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. The modern Belgian Griffon has been created in the 19th century by adding to the existent breed of rat-killing, bushy-faced Stable Griffon English Toy Spaniel to reduce its size and compress muzzle. Some Pug and Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel blood was added later. The result was an alert and spunky little dog which was used to guard carriages and keep stables free from rodents. The breed quickly became popular in its native Belgium and throughout Europe.
Today, the Belgian Griffon is primarily is companion dog, very intelligent, well-balanced, alert, proud, and robust. His rat-killing instincts are quite weak. The two Griffons are rough-coated and are distinguished by coat color. The coat is naturally harsh, slightly wavy, not curly. It needs to be trimmed several times a year. The colors are black, black and tan with tan markings on the front legs, from foot to wrist, on the hind legs from foot to hock, on the chest, cheeks, chin, above the eyes, inside the ears, below the tail and around the anus. The black can be mixed with red-brown. (Adapted from FCI-Standard # 80/05.05.2003/GB)