If you are purchasing a Brussels Griffon to show at dog shows, you will need to be aware of which variant of Brussels Griffon you adopt, especially if you live in Europe. There are three distinct variants of the Brussels Griffon, and while the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard for the Brussels Griffon recognizes each variant as an acceptable option for the Brussels Griffon breed, the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in Europe does not. Instead, they recognize each of the three variants of the Brussels Griffon as a separate breed entirely. Therefore, the variant you own may require you to enter him as something other than a Brussels Griffon in European dog shows.
There are three variants of the Brussels Griffon recognized by the FCI. The Griffon Bruxellois is either red or reddish-brown in color, and he can have some black markings on his face. His coat is long and wiry. The Griffon Belge has a long coat as well, though his fur is not as long as the fur of the Griffon Bruxellois. His coloring is either all black, black and tan, or red and black; the red and black type often has a black face mask. Finally, the Petit Brabancon is the short haired variant of the Brussels Griffon. He can be any of the above colors, and will have a black face mask in most cases.
According to the AKC, there is only one Brussels Griffon, but he can have either a "rough" or long coat, or a "smooth" or short coat. The rough coat is wiry; any silky hair on a rough-coated Brussels Griffon is not acceptable. The coat of the smooth Brussels Griffon is short and literally smooth. He should not have any wiry hair at all. His coloring can fall into one of four acceptable categories: red, which is essentially reddish-brown; belge, which is a mixture of reddish brown and black; black and tan, which is a black dog with reddish brown marking on the head and legs; or solid black.
The body of the Brussels Griffon, according to the AKC breed standard, should be short and thick. He should be square in appearance, and should have medium length front legs and muscular hind legs. His head is small and round, with undershot jaws, a large black nose, and small ears. His expression is the most important thing about the Brussels Griffon: he should express an inquisitive nature and have an almost human look in his facial expression. He should be intelligent and sturdy, as well as alert. Because the Brussels Griffon is listed in the toy category, he should not exceed 12 pounds; his weight will ideally be between 8 and 10 pounds. He should stand at between 8 and 12 inches tall.