ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
John Walton
Written by John Walton

In what could only be described as one of the cutest dogs in the entire world, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a tiny, bearded, scruffy pup that has a mustache! They are super friendly dogs that have high energy and will sniff anything around them, due to their being a scent hound. This breed is smart, has a great attitude and makes for great watchdogs because they will bark to alert you! Also, they are known to be very charming and will have you laughing for days!

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityHigh
Health and GroomingAbove Average
All Around FriendlinessHigh
Exercise NeedsHighest

Dog Breed Group:Hound, or Scent Hound
Height:1 foot, 1 inch tall to 1 foot, 3 inches tall
Weight:30 to 40 pounds
Life Span:14 years or more

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a dog that you will not soon forget due to its features. They are just over a foot tall and appear scruffy, but upon closer inspection, you will see his mustache, beard, and bushy eyebrows that are similar to an old man! They are known for their double coat, which is harsh on top and soft but thick on the belly. You can find this breed in white with any sprinkle of markings in black, tri-colored, lemon, orange, grizzle or sable.

Never let your scent hound get bored, as they are smart and will go off to do their own thing, like escaping the house or yard, which they are known for and very good at! However, they do have a great personality and are known as being happy all the time, and they require lots of love and attention from humans, big and small. Keeping them exercised and stimulated will cut down on their curious acts!

Tracing back to the 16th century in France, this hound dog was founded in the western region of the country named Vendee, where the terrain is rough with many rocks and brush. They adapted to the area and were made into scent hounds. The name translates into Petit, meaning small, Basset means close to the ground, Griffin is wire-haired, and Vendeen is the area of France where the dog came from called Vendee. When this breed was standardized, it was called the Basset Griffon Francais.

These hounds are generally healthy if given proper nutrients and exercise, but can have some issues like PBGV (the dog breed abbreviated) Pain Syndrome, which affects young dogs of this breed. They can also be prone to Dysplasia, hernias, and Hypothyroidism. However, they are easy to care for and can live anywhere, from mansion to apartment as long as they can exercise each day. Just remember to keep them on the leash because their nose leads the way!

This breed is a great companion and pet for the entire household. They love children and other animals and are funny, sweet, and love to be the center of attention to humans, and crave love and play with them. They can live a long time with good health, and are always there to put you in a great mood!

Main Highlights
  • While training and socialization is a must for this breed, they are smart but can be stubborn at times. Be firm, fair and patient with them.
  • They are funny dogs that live to please their owner and love to be the center of attention, but do not be fooled! They can be trouble makers and try to escape the home or property in the blink of an eye, because their nose gets a scent and they’re gone!
  • The breed comes from the western French area known as Vendee, which is a large area full of harsh terrain filled with rocks and brush, making it hard to navigate. It can be traced back to the 16th century and it took until 1898 for the breed standard to come out.
  • Your dog will love to talk, or bark, at you or anything! Training them is the only way for them to learn to only bark when there is something important, which can make them great watch dogs.
  • You can choose which color you like! They come as white dogs with sprinkles of colors that range from tri-color, black, sable and grizzle to lemon and orange!
  • The PBGV make great household pets because they are great with adults, children and other animals, especially if they are trained in socialization while very young. While he may be okay with household pets like cats and dogs, he may chase small animals like rats, hamsters, or even birds.
  • One bad thing is that they can be hard to potty train and can show their stubborn size during potty training. Staying firm and patient will help you and your dog get through this phase, but you might want to keep puppy pads down while they are learning.
Breed History

There is not too much known about the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, despite its origins dating back to the 16th century. They were originated in the area of Vendee, France, which is on the western coast of the country where there is harsh land with man rocks and difficult terrain. There, they were used as scent hounds, tracking down animals and getting their prey.

Their name is pure French and translates as such: Petite meaning small, Basset meaning lower to the ground, Griffon meaning wire-haired, and Vendeen which means Vendee, the region of France where its came from. The breed standard was put into place in 1898 and back then they were known as the Basset Griffon Francais.

The breed was first shown at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in 1992, just eight years after the Petite Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America was formed. Just the year before, in 1991, the breed was given recognition by the AKC as a hound dog, though they were performing in AKC shows before being accepted.

Size

These small stature dogs can grow from 1 foot, 1 inch tall to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder. The scruffy little guys can weigh between 30 and 40 pounds if exercised and fed properly. They may be small and stocky, but they have lots of energy and require an owner who has the energy to match so they can run along with them!

Personality and Character

This is the happiest breed you will ever find! They always have a positive attitude and love to play and go for walks. They want to be your object of affection and they want to keep busy and active all day. They are great watch dogs because they will bark until you notice them, which is why they should be trained to bark when there is a danger.

They can escape the house and property easily and you will need to be careful and watch them. They can be stubborn, especially during potty training, which can take a bit longer than most dogs. Stay patient, firm and fair with them and they will eventually do their business outside successfully. Otherwise, they have a great personality and character and will make a great addition to your home and family!

Health and Potential Problems

While overall healthy, this breed is only susceptible to a few diseases and health issues. While mostly healthy, you should see a vet if anything goes wrong with your dog so they can do testing to see what is wrong.

