Originating in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, the Brussels Griffon is a small toy breed that is as lovable as they are small and were originally bred to assist homeowners in keeping rats and other rodents away. They were developed in the 19th century from a small ratting dog that was found around Belgium and also shares their ancestry with the Affenpinscher, a similar-looking toy breed from Germany. Since the original Brussels Griffon was larger than they are seen today, it is believed that the Pug, ruby-colored English Toy Spaniels, or other similar toy dogs were incorporated into the lineage. The Brussels Griffon breed comes in a couple of different coat types and colors; in some countries, these dogs with different coat types are considered their own distinct breed, which includes the Griffon Bruxellois (rough-coated, red), Griffon Belge (rough-coated, belge, black, black and tan), and the Petit Brabanon (smooth-coated).
Known for their lovable temperament and "human-like" features, the Brussels Griffon has a big personality in a small dog package. The breed comes in two distinct coat types: rough-coated (wiry and dense) and smooth-coated (straight, short, and glossy). The dark-colored eyes of the breed, one of their distinctive characteristics, are very large and set well apart from one another, while coupled with their thick beard and mustache, makes them a dog that attracts a lot of attention. The Brussels Griffon's ears are small, left natural or cropped, and they have an extremely short, dark-colored nose. These sturdy little dogs have a docked tail that is carried high.
The Brussels Griffon is renowned for their curious, yet naughty personality and endearing nature. Due to their terrier and spaniel background, these pint-sized dogs can be found with a range of temperaments from active and outgoing to reserved and quiet but regardless of their personality, the breed is known to have a huge heart and a strong desire for human companionship. Intelligent, devoted, and eager to please, Brussels Griffons require plenty of patience from a gentle, yet consistent owner because of their sensitivity but this determined toy breed will try their best during obedience training sessions. Given their charming disposition, it is going to be hard not to indulge them, which can lead to bad habits where they become dependent on the owner, form excessive barking habits, and may form jealous behavior if not curbed from an early age. Although rather reserved around others, they tend to bond with one person in particular but will be accepting of well-intentioned strangers if their owner approves. It is thought that the Brussels Griffon is better suited in a household without children because of their nervousness and intolerance of rough play but they can do well if they have been socialized from puppyhood. Due to their small size and ability to get enough exercise while being indoors, the Brussels Griffon makes a great breed to have in apartments but going on daily walks and having another small breed friend to play with would still be appreciated.