The Petit Brabançon, also known as the Small Brabant Griffon or the Smooth-Coated Griffon, is a breed of toy dog that originates from Belgium. It's one of the three varieties of Griffon, including the Brussels Griffon and the Griffons Belge. These dogs were initially bred to catch rats in stables in the 17th century, and went on to become popular guardians of horse-drawn cabs. By the late 19th century, they had become popular as companion animals among Belgian nobility, and eventually around the world. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1910.
The Petit Brabançon Griffon can suffer from the same health conditions as the rough-coated Brussels Griffon. As a brachycephalic breed, they can experience breathing problems in sunny, hot, or humid weather, and they typically snore. They are prone to ear infections and dental issues, so ears and teeth should be checked and cleaned regularly. Other conditions to which the Griffon is susceptible include atopic dermatitis, cataracts, Chiari-like malformation, cleft palate, corneal dystrophy, cryptorchidism, distichiasis, ectopic ureters, elbow and hip dysplasia, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, Legg–Calvé–Perthes disease, optic nerve colobomas, patellar luxation, persistent hyaloid artery, persistent pupillary membranes, polydontia (retained primary teeth), progressive retinal atrophy, progressive retinal atrophy (PAP1), syringomyelia, ulcerative keratitis, and vitreous degeneration.
Petit Brabançon Griffons are known for their cheerful, lively, and companionable nature. They are intelligent, alert, and curious, making them excellent watch dogs despite their small size. While they can be stubborn at times, they generally respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. They are sociable dogs that enjoy being part of family activities. Petit Brabançons, like many toy breeds, tend to be closely bonded with their humans and may develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.
In Europe, Brussels Griffons are grouped into three different breeds according to their coats. Petit Brabançons are the smooth-coated variety, Brussels Griffons have rough coats that are red/fawn-colored, and Griffons Belge have rough coats of any color other than red or fawn. However, in the U.S. they are all considered as one breed under Brussels Griffon.
Despite their small size, these dogs are surprisingly robust and agile.
The breed name Petit Brabançon comes from the French word "petit," meaning "small," and "Brabançon," which is derived from Brabant, a region in Belgium.
These dogs have an amusingly expressive face, with large, round eyes and a notably human-like expression, which makes them irresistible to many dog lovers.