Critter of the Week: Brussels Griffon


DOG BREED TYPE: Companion Dogs

HEIGHT: 7 - 8 inches tall at the shoulder

WEIGHT: 7-12 pounds

LIFE SPAN: 12 - 15 years


They can be a bit bossy and tend to run the entire space when allowed to. However, they love being with people and are in need of constant attention. They do not likes being left alone and will resort to misbehavior if they are being ignored.They have acquired the designation of "Velcro Dogs" due to their need to stay by their owners side.

Be sure to socialize the Brussels Griffon early while they are puppies. They need to be exposed to many different people, experiences, locations, sounds, etc. Doing this will help them to become more well rounded and as a result they will be better behaved. Owners always need to remember to praise the Brussels Griffon for good behavior.

Brussels Griffons were first bred in Belgium to kill rats and other small critters that were inhabiting horse stables. They are considered a toy breed since they stand 7-8 inches tall and usually weigh 7-12 pounds. There are two different kinds of Brussels Griffons; the traditional Brussels Griffon has a wiry coat, while Petite Brabancons have a smoother coat.

The Brussels Griffon was featured in one movie and the inspiration for a character in another. A Brussels Griffon by the name of Verdell was featured in “As Good as it Gets.” More notably, they were the inspiration behind Ewoks featured in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”! In fact, George Lucas had three Brussels Griffons as pets!

“Monkey face” is one of the Brussels Griffon’s common nicknames. We’ve been able to determine the genetic makeup of this breed as being part Affenpinscher, Pug, and English Toy Spaniel. The Brussels Griffon gets most of its looks from the Affenpinscher, while the Toy Spaniel gives it its large eyes, rounded head, and expressive jaw. The pug contributes mostly to the smooth-coated variety. 

After World War I and II, the Brussels Griffon almost became extinct due to the poor economic condition in Belgium. Owning a Brussels Griffon, much less breeding one, was a luxury that few could afford. Luckily, English breeders in the UK made a huge effort to resurrect the breed during that time and kept them going for us to love to this day.

Brussels Griffons usually have a litter size of 1-3 puppies. They can typically give birth unassisted, however, they may have complications and need a C-Section if the litter size is larger than 3. When they are born, the puppies only way a few ounces and can fit in the palm of your hand!