Brussels Griffon: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Brussels Griffon dog breed is a small animal with a fun and dynamic character. Its demeanour is lively and basically happy, it knows very well how to brighten the lives of its owners. It has a characteristic expression, almost human, and it is an excellent companion dog. At Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the Brussels griffon .

Character of the Brussels Griffon breed

The Brussels Griffon has the character of an intelligent, energetic dog , with a lot of personality, similar to that of a terrier. Its behaviour shows an alert and very curious attitude, as it shows interest in everything that happens around them.

Likewise, it has a great heart and a very affectionate temperament, which is why it adores people, especially its owner, since it is the dog of a single master, and it gets along very well with other dogs and even with pets of other species.

It is a very balanced dog, faithful to its master and with a nervous and always attentive attitude, which is why it has traditionally been used both as a companion animal and as a watchdog. In general, it is never aggressive or fearful.

On the other hand, with strangers it maintains a certain attitude of suspicion, and as soon as it detects any foreign presence it makes them notice them barking insistently and strident.

For this reason, it is considered an excellent watchdog, always alert, attentive, vigilant and with a very sensitive ear. This is probably due to the blood of other breeds such as the Pug or the King Charles Spaniel.

  • Energy: Medium / High. Lively, active and energetic, it needs at least one good walk every day,
  • Temperament: Cheerful, dynamic and lively, it is alert, intelligent and always vigilant. It is proud, balanced and faithful to its master,
  • Adaptability: High. It adapts well to any situation or environment, but it does not bear anything well to be left alone.
  • Sociability: High. It adores its family and loves being in contact with people. It does not present problems with other dogs or with other types of pets, but it is somewhat suspicious of strangers.
  • Health: Good. You have to take care of your diet so that you do not get fat.
  • Longevity: High. Live from 12 to 15 years.
  • Utility: Company. Besides being a great companion animal, it is a very good guardian.

Is it an active dog?

Although it likes to run alone in the park or in the garden, its exercise needs are actually not very high and it just takes good walks on a leash every day.

In fact, these walks are almost mandatory for the owner, since without them the dog’s health suffers and it may fall into obesity, since it is a fairly gluttonous animal.

On the other hand, there are some specimens that participate successfully in dog sports such as agilityfrisbee or flyball adapted to their size.

And there are also those who start to use them as a therapy dog, where the results are being very favourable.

Can you be left alone for a long time?

It is not a breed fit to live to spend many hours a day alone or in a chenille. Can’t stand loneliness. It also does not live well in areas with very hot climates.

Can you live in the city or in an apartment?

As long as it is with its family, it adapts well to life in any environment, even in an apartment in the city center.

In fact, it is a domestic and family dog, and a more than acceptable choice for inexperienced owners, as long as they do a good job of training and socializing with it while it is still a puppy, since it is a very sensitive pet.

Characteristics of the Brussels Griffon breed

The general appearance of the Brussels griffon is that of a small animal, with a rather square-built body, (it is only slightly taller than it is long).

It is very elegant in its movements despite its small size. It draws attention for its expression, almost human, and it is an excellent companion animal.

What is the Brussels Griffon physically like?


It is a very small dog with an almost square structure (the length of the trunk, measured from the shoulder to the buttock, is only a little shorter than the height at the withers), and with a straight back up to the line of the rump. All this gives this dog a very elegant demeanor.

Their feet are round, small in size and with the toes together. They have short nails, like the rest of the griffons, and of black color or with dark pigmentation.

The tail is high and raised. As with ears, amputation is allowed in some countries. In that case, it can be clipped when it is a puppy, leaving it to one-third of its original length.

If it is not cut, the carriage is very erect, with the point directed towards the back, although without touching or curling it.


Its head is large in relation to the body, and the abundant hair that covers it is characteristic of it, especially on the face, where long mustaches and disheveled beards stand out.

The eyes are large and round, dark brown in color and rimmed with very dark brown black. They are separated and obliquely to the frontal plane.

It has small ears , set high and quite far apart, that is, placed very on the sides. If they are not cut, they are triangular in shape and point forward.


It has a hard coat and an undercoat of hair. Slightly wavy , not curly. It is long enough to be able to clearly appreciate the shape of the body.

In the griffon, the beard and mustache cover the muzzle and cheeks with abundant hair that is longer than that of the rest of the body.

The hair on the eyebrows is longer than on the rest of the skull. It is reddish in color , sometimes with black hairs on the whiskers and beards .

