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Brussels Griffon: Key Characteristics, Origins, and Temperament (2024)

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What is the dog from as good as it getsAre you a fan of the 1997 film, As Good As It Gets? If so, you may already be familiar with Verdell – the Brussels Griffon who stole Jack Nicholson’s heart.

Let’s take a closer look at these charming and loving dogs to find out! The Brussels Griffon hails from Belgium and is part of the toy group. They have round heads with black noses and wide eyes, plus high-set ears that are often cropped in some countries for working dogs.

Their coats come in two varieties: rough (wiry) or smooth (short). Colors range from red to belge (red-brown/black), black & tan or solid black.

Key Takeaways

  • The dog from As Good as It Gets is played by six different Brussels Griffons.
  • Brussels Griffons are a Belgian toy breed known for their round heads, black noses, and wide eyes.
  • They have two coat varieties: rough (wiry) or smooth (short), and come in various colors.
  • Brussels Griffons are friendly and affectionate dogs, but they may suffer from separation anxiety and require regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Key Characteristics of Brussels Griffons

Key Characteristics of Brussels Griffons
Imagine walking down the street and coming across an adorable little creature with a monkey-like face, round head, wide black eyes, and a cute button nose – that’s what you’d see in a Brussels Griffon.

These petite pooches have a rough or smooth coat in shades of red, black, black & tan, or red & rough.

Their heritage traces back to the 1800s in Belgium, where they likely resulted from crosses between German Affenpinschers and Belgian street dogs. Brussels Griffons care deeply for their people and crave companionship, so they may become anxious when left alone for too long.

Regular exercise and mental stimulation keep them spunky and reduce naughty behaviors.

If you notice signs of luxating patella, eye issues, breathing troubles, or sensitivity to temperature extremes, it’s important to check with a vet. With proper training and socialization, these clever clowns make devoted, quirky companions.

Where Brussels Griffons Come From

Where Brussels Griffons Come From
You’re spryly sensing: In likely resulting from crossing German Affenpinschers with Belgian street dogs, possibly involving Pugs, King Charles Spaniels, and Ruby Spaniels.

This rough ’round royal rascal reminds you of its rich relation to terriers.

Brussels Griffons have a fascinating historical development that traces back to their origins in Belgium.

  1. The Brussels Griffon is believed to be the result of crossbreeding between German Affenpinschers and Belgian street dogs.
  2. Other breeds such as Pugs, King Charles Spaniels, and Ruby Spaniels might also have played a role in shaping the Brussels Griffon we know today.
  3. These small dog breeds were carefully bred over time for specific traits like their distinctive monkey-like face and charming naughtiness.
  4. Recognized by the AKC since 1910, these little companions continue to win hearts with their unique appearance and affectionate temperament.

The historical development of the Brussels Griffon showcases how different influences can shape a breed into something truly special.

What is the Brussels Griffon Temperament Like?

What is the Brussels Griffon Temperament Like
Explore the charming and curious temperament of Brussels Griffons, as they’re known for their friendly nature and affectionate behavior towards others. They’re always eager to make a new friend and often imitate other dogs’ playful behaviors.

With proper socialization and training, they can get along great with other pets and children. However, separation anxiety is common as they crave your company. To curb their restless energy, take them on walks and provide puzzles.

It’s important to get a jacket for chilly days since they’re sensitive to weather extremes. These bright dogs have big active minds in little bodies and stay in tune with your moods. By understanding the special traits of Brussels Griffons like Verdell, you’ll be on your way to a fulfilling friendship with these endearing dogs.

Their affection and charm are sure to melt your heart if you give them the chance.

Are Brussels Griffons Hypoallergenic?

If you’re a fan of the film As Good as It Gets, then you already know that the adorable dog who stole our hearts was none other than a Brussels Griffon. These little furry companions are known for their charming naughtiness and monkey-like faces, making them perfect scene-stealers in any movie.

But what about those of us who suffer from pet allergies? Are Brussels Griffons hypoallergenic? Well, it’s important to note that no breed is completely hypoallergenic, but some breeds are considered more allergy-friendly than others.

Fortunately for potential Brussels Griffon owners with allergies, this breed is known to be low shedding and produce less dander compared to other dogs.

However, it’s always recommended to spend time with a Brussels Griffon before bringing one into your home if you have severe pet allergies just to ensure there won’t be any adverse reactions.

Is This the Right Dog for You?

Is This the Right Dog for You
Look deeper within yourself before rushing into this lifelong commitment. The Brussels Griffon is a unique and charming breed, but it may not be the right dog for everyone. Allergies should be taken into consideration, as some people might have reactions to their coat.

Additionally, Brussels Griffons require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They’re known for their friendly and affectionate temperament but can also suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.

Proper socialization is crucial to ensure they get along with other dogs and cats.

Grooming needs are low maintenance with occasional brushing required, while health clearances should always be checked when considering adoption or buying from a breeder.

So before you make your decision on whether the Brussels Griffon is the right dog for you, take these factors into account: allergies considerations due to their coat type; exercise requirements that need daily walks; potential separation anxiety issues if left alone too often; friendly temperament traits making them suitable around other pets after proper socialization has occurred; grooming needs being relatively low maintenance requiring only light brushing several times per week paired with occasional ear cleaning sessions plus teeth checks alongside trimmings where necessary all combined together ensuring overall good health through obtaining appropriate clearances beforehand either via adopting rescue organizations or purchasing from reputable breeders who provide such documentation upon request.

How Many Dogs Played Verdell in as Good as It Gets?

How Many Dogs Played Verdell in as Good as It Gets
You’re curious how many dogs it took to portray Verdell in that classic flick, right? I know what you’re thinking – it was probably just one talented pup.

  • Timer
  • Sprout
  • Debbie
  • Billy
  • Parfait
  • Jill the Dog

These canine actors went through intensive training to nail Verdell’s funny habits and charming spirit. From mastering Jack Nicholson’s trademark tics to walking a straight line over those iconic cracks, it took a pack of pups to fill those furry paws.

So next time you watch As Good as it Gets, remember the dog days and dedicated trainers behind that beloved Brussels Griffon.

How to Adopt a Brussels Griffon

Adopt this rare breed through patience and care. Brussels Griffons are charming and affectionate dogs that require commitment and training.

Here are 5 tips for adopting a Brussels Griffon:

  • Research breed traits and health issues. Understand their separation anxiety and exercise needs.
  • Find reputable breeders and shelters. Ask about medical history and meet the dog’s parents if possible.
  • Socialize the dog early and often. Introduce them to people, places, and other pets.
  • Use positive reinforcement training. Work on basic commands to build confidence and trust.
  • Give them activity and affection. Take brief daily walks and provide toys and quality time.

With proper care, these monkeys in dog suits make devoted, quirky companions. Do your homework before bringing one home.


The Brussels Griffon is a unique and charming breed of dog with a monkey-like face, round head, black nose, wide black eyes, high-set ears, and a rough or smooth coat in various colors. Originating from a combination of other breeds, such as Affenpinschers, Pugs, King Charles Spaniels, and Ruby Spaniels, they’re known for their friendly, cheerful, and curious personalities.

Low shedding and low risk of health issues make them ideal companions for those looking for a lovable and affectionate pup. And of course, the famous Verdell from As Good as It Gets was portrayed by six Brussels Griffons! If you’re interested in adopting a Brussels Griffon, be sure to check out adoption resources and shelters before buying from a breeder.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.