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Brussels Griffon

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Small companion dog; intelligent, well-balanced, alert, proud, robust, practically square; well-boned, but at the same time elegant in movement and construction; attracting attention for its almost human expression. The two Griffons are hard-haired and distinct from each other only by color, while the Petit Brabançon is short-haired.

Personality:  Balanced and alert.

Energy Level : Very Active.  This dog is active and energetic, and needs daily exercise.  

Good with children:  Yes.


Good with other dogs:  With supervision.


Grooming:  Seasonal.


Life expectancy : 10-15  years old.

Bark level:  Moderate.


The 3 breeds (Brussels Griffon, Belgian Griffon and Petit Brabançon) are descended from a small, rough-coated dog called “Smousje”, which for centuries has been found in Brussels areas. In the 19th century, crosses with the Ruby King Charles Spaniel and the Pug produced the black coat and established the breed's current type. These small dogs are alert and were bred to guard carriages and rodent-free stables. In 1883 the first Brussels Griffons were registered in the LOSH (St. Hubert's Book of Origin). They were: Topsy (LOSH #163) and Foxine (LOSH #164). By 1900 the breed had become very popular, along with other breeds, thanks to the royal interest shown by Queen Marie-Henriette of Belgium. Several species were exported and helped in the expansion and popularity of the breed.

Country of Origin: Belgium.

BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT:  Small dog well balanced, alert, proud, very attached to its owner and very vigilant. Neither shy nor aggressive.

HEAD:  This is the most characteristic and remarkable part of the dog. The head is large compared to the body and has an almost human expression. In Griffons, the coat is stiff, bristly and untidy. The fur is longer over the eyes, on the muzzle, cheeks and chin, forming a trim on the head.


Skull: Broad  and round. The snout is very round.

Stop : Very pronounced.


Truffle: Black. Placed at eye level. The nose is broad with well-opened nostrils. The nose tip is angled back so that in profile, the chin, nose and muzzle are in the same plane.


Muzzle: Including the nose, it is very short: it should not exceed more than 1.5 cm. In the Petit Brabançon the muzzle appears to be longer due to the lack of trim. A poor expression results from a non-upward projection of the muzzle, as does a nose whose upper lines lie below the lower eye line, and both are serious faults.


Lips: Black. The upper and lower lips are in direct contact and adherent. The upper lip is not pendulous and does not extend beyond the lower lip. If the lips are loosened, the desired expression is changed.


Jaws and  Teeth: The mandible is curved upwards, wide, not pointed and extends beyond the upper jaw. The race is prognathous. The incisors of each jaw should be set evenly in a straight line, with the upper and lower ones remaining truly parallel. The mouth must be tightly closed, not showing the tongue or teeth. The width and prominence of the chin are extremely important. Care must be taken to ensure that no incisors are missing.


Eyes: Wide apart, wide and round, never protruding. Brown, as dark as possible. They should have a black border, and preferably the whites of the eyes should not be visible. Small, oval or light eyes are considered faulty.


Ears: Small, set high with plenty of space between them. Ears uncropped, are carried semi-erect and drooping forward. Ears that are too long are not desired, as are ears that droop to the sides of the head. Cropped ears are pointed and erect. Cropped or uncropped ears are equally acceptable.


NECK: Of medium length, blending harmoniously into the shoulders.


  • BODY: The length of the body is practically equal to the height at the withers. The overall impression is of a small, square, powerful dog.  


Withers: Slightly raised.


Back: Straight, short and strong.


Loin: Short and muscular, slightly arched.


Croup: Broad and flat, slightly oblique.


Chest: Broad, well let down to the elbows. The sternum is well defined, which gives a slight bulge to the chest, seen in profile. Ribs well sprung but not barreled and not too flat.


Bottom line: The belly is slightly tucked up; clearly defined flanks.


TAIL: Set on and carried high. A docked tail is shortened by 2/3 of its length. An uncut tail is carried up with the tip towards the back without touching it and without being curled. A naturally short tail or broken or curled over the back is a serious fault.




General Appearance: Forelegs parallel with good bones, set sufficiently apart.


Shoulders: Normal angulation.


Elbows: Close to the body.  


Feet: Small, round, turning neither in nor out. Fingers tightly closed; Fused fingers are undesirable. Thick pads as dark as possible. Preferably black nails, as dark as possible.




General Appearance: Well-boned hind legs, parallel, angled in harmony with forelegs.


Knees: Sufficient angulation.


Hocks: Well let down, not too tight, not too open.


Paws: Same as above. Unwanted Ergos.


  • GAIT/MOVEMENT: Powerful, parallel movement of the limbs with good drive from the hindquarters. High front movement and camel step are faults.


  • COAT



Coat quality: The Brussels Griffon and the Belgian Griffon are hard-coated with undercoat. The coat is naturally rough, slightly wavy, not frizzy, trimmed. The coat must be long enough so that its structure can be appreciated. Hair that is too long destroys the contour and is not wanted. A silky or woolly coat is a serious fault. The Petit Brabançon has a short coat. The coat is rough, flat and shiny and is no more than 2 cm long. Head trim: With Griffons, the trim (beard and mustache) starts under the nose-eye axis and goes from one ear to the other, covering the muzzle and cheeks with thick, longer hair than the rest of the body. Over the eyes, the fur should be longer than the rest of the skull, forming the eyebrows.


COLOR Brussels Griffon: Red, reddish; a little black is allowed on the head trim. Belgian Griffon: Black, black and tan. Brown spots should be pure and of a sustained color. The brown spots are located on the forelimbs, from the paw to the wrist; on the hind limbs from the foot to the hock. They go up on the inside of the legs. They are also situated on the chest, cheeks, chin, above the eyes, inside the ears, below the tail and around the anus. Black can be mixed with reddish brown, although pure black and black with brown spots are preferred. Petit Brabançon: The same colors as the Griffons are accepted. He has a black mask. Gray or icy color on the dog's mask by age should not be penalized. In all three breeds, some white chest hair is tolerated but not desired.


WEIGHT: Ranges from 3-5 to 6 kg.

  • FAULTS  

Any deviation from this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well-being of the dog.  



• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.

• Atypical dogs.

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