Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

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grand basset griffon vendeen portrait
Meet the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, a French dog breed with a name as grand as its personality! Known for their distinctive long ears, robust stamina and a heart full of love, these charming hounds are a delightful blend of playfulness, loyalty and an adventurous spirit that you can't resist!

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is the perfect companion for active families and individuals. With their boundless energy and love for exploration, they thrive in homes that can provide ample outdoor adventures. If you’re a fan of long walks, playful games, and warm cuddles with a furry friend, this breed could be your perfect match!

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEGrand Basset Griffon Vendéen
OTHER NAMESGBGV, Basset Griffon Vendéen (Grand)
ORIGINFrance
BREED GROUPHound Group
BREED SIZEMedium
HEIGHT15.5-18 inches
WEIGHT40-45 lbs
LIFESPAN13-15 years
LIVING SPACESmall
SENSITIVITY TO COLD WEATHERModerate
SENSITIVITY TO WARM WEATHERModerate
GROOMING NEEDSModerate
EXERCISE NEEDSHigh
TRAINABILITYModerate
BARKING TENDENCYModerate
BITING TENDENCYLow
DROOLING TENDENCYLow
SHEDDING LEVELModerate
POPULARITY RANK185th
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen picking up scent
Photo: Ian Dyball/Getty Images

Appearance

Welcome to the captivating world of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen (GBGV for short), a dog breed that’s as charming as it is eye-catching! With a height ranging from 15.5 to 18 inches and an average weight of 40 to 45 pounds, these dogs are a perfect blend of strength and elegance.

The first thing you’ll notice about them is their elongated body, giving them the classic “basset” or low-set look. But don’t let their stature fool you. These dogs are robust and well-boned, built for stamina and endurance. Their muscular bodies, coupled with short legs, give them their unique silhouette, a blend of power and poise.

Next, let’s talk about their heads. A GBGV’s head is long and distinguished, with a slightly domed skull. This leads down to a straight muzzle and a black nose that’s always ready to sniff out an adventure!

But it’s their ears that truly steal the show. Long and flexible, their ears are set just below the line of their eyes and are covered in thick, long hair. When they perk up, it’s a sight that can melt any heart!

Speaking of eyes, a GBGV’s eyes are large and oval-shaped, usually dark brown in color. They have a soft and intelligent expression, often twinkling with a hint of mischief.

Moving on to their tail, it’s thick and set high, carried proudly like a flag when they’re on the move. It’s an effective mood barometer, wagging enthusiastically when they’re happy, and dropping when they’re at rest.

Finally, the coat of a GBGV is something to behold. It’s rough, long, and bushy, providing excellent protection against harsh weather. Their coats come in a variety of colors, from solid to mixed shades of fawn, black, white, sable, or even brindle.

In essence, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a fascinating blend of strength, charm, and rustic elegance. With their distinctive looks and expressive eyes, they’re sure to turn heads wherever they go!

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen lying on grass in the park
Photo: JMrocek/Getty Images

Temperament

If you’re in search of a companion that’s brimming with personality, look no further than the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen. These dogs are known for their spirited and friendly demeanor, making them a delight to be around.

One of the most endearing traits of the GBGV is their zest for life. These dogs are always up for an adventure, and their infectious enthusiasm can light up even the dreariest days. They’re the embodiment of joy, often seen bounding around with a spring in their step and a wag in their tail.

Yet, they’re not all energy and excitement. These dogs know how to appreciate the quieter moments too. They love nothing more than to curl up next to their favorite human for a cozy nap or a gentle petting session. In these moments, their affectionate and loving nature truly shines through.

Another key characteristic of the GBGV is their sociability. These dogs love being around people and other animals. They’re not shy about making new friends, whether it’s at the dog park or during a casual neighborhood walk. Their friendly and outgoing nature makes them excellent companions for families, couples, and individuals alike.

Despite their friendly demeanor, these dogs also have a bit of an independent streak. They’re intelligent and curious, often keen on exploring their surroundings and figuring things out on their own. This can sometimes lead to a bit of stubbornness, but it’s all part of their charming personality!

