Brussels Griffon Grooming

Brussels Griffons can require an average to a lot of grooming depending on their coat type and how you want them to look. The smooth-coated variety is the easiest as their coats are good enough with trimming. The rough-coated type, if a show coat is desired, can be a lot because this means hand-stripping a couple or more times a year. On this page, you'll find tips about how to groom your Brussels Griffon.

Brussels Griffon Coat Care

Brussels Griffon grooming should be fully researched starting with knowing which type yours is: smooth- or rough-coated. Smooth-coated Griffons can be clipped whereas the rough-coated variety should always be hand-stripped to prompt the rough, wiry hair to grow properly atop the soft undercoat. If you really want your smooth-haired Brussels to look his best, however, hand-stripping is recommended. This will keep the coat fresh, free of dead hair and more easily maintained between stripping sessions. These sessions should be done at least twice a year, and 4-5 times if you prefer to put him in dog shows. Although some people go to a groomer for hand-stripping, doing this yourself will help you and your Griffon bond. If you have one of the rough-coated varieties, you should get a Brussels Griffon grooming chart or guide so you can learn how to groom and strip (or trim) the most important part: the face and in particular, the beard.

Plucking & Stripping

Hand-stripping Brussels Griffon dogs can be pretty time-consuming--but not impossible to learn. Stripping, as opposed to clipping, is a process of "plucking" individual dead hairs to make the coat look fresh and healthy. The process is painless for the dog, but will take a while (up to an hour). It can be done using a stripping knife, but using your fingers is the preferred method. The stripping knife, while faster, often removes healthy hairs along with the dead ones.

How to strip a Brussels Griffon: first give the dog a thorough brushing. Then pick a small section of coat. Move the hairs to the side with one hand so the roots are exposed--and with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, gently tug on a tuft of hair; any dead hairs will come out easily. Move on to the next small section, and work through the entire coat in this manner. You might need to take extra care when stripping the facial furnishings, as the skin there is especially sensitive (and the dog may not like you doing it!).

Again, hand-stripping a Brussels Griffon can be a tedious process, but the dog's coat will look great. Pet BGs will only need stripping 2-3 times per year--but if you plan to show the dog, be prepared to strip its coat every couple of months.

Brussels Griffon Styling & Haircuts

Brussels Griffon haircuts are done differently depending on the type of coat. Trimming can affect the wiry coat's color and style, whereas hand-stripping is good for both types. Only the wire-haired varieties have that Brussels Griffon beard, however. The smooth-coated variety looks like a Pug. While you can shave a rough-coated Griffon to make them look like a Pug, you can't really make a smooth-coated one grow a beard. The basic Brussels Griffon cuts are the Pug, the Schnauzer, and the Ewok.

The Pug is the easiest cut, much like a Puppy Cut. While the smooth-haired types are best for this style, some people might shave their rough-coated Brussels to look like this too. It's a close shave all over, and there may be embellishments like not clipping the little bit of "beard" or other facial hair.

The Schnauzer is best with the rough-coated Griffons and is also best cut for the least maintenance. With this, the face and body are trimmed and the beard is squared but long, which makes it stand out.

The Ewok is easily the most distinct of the Brussels Griffon grooming styles. This one is best with the rough-coated dogs because of the beard that naturally grows out. With this, the eyes are at the center of the facial hair that seems to fly outward and hide the ears. The beard and muzzle hair around the nose is somewhat long but rounded with the rest of the face.

Other Care

In addition to its coat, your Brussels Griffon will need regular maintenance in other areas.

  • Teeth: Just like a human's, Brussels Griffon teeth will need regular brushing to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar, and to minimize that Brussels Griffon bad breath! Brush the dog's teeth 2-3 times per week using a regular toothbrush--but be sure to use canine toothpaste, as the kind made for humans can make dogs sick if they swallow it.
  • Ears: If your BG's ears aren't cleaned periodically, they'll collect dirt, grass, and other debris, and even get infected--which could lead to hearing loss. Clean the dog's ears monthly using canine ear cleaning solution (available at pet stores or online). Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and always use cotton balls (never Q-Tips!) to wipe out any excess solution.
  • Nails: A BG's nails will click on hard surfaces if they get too long--and this means it's time for a trim. Use standard clippers to cut the dog's nails as close to the toes as possible--but take care not to cut them too short! Doing so can cut into the nail's quick (the blood vessel running through it), which will cause the nail to bleed and be painful.
  • Toe Hair: If the hair between these dogs' toes gets too long, it'll get extremely dirty and even cause infections. Use scissors to trim the hair short if needed.
  • Paw Pads: A Brussels Griffon's paw pads can get dry, cracked, and tender, especially if the dog walks or runs a lot on hot asphalt or snow and ice. Apply canine paw pad moisturizer (again, available at pet stores or online) to the pads weekly to keep them soft, moist, and healthy.
Brussel Griffon Care

See the complete guide on how to care for Brussel Griffons.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:May 13, 2020