Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Basset Griffon Vendeen
Average Cost to keep/care for a Basset Griffon Vendeen
The Basset Griffon Vendeen is a very skilled scent hound and although short in stature, these dogs are very long in the body. Their most endearing traits are their lovely bushy eyebrows, moustache and beard which add to their overall charming appeal. Over the years, these delightful dogs have become popular as companions and family pets in many regions of the world, but they were originally bred in France to hunt game and to scent hares and rabbits. Also known as the GBGV, they like nothing more than to be part of a family which is just one of the reasons they are becoming a popular choice as family pets and companions with many people both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
Records of the Basset Griffon Vendeen date as far back as the 16th century when they were bred to hunt. They hail from a region known as the Vendee, hence these dogs were given their name. Two sizes were developed being the Grand and the Petit and although both sizes could be found in one litter of puppies, it was not until the seventies that crossing the two sizes was outlawed.
Over the centuries, the Griffon Vendeen proved they were very able hunters and even today these charming dogs are still used to scent hare and rabbit. They can work as individuals or as part of a pack to hunt deer and wild boar. With this said, today the Basset Griffon Vendeen is a very popular choice with people here in the UK and elsewhere in the world both as family pets and companion dogs thanks to their adorable looks and kind, affectionate natures.
Height at the withers: Males 40 - 44 cm, Females 39 - 43 cm
Average weight: Males 18 - 20 kg, Females 18 - 20 kg
The Griffon is a medium sized dog that's well-balanced being longer in the body than they are tall. They have a very noble look about them which is enhanced by the way these dogs carry their heads. They have domed shaped heads with a well-developed occipital bone and a clearly defined stop. Their muzzle is square and they boast having a bit of a Roman nose with wide nostrils which again enhances their dignified appearance. Noses are black with the exception of white/lemon, white/orange coated Griffons where their noses are brown.
Their lips are well developed which adds to the square look of a dog's muzzle. Muzzles are well covered in long hair which forms their charming moustaches and beards. Their eyes are oval in shape, large and dark in colour with dogs always having an intelligent expression in them. Griffons have delightfully long eyebrows where the hair stands up so their eyes are not hidden. Ears are narrow and fine being covered in long, fine hair. Their ears fold inwards and boast having oval tips.
The Griffon has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Their neck is set well into their shoulders and is strong and long being thicker at the base. Shoulders are well laid back and clean with dogs boasting straight, well-boned front legs. They have nice long backs with a level topline and well-muscled loins. Their brisket is deep and broad with dogs boasting a prominent forechest.
Their ribs are nicely rounded and let right down to the level of a dog's elbow and they reach quite far down a dog’s body. The Griffon's flanks are relatively deep and their hindquarters are well-boned, muscular and strong. Back legs are heavily muscled with dogs boasting well-defined muscular second thighs. Feet are large with tight, firm pads and short, very strong nails. Their tails are well feathered, long and set high being thicker at the base, but tapering very gradually to the tip which dogs carry slightly curved, but never over their backs.
When it comes to their coat, the Griffon boasts a moderately long coat that's lays flat to their body and they have a nice thick undercoat. Accepted breed standard colours include the following:
The Basset Griffon Vendeen is known to be intelligent which is paired to a wonderful, calm and charming nature. These dogs boast having masses of personality which is matched only by their stamina. They are confident, outgoing dogs by nature that love nothing more than doing what they were bred to do which is to hunt, track and then bay to let their owners know they have found something.
They are very well-balanced dogs that boast a very even disposition and are therefore just at home in the field as they are lying in front of an open fire. However, they are not the best choice for first time owners because these dogs need to be well handled and trained from a young age by an experienced hand. Training has to start early and be consistent throughout their lives. With this said, even the best trained dog may well pick up a scent and be off after it, choosing to ignore any recall commands because their instincts often just get the better of them.
These dogs are a great choice for people who are familiar with the breed or similar type of hound knowing they would be living with a fun-loving albeit boisterous canine companion. They do boast a bit of a stubborn streak which is why it's so important for their training and education to start when dogs are young. Waiting until later and not giving a GBGV the right sort of guidance and direction at the right stage of their lives, could result in them becoming unruly and hard to handle.
If a Basset Griffon Vendeen is not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise on a daily basis, boredom quickly sets in and this could result in a dog finding their own way to amuse and entertain themselves which is often displayed in them developing some rather destructive behaviours. These dogs are also known to be very good escape artists and therefore if they are allowed to roam around a back garden, the fencing has to be very secure to keep them in.
The Griffon is a highly intelligent dog, but they are independent by nature and therefore they can be hard to train. With this said, in the right hands and with the right sort of training and guidance, these dogs can be taught to obey commands although it has to be said it is not in their natures to be that obedient.
Their training has to start early, it has to be consistent. These dogs need time to learn and therefore a lot of patience and understanding is needed when they are first being trained. A GBGV has to know their place in a pack and who is the alpha dog in the household or they may start to show a more dominant side to their nature.
It's essential that puppies be well socialised from a young age and this means introducing them to new situations, other dogs and animals as soon as they have been given all their vaccinations. As previously mentioned, these dogs are very skilled escape artists and therefore if they are allowed to run around a garden, the fencing has to be very secure.
Being such a happy, outgoing character, the GBGV loves being around children, but because they can be quite boisterous especially when they are puppies and adolescent dogs, any interaction between the kids and a dogs should be supervised by an adult to make sure nobody gets knocked over and hurt.
They are also known to get on well with other dogs as long as they are well socialised from a young age. If a Griffon has grown up with a cat in the house, they generally get on well together. However, care should be taken when they are around any smaller pets and this includes rabbits because their strong hunting instinct might just get the better of them.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Basset Griffon Vendeen is between 12 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The GBGV is known to be a hardy dog and unlike many other pure breeds, they do not suffer from the many hereditary and congenital health disorders that so often plague pedigree dogs. However, if you are hoping to share your home with one of these charming dogs there are a few health issues worth knowing about which includes the following:
As with any other breed, GBGVs need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, they need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
These dogs boast medium length coats, but they are low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush is all it takes to keep their coats looking good and to remove any dead hair or dirt a dog may have picked up when out on a walk. With this said, because these dogs boast lovely moustaches and beards, it's important to keep an eye on them because they tend to get mucky when dogs eat and drink. Although, a Griffon's coat does not need trimming, it is worth giving their beards and moustaches a little trim which makes it easier to keep them clean.
It is also a good idea for a GBGV to be professionally hand stripped every few months which helps keep their coats tidier and their skin in good condition. As with other dogs, they tend to shed more during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent coat care may be necessary to keep on top of things.
Griffons are high energy dogs and because they are so intelligent they need to be given lots of mental stimulation as well as a ton of physical exercise on a daily basis. Ideally, they need to be given at least 2 hours exercise a day, but they also like to roam around a secure back garden as often as they can too which really allows them to let off steam in a safe environment. These dogs like to be kept busy and find it hard to sit still for very long which is why they are more suited to living in the country or with people who boast having large, secure back gardens with a lot of emphasis on "secure" because these dogs, as previously mentioned are very good at escaping.
If you get a Basset Griffon Vendeen puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature GBGV twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a GBGV, you would need to pay anything from £500 to over £800 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Basset Griffon Vendeen in northern England would be £25.01 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £61.72 a month (quote as of April 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £50 - £60 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a GBGV and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and then their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over a £1000 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Basset Griffon Vendeen would be between £80 to £130 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree GBGV puppy.
Click 'Like' if you love Basset Griffon Vendeens.