1) Brussels Griffon
As i mentioned in the beginning of the video, the Petit Brabancon is one of the three breeds of Brussels Griffon. The other two are Griffon Belge and Griffon Bruxellois. The FCI recognizes each one of them as a separate breed, but for example the American AKC recognizes them as one breed with three varieties. What separates the three Brussels Griffon apart is only one thing – the coat and coloration.
So what is the coat of Petit Brabancon, that separates it from the other Brussels Griffon? Well, it is the only Brussels Griffon with smooth and short coat. The other two has wiry coat. The Petit Brabancon hair is harsh, flat and gleaming and the length is up to two cm. The Petit Brabancon comes in different colors, which are red, black or black and tan.
For some time, the Petit Brabancon was viewed as the outcast of the Brussels Griffons. The word griffon means wiry, thus, the smooth coats were viewed as fault in the past. Smooth coated and wiry coated Griffons are born in the same litter and for example in 1800s, the smooth coated pups were very often eliminated. Luckily, that changed over the time and some breeders started to keep them, as they found some qualities in the smooth coat, such as lower grooming demands and today, the Petit Brabancon is not viewed as outcast anymore and they are valued highly as loving companions, just like the other Griffons.
When you look at the Petit Brabancon, you can see some clear similarities with the Pug, right? Well that is no coincidence, as the Pug plays a role in the Petit Brabancon development. The Petit Brabrancons main ancestor is a small rough-coated dog known as „Smousje“ which has been found in the Brussels area for centuries. The Smousje dog was similar to todays Dutch Smoushond. The breed that evolved from the „Smousje“ was known as Griffon d’Ecurie. In 19th century, these dogs were crossed with imported toy dogs, such as King Charles Spaniel and Pug, which is how the modern breed was created.
The Petit Brabancon looks like a typical toy dog and companion pet right? Well, in the past, they were used for a real hard work. They were very good ratters and they were used as theft deterrent and a discourager of vermin. And you can definitely see why they were good for this purpose, because these dogs are quite courageous, lively, adventurous and fearless. But today, they are almost exclusively living the life of spoiled companion pets.
And they make perfect companions! Petit Brabancon is known as a so called velcro dog. And indeed, they will be by your side all the time. They create very strong bond with its owners and they want to be with them everywhere. It is a very playful, fun to be around dog with loyal, affectionate and adaptable personality. It truly is amazing companion dog and it is impossible to be bored with this dog.
The first thing you will most likely notice about the Petit Brabancon is their expressive face and expression. It kind of resemble the human like or baby like face, which is one of the reasons of the rising popularity of these dogs – they are just cute. The large and round brown eyes are set well apart, the muzzle is rather short and these dogs have small ears set high on the head.
The Petit in the breeds name means small or tiny and it is exactly what this dog is like. The average height is between 9-12 inches, which is 23-30 cm and weight is usually between 8-13 lbs, which is 3,5-6 kg. There are no big differences in size between males and females.
Unlike the wiry Brussels Griffons, the grooming and maintenance of Petit Brabancon is very simple. Even without any brushing and grooming at all, they will keep the coat in good condition. But it is recommended to brush their coat from time to time, to remove any dirt and loose hair and to redistribute the natural oils all over the coat. Just like with any other dog breed, you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Petit Brabancon is usually pretty healthy dog breed with lifespan around 13 or 14 years. Of course, just like any other dog breed in the world, even the Petit Brabancon can suffer from some health issues. They sometimes have some eye problems, such as lens luxation or cataracts. Other health issues include some allergies, infections and heart problems, but they are not extremely common in this breed.