Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois)

Recommended for: Couples
Maintenance Level: Medium
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Affectionate, sensitive, impatient
Health Risk:
This breed has an around average probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the less expensive breeds to insure.
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Breed Overview

The Brussels Griffon, also known as Griffon Bruxellois in Europe, is a toy dog breed. There are two varieties of Brussels Griffon, the rough-coated with a wiry coat and the smooth-coated with a glossy coat. Brussels Griffons tend to have a lot more hair around the cheeks than anywhere else, making it look like they have a little beard.

Both the rough-coated and smooth-coated Brussels Griffons tend to shed very little hair which means they are well suited as inside dogs. This breed enjoys a brush with a mitt on regular occasions. It is also recommended that the rough-coated breed receives specialised grooming twice a year. Brussels Griffons come in a variety of colours including red-brown, black-red-brown, black-tan, and black.

The Griffon can grow up to around 17 cm – 21 cm. The average weight of this breed is roughly 3 kg – 5 kg, however, you can find an occasional Griffon than can weigh up to 9 kg.

Brussels Griffons have high levels of exercise needs, so be sure to provide them with plenty of stimulation. They are easy to train if you start when they are young, but, if you leave training for later in their lives they can develop ‘small-dog syndrome’ and won’t respond to commands. These dogs are well suited to apartment living but do enjoy a run outside.

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Personality and Temperament

This breed certainly loves to cuddle up with their human family, however, it’s on their terms when it’s cuddle time. Griffons don’t like to be hugged all the time, which means that they can get aggressive with children if not trained well.

Griffons are fast learners when training but, like other toy breeds, they are sometimes a challenge to house train.

Griffons get along well with all members of the family including other pets, but they can have a tendency to be wary of strangers. This breed can suffer from ‘small-dog syndrome’, resulting in a tendency to bark at bigger dogs.

Common Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois) Diseases & Conditions

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

  • Syringomyelia. This is a condition where the formation of the skull is too small for the brain. This can cause the dog mild discomfort or a great deal of pain depending on the severity of the condition. If your Griffon shows tenderness around the neck, head or shoulders, often whimpers when touched or scratches at the head, take them to the vet as soon as possible for assessment.
  • Eye problems. Intraocular pressure, ametropia, microphthalmia and colobomas can all affect the eye of the Brussels Griffons. These conditions can appear in adolescent dogs and if left untreated may lead to blindness. Symptoms include redness, scarring and excessive tearing.
  • Hip dysplasia occurs when the thigh bone and hip joint do not fit together properly and may cause pain and arthritis later in the dog’s life. Many affected dogs are able to live relatively comfortably with the condition.

Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.

Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.

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The Brussels Griffon originate from Brussels, Belgium. It is believed that its ancestor is the Smousje dog breed. The Brussels Griffon is thought to be a mixture of the Affenpinscher, Pug, and the English Toy Spaniel. Griffons were originally bred to hunt small rodents like rats.

In 1883, Belgian breeders started entering Griffons into dog shows. Belgium’s Queen Marie Henriette of the 18th century fell in love with this breed and began breeding them in Europe and across seas.

The early 1890s saw the Brussels Griffon exported to England and the US. In 1900, Brussels Griffons became registered and recognised with the American Kennel Club.

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Brussels Griffon (Griffon Bruxellois) Facts!

Brussels Griffons would not have survived today if they were not originally exported. At the end of WWII, Brussels Griffons were nearly extinct from Belgium.

A Brussels Griffon starred in the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’ alongside Jack Nicholson.

Brussels Griffons are very vocal dogs that like to ‘talk’ to their owners.


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Country Griffon Bruxellois Club of NSW

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