The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Belgian Griffon

Information and Pictures

Close Up - A wiry looking black and brown dog standing on a couch with a face that shows a lot of wise old attitude

"This is Zao aka "Man." He’s a 10-lb., 11-month-old Brussels Griffon. He has the best mustache you have ever seen. He loves everyone! His best friend is Shelby the hairless Chinese Crested."

Other Names
  • Griffon Belge
  • Griffon Bruxellois
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Petit Brabancon
  • Belgian Griffon
  • Griffon



The Griffon is a sturdy toy dog that is often thought to look like an Ewok from the Star Wars movie. The large head is round with a domed forehead and a deep stop. The muzzle is very short, appearing to be pushed back. The black nose is very short. The dog has an overbite with a hanging tongue. The black eyes are wide set and prominent with long, black eyelashes. The ears are high set, either cropped or left natural. Natural ears are carried semi-erect; when cropped the ears stand up coming to a point. The straight boned legs are medium in length. The tail is set high and docked to about 1/3 of the length. Note: cropping ears or docking tails is illegal in most of Europe. There are two types of coats, rough and smooth. The rough coat is dense and wiry. On the smooth coat, also called the Petit Brabancon variety, the fur is short, tight, glossy and straight. The short coats are easier to groom. Coat colors include red (reddish brown with a little black at the whiskers and chin), belge (a mixture of red-brown and black usually with black mask and whiskers), black and tan (black with reddish brown markings under the chin, legs, above each eye, the edges of the ears and around the vent), and solid black.


The Griffon is an intelligent cheerful dog with a terrier-like disposition. With lots of personality, it makes a fine companion dog and is good with other dogs and cats. Affectionate, charming, lively and curious, they love everyone. The Griffon cannot live outside in a kennel. If you feed them table scraps, they may become greedy or picky eaters. May be difficult to housebreak. They make good watchdogs and can be taught to perform tricks. Because of this dog’s almost human looking facial expression, they have not only been nicknamed "monkey face," but are prone to being treated as if they are not dogs, but little humans. This causes something called Small Dog Syndrome. The dog begins to believe IT is the ruler of the home, and IT tells ITS humans what they can and cannot do. When a human allows a dog to take over the home, it causes varying degrees of behavior problems, including, but not limited to, willfulness, demanding, obsessive barking, guarding, separation anxiety, snapping and even biting. They may become untrustworthy with children and sometimes even adults. Without enough mental and physical exercise, they will become high-strung, moody and sensitive. These are NOT Griffon traits, but behaviors brought on by the lack of a firm, confident, consistent pack leader, who provides rules they must follow and limits as to what they are and are not allowed to do along with the right amount and type of exercise.

Height, Weight

Height: 7 - 8 inches (18 – 20 cm)
Weight: 6 - 12 pounds (2.5 - 5.5 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to slipped stifle, eye and respiratory problems. Sensitive to the heat. Not the easiest whelpers; dams often require a cesarean section.

Living Conditions

Griffons are good dogs for apartment life and will do okay without a yard.


These little dogs are very active indoors, however, like all dogs, they still need to be taken for a daily walk to fulfill their primal instinct to walk.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

1 - 3 puppies, average 2


The coat of the rough requires a lot of attention, however the coat of the pet dogs may be clipped. The Griffon sheds little to no hair.


There are three varieties of Griffon, the Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Griffon. The Belgian Griffon has a long, wiry coat with fringe around the face. The Brussels Griffon has a wiry coat that is longer than the Belgian Griffon’s. The Petit Brabancon has a short, smooth coat. The Brussels Griffon was first shown at the Brussels Exhibition of 1880. An early example of the breed is depicted in a Van Eyck, the Flemish painter. Once kept by cab drivers of 17th century Brussels to rid their stables of vermin, the Brussels Griffon became a companion breed by virtue of its appealing character. The smooth coated Petit Brabancon was most likely crossed with Pug blood. Other breeds including the Affenpinscher, English Toy Spaniel, Belgian street dog, Yorkshire Terrier and Irish Terrier may have contributed to the modern Griffons. The AKC recognizes only the variety known as the Brussels Griffon. Its American standard allows all of the color varieties, black through red, as well as the smooth variety (Brabancon). FCI, conversely, divided them into three breeds: smooth (Petit Brabancon), rough reds (Brussels Griffon) and roughs of other colors (Belgian Griffon). Therefore, in Europe they are shown separately with no interbreeding between the varieties. In America, although the same parameters exist, they are combined into one breed with different colors and coat varieties. It was a Brussels Griffon that appeared in the movie "As Good as it Gets." Somewhat rare, Griffons may be very difficult to find.


Terrier, Brussels Griffon AKC Toy

  • Belgian Griffon APRI, CKC, FCI, NKC
  • Petit Brabancon APRI, CKC, FCI, NKC
  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
A tan with black Belgian Griffon is sitting at the back of a tan couch

Mia the Brussels Griffon as a puppy at 13 weeks old up on the couch

A small black and tan dog is standing in grass with a flower bed behind it. The dogs hair is longer around the head than it is on the body.

This is Taz, a Griffon Bruxellois. He's a three-year-old black and tan "rough." Photo courtesy of Sherway Griffons—the small dog with BIG attitude!

A small tan with black short haired dog is laying on a tan carpet and its front paw is overtop of a $2 bill

Bella is a Petit Brabancon.

A black and white photo of a small wiry dog with longer hair on the face is sitting on a pillow

This is a six-month-old Brussels Griffon named Ygor van de stad van Haven Belgium Breed. Owned by C. Aerts-Depre

A small tan with black dog is standing on a hardwood floor. The dog's face looks like a monkey and the ears are perked up in the air.

Ouzie the male Petit Brabancon

See more examples of the Belgian Griffon