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Brussels Griffon Dog Breed Profile

Brussels Griffon

Other Names
Griffon Bruxellois 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Brussels Griffon was originally used for hunting vermin, today they are mainly companions. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
This little dog does not demand a great deal in the way of feeding. A consistent, nutritious diet, without lots of treats, will result in a healthy dog. 
Other Expenses
A puppy will cost from £550 upwards and veterinary expenses could be high as they are susceptible to eye, mouth and general health problems. 
9 - 15 years
The average life span is 12 to 14 years. 
Average Litter Size
The Brussels Griffon generally has small litters, with 2 puppies being the average. 
General Physical Description
There are two versions of the breed. The Griffon Bruxellois, also termed the Belgian Griffon or the Brussels Griffon is rough and wiry coated while the Petit Brabancon is smooth coated like the pug. The distinctive feature of a Griffon is its pug like face. The nose is quite short and turned up, diminishing the muzzle almost entirely. Large, prominent eyes are another pug-like feature as is the undershot jaw. This has led some people to liken the Griffon face to a monkey.

Height Min Max
Bitch 18cm (7") 20cm (8")
Dog 18cm (7") 20cm (8")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 2kg (4lbs) 5kg (11lbs)
Dog 2kg (4lbs) 5kg (11lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Both dogs and bitches measure between 18 to 20cms at the withers and weight between 2 to 5kgs. 
There are some general health concerns for all small breeds such as subluxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) and collapsing tracheas. Some can have such problems with the trachea that pulmonary hypertension and then congestive heart failure can develop. Abnormally small specimens of Griffons are prone to hydrocephalus, thus the breeding of mini Griffons should not be encouraged. Griffons have other problems particularly associated with their facial anatomy. An elongated soft palate, which can inhibit breathing, occurs in the breed, as do stenotic nares (narrowed nostrils.) Both of these conditions can be corrected surgically and can be identified quite early on by veterinary examination. Protopsis (expulsion of the eye from the socket) can occur in the breed if the head is restrained too vigorously. Webbed feet can occur in the breed and while this is a defect, it does not cause any health problems and the dog can get on completely fine with this distinctive anatomy. 
Common Ailments

Hare lip, uterine inertia, degenerative disk disease
Sensitivity to Leptospirosis vaccine  
Susceptibility To Illness
The Griffon Bruxellois is a Belgian breed that was created in the 19th century by crossing Affenpinschers, Pugs and Belgian stable dogs. Hansom cab drivers needed a small, intelligent dog to guard their cabs and dispense with vermin in the stables. The toughness of the street dogs mixed with the cleverness of the Affenpinschers proved useful to the cab drivers. Later English toy spaniels were bred in to create an almost human like face for the Griffon and possibly some Yorkshire Terrier was added into the mix. The breed was established enough by the end of the 19th century to be exported to Britain and then America.  
Griffons can be stubborn but they are clever and have been trained to do very well in various dog sports. It is recommended that this breed be well socialized early on as it can be shy with strangers. Getting used to being handled is also very important, as Griffons can get hysterical when restrained for nail clipping and other routine procedures.< 
Show Characteristics
The distinctive feature of a Griffon is its pug like face. The nose is quite short and turned up, diminishing the muzzle almost entirely. Large, prominent eyes are another pug-like feature as is the undershot jaw. The head should be large, round and have a domed forehead. If cropped, the ears are pricked but if natural, the ears are semi-erect. It should be noted that ear cropping is not carried out in Great Britain. The ears should be small and high set. Wide set eyes should be dark in colour and have black rims and long lashes. The nose is also of black pigmentation, as are the lips. Being undershot, the jaw causes the lower incisors to cover the upper incisors. It is a large jaw and the lower half is broad. Neither the tongue nor teeth should show, as the lips should form a clean, close finish. Thick set and short, the body begins with a broad, deep brisket and should have a level back. The neck is of a medium length and is arched. Straight boned and of medium length, the legs are moderately widely set and muscular with short pasterns. In the hind leg, the hocks are let down and do not turn in or out. Round and compact, the feet should have black pads and nails. If docked, the tail is docked short and should be high set emerging at right angles from the topline. If undocked, the same and of moderate length, curving gently over the back in movement. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
40 - 60 minutes per day.
Active and with a terrier streak, the Griffon does like a good run but will adapt happily to life in a flat. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
This is an intelligent and fun loving breed but it can only be trained with positive reinforcement. Being very sensitive, negative correction will scar the dog and make him everlastingly wary. For this reason, the Griffon is not suggested as a companion for children as their sometimes rough play can be misconstrued and make the dog fearful and unpredictable around children. Griffons can be stubborn but they are clever and have been trained to do very well in various dog sports. They like to be close to their owner and can be destructive if left alone for long periods of time.  
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
As stated before, the coat is rough and wiry or smooth and close. In the rough coats, there is a bit more length at the cheeks, chin, nose and eyes. Care of the coat is not extensive. Rough coats should be plucked three times a year, except for the facial hair, which should be scissor trimmed. Facial hair should be combed regularly to remove articles of food. Smooth coated dogs shed a great deal and a grooming mitt should be used quite often to remove dead hairs. Both varieties can do with having the folds at their stop cleaned frequently or the dogs will develop a very smelly face. 
This dog comes in red, black or black and tan. 
Suffers From Allergies

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