Petit Brabançon - Origin, Character and Characteristics

Petit brabançon: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Petit Brabançon, the Brussels Griffon, the Belgian Griffon, are all...

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The Petit brabançon, the Brussels Griffon, the Belgian Griffon, are all companion dogs originating from the Belgian city of Brussels. Indeed, although the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) considers these dogs as three distinct breeds, other organizations such as the American Kennel Club and the English Kennel Club recognize three varieties of the same breed called the Griffon Bruxellois. Therefore, it can be said that they are three breeds in one, since they differ only in color and type of hair.

In this PlanèteAnimal file, we are going to look at the case of the Petit Brabançon, which differs from the 2 other breeds because it has a short and smooth hair! Discover all the characteristics of Petit Brabançon!

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  • Europe
  • Belgium

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group IX

Physical Characteristics

  • Rustic


  • Little


  • 15-35

Adult Weight

  • 3-10

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Society
  • Very loyal
  • Active

Ideal for

  • Apartment
  • House

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Short
  • Smooth
  • Hard

Origin of Petit Brabançon

" Both the Petit Brabançon breed and the Belgian Griffon or Brussels Griffon are descended from the Smousje, an old hard-haired terrier-type dog that lived in Brussels and was used to kill stable rats and mice. In the 19th century, this Belgian dog breed was crossed with Pugs and King Charles Spaniels, giving rise to the modern Petit Brabants and Brussels and Belgian Griffons."

These three breeds reached their peak popularity in Belgium and throughout Europe when Queen María Enriqueta began breeding them. However, the two world wars that followed nearly wiped out the Petit Brabançon and its other sister breeds. Luckily for European dog lovers, some English breeders managed to save these breeds. Currently, the three Belgian dog breeds are used as pets and dogs for dog shows.

Physical characteristics of Petit Brabançon

The difference between the Petit Brabançon and the other two breeds is its coat which is short, rough, smooth and shiny. For the two griffins, the Belgian and the Brussels, all colors are accepted, but the mask must always be black. The height at the withers, as in the other two breeds, is not indicated in the FCI standard. However, the three breeds generally have a height between 18 and 20 centimeters for an ideal weight of 3.5 to 6 kilograms.These dogs are physically characterized by their small size, robustness and almost square body profile.

These three dog breeds are distinguished by their characteristic head. In any case, it is tall, wide and round. The muzzle is very short, the stop is very marked and the nose is black. The eyes are large, round and dark. According to the FCI standard, the eyes should not be prominent, although this may be a subjective judgement. The ears are small, set high and set well apart. Unfortunately, the FCI continues to accept the practice of ear docking.

" The tail is set high and the dog usually carries it up. However, the FCI standard does not promote animal welfare either, as it also accepts the practice of tail docking. Fortunately, the custom of docking tails and ears for cosmetic reasons is slowly disappearing around the world and is already illegal in many countries."

Character of Petit Brabançon

These three little dogs are so close to each other that they also have a very similar character. In general, they are active, alert and courageous dogs, very attached to a single person, whom they accompany most of the time. Many of these dogs are usually a bit skittish, but never overly nervous.

While all three breed types can be friendly and very playful, they can also be shy or aggressive if not properly socialized. In addition, because of their strong character, you should know that these dogs can be more difficult to socialize than other companion dogs. However, when these dogs are properly socialized from a young age, they can happily tolerate other dogs, other animals, and strangers.

The fact that Petits Brabançons need a lot of company, tend to follow the same person and have a strong personality means that they can easily develop behavioral problems when they live in a bad environment, like destructive behaviors, becoming barkers or even suffering from separation anxiety when they spend a lot of time alone.They can also be aggressive or shy when they haven't been socialized since they were puppies.

Apart from these potential problems, the Petit Brabançon and its cousins make very good pets for the elderly who have a lot of time to devote to their best friend. They are not good pets for people who are new to dog training because they require a lot of attention and we do not recommend that you adopt one if you have children at home.

Caring for a Petit Brabançon

Both the Petit Brabançon and the Belgian or Brussels Griffon are very active dog breeds that need a lot of physical exercise. However, thanks to their size, they can do it inside your home. Nevertheless, you must walk him every day so that he can relieve himself and sniff everything around him. It must be taken into account that they are flat-muzzled dogs that are sensitive to thermal shocks and environments that are too humid.

Before adopting one, you really need to consider their strong needs for companionship and attention. All three types should spend most of their time with their family and with the person they are most attached to. They are not dogs that can live in a garden or on a terrace, because they like to be outside if they are accompanied. They adapt well to apartment living, but it's better if they live in a calm and quiet area and not in the city center.

For Petit Brabançons, occasional brushing is usually enough, and just bathing them when they are really dirty.

Education and training of Petit Brabançon

As they have an iron personality and temperament, dog training and socialization are two aspects that you should never neglect. Traditional training, based on dominance and punishment, generally does not work well with these breeds.On the contrary, it generally generates more disadvantages than advantages. In contrast, positive training styles, such as clicker training, tend to work very well with the Petit Brabançon, Brussels Griffon, and Belgian Griffon.

He alth of Petit Brabançon

In general, the three breeds of dogs are generally he althy and do not have breed-specific canine diseases. Nevertheless, it is necessary to know some of the most common he alth problems within these three breeds in order to prevent them. These problems include: patellar luxation, distichiasis, stenotic nostrils, proptosis (protrusion of the eyeball), eyeball damage, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.

Pictures of Petit Brabançon

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