Do Brussels Griffon Dogs Shed?

The Brussels Griffon is one of the smallest dog breeds, weighing under 10 pounds on average. This Belgium pup is always on red alert to keep a watchful eye on its family members despite its diminutive size.

Does the Brussels Griffon shed a lot?

Rough-coated Brussels Griffons shed infrequently, even during seasonal changes. The smooth-coated version of this breed will shed more as the seasons shift from warm to cold and vice-versa. They also shed non-seasonally, but not as much.

In this article, we’ll explain the differences between a Brussels Griffon dog’s wiry versus its smooth coat, including how much you should expect the latter to shed as well as which times of the year. We’ll also discuss how to groom a Brussels Griffon, so keep reading!

Brussels Griffon Shedding

Overall, the Brussels Griffon is a low-to-moderate shedder, but it does depend on if yours has a wiry or smooth coat.

The Petit Brabancon, Griffon Beige, and Griffon Bruxellois are all considered Brussels Griffons by the breed standard, but their coats are different.

Petit Brabancons have smooth coats, while the Griffon Beige and Griffon Bruxellois have longer, wiry coats. The latter is sometimes even likened to the furry creatures known as Ewoks from Star Wars.

Portrait of a Wiry Coat and Smooth Coat Brussels Griffon dog standing side by side outdoors.
Smooth Coat Brussels Griffon (left) standing next to Wiry-Coated Brussels Griffon (right).

Besides the undeniably adorable appeal of a wiry-coated Brussels Griffon, the other benefit is they rarely shed.

As their fur grows and the old stuff comes out, you might see a few tufts of hair here and there. However, it’s nothing that will require you to vacuum your couch or lint-roll your wardrobe every day.

It’s a completely different story if yours is a Petit Brabancon. This tiny dog with oversized eyes has a tidier-looking coat that belies how much it sheds.

Like the wiry-coated Brussels Griffon dogs, the Petit Brabancon will shed an average amount of fur throughout the year. But its shedding tends to ramp up seasonally. Before winter begins, there will be a lot more fur floating about. That happens again in preparation for summer.

So, despite some common misconceptions out there, dogs with short coats shed too. And in some cases, they can shed more than dogs with longer coats. It’s just typically not as noticeable since the hair is so short and, in the case of the Brussels Griffon, there’s only so much hair they can produce given their size.

Either way, the Brussels Griffon is not a heavy shedding breed, regardless of which variety you have. Between coat types, the biggest difference comes down to how much effort is needed to groom them. So let’s take a closer look at the grooming aspect.

Grooming Your Brussels Griffon

As you have different shedding expectations depending on the type of Brussels Griffon, the same applies to grooming.

Brushing your Petit Brabancon will require less effort since its coat is so smooth. During its heavy shedding times, daily brushing will allow you to collect the dead fur before it ends up all over your home. In periods of less shedding, reduce brushing to about once per week.

Use a hound’s glove or a rubber brush to neaten the Petit Brabancon’s coat and make it glossy. Wearing a brushing glove has the added benefit of massaging your dog’s skin, which many canines love. They might prefer a glove over a standard brush.

Petit Brabancon dog standing outdoors.

When grooming a wiry-coated Brussels Griffon, use a pin brush. This type of brush has wire pins with wide spacing between the bristles that won’t tangle your dog’s rough coat. Some dog owners use a pin brush for grooming their Petit Brabancon as well.

Brushing the tough coat of your Brussels Griffon about weekly will make its shedding even less pronounced. You’ll be able to wear your dark-colored wardrobe around the house freely!

The main concern when grooming these fuzzy Brussels Griffon dogs is managing the mass of fur around their face. Many dog owners allow a professional groomer to take care of trimming the dog’s beard. Others do it themselves.

Brussels Griffon dog with beard posing outdoors in summer.

No matter which option you choose, expect to maintain the Brussel Griffon’s facial fuzz about once every three months.

Since the average coat length of the Brussels Griffon is about four inches before falling out, trimming the dog’s body shouldn’t be something you have to do too often. Your groomer might trim the fur around your dog’s legs to make their beard look larger and fluffier. This is completely optional.

