The Brussels Griffon Breed or 'Bearded Dog' Is Known for Its Human Expressions

Posted by Christy Caplan
Brussels Griffon

This dog breed looks like an 'Ewok' out of a Star Wars movie. They are adorable!

Brussels Griffons originated in Belgium. Experts believe that Pugs, Toy English Spaniels, and Affenpinschers were bred together to form the Brussels Griffon. They're best known for their human-like faces and expressions. 

They are a flat-faced breed or a brachycephalic breed and there are environmental concerns pet owners must be aware of when living with this dog breed.

A Brussels Griffon will be extremely loyal and affectionate to their owners. Yet this dog breed can be feisty!

One of the most popular and most searched questions is about how well they do with children and families given their small 'toy' size. They are extremely sensitive and not recommended for families with small children. If startled and picked up quickly they may snap so it's best if this breed lives with adults or older children.

Brussels Griffon breed information 

This dog breed is part of the toy group. They can weigh between 6 and 12 pounds.

You'll find the breed can come in either a smooth coat or rough coat in red, black and tan, solid black, or belge (mix of black and reddish-brown). Brushing their coat twice a week will be part of the routine so there is some grooming involved. 

Your vet can explain the various challenges of living with a flat-faced breed. You must be careful during warmer months as they won't tolerate heat well.

The life expectancy of a Brussels Griffon is around 12 to 15 years.

Temperament and personality

This breed doesn't like to share their owner's attention with other pets! According to Canna-Pet experts, empty nesters are great for this breed because they are able to provide the attention and care the Brussels Griffon needs.

"Make sure to socialize your pet with different people, places, and experiences as early as possible. This will help them to become a well-behaved pup later on in life." 

Socialization is key.

What about daily exercise?

This dog breed doesn't require a ton of exercise so if you live in an apartment the Brussels Griffon may be the perfect companion! They enjoy daily walks, and many will get their daily exercise just by running around the house. This makes the Brussels Griffon a great breed for elderly people or empty nesters. 

Brussels Griffon health concerns

According to The Spruce Pets, there are three main health concerns. Remember this breed has a 'flat face' which easily overheats and they also don't tolerate the cold very well.

  • Brachycephalic syndrome, a respiratory condition that can occur in dogs that have a more flat-faced appearance.
  • Patellar luxation, a condition in which the kneecap dislocates.
  • Corneal ulcers, an abrasion of the eye that commonly occurs in certain breeds.

These health problems or possible health conditions can be discussed with your vet or a reputable breeder. This small dog needs a lot of attention and some call them a velcro dog!

You'll need to consider weekly brushings, and given the trainability of this breed, it's important to socialize them and work with a positive reinforcement trainer. They may enjoy any sport a ratter dog would love, look at Barn Hunt where dogs follow vermin scents.

The human expressions you'll see on your Brussels Griffon's muzzle are hilarious.

For Brussels Griffon puppies look at the AKC, dog shows, and the American Brussels Griffon Association for resources about the breed standard.

If you're looking at small breeds consider a Chihuahua, Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Schnauzer, or English Toy Spaniel as all these small size breeds considered 'toy breeds' are wonderful companions.

Do you know anyone that lives with a Brussels Griffon? Let us know what characteristics you love about this breed!

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The Brussels Griffon Breed or 'Bearded Dog' Is Known for Its Human Expressions