Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

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petit basset griffon vendeen portrait
Leap into the world of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, a dog breed that's as unique as its name! These adorable, scruffy bundles of joy are known for their vivacious personality and sturdy physique. With an insatiable zest for life, they're the ultimate companions for those seeking a tail-wagging adventure!

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 Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a dream come true for active families and individuals. With their boundless energy and sharp intellect, they thrive in households that can provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation. If you love outdoor escapades or brain-teasing games, they might just be your perfect match!

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEPetit Basset Griffon Vendéen
OTHER NAMESPBGV, Basset Griffon Vendéen (Petit)
ORIGINFrance
BREED GROUPHound Group
BREED SIZEMedium
HEIGHT13-15 inches
WEIGHT25-35 lbs
LIFESPAN14-16 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 RANK154th
petit basset griffon vendeen standing in a garden
Photo: CaptureLight/Getty Images Pro

Appearance

Meet the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, a little dog with a big personality and an even bigger name! This breed, affectionately abbreviated to PBGV, is a delightful bundle of contradictions. Compact yet robust, scruffy yet charming, they’re a visual feast that leaves a lasting impression.

Standing at a height of 13 to 15 inches, PBGVs are small but built for endurance, not speed. They tip the scales between 25 to 35 pounds, making them the perfect medium-sized companions. Their size might be petite, but their sturdy bodies are all muscle and grit, designed to navigate rough terrains with ease.

One glance at a PBGV, and you’ll be smitten by their rugged, tousled appearance. Their distinctive coat is rough and long without being luxurious, providing protection against brambles and bad weather. With shades ranging from black, white, chestnut, sable, or fawn, each PBGV is a unique splash of color!

Their heads are strong and carried proudly, topped with a pair of expressive, dark eyes that gleam with intelligence and mischief. The eyebrows are bushy, contributing to their endearing, quizzical expression. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself lost in their gaze!

PBGVs are further distinguished by their long, low-set ears that frame their faces beautifully. These ears, covered with long hair, reach at least the end of their muzzle when pulled forward. The contrast between their rounded ears and square muzzle adds to their quirky charm.

Adding to their animated appearance is their tail. It’s set high and carried proudly like a flag, often adorned with a twist at the end. When a PBGV is in action, their tail is a joyous sight to behold, wagging vigorously as they bound around.

The overall impression of a PBGV is that of a happy, agile hound. They move with a jaunty, bouncy gait that reflects their exuberant spirit. Their disheveled elegance, combined with their lively personality, makes them irresistible to all who meet them.

In a nutshell, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a charismatic blend of strength, agility, and rustic beauty. One look at these delightful dogs, and it’s clear they’re anything but ordinary!

petit basset griffon vendeen standing on a road
Photo: JTGrafix/Getty Images

Temperament

Dive into the world of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and you’ll find a breed that’s brimming with personality. These dogs are not just bundles of fur; they’re bundles of energy, joy, and mischief, making every day an adventure.

One word to describe the PBGV? Exuberant. They’re always on the go, greeting each day with a wagging tail and a spring in their step. Life is never dull with a PBGV around. Whether it’s exploring the garden or playing with their favorite toy, they approach everything with a contagious zest for life.

But don’t be mistaken – beneath their playful exterior lies a sharp intellect. PBGVs are incredibly smart and quick-witted, always ready to solve a puzzle or catch a scent. They love engaging their minds as much as their bodies, making them a joy to interact with.

These dogs are also known for their sociable nature. They adore being part of the family action, whether it’s a game night or a quiet evening in front of the TV. They form strong bonds with their human family and can be quite affectionate, often seeking out cuddles and laps to snuggle into.

Despite their love for people, PBGVs have a streak of independence. They like doing things their own way and can sometimes be a little stubborn. But this isn’t a sign of defiance; rather, it’s a testament to their confident and self-assured nature.

One of the most endearing traits of the PBGV is their sense of humor. They’re known for their clownish antics and ability to make everyone around them smile. Whether it’s chasing their tail, making funny faces, or simply bounding around with joy, their mission seems to be spreading happiness wherever they go.

But the PBGV isn’t all fun and games. They can also display a surprising level of sensitivity. They’re attuned to their family’s emotions and will often respond with comforting cuddles when someone is upset. This emotional intelligence makes them excellent companions, especially for those going through tough times.

However, keep in mind that PBGVs can be a bit vocal. They have a distinctive, melodious bark that they’re not afraid to use. Whether they’re alerting you to a visitor at the door or expressing their excitement, their voice is a big part of their personality.

