Brussels Griffons are intelligent, playful, and energetic. Even though the Brussels Griffon is a small breed, they are usually quite smart and can participate in a variety of dog sports such as agility, rally, tracking, and obedience as sport that provide physical and mental stimulation and strengthen the dog's bond with its family. Their small size makes the Brussels Griffon attractive to children, which combined with their sensitive nature suggests that, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the dog and its subsequently developing any fear-based defensive aggression.
The Brussels Griffon was developed during the early nineteenth century in Belgium. In the 1800's, it was customary for coachmen to keep small terrier dogs in the stables for the purpose of catching rats. The Brussels Griffon, descended from the German Affenpinscher and the Belgian street dog, served just this purpose. However, while the Brussels Griffon may have started out ratting in the stables, they eventually caught the eye of society's elite and the breed became a fashionable house dog. As popular as the breed has been, at one point they were close to extinction. Diligent efforts of dedicated breeders in England led to the survival of the Brussels Griffon and in 1910 it was recognized by the American Kennel Club.