Another way to bring attention to the Brussels Griffon’s beard is to trim the fur around its face, especially near the muzzle at the top as well as between its eyes. Since these are tough areas to maintain yourself, you can leave this job to your groomer if you prefer.

Groomers will often finish by trimming the Brussels Griffon’s paws, creating a ring of fur around each paw by removing excess hair. 

Besides its fur, please pay attention to your dog’s nails. The Brussels Griffon is prone to growing painfully long nails that can get in the way of walking. Your groomer can likely take care of cutting your dog’s nails while trimming its face. 

Are Brussels Griffon Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Hypoallergenic dog breeds are usually very popular, especially among allergy sufferers. Is the Brussels Griffon dog hypoallergenic?

That depends! The wiry-coated Brussels Griffon is hypoallergenic while Petit Brabancons are only somewhat so.

To be clear, to be hypoallergenic does not mean the dog will cause zero allergy symptoms. Those who are allergic to dogs (and cats) get sneezy not because of the animal’s fur, but their dander. If you’re not sure what dander is, it’s mostly dead skin.

Since all dogs have skin, no breed is truly hypoallergenic.

Smaller dogs might cause fewer allergy symptoms because less dog means less skin to shed. Low-shedding breeds are also more hypoallergenic as skin dander and hair often shed together. 

That’s why we say the Petit Brabancon might be somewhat hypoallergenic. This breed sheds a moderate amount, but it’s also a small dog.

If you have serious allergies, the wiry-coated Brussels Griffon is one of the best dogs you can adopt. Not only are they very tiny, but they rarely shed.

Is a Brussels Griffon Dog Right for You?

You’ve learned so much about the Brussels Griffon, but is this the right dog for your household? Allow us to help you decide by sharing some interesting information about this fuzzy toy breed.

Brussels Griffons come from the Smousje, a dog breed that resembled a Terrier with a rough coat. The Smousje was bred to remove rodents from stables. Throughout the 19th century, Smousje breeding in Belgium created the Petit Brabancon, Griffon Beige, and the Griffon Bruxellois.

What was the purpose of breeding the Brussels Griffon? This cute canine was mostly a show dog. Queen Marie Henriette of Austria, who lived in the 19th century, helped usher the Brussels Griffon into popularity. However, this dog nearly went extinct between the first and second World Wars as its breeding decreased.

Fortunately, we still have the Brussels Griffon around today!

The American Kennel Club calls the Brussels Griffon a curious, alert, and loyal dog. Like many small breeds, this canine likes to be the center of your universe and is regarded as self-important.

Brussels Griffons can be quite amusing too. Just watch this YouTube video to see why:

The average height of a Brussels Griffon is 7 to 10 inches. If this dog weighs more than 10 pounds, it’s considered heavy. For those living in small spaces such as an apartment, there should be more than enough room for even a fully-grown Brussels Griffon to run, explore, and play.

Just make sure that you put time into training your Brussels Griffon. When untamed, this tiny breed barks incessantly. Attesting to their watchdog status, even a trained Brussels Griffon might bark at what it perceives as a threat.

The Brussels Griffon will get along well with your other cats and dogs at home. Please monitor your bigger animals around this toy breed so the Brussels Griffon doesn’t get tossed around!

If you have young kids in the house, it’s generally considered a good idea to wait until they’re older before bringing a Brussels Griffon home. These are more adult-suited dogs. Mishandling the dog could make the Brussels Griffon defensive.

Bottom Line

The Brussels Griffon is a tiny toy breed from Belgium that weighs around 10 pounds. The Griffon Bruxellois and Griffon Beige varieties have a low-shedding wiry coat while the Petit Brabancon features a smooth coat that will shed with the changing seasons.

Grooming the wiry-coated Brussels Griffon dogs is more challenging because of their beard-like facial fur, but otherwise, these are considered relatively low-maintenance dogs.

Their large hearts belie their small bodies, and Brussels Griffons love watching over their owners. They’d make a great addition to many families!

Do Brussels Griffon Dogs Shed?

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