Finally, it’s worth noting that PBGVs are good with children and other pets. Their friendly, easygoing nature makes them great playmates, and their sturdy build allows them to keep up with energetic kids and pets.

Ideal Environment

Welcome to the world of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, a breed that thrives in an environment filled with love, activity, and plenty of exploration opportunities. So, what’s the ideal setting for these lively, adorable hounds? Let’s find out!

Ideal Owner

First off, PBGVs are social butterflies. They adore being part of a family and are happiest when they’re included in the day-to-day activities. They form strong bonds with their human family and enjoy a good snuggle session as much as an outdoor adventure. Therefore, the ideal pet parents for PBGVs are those who can spend quality time with them and involve them in family activities.

Other Pets

These dogs are sociable and generally get along well with other pets, making them great additions to multi-pet households. They’re friendly and playful, and having another pet around can provide them with a playmate and companion.

Physical Environment

When it comes to physical environment, PBGVs are versatile. They’re equally at home in the countryside or the city, as long as they have space to explore and burn off their energy. A house with a securely fenced yard is ideal, but they can also adapt to apartment living, provided they get enough mental and physical stimulation.

One thing to note is that PBGVs have a strong hunting instinct and a keen sense of smell. They can be prone to following their noses, often oblivious to their surroundings. This makes a secure environment crucial for their safety.

Physical Environment

As for climate, PBGVs are quite adaptable. Their rough, dense double coat protects them from harsh weather conditions, making them well-suited to colder climates. However, like all breeds, they’re susceptible to heatstroke, so care should be taken in hotter weather. Ensure they have access to shade and fresh water, and avoid vigorous exercise during the hottest parts of the day.

petit basset griffon vendeen lying on grass in a park
Photo: CaptureLight/Getty Images

Grooming

Ready to dive into the world of grooming the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen? Despite their shaggy appearance, these adorable dogs are not high-maintenance divas. But they do have specific grooming needs that keep them looking their scruffy best and feeling healthy.

Coat Care

Let’s start with their distinctive coat. The PBGV boasts a rough, dense double coat that requires regular care to keep it in top condition. Brushing your PBGV at least once a week will help remove loose hair and prevent matting. A slicker brush or a hound mitt is an excellent tool for this job. Remember, their coat should look natural and somewhat disheveled, so there’s no need for fancy hairdos!

Bathing your PBGV is a bit of a balancing act. While regular baths can help keep their coat clean and fresh, too many can strip the skin and fur of essential oils. As a rule of thumb, bathe your PBGV every three months or so, unless they’ve decided to roll in something particularly smelly!

Ear Care

Now let’s talk about those charming, long ears. They’re adorable, but they’re also prone to infection due to limited airflow. Make ear checks a part of your weekly grooming routine. Look out for redness, bad smell, or excessive wax, which could indicate an infection. A gentle wipe with a damp cloth or pet-friendly ear cleaner will help keep them clean.

Dental Care

Next up is dental hygiene. Just like us, PBGVs can suffer from gum disease and bad breath if their teeth aren’t cared for. Regular brushing with dog-specific toothpaste is a must. Starting this habit when they’re young will make it easier as they grow older. And don’t forget those chew toys! They’re not just fun; they also help keep your dog’s teeth clean.

Nail Trimming

Moving on to their nails. These should be trimmed regularly, usually every month or two. If you hear a clicking sound when your PBGV walks on a hard surface, it’s time for a trim. Use a pet nail clipper or grinder, and be careful not to cut into the quick, as it can cause pain and bleeding.

Eye Care

Last but not least, remember to check their eyes for any signs of redness or irritation. Wiping them gently with a soft, damp cloth can help keep them clean and free from debris.

petit basset griffon vendeen walking at a dog show
Photo: Kyle Reynolds/Getty Images

Exercise

Welcome to the energetic world of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen! If there’s one thing you should know about these lively hounds, it’s that they love to move. Exercise is more than just a routine for them; it’s an essential part of their happy, healthy life.

Exercise Amount & Types

With their origins as hunting dogs, PBGVs are built for endurance and love activities that engage both their body and mind. Expect to spend at least an hour a day exercising your PBGV. But remember, this doesn’t mean one long walk. Break it up into several shorter sessions to keep them engaged and excited.

