Little Brabantino: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Brabantine dog breed, also known as the little Brabanzón, has an affectionate, stable and affectionate character. It shows an alert and confident behaviour. It has short, hard hair. Its face has an almost human expressiveness. At Petlifey, we explain the character and characteristics of the Brabantine dog.

Character of the Brabantino breed

The Brabantine shares character and temperament with the Belgian griffon and the Brussels griffon. It is a brave, intelligent animal, with great self-confidence, with a lot of personality and endowed with a somewhat haughty attitude.

Affectionate, pleasant, stable and easy to live with, this dog adores its family and always wants to participate in all the activities that are undertaken in the family nucleus. It loves to be pampered and given all the possible attention.

In addition to keeping the house, there are some owners who take advantage of the liveliness of their pet and use it for other types of tasks, such as participation in dog sports such as agilityfrisbee or flyball adapted to its size.

Others, emphasizing the peculiar appearance of the small Brabanzón, make it attend beauty exhibitions, where it is usually very well received, despite not having a cloak as striking as that of the other two small Belgian griffons.

  • Energy: Medium / High. Active, energetic, dynamic and playful, you need to take at least a good daily walk and run from time to time freely in the park or garden,
  • Temperament: Cheerful, lively, with a lot of character and great self-confidence, it is vigilant, attentive and curious.
  • Adaptability: High. The only thing you need to live happily is to always be accompanied by your family, even if it is in a small urban apartment.
  • Sociability: High. Very affectionate and cuddly, it adores its owner and establishes good relationships with other dogs and pets. May be suspicious of strangers.
  • Health: Good. It is a healthy animal that sometimes has respiratory problems or knee dislocation.
  • Longevity: High. It usually lives 12 to 15 years.
  • Utility: Company. Today this is a companion breed.

Is it a good family dog?

The little brabanzón, along with the other two griffons, the Belgian and the Brussels one, constitutes both an excellent companion animal and an effective guard dog, thanks above all to its always attentive and vigilant character, as well as loyal and affectionate .

Can it be left alone?

It does not tolerate at all well being left alone for many hours. Therefore, it is not the most suitable pet for people who, for work or family reasons, have the need to spend the whole day outside, as the Brabantine could end up suffering from separation anxiety.

Can you live in the city or in an apartment?

The Brabantine dog likes to spend as much time as possible inside the house, it adapts perfectly to urban life and does not mind living in a small apartment either.

On the other hand, it is a rather cold animal and it does not tolerate extreme heat either, so it is always better, healthier and more comfortable inside the house. As in addition to being small, it is a fairly clean dog, its owners will be delighted to live with it.

How does it behave with other dogs and pets?

The relationship that this dog establishes with other dogs is quite good, and it even gets along well with pets of other species.

But with strangers it can be a bit suspicious at first, the result of its vigilant nature, as it makes a good watchdog.

Alert at all times, attentive to everything that happens around them and with a very sensitive ear. When it notices any strange presence, it warns by barking insistently.

Characteristics of the Little Brabantine breed

The Brabantine shares physical appearance with the Belgian griffons and the Brussels griffon, from which it only differs by the type of coat, less coarse and shorter and tighter.

The general appearance of the small Brabanzón is that of a small dog with a square structure. It is large, robust and has a strong bone constitution. The head is its most characteristic part, due to its flat snout and its peculiar expression.

How is Brabanzón physically?


The Brabanzón is a dog with a square structure and a robust constitution, although without looking heavy. It has a thick neck, a broad chest, and a rather short and straight back. It is a very small animal, like the rest of its Belgian companions.

The feet are small and round, with the toes together. They do not deviate inwards or outwards and have thick, dark pads.

This breed also tends to have a docked tail in countries where it is allowed. When it is not, it is raised, thick at the base and thin at the tip.


The head is large and broad, with a broad forehead and a flat muzzle. The nose is black, like the muzzle, and is at eye level. The skull may be bulging at the top.

The eyes are wide apart, large and with the lids well glued to the eyeball, sometimes they present a squint gaze, that is, deviated outwards. They are brown in color and somewhat prominent.

Their ears are small in relation to the head, separated from each other and triangular in shape, with a rounded tip. They fold forward without sticking to the head.

Hair and color

The coat is hard and very short, in general it does not exceed two 2 cm. Its body is covered with rough, tight, hard, smooth and shiny hair.

As for color, it presents the same variety of colors as the two previous griffons: red, reddish and fire black tones. Older dogs create a darker mask of gray tones in the muzzle area. It is also common for some specimens to have some white hairs on the front of the chest.

