All About The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (or PBGV for short) is a pedigree scent hound from the hound grouping. They originate from the Vendeé area of France, and were historically bred to hunt for hares in the thick overgrowth of the region.

If you feel as if the name “Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen” sounds familiar but you are not sure why, you may have spotted one of the best examples of a dog of the breed on TV earlier on in the year, when a PBGV named “Soletrader Peek a Boo” won the Best in Show title at Crufts.

If you enjoyed watching Peek a Boo trot her way to victory at Crufts, you might be interested in learning more about this attractive and appealing dog breed that was previously not particularly well known within the UK.
Read on to learn more about the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dog.

The PBGV appearance

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a medium sized dog, standing at around 32-40cm tall at the withers and weighing up to 20kg. Both the males and the females of the breed are usually a similar size. 

The PBGV is closely related to three other Griffon Vendeen breeds: the Grand Griffon Vendeen, the Briquet Griffon Vendeen, and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen. All of the Griffon Vendeen breeds share similar physical traits, including a rough and ready and not overgroomed appearance, characterised by a harsh and rough double coat, particularly long eyelashes, and a sturdy, short-legged build. 

While also related to the Basset Hound and the Dachshund, the PBGV does not have the pronouncedly long bodied appearance that both of those dogs have, and is not considered to possess the canine strain of achondroplasia, or dwarfism.

They have long, hanging ears that can reach as far as their noses, and an erect tail, which is usually carried high. The PBGV is available in a range of colours, usually being mainly white with patches of either black, orange, lemon or grey and white. They can also be seen in a tricolour variant, of any two of the mentioned colours with white.

Personality and temperament

The PBGV is sometimes known as the “happy hound,” and these dogs are almost always bright, alert and cheerful, and enjoy the company of people. Their tails are usually wagging, and they are friendly to strangers and newcomers. A PBGV is a great choice of dog for families with kind but rowdy children, as the PBGV is not an overly delicate dog and enjoys a good game of rough and tumble! They do have a tendency to bite in play, however, and so many not be a suitable pick for families with younger children or those unused to or shy with dogs.

They are relatively noisy dogs who like the sound of their own voices, and tend to be fairly vocal and bark in a wide variety of situations! This is a trait common to most hound breeds, so if you are looking for a very quiet dog, the PBGV may not be right for you!

As the PBGV is a scent hound, some consideration should be given to how this trait will manifest itself within the domestic environment, and care taken to ensure that the dogs are trained for good recall and kept on the lead when there might be small animals that could be constituted as prey present. 

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dogs can generally be trained to live happily sided by side with cats, particularly if introduced when young, although they may still remain somewhat predatory to cats when outside of their home environment! PBGV’s are trained and have evolved to flush out prey rather than kill it, but nevertheless, any form of hunting instinct when manifested strongly can potentially pose a problem.

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is generally very social and easygoing with other dogs, but other dogs may interpret the naturally erect tail of the PBGV as a sign of aggression. Owners of the PBGV need to monitor the reactions of strange dogs carefully to ensure that they do not misread the signals being given out by the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, and respond defensively.

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen health

The average longevity of the PBGV is 12-13 years, but other than this, not a great deal is known about the genetic health of the dog, as only two surveys have been undertaken into causes of morbidity and the general health of the breed. At the present time, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has not been identified as being particularly prone to any genetic health problems, but this may prove in the future to be more due to a lack of available data rather than a definitive endorsement of the general health of the breed.

Comparatively to other breeds of a similar size, the PBGV’s life expectancy is slightly higher than the average, however.
Minor problems in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen that have been reported with consistency among PBGV dog owners in the UK include issues with ear mites and ear wax, and various skin conditions such as mites and dermatitis, as is common to many other Basset-type dogs as well.


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