Griffon Bruxellois

Griffon Bruxellois
Griffon Bruxellois pictures
Griffon Bruxellois suitability

In my own words

“What are you looking at? Is there something in my beard!

You know what’s sad? That not many people know that I’m a Griffon Bruxellois! In fact, not many people have even heard of the name before! Isn’t that a shame? Despite my characteristic appearance with my little beard and squashed face, so few people know anything about me. Well, that’s because the Griffon Bruxellois is so rare, but aren’t you keen to know more about me?

Well, let me tell you something; I’m a fantastic dog, I really am. I love my owner to bits and will do pretty much everything they do – from those days when it’s all go and we’re off on a long walk or going travelling for a day at the coast, to lazy weekends sat on the sofa having a cuddle and lazing away the hours. I just want to make you happy, so why not make a note of the name – Griffon Bruxellois!

My ideal owner(s)

Single people

Families with older children

Couples without children


Urban or country folk

What they say about me



Stubborn and strong willed


Distinctive looking

Please read on to find out more about me, and whether I’ll be someone you’ll be happy to live with for the next 15 years!

Is this griffon bruxellois for you?

Test your knowledge about the griffon bruxellois

Information essential about the Griffon Bruxellois

Kennel Club Group:



Small: Weight Male 8 – 11 lbs (3.5 – 5 kg) Female 7 – 10 lbs (3.2 – 4.5 kg)

Height Male 7 – 8” (18 – 20 cm) Female 7 – 8” (18 – 20 cm)


The Griffon Bruxellois is not a popular breed of dog and has never been particularly popular, despite a slight interest in the breed in the 1950s. However, the breed has become slightly better known over the last decade due to a general spurt of popularity in small, toy dogs.

Breed History:

The Griffon Bruxellois originates from Belgium and is one of three variations of this type of dog, the others being the Griffon Belge and the Petit Brabanson. Griffon Bruxellois descend from the Sousje, which was a rough coated terrier like breed used as a rodent catcher and a common working dog and pet of Belgian coachmen. During the 19th Century the breed was mixed with the pug and King Charles Spaniel to create the distinctive looking Griffon Bruxellois that we know today.

The Griffon Bruxellois proved to be unusual in that it was favoured by both working men and nobility at the same time. Awareness of the breed was boosted by Queen Marie Henriette who loved dogs and became a breeder of Griffon Bruxellois.

Like many breeds of dog, the Griffon Bruxellois suffered after the First and Second World Wars. After World War II, only a small number of Griffon Bruxellois were left in Belgium and it was thanks to enthusiastic and dedicated breeders in Belgium and the UK that the breed survived.

The Griffon Bruxellois is still quite a rare breed and continues to recover from its set back during the wars, however it is steadily growing in popularity in the UK and America.


The Griffon Bruxellois is commonly referred to as a big dog in small body. Your Griffon Bruxellois may be little, but he has tonnes of character and a huge personality. While he can be loving, affectionate and a wonderful companion he is also tough, self-assured and lively. Your Griffon Bruxellois is very confident and can demonstrate some self-importance when he feels like it! Although the Griffon Bruxellois is a sweet pet that loves attention and affection he can also try to show dominance over his owners, so he needs to be made aware that he is at the bottom of the family’s pecking order or he’ll try to rule the household. Your Griffon Bruxellois will usually only bond closely with one member of the family, who they will be completely loyal and devoted to, but he will still be friendly and sociable with other people too. Griffon Bruxellois can be aloof with strangers at first, but once they have realised they aren’t a threat they will warm up to them. However, your Griffon Bruxellois will miss you terribly when you aren’t around. The strong bond he forms with that one special owner means that he can become distressed when he’s left on his own and as they have a tendency to bark, this can also be distressing for any close neighbours!