When it comes to exercise options, variety is the spice of life for a PBGV. They enjoy walks, hikes, and playtime in a securely fenced yard. Games that stimulate their intelligent minds, like hide and seek or fetch, are also a hit. You could even set up an agility course in your backyard. They’ll love the challenge!

Dog Sports

Dog sports are another great way to keep your PBGV active. Their intelligence and agility make them excellent candidates for competitions like agility trials, scent work, or obedience. Participating in these activities not only provides physical exercise but also offers mental stimulation and strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

Exercise Precautions

Remember that PBGVs have a strong prey drive. Always ensure they’re in a secure area during off-leash play, as they might be tempted to chase after small animals. A long leash can give them freedom while keeping them safe during outdoor adventures.

Training

Step into the training arena with the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen and you’re in for an engaging, sometimes challenging, but always rewarding experience. PBGVs are intelligent and quick learners, but their independent spirit adds a unique twist to their training journey.

First things first, PBGVs are smart. They’re quick to pick up new commands and tricks, which makes training them an enjoyable task. However, their intelligence is paired with a streak of independence. They have a mind of their own and aren’t afraid to use it! This means they might decide to follow their nose instead of your command, making consistency and patience key in their training.

Start training your PBGV early, ideally when they’re a puppy. Begin with basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’. Once they’ve mastered these, you can move on to more complex commands or tricks. Remember to keep training sessions short and fun to hold their interest.

Positive reinforcement is the best approach with PBGVs. They respond well to treats, praise, and play. Harsh corrections or punishments won’t work with these sensitive souls. Instead, they might become stubborn or withdrawn. So, make sure to celebrate their successes and turn mistakes into learning opportunities.

Socialization is another important aspect of training. Expose your PBGV to different environments, people, and animals to help them grow into confident, well-rounded dogs. Puppy classes or dog parks can be excellent places for socialization.

Leash training is crucial for PBGVs due to their strong hunting instincts. Start this early to ensure they’re safe during walks or outdoor adventures. Recall training is also essential, given their tendency to follow their noses.

One last tip: PBGVs are known for their love of food. Use this to your advantage during training, but be careful not to overdo the treats, as they can easily gain weight.

petit basset griffon vendeen at show ring
Photo: Kyle Reynolds/Getty Images

Diet & Nutrition 

Feeding a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is about more than just filling their bowl. It’s about providing them with the right nutrition to fuel their energetic lifestyles and support their overall health.

What to Feed & How Much

When it comes to choosing food for your PBGV, quality is key. Look for high-quality dry or wet food that follows the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. These foods are balanced and complete, providing all the nutrients your dog needs. Alternatively, you could consider a raw diet, but always consult your vet first to ensure it’s balanced and safe.

The amount of food your PBGV needs depends on their age, size, and activity level. On average, an adult PBGV requires about 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality food per day, divided into two meals. Puppies usually need smaller, more frequent meals. Always check the feeding guidelines on the food packaging and adjust as necessary based on your vet’s advice.

Every dog is unique and what works for one PBGV might not work for another. Regular vet check-ups can help you monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, allowing you to adjust their diet as necessary.

Remember, PBGVs love their food! They can be prone to overeating, which can lead to weight gain. Monitoring their portion sizes and maintaining a regular feeding schedule can help prevent this.

Treats

Treats are a great training tool and an excellent way to reward your PBGV. However, remember to use them sparingly. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

Water

On top of their diet, don’t forget about water. Fresh, clean water should be available to your PBGV at all times. Regularly cleaning their water bowl is also essential to prevent bacteria growth.

Health

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is a breed known for its robust health and vitality. With an average life expectancy of 14-16 years, these dogs are generally long-lived. However, like all breeds, PBGVs are prone to certain health conditions. Here’s a quick rundown:

Hip Dysplasia: This is a common condition in many breeds. It’s a malformation of the hip joint that can lead to arthritis and mobility issues.

Eye Problems: PBGVs can be susceptible to eye conditions like Persistent Pupillary Membranes (PPM), retinal dysplasia, and glaucoma.

Epilepsy: Some PBGVs may suffer from epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can cause seizures.

Allergies: These can manifest as skin issues or digestive problems. They can be triggered by certain foods, environmental factors, or substances.

Ear Infections: Those adorable, long ears are prone to infections due to limited airflow. Regular cleaning can help prevent this.

Now, knowing these potential health issues, how can you ensure your PBGV stays as healthy as possible?

Firstly, a balanced diet is crucial. Feeding your PBGV high-quality food that meets AAFCO guidelines will help keep them in top shape. But remember, even with the best diet, some PBGVs can be prone to weight gain. So, monitoring their food intake is essential.

