Brussels Griffon

Canis lupus

Last updated: August 1, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

The Brussels Griffon prefers to live with another dog so they have a companion to play with.

Brussels Griffon Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Brussels Griffon Conservation Status

Brussels Griffon Locations

Brussels Griffon Locations

Brussels Griffon Facts

Fun Fact
The Brussels Griffon prefers to live with another dog so they have a companion to play with.
Friendly, cheerful, curious, charming and affectionate.
Average Litter Size
1-3 puppies

Brussels Griffon Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Tan
  • Beige
Skin Type
12-15 years
7-12 pounds
7-8 inches

Brussels Griffon Images

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The Brussels Griffon is a mix of multiple breeds, including the Pug, English Toy Spaniel, and Affenpinscher. They were adored by nobility and the working class alike, though an official standard for its appearance was not set until 1883.

Originally developed as a mixed breed centuries ago, the Brussels Griffon has been a beloved animal since it started breeding. In recent years, the breed has gotten a little less common, driving up the breeders’ prices, especially for a puppy. Though they are sometimes found in a rescue shelter, genetics play a role in their health issues and disposition.

This toy dog is quite affectionate and loving, endearing anyone with their bossy personality in such a small size.

3 pros and cons of owning a Brussels Griffon

Being realistic about any new pet in the family is important. Consider these pros and cons before adopting a Brussels Griffon of your own.

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Pros! Cons!
Long lifespan: The Brussels Griffon has an expected lifespan of 12-15 years, which is much longer than many other breeds. Very vocal: While some people don’t mind the volume that their pup can reach, the constant alerts whenever a stranger passes may be a little much.
Small size: Due to the limitations of apartment and house renters, the Brussels Griffon size is ideal for individuals that much adhere to size limits in their contracts. Prone to many health issues: Though the human-like face is appealing to many, their protruding eyes and short nose put them at risk for many injuries and illnesses.
Loving: Perhaps the most appealing reason to adopt a Brussels Griffon is their adoration since they love to be close to their owner. Prone to biting: The sensitive nature of this dog can lead them to become fearful if handled incorrectly, leading them to bite in fear.
Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon love exercise but don’t require a ton of space, making them ideal dogs for apartments or small homes.

Brussels Griffon Size and Weight

The Brussels Griffon is a rather petite dog, which is part of the appeal for owners in apartments or smaller homes. There are no discernable differences between the size of females and males, both ranging from 7-8 inches tall as adults. In fact, they only weigh about 7-12 lbs. when they are fully grown, though some may reach 20 lbs. as the result of the mix of their much larger ancestors.

As a puppy, the Brussels Griffon only weighs a few ounces.

Height (Male): 7-8″
Height (Female): 7-8″
Weight (male): 7-12 pounds
Weight (female): 7-12 pounds

Brussels Griffon Common Health Issues

Most of the health issues that Brussels Griffons tend to deal with are due to their flat face and their short noses, making the concerns common among other breeds with the same traits. Respiratory issues can occur if the airway is obstructed, but their nose can also lead to eye damage. Some of the eye conditions include glaucoma, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Their small bone structure is prone to syringomyelia, which causes the spinal cord to collect fluid-filled cavities. They may also experience patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and thyroid problems.

Since the Brussels Griffon is not meant to be kept outside, they are more prone to heatstroke than larger breeds. Plus, their short hair prevents them from being in weather that is too cold. Keeping them inside is the easiest way to prevent illnesses from environmental factors.

Overall, the most common health issues that you may face with your dog include:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Eye damage (like glaucoma and cataracts)
  • Syringomyelia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Heatstroke

Brussels Griffon Temperament

Anyone lucky enough to adopt one of these pint-sized pups will have a loyal and sensitive companion with them. Their naturally affectionate personality makes them incredibly appealing, though that affection may seem a bit dependent. They like to be as physically close to their owner as possible, which means that separation anxiety is in full swing. If it is possible to bring them where you go, you should – they will not be happy at home.

Their overall temperament can range broadly, from incredibly outgoing to cautiously shy. However, they are consistently bossy around the home if they are allowed to run the show. If they feel ignored at any point, they may start behaving badly for attention. However, most of their personality has to do with several factors, like how socialized they are, their training, and the genetics that made them. Remember to be patient as you raise this pup to be a well-balanced pet.

Since the Brussels Griffon is more sensitive than most breeds, they pay clear attention to their surroundings. If they become fearful, their behavior may become prematurely aggressive, biting out of the fear that someone will handle them roughly. With gentle care, it is easy to avoid this issue entirely.

How to Take Care of Brussels Griffon

As adorable as the Brussels Griffon can be, it needs to have a certain degree of care to remain healthy and happy. Here are a few tips to properly care for this pet when you bring him (or her) home.

Health and Entertainment for your Brussels Griffon

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Brussels Griffon Food and Diet

Since this breed can be prone to obesity, the right portions of high-quality dog food (1/4 to 1/2 cup) are necessary. They should be fed twice daily, and their food should not be left out to graze on for the entire day. However, water should be left out to ensure that they are hydrated.