Your Griffon Bruxellois is an intelligent and lively dog, so he likes to keep busy. Once bred to catch rats for coachmen, he still loves to run and chase and has a terrier-like personality. Griffon Bruxellois can become bored if they are left alone or not stimulated mentally and physically, so he’ll need plenty of toys, play time and walks to keep him content and relaxed. That said, your Griffon Bruxellois is an adaptable dog who will undertake a range of tasks – he’ll love a long hike but will also settle down for an evening at home on the sofa. Really, he just wants to be by his owners side whatever they might be doing. The Griffon Bruxellois can be sensitive at times and can therefore become shy when meeting new dogs or people, it is therefore very important to socialise your Griffon Bruxellois from a very early age. Griffon Bruxellois are best suited to families with older children who can be trusted not to tease or work up the dog, as he loves to play but is not always patient or tolerant of others. The breed usually gets on well with other dogs and pets, but may try to show dominance over them despite his size. Your Griffon Bruxellois sees no harm in trying to tell much larger dogs who is boss!


There are two varieties of Griffon Bruxellois – the rough, which is harsh and wiry, and the smooth which is short and softer. The smooth Griffon Bruxellois can also be known as the Petit Brabancon. The Griffon Bruxellois’s most distinctive feature is his face which is flat with a prominent chine and large eyes which give the breed the nickname ‘little monkey’. The body is sturdy and square and is heavier than it appears for such a small size. The head is large in proportion to the body with a wide, round skull and black rimmed, dark eyes which are spaced well apart. The muzzle is short and wide and features a beard and black nose while the ears are small and set high on the head, semi-erect. The Griffon Bruxellois has small cat like feet with black toenails, his thighs are well muscled. The tail is set high and curves over the back when the dog is in motion.


The Griffon Bruxellois comes in three colours; red, black, and black and tan.


Your Griffon Bruxellois is keen to learn and loves to please his owner, making him a pleasure to train. Griffon Bruxellois can be a bit stubborn at times, so keep training sessions short and varied in order to keep him enthusiastic and attentive. The Griffon Bruxellois is a very intelligent dog and might try to outwit his owner, so you need to stay one step ahead of him or he might be a bit mischievous! As your Griffon Bruxellois is quite sensitive, it is best to train him with positive reinforcement and reward based training. Harsh training, severe methods or punishing your Griffon Bruxellois during training will only set you both back.


The Griffon Bruxellois needs his coat to be hand stripped twice a year, during the shedding seasons. This prevents build-up of dead hair which can cause mattes and tangles which can be uncomfortable. Meanwhile, a weekly brush with a hard bristle brush will keep the coat looking healthy, though the Griffon Bruxellois’ beard should be combed daily to keep it clean.


Griffon Bruxellois have a few genetic health issues including Syringomyelia and Chiari-like malformation. However, they are a hardy breed on the whole and have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Buying from a reputable breeder will increase the chances of getting a Griffon Bruxellois which is free from inherited health problems. They can also be prone to cleft palate, cataracts and glaucoma. Due to their short muzzles, the Griffon Bruxellois is prone to heat stroke so care should be taken when the weather is warm to ensure your Griffon Bruxellois stays cool and well hydrated.

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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Griffon Bruxellois is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1 = strongly disagree, and 5 = strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that will come when called, look down the list under ‘training and obedience’ and you will see that Griffon Bruxellois have a good recall, scoring 5. If you are looking for a dog that would be suited to a hot climate, look under ‘environment’ and you’ll see a Griffon Bruxellois would be a poor choice, scoring just 1. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your choice.

Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion2/5
Good walking companion4/5
Likes water/swimming2/5
Likes learning new tricks2/5
Likes to hunt4/5
Likes to fetch3/5
Good gundog/retriever2/5
Barks a lot4/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers3/5
Expensive to insure2/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside4/5
Suits urban environment4/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate1/5
Prefers cold climate3/5
Moults a lot3/5
Requires lots of grooming2/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children4/5
Ideal for family with children3/5
Good watch dog3/5
Good guard dog1/5
Good with other pets2/5
Good with other dogs4/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs2/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs3/5
Requires lots of exercise2/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners4/5
Good for experienced owners3/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train3/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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