In Belgium, the Griffon's country of origin, the Breed is catagorized as:
Griffon Bruxellois (pronounced BRU-CELL-WAH) -
which means a rough coated, clear red;
Griffon Belge - which means a rough coated, black or black and tan; and,
Petit Brabançon (pronounced BRAB-A-SON - with the 'n' sounding light) - which means a smooth of any colour accepted in the rough coat.
The registering body for the Breed is the Societe Royale Saint Huberte. The Griffon is exhibited under FCI regulations in Group Nine - Companions and Toy Dogs: Small Belgian Dogs. Utilization: (its purpose) Small guardian and companion dog.
PLEASE NOTE: TO ILLUSTRATE THE STANDARD, THE EDITOR HAS ADDED LINKS AND PHOTOS TO THIS STANDARD. THEY ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE FCI STANDARD BUT MERELY AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FURTHER EDUCATION.
Brief historical summary: The three breeds (Griffon Bruxellois, Griffon Belge and Petit Brabançon) all descend from a small rough-coated dog called a “Smousje” which for centuries has been found in the Brussels area. (Editor's Note: Hollandse Smoushond - recognized by FCI is said to be related).
In the 19th century, bringing in bloodlines from the Ruby King Charles Spaniel and the Pug produced the short black coat and fixed the current breed type. These little dogs are very alert and were bred to guard carriages and keep stables free from rodents.
In 1883 the first Griffon Bruxellois were registered at L.O.S.H. (The St.Hubert stud book). They were Topsy (L.O.S.H. nr.163) and Foxine (L.O.S.H. nr.164). By about 1900 they had become very popular, together with other breeds, thanks to the royal interest shown in them by Queen Marie-Henriette of Belgium (see photo above). Many specimens were exported abroad and helped the spread and popularity of the breed.
General appearance: Small companion dog; intelligent, well-balanced, alert, proud, robust, practically square; with good bone but at the same time elegant in its movement and construction; attracting attention by its almost human expression.
The two Griffons are rough-coated and are distinguished to each other by colour, whereas the Petit Brabançon is short-coated.
Important proportions: Length of body, from point of shoulder to point of buttock should be as equal as possible to height at withers.
Behaviour/Temperament: Well-balanced little dog, alert, proud, very attached to its owner, very watchful. Neither timid nor aggressive.
Head: This is the most characteristic part of the body and the most striking. The head is quite large compared with the body and has an almost human expression. In the Griffons the hair is rough, upstanding and tousled; it is longer above the eyes, on the foreface, the cheeks and chin, forming the head furnishings.
Cranial region: Broad and round. The forehead is well-rounded.
Stop: Very pronounced.
Nose: Black. The nose is set at the same level as the eyes. Nose leather is broad with wide-open nostrils. The tip of the nose is tilted back so that in profile the chin, the nose and the forehead are on the same plane.
Muzzle: The foreface including the nose is very short : it must not exceed 1.5 cm. For the Petit Brabançon a correct foreface appears longer because it has no furnishing. A poor expression is given by a non-turned-up foreface, just as it is by a nose whose top line lies below the line from the bottom of the eyes and these are both serious faults.
Lips: Black. The top and bottom lips are in close contact and close-fitting. The upper lip does not form flews and does not overlap the lower lip. If it is too loose it spoils the desired expression.
Jaws/teeth: The lower jaw is curved upwards, broad, non-pointed and jutting beyond the upper jaw; the breed is undershot. The incisors on each jaw are expected to be regularly set and in a straight line, with upper and lower remaining really parallel. The mouth must be tightly closed, showing neither teeth nor tongue. The width and prominence of the chin are extremely important. Care must be taken to ensure that no incisors are missing.
Eyes: Well set apart, large and round, never bulging. Brown, as dark as possible. The eye is to be edged with black and preferably no white of eye is to be seen. Small, oval or light coloured eyes are a fault.
Ears: Small, set high with enough space between them. Uncropped ears carried semi-erect and falling forwards. Ears which are too big are undesirable, so are ears falling on the side of the head. Cropped ears are pointed and erect. Cropped and uncropped ears are equally acceptable.
Neck: Medium length; blends harmoniously into the shoulders.
Body: The length of the body practically equals the height at the withers. The overall impression is of small square powerful dog.
Withers: Slightly raised.
Back: Straight, short, strong.
Loins: Short and muscled, very slightly arched.
Croup: Broad and flat or only very slightly sloping.
Chest: Broad, well let down to elbows. The breastbone is well defined, which gives a slightly jutting chest in profile. Ribs well-sprung but not barrel nor too flat.
Underline: Belly slightly tucked up; flanks clearly defined.
Tail: Set high and carried quite high. A docked tail is shortened by 2/3 of its length. A non-docked tail is carried upwards with the tip towards the back without ever reaching it or being curled. A naturally short or broken or curly tail is a severe fault.
Overview: Front legs parallel with good bone, set sufficiently wide apart.
Shoulders: Normal shoulder angulation.
Elbows: Close to body.
Feet: Small, round, neither turning out nor in. Tight fitting toes; fused toes are undesirable. Thick pads as dark as possible. Nails preferably black, as dark as possible.
Overview: Hind legs with good bone, really parallel, angulated to balance with front legs.
Stifles: Sufficient angulation.
Hocks: Well let down, neither close nor open.
Feet: See forequarters. Dewclaws not sought after.
Gait/Movement: Powerful, parallel movement of limbs with good rear drive. High-stepping front movement and ambling are faults.
Quality of coat: The Griffon Bruxellois and the Griffon Belge are rough-coated with undercoat. The hair is naturally harsh, slightly wavy, not curly, it is trimmed. The hair must be long enough for its structure to be appreciated. Hair which is too long destroys the outline and is not sought after. A silky or woolly coat is a serious fault. The Petit Brabançon is short-coated. The hair is harsh, flat and gleaming, and at most 2 cm long.
Head furnishing: With the Griffons the furnishing (beard and moustache) begin under the nose-eye axis and goes from one ear to the other, covering the muzzle and the cheeks with thick hair which is longer than on the rest of the body. Above the eyes, the hair must be longer than on the rest of the skull, forming eye-brows.
Griffon Bruxellois: Red, reddish; a little black is allowed on the head furnishing.
Griffon Belge: Black, black and tan. The tan markings must be pure and of a sustained colour. They are situated on the front legs, from foot to wrist, on the hind legs from foot to hock. They go up the inside of the legs. They are also situated on the chest, on the cheeks, on the chin, above the eyes, inside the ears, below the tail and around the anus. The black can be mixed with red-brown, which is allowed although pure black and black and tan are preferred.
Petit Brabançon: The same colours are accepted as for the Griffons. It has a dark mask. Grey or frosting in the mask for older dogs should not be penalised.
In all three breeds, a few white hairs on the chest are tolerated but not sought after.
Varies from 3,5 to 6 kg.
Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
• Temperament : Aggressive or overly shy.
• Nose lacking pigment or other than black.
• Tongue permanently visible, the mouth being closed.
• Wry lower jaw.
• Upper jaw protruding beyond lower jaw.
• Any other colours than those laid down in the standard, such as grey, blue and tan, brown and tan, liver colour.
• Any white patch.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Translation: Mrs. Pamela Jeans-Brown, revised by R. Triquet