The Petit Brabançon breed are around 200 years old and were created in Belgium from a mix of English Toy Spaniel, Pug and Affenpinscher. They were originally created as ratters, but became the ultimate lap dogs after the Belgian queen, Henrietta Maria took a shine to them in the late 1800s. The queen herself, as well as the fashionable trend of owning one of these little dogs, was eventually responsible for the breed's soaring popularity.
The Petit Brabançon is a small dog, with a big, brave personality. Petit Brabançon means "small Brabant Griffon" and this toy dog is one of three different breeds of Brussels Griffon, the other two breeds being Griffon Bruxellois and the Griffon Belge. All three of these toy breeds are identical, except for their coat colour and texture. These little dogs are bright, lively, affectionate and loyal. This makes them excellent little companion dogs, particularly elderly people or those who live in apartments.
Petit Brabançons form incredibly intense bonds with their owner, making them a one-person dog, and once they have bonded to one person, it is incredibly hard for another person to earn their trust. They also do not like to be left alone for extended periods of time and prefer a lot of socialization. Because of their wariness of new people, socialization is important from an early age for these little dogs, especially around children, as they are quick to defend if intimidated. The suspicion which is first nature to these little dogs is not all bad news, however, as this trait makes them terrific watchdogs!
Because these little dogs have a lot of energy, they often do excellently in agility training, though they are a naturally sensitive and will not respond well to shouting or intimidation. Instead, this little dog will respond well to kindness, understanding and love. Petit Brabançons are also a highly intelligent breed, so they will need a lot of variety in their training to prevent them from growing bored. Possessiveness can be an issue, especially when it comes to sharing toys and food with other dogs. As well as this, Petit Brabançons are easily intimidated and will likely try and stand up to larger dogs or people if they feel frightened; if this is left unchecked, it can lead to aggression.
Petit Brabançons may be small and suitable for apartments, but the fact that they have lots of energy means they need long, daily walks, which can be supplemented by fun activities like runs in the park, playing fetch and even agility training. These little dogs are also prone to barking a lot, so make sure you have understanding neighbours before buying one. Petit Brabançon are also very curious and will climb over anything when given the opportunity, leading to some potential accidents if they're not kept an eye on. Lack of exercise can lead to nervousness, hyperactivity, aggressiveness and excessive barking, but as long as they are trained with patience and taken for regular walks, these little dogs can be charming companions for people who may lack the space for a larger dog.