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Dogs -  Griffon Bruxellois

Brussels Griffons and Belgian Griffons

The griffon originates in Belgium  - Bruxellois meaning from the town of Brussels. There is also a Griffon Belge - Belge meaning Belgian. The colour of the griffon Belge is black, black-and-tan, and black-and-red. The smooth, or Petit Brabancon is difficult to breed, as the smooth gene is recessive, with rough being more dominant. The Brabanacon has a tighter coat.

Examples of the three types of griffon

Bruxellois, Belge, & Brabancon types.

Photos supplied by S. Vosloo

Griffon with profuse beard

This Belge Griffon is Shingi Cerny Onyx 



3 brabancon griffons

Brabancon griffons

(of Ravilais)



A rough coated griffon

Griffon Bruxellois - Engel IZ Mitkov Kateriny


About griffons

Griffons were bred to hunt for rats amongst the straw in stables in the days when horses and carriages were the main form of transport.

The endearing little griffons were often rewarded with rides in the carriages, and by the 19th century had become pets and lap dogs.

It is thought that the Affenpinscher is the forerunner of the griffon. Other breeds that have contributed to the final product are Barbet, pug, and later, King Charles spaniel. In 1898, a specialist griffon club was formed, and the standard is now in writing.

Read more about the origins of dog breeds.

A griffon has a square shape, with a short docked, stumpy tail.  They have small, cheeky, monkey-like faces, with big, alert eyes. The face has a bright, quizzical expression. They have whiskers and a short beard.

The griffon Bruxellois has a harsh coat, which should be hand-stripped to maintain the rough, wiry feel.

A brown harsh-coated griffon with black beard

Tiny griffon going for a walk

Ravilais Radcliffe, a Griffon Bruxellois, belongs to A. Robinson, South Africa

A griffon will adapt well to life in a home with a small garden. They are playful and make merry companions.

Griffons have appeared in "As Good as it Gets" and "Sweet November" movies.

Griffon is a rare breed, as they have small litters, two or three puppies. Griffons are scarce in South Africa, so there are seldom puppies available from breeders.

Colour: The Standard Brussels griffon is red with black mask, black, or black and tan. 
Red is the most popular colour, but is recessive and the more dominant black is more common.

Weight: 2.2 to 5 kgs.

Class: Griffons are like terriers, but are classified in the Toy group because they are small.

Smooth coat Brussells Griffons

Smooth coated griffons are the same shape and size as the rough coats.

A small dainty griffon standing on a wall

Profile of griffon with black shiny coat, & snub nose

Rough coat Brussells Griffons

The coat is wiry & hard - not wooly or silky. It should be hand stripped, not clipped.

A griffon makes an arert, cheerful companion!

A litter of griffon puppies

Griffon puppies 


Griffons are merry pets! "A happy heart makes the face cheerful," seems to be their favourite proverb. (Proverbs chapter 15 verse 13.) Look for "Proverbs" in the index of a Bible. There's some wise sayings!

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