While they’re generally happy-go-lucky, GBGVs are also known to be quite vigilant. They have a keen sense of smell and are always alert to their surroundings. Whether it’s a squirrel rustling in the bushes or a strange noise outside, nothing escapes their notice. This makes them excellent watchdogs, always ready to alert their family of anything unusual.

A unique aspect of the GBGV’s personality is their expressive nature. They’re not afraid to communicate their feelings, whether it’s through a joyful bark, a content sigh, or a pleading look with those soulful eyes. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, making it easy for their humans to understand what they want or need.

Finally, it’s worth noting that these dogs have a playful side too. They love engaging in fun activities, whether it’s a game of fetch or a simple romp in the backyard. Their playful antics can provide endless entertainment and laughter for their families.

grand basset griffon vendeen walking on a beach
Photo: Ian Dyball/Getty Images

Ideal Environment

If you’re considering welcoming a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen into your home, it’s important to ensure that your environment is a good match for this lively and adventurous breed.

Ideal Owner & Other Pets

Firstly, the GBGV is best suited to those who appreciate their unique blend of independence and affection. They need owners who can provide them with love, attention, and a good dose of patience.

The GBGV is a sociable dog that thrives on companionship. They do well in families where at least one person is usually at home. They love being involved in family activities and are happiest when they’re part of the action. They also get along well with other pets, making them excellent additions to multi-pet households.

Physical Environment

An ideal physical environment for this breed would be a home with a securely fenced yard where they can sniff, explore and play to their heart’s content. However, they can adapt well to apartment living too, as long as they’re given plenty of opportunities to expend their energy.

Despite their love for outdoor adventures, these dogs are indoor pets and should live inside the house with their family. They’re not suited to being left outside all day or living in a kennel. They crave human companionship and can become unhappy or even develop behavioral issues if left alone for too long.

Climate Adaptability

When it comes to climate, the GBGV is quite adaptable. Their rough and bushy coats provide excellent protection against colder weather. But they’re not just cold-weather dogs! They can handle warmer climates too, although precautions should be taken to prevent overheating. Always ensure they have access to shade and fresh water during hot weather.

grand basset griffon vendeen walking in autumn forest
Photo: LionH/Getty Images Signature

Grooming

Grooming your Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen can be a wonderful bonding experience, and with their rough and bushy coats, these dogs certainly need a bit of primping to keep them looking their best!

Coat Care

The coat of a GBGV is one of their most distinctive features. It’s long, rough, and dense, providing excellent protection against the elements. However, this type of coat does require regular grooming to keep it healthy and mat-free. A weekly brushing session with a sturdy slicker brush or a hound glove should do the trick. This will help remove any loose hair and prevent tangles and mats from forming.

But that’s not all. Every few months, your GBGV will need a process known as “hand-stripping.” This involves removing the dead outer coat to allow a new one to grow in. It’s best performed by a professional groomer or someone experienced with the technique. It helps maintain the texture and color of the coat and keeps your dog looking sharp!

Ear Care

Your dog’s ears also need special attention. The GBGV’s long, droopy ears are adorable, but they can be prone to infections due to limited air circulation. Make it a habit to check and clean their ears weekly with a vet-approved cleanser to keep them healthy.

Dental Care

Next up, dental care. Just like us, dogs also need regular dental hygiene to prevent issues like gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing your dog’s teeth several times a week with dog-friendly toothpaste is highly recommended. Regular dental check-ups with the vet are also a good idea.

Nail Trimming

Don’t forget about the nails! Your GBGV’s nails should be trimmed regularly, usually once or twice a month. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s a sign that they’re too long. Be careful when trimming, though, as cutting into the quick can be painful for your dog. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, a vet or groomer can take care of it for you.

Additional Grooming Tips

Finally, keep an eye on your dog’s overall health during grooming sessions. Check for any skin irritations, lumps, or parasites. Regular grooming is a great opportunity to spot potential health issues early.

grand basset griffon vendeen's face up close
Photo: LionH/Getty Images

Exercise

If you’re the proud pet parent of a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, get ready to embrace an active lifestyle! These dogs are energetic and love to be on the move. They were originally bred for hunting, so they have plenty of stamina and a natural instinct to explore.

