Petit Bassett Griffon Vendeen
AKC Group: Hound
13 - 15 inches (Male)
35 - 45 pounds (Male)
Petit Bassets are enthusiastic little dogs that are a great deal of fun to have around. They're friendly with strangers, kids and other pets. They like to jump, bark and dig.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens are hound dogs. Because they're great at sniffing and exploring, hounds were originally used to trail rabbits, foxes and other small mammals. In general, most hounds are good-natured dogs that make loving companions if trained properly. Hounds are sometimes stubborn, though, so training may take a while.
Most hounds need rigorous physical exercise, so daily walks and runs are a must. Never let a hound off a leash unless it's in an enclosed area, because it will take off if it picks up a scent. Hounds are barkers and howlers, and they're sometimes hard to housebreak.
Rough and scrappy-looking. Brush twice a week. Tail and ears hang down.
Mostly white with lemon-orange markings.
Vendee is a district on the Western Coast of France, south of Brittany, and its hounds are some of the oldest varieties. One of the first breeders was a king's clerk (greffier) in the 15th century, from which eventually came the name "Griffon". It later became associated not just with these dogs but with many French wire-coated hounds.
Several Griffons were given to King Louis XII, and the breed was once called Chiens Blancs du Roi, or the King's White Hounds. There are two Basset (low to the ground) types: the Grand Basset and the Petit Basset. Originally, both sizes could be found in a litter and interbreeding was allowed. In 1950, however, the Petit was given a separate status, and crossbreeding was forbidden 25 years later. In France and elsewhere, Petit Bassets Griffons Vendeens ("PBGVs") are hunted primarily in packs on such quarry as small deer and wild boars, as well as smaller fur- and feather-covered game, especially hares.
The extroverted, lively nature of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has made him the best known of the Griffons Vendeens. He has a devil-may-care attitude and happy hunting dog nature. The PBGV is eager to please but does have an independent streak - some say that he has more of a "terrier-like" quality than a typical scenthound. He relishes time spent outdoors and with his family.
PBGVs need an active owner - they can get along in an urban environment only if they are provided with plenty of exercise and stimuli for their insatiable curiosity. They are lively and enthusiastic and do not tire easily. PBGVs must be provided with a large, safe area in which to sniff and explore to their hearts' content -a fenced - in yard is the ideal situation for these natural hunters.
The PBGV is a natural at hunting trials. Although obedience training can take a bit of extra commitment, this doesn't mean that your PBGV can't be a "star" in a competitive arena-there are several Petits who have distinguished themselves in formal obedience and agility competitions.
PBGVs are keen hunters with strong instincts. They thrive on being able to follow their noses at least once a day. Short of hunting opportunities, PBGVs must have daily time outdoors, including long walks.
Your PBGV needs a high-quality diet to stay healthy. Like most hounds, he enjoys his food, so keep an eye on his weight and avoid unhealthy treats.
PBGVs don't particularly take to being told what to do. They don't mind being cajoled, bribed or played with, and if these things lead them to do something you like, then everyone's happy. Eventually, you and your Griffon will come to an understanding that works for everyone.
Bred to work in packs, PBGVs get along well with other dogs and aren't overly possessive about anything. They do need to be socialized with small animals from an early age, as they are born hunters. They are fine companions for children of all ages.
The average life span of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is 12 to 15 years. Health concerns may include aseptic meningitis; ear infections; glaucoma; hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
Although the PBGV might look like a hairy Basset Hound, he is in fact descended from the large, powerful Grand Griffon Vendeen, from whom he inherits his fine hunting instincts.
The PBGV's tousled appearance comes naturally, and any trimming is highly discouraged. His double coat should be brushed and combed weekly with a bristle brush and metal comb to prevent mats. His long ears can harbor infection and must be cleaned regularly.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.