Brussels Griffon breed standard

  • Origin: Belgium.
  • Size: Small.
  • Height at the withers: There is no established size for the breed.
  • Weight: between 3.5 to 6 kg.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 80. Group 9 – Companion Dogs. Section 3 – Belgian Small Dogs.
  • Use: Small companion and guard dog.
  • Other names: Brussels Griffon / Griffon bruxellois / Brüsseler Griffon.
  • General appearance: Small and square in structure, it has a sturdy appearance, but has elegant movements.
  • Head: Compared to the body, this griffon has a fairly large, broad and round head. The hair on the face is characteristic, long, raised and disheveled, especially in the area of ​​the mustache and beard, where it forms a curious ornament .
  • Skull: Broad and rounded, with a slightly raised forehead.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is well marked.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle, including the truffle, is short and upturned.
  • Nose: It is at the same height as the eyes and with the tip directed backwards, so that the chin, nose and forehead, seen in profile, are in the same plane, It is black and wide, and the nostrils are wide open.
  • Jaws: The lower jaw is slightly curved upwards, is broad, blunt and extends beyond the upper jaw. The six incisors in each jaw are set evenly and in a straight line. Those above and below are parallel. The chin is broad and protruding.
  • Eyes: They are separated, large and round, without being bulging. They are dark brown in color with black eyelids.
  • Ears: They are small and are set high and separated from the head. The ears are semi-pricked and fall forward. In countries where docking of the ears is permitted, the ears are pointed and erect.
  • Neck: Of medium length, blends harmoniously with the shoulders.
  • Body: The length of the body is almost equal to the height at the withers. The set results in a small square and stout dog, with a muscular back and a broad and flat rump.
  • Back: It is very straight, short and strong.
  • Chest: It is wide and falls to the elbows. The point of the sternum is marked, which gives the chest a prominent appearance. The ribs are elastic, neither barrel-shaped nor too flat.
  • Tail: in countries where amputation is allowed, it is often cut off and left one third of its original length. Naturally, this griffon wears it very upright.
  • Forelimbs: Seen as a whole, the forelimbs are parallel, with good bone structure and widely spaced.
  • Shoulders: They present a normal angulation.
  • Forearms and arms: The forearms are longer than the arms. Elbows: They are well attached to the body.
  • Hind limbs: They are vigorous and push hard.
  • Legs: They are parallel to each other and, seen from behind, straight.
  • Knees: Well angled.
  • Hocks: Well sloping, seen from behind neither closed nor open.
  • Feet: They are rounded, small and do not deviate either inwards or outwards. They have thick, usually dark pads, and nails are black or highly pigmented.
  • Movement: It is an animal with a powerful movement, with parallel limbs and with good impulse from the hindquarters.
  • Hair: It is hard and with an undercoat. It is slightly wavy, not curly.
  • Color: It is red or reddish and in the ornament of the head it can be black. It also sometimes has some white hairs on the front of its chest.

How to care for a Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon is a wire-haired breed and if you want it to have a coat in perfect condition, it needs regular maintenance. The most important thing is to establish a regular routine to prevent the hair from losing quality and so that it does not form knots and tangles.

Hair care for the Brussels Griffon

The owner of a Brussels griffon should be aware that its pet needs some cosmetic maintenance, but also has to know that this arrangement can be done with different degrees of depth.

In other words, the animals that come to the exhibition have to follow a more intensive brushing and grooming pattern. But the specimens that only act as pets do not have to undergo such a tight rhythm of grooming.

For the latter, a regular brushing is enough to keep their hair detangled, and a more or less intense hairdressing arrangement every three months, but without the need to leave them without hair or to use the hair clipper, which would ruin their natural texture.


At least once a week, give the griffon a good brushing, using a metal card.

Then, to achieve a better finish, it is convenient to go over the areas with the longest hair with a comb, that is, beards, mustaches, eyebrows and legs. With this review, in addition to detangling it, a certain volume is given to the hair.


The griffon does not need to be bathed very often, as it is a fairly clean animal by nature. Thus, the bath routine is reserved only for cases where the dog is very dirty.

The essential thing is to always use a suitable shampoo for your hair type, since if the natural pH is not respected, its texture, which is very identifying, can be altered.

Finally, you have to rinse it very well until you make sure that no product remains in the animal’s hair, and dry it thoroughly, first using towels or blotting paper, and then a good dryer or air ejector.

It is convenient to remove all traces of moisture, since griffons are cold in nature and catch a cold very easily.


First, the hair that grows at the stop, on the upper part of the nose and on the skull must be pulled out with the fingers and to facilitate this task it can be very useful to use desiccant powders, which help to remove the hair. And then the hair is pulled from the skull with the help of the rubber thimbles.

Then, with the stripping blade, the hair on the ears and the body are lowered until leaving a clean silhouette with a sufficiently hard texture.

Subsequently, with a rake or king coat type tool, the excess undercoat is removed, so that the covering layer is smooth, strong and glued to the body.

Finally, the work is done with scissors. Sculpting shapes the front and rear quarters until they are rounded and compact.

With the flat scissors, the excess hair between the fingers and the pads is cleaned, and the feet and hands are given a rounded shape.

It is also advisable to equalize the length of the hair on the legs to accentuate a compact appearance and, with the smooth scissors, trim the body fringes so that the silhouette of the dog is highlighted.

Finally, the scissors are used to trim the excess hair from the beards and cheeks, giving it a clean finish.

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