individual or a busy family.

Could this playful little Griffon be just what you need?


Find out today! 



American Kennel Club. (2022). Brussels Griffon. Retrieved from American Kennel Club:

Barkercise.(2020). Brussels Griffon exercise needs and ideas. Retrieved from Barkercise:

Hills Pet.(2022). Brussels Griffon Dog Breed. Retrieved from Hills Pet: https://www.hillspet/dog-care/dog-breeds/brussels-griffon/

Your Purebred Puppy.(2022) Retrieved from Your Purebred Puppy:


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