Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen: Breed Characteristics & Care

Characteristics, History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners


Often referred to as the “GBGV” or “Grand,” the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is a shaggy, active, and independent scent-hound from France. In fact, the rough translation of its name is very descriptive of its appearance: “Large, low, shaggy dog of the Vendéen (a region of France).”

The GBGV was originally developed to help hunt deer, boar, and other large game, but today, the GBGV’s sweet, happy personality, and relatively calm demeanor make it the perfect pick for an active family or families with other dogs.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound

HEIGHT: 15.5 to 18 inches at the shoulder

WEIGHT: 40 to 45 pounds

COAT: Rough, scruffy, and shaggy with extra length around the eyes and chin; double-coated with a long, rough outercoat and a soft, thick undercoat

COAT COLOR: A variety of colors, including tri-color, yellow, orange, black, and sable

LIFE SPAN: 13 to 15 years

TEMPERAMENT: Alert, energetic, loyal, lively, attentive, fearless, stubborn, sweet-tempered


ORIGIN: France

Characteristics of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

Because the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was bred as a working dog, they have higher energy levels and exercise needs. Like all hounds, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen loves to follow his / her nose, so a fenced-in backyard or large, enclosed workout space is a must; they have the tendency to bark loudly and frequently; and they can be stubborn, so obedience training beginning in early puppyhood is vital. Although the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is really a smaller dog, they’re not recommended for people who live in apartments or smaller areas. If they aren’t adequately exercised, they become bored and destructive.

Affection LevelHigh
Exercise NeedsHigh
Energy LevelHigh
Tendency to BarkHigh
Amount of SheddingMedium

History of the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

One of the four Griffon Hounds developed over centuries, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was originally bred in Vendéen, a region in France, sometime during the 16th century, to help hunters track and take down game. Despite their smaller stature-GBGVs typically weigh between 40 and 45 pounds fully grown-they were able to take down larger game, like boar and deer, in addition to smaller prey.

For many years, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was interbred with the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen-and they were considered a single breed. In fact, the Club du Basset Griffon Vendéen, the official organization of Griffon Hounds from Vendéen, established the same breed standards for both the Grand and the Petit. Eventually, in 1909, the club reassessed the breed standards and recognized the Grand and Petit as two distinctive breeds.

Over a century later, in 2018, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen was officially recognized as a member of the Hound Group by the American Ksobrenel Club.

Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen Care

Because they were bred as working dogs in harsher conditions, the GBGV is a fairly low-maintenance dog when it comes to grooming. They only need to be groomed once per week with a slicker brush and comb, and can become bathed as-needed. The GBGV is pack dog, so he or she will thrive in households with multiple dogs. If you’re unfamiliar with dog training or obedience, or a first-time dog owner, the GBGV is probably not the right breed for you-they can be challenging to potty train, too. Cotton swabs aren’t recommended, as they can damage the delicate inner-ear structures. If your dog’s ears are excessively dirty, red and inflamed, or smell funny, contact your veterinarian ASAP. These may be signs of an ear infection.

Like all breeds, it’s important to examine and clean your dog’s ears on a weekly basis. In addition to cleaning their ears, dental hygiene should be an important part of your weekly grooming routine. Daily brushing is ideal, but brushing your dog’s teeth once per week can help protect her from oral dcan beease.

As previously mentioned, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is very active and requires extensive, daily exercise in an enclosed space or fenced-in yard. Playing games like fetch, hide and seek, or tug-o-war can help keep your dog healthy, exercised, and engaged.

Obedience training is vital for GBGVs, who can be stubborn and have a mind of their own. You can gently remove dirt, debris, or waxy build-up with a soft, clean, cotton cloth or pad. Be sure to keep instruction consistent, positive, and engaging with plenty of rewards. It’s important to note: No matter how much you train your Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, she or he will retain the urges to bark and chase prey if they’re off-leash or within an open space.

Common Health Problems

Like all breeds, the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen may be susceptible to certain health conditions. They’re typically considered healthy dogs-and reputable breeders do everything they can to maintain the highest breed standards-but there’s no guarantee that your dog will or won’t develop a health condition in his or her lifetime. It’s important to be aware of these conditions, so you can take the steps needed if symptoms arise in your pet.

Some health conditions that are common among GBGVs include hip dysplasia, a genetic disorder characterized by weakening and pain in the hip joints, and dermatitis, or irritation of the skin. If you’re worried about these conditions, or any other health issues in your dog, be sure to talk to your vet about steps you can take to give her a long, happy, healthy life.

Diet and Nutrition

Your dog’s diet will depend largely on his or her age and activity levels. Refer to the feeding chart on your preferred dog food or speak to your veterinarian if you’re unsure how much to feed your Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen.

Canine obesity can affect dogs of all ages and breeds, so it’s important to feed your dog a healthy, balanced diet-and take it easy on the treats. Canine obesity can be extremely dangerous, and can lead to other health issues like heart disease or diabetes.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen is still a fairly rare breed in the United States-there are only 400 registered with the American Kennel Club-so it might be difficult to find one in your local shelter. If you work with a reputable breeder, there might be a longer waiting list due to their rarity.

Before purchasing a puppy from a breeder, make sure to do your research and ensure they’re ethical and reputable. Look for signs of backyard breeding, like unhealthy dogs, multiple litters at the same time, or the ability to pay with a credit card over the phone or online.

More Breeds and Further Research

The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen can be a loving and loyal family dog, but may be difficult to find in the United States. If you’re interested in the Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, other breeds you may want to consider include:

  • Otterhound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Bassett Hound

By DogCareTips.Net

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