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Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Name, Bagriffs Harry Potter. Photo with thanks to Annarella Hedberg


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Group Hounds (KC)

Origin / History The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen is an old breed native to the Vendée region in western France. It is one of four varieties of the French Griffon Vendéen, the others being the Grand, Briquet, and Grand Basset. All were bred as scent hounds and worked alongside French hunters in the rough, bushy terrains of Vendée; this environment played a big part in their evolution as tough, hardworking dogs.

The Petit came at a time when breeds were often developed in different sizes to suit each owner’s needs. The Petit was used for tracking and catching small game such as rabbits, hares and sometimes birds. It was so adept that it remained a favorite among hunters for over a hundred years. The first breed club, the Club du Basset Vendéen, was founded in 1907, but it was only in the 1950’s that the Petit and Grand were declared separate breeds.

Appearance The Petit has a long double coat that appears naturally tousled. The undercoat is soft and designed for insulation, while the top coat is rough and provides outdoor protection. As with all basset breeds, it has short legs and stands low to the ground. It is slightly better proportioned than the dachshund or basset hound--about 50% longer than its height at withers. Its ears are notably long and feathered, and its large round eyes give it an intelligent expression.

Colours The coat should be white with markings in black, sable, lemon, or orange. Grizzle and tricolor markings are allowed.

Temperament The Petit is very cheerful and friendly, although some are a bit shy around strangers. It can be very affectionate to the point of being jealous or clingy. This dog craves attention and will do anything to get noticed if you leave him for a few minutes. It is also very curious and loves to explore—it has been known to ignore its owner completely when it’s playing or running after a toy.

Height and Weight Height should be from 12 ½ to 15 1.2 inches and weight from 25 to 40 pounds.

Common Health Problems The rough terrains of Vendée have made this dog a hardy and carefree breed. However, hereditary problems do occasionally occur, particularly eye disorders such as retinal folds and glaucoma. Also a common problem is aseptic meningitis, known in breeding circles as the PBGV pain syndrome. Pups should be checked within the first few months to prevent complications.

Living Conditions The Petit is active both indoors and outdoors, so a small fenced yard would be ideal. However, they can get used to apartment life provided they are given enough space and opportunities to exercise. They prefer cooler climates and should be kept cool in the summer, as their thick coat can easily make them hot.

Exercise Requirements This breed requires moderate to heavy exercise, both to keep its muscles strong and to keep it from becoming overweight. Vets recommend daily walks or jogs, or simply running free around a well-fenced yard. Playing catch and other mental games will also keep it sharp and active.

Training Requirements Some say the Petit is too intelligent and self-minded to be trained, but many owners find otherwise. While they’ll often have their own agenda, they also love to please their masters and will do anything for a treat or a pat on the back. Calm, gentle training works best for this breed. Training should be started early, as the dog can be overly curious and destructive indoors.

Life Expectancy A healthy Petit can leave up to 14 years or more.

Grooming The Petit’s coat is naturally rough, so owners should take care not to over-groom it. A weekly combing or brushing with a fine pin brush should be enough. They don’t shed heavily, but loose hairs can easily get tangled in the coat and should be removed to prevent matting. Bathe the dog as necessary and pay close attention to the teeth, ears, and toes.

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More Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Information: Check out our Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.

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Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Name, Bagriffs Harry Potter. Photo with thanks to Annarella Hedberg



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