Brussels Griffon.jpg
Breed Group Group 5: Pinschers and Schnauzers
Sub-group 5-B: Small Pinschers and Schnauzers
Origin Country Belgium
Weight Males: 0-0 pounds. Females: 0-0 pounds.
Height Males: 0-0 inches. Females: 0-0 inches.
Other Name(s) Belgischer Griffon, Belgium Griffon (Griffon Belge)
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD
meet the...

Brussels Griffon

Breed Group Group 5: Pinschers and Schnauzers
Sub-group 5-B: Small Pinschers and Schnauzers
Origin Country Belgium
Weight Males: 0-0 pounds. Females: 0-0 pounds.
Height Males: 0-0 inches. Females: 0-0 inches.
Other Name(s) Belgischer Griffon, Belgium Griffon (Griffon Belge)
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The Brussels Griffon breeds were originally bred and developed in the nineteenth century from the Smousje, a small ratting dog found throughout Belgium. These dogs were used to catch rodents in Belgian homes and stables, earning them the nickname of Griffon d’Ecurie, or Stable Griffon. Originally, they were larger than the dogs we see today. Although these little dogs had been around the area of Belgium for centuries, their ancestry also included that of the Affenpinscher.

They were a part of many Belgian peasant households. Due to their plucky nature, endearing personality, and charming presence, they were permitted to attend their master’s side and ride shotgun in carriages and coaches, exposing him to a number of people from various walks of life. This included French royalty, such as King Henry II and Queen Henrietta Maria, as well as Queen Astrid of Belgium. Their appreciation and ownership of the dogs sparked an interest in the breed, and eventually the breed was miniaturized to smaller dimensions. This was done by breeding to a number of undisclosed toy breeds, those of which are believed to have included Pug or Ruby English Toy Spaniels.

This eventually resulted in the three varieties of Brussels Griffons that we see today. In Europe, they are separated into three different breeds according to their coats: Petit Brabançons make up the smooth-coated variety, Brussels Griffons possess red/fawn rough coats, and Griffons Belge have rough coats of any color other than red or fawn. In America, they are all considered one breed: the Brussels Griffon.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat brachycephalic skull-type, moderate in size, somewhat rounded, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The face is simian-like and rather flat, although a completely flat profile is not preferred. The topskull is prominently domed. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Rather large in size, set well apart, well-opened almond or round in shape, and preferably dark brown to nearly black in color. Lighter eyes ranging from amber to medium brown may be found in non-standard colors. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Whites of the eyes should not be visible when the dog is looking forward.
Ears: The ears are small to somewhat medium in size, set high on the head and well apart. They may be left natural or may be cropped. Natural ears may range from semi-erect to button ears. Cropped ears are cut short and pointed. There is no preference to cropped or uncropped ears.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short, broad, deep, at least ½ inch long, and never completely flat in profile. When the mouth is closed, the teeth and tongue should be completely concealed. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, are strong and well-developed, and never appear snipey or weak. The lower jaw is strong and broad, with a moderately good upturn, but never excessively undershot.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard colors. The nostrils are wide and well-opened, never narrow. The line of the nose preferably falls just below the lower-eye rims. The tip of the nose may be slightly tilted back.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed.
Body: Compact, deep, solid, short-coupled, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. Giving the overall impression of a small, sturdy, squared dog.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: High set on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. It is carried well-up, above the level of the topline when moving or alert. It may be carried in a downward position (never tucked) when in repose. The tail may be natural or docked. Natural tails are of medium length and may be straight or gently curved. When held down, the tip of the last vertebrae should extend to the hock joints. Docked tails are cut to 1/3 of the original length.
Movement: Movement is quick, energetic, efficient, effortless, strong, and proud. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Brussels Griffon, Belgium Griffon, and Petit Brabançon are renowned for their charming personalities and wonderful dispositions. They are sensitive, playful, affectionate, and intelligent. Their people delight in their proud displays of self-importance, finding it difficult not to indulge them, and some can become quite prone to spoiling. When offended or disappointed, they can come off as rather moody. They are watchful and devoted dogs that bond strongly with their people. They can be shy toward strangers, but should be accepting overall and tolerant of well-intentioned strangers. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
Click Here to View Full Standard

Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 5: Pinschers and Schnauzers

