Brussels Griffon

Breed Summary

With an almost human expression, this toy dog is not only popular for its lively looks but also for its intelligent and sturdy appearance. The term “Monkey-face” is often used to describe the face of Brussels Griffon. Their eyes set well apart, very large and ears are small and set rather high on the head. Their tail set and held high, docked to about one-third. There are two distinct types of the Brussels Griffon: a rough- and smooth-coated variety.

Country of Origin: Belgium

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 98 of 196

AKC Classification: Toy group

UKC Classification: Companion Dog

Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 7 in.; Male: 8 in.

Weight: Female: 8-10 lbs.; Male: 8-10 lbs.

Physical traits: Loyal, Alert, Curious, Intelligent, Stubborn

Personality traits/Temperament: Loyal, Alert, Curious

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Hard coat

Colors: Red, belge (mixed reddish brown/black), black and tan, black

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Energy Level: Very energetic

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: High

Tendency to Dig: Moderate

Social/Attention Needs: High


Brussels Griffons are generally plagued with several health issues throughout their lives. These include patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, syringomyelia, hypothyroidism, and eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy. The short, stocky body is prone to becoming overweight, which puts stress in joints, which can avoid by providing special dietary formula in older age. Unfortunately, Brussels Griffons are more likely to develop Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in which the eyes are genetically programmed to go blind. Their life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential.


The Brussels Griffon dog depends on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Provide a diet according to the different stages of a dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so monitor your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Don’t give human foods that are not safe for them. Consult with your veterinarian for further advice.


Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended for all dogs and help to ensure that the Griffon grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. Griffons are very much intelligent and bond strongly with their owners, which makes them easy to train. As with many toy breeds, though, housebreaking may take some extra time and effort. Griffons are sensitive by nature, and they don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods.


Brussels Griffons need at least a half-hour of moderate exercise daily to stay healthy and happy. They love to romp and play and are happiest when doing activities together with their human companion. A game of chasing the ball is fun for both dog and owner. Their intelligence and trainability mean that many Brussels Griffons excel in canine events such as obedience, agility, and tracking. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet.

Fun Fact

A Brussels Griffon was featured in the 1997 hit film, “As Good As, It Gets,” starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.


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