Exercise Amount & Types

A healthy GBGV needs at least an hour of exercise each day. This can be broken down into two or more walks or play sessions. Remember, exercise isn’t just about keeping them physically fit, it’s also important for their mental wellbeing. They’re intelligent dogs and need plenty of stimulation to keep them happy.

Walking is a must for these dogs, but mix it up with some fun games too! Fetch, hide and seek, and agility exercises are all great ways to keep your dog engaged. Their hunting instincts make them excellent at tracking and scent games. Hide some treats or toys around your yard or home and watch as your dog happily sniffs them out!

Dog Sports

GBGVs also thrive in dog sports and competitions. Their intelligence and agility make them excellent candidates for obedience, tracking, and agility trials. Not only do these activities provide great exercise, but they also offer a wonderful opportunity for you and your dog to bond and work as a team.

Exercise Precautions

One final note, always keep safety in mind when exercising your dog. Due to their hunting instincts, these dogs may be inclined to chase after small animals, so always keep them leashed or in a secure area.

grand basset griffon vendeen on the beach
Photo: petertmp/Getty Images

Training

Training a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen can be an interesting adventure. These dogs are intelligent, curious, and independent – a combination that makes training both a challenge and a delight!

First things first, it’s important to understand that while these dogs are quick learners, they also have a bit of a stubborn streak. They like doing things their own way and at their own pace. This means patience and persistence will be your best allies when it comes to training.

Start training your GBGV as early as possible. Puppies are like little sponges, soaking up information and learning the rules of the house. Basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “come” should be part of their early education.

Positive reinforcement is key with this breed. They respond well to rewards such as treats, praise, and play. Make sure to celebrate their achievements, no matter how small. This encourages them to repeat the behavior and makes learning a fun and enjoyable experience for them.

Socialization is another crucial aspect of training. Expose your GBGV to different people, places, sounds, and experiences. This will help them grow into well-rounded and confident dogs.

When it comes to specific training needs, recall training is particularly important for this breed. Given their hunting background, these dogs have a strong prey drive and may be inclined to chase after small animals. Training them to come when called can prevent them from getting into dangerous situations.

Also, due to their independent nature, teaching them to walk nicely on a leash can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. A dog that pulls on the leash can turn a pleasant walk into a tug-of-war match!

grand basset griffon vendeen lying on the floor
Photo: LionH/Getty Images Signature

Diet & Nutrition 

Feeding your Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen a balanced and nutritious diet is key to their health and happiness. With the right food, you’re not just satisfying their hunger, but also nourishing their body and mind.

What to Feed & How Much

When it comes to choosing the right food for your GBGV Vendéen, quality is key. Look for dry, wet, or raw food that follows the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These foods are complete and balanced, providing all the nutrients your dog needs.

The amount of food your GBGV needs will depend on their age, size, and activity level. Puppies usually require more frequent meals, typically 3-4 times a day, while adults do well with two meals a day. Always consult with your vet to determine the appropriate portion sizes for your dog.

Treats

Treats are a wonderful training aid and a great way to show your dog some love. However, remember that treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Water

Don’t forget about water! Your GBGV should always have access to fresh, clean water. Staying hydrated is essential for their overall health and well-being.

Additional Feeding Tips

One point to note is that GBGV can be prone to weight gain. Regular exercise, coupled with controlled portions, can help prevent obesity. If you notice your dog gaining weight, talk to your vet about adjusting their diet and exercise routine.

Lastly, remember that every dog is unique. What works for one GBGV might not work for another. Monitor your dog’s weight, energy levels, and overall health to ensure that their diet is meeting their needs.

Health

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a generally healthy breed with a life expectancy of around 13 to 15 years. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions.

Here are common health issues that can affect this breed:

Hip Dysplasia: This is a common condition in many dog breeds where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly, leading to discomfort and mobility issues.

Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition affects the elbow joint and can cause pain and lameness.