Proportions: Square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being approximately equal to the height at the withers. The ideal body height-to-length ratio is between 1:1 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and good bone.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat brachycephalic skull-type, moderate in size, somewhat rounded, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The face is simian-like and rather flat, although a completely flat profile is not preferred. The topskull is prominently domed. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Watchful, alert, proud, and lively.
Stop: The stop is deep, very pronounced, and definite, preferably forming a 90-degree angle between the topskull and muzzle.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:4, with the topskull being longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short, broad, deep, at least ½ inch long, and never completely flat in profile. When the mouth is closed, the teeth and tongue should be completely concealed. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, are strong and well-developed, and never appear snipey or weak. The lower jaw is strong and broad, with a moderately good upturn, but never excessively undershot.
Lips or Flews: The lips fit tightly over the teeth and jaws and meet in a tight line, giving the mouth a rather serious line, almost resembling a slight pout. Flews are not present.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard colors. The nostrils are wide and well-opened, never narrow. The line of the nose preferably falls just below the lower-eye rims. The tip of the nose may be slightly tilted back.
Cheeks: The cheeks may be smooth or may exhibit slight padding.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, reverse-scissor, or slightly undershot with no less than 1/8 of an inch of contact between upper and lower incisors. Contact between the upper and lower incisors is preferred. Teeth should never break beyond the top lip when the mouth is closed. Exposed teeth or tongue when the mouth is closed is a disqualification.
Eyes: Rather large in size, set well apart, well-opened almond or round in shape, and preferably dark brown to nearly black in color. Lighter eyes ranging from amber to medium brown may be found in non-standard colors. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Whites of the eyes should not be visible when the dog is looking forward.
Ears: The ears are small to somewhat medium in size, set high on the head and well apart. They may be left natural or may be cropped. Natural ears may range from semi-erect to button ears. Cropped ears are cut short and pointed. There is no preference to cropped or uncropped ears.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, deep, solid, short-coupled, and of good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. Giving the overall impression of a small, sturdy, squared dog.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Topline: Level from withers to croup. The back is short, broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The topline is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Strong, broad, and level with the topline, or may be just slightly, almost imperceptibly, sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck up is present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Tail: High set on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. It is carried well-up, above the level of the topline when moving or alert. It may be carried in a downward position (never tucked) when in repose. The tail may be natural or docked. Natural tails are of medium length and may be straight or gently curved. When held down, the tip of the last vertebrae should extend to the hock joints. Docked tails are cut to 1/3 of the original length.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle and bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of good bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Brussels Griffon breed comes in two coat varieties: the smooth-coated Petit Brabançon and the rough-coated Brussels Griffon/Belgian Griffon. Petit Brabançon (Smooth coat variety): The coat is short, smooth, and close to the body throughout. The texture is hard and rough to the touch with a short, dense undercoat.
Brussels Griffon/Belgian Griffon (Rough-coated): Harsh, rough, wiry, hard, dense outer coat—the rougher the better. Rough hair on head, forming a wiry beard, mustache, and eyebrows. Hand stripping is recommended to keep the dog from appearing unkempt. Slight wave, never so long as to obscure the outline of the dog, is permissible. Dense, short undercoat.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes four color varieties of the Brussels Griffon breeds:
Petit Brabançon (Smooth coat variety): Solid beige, red, red brown, black, black with tan to red points, belge/grizzle/agouti (red and black intermingled), all with or without black mask.
Brussels Griffon (Rough-coated Red): Solid beige, red, red brown, all with or without black mask (fawn). Traditionally colors other than beige, red and red with black mask are classified as Belgium Griffons.
Belgium Griffon (Rough-coated non-red): Solid black, black with rust to tan points, belge/grizzle/agouti (red and black intermingled), all with or without black mask. Traditionally, solid beige, red, and red with mask are classified as Brussels Griffons.
Non-Standard Coat Color Variety: Coat colors not included in the traditionally permissible colors include: liver, liver grizzle, and liver and tan.

Movement

Movement is quick, energetic, efficient, effortless, strong, and proud. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Brussels Griffon, Belgium Griffon, and Petit Brabançon are renowned for their charming personalities and wonderful dispositions. They are sensitive, playful, affectionate, and intelligent. Their people delight in their proud displays of self-importance, finding it difficult not to indulge them, and some can become quite prone to spoiling. When offended or disappointed, they can come off as rather moody. They are watchful and devoted dogs that bond strongly with their people. They can be shy toward strangers, but should be accepting overall and tolerant of well-intentioned strangers. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.