Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Type: Scenthound

Height: 15 - 17 inches.

Weight: 40 - 44 lbs.

Life Span: 12 years.

Litter Size: 4 - 7 puppies.

Country of Origin: France

Activity: High

Watch-dog: High. Grand Bassets make good watchdogs.

Guard-dog: Low

Description: Taller than most Bassets, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has a short head and low-set long ears, a dense, bushy double coat, in solid or mixed colors. They have drop ears that are medium in length, and they have a short muzzle. Their bones are light compared to other breeds, and the body is stocky. The tail is like a saber in shape, and their faces hold a heavy mustache and eyebrows. They can be black with tan markings, fawn with white markings, fawn with black markings, or tricolor--all of these being with white markings. There are four closely related breeds of this kind: the Grand Basset, Petit Basset, Grand, and Briquet, all with the ending name of Griffon Vendéen. The difference between the Grand Basset and the other Griffon Vendéens is his size. He is one of the Bassets, with a longer, shorter body, but is larger than the Petit Basset. They are a hardy, well constructed hunting dog who is also known to be very independent and unruly and very hot to pursue and kill prey. Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are capable of rousing all kinds of game over a variety of terrain such as sandy, hilly or even flooded. They are active, intense creatures that do not necessarily recognize humans as owners from birth. They tend to have a one track mind when it comes to following a scent, and are very apt to following their instincts in this way. Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are vocal in personality and prone to much tail-wagging. Their puppy-like looks are kept into their adult years, making them attractive for potential owners.

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Other Names: Basset Griffon Vendéen

Colors: Fawn, light brown, white and orange, white and gray or tri-colored. Can be black with tan markings, fawn with white markings, fawn with black markings, or tricolor - all of these being with white markings.

Coat: Dense, wiry coat, never wooly. They have a thick undercoat and long bushy outer coat. They have a heavy mustache and eyebrows as well.

Temperament: Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are alert, active, decisive, intense and enthusiastic. Sure to warm any heart, this breed is courageous and good natured, though a few have been known to be a little snappy. Grand Bassets are difficult to handle with training, though, as they are instinctively independent and single minded. They make reasonably good watchdogs, and are generally good with children. Grand Bassets tend to dig.

With Children: Yes, usually good with children, the Grand Bassets have a lower than usual tendency to snap or bite.

With Pets: Yes, is good with other pets and dogs.

Special Skills: Tracker, gundog and family pet.

Care and Training: Care for this breed is minimal. The coat never needs to be trimmed, even for exhibition. Grooming with a brush and comb is needed to prevent matting. They need a considerable amount of exercise, so potential owners should be active and aware of the Grand Basset's needs.

Learning Rate: Low. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Medium.

Special Needs: Exercise, fenced yard, and a leash.

Living Environment: Adapts to city life if raised in an urban environment from an early age. They do best, though, in the country being used for their purpose. They were bred to be trackers and gundogs. This breed needs room to exercise and explore, but should be kept within a fenced area or on a leash, as they will follow a scent without a thought of their master. Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens do best with an active owner in a rural or suburban environment.

History: Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are one of the four rough-coated breeds from the west cost of France in the La Vendée region. These four include the Briquet, Grand Griffon Vendéen, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (also known as a "PeeBeeGeeVee", or PBGV). Believed to have descended from the Vendéen hounds of the Gris de St. Louis, the Grand Bassets are thought to be bred from the white Southern Hound and other Italian coarse-haired dogs. One of the first breeders being the king's clerk, or greffier, the hound probably got the "griffon" part of its name from this. Several of these dogs were given to King Louis XII, eventually developing the name Chiens Blancs du Rui, or the King's White Hounds. During the French Revolution the dogs were almost extinct, but around the 20th century in 1907, a club formed and began bringing back the dogs. Paul Desamy is credited with developing this line of the Griffon Vendéens. The Grand Bassets were used for hunting hare and other small game, but due to less and less hunting the breed has lost its need. This breed was severely reduced during World War II and is still relatively unknown even in France. The actual Grand Basset line was officially established in the 1940s. These days it is known as a pet and companion dog, occasionally out on the hunt with its owner, or by itself!

First Registered by the AKC: The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was first recorded in the Foundation Stock Service in 2004

AKC Group: Miscellaneous

Class: Gundog

Registries: FCI (Group 6)