Temperament: Loyal, Alert, Curious
- Height: 7-10 inches
- Weight: 8-10 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Toy Group
Tipping the scales at no more than 12 pounds, this human-like toy of complex character has enough personality for 10 ordinary dogs. A sensitive companion for discerning grownups, the Brussels Griffon is smart, devoted, and comically self-important.
A toy dog, intelligent, alert, sturdy, with a thickset, short body, a smart carriage and set-up, attracting attention by an almost human expression. There are two distinct types of coat: rough or smooth. Except for coat, there is no difference between the two.
About the Brussels Griffon
With this breed, you get a big personality in a 5-to-15-pound package. One look into his big, human-like eyes, and you’ll be smitten. Griffs come in four colors—red, black-and-reddish-brown (called belge), black and tan, and black—and in smooth coats (like a Pug) or rough coats (like a Schnauzer). Their black muzzle and whiskers earned them the nickname “bearded dogs” in old folk songs.The Griff’s big black eyes—described as “almost human”—coupled with a fringed beard and mustache covering his short muzzle, gives him the air of a worldly, French-speaking philosopher. The Griff’s body is thickset and sturdy, and he moves with the purposeful trot of a fellow who knows what he wants
NUTRITION The Brussels Griffon should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING There are two types of Brussels Griffon, with two types of coats: smooth and rough. With the smooth-coated Griffon, weekly brushing—daily during shedding season, which is usually a week or two in the spring, and then again in the fall—and the occasional bath will help to remove dirt and loose hair and keep the dog looking his best. Rough-coated Griffons do not shed. Many have their hair—except for the distinctive beard—clipped short, either by their owner or a professional groomer. As with all breeds, the nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can be painful to the dog and cause problems walking and running.
EXERCISE Griffons need at least a half-hour of moderate exercise a day to stay healthy and happy. They love to romp and play, and are happiest when doing activities together with their people. A game of chasing the ball is fun for both dog and owner. Their intelligence and trainability mean that many Brussels Griffons excel in canine events such as obedience, agility, and tracking.
TRAINING Early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended for all dogs and help to ensure that the Griffon grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. Griffs have a high degree of intelligence and bond strongly with their owners, which makes them easy to train. As with many toy breeds, though, housebreaking may take some extra time and effort. Griffons have a very sensitive nature, and they don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods. A Griffon wants to be with his family, often following his person from room to room, and undesirable behaviours can result if he is regularly left alone for long periods of time
HEALTH Griffs are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as heart problems, eye defects such as cataracts, and orthopedic problems such as patella luxation and hip dysplasia. Like all flat-faced breeds, Brussels Griffons can experience breathing problems in sunny, hot, or humid weather, and usually snore. As with all breeds, a Griffon’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Patella Evaluation
- Hips Evaluation