Eye Conditions: Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens can be prone to various eye problems including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which can lead to blindness.

Ear Infections: Their long, droopy ears can create a warm, moist environment that’s ideal for bacteria and yeast, leading to ear infections.

Obesity: These dogs love their food and can easily gain weight if their diet isn’t carefully monitored.

While this list might seem daunting, remember that not all GBGV will get any or all of these diseases. It’s just good to be aware so you can spot potential issues early.

One of the best ways to ensure your GGBGV stays healthy is by providing them with a balanced diet. High-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs can help keep them in good shape.

Regular vet check-ups are also essential. Your vet can monitor your dog’s health, provide necessary vaccinations, and catch any potential health issues before they become serious problems.

grand basset griffon vendeen lying on grass
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

History

If you’ve ever wondered about the history of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, prepare to be intrigued. This breed has a rich and storied past that’s as unique and captivating as the dogs themselves.

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen hails from France. Their name is quite descriptive: “Grand” means large, “Basset” means low, “Griffon” refers to their rough coat, and “Vendéen” is the region in France where they originated.

These dogs were bred for a specific purpose – hunting. They were used to hunt a variety of game, including hares, roe deer, and wild boar. Their long bodies, short legs, and keen sense of smell made them excellent at tracking game through dense underbrush.

The breed was developed in the 16th century, with its ancestors likely including a mix of hounds and rough-coated French dogs. Over time, selective breeding led to the development of two separate sizes, the larger Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and the smaller Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

While they’ve been popular in France for centuries, it took a while for the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen to gain recognition elsewhere. In the United States, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2018, making them one of the newer additions to the AKC’s roster.

In popular culture, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen might not have the same level of fame as some breeds, but they’ve certainly left their paw prints. A GBGV named Frosty, owned by Patricia Hearst Shaw (yes, that Patricia Hearst), won Best of Breed at the Westminster Dog Show in 2018, putting the breed in the spotlight.

Despite their relatively recent recognition, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has quickly gained fans thanks to their unique looks, lively personality, and rich history. They’re more than just great hunters – they’re also loving companions, ready to bring joy and companionship to the right homes.

Parent Club

The official parent club for the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen in the United States is the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America. Founded in 2017, the club is dedicated to the preservation, protection, and promotion of the breed. They provide a wealth of information and resources for GBGV owners and enthusiasts. You can visit their website for more details.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed.

It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities. Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

Check out the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen’s breed standard as set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Acquiring

If you’re considering welcoming a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen into your life, congratulations! These charming dogs can make wonderful companions. First, prepare yourself for an active and intelligent pet. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation, so be ready for plenty of walks and playtime.

If you decide to buy a GBGV, ensure to choose a reputable breeder. They should prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs over all else. However, why not consider rescue? There are many lovely GBGVs out there who would love to find a forever home.

Organizations like the American Kennel Club and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America can help connect you with rescue networks. Adopting a rescue dog can be an incredibly rewarding experience, giving a second chance to a dog in need. Whichever path you choose, remember, you’re gaining a new best friend!

FAQs

Are Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens good pets?

Yes, they make excellent pets for the right families. They’re friendly, intelligent, and outgoing. However, they require regular exercise and mental stimulation due to their active nature and hunting background.

Are Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens related to Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens?

Yes, both breeds originated from the same group of hounds in France. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is larger than its Petit counterpart but they share many similar characteristics.

Can Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens be left alone?

While they can tolerate being alone for short periods, they prefer company. Leaving them alone for extended periods can lead to boredom and potential destructive behavior.

How much exercise does a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen need?

These dogs are quite active and enjoy long walks, playtime, and even agility training. Aim for at least an hour of exercise daily.

Are Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens easy to train?

They are intelligent and capable learners, but their independent nature can make training a bit of a challenge. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key.

What kind of diet should a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen have?

A balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is important. High-quality dog food that follows AAFCO guidelines is recommended. Always consult with your vet for personalized advice.

Are Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens hypoallergenic?

No, they are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a dense double coat that sheds moderately, which might not be suitable for people with severe allergies.

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