Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Information, Images, Characteristics, Health

Basic Information - Brussels Griffon for Sale

Height Male:
18 - 20 cm7 - 8 inches
Height Female:
16 - 18 cm6 - 8 inches
Weight Male:
3 - 6 kg6 - 14 pounds
Weight Female:
2 - 5 kg4 - 12 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
1 - 4
Other Names:
Griffon Belge • Griffon Bruxellois • Brussels Griffon • Petit Brabancon • Belgian Griffon • Griffon
Colors Available:
red, black-and-reddish-brown (called belge), black and tan, and black
rough and smooth types
Affectionate, Cheerful, Energetic, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Responsive, Social
Moderate Maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:

History - Brussels Griffon for Sale

The Brussels Griffon is one of the three different types of Griffons. There is the Belgian, the Petit, and the Brussels Griffon. “Griffon” means wiry and the Brussels Griffon lives up to that moniker. The Brussels Griffon’s coat is longer than that of the Belgian Griffon and the Petit Brabanon (Griffon) has a smooth, short coat. The breed is probably originally developed by crossing Belgian street dogs with the Affenpinsher as early in the 1800’s. They were favored by the cabbies in Brussels as guard dogs. They were also bred to hunt rats. Sometime toward the end of the 19th century, the Griffon was again crossed this time with a pug. This accounts for the type of head that the Brussels Griffon has, namely a brachycephalic head. It also accounts for the smooth coat of the Petit Griffon. The modern-day Griffon may also have been crossed at some time with one or more of these breeds: the English Toy Spaniel, the Irish Terrier and the Yorkshire Terrier.

By 1880, the breed was recognized and appeared in the Brussels Exhibition of 1880. They were also found in paintings of the same era by the Flemish painter, Van Eyck. In the beginning of the 20th century, the breed was extremely popular with the nobility in Belgium. As with so many other breeds, the number of Brussels Griffon was greatly reduced during the First World War. It did not take them long however to make a comeback after the war. Their popularity then spread around the globe.

The European FCI considers the Brussels Griffon, the Belgian Griffon and the Petit Brabancon (Griffon) to be three separate breeds with no interbreeding among them. They are shown as three separate breeds in Europe, with the difference between the Belgian and Brussels being the accepted colors. The Brussels is only red in color while the Belgium Griffon can be in all other colors. In the United States the three types of Griffons are considered one breed with three varieties. Only the Brussels Griffon is recognized by the AKC. The difference in coat and color make for the different varieties in the U.S.

Description - Brussels Griffon for Sale

All three types of Griffons are toy size dogs with short, thick bodies and distinctive brachycephalic heads. Regardless of coat color their muzzles and whiskers are black, and they have large eyes, also black, a mustache and beard. They have black eyelashes and a nose that is very black. All this is set against their red, beige, black or black and tan coat. Their forehead is dome shaped and the muzzle is short. The breed has small ears that are high up on the dog’s head. The ears might be cropped in the United States but would not be in Europe. The lower jaw is prominent and the jaw itself is undershot. They have black toenails and pads, with strong and muscular hind legs. The Griffon has a docked, high set tail in the U.S. and a full tail in Europe and all of the United Kingdom.

The rough coated types have a dense and wiry coat and the standard encourages the hardest possible wire coat. Their heads are also wiry and long around the chin, cheeks, nose and eyes. They should be hand-stripped and never left ungroomed. The coat can matt if not taken care of adequately. One of the most important features of the Brussels Griffon is its human like face or monkey like appearance.

Health Problems - Brussels Griffon for Sale

The Brussels Griffon is susceptible to many of the diseases and genetic conditions that many other toy or small dogs have. Flat-faced breeds like the Griffon also suffer from difficulty with breathing under certain weather conditions and they are known to snore. They should not be kept in hot, sunny, humid climates for this reason. They may also display patella luxation (slipping kneecaps) and hip dysplasia. Lastly, they are susceptible to ear infections. Dams are often in need of cesarean sections to deliver their litters. They have very serious health issues due to the head shape and flat face. These might include eye and respiratory issues and syringomyelia – a deadly neurological disease. They are susceptible to epilepsy, dental issues and eye lash issues.

Caring The Pet - Brussels Griffon for Sale


The Brussels Griffon can choke easily so take care with the size of kibble you feed them. They need about one fourth to one half of a cup of high quality dry food that is designed for small or toy dogs. Divide this amount into two or three small meals per day. Puppies should be fed more often than adults but never feed just one large meal per day. Be careful that your Brussels Griffon does not become obese.

Health issues

The Brussels Griffon, regardless of type has some very serious health issues due to the shape of their heads.

Syringomyelia – extremely painful and fatal neurological disease.

Brachycephalic Syndrome – This can cause all the respiratory issues as well as eye issues such as cataracts and corneal ulcers.

Epilepsy - Seizures

Dental Disease – gum disease

Puppy Mortality – one of every four Brussels Griffon pupped die at birth.

Exercise and games

This is a very playful and energetic breed that needs at least some exercise every day. They love to play with their family. They are smart and easy to train. They love agility, obedience, barn hunt and tracking activities. You can just as effectively play with and exercise your Brussels inside as well as out.

Characteristics - Brussels Griffon for Sale


The Brussels Griffon is sociable, alert and very intelligent. She is very energetic, playful and loving. They bond deeply with their family. Housebreaking might be a challenge as it is with all toy/small breeds. They are incredibly lonely and restless when their people are not around them. They have great personalities, terrier like characteristics, and deep loyalty to their humans. They are great companions and love children. Just remember how small they are. They are susceptible to Little Dog Syndrome if the human does not establish themselves as the alpha right away.

Comparison with other breeds

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