A small Brussels Griffon standing in the grass.

Meet the Brussels Griffon: Your Cutest Companion


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Got your eye on a Griffon dog? With their uniquely squashed faces that are almost human-like (minus the fur!), the Brussels Griffon is a hit among pet parents. They really pack a big personality into a tiny body. Perhaps a Griffon would be ideal for your next family member… Let’s take a look at why or why not.

In this article, we delve into the world of the Brussels Griffon, exploring their origins, price, health and grooming needs, and why they can make such delightful pets. Whether you’re a potential Griffon owner or simply a dog enthusiast, join us as we uncover the endearing qualities of these captivating canines.

Brussels Griffon dog origins

It’s all in the name! The Brussels Griffon, as it’s commonly known outside of Belgium, has a heritage deeply rooted in the streets of Brussels, Belgium, dating back to the 19th century. These charming little dogs were originally bred from a mix of the Affenpinscher, the Pug, and perhaps the English Toy Spaniel, which contributed to their distinctive appearance and spirited personality.

The Griffon’s ancestors were primarily kept by cab drivers and working folks in Brussels to keep the stables free of rats and other vermin, showcasing their tenacity and fearlessness from the start.

Their charm and unique looks eventually caught the eye of the Belgian nobility. By the end of the 19th century, the Griffon Bruxellois had transitioned from a working-class dog to a favoured companion of the elite, enjoying a place in the laps of ladies and in the studios of artists.

Now, the Brussels Griffon is cherished not just for its historical significance but for its companionship and unique personality. While not as widespread as some breeds, Griffons have a loyal following and continue to charm their way into the hearts of dog lovers around the world.

Brussels Griffon personality

Griffons are the epitome of a “big dog in a small body,” showcasing confidence and a certain fearlessness that belies their diminutive size. These dogs form incredibly strong bonds with their humans, often showing a level of affection and loyalty that makes them excellent companions.

They’re known for being particularly expressive, too. Not just with their adorable, almost human-like faces, but through their actions and behaviours, which can range from comedic to endearingly stubborn.

Despite their small stature, Griffons have a hearty dose of self-esteem. They can sometimes forget just how small they are, especially when confronting larger dogs or new situations. This bravery makes them delightful, though it means they sometimes need protection from their own fearless inclinations.

A clever companion

Their intelligence is another highlight, making them responsive to positive reinforcement training, though they do have a streak of independence that can make consistency and patience key. They thrive on interaction and do best with reward-based training techniques, reviling in the attention and treats that come with learning new tricks.

However, their need for companionship makes them prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

They’re happiest when they’re part of the action, whether that’s a family gathering or a quiet evening at home. This social nature makes them great for families or individuals who can devote a significant amount of time to them, ensuring they feel loved and integrated into daily life.

Meet a Brussels Griffon sitting in the grass.

How much is a Brussels Griffon?

Getting a Brussels Griffon in Australia can be a bit of an investment. These adorable little pups aren’t exactly what you’d call cheap. At the time of writing, you’re looking at around $2,000 to $4,000 and sometimes even more, depending on what you’re after.

This price range can vary a lot because it really depends on the breeder, whether the dog comes from a show-winning lineage, and if all its health checks and vaccinations are up to date.

Because they’re not the most common breed around, finding a Griffon can sometimes feel a bit like a treasure hunt. When you do find a breeder, there’s a good chance you might end up on a waiting list. But, let me tell you, for many Griffon lovers the wait and the price are totally worth it for the joy and companionship these little characters bring.

A small brown puppy laying down on a white background.

Brussels Griffon health

Griffons are typically healthy dogs, but they do have a predisposition to certain genetic health conditions. Being aware of these potential issues is crucial for any Griffon owner.

Brachycephalic syndrome

Griffons are one of the brachycephalic breeds, meaning they were bred to have flat noses. So, they may face breathing difficulties. This condition is something to watch out for, especially in warmer climates or during intense play.


This serious condition involves the development of cavities within the spinal cord. It can be painful and manifest as sensitivity around the neck area, requiring veterinary attention for management.

Eye problems

Their large, expressive eyes are prone to issues like dog eye infections and conditions like ulcers and cataracts. Send them for regular eye check-ups to ensure you catch and treat any problems early.

Hip dysplasia

Though less common in small breeds, Griffons can still be affected by hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly, leading to potential discomfort and mobility issues.

Luxating patella

A common issue in small dogs, luxating patella involves the kneecap slipping out of place. It can range from mild to severe, with some cases requiring surgery.

A black and tan puppy who is peacefully laying on a vibrant blue background.

How to groom a Brussels Griffon

Grooming a Brussels Griffon is like a little art project that keeps them looking their quirky best. Whether you’ve a rough or smooth-coated Griff, here’s how to keep them in tip-top shape:

Rough-coated Griffon

  1. Brushing: This little furball needs regular brushing about a couple of times a week, to keep their coat free from mats and tangles. A good slicker brush or a metal comb works wonders.
  2. Trimming: They don’t need haircuts like some breeds, but you’ll want to trim around their face, feet, and rear end to keep them looking neat. It’s kind of like giving them a tidy-up, so they don’t end up looking like a shaggy mess.
  3. Bathing: Rough Griffons don’t need baths too often. Once a month or so should do it unless they’ve turned into a mud magnet. Use a gentle dog shampoo to keep their skin and coat healthy.
  4. Beard care: Their adorable little beard can get dirty from eating, so it’s a good idea to clean it regularly. Just a quick wipe or a wash can keep it looking spiffy.

Smooth-coated Griffon

  1. Brushing: They have an easier coat to manage, but still benefit from weekly brushes to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. A soft bristle brush or grooming mitt is perfect.
  2. Bathing: Like their rough-coated cousins, they don’t need frequent baths. A monthly scrub down will keep them smelling fresh and clean.
  3. Nail trimming: Regardless of coat type, keeping their nails trimmed is a must to avoid discomfort while walking or playing.

For both types

  • Ear cleaning: Clean their ears regularly with a vet-approved ear cleaner to prevent a dog ear infection. Those cute ears can trap dirt and wax.
  • Dental care: Brush their teeth regularly to prevent dental issues. Daily is ideal, but a few times a week can make a big difference. Check out our guide on dog teeth cleaning for more.
  • Eye care: Keep an eye on their eyes (pun intended)! Griffons can have weepy eyes, so gently wiping the area with a damp cloth helps keep goop at bay.
Two dogs sitting in a grassy field.

Insure your gorgeous Griffon

PD Insurance dog insurance cover a wide array of furry friends, from a Brussels Griffon to a Burmese. And while it’s there to help ensure your pooch can get the treatment they need, it’s really protecting you and your finances. 

In case of emergency medical surgery, treatment or medication, you shouldn’t be worrying about the cost. Instead, you should be focused on where the best place is for your furbaby to get the right treatment. Give them a soft landing, get a quote today.

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