The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen breed of dog belongs to the hound group (Group 2), and is placed in position 114 of the AKC breed listing. The family it is best known for are the Scenthounds, originally bred for the function of trailing hare.
CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
orange, lemon, gray, or black. Other acceptable colors are bicolor, tricolor, or grizzling.
13 to 15 inches at the shoulder
25 to 42 pounds.
13 to 15 inches at the shoulder
25 to 42 pounds.
This breed of Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is a very active indoors or outdoors dog, and can live in most any time of climates, but due to their scruffy double-coated fur, they actually prefer cooler weather. Living in small apartments or small homes is acceptable as long as adequate exercise is done on a regular basis, and the neighbors do not mind a hound's bark letting everyone know that company is there or they just found their favorite plaything. Going for walks is fun, but this dog is strong in the hunting instincts, so keeping it on the leash is mandatory. Also, they love to dig and plan on escapes in their spare time--little sneaky holes along the fence lines or in the fence corner are good signs to the owners that the big escape moment may soon be occurring.
The PBGV is more like a terrier-like in temperament, and Basset Hound in appearance. This small-sized compact body breed should be about 50% longer than it is tall (as a rule of thumb), is nimble and has strong bones. With a free style gait, the PBGV looks as if it could stay out in the field all day, developed for its body form and ability to push its way after prey through dense thickets. With a double coat that is long and rough, the face of the PBGV resembles a Scottish Terrier with the beard and mustache.
As it is part of the hound group, the ears droop like that of a hound, with a tail that is long and tapered to the end, similar in appearance to a slightly curved sword. Part of the family of scenthounds, which have very distinctive features for their purpose--larger noses than other breeds; open and deep nostrils; loose and moist lips--all the features needed to pick up the scent and follow the trail of their prey. Strong bodies are built for endurance on the trail or out in the field, with the scenthounds bred with small legs for the hunter who hunts on foot, as compared to those on horseback. The scenthounds ran in a pack with loud and deep baying sounds to alert the hunter of a prey's location, which they still have when someone comes to visit.
The coat of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is wire or rough-coated and has an undercoat for protection when hunting the underbrush. It is best described as slightly medium to long in length without any exaggeration, rough textured, and harsh to the touch--with a rather "messy look" about it. This scruffy look is actually derived from the look of the long eyebrows, beard and moustache, that give the dog its unique look. Weekly brushing will be required as this type of coat looks scraggly on a normal basis, but without brushing it will look a lot worse due to its rough coat and scattered-hair directional flow.
The colors of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen are primarily white with spots that are colored orange, lemon, gray, or black. Other acceptable colors are bicolor, tricolor, or grizzling. The French refer to one color as "markings of hare-color, which is also called sable.
The prevalent coat pattern of the PBGV is open-marked, with white spots and patches, and an occasional dog with blanket or broken blanket patterns. Also, dogs that carry the gene for "half masks" (one eye or both is surrounded by white instead of colored hair) or dogs with the genes for ticking (fine flecks of color of varying density in their white areas) are seen in this breed.
But like many breeds, popularity depends on the whims of the general public and the present popularity cycle. At this time, the darker colors are more popular with the lemon coloring being the least popular. Tomorrow that could change.
The origin and history of any breed needs to be researched before buying a particular breed, especially if the breed is new to the person, out of respect to the dog and common sense to the prospective owner. Researching the little Petit Basset will be exciting, as it has ancient origins in the France area of Vendee and its historical development covers over 400 years, even though it is new to the United States. Originally developed to hunt rabbits and small game, the dog was bred to be worked as one dog, two (also called a "brace," or a pack of dogs.
To understand the breed standards of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, looking at the area in France of its development is almost necessary--rocks, brush, bramble, thorn bushes, and rough terrain--in an environment that is damp and cool. An area that a hunter on horseback could not get through, the dog was bred to hunt with him on foot and be a companion every hour and every minute of the day. The qualities that were needed were agility, strength, determination, a loud and strong voice, and a rough coat that rain or the elements, in addition to the brambles and thorns, could not penetrate---qualities that would make this dog a menace when cooped up in a small apartment unattended.
Its breed characteristics were fixed by Abel Desamy, a French breeder, with the Petit developed for hunting rabbits. The French were not only influential in the development and refining of the hunting hounds, but it had its start there. Not knowing much about the scientific areas of dog genes, they bred dogs that were of such high quality they are still with us today, as the hound was the first dog to have its breed type "standardized." Taking hound casual breeding (talked over at the local tavern or after dinner at a friend's home) into a science, they developed four varieties of the Griffon Vendeen.
Grand Griffon--the largest variety, measuring approximately 23 1/2 inches at the withers
Briquet Griffon--medium sized dog, measuring approximately 20-22 inches at the withers.
Grand Basset--smaller sized dog, measuring approximately 15-17 inches at the withers.
Petit Basset--smallest sized dog, measuring 13-15 inches at the shoulder.