Brabanzon breed standard

  • Origin: Belgium.
  • Size: Small.
  • Weight: between 3.5 and 6 kg.
  • Height at the withers: There is no established size for the breed.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 82. Group 9 – Companion dogs. Section 3 – Belgian Small Dogs.
  • Use: Small companion and guard dog.
  • Other names: Small Brabant Griffon / Petit Brabançon / Kleiner Brabanter Griffon
  • Head: It is large and broad and, unlike griffons, it does not have long hair in the area of ​​the face.
  • Skull: Voluminous and rounded, with well developed facial bones, especially of the eyebrows and forehead. It is quite long measured from the back to the birth of the muzzle.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is marked.
  • Muzzle: It is always black and very short, about 1.5 cm in length. The nasal bridge is flattened and with the nose pointing upwards. Seen in profile, the muzzle is at the same level as the eyes, or even higher.
  • Nose: Black, wide and situated at eye level, its profile is not straight but is totally inclined with respect to the line of the ground.
  • Jaws: The lower jaw curves upwards, exceeding the upper jaw and showing prognathous, that is, the lower incisors mount on the upper ones, although they are not usually visible. The chin or chin is large and prominent, sometimes slightly curved upward.
  • Eyes: Wide apart and large, prominent although not bulging. They are usually outlined in black, although the eyelids can also be brown.
  • Ears: They are small, separated and quite lateral. In countries where amputation is allowed, if they are cut, they are pointed and erect, while those that are not cut are semi-erect and bent forward, without touching the face with the tip.
  • Neck: Of medium length, its remarkable width makes it appear shorter than it actually is.
  • Body: The length of the body is almost equal to the height at the withers, so it is a dog with a square structure.
  • Back: It is straight, short and wide.
  • Chest: It is also wide and goes down to the level of the animal’s elbows. The sternum is marked, giving the impression that the sill is prominent.
  • Tail: It is high and the little Brabanzón carries it raised and curved on its back, although without actually touching it. It is thick at birth and tapers when it reaches the tip. It is common to have it amputated, leaving it at a third of its length, in countries where this practice is still allowed.
  • Forelimbs: They are parallel, have a compact bone structure and are well separated due to the width of the rib cage.
  • Shoulders: They present a normal angulation.
  • Forearms and arms: The elbows are close to the body and the forearms are relatively long.
  • Hind limbs: Provided with strong bones, they are muscular and the limbs are perfectly parallel, with angulations in harmony with the forelimbs.
  • Hocks: They are inclined, neither closed nor open.
  • Feet: They are small and round. The fingers are close together and the pads are thick and dark. The nails are hard, usually black in color.
  • Movement: Its powerful legs allow this animal a strong and firm movement despite its short stature.
  • Hair: The body is covered with rough, tight, hard, smooth and shiny hair.

Education and training of the Brabantine breed

The owner of a copy of the Brabanzón breed must be a person with leadership capacity, who knows how to impose themselves on its pet with firmness, security and without hesitation, so that the dog understands that it is its master who establishes the rules that must be followed and who has everything under control.

Otherwise, the determined and bravado character of this dog can lead them to want to take charge of the situation and pretend to occupy a hierarchical position in the family that does not correspond to them.

In many cases, due to this somewhat “simian” or “half-human” expression of the breed, the owners fall into the error of treating it more like a child than a dog, which causes the animal to fall into the syndrome of the small dog.

If this is the case, it will begin to believe that it is just another “human” member of the family and will adopt negative attitudes such as jealousy, overprotection and even aggressiveness, all of which are far removed from the natural temperament of the race.

Brabantino Health and Diseases

The specimens of this breed are characterized by being quite healthy and not having many serious generalized problems. So it lives a long, happy life, with an above-average longevity.

There are some diseases that affect the breed, but are easy to prevent and eradicate if good control of the breeding lines is carried out, such as knee dislocation, a typical condition of small breeds, or respiratory problems due to their muzzle so short.

Likewise, like almost all small companion breeds, the Brabantine is prone to gaining excess weight, which increases the aforementioned respiratory and joint problems .

To avoid this, it is very convenient to subject the animal to a moderate exercise routine that includes, at least, a few good daily walks on the leash, as well as letting it run at its own pace from time to time in the park or garden, an activity that it loves it.

Likewise, regular visits to the veterinarian should be established to complete the vaccination and deworming programs, and carry out routine health checks and checks.

There are few attentions demanded by this dog and, on the other hand, many satisfactions that it gives to its family, to which it knows how to spread its joy, its liveliness and its affection.

Brabanzón diet

The owner must also take care to give its pet a balanced diet, with adequate nutrients and fats.

But without an extra intake of calories, so that the animal does not get fat but has enough energy to allow it to carry out its daily activity.

How to care for a Little Brabantine

For this dog to look in perfect condition, it is enough to brush it once a week with a natural horsehair brush, or even with a chamois, as its short, smooth and tight hair does not need any intensive maintenance.

You do have to be careful to use a suitable shampoo for your hair type when you bathe it, as a product that is not the ideal one could alter its natural texture and spoil its beautiful shine. For the rest, the Brabantine is a very easy breed to keep and care for.

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