Spotlight on the Basset Griffon Vendeen: Reserve Best in Show at Crufts 2019
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Spotlight on the Basset Griffon Vendeen: Reserve Best in Show at Crufts 2019

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As March 2019 draws to a close, most people involved in dog breeding and dog showing at a professional level are still relaxing and recovering from the annual Crufts Dog Show of 2019, which took place earlier on in the month at Birmingham’s NEC arena.

Crufts is of course widely televised all over the world and gets a lot of attention in both the mainstream media and on social media too, and naturally, the dogs that take home the event’s biggest prizes are the subject of the most discussion.

Achieving a high-level Crufts win can catapult even breeds that are virtually unknown to the average dog owner into the public spotlight, and at this year’s show, both the champion and reserve champion dogs in the Best in Show event come from breeds that are not hugely well-known or populous in the UK.

The winning dog this year was a Papillon called Dylan, itself not a hugely common breed, and the reserve Best in Show was a Basset Griffon Vendeen (petit) called Magic Mike – and this is one dog breed that many UK dog lovers won’t even have heard of until the breed’s win!

In this article we’re going to shine the spotlight on the Basset Griffon Vendeen dog breed, and outline their core traits, level of popularity, and good and bad points. We’ll also look at how common the breed is in the UK, and how easy or otherwise it is to find a Basset Griffon Vendeen for sale. Read on to learn more.

Reserve Best in Show winner 2019

Let’s start with a look at the dog that took home the Reserve Best in Show cup at Crufts 2019 – a Basset Griffon Vendeen (petit) dog called Magic Mike. Magic Mike hails from Oxfordshire, and was four years old at the time of his win.

He also has a notable pedigree, with his own dam having achieved a number of prestigious dog show wins herself, and Magic Mike’s own track record includes a number of other notable show wins over the last couple of years too.

Basset Griffon Vendeen dogs can come in four different variants, of which the petit is just one; the others being the Grand Griffon Vendeen, the Briquet Griffon Vendeen, and the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen respectively.

What is a Basset Griffon Vendeen?

A Basset Griffon Vendeen is a medium sized dog breed that originated in France, and which is recognised for pedigree registration purposes within the Kennel Club’s hound grouping.

They are lively, outgoing and very personable dogs that are highly sociable with others, reflecting the breed’s working origins as hunting pack dogs.

Basset Griffon Vendeens are scent hounds, which means that they have a superior scenting ability coupled with a high prey drive, and very high energy levels. Dogs of this type need to lead interesting, varied lives with plenty of exercise and time to play and socialise with other dogs, and they tend to be happy, outgoing and full of beans. They require a significant amount of daily exercise and don’t thrive within a very sedentary lifestyle, which means that they suit owners that spend a lot of time outside and that enjoys long walks with their dog.

Basset Griffon Vendeens are around the middle of the pack when it comes to canine intelligence, which can actually offer some advantages when it comes to training them. They are smart enough to pick up a reasonable number of core commands and reliably respond to them, but not so smart that they out-think their handlers, or prove particularly challenging to train.

This is also a breed that is notably very good with children, and they love playing with active kids, making them excellent family pets. However, the breed can be quite boisterous and also very vocal, and they will sometimes mouth or play-bite when excited, which means that they can be a little much for very small children.

Another advantage of the breed is that they don’t need a huge amount of brushing and grooming, and don’t shed hair particularly heavily.

Buying a Basset Griffon Vendeen

If you’re reading up on the Basset Griffon Vendeen because you’ve never heard of the breed before, it will probably come as no surprise to you to learn that the breed isn’t hugely common in the UK.

Basset Griffon Vendeens are currently the 181st most popular dog breed in the UK out of a total of over 240 different dog breeds and types, and so it is fair to say that there aren’t a lot of them around. In fact, over the course of 2018, just 14 dogs of the breed were advertised here on Pets4Homes.

Whilst Pets4Homes is not the only place to find dogs advertised for sale and other dogs of the breed may have been advertised elsewhere, as the UK’s largest and busiest pet classifieds portal, our own advert statistics provide an accurate snapshot of the general state of the market as a whole.

The low number of dogs of the breed available at any given time means that should you decide that you wish to buy one, you will probably spend a reasonable amount of time locating and contacting breeders, and will almost certainly need to join a waiting list.

Basset Griffon Vendeens may potentially become more popular in the wake of this year’s Reserve Best in Show win, and more breeders may enter the market to meet this demand, but at present the breed is one that can fairly be described as hard to come by.

In terms of the sort of prices that dogs of the breed change hands for, based on the prices displayed within Basset Griffon Vendeen adverts placed here in 2018, pedigrees are advertised at around £947 each on average, whilst non-pedigrees fall at around the £388 mark.

However, if you wish to buy a top-quality example of the breed like Magic Mike, or another dog bred from past show winners, you will certainly pay far more than the average!

Before committing to a purchase, ensure that you learn as much about the breed as possible, and meet and chat to breeders before you make a decision. Ask about the health of the breeder’s parent stock, and find out if any health tests have been performed for hereditary health conditions that are known to present within the Basset Griffon Vendeen breed too.

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