Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits


A small, intelligent dog, the Brussels griffon is good for apartment living and homes with small backyards. This breed welcomes other family dogs and cats.

Brussels Griffon at a glance
The Brussels Griffon Dog Breed

Brussels griffons can bark excessively if not properly trained.


Weight Range:

Male: 8-10 lbs.
Female: 8-10 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 8 in.
Female: 7 in.


Brachycephalic (squashed face)


Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 12-15 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: Moderate
Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred for:

Vermin control, companionship


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Hard coat
Colors: Red, belge (mixed reddish brown/black), black and tan, black
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club recognition:

AKC Classification: Toy
UKC Classification: Companion Dog
Prevalence: So-so

Brussels griffons are small-sized dogs weighing eight to 12 pounds (four to six kilograms).

A Brussels griffon's height is about 10 inches at the shoulder. Their body is square and their head is large and round with a very short nose. The dogs generally mature at one year, although they reach their full size around six to eight months.

The Brussels griffon has two types of coats: the rough and smooth. The rough coat is harsh and wiry, while the smooth coat is straight, short, tight and glossy. The rough coat requires clipping and stripping. They require brushing and combing twice a week. The smooth coat needs only a quick brushing weekly. They can be red, black and reddish brown with a black mask and whiskers, black and tan, and solid black.


Brussels griffons are very active. They do not make good kennel dogs and prefer being with their owners. They can be demanding and assertive. They are good for apartment dwellers and homes with small backyards, but require daily exercise.

They tend to be stubborn and very intelligent. They do not accept harsh punishment and require patience when training.

Living With:

Brussels griffons need a large amount of interaction with people. They are good with family dogs and cats, but can be dog aggressive toward strange dogs. Other pets, such as rodents, birds or reptiles, should be kept away from them.

They make excellent watchdogs, but poor guard dogs because of their small size. They can bark excessively if not properly trained. They can become aggressive if threatened by either a stranger or another dog and are fearless, regardless of the size discrepancy.

They are ideal for owners who want a small, active dog that does not require a large yard and can be contented with frequent walks, games of fetch and other activities. They do not do well left alone for long periods and are noisy. Brussels griffons typically live from 12 to 15 years.


The Brussels griffon is descended from the German affenpinscher and the Belgian street dog, to produce in the 17th century the griffon, a dog with a rough coat. In the 19th century the griffon was crossed with the pug, producing the smooth coat variety. The breed became a common sight riding in and supposedly guarding Belgium cabs. By the late 1800s the breed had stepped into Belgium dog show rings; their popularity grew and by the early 1900s they were in demand by the Belgium upper class. The first Brussels griffon was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1910. These small dogs are part of the toy group and make an excellent companion pet.