Brussels Griffon Maintenance and Grooming

Though the Brussels Griffon is a rather small dog with short hair, they require quite a bit of upkeep. They may have a rough or smooth coat, which entirely depends on the variation of the breed. Regardless of the texture, it is best to brush this dog twice a week to eliminate the fur that they shed. Baths only need to occur on an as-needed basis.

The Brussels Griffon dogs with the smooth coat won’t need as much attention to grooming as the wirier breeds, but they’ll shed seasonally. Clipping their short hair is also encouraged every three months, especially around the face. Though they also will need their hair from the ear canals removed, this type of car can be done with a veterinarian or a groomer.

Brussels Griffon Training

The Brussels Griffon’s desire to be close to you can be used to your advantage during training. With exposure to different social settings with walks in the park, visits with other people, and interactions with other dogs, you may be able to break their natural shyness around strangers. They tend to enjoy spending time with other pets.

If you are working to teach commands or even just house-train your Brussels Griffon, try to exclusively use positive reinforcement. These puppies are eager to please you, and they want to make you happy. Still, they tend to bark, so they will need a little patience to break this habit.

Brussels Griffon Exercise

Though the Brussels Griffon is small, they like a lot of exercise. They should be walked daily, helping them to avoid obesity and keep their stress levels down. Engaging in agility exercises can also fulfill their need for physical activity, especially when temperatures outside are too high for a walk.

Always keep a fenced yard available when you take them outside to protect them from predators. However, if you have this type of outdoor area, make sure that there are no sharp objects near the ground that could damage their prominent eyes.

Brussels Griffon Puppies

Brussels Griffon puppies have a fairly similar demeanor to the adults. When adopting a puppy, you need to have a way for them to interact with other animals and household members early in their life to get the right social skills. They may only need the smaller amount of food (1/4 cup) twice a day but purchase the dry food that is specifically meant for these years for the right nutrition.

Brussels Griffon Puppy
The average litter size of a Brussels Griffon is one to three puppies.

Brussels Griffon and Children

The Brussels Griffon is known for its loving demeanor, but it may not be suited for young children who have yet to be taught the proper interactions with dogs. They won’t appreciate the unsolicited hugs, and they don’t like to stay in someone’s lap unless they decide to do. They especially don’t love being hit, chased, or cornered, which may result in growling or snapping.

If you have small children, do not allow them to pick up the dog. Instead, encourage them to be patient and wait for attention, demonstrating a welcoming and calm demeanor. If this pup seems uncomfortable at all, give him a few minutes away from the children to calm down.

Dogs similar to Brussels Griffon

If the Brussels Griffon just isn’t a good match for your family, there are always the following dogs as well:

  • Pekingese – The human-like face is also found in the Pekingese breed, though there is a lot more grooming involved.
  • Chinese Crested – The Chinese Crested has significantly less fur, but you’ll still have the unique facial hair of the Brussels Griffon.
  • Scottish Terrier – If you like the distinct beard, this sleek and fluffy dog may give the same compact figure you like as well.

Famous Brussels Griffon

This species is no stranger to Hollywood. In fact, part of the reason that the Brussels Griffon has gained so much popularity is the result of their featured role in As Good As It Gets.

With such a distinct look, several Brussels Griffons are found on Instagram with quite a following, including @DigbyVanWinkle, @DonnieBarko, and @MyNameIsChamaco.

Popular Names for Brussels Griffon

There are plenty of names for this toy breed. Consider one of these names for your next rescue animal:

  • Duchess
  • Kissy
  • Ladybug
  • Empress
  • Bambi
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Brussels Griffon FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Brussels Griffon?

A Brussels Griffon is a combination of several dogs, including the Affenpinscher, English Toy Spaniel, and Pug. Since there are two variations of the Brussels Griffon, they may have a smooth coat or a rough coat. They have large eyes, a round head, and an underjaw that often protrudes over the top jaw. They are highly affectionate but will bite when afraid.

Do Brussels Griffon bark a lot?

This breed is known for barking if they are not properly trained. It is possible to teach them to be quieter, but they still may bark if provoked, afraid, or upset.

How much do Brussels Griffon puppies cost?

For a puppy or adult, the total price will depend on their breeding and where they are adopted from. Adopting from a rescue will be the cheaper option for any animal. However, if pedigree is a priority, breeders can sell these puppies for a price as little as $800 or as high as $3,600.

Are Brussels Griffon easy to train?

It depends. These toy dogs are rather independent, so they may resist training at first, even if they come from the most expensive breeders. Luckily, with positive reinforcement and patience, training is entirely possible.

Do Brussel Griffon dogs shed?

Yes, but not often. Brussels Griffons with a smooth coat only shed seasonally, though they will need to be brushed a few times each week.

How do you groom a Brussels Griffon?

This pet should be washed and towel-dried before grooming. A pin brush is the best grooming tool to eliminate any matting, though most groomers will take the time to trim the feet and face to look tidier. They should also have their teeth brushed regularly.

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