BBS Breed Spotlight: Brussels Griffon

When you think “toy breed” what do you think? Pampered pups? Petite and dainty? High maintenance? While all these things may be true for some toy breeds, they’re not true for all; especially the Brussels Griffon. thinks you’ll be impressed with this highly affectionate, intelligent and unique looking pup. Read on to learn more about the Brussels Griffon in the BBS Breed Spotlight!

History & Background: Hailing from Brussels, Belgium the Brussels Griffon’s ancestors were used as stable workers to keep rodent populations down. This Affenpinscher-like dog was later bred with the Pug, King Charles Spaniel and Ruby Spaniels to produce two distinct varieties of dogs—smooth and rough coated. This dog is also called the Griffon Bruxellois. Gradually the Brussels Griffon became a regular member of the family. There are old folk tales and songs telling of “bearded dogs” which refer to the spirited Brussels Griffon. Through WWI and WWII the Griffon largely decreased in numbers yet was brought back from the brink of extinction by dedicated UK enthusiasts. To this day the Brussels Griffon is a rare dog yet in the past decades has enjoyed a little more popularity in the United States. This is due to Griffons appearance in the movies and TV shows such as As Good as It Gets, Gosford Park, Sweet November, Spin City, and First Wives Club. The general interest in toy breed dogs has also heightened the interest toward the Brussels Griffon.

Height: 7 to 8 inches

Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

Coat: The rough coated Brussels Griffon has dense, wiry and hard fur. The coat shouldn’t be overly long and should have no silky hair. The head is covered with slightly longer hair, especially around the eyes, nose, cheeks and chin. This gives the Griffon a fringe. The smooth coated variety has short, straight and glossy hair with no wiry fur. These dog are referred to as Brabancon.

Color: Griffons only come in 4 colors/color combinations.

  1. Red: This color combination is a reddish brown and can feature black at the whiskers and/or chin.
  2. Beige: Black and red/brown mixture make up the beige coloring, which can also show a black mask and whiskers.
  3. Black & Tan: This combination is black with consistent red/brown markings under the chin, on the legs, above the eyes and around ear edges and vent.
  4. Black

Appearance: Small, but sturdy, the Brussels Griffon is a square and short dog with strong bones and a proud head. Large, black eyes and small, erect ears give this dog an alert expression. The Griffon has a domed head and short nose. Straight and well-muscled legs hold this dog’s thick body. Griffons have level backs and deep ribs. This dog’s tail is high and is usually docked.

Temperament: The Brussels Griffon has lots of personality. This cheerful, highly affectionate dog is naturally curious, spunky and very intelligent. These dogs are highly sensitive and should be socialized early but carefully. Griffons usually bond with one person more than others.

Health & Grooming: Griffons usually live 10 to 15 years and are generally healthy. Some health issues this breed may experience can be eye and respiratory problems, heat sensitivity and difficulty whelping.

The rough-coated variety of the Brussels Griffon will require more maintenance than dogs with smooth coats. Griffons shed little hair to none at all.

Product Suggestions: For a rare dog, try a well-known favorite—the 6 inch standard bully stick. A perfect daily dental dog chew for your toy-sized, this half-foot of free-range, grass-fed beef will have your Brussels Griffon hooked!

For a great dog toy, check out the Pet Qwerks Small Jingle X-Tire Ball dog toy. It’s made out of rugged tire that’s easy for dogs to pick up and fetch. The jingle bell hidden inside the tire will keep your pet enthralled for hours!

Do you know or own a Brussels Griffon? Tell us your Griffon story in the comments section below!

Curious about a dog breed? Check out our full list of Breed Spotlights to learn about some amazing dog breeds!

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