Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Brussels Griffon Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Brussels Griffon Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Brussels Griffon

Do you love Pugs? What about Bulldogs? If so, you will probably love a Brussels Griffon. This breed of dog is small and has a unique appearance that is somewhere between a Pomeranian, Pug, and Bulldog. This super cute appearance makes them a favorite among singles and seniors.

On top of their super cute appearance, this breed is incredibly loyal and wants to be stuck by your side, earning it the nickname “Velcro dog.” At the same time, it is super active, but it is suitable for apartment living too.

Breed Overview


7 – 8 inches


6 – 12 pounds


12 – 15 years


Red, black, or black and tan

Suitable for:

Most homes, singles, seniors, apartments


Playful, stubborn, sensitive

If you are thinking about buying a Brussels Griffon, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to learn all the requirements for owning a Brussels Griffon. This guide can help you narrow down if this spunky breed is for you, or if you should opt for something else instead.

Brussels Griffon Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog paw

Brussels Griffon Puppies

Woman holding adorable Brussels Griffon puppy indoors
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

The Brussels Griffon is one of those dogs that will suit you no matter your lifestyle and home size. They are a sensitive breed with a playful personality. While they have a fair amount of energy, training them may be difficult. You will need to be patient, and it is important not to give up if they are not being cooperative with your training techniques.

brussels griffon
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffons are a spunky yet unique breed with a somewhat nervous nature that make it great for singles and seniors, but it can be great with children, too, if it is socialized at a young age. Its loving nature makes it one of the best breeds if you want a lifelong companion.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Brussels Griffons can be a great family dog with or without children. The breed is really loving, and they can be good with children if they are socialized early. With that being said, children can scare the dog, though this breed is not known to become aggressive.

Still, Brussels Griffons will most likely enjoy single homes or seniors. The breed likes intense one on one time with their owners, making the breed a perfect option for singles or seniors living in apartment style homes. In fact, these dogs can be so clingy that they’re often called “Velcro dogs” because they like to be right next to you.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

If you already have animals in your household, a Brussels Griffon make it along with them well. This breed tends to be good with dogs and cats they are familiar with. They can be a bit aggressive or standoffish to strangers, and they can be a bit aggressive to small animals and birds.

Because of this dog’s small size, you don’t have to worry as much if you have small animals in a cage. Simply keep the small animal elevated in a cage, and the Brussels Griffon should not be able to reach it.


Things to Know When Owning a Brussels Griffon:

Before owning a dog, you want to make sure the breed you select fits with your activity level and commitment level. Luckily, Brussels Griffons don’t have a whole lot of special requirements, but there are certain things you should know before purchasing one.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As with any other dog, you want to feed your Brussels Griffon a healthy diet that is well balanced with a healthy ratio of protein, fats, fiber, carbs, and vitamins. Selecting a high-quality dry dog food for small breeds should work. Select dog foods that are specifically formulated for the stage of life your dog is in too.

Because Brussels Griffons are so small, keep in mind that their food portion should be small too. You may want to avoid feeding your dog table scraps because that is an easy way to get your dog fat fast. Consult your veterinarian if your dog has any special needs or is overweight.

Exercise 🐕

One reason why we listed Brussels Griffons as being great for seniors is because they don’t require a whole lot of exercise. Even though this breed is really energetic, their small size means that they can exercise indoors on their own.

If you’re feeling active, you may want to set up an obstacle course for your Brussels Griffon. This breed will find obstacle courses really fun because they love a mental challenge. The obstacle course does not need to be serious, and you can simply set it up inside your house.

Training 🎾

One drawback to this breed is that they can be difficult to train. Even though they are intelligent, you have to be incredibly gentle with this breed so as not to stress it out. If you are really gentle and use a lot of positive reinforcement, the dog will eventually listen because the breed wants to please you.

Since this breed can be on the nervous side, make sure to pay attention to your dog’s stress level during the training process. If you are too harsh or don’t give your dog any breaks, training can be incredibly stressful, making it even more difficult to train your dog.

It’s important to start training your Brussels Griffon early. The breed does not like being introduced to new experiences. Introducing training techniques, such as leashes and collars, at a young age will help minimize the difficulty of training the breed later on.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming a Brussels Griffon depends entirely on the type of coat it has. This breed comes with two coat types: rough or smooth. A rough coat is harsh and wiry, and it requires clipping and stripping. Plus, the coat needs to be combed twice a week. You will likely need to take this dog to the groomer.

A Brussels Griffon with a smooth coat has straight, short, and glossy hair. You will only need to brush it’s coat once a week and give it baths as needed.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Brussels Griffons are considered a relatively healthy breed, but they can have some ailments because of their unique facial structure. This dog has a face similar to a pug, causing it to have a lot of eye troubles and breathing troubles.

Minor Conditions
  • Distichiasis
  • Overlarge soft palate
  • Skin allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Prolapse or lacerations of the eye
  • Progressive retinal failure
  • Breathing problems

This breed can have some minor issues because of its facial structures, such as distichiasis and an overlarge soft palate. Brussels Griffons can also experience allergies. This often results in itchy skin in these dogs.

Because of this dog’s unique facial shape, it can have a lot of serious eye troubles, such as cataracts and prolapse at the eyeball. It can also have lacerations of the eyeball, progressive retinal failure, and issues with breathing.

Male vs Female

Male and female Brussels Griffons are very similar. Their faces are slightly different in that the males tend to be wider, whereas the females have softer curves. Training can be a bit more difficult with males too. They have less patience when it comes to repetitive tasks, but females are less tolerant of loud noises.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Brussels Griffon

1. They were the inspiration for ewoks in Star Wars.

Do you remember the adorable ewoks in the Star Wars series? If you have, then Brussels Griffons probably look really familiar to you, and for good reason. George Lucas actually had a Brussels Griffon on set to be used as inspiration for these little creatures. No wonder ewoks are so cute!

2. They are a modern breed.

Although some breeds date back many years, the Brussels Griffon is a relatively new breed. This little breed originated in Brussels in the 1800s. Originally, they were used for catching mice and rats inside barns. From there, they became a popular pet among stable boys and coach drivers. Eventually, Brussels Griffon dogs became the mascot for Brussels’ cabs.

This dog got so popular in Belgium that they ended up becoming super popular in the United Kingdom and the United States by the beginning of the 1900s. Interestingly, the breed almost went extinct during World War Two. This was a really dark time for many breeds. By 1997, the breed became super popular because it starred alongside Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.

3. They became recognized by the AKC in 1910.

Because this breed became so popular in the early 20th century, they have long been recognized by the AKC. The breed was officially recognized in 1910. Just to put that in perspective, the AKC was founded in 1884. This means that the breed was inducted into the organization within its first 30 years of founding.


Final Thoughts

Brussels Griffons are a great breed for many people. We especially recommend them if you live in an apartment, live by yourself, or are a senior. Because these dogs are so clingy, they certainly are best for small households. If you train the dog from the time it is a puppy, though, it can certainly be a good family dog for children too. Just remember to give it a whole lot of love and attention!

Featured Image Credit: Catherine_P, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets