Cheerful, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Lively, Playful
The Basset Griffon Vendeen as the name suggests, originated in the Vendée region of France. It is a French scent hound which was originally bred to hunt furry game such as rabbit, hare and wild boar. Between 1830 and 1870, a French dog breeder named Comte le Couteulx de Canteleu was the first to write about dogs with wiry head, long, falling ears with fine, short coat. These dogs that he described are well regarded as the ancestors of the modern-day rough-coated Griffon Vendeens. From 1863 and the years that follow, these basset-type, short-legged French scent hounds were already being used in pack hunting and shown in dog shows although there were no clear distinction between smooth-coated and rough-coated varieties. In 1870, Le Comte d’Elva began to develop Griffon Vendeens with both straight feet or slightly turned-out feet. By 1880, he had achieved enough success to form two separate packs of shorter-legged bassets used for hunting with a gun and the other for hunting larger game which earned him the title of “Father of the Basset Griffon Vendeen”. By the onset of the 20th century, Leon Verrier dominated the smooth-coated Basset breeding while Paul Dezamy dominated the rough-coats. It was Dezamy who would later wrote the breed standard in 1909 with references to the two sizes of the Basset with classification based on whether the dog is larger (34-38cm) and has straight legs (Grand) or smaller (38-42cm) with semi-crooked leg (Petit). However, it was only in 1977 that the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen became officially separate breeds.
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is described as “happy and outgoing”. It is an independent breed which can be a little stubborn especially if it deems your instructions as not worthy of following. It is not easily agitated or disturbed but is always willing to please its owner whenever it is given the chance. It has an excellent sense of smell which can quickly put its nose into action and follow interesting scent. It is a jolly breed that loves people whether they are immediate family or strangers.
The GBGV as a puppy can have a naughty and ill-behave character so it requires an intensive training session from a firm but gentle handler in order to raise a well-balanced dog. With that being said, it is an intelligent dog that loves to please and will quickly learn new things. Early and consistent training plus as much exposure with other animals and people as much as possible is vital especially throughout the breed’s adolescent life.
The coat of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is made of thick undercoat with rough outer coat that requires sufficient grooming. Weekly brushing and combing with a pin brush will help remove loose and dead hair and control shedding. This breed sheds very little to no hair. Bathe only when necessary. Pay close attention to the long ears as they can quickly get ear infections if not properly taken care of. Always trim the hair on the feet and in between pads and check for debris which can hurt the feet and cause injuries.
A survey conducted in 2004 found out that the leading causes of death for this breed are cancer, old age and heart failures. It can live for about 12 to 14 years. The most common health issues associated with the GBGV are skin allergies including dermatitis, certain eye problems and reproductive-related concerns
All Basset Griffon Vendeens whether Grand or Petit were originally bred to hunt the wide open countryside of France where they originated. Owing to this ancestry, this breed requires a huge amount of exercise on a daily basis. It is not an ideal pet to have in an apartment life in the city. It needs space to move around and it needs a lot to fulfil its daily requirements of physical activity. An ideal home for the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is a family that lives in the countryside with a large farm where this breed can put its hunting talent into action.
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen has a jolly and confident personality which makes it very good with older children. It is a pack animal and is used to hunting with other dogs so it goes along very well with other dogs and even cats. However, it has a strong prey drive and will hunt down smaller animals like hamsters, rabbits, and other similar-looking pets.