Brussels Griffon, Breed of the Week

Brussels Griffon, Breed of the Week

Brussels Griffon, Breed of the Week

I heard a sentence from my Hunny’s mouth which I never expected to hear. Brace yourselves. He said, “I think I’m of an age where I’d like a lap dog.” (Shh! A Brussels Griffon might be just the thing.)

It took me a minute to pick my jaw up off the floor. Who is this man? What on earth is he thinking? I’ll tell you what he’s thinking. He wants the dog in this video I showed on Monday:

And he probably thinks I’m the one who will train it. Heh. Not. And is that a shaggy Jack Russell?

So we tossed around dog types (like I’m seriously entertaining this), and he stopped when I got to the Brussels Griffon, the adorable lap dog I met last week.

Brussels Griffon
Olivia is small, but quiet and sweet. She gets along with everyone, it seems.

Seriously so ugly it’s cute. And since Wednesday is breed day, let me tell you a little bit about the Brussels Griffon. Especially since I might be looking for one in the near future. (Today’s post is gently recycled. We did get a lap dog. Then another. And they’re quite like Miss Olivia in some ways.)

What is a Brussels Griffon?

The AKC breed page (my favorite place to begin the info hunt), has this to say:

The intelligent and cheerful Brussels Griffon has a terrier-like disposition and is known for his almost human expression. This affectionate breed comes in a variety of colors, including red, belge (black and reddish brown), black and tan, or black. This breed makes a good watchdog and can be taught to perform a variety of tricks. A Brussels Griffon was featured in 1997’s hit, “As Good As It Gets”, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

I don’t even remember there being a dog in As Good As It Gets. Sheesh. And if you look at this face –

Adorable dog
Heart melting, isn’t it?

you might think, as I did, that it bears an ugly resemblance to the Affenpinscher we talked about a couple of weeks ago. You’d be right. Affenpinschers were part of the breeding stock for the Brussels Griffon. But many Brussels Griffon have very wiry fur, not soft. They’re Belgian bearded dogs, bred as rat catchers. I think a lot of little terriers were bred as rat catchers. If they were guaranteed not to chase my chickens, they might be a good investment for my back yard. (Our lap dogs seem to be an Affenpischer mix and a Brussels Chihuahua mix. And yes, the Affen mutt chases the duck all over the yard.)

The Brussels Griffon make good companion dogs. Like many terriers, they’re active dogs, needing regular walks. Unlike the terriers I’m familiar with, the Brussels Griffon needs regular brushing. They can have either a smooth or a wiry coat, but they do shed. When I was petting little Olivia here

Olivia says, “Don’t leave me. Please.”

her coat was coming off all over my lap. It was the strangest thing, wiry terrier hair shedding.

Pros and Cons to Owning a Brussels Griffon


  • Happy, affectionate, loyal and sweet – these dogs tend to be owner loyal and a little shy. Miss Olivia, however, had no compunctions about cuddling up to me and begging to be my new best friend. I assume she’s been well socialized.
  • Intelligent and alert – they take note of everything going on in the household and are easy to obedience train
  • Velcro dog – everywhere you are is where they want to be, including in your bed at night. A delightful companion dog!
  • Low incidence of health issues – what health issues they do have are few


  • Difficulty in housebreaking – this is common in the toy breeds in general, though (Our little guys poop upstairs when they’re angry at us)
  • Not for those with dog allergies – they shed and create dander
  • A difficult breed to find – these dogs are carefully bred, and sparingly

The Brussels Griffon also comes in a smooth coat version, looking more like a Pug (one of its ancestors). I was happy to find the wiry coat version. I would guess that the Brussels Griffon would enjoy Jones Natural Chews Lamb Lung Puffs, as well as the Woofermen and the Windee Rings.

Well thanks for playing! I’ll do my best to keep a lap dog out of the house while we still have teenagers, but there is no guarantee. It will probably come down to my begging for a Great Pyrenees and the compromise being a Brussels Griffon or a Jack Russell for my Hunny. *sigh* The things you do for love and harmony.


For your own sweet dog (or ornery dog – whatever floats your boat), Jones Natural Chews is hosting a giveaway of the Other Ear. Your dog wants it. It’s a fatty, yummy, bacon-like pig chin. Look at your dog. It’s drooling just thinking about it. See? So click on this sentence, a new window will open, then you’ll scroll down to the entry box near the bottom and click. Just do it already. Your dog is  drooling, for Pete’s sake.

Spreading the good chews …


20 thoughts on “Brussels Griffon, Breed of the Week

  1. They are cute little dogs. Gasp, I must be getting old too. I’ve actually entertained the idea of getting a lap dog – most little dogs love Blueberry and I sort of think it would be a good dynamic. But the whole “not easy to potty train” thing is a BIG deterrent for me. So until I can get past that – Blueberry will remain an only dog and I will remain lapdogless.

    And yes, you are right – that face is so ugly it is actually quite charmingly cute!
    Blueberry’s human recently posted..Frosty Paws Winner Announced!My Profile

    • Lots of small dog owners get around the pee issue in two ways – regular outings, frequently; and pee pads in one or two specific places. Still …

      Hunny wants to take the dog to work, have it sleep under his desk. Old. Crazy. Whichever term works. 😉

  2. Flea, first off Jesse is amazing…As for a lap dog, remember that just because a dog is small in size he can be a big dog at heart…Giz has no idea he’s a small dog and is up for any activity I choose…You’d look good with a Brussels Griffon and he/she’d be a great travel companion for you (if you can get him off Hunny’s lap that is)
    Gizmo (@GizmoGeodog) recently posted..BEST DOG GAME EVER – WORDLESS WEDNESDAYMy Profile

    • I know, I know. Gizmo and my mom’s Shihtzu are good sizes for small dogs. I just can’t imagine one in my house long term.

  3. While BGs are definitely not my cup of tea, you piqued my curiosity at what the smooth coat looks like. I had to see 🙂 You’re right, similar to a pug, just not so googly-eyed and with a smaller head. All the smush-faced dogs have difficulty exercising, esp. when it gets hot. That wouldn’t work for me. If I went toy size (and I imagine I will someday when I can no longer lift a 40lb Cardi), I want a Papillon. A kick-ass agility dog in an adorable little package!
    Taryn recently posted..Would Wilson Work With Watson on Wordless Wednesday?My Profile

    • I was laughing so hard at your comment that my Hunny made me read it to him. Then he wanted to see the Papillon. I seriously don’t want a drop kick dog in the house, cute as they are. You’re so right about the agility, though.

  4. Mom likes big dogs, she says me and my 38 lbs are as small as it gets and one of my nicknames is “tiny”. She says she wants big dogs that are real dogs and if she wants something on her lap, that is what cats are for although, my 78 lb Kuvasz sister sometimes sits on mom’s lap. We watch my friend Buddy who is small and it is fun but mom doesn’t want a small dog full time 🙂
    emma recently posted..Racing | GBGV | Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • Emma, you’re really not all that big, huh? My babies aren’t very big and they’re 50+ pounds. Your mom is exactly right about the purpose of cats. Except that ours hates dogs and won’t come downstairs and sit in my lap. 🙁
      Flea recently posted..A Morning with Dogs and ChickensMy Profile

  5. this breed became very popular after the Jack Nichols movie. as is happens with every movie that has a dog in it, the dog breed becomes very popular. they do have an ugly face, but it us cute, just like english bulldogs. if you like Jack Russells, look for the new Russell, they are smaller, not as high energy and very cute, they have shorter legs. i hope to get one when i can afford one. if you do not clip or strip JR’s they will have long hair.

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