Here are the most common health problems you should worry about with this breed:

  • Glaucoma is one disease that affects this loving breed. This disease of the eyes occurs when the pressure within the area builds and causes pain. The liquid within the eye drain may not drain properly and causes blindness or lack of clear vision, and damages the optic nerve in the eye. Glaucoma can be hereditary but can come from injuries or tumors.
  • Epilepsy can occur in older and younger dogs and can result in shaking from seizures that happen when neurological processes take place in the brain. The cause of this is unknown but can be linked to injury in the brain, brain tumors, stroke, birth defects or simply genetics.
  • Parvo Virus is a viral and very contagious disease that is either defined as the intestinal form, which is most common, or the cardiac form. The intestinal form has symptoms of weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea. The cardiac form will affect the muscles in the heart. Parvo can lead to death and the dog should have shots to prevent this from happening.
  • Food allergies can be avoided if they are eating a proper dog food. Contact allergies could be from shampoos, powders and other chemicals in the house. Also, inhalant allergies can affect your dog because of pollen outside or dust and mildew.
  • Hypothyroidism in dogs happens when there is little to no hormones produced by the thyroid gland itself. Dogs can be put on medication to make up for the lack of production, which the dog will have to take for life. Hypothyroidism mostly occurs after the age of 4 years, and symptoms include lethargy, hair loss, skin infections, weight gain, seizures, and more.
  • Hip Dysplasia is a condition in which the bone in the thigh does not fit correctly into the hip joint. One way to tell if this is hurting your dog is to check for pain and lack of use of that area. While this condition is hereditary, it can be attained from other factors like diet, falling, or any injury. A veterinarian can help to provide comfort for a dog with hip dysplasia.
  • Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to process sugars correctly. Check for the symptoms which include increased appetite, being really thirsty, and going to the bathroom a lot. A dog will live with diabetes for the rest of its life so it is important to get them on insulin shots and control what they eat.
  • Diarrhea is common among dogs, cats, humans, and other species. But if your pup gets diarrhea, make sure to keep them hydrated. Generally, something could be wrong if this lasts more than 24 hours. If diarrhea comes with vomiting, dark stool or fever, get your dog to a vet. Causes of this include Parvo, parasites, food problems, and stress, and many other types of infections or diseases. Pay attention to your dog’s symptoms in case their issue is more pressing.
  • Patellar luxation is a fancy term for the dislocation of the dog’s kneecap. If this is the case for your dog, check for signs like limping, lack of use of the leg, and lack of movement. Dogs do not always feel the pain when the kneecap dislocates, so there might not be crying or whimpering. Most times, the vet can pop the kneecap back into place.
  • Petsistent Pupillary Pembranee is a condition that seems scary but just cause folds in the retina, and is known as a congenital defect of the eye. Luckily, vision is not affected at all and its known as a “cosmetic” defect.
  • Hernias are known as defects of the muscles in the abdomen that make organs protrude and cause pain. Sometimes surgery is needed and if so, it’ll be either umbilical, which is in the belly button, or inguinal, which is through the groin.
  • PBGV Pain Syndrome is a condition that affects this breed specifically as young dogs. They will get a fever, feel pain, and can occur in the neck’s cervical area. In most cases, your dog will outgrow this, but some will have to live with it forever.
Care Features

Once trained, your dog can be easy to care for but there are some things to watch out for. Since they can escape, watch out for digging or any open areas where they can get out. They do require exercise each day, so they can live in a big house or an apartment with ease. Since they have high energy levels, they will partially exercise themselves, so keep toys on hand and keep them mentally stimulated, as well as physically.

Remember, their nose will lead them anywhere, so they need to be on a leash when outdoors in public. Also, while they can endure any temperatures, they like when the weather is cool outside.

Feeding Schedule

Each day, your PBGV will need to be fed twice; once in the morning and once at night. You can give them 3/4 to 1 cup of dry kibble with each meal, which is 1.5 to 2 cups per day. Using dry kibble with high protein and important vitamins will keep them healthy. Provide fresh water for each meal as well.

Coat, Color and Grooming

This breed has a medium coat that is harsh and rough on the top double coat. The under double coat is shorter, thicker, and super soft. You will note their eyebrows, beard and mustache as their standout features, as well as their furry tail. The dog is white with other colors that come in black, tricolored, sable, grizzle, orange and lemon, so you can choose which one you like best!

Grooming is pretty easy and simple with this breed as they can be brushed once a week and bathed every few months or as needed because they do not smell very much. Do weekly checks for the ears, mouth, nose and all over the body for rashes or cuts that may need attention. Their nails should be trimmed once a month or as needed. Overall, they are pretty clean dogs that do not require a lot of grooming or a lot of physical care.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

The great thing about this breed is that they love having a family and get along great with children. They are very gentle with kids, though smaller children should be supervised, and all children should be told to not pull on the dog’s tail, pinch him, poke or provoke him in any way to attack.

They do great with other animals, like dogs and cats in the home. But they do have a tendency to chase small animals, so having a rabbit, hamster, rat, or bird in the home may not be best, but they can be trained to live with other animals in the home that are not cats and dogs.

Overall, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a great dog that, when trained, will steal the show and your hearts! They love being the center of attention and receiving love from their family and bonding with other household animals, except little ones they think they can chase! They love playing, running and being goofy, which will keep you laughing for years to come! They are pretty adaptable and can live anywhere, making living situations easy. These smart, funny, loving dogs will give you all the love you can handle!

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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