About Griffons

The Griffon Bruxellois


Name: The name Griffon Bruxellois (pronounced Griffon  Broos-ell-wa) means a rough coated dog from Brussels.

History: They are a small dog that developed in Belgium. They can trace their history back to the Middle Ages but they developed into the breed we now know in the 1800’s. They were originally kept in stables to keep rats down but because of their lovable personalities they soon became popular with royalty and aristocracy. They were then imported into England in the late 1800’s. Fortunately the English breeders kept the breed going as they were almost totally wiped out in Belgium in WWI and WWII.
Appearance: The Griffon is a small, sturdy dog and should weigh between 3.2 – 5 kg. They come in rough and smooth coats and in 3 colours- red, blackand black & tan.

The rough coats have beards and are non-shedding. They need to be stripped or clipped regularly.

The smooth coats do not have beards; they have a short satiny coat that requires very little grooming. Their expression is said to be monkey like or even quasi human.

Personality:  The Griffon is a very lovable little dog. They are very loyal and devoted to their owner. They tend to select one person in a family to be their favourite. They want to be with the people they love and they follow you everywhere. They like to think that they are a bed dog. They need to be with people.

Because of this they cannot be left alone for hours in a yard. They are an ideal house dog and can also fit well into apartments as long as they get some regular outdoor exercise. Due to their small size they are not recommended for very small children unless the child is closely supervised. They are a lively little dog with a happy outgoing personality and they love going out and about with their owners. They get on well with other animals. 
Many people find that once they have owned a Griffon, they cannot ever imagine life without one.



Famous People who have owned Griffons: People often say that the Griffon looks like an Ewok. This is because George Lucas owned 5 Griffons and they provided him with inspiration when he made Star Wars. Other people who have owned and loved Griffons include Bob Hope, whose Griffon travelled to America with him on a luxury liner, sleeping with him on his bed, Queen Alexandra, the Edwardian actress, Mrs Patrick Campbell and Queen Marie Henrietta of the Belgians

Care: The Griffon is a short nosed breed. This means that they feel the heat and should never be exercised in hot weather. It is important that they always have somewhere cool in summer with plenty of water so that they do not over heat. Apart from that they are a sturdy, healthy little dog with very few problems. They do not eat a lot and do well on a diet of good quality biscuits and some meat. The roughs require a little more care and the hair around the ears, nose and bottom needs to be kept short for health and hygiene. Pet Rough Griffons require clipping several times a year. Smooth
Griffons need less care and go through a coat shed twice a year, but this is not excessive. Like all dogs, both smooth and rough need regular bathing to keep them fresh.

Health Issues: Griffons are generally healthy, strong little dogs and have few health problems. Like all small dogs they can sometimes suffer from slipping patella and in some very rare cases dogs have been diagnosed with a condition called SM/CM which affects the brain. Reputable breeders do all they can to breed from healthy stock and health test their dogs before breeding. It is important that pups are only purchased from reputable and ethical breeders. 
How to Buy a Griffon Puppy: Griffons are not very common and if you decide that a Griffon is the dog for you then you will need to be patient. They are difficult to breed and often only have small litters. There is usually a waiting list for puppies and reputable breeders will question you very carefully to ensure that you are the right home for their precious puppies and to ascertain whether a Griffon is the right dog  for you. Ethical breeders do not breed their Griffons very often and usually only have a few litters per year so that they can spend time with their pups and ensure that they are well socialised. All Dogs Australia (ANKC) registered Griffons will come with internationally recognised registration papers showing the dog's pedigree.  There are two types of Registration - the Limited Register (cannot be shown or bred from - Orange form) or the Main Register (can be shown as an entire dog or as a neutered dog) and this is a blue form. You should get the Registration papers when you get the puppy. Do not buy a puppy without registration papers.

The price of pups should be the same for Limited or Main Registration. It should also be the same for the different colours. Avoid a breeder who charges more for different colours or different registrations.

This information has been prepared by The Country Griffon Bruxellois Club of NSW Inc.

Membership of the Country Griffon Bruxellois Club of NSW is open to owners of Griffon Bruxellois or anyone who loves Griffons and wishes to know more about the breed. Click here to learn more about joining the Club and become involved with this wonderful little breed.

Contact Details

Secretary: Marousa Polias - [email protected]