Originally developed from the white St. Hubert and the white/tan hound for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, and an addition of the "King's Whie" Grand Griffon for the larger, heavier, and longer "Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen," the two hunting breeds are part of a package of four breeds, with these two being bred together up until 1975 when it became prohibited. New to the United States as a companion dog, the little Petit has been in France for almost 100 years for hunting rabbits. The official Basset Griffon Vendeen Club was formed in France around 1907, which then became known as the Club du Griffon Vendeen when all four varieties of the dog were accepted. In the United States, the P.B.G.V. Club of America was formed on November 19, 1984, with the dogs being able to compete in AKC licensed shows in 1991.
The Petits are a wonderfully happy dog that is not only comical, but very mischievous. With their hound's voice and constant tail wagging, they are an irresistible dog with the most comical face on any breed. It is very hard to turn away from this cute dog, even though they are rather independent and slightly obstinate, always wanting to be in the limelight. But unless a new owner researches the breed, they may not have what they really want as this is a very dedicated breed--to hunting, digging, chasing varmints. This breed was bred to hunt in a pack, and those instincts are still very much part of the breed's standard. Highly alert and willful, it is always a charming little 'cutie with that scraggly face and heart-filled eyes.
Generally good with other pets, they are not good with other non-canine animals due to their hunting instincts. But they are good with people and children, always wanting to be involved with the family function. The problem with this breed of dog is their intelligence level. Unless the owner acquires and maintains the "alpha" position right away with correct training, this little dog will set its own personal agenda on its own time. This is a very sad thing, as the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen has a very strong desire to please their owner, and unless training is begun at a young age--the agenda of the owner and the dog may be with two entirely different things, which can be quite a catastrophe.
Due to the type of hair on the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, brushing with a wire brush is almost mandatory to keep the hair clean and mat-free. Depending on the lifestyle and activity level of the dog, a good guess is two to three times a week. Toenails need clipped on a bi-monthly basis with common sense approaches--if their toenails are worn down due to walks on cement or out in the field, then it will be required less. Have the family vet or breeder demonstrate the process for this, as it is easily a thing that can be done at home, especially if the original breeder or owner has trained the dog to have it done. If the dog is older with faster growing toenails as it has a lower lifestyle, then it will need to be done more often.
The ears need cleaned whenever the dog is bathed, once a month or less often, depending on the life style of the breed. Dogs that hunt or are out in the field with longer hair on the ears can gather 'little critters that stake a claim in this area due to the warmth and damp environment. Watch for black or red little flecks, shaking of the ears, or pawing at the ear area for signs the ears may need attended to. There are many ear cleaning solutions with antibiotics in them, that can be used with a Q-tip or similar. The dogs have longer ear canals than people do, so at least four times a year the dog needs to go to the family vet to check that deeper ear area, especially if the dog is demonstrating ear problem symptoms.
The energy level and exercise requirement level for the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is very, very high. Not a dog for a person whose high energy peak of the day is playing games on the computer or turning channels on television, a large yard or active owner is almost mandatory along with an owner who likes to be busy. Going for walks, playing ball, jogging, hunting, and camping are excellent things to do with the little Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.
The worse nightmare for this dog is to be left unexercised and penned up for days at end, with only a minimum of human interaction. Very robust and energetic, the Petit will find a way to get out, through digging or "plowing through." If the dog cannot be attended properly to the point it becomes a dog with bad behavior or one with negative actions, finding a home with a more dedicated or active owner is the right thing to do--not only for the little dog--but for the owner.
The PBGV is a hound dog, which means it hunts. Many people purchase this little dog as it is a cute little puppy and lovable looking--with very little research done on the breed and what it is about. Hunting dogs hunt (surprise!) and if left unattended or untrained, they will destroy your home and yard within minutes as it is their nature to "hunt" for things--even if it is your best Sunday morning church shoes or new sunglasses.
The training of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen is easier than most people think, as they are not only intelligent but love to please their owners. A small, short-legged, scruffy-looking dog, this breed requires a strong upper-hand and strong obedience training, along with a definite course in leash training. This is due to the fact that the little dog refuses to lie around much and watch television, not matter how adorable and cute they looked as a puppy, and walks are usually part of their exercise, unless a very large back yard is available and an owner who is active or likes to hunt. But when out for a walk, never remove the leash and let the little dog run unless it is an intentional thing, as they will be gone in a New York minute "hunting" for something for prey, without ever looking backwards.
One of the most adorable and affectionate dogs, once they understand their owner is boss, they will do anything to please them. An independent, bold, vivacious, compact, tough, and robust little dog--their spirit is wonderful to behold but they are not just for anyone to own. Unless the owner is dedicated to the breed and in strong training, combined with some type of energy level, this is not the dog for them.
Part of the home life training of this little hound is a safe environment that the dog can call its own. Crate training is excellent, or some form of kennel during the day when everyone is gone, is excellent as long as they have their favorite toys and the pen is "Petit proof." The worst thing any dog owner can do is crate or pen their dogs and only take them out on an occasional basis. If so, then the dog needs to be placed in a proper home as this is a form of mental and emotional abuse, especially for this little breed. These dogs need human companionship, as most dogs do, and will literally become depressed and wither away without it, resorting to negative behavior to compensate for the loss.