Secondly, regular exercise is vital. It helps maintain a healthy weight, keeps their joints flexible, and contributes to overall well-being. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a game of fetch, or an agility course, keeping your PBGV active is key to their health.

Lastly, routine veterinary care is a must. Regular check-ups allow your vet to monitor your dog’s health and catch any potential issues early. Vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care are also part of this essential healthcare regime.

petit basset griffon vendeen running in a park
Photo: Gema Sanchez González / 500px/Getty Images

History

Step back in time and let’s explore the rich history of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. This breed, whose name translates to “small, low, rough-coated dog from Vendée,” has roots that stretch deep into the past.

The journey of the PBGV begins in the Vendée region of western France. Originally bred to hunt small game over the rough and rocky terrain of the area, these dogs were prized for their stamina, intelligence, and keen sense of smell. They were known to be tireless hunters, able to follow a scent trail for hours on end.

The PBGV we know and love today is the result of selective breeding in the late 19th century. Until then, these dogs were simply classified as Bassets or Griffons from Vendée. The decision to distinguish between the larger Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen and the smaller Petit was made by French breeder Paul Dezamy, who set the breed standard for the PBGV.

Fast forward to the 20th century, the PBGV began to make its way across the Atlantic. The breed quickly captured hearts with its scruffy charm and vivacious personality. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the PBGV in 1990, and the breed has been a beloved part of the Hound Group ever since.

Despite being a relatively rare breed, the PBGV has made some notable appearances in popular culture. In the world of dog shows, a PBGV named Juno won Best in Show at Crufts in 2000, marking a significant achievement for the breed. In the realm of television, a PBGV named Dash starred in the Canadian series “Due South,” showcasing the breed’s intelligence and charisma.

The PBGV’s distinctive look and lively spirit have also made them popular mascots. A PBGV named Norm was the mascot for the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon, Portugal. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a PBGV named Tugger served as the mascot for the minor league baseball team, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Today, the PBGV continues to enchant dog lovers around the world. Whether they’re hunting in the fields of France, strutting their stuff in the show ring, or simply being a beloved family pet, the PBGV remains true to its roots – a hardworking, intelligent, and charismatic breed.

Parent Club

The official parent club for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen in the United States is the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America (PBGVCA). Founded in 1984, the club is committed to the promotion and protection of PBGVs. They offer a wealth of resources for owners, breeders, and enthusiasts alike. You can visit their website for more information.

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

petit basset griffon vendeen standing in a field
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

Acquiring

Bringing a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen into your life is an exciting journey, but it requires careful preparation.

Firstly, ensure your home and lifestyle are a good fit for this energetic and intelligent breed. They need space to play, regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation.

If you’re buying a PBGV, always choose a reputable breeder. They should prioritize health, temperament, and adherence to breed standards. However, consider adopting a rescue PBGV. Many wonderful dogs are waiting for their forever homes.

Organizations like the American Kennel Club and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen Club of America can help you connect with rescue groups. Remember, rescuing a dog not only gives them a second chance at a happy life, but it’s also an enriching and rewarding experience for you.

So, whether you choose to buy or rescue, the important thing is to provide your PBGV with a loving, caring home.

FAQs

How do you pronounce Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen?

You pronounce it as “Puh-TEE Bah-SAY Grih-FAHN VON-day-uhn.”

What does the breed name mean in English?

The name translates to “small, low, rough-coated dog from Vendée.” Petit means small, Basset means low, Griffon refers to the rough coat, and Vendéen indicates the breed’s origin in the Vendée region of France.

How old is the breed?

The exact age of the breed is unknown, but its roots trace back centuries in western France. The PBGV as we know it today was established in the late 19th century through selective breeding.

Are Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens rare?

While they’re not as common as some breeds, PBGVs have a dedicated following, particularly in Europe and North America. The American Kennel Club ranks them as the 154th most popular breed.

Are PBGVs good family dogs?

Yes, they are! PBGVs are known for their friendly, outgoing nature. They generally get along well with children and other pets, making them a great addition to most families.

Do PBGVs require a lot of grooming?

PBGVs have a rough, shaggy coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. However, they are considered a low-maintenance breed compared to others with similar coats.

How much exercise does a PBGV need?

PBGVs are an active breed and require at least an hour of regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. This could be daily walks, playtime in the yard, or even dog sports like agility or scent work.

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