AKC Dog Breeds: Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 15-17 inches   Weight: 40-45 pounds  Color: Fawn, light brown, white and orange, white and gray or tri-colored

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a French scent hound. The Griffon Vendéen hounds have gone through over 400 years of evolution to produce the griffon coated French hounds of today. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a long-backed, short legged hunting breed of dog of the hound type, originating in the Vendée region of France. Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens are hunted in packs like foxhounds and beagles. They are still used today to hunt boar, deer, and to track rabbit and hare, but are more commonly kept as a domestic pet. They are pack dogs, so owners should either spend a lot of time with them or get a second dog or cat. They have a happy and confident personality, which can sometimes manifest itself as disobedience, but they are great companions. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 2004.

General Appearance
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a medium-sized French scent hound with a long body. These dogs have characteristically long hair over their eyebrows as well as on their snouts giving making them appear to have beards and moustaches. The name Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen describes the dog in its entirety. Grand for the size, Basset means low to the ground; the word “Griffon” describes the dog’s coat, and Vendéen indicates the area in France where the breed originated from. 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. The GBGV has a rough and harsh topcoat and a thick weather resistant undercoat.  Their puppy-like looks are kept into their adult years, making them attractive for potential owners.


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. Usually good with children, the Grand Bassets have a lower than usual tendency to snap or bite. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is good with other pets and dogs, and enjoys being in a pack


GBGVs are easy to care for. Thorough brushing 2 to 3 times weekly would be enough to remove dirt and dead hair. Very little trimming is needed though eyebrows that gets too long can be trimmed. T Ears must be cleaned weekly and nails have to be trimmed regularly. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a hound with a wire coat, like a terrier's coat, and needs to be hand striped each year.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The GBGV is one of the hardiest and healthiest dogs around. There have been very few reported hereditary and congenital conditions, though the GBGV used to have a history or epilepsy.  The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen has a life expectancy of 12-14 years.

Activity Level
They need a considerable amount of exercise, so potential owners should be active and aware of the Grand Basset's needs. 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. On the average, a GBGV requires at least 2 hours of active exercise per day.


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