All about the Petit Brabancon
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All about the Petit Brabancon

Anyone wanting to share their home with a small dog that boasts having a big personality would not go far wrong in choosing to do so with a Petit Brabançon. There are three types of the breed, with this one being the toy. All three Griffons are very similar except their coats are quite different when it comes to texture and colour. These little dogs have been a firm favourite for decades in Belgium and other European countries thanks to their lively, bright and loyal natures. The Petit Brabançon is also finding a fan base in the UK for the same reasons because they make such entertaining and affectionate companions more especially for the elderly.

A little background history

Originally bred in Belgium, the Petit Brabançon was developed during the 10th Century using a Smousje a dog that could be found throughout the country. They were renowned for their ratting abilities which earned them the nickname of Griffon d'Ecurie which translated means Stable Griffon. The breed was that much larger in the early days and their ancestry includes having Affenpinschers in the mix.

Because of their endearing and loyal natures, many of these little dogs would accompany their masters in carriages often riding shot gun which got the breed noticed by the French royalty of the time. Pretty soon these little dogs were owned by nobles and were bred to be smaller and smaller by introducing various toy breeds that were around at the time which some people think could have been Pugs and English Toy Spaniels. The result of these crosses produced the Petit Brabançon that exists in modern times which includes all three types with the Petit Brabançon having a smooth coat and being the smallest**.**

Appearance

The Petit Brabançon has a cute, monkey-like face which means they are rather brachycephalic. Their heads are moderately big in relation to the rest of their bodies being slightly domed all the while nicely in proportion. They have large almond shaped eyes that are set nicely apart on a dog's face. Their eyes are brown to almost black in colour. Although their eyes are big, they are never bulging.

Ears are small to medium in size set well apart and high on a dog's head. They have short, deep and broad muzzles and strong, broad lower jaws which show a bit of an upturn without being too undershot. They have moderately long, clean cut and well muscled necks which adds to a dog's proud look. Their necks taper nicely into a dog's body. Chests are deep anad broad without being too wide and their briskets extend down to a dog's elbows. Forechests are well developed and dogs have compact, solid bodies without ever being too refined which gives the Petit Brabançon an overall square and sturdy appearance.

Their feet are round to oval in shape and nicely compact with dogs having well arched toes and strong paw pads. Tails are set high being thicker at the base before tapering to the tip which dogs carry proudly above the level of their topline when excited or alert, but lower when at rest.

When it comes to their coat, the Petit Brabançon has a close-lying, short, smooth coat with their colours being as follows:

  • Black
  • Red
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Black and tan

Temperament

Charming, intelligent, loyal and affectionate, the Petit Brabançon is renowned for being a wonderful companion thanks to the sweet natures. Sensitive and playful, these little dogs are full of self-importance which guarantees keeping their owners entertained. Because they are so sensitive, they do not respond well to any sort of harsh treatment which can see a Petit Brabançon showing their displeasure by being a little moody.

They form very strong ties with their families and although shy and timid around people they don't know, a Petit Brabançon might bark at them, but rarely would one of these little dogs show any sort of aggression towards a stranger. They are definitely a one person"" dog and hate being left on their own for any length of time which could result in a dog developing separation anxiety.

It's important to begin socialising a Petit Brabançon from an early age so they grow into confident, outgoing adult dogs when they are around children and other dogs. They are tremendous watch dogs being quick to let their owners known when something suspicious might be going on and because they are so full of energy, they enjoy taking part in all sorts of canine sporting activities which includes things like agility providing they are handled gently.

They can be a little possessive about things which includes their toys and food which is a trait that needs to be gently curbed when dogs are still young before it turns into a more serious problem. They are the ideal companion for people who lead more sedentary lives and will happily adapt to apartment living providing they are given enough daily exercise and enough mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in. One thing worth noting is that the Petit Brabançon likes the sound of their own voice which again is a trait that needs to be firmly yet gently curbed right from the word go.

Shedding

The Petit Brabançon sheds hair throughout the year and like other breeds this tends to be more during the spring when their new coats grow through and then again in the autumn when their winter coats grow through.

Training

Intelligent and sensitive, the Petit Brabançon learns new things quickly, but they need to be handled gently because they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction. They do respond very well to positive reinforcement and enjoy the one-to-one contact they are given when they are being trained. As previously mentioned, the Petit Brabançon loves taking part in canine sporting activities.

Exercise

The Petit Brabançon may be small, but they energetic little dogs and as such they need to be given a minimum of 30 minutes exercise a day and more if possible. They love being able to run free off their leads, but this should only be attempted in safe environments and once they have been taught and respond well to the ""recall"" command otherwise they might just take off after something they have seen in the distance which is a very ""terrier-like"" trait.

Children and Pets

The Petit Brabançon is generally good around children, but are better suited to families with older kids rather than toddlers. Providing they have been well socialised from a young enough age, they typically get on well with other dogs. They also accept living with a cat they have grown up with in the same house, but would soon chase off any cats they don't know. Care should be taken when a Petit Brabançon is around smaller animals and pets thanks to the ""terrier"" in them.

What about health issues

The Petit Brabançon is a robust little breed although they are prone to suffering from the following conditions:

  • Cleft palate
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • A sensitivity to the Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Difficulties birthing due to the size of a puppy’s head

Life expectancy

The average life span of a Petit Brabançon is between 9 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

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