The Brussels Griffon is a small dog with notable features such as a flat face, prominent chin and large, wide-set eyes which remind people of a small monkey or an elf. This breed also resembles a small terrier.
The history of the Brussels Griffon began in the 1800s in Belgium. These dogs were originally used in stables to keep the rats away. It is believed the Brussels Griffon was developed from the Affenpinscher and a Belgian street dog, often referred to as the “griffon d’ecurie” which means wire-coated stable dog. Records indicate the Pug and the King Charles and the Ruby Spaniels were crossed with the original Belgian dog. As a result, two distinct types of coat emerged, the rough coat and the smooth coat.
These lively dogs were friendly and popular in the late 1800s with both workers and noblemen in Belgium. In 1880, the Brussels Griffon was first shown at the Brussels Exhibition. While there are three different types of Griffons – the Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Griffon, the AKC recognizes only the breed known as the Brussels Griffon. The Brussels Griffon was recognized by the AKC in 1910.
Height: The height for a Brussels Griffon is 7-8 inches (18-20cm)
Weight: The weight of a Brussels Griffon is 3.6 – 4.5 kg (8–10 lb)
Coat Type: The Brussels Griffon has two different types of coat – rough and smooth. The rough coat is dense and wiry and should never never look or feel wooly. The hair around the face forms a fringe around the eyes, nose, cheeks and chin – however this hair should not be grown into a long beard. The eyebrow, moustache and beard look is essential to the human-like expression sought after in the Brussels Griffon. The smooth coat is straight, short, tight and glossy, with no trace of wiry hair. The Brussels Griffon’s coat is groomed with a technique known as stripping. This involves pulling out the dead hair by hand. If the coat is left to grow naturally it will become soft and wooly looking.
Color: The color of the Brussels Griffon’s coat can be red, a mixture of red-brown & black, black & tan, and solid black.
Temperament: The Brussels Griffon is affectionate, intelligent and charming. This breed is also sensitive and alert. The Brussels Griffon bonds very well with its master and does not do well if left outside and/or alone for long periods of time. It is important the Brussels Griffon is not allowed to “take over the home or feel as though he is in charge” – otherwise behavioral problems may follow. Housebreaking may be difficult. The Brussels Griffon is not recommended for children.
Health Problems: Possible health concerns which may affect the Brussels Griffon include slipped stifle, respiratory difficulty, eye lacerations, and heatstroke. The average life span is between 12 to 15 years.
• The Flemish painter, Van Eyck, portrayed an early example of the Brussels Griffon in his paintings.
• The Brussels Griffon is a member of the Toy Group and was first recognized by the AKC in 1910.
• There are three types of the Griffon – the Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Griffon. The AKC recognizes only the breed known as the Brussels Griffon.
• The Brussels Griffon was featured in 1997’s hit movie, As Good As It Gets, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
AKC: Toy Group
ANKC: Group 1 – Toy
CKC: Group 5 – Toy
FCI: Group 9 Section 3 #80, 81, 82
UKC: Companion Breeds